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Wooden flooring is one of the most popular floor finishes for many homes. Thanks to the availability of DIY material online, many homeowners are turning to installing their own wooden floors rather than hiring professional installers. If you’re one of the DIY enthusiasts or even thinking of starting your own floor installation business, getting the best flooring nailer is worth considering.
Flooring nailers are specialist types of power tools. They’re used for only one purpose, installing wooden floors. Without these nailers you’d have to rely on the manual installation method which requires using a hammer and mallet. Flooring nailers can be used to install both hardwood and softwood floors. They’re commonly used when you’re installing tongue and groove wooden panels on top of a wooden subfloor. It’s usually used where a finish nailer isn’t recommended such as cases where you’ll need to hold the wooden panel in place while hiring a cleat into it.
If you’re looking for information on the best flooring nailer on the market today, you’ve come to the right place. Our top 5 best flooring nailer reviews highlight the top units. You’ll also learn about what you should consider before buying your next flooring nailer plus information why you should consider investing in this power tool.
Comparison Table For Top 5 Best Flooring Nailer
|Flooring Nailer||Power Source||Magazine Capacity||Shipping||Editor's Rating||Price|
|NuMax SFL618 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Stapler/Nailer with White Rubber Mallet||Pneumatic||100-120||FREE Shipping||(4.6 / 5)||See on Amazon|
|BOSTITCH MIIIFN 1-1/2- to 2-Inch Pneumatic Flooring Nailer||Pneumatic||110||FREE Shipping||(4.6 / 5)||See on Amazon|
|Freeman PFL618BR 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer||Pneumatic||100-120||FREE Shipping||(4.6 / 5)||See on Amazon|
|Freeman PF18GLCN 18-Gauge Cleat Flooring Nailer for Bamboo and Exotic Flooring||Pneumatic||100||FREE Shipping||(4.6 / 5)||See on Amazon|
|DEWALT DWFP12569 2-N-1 Flooring Tool||Pneumatic||100||FREE Shipping||(4.5 / 5)||See on Amazon|
Top 5 Best Flooring Nailer Reviews
NuMax SFL618 3-In-1 Pneumatic Flooring Stapler/Nailer with White Rubber Mallet Review
(4.6 / 5)
The SFL618 flooring nailer from NuMax is one of the most popular products available today. It’s a versatile tool that will drive staples, l-cleats and t-cleats. It can drive 15.5 gauge and 16 gauge staples as well as cleats within 1-1/2 and 2 inches in length. This flooring nailer also comes inclusive of three interchangeable composite base plates for ½, 5/8 and ¾ inch solid tongue and groove flooring. The nailer’s body is made from strong and lightweight die cast aluminum. Its construction includes an aluminum cylinder, o-ring sealed body to prevent leaks, and a single piece hardened steel driver blade and an internal air filter. It also includes a high capacity magazine capable of holding up to 120 staples/cleats and an extra long padded handle. Other accessories included with this nail gun include oil, a no mar rubber mallet and wrenches. This flooring nailer comes with a 1 year warranty on the gun body and 30 days on wearable parts. Although a good nailer, many users complained of jams when it wasn’t properly lubricated. Oiling it more often solved the issue.
What customers are saying?
Bostitch MIIIFN 1-1/2 to 2 inch pneumatic flooring nailer Review
(4.6 / 5)
The Bostitch MIIIFN is a pneumatic flooring nailer that comes in a lightweight aluminum body. This nailer is designed to fire l-cleat nails within the 1-1/2 to 2 inch length range only. Despite its weight and compact design, it’s a powerful unit capable of providing up to 420in/lb driving power. This ensures that any flooring job you throw at it is complete within the shortest time possible. It also includes extra wide ½ and ¾ inch base plates and adapter foot which protect your flooring as well as ensure that nails are driven with precision. This flooring nailer’s construction includes an extra long handle for comfortable posture when using. It also includes a high capacity magazine that will hold up to 110 l-cleat nails as well as a mallet. This tool comes with a 7 year warranty. The major issue with this flooring nailer is that it doesn’t include a 5/8 inch base plate. You might need to purchase this separately.
