Best Palm Nailer Reviews and Buying Guide of 2017


Welcome to the Best Palm Nailer Reviews and Buying Guide of 2017. Over the past two decades, the prices of power tools have dropped significantly. This coupled with the shift towards DIY instead of hiring skilled labor has led many homeowners to seek out the best power tools. Among these is the palm nailer.

Before palm nailers came along, carpentry and metalwork jobs required you use various hammers to get the job done. Swinging a hammer all day often put your safety at risk not to mention possible damage to the material you’re working with. The palm nailer on the other hand increases accuracy, is faster and safer than swinging your hammer.

Best Palm Nailer Reviews and Buying Guide

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The best palm nailer is used for a variety of jobs ranging from framing to finishing. Whether you’re installing hanging joists, fences, a ceiling or trim, a palm nailer will get the job complete fast. Palm nailers are light in weight, and are better overall at preventing hand pain. In most cases, it will comfortably handle jobs that you’d work on using a nail gun. Its main advantage is that it is small and highly portable. This makes it a good choice when working on tight spaces, small corners, edges on flooring and decking where pneumatic flooring nailers can’t. It’s a versatile power tool that can drive nails of lengths between 1-1/4 inches to 6-1/2 inches. If you can’t afford to buy several nail guns for different carpentry jobs, investing in a single palm nailer is just enough.

Comparison Table For Top 5 Best Palm Nailer

Palm NailerPower SourceOperating PressureShippingReviewEditor's RatingPrice
PORTER-CABLE PN650 Palm Nailer Kit
Pneumatic50-120 psiFREE ShippingOver 90 customer reviews4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon
BOSTITCH PN100K Impact Nailer Kit
Pneumatic60-100 psiFREE ShippingOver 141 customer reviews4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon
BOSTITCH PN50 Mini Impact Nailer
Pneumatic100-150 psiFREE Shipping on orders over $49Over 211 customer reviews4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)See on Amazon
BOSTITCH PN100 Palm Impact Nailer
Pneumatic70-100 psiSee on AmazonOver 40 customer reviews4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)See on Amazon
Senco PC0781 Pneumatic Palm Nailer
Pneumatic50-125 psiFREE ShippingOver 27 customer reviews4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)See on Amazon

Top 5 Best Palm Nailer Reviews

Porter Cable PN650 Palm Nailer Kit Review

Editor’s Rating:

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Hitachi NR90AE(S)

The Porter Cable PN650 palm nailer is a versatile tool that will handle just about any job you throw at it. Whether it’s joining two 2X4s or driving pin nails through a picture frame, this nailer will elegantly handle the task. The PN650 can drive nails between 1-1/4 inches to 6-1/2 inches in length. To achieve this, the nailer comes with four different nose tips. The no mar tip is designed for driving nails of up to 3d length. This tip is great for delicate finishing jobs. A magnetic tip is used for driving 3d to 16d common nails. It also comes with a standard tip for driving common nails of up to 70d length. Finally, it comes with a steel hammer kit for heavy duty non carpentry jobs. This is a pneumatic tool with an operating pressure of between 50 and 120 PSI. It’s a powerful nailer which will provide driving force of up to 2300 BPM at 100PSI. Its depth of drive control ensures that all nails are driven to the desired depth. One slight disadvantage with the p650 is that the magnet is a bit weak. This means you might have to hold the nail in place for the first hit.

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Bostitch PN100K Impact Nailer Kit Review

Editor’s Rating:

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Hitachi NR90AE(S)

Bostitch PN100K is a compact and lightweight palm nailer that will drive nails of up to 5 inches. Weight just 2.9 pounds and measuring just 5.25 by 3.5 by 4.13 inches, it’s one of the smallest nailers you’ll come across. This however doesn’t compromise on its driving power being a pneumatic tool. This palm nailer kit includes three different steel noses for driving different types of nails. The kit also includes several accessories which might come in handy during the course of your work. These include a carrying case, leather glove, nose wrench, lubricant, spare o-rings and a hex wrench. The kit comes with the 7 year Bostitch warranty.  One disadvantage many users point out about this nailer is that it’s unusually loud for a palm nailer. Be sure to invest in ear protection if you invest in this kit.

