Can’t get that nice finish on your door trim? Trim moldings giving you trouble? A great solution for these problems is getting a finish nailer.
However, with so many finish nailers in the market now, it is a difficult task to even choose one to buy. What gauge nails do they use? What good features do they have? Which one is the best finish nailer for trim?
Don’t fear, as we’ve compiled some of the best picks in the market in 2021. If you want to narrow down your choices and get a good idea of the best options available, then this article is perfect for you.
8 Best Finish Nailer For Trim
There were a lot of finish nailers to choose from, but these 8 are what we consider to be the best of the best. Let’s take a look at all of them.
1. NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge 2-1/2″ Straight Finish Nailer
Starting off, we have the NuMax SFN64. It is air powered and fires 16 gauge nails with a magazine capacity of 100 pieces. 16 gauge nails are very helpful when working since they don’t leave big holes or damage the wood. You won’t have to sand or worry about the wood breaking apart suddenly.
A problem many users face during trim work is a large amount of dust being produced. Dust and debris can get in the way of work and is also very tedious to clean.
The NuMax has a 360-degree adjustable exhaust for directing the dust away. This makes disposing of dust and debris much easier and improves efficiency.
Adjustable firing depth makes it a great option for trim. It also has a sequential firing mode, which allows you to more accurately fire nails.
Finally, an anti-dust cap is featured. This prevents dust or dirt from entering the interior of your nailer and causing it to jam. In the case of jamming, a barrel cleaning feature is present.
Overall, this is mostly a beginner pick for trim work. It is relatively inexpensive but has a plethora of useful features. Veteran woodworkers might keep it as a spare, but beginners should find this as a great starting tool.
2. Metabo HPT Finish Nailer
Metabo is a German manufacturer, and their pneumatic finish nailer is a solid pick. It makes use of 16 gauge finish nails that range from 1 to 2 ½ inches in size.
This makes the nailer quite versatile and perfect for use in trimming. The nails don’t damage the wood, and so less sanding is needed. A no-mar contact tip is featured, which prevents scratches on the surface while working.
It features both sequential and bumps firing modes. Selective actuation switch allows for easy and fast switching between modes. Tool-free depth adjustment also increases versatility.
An adjustable exhaust removes dust and debris from the work surface and makes it easier to work. One notable feature about this finish nailer is the handle. It offers a solid grip and is quite comfortable to grip. Due to the lightweight nature of this item, you won’t suffer from fatigue when working.
To summarize, the Metabo HPT finish nailer is versatile and has many helpful features. The only problem is that it can be quite noisy.
3. DEWALT 20V MAX Finish Nailer
With DEWALT being such a well-known name, it’s easy to have high expectations of this particular model. It delivers well on these expectations, and we consider this the best trim nailer on this list.
This finish nailer makes use of DEWALT made 16 gauge 20-degree nails. While normal nails work with this item too, the DEWALT made nails are very high quality, and it is recommended to use them for best results.
The magazine of this nail can fit up to 110 nails. You can go for long working hours without changing out of the magazine.
Since this item is battery powered, it is portable. A 20 V battery is used, which is also used in a lot of DEWALT tools. A contact trip lock is also present. This acts as a safety measure that disables the trigger when the nailer is not in use.
Two firing modes are available for selection- bump firing and sequential-firing. Firing depth can be adjusted via a six-position dial. The nose piece is cleverly designed to allow you to remove jammed nails quickly. Additionally, a set of LED lights is also there to allow you to work in darker areas.
As expected of a premier quality finish nailer, it is more expensive than the previous ones. However, it boasts a very high quality, and being cordless has its fair share of advantages. If you are willing to spend more, consider this option.
Next on the list is a cordless battery powered finish nailer of Japanese make. Ryobi is a well-known Japanese manufacturer, and this is an item meant for professionals.
A straight magazine is used and it fires 16 gauge nails that range in size from ¾ inches to 2 ½ inches. It works with regular nails and features an open-sided magazine to help you keep track of how many nails are left while working. There is also a low nail indicator, which also alerts you and prevents dry firing.