What customers are saying?
Freeman PFL618BR 3 in 1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer Review
(4.6 / 5)
The Freeman PFL618BR is yet another versatile flooring nailer that will drive cleat nails and staples. This has made is one of the most sought after and best flooring nailers on the market today. The nailer is capable of driving 15.5 and 16 gauge staples as well as staples of between 1-1/2 and 2 inches in length. It comes in an aluminum body that’s o-ring sealed, has built in filter and has a single piece drive. It comes with two interchangeable ½ inch and ¾ inch base plates. The pfl618br has an operating pressure of between 70 and 115 PSI and a high capacity magazine that will hold up to 120 staples/cleat nails. Like with many of the best flooring nail guns, this unit includes a no mar rubber mallet. Your order also includes a carrying case, safety goggles, lubricating oil and wrenches. It comes with a 7 year limited warranty. One minor disadvantage with this nail gun is that despite having many accessories, it doesn’t include a 5/8 inch base plate which you might have to buy separately.
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Editor’s Rating: (4.6 / 5)
What customers are saying?
Freeman PF18GLCN 18 Gauge Cleat Flooring Nailer for Bamboo and Exotic Flooring Review
(4.6 / 5)
Freeman PF18GLCN – If you’re installing delicate wooden floors and want to reduce risk of damaging the wood panels, a specialist flooring nailer such as the freeman PF18GLCN is a good choice. Unlike many hybrid flooring nail guns which will drive in almost any kind of cleat nail, this one is specifically designed to drive 18 gauge l-cleat nails. The nail gun comes with three interchangeable base plates for 3/8 to ¾ inch solid tongue and groove floors. It also includes a no mar foot that prevents damage to your delicate flooring during installation. Its body is made from cast aluminum and also includes a 100 nail capacity magazine and, an aluminum cylinder that’s very durable. Each freeman PF18GLCN floor nail gun comes inclusive of a fiberglass mallet with no mar rubber head, oil and wrenches. It also includes a 7 year limited warranty. Although quite an efficient floor nail gun, the fact that it only drives 18 gauge l-cleats limits the types of flooring you can use it on. However, if you’re working on very delicate wood, this is a good investment.
What customers are saying?
Dewalt DWFP12569 2-N-1 Flooring Tool Review
(4.5 / 5)
The DWFP12569 is a lightweight flooring nailer that’s designed for efficiency and speed. It comes in a lightweight body with an extra long handle with rubber grip for easy and fast maneuvering. It’s designed to drive 15.5 gauge staples and 16 gauge l-cleat nails. The nailer includes base plates for ½ inch through ¾ inch flooring. This pneumatic tool has an operating pressure of between 70 and 100 PSI. It has a low operating CFM of 3.7SCFM which enables longer operating time when using a low capacity air compressor. The Dewalt DWFP12569 flooring nailer has a high capacity magazine that will hold up to 100 cleats/staples. The nailer comes inclusive of a no mar mallet, wrenches, oil and ¼ inch air fitting. It also comes with a three year limited warranty and 90 day returns guarantee. Although a versatile tool, one minor flaw in its design is that it cannot handle 18 gauge nails which are commonly used for flooring. This however doesn’t negatively affect the tools performance.
What customers are saying?
Best flooring nailer summary
There are dozens of excellent flooring nailers you can choose from. However, we can only review five of the best based on their unique features as well as their suitability for specific wooden flooring jobs. The five we’ve looked at are great tools and although not perfect, are far ahead compared to competing models in terms of features as well as accessories they have. Depending on the type of wooden flooring you wish to install, you can now easily identify the best tool for the job and make your purchase.
