The 5 Best Cordless Nail Guns [Updated for 2021]

Last Updated on June 8, 2021 by Paul King

Cordless nail guns are significantly more portable than corded or pneumatic versions, but professionals have long been concerned that they weren’t powerful enough to get the job done. Fortunately, improvements in battery power and consistency have combined to make battery-powered tools that are just as powerful as their corded, pneumatic, and gas-powered alternatives.

That means that these more eco-friendly, portable, and convenient tools are now powerful enough to handle the demands of a professional job, and durable enough to last quite a while doing it.

We’ve found some of the best cordless nail guns currently available, each of these reviews will examine the different strengths of the nail guns, and we’ve also included a short buying guide at the end of the article to help you decide which option is best for your needs.

Craftsman is one of those brands that delivers consistent performance and high durability in all of their tools. Their designs are meant for professionals who have regular use and high demand projects, which means that their tools are designed to work harder and longer without showing any signs of wear or tear and damage.

That’s one of the reasons this nailer is so effective and is one of the best electric nail guns you can get. Even though brad nailers user smaller nails that are a little less effective when it comes to hardcore construction and heavy weight-bearing joints, it’s still a versatile design that works for low-weight capacity joins as well as some finishing work.

The battery power on this nail gun is also excellent, giving you the power you need for precise nail driving and high-quality performance. That’s important for a cordless nailer because it’s common for batteries to offer reduced performance over pneumatic and even corded tools.

A single charge of this nail gun is rated to drive up to 420 2” nails. Your performance may differ slightly depending on the material you’re driving into, the nail design itself, and the length of the nails you’re using. Difficult materials or longer nails may change your performance.

Still, 420 nails in a single session isn’t bad, and can easily accommodate the needs of most projects. You also have the option of buying an additional battery to get even more use from this nail gun.

One of the better features of this gun is that you won’t see decreased performance as the nail gun’s battery starts to die. The battery will offer the same power on the first nail it drives as on the last nail of the charge, which helps reduce the number of nails you’ll have to reset or remove when you’re changing batteries.

Overall, this design is incredibly effective, versatile, and hard-wearing.

Why we like it

Our Verdict

This nail gun is one of the more versatile and powerful battery-powered brad nailers on the market right now. It’s ergonomic design and long-lasting battery also make this one of the more comfortable and effective designs you can get, making it a good choice for professionals.

Our Rating

5/5

This nailer comes with a brushless motor design that’s particularly effective for increasing the length of the battery life while preserving power and performance.

That’s because the brushless motor causes less internal stress, giving you more power for the stored electricity in the battery. A smaller profile nose design also works to give you a better line of sight for improved precision. The lighting on this brad nailer also makes it a fantastic option for finishing work because you’ll always know exactly where your nail is going to go which makes it a great nail gun for baseboards.

Since this design is entirely battery powered it’s also a lot more convenient to take from place to place, making it an ideal option for contractors who travel from jobsite to jobsite regularly.

This brad nailer is also compatible with the DeWalt 20V battery line, which means that if you use other 20V tools you’ll be able to change out batteries with those tools as well. Having several batteries around also helps prevent project downtime since it gives you a change of battery when the first one starts to run low.

Ergonomic handle and good tool design also make this nailer a lot more maneuverable than average, preventing any part of the tool from being significantly heavier than the rest. That makes it less likely to overbalance and tip over, while also helping improve energy efficiency and performance.

Since this battery is also relatively compact, this is a good option for tight spaces and awkward corners that need even more maneuverability than your nailer can typically offer which is great if you need a nail gun for building furniture.

This brushless motor also makes it a little quieter than your average battery-powered motor. You’ll still get the full volume of the nail’s impact, but the click of firing is significantly quieter. It’s also a significant improvement over pneumatic tools in particular since the sound of pressurized air can be significant.

That’s an important detail if you’re wanting to use this tool inside at home, or if you work inside of client homes and offices regularly. Keeping the noise down can make your job much more pleasant for the people around you.

Why we like it

Our Verdict

DeWalt is a solid brand, and a favorite among professionals and contractors, which makes this brad nailer a good option for professionals. It’s an especially good option if you already use other tools from DeWalt’s 20V battery-powered line. This design is quiet, efficient, and easy to use. Good weight distribution and an ergonomic handle and trigger also work to help prevent hand and arm fatigue, letting you work more comfortably for longer.