The item features a very smooth nail feeding action that makes trim work very smooth. Tool-free drive depth adjustment is also present. You can use a knob to adjust the drive depth. To prevent nail jams, the nailer has a tool-free jam clearing. This improves workflow by quite a lot.
LED lighting is featured at the front of the Ryobi P325 One+. This helps work in poorly lit areas. The lights are activated by a separate switch, so there is no danger of misfire.
18V batteries are used by the Ryobi P325 One+. Unfortunately, batteries are not included with the purchase, but even so, you should consider this option. It is sturdy, has very helpful features, and smooth nail feeding.
5. CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Finish Nailer
The CRAFTSMAN V20 is a powerful finish nailer that works with 18 gauge nails that range from5/8inches in length to 2 inches. So it works with a variety of nail sizes.
Since it works with 18 gauge nails, this finish nailer is much stronger and heavier than the others we have picked out. It weighs in at 9.05 pounds. The finish nailer is also very durable, so it will last you a long time.
At its base, the CRAFTSMAN V20 is a very solid finish nailer meant for heavier tasks. However, there are also a plethora of features that make using this instrument for trim work much more enjoyable.
Although it’s heavy, some of the fatigue when using this item is reduced because of the handle. A contoured molded handle is present to make long working hours bearable.
An adjustable dial is also featured to control depth. This dial is present on the side and does not require any tool to operate it. A tool-free jam and stall setting also exists to clear any jammed nails. This improves workflow and efficiency greatly.
Two LED lights are also present at the front to illuminate the surface. This makes working in certain areas much easier. For safety, a trigger lock-off switch is also present to prevent accidental firing.
If you’re looking for a more powerful finish nailer, this is the one. This item is a great package of functionality and durability and, as a bonus, comes with a 20 V battery.
6. Hitachi NT65MA4 Finish Nailer
This item is aimed more at experienced woodworkers. While beginner woodworkers will still find this finish nailer useful for trim work, professionals will gladly appreciate the design and numerous features this model has.
First and foremost, the Hitachi NT65MA4 features an angled and compact design. This is perfect for installing trim moldings as it makes it easier to use.
Fifteengauge nails are used in this item, and they can range in size from 1 ¼ inch to 2 ¼ inches. The magazine capacity is 100 nails, and magazines are very quick and easy to load.
Two firing modes are featured and you can easily switch between the two. An integrated air duster is present with this model. Now, after working, you don’t have to fetch additional tools to clean up the wood surface.
Simply turn on the air duster and it will easily remove all the dust for you so that you can prepare the surface for gluing.
In the case of nail jamming, the nose of this finish nailer is designed to allow you to extract nails quickly and easily. A depth of drive dial is also present for easy depth adjustment, which makes for more precise work.
Finally, it weighs only 4.2 pounds, so users will experience less fatigue when working with this nailer.
7. BOSTITCH BTFP71917 16GA Finish Nailer
Here we have a finish nailer from BOSTITCH. It makes use of standard 16 gauge nails that measure one¼ to 2 ½ inches with a magazine capacity of 100 nails. Perhaps, the most notable feature of this model is the nose.
The nose is constructed to be much smaller than other finish nailer noses. This makes it easier to place nails, which is an important thing for trim moldings. It also allows for oil-free operation, which makes for cleaner surfaces.
Smaller head size also allows you to use this item in tighter spaces. The design makes it very maneuverable. An adjustable hook is also present. You can attach a pencil to it for easier marking.
Since you can activate the smart point without pressing it hard on the surface, you can minimize damage when using this finish nailer.
The machine has a dial for adjusting depth. An adjustable exhaust is also present. You no longer have to worry about dust and debris getting on you as you can redirect it away. A jam release system is also present.
