8 Best Cordless Finish Nailers of 2023 – Top Picks & Reviews
No one wants to haul out the compressor and hose for smaller nailing jobs, especially as you’re nearing the end of a project. Luckily, smaller, cordless finish nailers are now available and gaining popularity.
Once upon a time, these little machines didn’t have the battery power to make them worth much. However, these handheld machines have become more powerful as batteries have improved. Today, they can take care of most basic nailing jobs, though they won’t eliminate the need for the pesky compressor and hose.
Still, not all cordless finish nailers are made equal. Some are excellent, but others are substandard. Read our reviews below to discover the best cordless finish nailers currently on the market to fit your needs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Finish Nailer||
|Best Value||CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Finish Nailer Kit||
|Premium Choice||DEWALT DCN660B MAX Finish Nailer||
|BOSTITCH BCN650D1 20V Max Finish Nailer Kit||
|Paslode Cordless Finish Nailer||
8 Best Cordless Finish Nailers
1. PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Finish Nailer – Best Overall
For most homeowners and part-time carpenters, the PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Finish Nailer has everything you need to complete your projects without costing you an arm and a leg. It uses 100% battery power, eliminating the need for a compressor or a hose. It is reasonably priced and will likely save you money in the long run since you won’t need to purchase gas cartridges.
The Porter-Cable has multiple settings, all of which can be changed without using tools. Also, it’s designed to work in various climates and has consistent firing power when used with different materials. This finish nailer can perform no matter where you are or what you’re working on.
It can hold up to 100 nails in its magazine, which is about the average. The best part about this gun is that it can do up to 1,000 nails per charge with the 4.0 Ampere hours (Ah) lithium battery. That is far more than most of the competition. With this machine, you may be able to get your whole project done with one battery. All in all, we think this is the best overall cordless finish nailer available this year.
2. CRAFTSMAN Cordless Finish Nailer Kit – Best Value
This CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Finish Nailer Kit is part of CRAFTSMAN’s V20 cordless system. It uses a 20V max battery, which is compatible across the CRAFTSMAN line. If you’re already the proud owner of other CRAFTSMAN V20 tools, that is another reason to choose this finish nailer.
Though it runs off 100% battery power, this nailer is powerful. It can do up to 375 nails per charge, which should be more than enough for your average home DIYer. The Craftsman has a few unique features that we liked. It comes with a tool-free depth setting, which allows you to set it up quickly. The tip is designed not to scratch up your work, which is the last thing you want at the end of a project. The tool-free jam and stall settings make the gun much easier to use and improve the efficiency of your work.
Best of all, it’s one of the best cordless finish nailers for the money on the market today.
3. DEWALT DCN660B MAX Finish Nailer – Premium Choice
DEWALT is a well-known manufacturer and for a good reason. Many of their tools are top-notch, and this DEWALT DCN660B MAX Finish Nailer is no different. It is about the best you can get and should be perfect for most users.
It has an integrated LED light system, making it much easier to see in dim and cramped places. It is 100% battery-operated, so you don’t have to spend valuable time messing with a compressor and a hose. The 20-volt battery it uses is more than powerful enough for most purposes. This battery is compatible with other DEWALT tools that use 20V, which is another plus.
We particularly loved the lightweight design of this nailer. It weighs only 6 pounds and can easily be used with one hand. This prevents fatigue and provides extra versatility. The magazine capacity is also sizable. It can hold 110 nails at a time, which is more than most other finish nailers on the market.
4. BOSTITCH BCN650D1 Max Finish Nailer Kit
While the BOSTITCH BCN650D1 20V Max Finish Nailer Kit isn’t bad by any means, it just didn’t wow us for the price. It would probably work for most home DIYers and professional carpenters. However, you can get a better gun for about the same price. For this reason, it landed at number four in our reviews.
Like most on this list, it runs off of battery power only. The motor is brushless and powerful enough to drive 1¼ to 2½ angled finish nails, making it suitable for most projects. The nose is narrow, which may improve your overall accuracy. You’ll be able to achieve a clearer line of sight, which isn’t always possible with other models.
The Bostitch comes equipped with LED lights to help you illuminate dim workspaces. These lights can even be used for tool diagnostics, which is a unique feature we liked. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to figure out what’s wrong with your tool!
5. Paslode Cordless Finish Nailer
We liked many things about the Paslode Cordless Finish Nailer, but there were several things we didn’t like. The angled magazine helps you reach tight spots and can improve your accuracy. Not counting the battery, the nailer weighs only 4.5 pounds. That’s light enough for you to use it with one hand easily. The powerful battery can drive 12,000 nails with one charge. That is far more than any competition (and way more than most people need). However, it also requires fuel cells to work, so it isn’t just running off the battery. The fuel cells are easy to change but expensive.
This gun is also relatively more expensive than the others. Its features are great, but most people will likely not find that they’re worth the extra price. You also have to take the price of fuel cells into account, which can add up. Overall, this is a useful tool for professionals but a little pricey for most homeowners.
6. Hitachi NT65GAPR Cordless Finish Nailer
For some people, this Hitachi NT65GAPR Cordless Finish Nailer may be precisely what they’re looking for. It does not run off of battery power entirely. Instead, it uses a gas fuel rod and a Lithium-Ion battery. This makes it more powerful than other nailers, but the difference wasn’t exceedingly noticeable. The fuel rods can be replenished immediately, so you don’t have to sit around and wait as you do with a compressor. However, the cells add to the cost.
The nose is easy to clear if it jams, which can improve your efficiency. There is a low-battery indicator light, so you’ll know whenever you reach the end of your battery’s charge. Overall, this handheld finish nailer only weighs 4.4 pounds, which is much lower than most of the competition.