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Bostitch PN50 Mini Impact Nailer Review

Editor’s Rating:

4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)

Hitachi NR90AE(S)

Bostitch PN50 – If weight is your major concern when buying a palm nailer, you’ll be glad to know that the Bostitch PN50 weighs a mere 1 lb. but despite its compact size and lightweight construction, it can handle majority of the nailing jobs you throw at it. The nailer’s body includes a rubber coating which acts as a shock absorber to prevent straining your wrists. Its design also includes a 360 degree swivel air fitting. This makes it easy to use the tool in tough to reach areas. A front exhaust also helps to direct air pressure away from your palm. Although quite a good choice for different nailing tasks, its small size does come with shortcomings. The major shortcoming is that this nailer is a bit slow when running it at low PSI. It’s recommended that you operate it at 100PSI which is its maximum rating.

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Bostitch PN100 Palm Impact Nailer Review

Editor’s Rating:

4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)

Hitachi NR90AE(S)

The Bostitch PN100 palm impact nailer from Bostitch comes in a full kit that includes everything you need to get started (of course minus the air compressor). It’s a powerful palm nailer that will drive nails of up to 5 inches in length. Despite its power, it’s a lightweight unit weighing 3.3 pounds only. The nailer’s kit includes three different steel hardened noses for driving different types of nails. It comes in an ergonomic design with a rubber grip which also acts as a shock absorber to protect your wrist. The magnetic nose features a recessed nail slot to keep nails balanced when hammering. He palm nailer has an operating pressure of between 70 PSI and 100 PSI. The kit also includes a leather glove, nose and hex wrenches, tool lubricant and spare o-rings. Each kit includes a 7 year warranty. Like with the pn50, this nailer tends to perform best when it’s set at 100PSI. If it doesn’t drive nails fast enough, simply adjust to a higher PSI.

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Senco PC0781 Pneumatic Palm Nailer Review

Editor’s Rating:

4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)

Hitachi NR90AE(S)

The Senco PC0781 palm nailer weighs 2.5 pounds and comes with several useful features which make it a popular entry in many best palm nailer reviews. The design includes a soft rubber grip which acts as a shock absorber and a leather grip which reduces fatigue. It’s a powerful pneumatic tool which will easily drive nails of 5d to 70d length. It has an operating pressure of 50 to 125PSI which makes it compatible with many portable air compressors. Although a good palm nail gun, the Senco PC0781 comes fitted with just one driving nose. This limits the length and diameters of the nails you can drive.

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Top Ranked Palm Nailers Summary

Palm nailers are an essential power tool if you engage in different DIY tasks in your home. A single nailer will handle tasks you’d otherwise have to handle with more than one type of nail gun. From the 5 best palm nailer reviews, you’ll notice that pneumatic nailers are the most common and popular. Many operate within the 50PSI to 125PSI range making them compatible with the most common types of air compressors. In addition, each palm nailer comes with its own unique features and accessories. Many are geared towards making the tool safer and easier to use. The easiest way to find the best palm nailer involves identifying the different features you want and matching them up with your budget. The buying guide will cover this in more detail.

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Benefits of using a palm nailer

Palm nailers are slowly becoming a must have tool for many DIY homeowners, carpenters and contractors. But what benefits do they have over nail guns and the traditional hammer?

  • The palm nailer is a small and highly portable power tool. Many of the best palm nailers weigh less than 3.5 pounds. This makes them easy to carry and work with for extended periods. Nail guns are significantly heavier compared to palm nailers. The traditional hammer might be light. However, it will easily cause muscle and wrist strain when used for a long period.
  • A single palm nailer can be used for a variety of nailing tasks. Nail guns are designed to handle different types of carpentry tasks. You might also need different types of hammers to accomplish different tasks. Palm nailers are quite versatile such that they’ll drive nails of different lengths and, on different materials including wood and metal.
  • The palm nailer will drive ordinary nails. With nail guns, you’ll need special collated nails. Palm nailers on the other hand drive ordinary nails through different materials.

