Top 10 Best Flooring Nailer Reviews | Experts Recommendation

Would you like the ground, or rather, the wood below your feet to wobble and teeter under your weight?

You don’t want the floors of your house to make creepy creaking sounds like in those horror movies, do you?

This is exactly why flooring nailers are so important in constructional work.

We’ll help you find the best flooring nailer in the market to jam your floorboards into place with.

It’s an ordeal to nail into floors, and we definitely don’t want you to do it more than once. Therefore, we have prepared a rigorously informative article about the topic, so that you understand everything about nailing floors and nailer guns from scratch.

In a Hurry? Check Out Our Top 5 Picks of Best Flooring Nailer

Flooring Nailer vs. Flooring Stapler – What Should You Buy

By the looks of these two devices, they will be indistinguishable to you. They serve the same function too – both help flooring boards to stay in place. So, they are very crucial for constructional projects.

However, you must be informed that these devices do indeed have a few differences. Although they do the same thing, they cannot be used interchangeably in all situations. You need to know more about them to know which one fits your situation exactly.

Flooring Nailers

Flooring nailers have been around for longer than flooring staplers. They are also known as flooring cleat nailers in the carpentry community because they mainly use cleat nails to fasten the floorboards with.

There are two types of flooring nailing guns; manual and pneumatic. The manual ones, of course, require you to put raw muscle strength into the task, whereas, the pneumatic ones require air pressure to function.

Pneumatic nailers have an air cylinder attached to the machine, which pumps air into it at a certain pressure and pushes the nails in through the boards.

Cleat Nails Gauge

Nails with a small gauge are stronger than nails with a big gauge.

The most common cleat nails used with flooring nailers are in the gauge sizes of 16 and 18. Occasionally, nails of 20-gauge will be used for flooring as well.

Cleat nails are the most ideal choice for flooring boards with because they have a high resistance to the changes in temperature. They can allow the wood to expand and contract without breaking or cutting into the surface.

Flooring Staplers

Flooring staplers are also used to fasten floorboards together. As the name suggests, these machines use staples instead of nails. The staplers have prongs that press down the staples onto the wood and lock it down to the sub-floor.

These devices also come in the same two variations; manual, and pneumatic. Additionally, you can also find electronic flooring staplers in the market, but they are not as reliable as the two common ones.

Flooring Staples Gauges

These staples are usually bigger than the nails used for flooring. The most commonly used staples are about 15.5-gauge. These staples hold up pretty good when they are put in. However, you will notice that their affixing capacity decreases with time.

So if you use these for important long-running projects, you will be severely disappointed.

Another downside to them is that the staples are very wide around the sides and a bit blunt around the pins. Therefore, the board might get cracked when a staple is put into the wooden board due to the penetration force exerted on the nail.

This is a risk you don’t want to take. And you can avoid it by using boards that are thicker than 3/4 inches.

The only upper-hand staples have over nail cleats is that they are cheaper.

Which of These Nailers Should You Get?

In order to choose between them, you need to know what materials you will be working with.

If you are going to work with brittle and thin wood, then flooring nailers are the way to go. Also, remember the temperature factor?

If you are residing in an area that undergoes temperature changes, then flooring nailers are your best friend.

Circumstances in which getting a stapler for flooring would be profitable are very limited, to begin with. Only consider them if you are working with non-brittle wood that can withstand high pressures without cracking.

But even then, these staples will never stay secure in the wood for too long because they are not resistant to temperature changes.

The Best Flooring Nailer Reviews

There are many reviews on the internet which will confuse you with too much information. But we have done our research and compiled a very apt list for you. Take a look.

1. NuMax SFL618 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Stapler/Nailer

Sale
NuMax SFL618 Pneumatic 3-in-1 15.5-Gauge and 16-Gauge 2" Flooring Nailer...
  • Nailed It: This pneumatic flooring nailer and stapler features a lightweight aluminum body, ergonomic comfort grip handle, replaceable base plate and 3-in-1 design that allows it to easily switch between T-cleats, L-cleats and staples for maximum functionality.
  • Ergonomic Design: This flooring nailer has an extended handle to prevent achy backs and a light strike bumper for low impact fastener driving. It comes with a rubber mallet to move flooring in place. It's ideal for professional jobs and home DIY projects.
  • The Right Tool for the Job: We're committed to providing outstanding value, top tier customer service and long lasting, high quality products. We make nailers and staplers for every purpose, from roofing to siding to flooring and everything in between.
This pneumatic nailer has a lot of features that will blow your mind. First of all, it is a versatile machine with a design that permits easy switches between all the three types of fastening hooks, namely. This machine has very high functionality, as it can work with anything and thus, give the user a lot of flexibility.