It only weighs 3.9 pounds and has a decently comfortable handle. So you can use it for long hours. However, one thing that does hurt it is a lack of portability since the BTFP71917 needs an air compressor to work. If you don’t mind purchasing a separate air compressor, we would recommend buying this unit.
8. Makita AF635 15 GA Finish Nailer
The final one on our list is the Makita AF635 15 gauge finish nailer. It is a pneumatic finish nailer that accepts 15 gauge nails. This item is made out of aluminum, so it is both durable and lightweight. It is a very comfortable tool to use and great for trim works.
An angled design is used, which helps to reach tight areas. You can see how many nails you have left as the magazine is windowed. The trigger is very nicely designed and the handle is comfortable to grip.
If you need to work in tighter areas or difficult to reach places like overheads, these features will be very helpful.
To make sure your work surface is clean, it comes with an integrated air duster. So you can dust off the debris after finishing your work. For safety features, a safety lock is available. So you don’t have to worry about accidental misfiring when you’re not using the nailer.
To summarize, this is a surprisingly powerful pneumatic finish nailer especially considering it only weighs 4 pounds. It has many useful features, and due to its construction, it can serve you well for many years.
Features to Look before Buying
The top finish nailers have a variety of features. When buying one, try to look out for some of the features mentioned below:
· Safety Lock
Finish nailers, like all power tools, can be very dangerous. Accidental misfiring of nails is the worst. While leaving your finished nailer and going to attend to some other work is not recommended, sometimes it is unavoidable. In those scenarios, a finish nailer with a safety lock or trigger will help immensely.
A safety lock locks your nail gun so it won’t accidentally fire a nail gun. Such a feature is a very useful safety measure in most cases and will do a great job in preventing accidents.
· Actuation Or Firing Modes
Many finish nailers often come with two firing modes and the ability to switch between them. These two firing modes are called bump firing and sequential firing modes. For finish nailers that don’t have the option to switch between them, the default mode is sequential firing mode.
Sequential firing mode only allows you to fire if your nailer’s tip is pressed against the surface. This allows for precise fastener placement. Bump firing mode exchanges precision for speed. If you do both small and large scale projects, a finish nailer with two firing modes can be used for both.
· Depth Selection
Trying to get the correct drive depth manually is difficult. So finish nailers with tool-free depth selection are highly valued. They make fastening a much easier task and will save you a lot of trouble and time in the long run. Especially useful if you work on smaller-scale projects.
· Jam Or Nail Removal
An annoying problem for nailers is the nails getting stuck or getting jammed. This can slow down your work immensely and damage your nailer. An important thing to look out for when buying a finish nailer is seeing if they have a jam clearing feature.
This makes it easy to clear out jammed nails and allows you to smoothly resume your work. It is recommended to make sure the jam clearing feature does not require extra tools to use.
· Low Nail Indicator
A low nail indicator is a useful feature to have if you want to avoid dry firing. This can severely damage your nail gun. The indicator helps avoid this. An alternative is a windowed magazine.
· Integrated Air Duster
Some finish nailers have an air duster to help clean up after use. Although this is more of a luxury feature, it is very helpful nonetheless and makes work much smoother.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What gauge nailers are better?
It depends completely on what you are using the nailer for. A higher gauge means thinner nails. Generally, 16 gauge nails are more commonly used, but 15 gauge nails also have their uses.
2. Are thinner nails better for door trims?
Yes. Thinner nails leave smaller holes, and less sanding and filling is required for them.
3. Do I need an air compressor for my finish nailer?
Check your model. If your model is battery powered, you only need the properly rated battery for it to work. In case your nailer is a pneumatic one, you will need an air compressor.
4. Are pneumatic nailers better or electric ones?
It depends on both the task and your preference. Pneumatic nailers are powerful but noisy and aren’t portable. Electric ones sacrifice power for portability.
5. Can I use brad nails in my finish nailer?
Some nailers allow it, but it is not recommended. They can damage the finish nailer.
We hope that this article has helped you find the best finish nailer for trim. It is recommended to give a thorough read through this article before deciding on your purchase.