10 Best Floor Nailers Reviews & Ratings
Necessity is the mother of all invention, and floor nailers was a product of this. It was born out of a desire to increase post-war housing production, and it is one of the most versatile tools to date.
Flooring nailers are ideal when installing hardwood floors. Though it is possible to nail the pieces together by hand, and it has been done for years, it is time-consuming, and a tedious process. Also, only a few experts who have cultivated the resilience and have the experience can insert nails at the correct angle.
A floor nailer, on the other hand, reduces the likelihood of wrong placement. Moreover, you get the job done faster as the nailer can drive three nails in the time an experienced worker takes to drive in one nail. You also keep your finger safe as you don’t have to hold the fasteners in place using your fingers. You will also appreciate the increases power with a flooring nail gun, and the fact that you don’t have to carry around nails. Though you are restricted by the air compressor, your tool belt is much lighter.
Our Top 3 Picks
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Finding flooring nailers is an easy task, but getting the right tool for you is a difficult task. Below is a buying guide on what to look for, and we have also included some recommendations to ease the work.
10 Best Floor Nailers
1. NuMax SFL618
The NuMax SFL618 is a pneumatic tool and thus pricey but with more accuracy and speed. It also takes minimal effort to drive a fastener as all that’s required is a light strike with the mallet. The handle is padded giving you a secure grip and comfort from vibration. The quality of the unit is also unmatched as it is made of die-cast aluminum body, high-quality rubber O-rings, and an aluminum cylinder. The driver blade is heat-treated hardened steel that requires little maintenance, and the anti-dust cap warrants that internal parts are always clean. Our best features though were the versatility and how lightweight the device is.
Versatility – First, you can use the mallet to move wood pieces into place as it is non-marring. Also being a 3 in 1 unit, you can use L and T cleats, as well as 15.5 and 16 staples. The base plates are also interchangeable from ½” to ¾” allowing you to match your floor thickness. The handle also happens to be long at 23” thus eliminating back pain from stooping too far. Finally, the magazine has an extra 2” and increases the capacity to 120.
Lightweight – Thanks to the aluminum construction, the tool happens to be light, and you can use it for more extended periods with little fatigue.
1-year limited warranty
30-day wearable parts warranty
White rubber mallet
Weight: 15.7 pounds
Interchangeable base plates
Who is it for?
The NuMax SFL618 is a consumer product. It works best for DIY enthusiasts who are looking for a tool that can get into tight corners, recesses, and up against the wall.
Has a fascinating shape that enables you to work in tight corners, recesses, and up against the wall
It is affordable
It is easy to load, fires consistently and aligns rather quickly
There is no indication that the magazine is empty or near empty
2. Freeman PFL618BR
First, it is a pneumatic tool and thus requires less effort to drive fasteners. Moreover, it is a three in one unit that increases the resourcefulness. You can use it to drive T, and L cleats (between 1-1/2” and 2”), as well as 15.5 and 16 gauge staples between 1 and 2 inches. The base plate is interchangeable between ½” and ¾” and thus you can get one that matches your floor thickness. The base plates are also non-marring and will protect your flooring surface from scratches. Furthermore, the white mallet can be used to move wood flooring pieces into place as it is non-marring.
To avoid backaches, the PFL618BR features an extended handle so that you don’t have to stoop too low. Also, there is the padded handle which gives a secure grip and protects from vibrations. The set also includes a blow mold carrying case making it the best for professionals.
Warranty – Our first top feature of the PFL618BR is the 7-year warranty. This is unparalleled, and a prime reason for getting it.
Quality – With a 7-year warranty to back it, you can expect this unit to be high quality and quite durable. The frame is die-cast aluminum and can be used in various job sites. The driver blade is one piece steel and quite durable and can withstand abuse. The rubber O-rings also happen to be quite durable. The magazine is also extended by 2” inches and thus can handle more fasteners.
Power source: air-powered
Mag capacity: 120pcs
Fastener gauge: 15.5 – 16
Dimensions: 16.8 by 3.5 by 22.8 inches.
Who is it for?
The PFL618BR is a bulky tool, and thus should be used by professionals or for heavy-duty projects.
Features an anti-dust cap that protects the inner parts of the unit
It is easy to oil through the air inlet
Will, last long as the components, can withstand abuse
Fires consistently, it is easy to load, and a breeze to align
More substantial than most options which limits its mobility
3. Bostitch MIIIFN
The Bostitch happens to be a robust unit with 420-inch pounds of power.
Therefore driving fasteners will be an easy task. Furthermore, it is versatile in that it has two (1/2-inch and ¾-inch) base plates which are interchangeable. You can also use it to tackle finished and pre-finished flooring thanks to the adapter and the massive base plates. The larger magazine can hold 110 cleats allowing you to work for extended periods without reloading.