Flooring guns are bulky equipment by construction. So they will need great care in order to be operated properly. But don’t you worry. With the dual, ergonomic handles on this machine, there’s no way that you are going to lose control of it.

The handles allow just the right amount of friction for the user to maintain a firm hold on the machine. Additionally, the handles are extra-long. The advantage of this is that you will be able to stay upright while pinning the nails onto the floor. These extended handles will thus save you from breaking your back.

Furthermore, the bumper is made with such mastery that you need only to strike the area of the target slightly in order to drive the nails fully into the floorboard. Such a low-impact bumper can be handled by anyone very easily. These machines are sturdy, versatile, and high-functioning.

They have made a big name for themselves on account of being trustworthy and long-lasting. They are so user-friendly that even beginners can use them with very little effort. And due to the high versatility, they are good for both the professionals and the occasional DIY practitioners alike.

Pros
  • Sturdy aluminum body
  • Low-impact bumper for fastening nails easily
  • Very versatile
  • Long handles to prevent back pain
  • Can use all three types of fasteners
Cons
  • The nails get jammed pretty frequently

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2. Freeman PFBC940 4-in-1 18 gauge Mini Flooring Nailer/Stapler

Freeman PFBC940 Pneumatic 4-in-1 18-Gauge 1-5/8" Mini Flooring Nailer and...
  • Nailed It: This pneumatic flooring nailer and stapler features a lightweight die cast aluminum body, ergonomic comfort grip handle, and tool-free quick release latch that enables you to quickly and easily access and remove jams without taking the nailer apart.
  • Versatile and Powerful: This nailer features an angled flooring attachment that allows you to convert your brad nailer and stapler into a flooring nailer and stapler for 4-in-1 functionality. It also features tool-free depth adjust to allow you to customize your firing depth.
  • The Right Tool for the Job: We're committed to providing outstanding value, top tier customer service and long lasting, high quality products. We make nailers and staplers for every purpose, from roofing to siding to flooring and everything in between.

Are you hesitant about getting a flooring nailer? If yes, then let us tell you that it is a good investment. If you an amateur trying to get a hold of the nailing business, then you must have a good nailing gun at your disposal. And you can also get this machine for DIY projects at home.

This Freeman PFRC940 is an overall good flooring nailer-stapler machine. It is a pneumatic machine; in order words, it comes with a compressor and runs on air pressure.

You will be able to maneuver this machine very easily by getting a good grip on the handles. This machine weighs about 4 pounds. If you have never handled one of these machines before, then you might struggle with it a little.

Another big advantage is that it has a tool-free release latch for getting rid of jammed nails automatically. The machine does not need to be taken apart for this. Just pull on the latch and let the nail fall out of the machine. Sleek, right?

Well, it doesn’t stop there. This Freeman device also comes with a depth adjustment system, which ensures that the nails don’t get pushed too deep into the material.

You will also get an angle attachment with it, which can be removed so that the machine can easily be used to convert your flooring nailer-stapler gun into a brad nailer-stapler gun. Considering all the plus points of this machine, we must say that it really is the best flooring nailer for the money.

Pros
  • Features 4-in-1 functionality
  • Has a tool-free easy release latch
  • Pneumatic system
  • Can be worked with both staples and nails
Cons
  • Doesn’t maintain height adjustment after a few hits
  • Comes with bent nails

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3. BOSTITCH BTFP12569 2-in-1 Flooring Tool

BOSTITCH BTFP12569 2-in-1 Flooring Tool
  • DRIVES: 15.5 GA flooring staples or 16 GA "L inches shaped flooring cleats from 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch length.
  • Has pneumatic driving action. Used in hardwood and engineered flooring
  • NON MARRING BASE PLATES: For 1/2 inch (12.7 millimeter) through 3/4 inch (19.1 millimeter) flooring.

