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The Best Framing Nailer

Framing Nailer Review

Our Top Pick is the NuMax SFR2190, 21-Degree Framing Nailer

Based on our extensive research, the NuMax SFR2190 is our top choice as well as the most popular framing nailer that we found.  Our results are based on customer feedback, consumer reviews and thorough, online research. The NuMax SFR2190 is built with easy-of-use and convenience in mind. It shoots at 21 degrees using 2” to 3 ½” nails and is backed by the NuMax 1-year warranty. It is made of lightweight magnesium which helps to keep arm cramps and muscle aches at bay. It is also built for speed and power. Weighing in at just 8.5 pounds, you won’t mind using this framing nailer all day long or even for weekend projects. It comes with a rubber grip handle which conforms to your hand and helps with arm comfort on long, multi-day projects. This top choice also has a built-in air filter system to prevent debris from clogging the tip. It also comes with a two-trigger system so that you can choose either bump or sequential operation.  This nailer also features an easy-load magazine with a simple pull-back pusher. Both oil and an operation manual are included with your purchase.  Buyers will be happy to find that this is a great tool for remodeling, outdoor projects, framing, deck work and just about any DIY project that you want to tackle.

Who Should Buy This?

TheNuMax 21 degree framing nailer is an excellent choice for anyone who is looking for a product that gives a powerful performance yet it easy to use.  It can be customized for finger depth and is ergonomically designed with a proprietary comfort-grip handle.  Whether you are a professional framer or roofer, or an amateur woodworker, you will be amazed to find that this nailer will do the job with ease.  You will also discover that this nailer gives you the same feel and dependability as the most expensive pneumatic nailers on the market. If you’re looking for a well-built nailer that will outperform all others, even in less-than-optimum conditions, this is the tool for you.

The manufacturer states that they are proud to offer their nailers to both professionals and Do-it-Yourself-ers alike.  No matter what your experience level, this nailer will be your favorite go-to tool in your box.

How to buy a Framing Nailer

Framing NailerBefore buying a Framing Nailer it is important to know your options:

Coil Style vs Strip Style

Coil-Style nailers use long stings of nails that are banded together with a flexible wire. This type of nailer will come with a round magazine that holds the nails and feeds them into the nailing chamber.  Often, this coil-style is smaller than a strip-style nailer and can fit into spaces that a strip-style nailer cannot.  Also, with a coil nailer you will not have to reload nails as often because it contains a larger quantity of nails than a strip.

Strip-Style nailers use nails lined up in a flat, stackable pattern. These nails are also banded together by wire but are fed into the nailing chamber through a flat magazine.  However, with this choice you will need to reload the nailer more often as each strip holds fewer nails than a coil.  On the positive side, this style of nail gun is better balanced as the weight of the nails is distributed more evenly on the nailer.

Power Source – Pneumatic vs. Battery-Operated

A pneumatic nailer is powered by compressed air that is fed to the nailer through an airline attached to a compressor.  It is important to note that the compressor’s ratings for pressure and volume should be equal to or greater than the requirements of the nailer.  You will find that you are likely to have more power available to you when choosing a nailer powered by a compressor.  However, the down side to using a compressor is that your mobility is limited by the existence of the air hose.  There is also the added disadvantage of needing to own or needing to rent the compressor.

The advantage of battery-operated nailers is that they give the user greater mobility.  They are not limited in reach by the length of the air hose.  However, the battery will periodically need to be charged and users often need to purchase an extra battery so that there is no down time while one battery is charging.  Also, battery-operated nailers tend to have a bit less power than their pneumatic counterpart.


Dual-Contact vs. Sequential Firing

You will soon discover that there are two types of firing mechanisms to choose from when using a framing nailer.

One way to fire nails is by using the dual-contact method.  When using this method, the nail will fire as long as you hold down the trigger and keep the nose of the gun against your work.  In other words, you can fire a nail and move to the next spot and continue to fire nails without having to release and re-press the trigger each time.  This method saves time but is also a bit more dangerous as you could accidentally depress the nose and mistakenly shoot a nail.

With the sequential firing method, you are required to release the trigger each time a nail is fired. You will need to be sure that the nose of the gun is depressed into your work before a nail is released.  This method of firing is more time consuming but also a safer option.

How We Tested

We selected this particular framing nailer by using the same methodology we employed when selecting our other ‘Best’ products. We scoured the internet and read all the testimonials and reviews that we could find on our review subject. We read testimonials of actual users, as well as reviews and feedback posted on retail sites.  We also considered the results of the best-selling lists that we found online.  Ultimately, what we’ve come to realize is that the thoughts and opinions of actual users are the most accurate representation of how a product will perform.  With all of this research behind us we make our choice of our ‘Best’ product.