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Benefits of using flooring nailers
Flooring nailers are unique tools specifically designed to install wooden floors. They’re quite a popular choice for tongue and groove wooden floor installations. They have several benefits over using the traditional hammer or other finishing nail guns in the following ways.
- The best floor nailers are designed for use when you’re upright or slightly bending. This position gives you better control over the tool as well as the working area. The posture also results in less strain of joints and muscles compared to kneeling or crouching postures you’d usually take when using a finishing nail gun or traditional hammer. Many of the best models come with an extra long handle for added comfort.
- Floor nailers are versatile tools. Many of the top models are compatible with both cleat nails and staples. You therefore won’t need to invest in two different tools to perform a floor installation job. The pneumatic type makes it easy to drive in nails or staples fast with little manual force needed.
- Compared to the traditional hammer/mallet and nails, flooring nailers are safer and easier to use. The flooring nail gun performs several tasks at once. Tasks you might usually need a partner to achieve. These include holding the wood panel in place, ensuring that the nail/staple if set at the precise point on the tongue and firing with accuracy without splitting the wooden panel. Chances of injury, splitting and misalignment of the wooden panels are usually high if you’re using the traditional hammer and nail.
Types of flooring nailers
When considering which the best flooring nailer to buy is, you’ll most likely have to choose between a pneumatic type and a manual type. Each as its advantages and disadvantages as is explained below.
Pneumatic flooring nailer
The pneumatic flooring nailer is the most popular type between the two. Its popularity is largely attributed to the increase in affordable portable air compressors. Many of these nail guns have an operating pressure of between 50 and 120 PSI which makes them compatible with most portable compressors. Another feature that makes them a popular choice is that they’re usually versatile tools which require minimum manual pressure to drive in nails. Being pneumatic tools, a little pressure on your part is all that’s needed to create a force that’s hundreds of pounds per inch. Compared to their manual counterparts, these flooring nail guns are harder to maintain and will require connecting to an air compressor to operate.
Manual flooring nailers
Manual flooring nailers are a good choice if you don’t own an air compressor or, working on a site where an air compressor isn’t practical to operate for long periods. They have a similar operating mechanism where the nail is driven when you strike the actuator. However, with manual nailers, you’ll need extra force to drive the nail and in some instances, more than one strike to ensure that the nail or staple is driven to the right depth. However, these flooring nailers are a good option if you don’t own an air compressor or, need a highly portable nail gun for use in remote sites. Their low maintenance needs also makes the manual flooring nail guns a good option since they don’t have built in filters or need attaching to external power sources.
How to choose the best flooring nailer
Selecting a new flooring nailer requires you consider several different factors. It might also require you read through a number of best flooring nailer reviews to know just how well a specific tool holds up on the job site. The following are the main considerations you need to make when selecting a flooring nail gun.
Majority of the flooring nail guns on the market today are either pneumatic or manually driven. Pneumatic flooring nailers are the popular among the two due to their affordability and, the easy availability of air compressors. When considering the pneumatic type, you should consider factors such as operating pressure and CFM rating as well as power output. Portability and easy maintenance is what makes the manual type an attractive option for many people. When considering the power source, the major consideration you should make is how much power you need to strike the actuator with to drive the cleat or staple. Manual types require a considerably larger force.
Nails/staples the tool drives
Modern flooring nailers are versatile tools which will drive both cleat nails and staples. However, there are specialty flooring nail guns which only drive a specific type of cleat nail. Depending on the type of flooring job you want to do and any future flooring jobs you might undertake, it’s essential that you consider the type of nails and or staples the nail gun is compatible with. Think of features like gauge, length and whether the nailer will drive generic nails from different manufacturers.
Flooring nailers have more or less the same body design. However, differences can be found in the materials used to build the body and drive. This largely affects the size and weight of the tool. The handle design is also quite important since you’ll be using the tool in an upright or slightly bent position. Another design feature to look at is the capacity of the magazine and how easy it is to load.