Our Rating

5/5

One of the greatest strengths of the Porter-Cable PCC790LA is that it has incredibly precise depth of fire adjustments, which means it’s a great option for countersinking nails and making sure you have exactly the kind of connection you need. That makes it a perfect nail gun for shiplap and crown molding.

The tool-free release lever included on this model is another good addition that makes it easier to keep working. Between the jam-free firing system and the tool-free release lever, you’ll be able to keep working longer with fewer interruptions. That means more efficiency and less time spent keeping your tool in good order.

The lithium-ion rechargeable 20V battery is also longer lasting and more efficient than most alternatives. In addition to offering better power and longer runtime, this design is also faster to recharge, meaning you’ll need less downtime between nailing, even if you’re only using one battery.

Of course, professionals can always invest in additional batteries to make the system more efficient still. Quick-release buttons for the battery make changes fast and simple, saving even more time overall.

A 3-year limited warranty on this nailer also helps protect you from bad parts failure and other issues. The design is durable and long-lasting overall, and the warranty means you’ll be able to get a replacement if something does go wrong.

That combination of efficient features and components, along with the powerful lithium-ion battery, makes this one of the longest-lasting brad nailers you can get, capable of driving up to 1,300 nails on a single charge.

Of course, the kind of nail you’re driving, as well as the materials you’re driving into can both have a profound effect on how many nails you’ll actually be able to sink on a single charge. It takes a little practice and experience with this nailer to be able to accurately assess how long it will work before needing a charge.

The depth adjustment window also makes it easy to change your depth of fire while also making it easy to see and check that you’re on the right depth setting.

Why we like it

Our Verdict

This long-lasting battery-powered brad nailer is an excellent option if you’re looking for a powerful and effective battery-powered nailer that doesn’t need constant charging or battery changes. This model is great for working in remote areas for hours at a time without needing a change. Its design is simple and effective, and the warranty helps guarantee that this nailer will hold up to the high use demands of a professional setting.

Our Rating

5/5

Metabo (formerly known as Hitachi Tools in the United States) is a company whose manufacturing consistently means you’ll get high-quality, long-lasting tools. Its 18V battery is a little different from other nailers, which typically use a 20V design, but that doesn’t mean that this nailer is any less effective and powerful than the 20V versions.

This nailer gets a lot of its power from the brushless motor. That’s because brushless motors need less maintenance, produce less friction, and are designed for optimal efficiency. Those features all mean that you’ll get more action for the electricity in your battery, helping the tool go longer between charges while also helping it maintain effective firing power even as the battery starts to run down.

This nailer is also good for experienced professionals who prefer to rapidly place their nails because the motor has 0 ramp-up time needed between firings. No more dry firing the trigger simply because the tool wasn’t quite ready to perform. Even more importantly, no more partial fires that don’t actually drive the nail as deep as necessary.

Despite that lack of ramp-up time, part of this tool’s consistency comes from the small air compression system included inside the nailer. It’s able to immediately fully refill the air tank so that the tool is ready to fire the next nail as soon as the first one has cleared the firing tip.

That means that you’ll always get precise pressure to give you exactly the result you need with as little variance in depth of fire and overall performance as possible.

A selective actuation system also lets the user choose between sequential fire and bump fire systems. Since both firing styles are effective in slightly different circumstances, the ability to switch between different options is critical for getting the most work out of your nailer.

Why we like it

Our Verdict

Metabo’s NR1890DRS Framing Nailer kit is a high-quality cordless nail gun that is as reliable as its corded counterparts. It’s high efficiency motor allows for high capacity firing coupled with precision thanks to its precision firing mechanism. It’s design is extremely durable but comes with a lifetime tool warranty for added confidence in using the tool.

Our Rating

5/5

For the last nailer in this review, we wanted something a little different from the straight fire brad nailers that we’ve been considering. This nailer, which works with slightly larger 16 gauge finishing nails, is designed to provide a stronger connection and longer-lasting nail fastening power. It’s perfect for interior and exterior finishing work and offers the kind of high-powered battery performance we’ve come to expect from the DeWalt 20V line.

In fact, this nailer is a good companion nailer for the other DeWalt 20V battery-powered nailed we’ve reviewed earlier in this article. These two nailers have slightly different purposes, making it a good idea to have both on hand for some kinds of projects.

Integrated LED lights also provide a high level of visibility and precision on this model. Its design gives you a good line of sight to the materials you’re working with. That’s especially important when you’re using the bump firing mode since it will let you place your nails a little more precisely. Even when you’re doing rapid-fire placement.