Our Pick


Manufacturer Part Number SFR2190
Item Weight 8.5 pounds
Product Depth 4.25”
Product Height 14.75”
Product Width 20.25”
Energy Type Air
Loading Type Strip
Minimum Operating PSI 70
Number of Pieces 1
Minimum Nail Size 2”
Maximum Nail Size 3 ½”
Warranty 1 Year
Best Sellers Rank #1 in Finish Nailers

Who Else Likes It?

Home Depot shows nearly a 5-star rating on the NuMax SFR2190.  They state that this framing nailer is a perfect option for most users and that is also lightweight.  It can drive 2” – 3 ½” plastic-coated framing nails into any project you are working on whether it be framing, remodeling or even outdoor work.  They also recommend using this nailer for “cost-effective speed and power”.

Walmart also gives rave reviews on the NuMax SFR2190 and says that this tool is amazingly well-built and can deliver job-site dependability even if you experience less than ideal circumstances.  One customer stated that they needed a 21-degree nailer to replace the fence rails in their back yard.  This nailer worked perfectly for their job and saved them a lot of money.  The NuMax SFR operated perfectly and they had no complaints.

A satisfied customer on Amazon said that as far as quality vs. price, you can’t go wrong using the NuMax SFR2190.  He bought the gun for a remodeling job and said it was a great work saver. No more worry of bent nails hitting your fingers.  He shot 2 boxes of nails without a jam.

The Step Up

Experience the newest level of framing nailers from Dewalt.  This nailer was created with the newest technology on the market.  It boasts a sealed-tube dual technology system which means that the unit’s motor can be run as either an oil-free or oiled unit.  No more burnt up motors because of a lack of oil in the system. No more running to the store during a project because you’ve run out of oil. This nailer can tackle a range of projects quickly and with great efficiency. 

It features an exhaust cap that rotates 360 degrees. It also has an adjustment for nail depth and the front opening helps you release any jams for a smooth and reliable performance.  This nailer weighs in at a mere 3.9 pounds which will increase your work capability as you won’t tire from handling the weight of a heavy tool.  In addition to the above features, Dewalt is a well-known and well-trusted brand on the market.  One customer review states that just like everything Dewalt makes, this gun is simple, well-built and works great!

Top Framing Nailer Comparison

Framing Nailer (Degrees)
Nail Size (Inches)
Warranty (Years)


Care& Maintenance

Framing Nailers are a great tool to have at your disposal.  They can be used for a myriad of jobs by people of all skill levels.  Weekend warriors can use framing nailers for jobs such as building a deck, putting in a new door or window, or fixing a roof.  Professional construction crews use them for long-term projects such as framing a house or installing wooden floors.  You will love owning your framing nailer.  However, you will need to be diligent about the care and safety measures that you will need to take with it.

A framing nailer can be dangerous if not taken care of properly.  Also, be sure to have the nails removed and the power disconnected when performing maintenance.

Safety Tips

  • Always consult the manual if you become unsure of how to proceed with the nail gun.
  • Never put your hand or any part of your body in front of the nose of the gun.
  • Always aim the gun away from you when loading it with nails.
  • Do not leave the nailer unattended while it is powered on, especially around children.
  • If possible, use protective gear while working.
  • Use the product only for the recommended uses and applications.


  • Keep the nail gun in a safe location while not in use
  • Be sure to use oil that is designed for use in framing nailers
  • Tighten all screws and bolts monthly
  • Replace damaged components only with the recommended or manufacturer parts
  • Clean the feed system after each use and lubricate the air fitting each day.
  • If your framing nailer is battery operated, check the battery periodically to ensure full power on the job.

Wrapping It Up

Whether you are a beginning woodworker, a weekend warrior, or a professional framer, you will be happy to choose the tool that you find is best for you and best for the job. But, where should you begin in your search for the best tool?  We have taken the guesswork out of your search for a new nail gun through our extensive research of all available sources and concluding with our suggestion for the Best Framing Nailer.  Our research has led us to choose the NuMaxSFR2190, 21-Degree Framing Nailer.  It is by far the best choice based on our extensive review system.  It is also the best-selling framing nailer that we found and nearly all of our sources found this nailer to be a top performer.  No matter what your needs you will not be disappointed in your choice to purchase a framing nailer and it will likely become your favorite tool in the tool shed.