If you want an amazing experience while doing a boring task, then this is your stop. This pneumatic flooring nailer has everything you need in order to get work done and make work a fun experience. Drive your nails into your floorboards with this effortless machine and make a game out of it. Set target and shoot!

You can use both types of fasteners with this machine. Now that’s freedom, isn’t it? The Bostitch BTFP12569 is an extremely versatile machine that keeps up with the times by the special 2-in-1 technology, which supports both nail- and staple-fastening. You will be able to work with staples of 15.5-gauge and L-shaped cleat nails of 16-gauge.

Additionally, the machine has non-marring base plates of 12.7 mm and 19.1 mm flooring. Therefore, you can use this machine on hardwood and also on engineered floors, without the fear of leaving scratch marks on the floorboards. The body of the machine weighs 14.72 pounds! As you can tell, this is a lot of weight to carry around.

However, the long and strong handles by the sides of this machine will assist you in lifting the machine up very comfortably. Due to the length of the handles, you will not even need to bend over while using this machine.

Many people get completely convinced of buying this machine just after finding out about the long handles. If you ever had muscle fatigue, and back pain, you will know exactly why.

Pros
  • Works with both staples and nails
  • Great versatility and durability
  • Long handles with comfortable grips
  • Non-marring base plates
  • Comes in a very useful kit
Cons
  • The metal pocket does not hold the cleats securely

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4. Freeman PF18GLCN 18-Gauge Cleat Flooring Nailer

Freeman PF18GLCN Pneumatic 18-Gauge 1-3/4" L-Cleat Flooring Nailer for...
  • Nailed It: This pneumatic flooring nailer features a lightweight aluminum body, ergonomic comfort grip handle, light strike bumper, and 3 interchangeable base plates. The no mar foot will protect the surface from scratches and is safe for pre-finished flooring.
  • Perfect for Hardwood Flooring: This flooring nailer drives 18 gauge L-cleats, ideal for installing dense flooring like strand woven bamboo, Brazilian teak, cherry, engineered flooring and other exotic hardwoods. The magazine holds up to 120 fasteners.
  • The Right Tool for the Job: We're committed to providing outstanding value, top tier customer service and long lasting, high quality products. We make nailers and staplers for every purpose, from roofing to siding to flooring and everything in between.

Do you have fancy floors in the house that have cost you too much money already? Well, if you are concerned about the quality of those expensive floorboards, then you have to ensure that they are treated in the best manners.

The machine that we are here with today is a flooring nailer which has all the features needed to make it a well-rounded device. Its body is made with lightweight aluminum, a light-strike bumper, comfortable handles, and 3 base plates to replace the existing ones when they get worn out.

This unit weighs 14 pounds and is pretty heavy to carry around. So you need to be extra careful when lifting up and putting this machine down over your workspaces. But thank heavens for the no-mar tips!

The feet of this machine is completely rubberized, to ensure that the heavy machine doesn’t leave scratches all over the floor while being moved.

One disadvantage of this machine is that they cannot work with both staples and nails. This is strictly a nailing gun. However, you will not find this to be particularly problematic if you are a professional carpenter.

That is because these machines are particularly engineered to be used for hardwood planks. This is why the machine only uses L-cleat nails that are of the size of 18-gauge, which is a type of fastener that is ideal for keeping thick wooden planks together.

So if you are using wood like Brazilian teak, woven bamboo, cherry, exotic hardwood and such for engineered flooring, then use these tough and sturdy nail cleats to do the task.

Pros
  • Very sturdy construction
  • Ideal for big projects
  • Tough nails for tough wooden boards
  • Can be used for a variety of different functions
Cons
  • Can only be used with Freeman cleat nails

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5. 3PLUS HFSNSP 2-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer/Stapler

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3PLUS HFSNSP 2-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer/Stapler
  • 2 in 1 flooring tool uses 15-1/2 gauge staples and 16 gauge L cleats ranging from 1-1/2" to 2"
  • Interchangeable flooring plates for all sizes of floorings
  • Removable long reach handle

If you want variety and flexibility all in one piece, then you need to look no further. This machine can handle both cleats and staples for you.

If you are working with thin wooden boards on small projects, then use staples that are of 15.5-gauge, and if you are working on bigger projects, then go for the L-cleats that range from 1.2 to 2 inches in size.