Despite these positive features, we didn’t like the gas and battery combo. This nailer felt outdated. Lithium batteries are powerful enough to run finish nailers, so we didn’t feel there was any need for the added gas rod.
7. Makita XNB02Z 18V Straight Finish Nailer
Despite the price, the Makita XNB02Z 18V LXT Straight Finish Nailer isn’t a quality nailer. It can drive standard 16-gauge, straight finish nails from 1 to 2½ inches. With the proper battery, it can drive up to 1,000 nails per charge. However, this battery is not included and must be bought separately. It is a 5.0 Ah battery, which means it is pretty large and will likely be expensive. That bumps up the overall price of this nailer even more, making it easily one of the most expensive ones on this list.
It has a slim profile, which allows you to see what you’re doing a bit better. This improves accuracy and eliminates the number of redos you must perform. The anti-dry fire mechanism is a nice touch. It prevents you from accidentally driving blanks, which can damage your work surface.
If the gun jams, the nose design makes it pretty easy to fix the issue. You won’t need any tools, which is always a nice plus. There is also a trigger lock button, which is a reliable safety feature. However, that is a feature that most nail guns have.
8. Ryobi P325 One+ Cordless Finish Nailer
This Ryobi P325 One+ Cordless Finish Nailer isn’t for most users. It has a few positive features that we liked. For example, it features decent LED lighting, which a second trigger can activate. It also has a low nail indicator, which prevents you from accidentally dry firing and damaging your work surface.
However, many of these features are unimpressive. The low nail indicator is helpful, but many of the nail guns we reviewed have mechanisms in place that prevent them from dry-firing. The LED lights weren’t the best, and most of the guns we reviewed above have better lights.
We also found that the Ryobi nailer wasn’t as reliable as some other brands we used. It has a hard time with hardwoods, which diminishes its versatility. While the nailer isn’t downright awful, it isn’t exactly good either. Save your money and buy a better gun. There are many available that cost less than this one.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Cordless Finish Nailer
Nail guns can be surprisingly expensive. Once you research the various brands, it doesn’t take long to realize that so many options and types are available. It can be hard to know which finish nailer is right for you! To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together this complete buyer’s guide. It contains all the information you need to know about cordless finish nailers.
Are Finish Nailers and Brad Nailers the Same?
We see a lot of confusion about the difference between brad nailers and finish nailers (or if there is even a difference). However, the tools are different, even if they perform similar tasks. To put it simply, finish nailers use finish nails, while brad nailers use brad nails. They will not use each other’s nails. If you put the wrong nail in your machine, it will jam or possibly break.
The brad nails are made of 18-gauge steel wire. The gauge of a nail is a representation of how thick it is. The higher the number, the thinner the nail. Brads are fragile, hence their high number. Because they are so thin, they are usually used on delicate materials to avoid splitting. Many carpenters also use them for woodworking projects because of their subtle appearance. They are excellent at blending in.
The brad nails are also better for thinner materials, like plywood. Finish nails are usually made of 16-gauge steel wire, though the 15-gauge wire is sometimes used. Most finish nailers can only use 16-gauge finish nails, however. They are slightly thicker in diameter than brad nails. They are useful for hefty applications like putting together cabinets or baseboards.
Because they are bigger, they usually leave a larger hole behind. For most projects, you’ll need to follow up with a filler to cover the holes and make the project look tidy.
Cordless vs. Pneumatic Finish Nailers
Cordless finish nailers are only beginning to gain popularity.
For many years, most people used pneumatic nail guns. They are cheaper and get their power from an air compressor, but they are often more powerful than a cordless model. You have to purchase a compressor and suitable hose, which increases the price by quite a bit.
Until recently, almost all finish nailers were pneumatic. However, as batteries have improved, cordless finish nailers are becoming more reliable and accepted. Despite advancements in technology, most professionals will use a pneumatic finish nail simply because they don’t have time to recharge batteries in the middle of their workday. Furthermore, pneumatic nailers are cheaper, so they can afford to replace them more often.
Cordless finish nailers include every model that doesn’t need the compressor, hose, or wall outlet. Usually, they are battery-powered. However, gas options are also available. Usually, gas nailers use a canister or rod, which has to be purchased repeatedly.
Battery-powered models and gas-powered units work in different ways. However, sometimes a cordless finish nailer can use both batteries and gas. While this is somewhat helpful, it also means that you’ll have to keep up with two power sources while working. You must remember to charge your battery AND purchase new gas canisters.
If you’re a home DIYer or only use a finish nailer occasionally, you may want to spend the extra money for a cordless option.
Straight or Angled Finish Nailers
Despite its appearance, there is no significant difference between a straight or an angled finish nailer. In the end, they do the same job. Angled nailers perform better in corners and are easier to use in tight spaces. Besides that, it doesn’t matter which style you choose.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Finish Nailer
You should consider a few minor factors when choosing your finish nailer. Once you’ve made the more significant decisions, such as whether or not you even need a cordless model, you should look out for these characteristics while shopping around:
More Finish Nailer Articles:
- Our Top 5 finish nailers (showing both corded and cordless models)
- Which 15-gauge finish nailer is our favorite?
- A closer look at our the top 5 16-gauge finisher nailers
Finish nailers are handy if you’re making cabinets, nailing down baseboards, or doing anything that requires using 16-gauge nails. We hope this article helped you sort through all the factors that go into purchasing the best finish nailer for your needs. The PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Finish Nailer is our top pick and one of the finest nailers on the market. It isn’t too expensive and has all the power you need for most jobs. It can drive in 1,000 nails per charge, which is plenty for most people.
If you’re looking for the best cordless finish nailer but need to stick to a stricter budget, the CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Finish Nailer Kit is another reliable option. It is a bit cheaper but still comes with all the features you need to get the job done.