The 4 Best Nail Guns for Shiplap [Updated October 2020]

Last Updated on October 26, 2020 by Paul King

Shiplap is one of those classic finishes that comes and goes but never really goes completely out of style. There are always people looking for a little classic shiplap to add a rustic touch to their home, either as an accent or to finish an entire wall.

The clean lines of shiplap require experienced hands and good tools. Whether you’re looking to hide the nail heads or leave the nail head exposed for a more rustic appearance you need a high-quality nail gun to help make the whole process faster and easier.

All of these tools offer the quality and high-precision performance to make applying shiplap simple, along with all of your other carpentry and construction needs.

This smart point brad nailer is designed to work quickly and easily. It’s a precision tool that lines up efficiently. The smart point design also means that you don’t have to press on the contact tip to actuate the nail gun and fire.

Not pressing helps those tips last longer without jamming or losing accuracy. The smaller nose also makes it easier to know exactly where you will place each nail, which makes it a lot easier to get even placement that matches the lines of the shiplap.

While jamming is uncommon with this nail gun, thanks to an effective loading system, they’ve also made it easier to clear jams when they happen. The tool-free release mechanism makes it simple to clear the jammed nail so that you can get back to work faster.

The dial depth adjustment tool is easy to use and effective, so you can always match the depth of the nail to the exact needs of your project.

The extra no-mark tips included with this kit are a nice touch. That’s one less thing you’ll need to worry about buying before you get working.

Ergonomic trigger design helps make nailing easier. It’s simple to get the nail gun into tight corners and high spaces, so you won’t have to sacrifice quality because of the size or maneuverability of the gun. It’s also a relatively lightweight model so it’s easier to finish the last little details.

This nailer also has a reasonable range of operating psi, it’s functional anywhere between 70-120 psi, which means that it’s that much easier to keep a steady working pace. No more waiting for the tool to hit the appropriate pressure between nails.

Why we like it

  • Effective side loading magazine design
  • Wide range of effective psi
  • Tool-free jam release
  • Tool-free depth adjustment
  • Smaller placement tip for greater accuracy

Our Verdict

This nailer is an excellent choice for Shiplap finishing and almost any other construction and finishing work. Its ergonomic design helps make the nailer easier to use and more efficient, while its smaller profile is great for fitting into corners and getting even spacing between nails.

Our Rating

5/5

Makita’s brad nailer is a great option if you tend to work with a wide variety of woods. It’s especially good if you’re using reclaimed wood or different varieties of lumber to add some visual interest to a shiplap design.

Why is this nailer a good option for more varied applications?

Because it’s rated to be able to nail into hard and softwoods alike, and into various types of plyboard and lumber with relative ease.

The built-in air duster system helps make sure your workspace is always clear. The slight airflow around the tip of the tool helps remove sawdust and other debris to help make sure you can see exactly where you’re about to place each nail. The dust clearing nozzle doesn’t add much space to the tip of the tool, so even with the dust clearing tool it still functions as a small tipped nailer. Perfect for small spaces and cramped corners.

This model also features a similar tool-less depth adjustment tool so you can match the function of the nailer to the project and the kind of nails you’re using.

Why we like it

  • Easy tool-less adjustment system
  • Dust moving system helps keep your work area clear
  • Great for a wide variety of materials
  • Easy loading system
  • Aluminum design is durable without being heavy

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for an effective nailer system that doesn’t weigh much but offers the power you need to work with a wide variety of materials, this brad nailer might be a good option. Makita’s manufacturing is durable and reliable, and this nailer’s ergonomic design is sure to keep you comfortable during even the longest jobs.

Our Rating

5/5

DeWalt’s consistently high performance and high-quality tools are a great asset on any jobsite. They offer the precision you need to create even shiplap and are quick and effective construction and finishing tools overall.

This 18-gauge brad nailer kit is designed to last for years, with a lifetime motor that’s more efficient than most alternatives while still offering impressive power and performance.

Its tool-free jam resolving system makes it easy to remove nails that aren’t fired properly, though, like all of the tools on this list it’s relatively uncommon for the nails to jam in the first place.

This nailer is compatible with any air compressor that can provide 70-120 psi. High-quality air compressors do tend to work better overall since they are able to provide more consistent air pressure as you work.

The tool-free depth adjustment tool lets you set nails anywhere between 5/8” to 2” long. That flexibility gives you the control you need for finishing work, as well as the power to work with a wide range of different materials.

Why we like it

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Rear exhaust system
  • Easy to set up with your air compressor
  • Lifetime maintenance-free motor
  • Easy jammed nail release mechanism

Our Verdict

DeWalt’s good design principles have once again resulted in a good power tool that’s reasonably affordable and highly effective. This nailer offers ergonomic design, power, and high consistency performance that make it a good choice for professionals as well as more casual users.

Our Rating

5/5

This sleek-looking brad nailer is a good option if you’re looking for a longer warranty along with good design principles. It’s more modern looking casing helps to protect the inner mechanisms and is small enough that it fits easily into corners and smaller spaces.

The depth of drive dial is another tool-less depth adjustment option, but it’s also a very precise design that helps you create a professional finish.

The 360-degree adjustable exhaust port gives you more control over your airflow, which helps you adapt to your workspace.

The no-mar tip on this tool is also a great option when you’re working with softer materials or a delicate pre-finished surface.

This nailer also comes with the option to switch between bump fire and pressure firing, giving you the choice of which actuation style is best suited to the problem at hand.

Why we like it

  • Choice of nailing style
  • Depth of drive dial is very precise and easy to use
  • Fully adjustable exhaust port
  • Ergonomic design
  • Long 5-year warranty

Our Verdict

This design is easy to use, relatively customizable and offers two different firing styles for added convenience. It’s a great option for professionals who are looking for a little more flexibility and variability in their tools.

Our Rating

5/5
best-nail-gun-for-shiplap

Shiplap Nail Gun Buyer’s Guide


Pressure Requirements

A good pneumatic nail gun needs to have at least 70 psi to operate appropriately. There are some guns out there that say that they need less air pressure, but unfortunately, those models often fail to perform when you need power or accuracy.

The normal range for a nail gun is between 70 and 120 psi. The more pressure your nail gun has available the faster and more accurately it will place nails, but too much pressure can also interfere with the accuracy of depth placement. That’s why most will have some exhaust system to help make sure the air pressure is never higher than your nail gun needs.

Ergonomic or Not?

It’s generally better to go with ergonomic tools because they will help keep you more comfortable longer. However, if you’re choosing between ergonomic tools and other tool features you may want to prioritize low-weight tools over ergonomic options.

Weight

Weight is incredibly important when it comes to nail guns because it’s common to need to use a nail gun at awkward angles and even above your head. The less weight in the tool the more comfortable those positions will be, and the safer you’ll be able to be while using the tool.

The Takeaway

Choosing a nail gun based on a single kind of finish may seem a little odd at first, but shiplap is a great test of a good nail gun since you need a lot of precision to help make sure it looks good when you’re done.

Overall, of all of the nail guns, we’ve reviewed the Bostitch Brad Nailer (BTFP12233) offers the best balance of overall performance. Its design is lightweight, easy to use, and fits in small corners well. It also gives you a lot of power and control over its performance, which means you have a lot of advantages as you finish any project.

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.