Many machines in the market come with one type of fastening utility only. However, on this machine, these two fasteners can be used interchangeably. When operating big machines such as these, one of the biggest factors to keep in mind is weight.

This 3PLUS HFSNSP nailer is a total of 15.65 in pounds. A pretty heavy machine, if you ask me. If you have back pain, then beware of bending down to pick up this tool. Fortunately, this machine has a long handle that will allow you to pick this machine up without bending over for it.

One disadvantage of the handles being big is that they are not compact at all. Thus, storing them is a problem. However, the saving grace is that the handles on this machine are actually removable. They can be opened and moved away whenever they are not being used.

The mallet on the device is encapsulated with white rubber. This is why they are more comfortable to work with. There’s a good amount of friction on the handles due to the texture of the rubber. This makes the operation a smooth ride for the users, regardless of their level of expertise.

Pros
  • Doesn’t get jammed
  • Can handle wood of any type and thickness
  • Rubber handles
  • Rubber mallet
  • Can work with both staples and nails
Cons
  • The product malfunctions after working on the first 120 square feet of area

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6. BOSTITCH MIIIFN 1-1/2- to 2-Inch Pneumatic Flooring Nailer

BOSTITCH MIIIFN 1-1/2- to 2-Inch Pneumatic Flooring Nailer
  • 1-1/2-inch to 2-inch pneumatic flooring nailer for driving L-shaped flooring cleats
  • High-speed; extra-wide composite base; high-capacity magazine; 420 inch-pounds of driving power
  • Constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum

If you want your floors to look like they have been done by professionals, without spending that much, then you have hit the jackpot here with this product.

This Bostitch MIIIFN machine is readily going to tend to all of your demands without a problem. This is an elite model of flooring nail gun that will far exceed the performance of any other in the market.

It is a pneumatic flooring cleat nailer which has a very high torque speed that will give your floors that professional finish. Also, it doesn’t matter if you have pre-finished hardwood flooring or an unfinished one.

For the unfinished flooring in the room, you will just need to use an adapter foot. Don’t worry; the adapter foot comes along with the kit. You will be able to find it among the other attachments in the kit. With 420 inch-pounds of driving power, you will be able to work extra hard with this gun.

Therefore, you will be able to finish your tasks sooner. This machine operates with L-shaped cleats, which are very sturdy and suitable for driving through tough wood.

The body of the machine is made of aircraft-grade aluminum. Aluminum is actually a very suitable metal for making such machines. Due to this metal alloy, carrying this machine around is not as difficult a feat at all.

This is because even though the machine is about 13.98 pounds, the durability and the sturdiness of aluminum makes it a very compact package that can easily be transported from one point to another.

Pros
  • Ergonomic design
  • Wide base plates
  • Powerful air compressor
  • The body is lightweight and comfortable to carry
Cons
  • The spring that lays out the cleats is faulty
  • The side of the cylinder leaks oil

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7. Ramsond RMM4 2-in-1 Air Hardwood Flooring Cleat Nailer and Stapler Gun

Ramsond RMM4 2-in-1 Air Hardwood Flooring Cleat Nailer and Stapler Gun
  • Uses both cleats and staples
  • Air operated
  • Includes all accessories and carrying case

There is no other machine in the market like the Ramsond RMM4 2-in-1 flooring gun. It can use both cleat nails and staples interchangeably, and that too, without the need for you to change magazines.

You will not have to lose any time switching between the two settings. The magazine can hold about 100 fasteners at one time. Just focus, then press and shoot. That’s it!

This machine gets all this power from the good old strength of air pressure. Yes, it is a pneumatic flooring gun which is run by the help of an air compressor. The machine has a patented design. It is one of a kind.

Now, the part that makes this machine so special is the air booster chambers. These help to create the biggest possible driving force and speed in the machine.

With such power in its grasp, this device can actually handle wood of all sorts of thickness. The tool also has a non-marring base system, which is there to protect the work-piece from getting scratches and dents. There are two composite disks at the front, one at the middle and another at the back.

These 3 different mechanisms give extra protection to the surfaces on which the work is being done, so as to avoid any sort of accidents that might happen.

They are also there to balance the tool and optimize its position before the work starts, so that the machine can completely be in charge of the situation as work begins, without taking any stops for adjustment in between.