For comfort, the unit has a longer handle so that you don’t stoop too low. Our top features though were the warranty and how lightweight the device is.
Lightweight – Bostitch MIIIFN is made of aircraft-grade aluminum which makes it a durable but also light. Thus, you can use the unit for lengthier periods with little fatigue. The graphite mallet is also lightweight, and comfortable to wield all day.
Warranty – With a 7-year limited warranty, the Bostitch MIIFN is one of the few units, with such a lengthy warranty. It puts your mind at ease about the quality and longevity of the tool.
Weight: 11.2 pounds
Size: 22 by 16 by 4.5 inches
Warranty – 7-year limited warranty
Operating pressure: 70 to 120 psi
Who is it for?
The Bostitch MIIIFN is for people who are on a generous budget and intend to use L-cleat fasteners only. Other than that, it can be used by DIY enthusiasts or professionals.
The tool is easy to service and service kits are available and affordable
It is a top quality tool and can handle some torture
The base is non-marring so as not to damage your flooring
Happens to be quite precise
Happens to be quite pricey, and lacks the resourcefulness of lower cost units that can drive L, T cleat, and staples
4. DEWALT DWFP12569
Our top features though are the base plates and lower CFM.
Base plates – Despite its higher cost, the Dewalt DWFP12569 is one of the most popular options thanks to the non-marring base plates. They protect your flooring surface from scratches or other damage. They are also interchangeable from ½” to ¾,” and thus you can match your flooring thickness.
Lower CFM – With lower cubic feet per minute, there is less air-compressor run-time.
Weight: 10.6 pounds
Dimensions: 3.9 by 23.4 by 20.6 inches
Power source: Corded electric
Who is it for?
Given the 2 in 1 feature, it is best for people who intend to use both L-cleat fasteners and staples.
The unit is lightweight, and you can use it for long hours with no fatigue
It is easy to use
Though it is made in Taiwan, it happens to be quite durable and requires very little maintenance
5. Ramsond RMM4
The first thing you will notice with the RMM4 is the padded grip which increases the comfort and betters the grip. Furthermore, it’s made of a durable die-cast alloy that happens to be lightweight, and thus the tool can be used for long hours without fatigue. Nevertheless, the heat-treated hardened steel driver blade is the foundation to an industrial strength option.
The base plates are another reason why you should get the Rasmond RMM4. The plates are non-marring and thus will not damage your flooring material but are also adjustable to fit any thickness. Our best features are the magazine and air boost chambers.
Dual mag – First, the RMM4 mag is patented and can hold both L cleats and staples. Thus you don’t have to change the magazine when you desire to change the fastener. It carries about 100 staples or nails and works with 15.5 to 16 gauge 1 to 2-inch staples and 1.5 to 2-inch cleats. It also happens to be quick loading and hassle-free.
Air boost chambers – With two patented air boost chambers, it has a higher anty and fasteners are continuously fired with enough power and the extra air helps in quick retraction of the blade.
Shoots both L-cleats and staples
Die-cast alloy frame
Patented dual magazine
Patented air chambers
Includes goggles, Allen wrenches, internal key, base plates, and an O-ring kit
Who is it for?
The Rasmond RMM4 is an industrial tool. Thus, if you are a professional but on a limited budget, we recommend you get this unit. It’s also for putting down small areas of flooring.
The Rasmond RMM4 is solidly built and well balanced
It is versatile thanks to its 2 in 1 design
The angle and direction of either nail are automatically aligned for every fire increasing the accuracy
It fails and jams often
6. Freeman PF18GLCN
The PF18GLCN nail gun works with 18 gauge 1.25 to 1.75 L-cleats. Ensure that this is what you will be working with before making a purchase. As for the features, the device has an extended handle that saves you the back pains as you don’t have to stoop over for extended hours. The grip is also padded protecting you from vibrations, and providing a secure grip.
It also happens to be a sturdy but lightweight tool as it die-cast aluminum frame, an aluminum cylinder, and durable rubber O-rings. There is also the anti-dust cap/air filter that protects the internal parts of the unit. The interchangeable base plates are another reason to get this unit as you can work with any floor thickness.
Warranty – If for no other reason, get it for the 7-year warranty. This puts you at ease on any concerns about the durability and longevity of the unit.
High capacity magazine – The Freeman PF18GLCN can hold about 120 cleats reducing the need to reload constantly.
Drives 18 gauge L-cleats
Mag capacity: 120 cleats
Operates at: 70 – 115 Psi
Weight: 14 pounds
Who is it for?
This option is best for individuals who are installing exotic hardwood such as cherry, and engineered flooring.