Finally, palm nails are safe and more accurate compared to hammers and nail guns. Swinging a hammer comes with the risk of bending nails or damaging the material you’re working on. Nail guns on the other hand will require care before firing to ensure accurate drives. The size of the palm nailer allows you to use it in extremely tight spaces. In addition, many only need hand pressure to operate therefore increasing drive accuracy.

Types of palm nailers

Palm nailers operate in more or less the same way. The have a magnetized nose which holds the nail in place. Once you apply pressure on the grip, the nose drives the nail through the wood. How much pressure you apply also helps you to control depth of drive. Despite working the same way, there are two main types of palm nailers.

Pneumatic palm nailers

These are the most popular type. Their popularity stems from the fact that many homeowners already own air compressors. Pneumatic palm nailers are lighter compared to their electric counterparts since they don’t have a built in motor. These nailers come in operating pressures of between 50PSI and 125PSI and will drive nails of up to 70d. The main shortcoming of air powered palm nailers is that you’ll need an air compressor and other accessories to operate them.

Electric palm nailers

The most common type is the battery operated palm nailer. This usually operates on an 18V or 24V battery. The major advantage of this type of nailer is that it’s highly portable. Due to technological advances and R&D by the leading manufacturers, many of these palm nailers will offer performance that’s at par with what their pneumatic counterparts offer. They’re also quite light despite having built in motors and batteries. Battery operation and portability comes at a price. These nailers are usually more expensive compared to the air powered type.

How to choose the best palm nailer

Finding the best palm nailer requires you consider several different factors. These are what make each nailer unique. If you’re looking for a new palm nail gun, here are the most important factors to keep in mind.

Power source

Palm nailers are either air or electricity powered. Whether to go for an electric powered or pneumatic nailer is usually a matter of personal preference. However, it all boils down to portability, convenience, maintenance and cost. Electric powered palm nailers offer more convenience and portability. However, they’re usually more expensive and harder to maintain. If you want to go for a pneumatic palm nail gun, you’ll need to consider factors such as its operating pressure range to ensure that it’s fully compatible with the air compressor you might have.

Nails the palm nailer drives

Palm nailers are versatile tools that can be used to drive nails of different lengths. These power tools are designed to drive nails between 1-1/4 inches and 6-1/2 inches. Before buying a new palm nailer, it’s essential that you get a good idea about the length of the nails it can drive. This gives you an idea about the tool’s power.

Weight and design

The best palm nailer is designed for single hand use. Unlike many tools built for use with one hand, it doesn’t come with a dedicated handle. Its design is such that, the tool should rest on your palm. This means that you’ll need to find a palm nailer that’s light and can easily fit inside your hand. This way, you can be sure that you can use it for extended periods without suffering from muscle and wrist strain.

Method of operation

One design feature that separates palm nailers from conventional nail guns is how they’re operated. While nail guns feature a firing trigger, the palm nailer will usually fire when pressure is applied on the nose which triggers their action automatically. Palm nail guns with this mode of operation are preferred since they allow you to fire only when ready and, have better control of nail depth.

Price

Like with most power tools, palm nail guns fall within a wide price range. Luckily, many of these tools are quite affordable for the DIY enthusiast or professional carpenter. However, when considering the price you’d want to pay for your nail gun, it’s essential that you first consider all the factors mentioned beforehand. This way, you’ll be sure that you’re getting the best value for your money.

Brand

A palm nail guns brand is often overlooked by many consumers. Most consumers often prefer one brand over another simply on the basis of having previously owned tools from their favorite brand. However, rather than simply selecting a brand on this basis, its better to consider other factors such as what consumers are saying about some of the brand’s latest power tools models and, warranty and guarantees provided on the palm nailer.

Safety measures

Any tool you buy has the potential of causing injury if not well used. This is especially so for any power tool. Before purchasing a new palm nailer, you should consider any safety features that come with it. For example, the palm nailer you get should hand a magnetized nose. This will hold the nail in place before you fire it. If it doesn’t come with a magnetized nose, it would mean that you’ll need to hold the nail with your finger something that puts your hands at risk of injury. Other safety features you should look at include a rubberized grip that acts as a shock absorber and an exhaust that’s strategically placed to face away from your body.