Pros
  • A tool kit with many useful attachments inside
  • Non-marring base system
  • Composite disks to give extra stability during work
  • Patented air booster chambers
  • Very powerful compressor
Cons
  • Doesn’t damage the surface, but damages the edges of the workpiece

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8. Freeman PDX50C 3-in-1 Flooring Cleat Nailer and Stapler

Freeman PDX50C Lightweight Pneumatic 3-in-1 15.5-Gauge and 16-Gauge 2"...
  • Nailed It: This Pneumatic 3-in-1 15.5-Gauge and 16-Gauge 2" Flooring Nailer and Stapler uses 16 gauge T-cleats and L-cleats, and 15.5 gauge flooring staples. It comes with interchangeable base plates that make it perfect for both solid wood tongue and groove or engineered flooring from 1/2" to 3/4".
  • Pro Design: This durable nailer features an anodized aluminum magazine, no mar protection plate and self leveling front foot. It's ideal for solid wood tongue and groove flooring from 1/2" to 23/32" in thickness. A lightweight fiberglass handle mallet is included.
  • The Right Tool for the Job: We're committed to providing outstanding value, top tier customer service and long lasting, high quality products. We make nailers and staplers for every purpose, from roofing to siding to flooring and everything in between.

This user-friendly nailing gun is what you need to finish all your projects, big or small, on time. This Freeman nailing gun is a 3-in-1 device. It uses two types of cleats: L-shaped and T-shaped. The size of both types should be about 16-gauge. This machine can also work with staples that are of the standard size of 15.5-gauge.

You will find interchangeable base plates with these machines, which will be very suitable for two types of flooring- engineered or wood-and-tongue. The body of the machine is made with anodized aluminum, which makes them very sturdy.

As for the feet of this machine, they are rubberized so that the surfaces of the floorboards do not get tiny scratches when the machine is moved.

The self-leveling front foot is there to ensure that the nozzle of the gun is securely fixed on the target area before the trigger is pulled. This machine and all the nails and staples that it uses will be a perfect fit for floorboards that measure from 1/2 to about 23/23 in terms of thickness.

Additionally, the mallet that comes with the machine is made of fiberglass. It’s beautiful, and it weighs 3 pounds!

The machine comes in a kit that also includes other equipment along with the nailer gun itself. Inside the kit, you will find wrenches, interchangeable base plates, and a dust cover.

Since the air is pulled in from the outside, it has a lot of dirt in it. Now, if this air accumulates inside the machine, then it will be a great hassle for everyone.

Pros
  • Uses many types of nails and staples
  • Fiberglass mallet
  • Very reliable and comfortable to use
  • Comes with a large kit carrying all essentials
Cons
  • The nails get stuck too much

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9. Freeman PFL618C Pneumatic 3-in-1 15.5-Gauge and 16-Gauge 2″ Flooring Nailer and Stapler

Freeman PFL618C Pneumatic 3-in-1 15.5-Gauge and 16-Gauge 2" Flooring Nailer...
  • Ideal for the installation of 1/2" to 3/4" solid tongue and groove hardwood flooring
  • Compatible with 15.5 gauge glue collated 1/2" crown staples, 16 gauge glue collated T-cleats, and 16 gauge glue collated L-cleats from 1-1/2" to 2" for all three types of fasteners
  • Constructed of high strength aluminum resulting in a lightweight tool great for extended use

The lightweight and sturdy aluminum make this machine very comfortable to work with. These devices have a very well-built ergonomic design with good and long handles that come with comfortable rubber grips. Due to the rubber grips, the machine is very easy to carry despite the weight.

This machine is suitable for tongue and groove hardwood floorboards that measure from 1/2 to about 3/4 inches. Two floorboards will be joined in a way that they have no gaps in between them.

And then, they should be nailed to remain in that situation. You can use all three types of fastening systems with this pneumatic flooring nailer-stapler machine. T-cleat nails of about 16-gauge in measurement, L-cleat nails of the same size and then finally the 15.5-gauge staple pins.

All of these fasteners can be put into the magazine of this powerful machine gun and used to bind together the floorboards firmly in place. The body of the machine is made of aluminum, which is an ideal metal to be used to build these machines because they are very lightweight and resilient at the same time.