The fiberglass mallet is non-marring and can be used to move flooring into place
Oiling is a breeze through the air filter
It’s fully adjustable and rarely jams
It is pricey, and limited in that it can only drive L-cleats
7. Freeman PFBC940
First, the unit is lightweight thanks to the anodized aluminum magazine and frame, and thus you can work for extensive periods with little to no fatigue. The device also has a quick release feature where you can easily access and remove jams without taking it apart. Furthermore, there is the padded grip for a secure grip and comfort. The anti-dust cap protects the inner components by keeping dust and debris out. Finally, it happens to be one of the few options with a reload indicator. However, our best features were the depth and exhaust adjustment.
Depth adjustment – Most options need a hex key to adjust fastener placement. This requirement helps as there are no mistakes that can ruin your flooring. However, it works well until you lose the hex key. With the PFBC940, you adjust the unit using a well-placed knob.
Adjustable exhaust – Most have a rear exhaust which necessitates the use of goggles to keep debris and air away. However, with a 360-degree adjustable exhaust, you don’t have to worry about air in your face.
Weight: 4 pounds
360-degree adjustable exhaust
Anodized aluminum build
Dimensions: 12 by four by 11 inches
Who is it for?
If you appreciate having a brad and floor nailer in one, we implore you to get the Freeman PFBC940.
This is one versatile unit as it is a 4-in-1-nailer
It is a solid unit and is quite a workhorse
You run the risk of losing some components when swapping the nailing base as they are tiny
8. Senco Shf200
To avoid accidental ejection of nails, the unit incorporates a safety trigger that you have to pull before striking the bumper. Moreover, the unit is exceptionally well-balanced, and lightweight allowing you to work for long hours with very little fatigue. There is also the carrying case to keep your items safe and a 5-year limited warranty that guarantees longevity and durability.
Adjustable base – Unlike other options, the Senco SHF200 has a flexible and not interchangeable base. You just pull down and rotate the base to fit both ½” and 3/4” flooring. The base also happens to be non-marring, and thus will not damage your material. It also happens to be a great time saver if you are working with both profiles.
Easy to line up – Aligning the Senco SHF200 is a breeze as all you got to do is pull it against the wood.
Operating pressure: 90 to 110 psi
Weight: 10.1 pounds
Dimensions: 21.5 by 17.8 by 3.1 inches
Who is it for?
The Senco SHF200 is best for people working with both ½” and ¾” flooring profiles and want to save time.
It requires little force to drive the nail
Has low noise levels
It is quite pricey and lacks a way of informing you when you are out of nails or near empty which is a feature you would expect at this price point
9. Bostitch EHF1838K
The EHF1838K is a stapler and has a capacity of 100 staples. It delivers 160 inches/pound of power between 70 and 120 psi. However, our best features were the comfort and adjustable base.
Adjustable base – Floorings are of various thickness, and you want a unit that can work well with several profiles. Most units feature interchangeable base plates, but the EHF1838K uses an adjustable base plate which also happens to be a time-saver when working with numerous profiles.
Comfort – This nail gun is designed with comfort in mind. First, there is the over-molded rubber grip which increases comfort and maneuverability. Moreover, it is a 3.5-pound tool, and thus you can use for extended periods with very little fatigue. The rear exhaust also happens to be quiet with reduced blowback in your face when working.
Operating pressure: 70 to 120 psi
Mag capacity: 100 staples
Weight: 3.5 pounds
Dimensions: 10.1 by three by 10 inches
Seven years limited warranty
Who is it for?
The Bostitch EHF1838K is for people who are installing thin wood flooring that standard flooring nailers cannot handle.
There is the reduced likelihood that you will damage or stain your flooring owing to the oil-free operation
The swivel air-fitting ensures the stapler is right where you want it, and thus you can move freely without the hose getting in place
It is expensive compared to other units in its class
10. Bynford Stapler Nailer
The Bynford Hardwood is lightweight at 4.15 pounds and thus can be used for more extended periods of time with little to no fatigue. It is also padded for comfort and features a safety lock to prevent accidental fires. However, our best features were the adjustable angle and base plates.
Adjustable base plate – Other than the standard interchangeable base plate, you can fit the base to any flooring thickness. It is a time saver and saves you the agony of having to change the base plate depending on the thickness.
Adjustable angle – You can vary the gun’s angle from a straight to 45-degrees. Laying flooring is thus easier as you can get into the angles, and is also ideal for other tasks other than flooring.
Adjustable base plate
Safety lock off
Uses standard 18 gauge staples
Who is it for?
The Bynford is perfect for use in areas where operating a heavy piece of equipment is dangerous; say on top of a ladder. It is also perfect if you are looking for a unit that you can use for more than flooring.