Accessories included with the flooring nailer
Most people would love to operate their flooring nailer right out of the box. The best flooring nailer kit will include a number of accessories which will make it easy to get started immediately your order arrives. Some of the accessories to look out for include a mallet, replaceable base plates, compressor hose fitting, adjusting wrenches and lubricating oil.
Everyone wants a great deal on any tool they buy. Flooring nailers come in a variety of prices. The price of these tools depends on a number of factors including the materials used to make it, whether it’s a specialty tool or can be used on different types of wood, the manufacturer and where it’s manufactured. It’s important to take all these factors into consideration before deciding how much money you’re willing to invest in a new tool.
Like with other power tools, certain brands tend to stand out with regard to producing the most popular and high quality products. This however doesn’t necessarily mean that these brands manufacture the most expensive flooring nail guns. The brand you choose will determine a number of factors which include the price and warranty you’ll get on your tool.
The flooring nail gun you choose should be safe to use. Many people often overlook this consideration and end up hurting themselves, damaging the tool or damaging the delicate wood flooring they’re working with. Compared to most nail guns, flooring nailers are considered safer. However, it’s essential that you look out for features such as rubber bumpers, foot adapters, extra long handles and strategically placed exhaust which keep the user, tool and working area safe.
Tips for using flooring nailer
Like with any power tool, the lifespan of your nail gun depends on how well you use it. The following are basic tips for using your flooring nailer.
1. Only refer to the user manual that comes with your flooring nail gun
Each flooring nail gun model comes with its user manual. This guides you on how to assemble any parts before using it. It also gives detailed instructions about how you should use your nail gun as well as possible problems you might encounter while using the tool. The user manual simply provides all the guidelines you need to follow in order to ensure that the warranty agreement isn’t voided. If you encounter any issue that’s not included in the user manual, it’s recommended that you contact the manufacturer’s customer support team.
2. Make necessary adjustments to your pneumatic nailer before attaching to compressor
Before attaching your nail gun to a compressor, it’s recommended that you ensure that the actuator is in up position. This ensures that the tool has enough air pressure within to drive the first nail. In addition, lubricate the flooring nailer before using it as well as after use to keep it in top working condition.
3. Put safety first
Any tool can pose health risk if not handled properly. Being a power tool, your floor nailer can cause bodily injury or damage the wood panels you’re working with. Some of the safety measures to observe when using this tool include wearing protective gear; load the nails after connecting to the compressor and only firing when the driver is directed towards the surface you want to fasten. In addition, always maneuver the tool using its handle when working with it.
4. Only use the recommended staples/cleats
Each flooring nailer will handle cleats and or staples of a specific length and gauge. Only use those that are recommended by the manufacturer to prevent jams, accidents or damaging your wood flooring.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. I want to install hardwood flooring to a 700sq feet room. Will I need additional tools besides a flooring nailer?
2. Which is the best place to buy a new flooring nailer?
3. How do flooring nailers drive nails?
4. Should I go for a flooring nailer that drives staples or cleat nails?
5. What does the warranty offered by the flooring nail gun manufacturer cover against?
6. The flooring nailer I’m interested in has very good rating but made in china. Should I buy it?
Finding the best flooring nailer can mean the difference between installing wooden floors fast and in an efficient manner. It’s a unique power tool that’s designed for flooring purposes only. The demand for these power tools has been rising steadily over recent years. This has been primarily driven by the availability of quality wood from sustainable sources and, the drop in power tool prices. If you’re a DIY enthusiast or work in the wood flooring business, a quality flooring nail gun can make a good investment.
There are dozens of flooring nail guns to choose from. From out top 5 best flooring nailer reviews, you’ve seen that most of these come with very unique features each focused on the type of wood you’re working with. We’ve also included the different considerations you’ll need to make before buying a new flooring nail gun. Hopefully with this information, you can now find the perfect tool that will meet your floor installation needs and budget.