There are always options when it comes to purchasing the best hardwood floor nailer. It all comes down to the minor differences and additions that might tip the scales in favor of one model over another, depending on personal choice.
Flooring nail guns all blast cleats and staples into floors; however, each model may have minor variances or offer unique features. Sure, you could nail every board by hand like a craftsman, but why? A hardwood flooring nailer works quickly.
A wood flooring nailer makes it much easier to lay hardwood floors and guarantees that the nails are inserted at the right 45° angle every time. If you’re in the market for a nailer, you’re about to learn everything you need to know. Furthermore, we’ll dissect the differences between the five top models so you can get the best hardwood floor nailer for you.
Let’s start with the fundamentals.
What is a Hardwood Flooring Nailer?
Unlike conventional nail guns, a wood flooring nailer drives a nail at a 90° angle from the base. They serve only one function: to drive a nail, also known as a cleat or staple, at a 45° angle into a tongue and groove floorboard. This is why they stand out from conventional nail or staple guns.
A plunger pushes the nail or cleats through the end and into the board’s edge, securing it to the subfloor. It ensures that the angle and depth are always precise. The angle allows the nail to firmly drive the board against the next one while also securing it to the floor.
These tools are either manually or pneumatically operated.
Difference Between a Manual and Pneumatic Nailer
Manual floor nailers are less complicated but require more force from you. When using a nailer, strike the hammer cap with a rubber mallet to set the nail. To activate pneumatic nailers, a mallet is also necessary. The plunger, on the other hand, serves as a trigger, and the airpower propels the cleat. Some variations substitute a trigger for a mallet. You may change the air pressure on a pneumatic nailer to fit the hardness and thickness of the floor.
A word of warning If a pneumatic nailer lacks dry fire protection, striking the hammer cap will fire a cleat, whether or not it is on the floor. Because pneumatic flooring nailers require compressed air, you must purchase or rent an air compressor and hose. It’s an extra investment, but it reduces wear and tear on your arms and is well worth it. Unlike manual nailers, the nails are shot into the wood with a single hit to the bumper.
A manual nailer can do it for do-it-yourselfers on a tight budget. A pneumatic system will be required for huge projects. It is cost-effective because it saves time and your arms.
What Type of Fastener Does It Use?
Cleats and staples are two types of wood floor fasteners.
A cleat is a nail with the head fashioned like an “L” or sometimes a “T.” They are available in 15, 16, 18, and 20 gauges. The lightweight 20-gauge is suitable for thin floors. The most frequent lengths of staples or cleats are 1 12-inch and 2-inch. A useful cleat depth chart is available here to give you a better understanding.
The barbs on the shaft of a cleat allow it to burrow into and hold the wood. A little section at the top of the cleat is smooth. It allows for wood expansion without splitting the tongue.
For hardwood, most contractors use the holding power of 16-gauge cleats. It’s a fantastic all-purpose fastener. For recommendations, contact the flooring manufacturer.
- They are the most often used fastening for 34-inch hardwood flooring.
- On the Janka scale, it is best for tougher woods.
- Allow for more natural wood expansion and contraction.
- It may take more time to build a floor.
The other type of fastener is a staple. They have two points of touch instead of one since they are “U” shaped. They have a stronger grip on the board than cleats. It can be a concern in locations with high humidity fluctuations because they don’t allow for as much movement. The lack of expansion may cause the wood to break at the tongue.
Staples are OK when installing medium-density woods like oak, but they are not the ideal solution for durable woods such as maple or Brazilian cherry.
Advantages of Staples
- Quite frequent and simple to locate
- Loading is simple.
- Flooring can be installed more quickly.
- Approximately 20% less expensive than cleats
- A greater density of the tongue is more likely to split.
- It will not grip as well as a cleat.
As is customary, experts vary on the ideal fastening. Check with your flooring manufacturer for their advice.
Best Hardwood Floor Nailer in 2023: Reviews
1. NuMax SFL618 Flooring Nailer
NuMax is a power tool brand that is best recognized for producing inexpensive and budget-friendly power tools. This is also true for the model of the flooring nailer stated here.
The NuMax SFL 618 pneumatic flooring nailer is ranked first in our article because it is one of the most affordable solutions available. Despite its low price, it provides adequate performance as well as several useful features. One of the best features of this flooring nailer is that it has three different operating modes. These modes allow you to utilize T-cleats, L-cleats, and staples for flooring in your home or workplace. And for the price, these staples or cleats can have gauge ratings of 15.5 gauge and 16 gauge.