It is versatile in that it can be used as a flooring or brad nailer
It is excellent value for money
It is not as foolproof as some standard units
Criteria to Consider Before Making Your Purchase
When purchasing flooring nailers, you should consider more than the brand’s reputation and the price. Often you could be paying more due to the brand name and marketing and not for the quality of the device.
Always ensure you get a unit that meets your objectives and the best value for your money.
Home or professional use
Your objective will determine the option you get. If you are a DIY enthusiast, we recommend you get a consumer flooring nailer. They are affordable, and you don’t want to invest a fortune in a tool that you might not use that often.
Professional options, on the other hand, are pricey. As a professional, you need a reliable tool as you will be using it for different clients. Ensure you get one with a good warranty, that’s versatile and durable.
Types of flooring nail guns
There are three types of flooring nail guns. First is the cleat nailer which works best for hard and brittle woods such as bamboo.
There is also a palm nailer which is best for working in tight spaces. Finally, there is the floor stapler which can be manual, electric or pneumatic, and as the name suggests, they use staples to fasten the wood.
Pneumatic or manual
Bothe pneumatic and manual nailers can do a pretty decent job buy each has its drawbacks. However, the choice you make is up to you. Manual nailers are simplistic and rely on muscle power to drive the nails. One shortcoming is that they require multiple hits (one to position the cleat and the other to drive the cleat). Nevertheless, they are affordable, have low operation costs, quick and easy to use, and are mobile.
Conversely, pneumatic flooring nail guns work with an air compressor. They are more powerful and will deliver more accurate results unlike the manual nailer, but they happen to be quite expensive.
Though flooring nailers aren’t the most expensive tools used in home improvement, you don’t want to have to buy a new one for every few projects. Eventually, you will end up spending a fortune. We recommend you look for a reliable and highly durable unit.
Also, consider the weight as you want a device that is lightweight and one that allows you to work long hour with little fatigue. Consider the ergonomics too and ensure it has a solid grip and a rubber handle as it will keep your hands from aching.
Additionally, get unit with a long handle as you can use it without stooping too low. It does wonders to your back after a long working day.
Price and warranty
An appropriate option is one that meets your objectives and retails at a reasonable price. Furthermore, get a unit with a longer warranty, but remember to check the terms and the reputation of the manufacturer.
Now that you know what to look for, below are some recommendations.
How do I maintain my nailer?
Appropriate maintenance is required if a nailer is to serve you long enough. We recommend you take it to the shop for annual servicing, but there are some few things you can do to keep the tool in top condition. First, ensure the base of thetool is ever clean.
You can use a clean rug or an air compressor to blow the dust off. This is especially important so as not to damage prefinished wood or the non-marring surface.
Also, keep the outside of the unit dust-free as it might get inside and damage the delicate components. Lubrication is also required and especially when working with such a tool. We suggest you put 4 to 5 drops in the air inlet every day before use. Moreover, check the manufacturer’s manual for the recommended oil and frequency of input. When adding the lubricant, ensure it is some distance from the flooring material to avoid contamination.
Furthermore, ensure you use the appropriate pressure as instructed by the manufacturer. Also, we recommend you release air from a compressor to remove the moisture that would damage your tool. We suggest you use a moisture filter to on the compressor to keep droplets from getting into the tool.
Finally, if there is an air leak from the nail gun, it’s time you replace the O-rings. You can use the manufacturer’s O-ring replacement kit or send it to the nearest service center.
What should I do if my tool jams?
There could be a couple of reasons why your tool is jammed. Hopefully, you are using the wrong brand or size of nails, and it is the easiest and cheapest to repair. Check the manufacturer’s manual for the appropriate type, brand, and size of nails or cleats that you should use.
There are other causes of this problem such as a jammed driving gauge. Disassemble the unit and check for any issues. Clear any obstructions and then reassemble the tool. A loose nail channel can also cause this problem, and we recommend you tighten it, or a worn out gate, which we suggest you replace. If all else fails, send it to the nearest service center.
My tool does not drive fasteners correctly.
Often, it could be that you are using the wrong nails. Again ensure you use the appropriate fasteners as instructed by the manufacturer.
Moreover, there could be some fasteners that are wedged in the driver tip or feeder which you can remove using a small nail. Finally, ensure you are applying the appropriate pressure.
How should I correct a sluggish tool and a driving blade that doesn’t retract appropriately?
The primary cause of a sluggish flooring nailer is the use of inappropriate PSI. Ensure you adjust it appropriately. As for the driver blade, there could be obstructions which you should remove or a dry cylinder which you can solve by lubrication.
If you have finally made up your mind about installing hardwood floors, these are the ten best flooring nailers in the market. We hope this detailed review makes it easy for you and if you feel there is something we missed let us know in the comments below.