In this guide we’ll take a look at the best nail guns for the UK market.
I’ve compared performance, features, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Nail Gun?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
The hammer must be one of the oldest tools in human history, and when you compare that ancient relic to the Ryobi ONE+ 18G nailer you can see just how far we’ve come as a species. It’s the best electric nail gun I’ve used because it’s so easy to handle, dialling in the power settings is intuitive and it feels like it will last a long time.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Nail Gun Reviews
Ryobi One+ 18G AirStrike Cordless Nailer Review
The Ryobi ONE+ Airstrike 18G is probably the best nail gun you can get hold of for the money because it’s incredibly easy to use, takes a decent range of nail lengths, and can be set to continuous fire mode.
Japanese tool experts Ryobi are well favoured for their excellent range of DIY and garden tools that make use of the ONE+ battery system, meaning you can power anything from a lawn mower to a hammer drill with the same battery. This nailer comes as a “naked” tool, so you’ll have to use the 18V battery from your Ryobi drill or purchase one separately.
The first thing that caught my attention when testing out this nail gun is how simple it is to use. I like how quickly you can dial in the pressure using the rear selector and then fine tune the firing with the adjuster wheel. Ryobi have made it as easy as placing the nails where you want them and choosing exactly how deep they’ll be fired in.
Clearing stuck brad nails is simple as well- the nose portion can be unclipped without using tools or much effort, and the magazine can be loaded up with a range of nail lengths and it’ll even tell you when you’re nearly out. Overall, it’s light enough at just 2.5 kg and feels really good in the hand. I love it.
VonHaus Cordless Nail Gun / Electric Nailer Stapler Review
Producing a huge range of useful tools and homewares, VonHaus are swiftly becoming one of the most impressive DIY brands in the UK. I got my hands on one of their cordless nail and staple guns and put it through its paces.
This nail gun is a rather impressive looking bit of kit- the body is bright orange and well sculpted with a comfortable overmoulded handle and surprisingly good balance, considering it’s a bit of a beast at more than 5 kg in weight.
The thing that makes the VonHaus one of the best nail guns out there is how versatile it is- you can load up brad nails for carpentry work and construction or swap the nails for staples and get busy with upholstery, craft or fixing down carpet underlay with ease.
You’ll find hundreds of uses for this tool and selecting between single and continuous firing mode makes it good for precision as well as speed work.
This nailer comes as a complete kit as well- VonHaus have thought to include 200 40 mm nails and 200 32 mm staples, a 2.0 Ah battery and rapid one-hour charger. You can put it to work on your next project straight away.
T-Mech 2 in 1 Cordless Nail & Staple Gun Review
Forming part of the range of clever products produced by Monster group in York, the T-Mech tool brand makes one of the best heavy duty nail guns I’ve had a chance to look at. It’s another large cordless nailer that boast selectable firing modes and an impressive range of accessories.
Weighing in at 5.4 kg, you wouldn’t call it a lightweight tool, but with a firing rate of up to 100 nails per minute you can forgive a little extra bulk. In terms of design, it’s a familiar setup to the VonHaus, with a rubberised handle and large trigger that makes everything easy to operate.
The LED readout is a nice touch and located next to the fire select switch- it can tell you if there’s a jam or you’re out of nails or staples with a red or green light. It’s a simple system but works perfectly well. Loading up nails or staples is as easy as pulling back the magazine cover and loading new ones in, and T-Mech have included a decent amount of them to get you started.
What makes this one of the best cordless nail gun sets is what you get with it though- two 2.0 Ah batteries, a charger, 300 nails, 300 staples and a case to put it all in. Unless you’re doing a lot of nailing, this set will last you for a long time for not a lot of money.
Tacwise 1564 Hobby 53-13EL Cordless Nail Gun Review
One of the most respected specialist fastening brands out there, Tacwise have been making some of the best nail and staple guns for more than 50 years. The 53-13EL cordless nail and staple gun is a lightweight tool for small brad nails and staples- more like a traditional stapler than a heavy duty nail gun.
As you’d expect from a small electric staple gun, this handy little tool weighs just over 1 kg, but can still put staples or brad nails into wood without much effort at all. It’s probably the simplest little nail gun I’ve had a chance to use as well- there are no dials to fiddle with, it’s simply a case of load it up and get firing.
The internal 4V battery is strong enough for lighter stapling and nailing jobs, it’s an ideal tool for an upholsterer or if you need to put up lots of posters. It’s not designed to replace a carpenter’s nail gun and can’t take 50 mm long nails, but it certainly beats a traditional manual stapler.
Charging up the non-removable battery with a micro-USB makes this a particularly handy tool to have around, but if it runs out of juice, you’ll have to wait around before you can start working again. It’s my only gripe against what is otherwise the best electric staple gun I’ve tried out.
Tacwise 181ELS Electric Nail Gun Review
Another product from fastening masters Tacwise is the excellent 181ELS Pro electric nailer. Delivering light weight, reliable corded nailing power, it’s easily one of the best corded nail guns on the market right now.
One of the main benefits of a corded nail gun is the weight reduction- this is a full size medium-duty nail gun, but it weighs less than 2.5 kg, so it makes sense if you’re connected to mains power and portability isn’t your number one requirement.