Also, the high-strength aluminum always protects the frame of the machine from getting dents or suffer any other damages.

For increased durability, one blade drive is used with this machine. Since the machine is so heavy, you will need to be very careful when picking up something from one place and placing it in another.

Fortunately, the base plates have been enclosed in tiny rubber pockets which protect the surface of the areas from getting chipped off by the edge of the rough corners.

Pros
  • Can work with all sorts of staples and nails
  • Very versatile
  • Made with high-strength aluminum alloy
  • Base plates have rubber tips
Cons
  • Needs to be oiled to keep everything smoothly running

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10. 402A, 16-Gauge Manual Hardwood Flooring Nailer

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402A, 16-Gauge Manual Hardwood Flooring Nailer
  • Uses 2 in., and 1-1/2 in. T Headed 16 Ga nails
  • Binds 5/8 in., 3/4 in. and 33/32 in. domestic solid wood flooring
  • Accessory shoes, sold separately, allow you to face nail and nail 3/8 in. - 9/16 in. solid wood, 5/8 in. bamboo and 18mm flooring

No matter how strong the hardwood is that you have gotten for flooring, this machine will be able to handle it. This is the only manual machine of our list. And it is here for a reason. Manual machines are usually more cumbersome and difficult to deal with than pneumatic ones. This is why most people steer away from them.

However, the Porta Nails 402A is a pretty special one in that regard. If you are considering carpentry as a long-term profession, then you are going to love this machine.

Now, the machine has something called a “ratcheting ram,” which is the nailer is pushed into and pulled out of the material with the nail. The ram ensures that the nail hits the target area precisely, and also fastens properly into place.

This feature gives these machines more precision and accuracy in work than other nailing guns in the market. You will need to strike the head of the nailer three times in order to get the nail to enter.

This sounds like a tedious process. And it is. However, most professionals swear by this method used by this manual machine because it removes the chances of errors.

Errors damage the floorboards that are being worked upon. Therefore, even though it is a slow process, this Porta Nails will serve you much longer and more loyally than the pneumatic ones.

This machine only uses T-cleats that are16-gauge in size. The machine has an anti-slip nail, which makes this machine very safe for you. You can use this machine for solid wood flooring as well.

Use floorboards that measure from 5/8, 3/4, and 33/32 inches! So, with this machine, you have much more flexibility than the previous ones.

Pros
  • Highly reliable
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Can deliver quality work
  • Very accurate targets
Cons
  • Requires a lot of strength

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Features To Consider Before You Buy

You can’t look at a brand and decide everything they make is a good product. You need to know what components were involved in making the machine work with efficiency.

Therefore, knowing the features is the first step in making a purchase that is worth the money and hard work. Apart from the flooring nailer reviews, we have made you a list of everything you need to know in order to understand these nailing guns. Now, if you want the best budget flooring nailer, then keep on reading.

Type of Nailers – Manual and Pneumatic

This is the first factor you need to consider when making a decision. Both of these machines have their strengths and weaknesses.

Manual

These machines are as simple as it can get. They rely on the good old muscular strength. Naturally, these are not for you if you are not accustomed to lifting or working with heavy objects. You will need to have considerable muscle strength to work these machines. The procedure requires you to hit the bumper twice.

The first hit positions the cleat into place and the second hit is the actuation.

They do not require an air compressor in order to function. As such, you wouldn’t need to go through any hassle like changing the air compressor, cleaning out the pumps and so on.

With such a simple design and construction, these machines are both easy to maintain and work with. The biggest advantage of manual nailers is that they are affordable and very durable.

Advantages:

  • Easy to maintain and work with
  • Very durable and simple
  • No hassle of changing the compressor

Drawbacks:

  • Requires a fair amount of muscle strength
  • Needs multiple hits for every nail

Pneumatic

Now, this is what most people prefer to have at their disposal. These pneumatic flooring nailers are the most versatile machine for nailing floors. What makes them so ideal is that they do can easily handle any sort of task, big or small, for the professional or homeworkers.

Going by the name, you can understand that these machines are operated by air pressure. In order to do that, they have an air compressor, which drives the cleats right into place with enough strength and firmness to keep them there. Unlike the manual ones, this actuation is brought about with only one hit.