Tips for using the palm nailer

Here are some useful tips you should follow before using palm nailer.

1. Refer to your user manual always

Every palm nailer comes inclusive of a user manual. Never purchase a power tool that doesn’t come with a user manual. This manual is your guide on how to use, clean and maintain the tool. It gives instructions on what you should use the tool for and how to use it. These instructions also act as the foundation upon which the manufacturer offers their warranty. So before using your palm nail gun for the first time or not sure what to do in particular situations, always refer to the user manual.

2. Safety comes first

Some of the best palm nailer kits include safety gear such as gloves and glasses. Some of these tools are extremely loud so investing in ear protection is recommended. It’s also recommended that you disconnect the tool from the air compressor or, remove its battery when maintaining it.

3. Oil moving parts regularly

Just like your regular nail gun, your palm nailer needs regular lubrication to keep it in top condition. Always add a few drops of lubricating oil to the nose before and after using your palm nail gun. This prevents the nose from jamming every once in a while. Besides maintenance, it’s also recommended that you don’t store the palm nailing gun in extremely cold conditions. This will cause its metal parts to contract and might require placing the tool in warm environments for a few hours before it can be used.

4. Use the recommended power source

Most of the best pneumatic palm nailers are compatible with your regular portable air compressor. If you buy a battery operated nailer and wish to purchase and extra battery, always ensure that your new battery is of the same type and voltage rating.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. I don’t have an air compressor but want to buy a pneumatic palm nailer. What’s the best compressor to buy?

  • “Many pneumatic palm nail guns have an operating pressure of between 50 PSI and 125 PSI. This makes them compatible with just about any portable air compressor available today. Besides your air compressor, you might also need to buy additional accessories such as couplers and a hose.”

2. I want to do some carpentry DIY jobs at home. Will I need to buy a palm nailer as well as other nail guns?

  • “This really depends of the type of DIY jobs you wish to undertake. If they’re highly intensive jobs, getting several nail guns might be the better option since they’re faster (palm nail guns loaded one nail at a time). However, having a palm nailer will come in handy for small jobs and very tight spaces.”

3. What type of nails will a palm nailer fire?

  • “One advantage that palm nailers have over their conventional nail gun counterparts is that they’re designed to fire ordinary bulk nails. In addition, many of the best palm nailers will drive nails of different lengths and head diameters. This makes them easy to use for different types of jobs.”

4. I’m thinking of buying a new palm nailer. Where’s the best place to buy?

  • “There are several places online where you can buy a new palm nail gun. A particular manufacturer’s website is a good place to start. Another good place to find palm nail guns from different brands is Amazon. The major advantage of buying from Amazon is that you can compare among different nailers as well as get real customer reviews about a particular nailer.”

5. What will the palm nailer warranty cover against?

  • “Warranties are designed to protect your investment. The warranty period as well as what’s covered against largely depend on the manufacturer. Generally, most warranties will cover against material or workmanship defects.”

6. I have owned my palm nailer for one month and it has suddenly stopped working. What should I do?

  • “One month is usually within the warranty period. It’s advisable that you contact the manufacturer and explain the problem. You might be asked to send the tool back for a replacement, repairs or refund depending on what’s outlined in the warranty policy.”

Conclusion

Palm nailers are uniquely designed power tools that can easily replace many of your specialty nail guns. Although small, these tools have several advantages including being able to drive different types of nails. This has led to an increased demand for these tools among DIY enthusiasts who don’t wish to own several nail guns. The rising demand has been met by the introduction of new and powerful models.

If you’re looking for the best palm nail gun, we’ve reviewed 5 of the best in the market today. We’ve also provided a detailed guide on the most important things you need to take into consideration before buying one. Hopefully, this information will help you invest in a tool that will offer real value for your money and years of continuous use.

Best Palm Nailer Reviews and Buying Guide of 2017
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