Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Which Framing Nailer

expated's picture

Looking at buying my first Framing nailer, but one that will allow me to also fasten metal connectors too. Right now I have it down to a  Bostitch F21PL Industrial Round Head Framing Nailer $219.00. Is there another one that I should be considering and in this price range? 

good choice.... (post #206803, reply #1 of 14)

I've had great luck with the N-88 rh, predecessor of the F-21. Ease of depth adjustment and the MCN convenience are the best features. Also for years bostitch offered free repairs at "Swat events" at my favorite building supply but that seems to be a thing of the past.

Good side of that is it forced me to become more knowledgeable about repairs, a $20 trigger valve put my favorite gun back up justyesterday. 

I was pondering buying the F-21 recently and found recons on line for $169. It was tempting...


I just bought it myself and (post #206803, reply #2 of 14)

I just bought it myself and it seems to be a pretty well made gun.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!


All my nailers are Bostich (post #206803, reply #3 of 14)

All my nailers are Bostich recons or rebuilds. Very little to complain about.

Local Nails (post #206803, reply #4 of 14)

Go to your local supply stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc) and the yards and be sure they carry the nails on the shelf.  Get a gun to shoot whichever nail is the most common instead of nails you may have to order.  Different areas have different likes.

FWIW I've got a f28WW (28* wire welded) and it's got plenty of power.

Ditto that. Choice of (post #206803, reply #6 of 14)

Ditto that. Choice of fastener drives choice of gun. It's handy if the same fastener fits both your air- and cordless guns. And unless your owner's manual prohibits oiling, a drop or two in the air-fitting each day of use seems to keep gun internals like new.

Hitachi seems the most (post #206803, reply #8 of 14)

Hitachi seems the most popular around here so that is what I have.

I liked the coil gun better than the stick gun but that is a personal choice.


I think the Paslode metal (post #206803, reply #5 of 14)

I think the Paslode metal hardware nailer can be converted to shoot framing nails.  I prefer the Paslode over other hardware nailers.

Changing your gun all the time will get old quickly.  If I were you, I'd buy a standard Hitachi NR83 for the framing nails and just hand nail the hardware connections.  When you have some extra cash down the road, buy a dedicated hardware nailer.

one reason I like bostitch.. (post #206803, reply #7 of 14)

It only takes seconds to change the bostitch  from framing nail mode to mcn nailer.

Ditto the depth of drive setting, one of the reasons I prefer bostitch guns.Their exception is their construction staplers which require a wrench for drive depth like most other tools. A pita.....


video? (post #206803, reply #9 of 14)

would love to see a video of the changeover... quick search on youtube produced no results.

picture this.. (post #206803, reply #10 of 14)

There are 2 different nose pieces with  spring loaded buttons. You squeeze the buttons, slip off one nose piece and slip on the other.

If you have the nose piece to be changed out  and the tool in hand it might take 5 seconds. Literally.

To change the nail set depth [framing nailer tip only] you depress said button and move the nose piece tip. Maybe 2 seconds.

I really like the system, you would have to being doing a lot of MCN nailing to need a seperate tool.


Yep, I'm a completly inept (post #206803, reply #11 of 14)

Yep, I'm a completly inept DIYer, and the switch really takes 2 seconds.  Because I did it.  In 2 seconds.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!


Glad The Topic Came Up! (post #206803, reply #12 of 14)

.... As I will soon be looking into nail guns myself.

I do electric work. I don't have any nail guns. I don't even have a compressor. So, when I decided to gut my house for a complete remodel, I found myself lacking plenty of "common" tools.

From this novice's viewpoint, this is what I see:

My first choice is: Air power or "cordless?" The cartridge guns go for about $500, which is about what it would cost me to get a compressor, all the hose and fittings, and a 'typical' mail gun. This would make it a wash, with the cartridge winning on convenience, except ... it's clear you can never have just ONE nailer. There will later be a siding nailer, a trim nailer, a roofing nailer ... which can all use the same compressor and fittings.

OK, let's assume I go with a 'conventional" nailer, and the compressor.

At the one extreme you have a top-of-the-line compressor, nail gun, and urethane hoses. You're looking at $800. At the other extreme, you can be 'good to go' at your local Harbor Freight for $250.

The nail guns themselves seem to come in three varieties: Harbor Freight, Senco, and whatever the local box store carries.

What will I do? Well, I plan to "cheat." Or try to!

Maybe I'll be able to rent what I need. I can count on the rental house having stuff that works, and I won't need to worry about storing or selling it later.

Considering my rare, or intermittant, use, I might go for the 'cordless' assortment. I suppose that depends on whether I'll ever need an air compressor for anything else. What else can you use an air compressor for? Flat tires?

If I decide to buy, I'll follow a strategy that has so far worked real good for me: I'll drive to the big city, visit a 'real' supply house, and buy what they carry. I'm pretty much trusting the market to have made the decisions for me.

If you are sure this is the (post #206803, reply #13 of 14)

If you are sure this is the only air tool you would ever buy, get the cartridge gun but once you have "air" you start accumulating air tools. I don't know how I ever lived without it now.  I have 5 different nail guns, a nibbler, die grinder, 3 impact wrenches (large medium and small) a couple sprayers and a few different blow guns. Of course you need a tire chuck.


my 2 cents.. (post #206803, reply #14 of 14)

you can go online and buy a name brand framing nailer [I'd buy the F 21 RH bositch  as a recon ] and a pancake compressor [the porter cable will do] for less than $350 which will be fine for many remodels for less than $350. Or at least last I checked a couple months ago.

As has been pointed out the compressor will power other tools although not so many with the pancake. If portability is no issue you could get a small shop compressor for a bit more and now you can spray paint [varnish or laquer anyhow] as well as power a plethora of other tools.

Actually if portability is no issue you'd be better served with a bigger 'presser to start with.. 

If you do any trim work finish guns are a must and they can be inexpensive.... I could go on and on...