Moreover, these nailers are much faster than manual ones. They also have greater precision and accuracy. Which is why they can be used, with equal comfort, by both professionals and beginners.

However, they are more expensive because they come with an air compressor inside. The air compressor also needs regular maintenance work and expenses in order work, which adds to the overall hassle of having these machines.

Advantages:

  • Easy to work with
  • Comparably more powerful and precise
  • One hit is required to put the nails into place
  • Very good for work on large-scale projects

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive to buy
  • Expensive to maintain

Gauge Size: 16 or 18?

If you use nails that are incompatible with the wood type and thickness, then you will be in big trouble. You will notice one of two things – either the board will crack, rendering the entire plank useless, or the nails will not stay firmly in place, and the board will wobble any pressure is put on it.

Thus, you need to consider the thickness of the board and the quality of the board in order to know the nail-gauge that you need to buy. Also, the size of the nail gauges will, of course, have to be compatible with the machines.

Flooring nailers work with cleat nails. These come in two different sizes. Remember, the smaller the gauge, the stronger is the nail.

  • 16-gauge Flooring Nails

The 16-gauge nails are made for wood that is thick and hard. They are very strong, and so they will be able to work with such non-resilient wood.

These nails will be suitable for any kind of job. They have more versatility than 18-gauge nails. Therefore, they are preferred by professional contractors, who regularly have to work with a diverse set of wood planks or varying degrees and quality.

  • 18-gauge Flooring Nails

These are thinner than the 16-gauge nails. Use these when working with planks made of thin and brittle wood. Some 18-gauge nailers will be able to shoot the nails into harder wood boards. However, they will not be able to punch with enough power to keep the nails firmly in the wood.

Cleats or Staples?

This is another important factor that you need to consider when buying a nailing gun. Cleat nails are for stronger than staples. Staples might sometimes hurt the surface of the wood if the plank is too hard. However, they look better and are ideal when working with thin planks.

Some nailing guns support both cleats and staples. If you can find those, definitely go for them as they will give you great versatility in options.

  • Cleats

Cleat nails can handle everything. They can penetrate any kind of wood and cling to them with the greatest affinity. There are two types of cleat nails- T-shaped and L-shaped.

Cleats that are used for flooring are mainly made of steel. Their edges are ribbed, and this helps them to firmly clasp to the flooring and the sub-flooring. The ribs give these nails a more secure hold on the boards than staples.

Also, another huge advantage is that these cleats are adjustable to temperature changes. When the temperature rises, the wood expands, and when the temperature falls, the wood contracts. Cleats are so resilient that these changes in pressure caused by the temperature don’t affect them at all.

The only downside to using cleats with these nailing guns is that they are fairly expensive. Almost twice the price of the staples. But this big difference in price is well justified, given their huge difference in quality and versatility.

  • Staples

One staple has two long prongs that are smooth and easily go through the floor and sub-floor without causing any trouble to the user. They are a bit bigger in size than staples. Therefore, they provide a much stronger hold on the wood initially. However, as time passes, these staples start coming loose. The smooth surface of the staples cannot withstand the every changing thickness of the wood that happens due to the shifts in temperature.

One advantage of staples is that they are not as expensive as cleats. If you are working with thin wood and have to stick to a strict budget, then you may buy these. Nonetheless, it is not recommended to use them for big projects that are expected to survive well into the future years.

Construction Of The Body

In carpentry, flooring nailers are probably the most expensive tools. Which is why you must never set yourself up for spending money on a replacement a few years down the line. The build is the most important aspect of machines like this.

Go for a machine that has a sturdy and tough build, but also one that is light enough to carry around. Also, look out for the handles. The handles should be in a convenient place for a comfortable hold, and they must have rubber grips on them so that they don’t keep slipping from your hands while you work.

Considering all these criteria, aluminum is the best fit for these machines. They are as strong and sturdy as they are lightweight.

Power Source

Again, manual and pneumatic are the two variations here as well.

None of these require a power source in order to function.

Those new electrical flooring nailers are the only ones that will require you to have a power supply in order to get them to work.

Price

You will see that there is a big number at the price of these machines. You definitely do not want to make an unnecessarily huge investment on these machines, only to find out that you could have gotten the same output with a cheaper one, right?

Look at the build and the features it promises when you are making the purchase. And then look at how efficient the machine is, and if the price they are asking is reasonable.