This flooring nailer only has a one-year warranty because it is inexpensive. However, the build quality is fairly good and the construction is sturdy. An expanded grip is part of its ergonomic design for comfort. A rubber mallet is also provided to you so you may move furniture around while the flooring is being laid. Another amazing feature of this carpet nailer is its large magazine, which can carry up to 90 to 120 staples.
2. Floor Stapler Dewalt DWFP12569
Dewalt is one of the most well-known and popular power tool brands. Dewalt offers a wide range of items, including a flooring nailer for construction.
The Dewalt DWFP12569 flooring nailer is ranked second in this article because it is one of the top-performing alternatives available. You can use it in two separate function modes, one of which supports 15.5 gauge staples and the other 16 gauge cleat nails. It can perform these activities while weighing only 10.6 pounds, which is extremely good for the price.
Another fantastic feature of this flooring nailer is that it has a high build quality that will easily endure a long period. To make this flooring nailer even more reliable and durable, it comes with a 3-year warranty, which is far longer than other options on the market.
This means you’ll get its 12-inch to 2-inch length support in a dependable design and power tool.
3. Flooring Nailer Freeman PFL618BR
Freeman is known for producing cost-effective power tools that are also extremely robust and dependable. Their flooring nailer is also a wonderful alternative for most customers, given the pricing. If you want a highly reliable flooring nailer, this Freeman PFL618BR is one of the best solutions available. It outperforms other budget or value-for-money solutions since it comes with a 7-year warranty.
Furthermore, the build quality of this Freeman flooring nailer is rather good. It has an ergonomic and comfortable design that avoids arm fatigue over time. To make this flooring nailer even more useful, its solid build and design are fairly lightweight when compared to other options in its class.
In terms of performance, you can use this flooring nailer with 15.5 gauge staples and 16 gauge cleats for flooring. Its 12-inch to 2-inch length support is comparable to most other options. The fact that this flooring nailer comes with a range of accessories is another benefit. These extras will come in handy for many customers, making this flooring nailer a superb value-for-money selection.
4. Pneumatic Flooring Nailer WEN 61741K
For woodworkers and other artisans throughout the world, Wen is a dependable manufacturer of power tools. The company creates a wide range of commonplace instruments such as chainsaws, soldering guns, generators, and nailers.
This is a multi-purpose tool that can brad nails, staple, and floor nails for all of your woodworking needs. The flooring nailer has a good pressure range of 60 to 100 PSI. You can use this flooring nailer to drive 18-gauge brad nails ranging in length from 5/8 to 2 inches. Furthermore, you can shoot 1/4-inch narrow crown staples with lengths ranging from 1/2 to 1-5/8 inches. There is an adjustable spring that allows you to load the flooring shoe at a 45-degree angle for diverse nailing applications.
The flooring nailer has a fast-release nose for simple jam removal. It has a magazine capacity of 100 nails for a lengthy run without having to reload it. There is an inbuilt depth adjustment wheel for proper nailing.
You may control how far the fastener fires nails into the workpiece. The flooring nailer is lightweight and portable, weighing only 3.3 pounds. Furthermore, it boasts a rubber-backed grip that improves accuracy and prevents hand fatigue even when used for lengthy periods. A carrying case is included for simple storage and portability.
5. Flooring Tool Bostitch BTFP12569
The bulk of the power tool solutions that Bostitch offers are highly durable and dependable. They also produce a flooring nailer that is robust, as one would expect. This Bostitch BTFP12569 flooring nailer is ranked fifth in this post because it is the most dependable alternative presented. It comes with a 7-year warranty, which is far longer than most other options.
When combined with its high build quality, you can count on this flooring nailer to last a long time. Like the last Dewalt power tool, this one provides the user with a total of two working modes for added versatility when needed.
This flooring nailer has decent gauge rating support and works with 15.5 gauge staples and 16 gauge cleats. These staples can be 1 12-inch to 2-inch long and still work perfectly. One of the best features of this flooring nailer is its ergonomic and comfy grip. This can be pretty useful for utilizing it for a long period without having to stop because there will be little strain or difficulty.
If you work in home construction or any other type of construction, you are aware that flooring is a critical procedure that must be completed exactly. As a result, a flooring nailer is a very useful and necessary instrument.
And in this post, we have included some of the best hardwood floor nailers, together with their primary features and specifications. These things can come in handy while looking for the best flooring nailer for you.