It’s a more basic tool than some of the competition, lacking a continuous fire mode or adjustable power, but it comes with a robust all-metal magazine and soft rubber nose tip for when you’re nailing into softer surfaces. It’s a solid buy from one of the best names in the business.
Stanley TRE550 Electric Nail / Staple Gun Review
Easily one of the biggest and most recognisable names in DIY is STANLEY, and they’ve come up with what I think is one of the best corded electric staple guns for the money.
If you’ve ever used a manual staple gun before, you’ll probably be familiar with how the TRE550 electric staple gun works- you pull back the bottom slide and load a line of staples or nails into the foot of the stapler, and off you go.
It’s comfortable to hold and easy to use, but the feature I was surprised to see on a stapler in this price bracket was the power adjuster wheel that gives you six levels of stapling power- it’s a useful feature that you might only see on the best nail or staple gun.
It’s a shame that STANLEY haven’t supplied even a small box of staples of brads to get you started, but for the money it’s hard to complain about this little workhorse of a staple gun.
Lumberjack NS 18G Heavy Duty Electric Nail Gun Stapler Tacker Review
British tool brand Lumberjack make a wide range of woodworking tools, and their NS18G corded nail gun is one of the best 2 in 1 nailer and stapler guns you can get that will not cost you the earth.
For the price, I expected the NS18G to be a flimsy bit of kit, but it’s surprisingly well put together and robust. The rubberised overmoulded grip is one of the best I’ve held, and it certainly feels like it will last well if you don’t treat it too badly.
The operation is easy as well- there’s a simple power adjustment wheel, loading the magazine doesn’t take long to figure out and pulling the trigger fires one pin or staple- there isn’t much there to go wrong. It’s not the most powerful nail gun out there, but for the price it’s one of the best budget nail guns.
Draper 83659 Heavy Duty Electric Stapler Nailer Kit Review
Another big name in British tools is Draper. They make a huge range of affordable and reliable tools that are ideal for DIYers and professionals that don’t want to empty their wallets.
The Storm Force 83659 corded nailer and stapler is a lightweight machine at just over 1.5 kg but can still handle a decent range of fixings. The overall build quality isn’t up there with the best nail guns, but for the money it’s hard to complain about a tool designed for lighter duty tasks.
Operation is as simple as it gets- change the power with the dial, load up the magazine with nails or staples and pull the trigger. There’s not much to it, but it gets the job done. Draper have included a 300 19 mm staples and 100 25 mm brad nails to get you started as well. Not bad.
Things to Know Before Buying a Nail Gun
If you’ve never had the chance to use a nail gun, you won’t know how you got by before without one. Nailing anything by hand takes effort, technique and experience before you can sink a nail with one shot and not hit your thumb in the process. Nail guns are powerful, safe and quick ways to attach almost any two things together.
If you ask me, the most important development in power tool technology has been the Lithium-Ion battery. Power tools that would otherwise need long power cables are now as portable as a pencil and a hundred times more useful. Most of the best nail guns make use of 18V batteries that deliver plenty of power without adding too much weight to the tool. Just be prepared to pay for the privilege.
As much as cordless power tools have changed the face of DIY and what you can get done “off grid”, there’s nothing worse than waiting for your batteries to charge up. If you don’t need a battery powered nailer, then save yourself some money and go corded. You get all the power you need and there’s no waiting around when your last battery has gone past the red.
The best nail guns on the market have selectable firing modes- sequential and continuous. Sequential fire means that one pull of the trigger, once you’ve pushed the nose up to the workpiece, results in one nail being fired. Continuous or “bump” fire, on the other hand, means that you can hold down the trigger and use the nose action to place nails or staples rapidly.
Nail guns are used to quickly and accurately fire nails into a range of materials. You’ll find the best electric nail guns used for fence building, light timber framing and interior finish work like installing moulding and skirting boards. Electric staplers are much more at home when used for upholstery and crafting jobs.
Nail Gun FAQs
Before you start using your nail gun, you should carefully read the manual supplied with your new tool. Even though the best nail guns come with a range of safety features, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with all moving parts.
One of the most useful features on a modern nail gun is the safety catch- found in the nose of the nail gun, it stops the gun from operating unless it is pressed firmly into the workpiece. This avoids accidental firing when the nail gun is in the air. Even the continuous fire mode found on the best electric nail gun requires the safety catch to be released before firing.
You should always practise on scrap materials before attempting any finish work. It can take a few goes with a nail gun to get the right depth dialled in, so grab some scrap and test out the power settings, if there are any, on your nail gun. Brad nails and staples aren’t the easiest thing to remove if they’ve gone under the surface and tapping in the heads of nails with a hammer is a pain as well.
Yes, they’re as safe as any other power tool if you follow all safety guidance. The best nail guns are packed with safety features to stop them firing unless they’re pressed up against a solid surface. You can also clear any jams safely without needing special tools.
My advice is to never try to release a jammed nail or stapler with the tool plugged in or with the battery in place. You need to always wear the correct personal protective equipment too- nail guns are loud, so make sure you’re wearing ear defenders as well as safety goggles.