The range of prices starts from $100 (beginner level machines) and up to $500 and more (for professionals).

If you are an expert, go ahead and buy an expensive one if you want. But if you are just starting out, then we’d suggest you to not go too big too fast.

Buying a machine that doesn’t have all the features is a probably better deal for you, than buying a machine that has so many features that you can’t even understand them.

Warranty

Warranty is usually of not much importance for us. But not in the case of these machines.

These machines are expected to work very hard for you. In case of any unfortunate event, you need to have mechanical support, in order to sort out any problem you might be facing.

Warranties on these machines range from 1 year and go up to 7 years. But if your manufacturer is unreliable, then this won’t really matter much. So, along with checking the duration of the warranty, also look at how reliable the manufacturer is.

Safety Tips You Should Know

The basic way to nail the floorboards into place with both of these machines is to press down on the driver’s head and then insert the nails. The amount of pressure with which you have to press the machine down onto the wood will depend on the density and thickness of the board you are working with.

  • Protect Your Eyes!

Whenever you are working with sharp loose objects, you need to protect your eyes. Make sure that you are wearing the protective eyewear that is necessary for the task you have at hand.

Consider the worst possible scenarios. A nail could shoot off, come flying, and hit you right in the eye. If you are using a pneumatic machine, you need to be aware that wooden shavings or other debris might enter your eye while working.

If that happens, do not put your hand to it. Beat your initial instincts of itching the eyes, and go and wash it with lots of water.

To avoid this hazard altogether, wear big eye protective goggles or glasses that will particularly help you to keep away from accidents such as this.

  • Check The Nailer Gun Before You Start

With a pneumatic nailer, you need to check if the air pressure is working properly even before you start putting the nails into the machine.

Press the plunger a few times and see if its properly functioning. If you feel that the buttons and springs are a little tight, then oil them. Put in the nails only when everything is working smoothly. Otherwise, the nails might get stuck and cause a bigger problem.

  • Put The Nails In Carefully

If everything is clean and running smoothly, then you can put the nails into the nailer. Choose nails that are compatible with the machine in terms of the size, quality, strength, and the thickness of the material you will be working on.

Hold the nailer gun in front of you. Then tilt the nailer away from your face, and insert the nails carefully.

Sometimes, in extreme circumstances, if you have a high-pressure hose on the pneumatic machine, there might be an explosion when the nail is put inside it. So you need to be aware of that. This is why you should always tilt the gun away from your face, so that water doesn’t hit your face at such high speeds.

  • No Fooling Around With The Nailer Gun

Never even joke about this. The nails are sharp, and they will penetrate you if they hit you.

Keep these guns away from children. If a nail stays stuck inside the gun and some kid starts playing with it, then the kid’s movement might cause the nail to come loose. If the kid then pulls the trigger on someone, it would be a horribly bad situation.

As a precautionary step, never keep your finger on the trigger at all when not working.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that this might be new to many of you. Naturally, you will have questions. So we have tried to answer them before you could even ask. Take a look.

  1. How to clear jammed nails if the automatic button doesn’t work?

First, undo the screws on the rear magazine. Then push the magazine track away from the tool. Use a screwdriver, and hammer to gently tap on the driver in the tool body in order to free up the jammed nails. After you are done, reassemble the magazine, put the screws back on and you are good to go.

  1. Can I use a different size of nails than what is mentioned in the box?

No. The nail holder is made with a special depth adjustment system that will only be compatible with nails of a certain size.

  1. How can I reduce the noise from the compressor?

Reduce the air pressure on the compressor. The noise will also come down.

  1. Are staples a bad idea even if I focus on the price?

Yes, staples are a poor alternative to nails. They leave marks around the area of the target and do not last very long anyway.

  1. Do I need to oil my compressor?

There are two types of compressors. Oil-less and oil-splash compressors. Check the label on the box to check which one you have. If it’s an oil-splash compressor, you need to oil it twice a month. If it’s oil-less, then you only have to rub the loose dirt away with a soft piece of cotton cloth.

Final Words

Never compromise on the quality of these guns because they are a pretty expensive purchase. Now that you know all about them, go and buy the best flooring nailer you can get.

As long as you keep all the factors in mind, you won’t go wrong. Best of luck!

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