Since this nailer places nails at a 20-degree angle, they are also significantly more likely to stay in place after you’ve fired them. That’s because the angle of the nail helps prevent the nail from working its way out of the material during normal temperature expansion and shrinking.

This nailer is also one of the more lightweight options at only 6lbs. That makes it a great choice for high places, working in corners, and anywhere that having a lighter more maneuverable nail gun is helpful.

Why we like it

Our Verdict

This finishing nailer might not be suited for more heavy-duty fastening, but it’s a great option for more detailed work and fastening decorative finishing elements like hardie trim and even some kinds of molding. This design’s angled firing method is also a good way to make sure your attachments are secure for the long term.

Our Rating

5/5
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Cordless Nail Gun Buyer’s Guide

Now that we’ve talked about some of the best cordless nail guns, it’s time to look and what makes a great nail gun and what makes some cordless nail guns stand out from the crowd. The nail guns we’ve listed are all excellent suggestions, but it’s important to make sure you’re paying attention to the features that will make the most difference for you so you can get a tool that works well for its work style.

Nail Capacity

Nail capacity determines how often you’ll need to stop and reload the nail gun, so it’s almost always better to go with a nail gun that has a higher capacity. Of course, the capacity of your nail gun also depends on the size of the nail gun and the gauge of the nails.

That means that larger nails, like a 16-gauge option, will generally have a smaller nail capacity than an 18 gauge nail gun of similar size.

That doesn’t mean that you should opt for the 18-gauge nailer simply because it offers better capacity.

Instead, compare nail guns of the same size in order to determine which has the better capacity. It’s also important to remember that high-capacity nail guns weigh more when they are fully loaded. If weight is an important consideration for you, you might be better served by a lighter gun with a smaller capacity.

Ease of Use

There are several things that all contribute to the ease of use for your nail gun. Things like an ergonomic handle, comfortable trigger, and different firing options all have a part to play.

We recommend looking for nail guns that offer both sequential and bump firing styles, and that have an ergonomic molded handle as being the two most important features for added ease of use.

After that, the visibility of your work area thanks to things like lighting and the size of the firing tip can make the biggest difference in the ease of use of your nail gun since that determines how easily you can place nails precisely.

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important features of a battery-powered nail gun. It’s critical to make sure you have a reasonably long battery life, but that can be hard to gauge based on the battery voltage or the number of hours it’s rated to work.

That’s because one craftsman’s hour is not the same as another in terms of productivity and how much energy demand is placed on the battery.

Instead, look for the number of nails the battery is rated to be able to fire. The more nails the better, but you shouldn’t look at anything that fires less than about 400 nails on a charge.

It’s also important to consider what materials were used for battery testing though. A nail gun that was tested using pine boards is going to offer very different performance values than a nail gun tested on siding, trim, or molding, and very different performance compared to firing into a hardwood block.

Pine boards are usually the most forgiving option and will offer slightly inflated results compared to other harder or more resilient materials.

Speed and Power

Speed and power determine how quickly your nail gun can fire and how deeply it can drive nails. It also influences what length of nails your nail gun is compatible with.

Generally, nail guns that are compatible with longer nails offer better power ratings than nail guns that are only suitable for short nails.

Speed is how much ramp-up time is necessary between firing. The closer the ramp-up time is to 0, the better your nail gun will likely perform.

Battery Charging Time

Battery charging time varies almost as much as the battery life of your nail gun. However, this metric can actually be more important for professionals because it tells you how much time you’ll need to pause when your batteries are dead.

The longer your battery charging time, the more batteries you’ll likely need for a continuous workday. Short battery charging times, in a very real sense, translate to less money spent on your tools and on wasted project time.

The Takeaway

Battery-powered nail guns are increasingly the norm for everyone from hobbyists to professional construction and contract workers. That means that these tools are more powerful, more effective, and more durable than ever before.

All of these options are quality battery-powered nail guns, but of the options we reviewed we felt that the best option was the CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Brad Nailer Kit (CMCN618C1), closely followed by the DeWalt 20V brad nailer.

That’s because the Craftsman model offers impressive performance, long battery life, and fast charging in addition to powerful performance. It’s high rate of consistency and long-term tool performance also make this tool a fantastic choice for professionals since you can count on this tool to work when you need it, no matter where you need it.

Paul King

I have an unhealthy obsession with contracting and renovation. I’ve been a contractor for over 15 years and I love tackling challenging projects to make them look amazing.