As someone who loves personalizing stuff, I’ve always loved the idea of crafting and creating things on my own. And so, when I got my first nail gun, I was ecstatic to make my first piece—a hanging shelf, but the end result was disappointing.
Apart from my beginner skills, I noticed how often the nail gun would jam and leave dents on the pieces. After talking to a friend who crafts often, I realized a lot of stuff that I didn’t consider before buying, and my next purchase changed everything.
It felt like the best nail gun for crafts I could own! I couldn’t believe the difference it made, and since then, I’ve created a lot of things that I am proud of and also have gone through quite a few nail guns, each better and worse than the other.
But today, I’ll tell you about my absolute favorites that have helped me create many wonderful pieces, and I would recommend them to anyone who is interested in crafting.
5 Best Nail Gun for Crafts
From award-winning to versatile and high-quality, I have tried a lot of nail guns, but I assure you these are the best! So, be sure to check them out; you won’t be disappointed.
1. Metabo HPT NP35AM 1-3/8 in. 23-Gauge Micro Pin Nailer
If you are searching for a reliable and reputable nail gun, then what could be more convincing than one that has been awarded for being Pro Preferred for straight 7 years? From 2014 up until the last year 2020, Builder and Developer Magazine has rated it as the most popular among pros.
The tool weighs only about 2 pounds or 0.9 kilograms, making it a truly lightweight pin nailer. This makes it easier to work with as most of these tools tend to be on the heavier side that causes difficulty in working for long hours.
Besides that, it uses dual triggers to makes sure you don’t accidentally press the trigger and make a mistake in your work. The two triggers work simultaneously to release the pin nail into the work board, helping you get more accuracy while firing.
Moreover, the magazine of the tool can adjust automatically to different pin nail lengths. It can fit 5/8 inches, 1 inch, ¾ inches, 1 3/8 inches, and 1 3/16 inches fastener lengths.
So, you can use it on a variety of different materials and thicknesses. From projects like small molding and trimming to assembling picture frames, cabinets, glazed beads, and other crafts, you can do it all with this nail gun.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Uses dual triggers for more accuracy in firing
- The magazine can auto-adjust to different fastener lengths
- Suitable for small to big crafting projects
- Pro Preferred since 2014
- Nose of the tool might need adjusting for accurate shots
2. Freeman PP123 Pneumatic 23-Gauge 1” Micro Pinner
Made in the USA, this nail gun is a pneumatic pinner or uses compressed gas or air as power for shooting the nails instead of other sources.
This makes it a quite powerful tool for crafting. Not to mention, it is also very lightweight due to it being filled with mostly air.
Its body is constructed from aluminum, which adds to the tool’s overall lightweight nature along with making it durable as well. And thanks to its ergonomic grip handle design, it is easy and much more comfortable to hold while working.
Moreover, it comes with a safety mechanism on the trigger. This will prevent you from firing accidentally. You can turn the safety mechanism on if you have kids around the house and safely do your work.
The pinner is the perfect tool for hobby work to molding, jewelry cases, decorative trims, small picture frames, and other crafts. Besides, it has an anti-dust cap or filters to stop jams and the debris from mixing into the air.
- Constructed from durable aluminum
- Offers an ergonomic grip handle design
- The safety mechanism prevents from firing accidentally
- Equips an anti-dust cap to stop jams and the debris mixing into the air
- There is no tip pressure safety mechanism
3. Hitachi NY50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer
This Hitachi or now renamed Metabo HPT brad nailer, is a high-quality 18-gauge brad nailer and is ideal for a lot of different crafts and projects, including furniture building.
The tool offers selective actuation or operating modes for the user. You can change between continuous and intermittent firing with the help of a switch! This allows you to choose to fire with more accuracy or to fire as needed continuously.
Plus, the tool is well balanced and lightweight, weighing just about 2.2 pounds or 0.99 kilograms. So, you can use it all day without tiring your arms.
Along with that, it offers an elastomer grip which is more comfortable gripping the tool for a long time. It helps to prevent any accidental slippage of the product as well, thus providing you with more security.
Moreover, it is tool-less, which makes it easier to clear the nose of the tool. As a result, you can extract the jammed nail quicker than ever and also prevent further jamming with easy maintenance.
- Ideal for different smaller crafts to furniture building
- Offers to switch between continuous and intermittent firing mode
- Lightweight; weighs only 2.2 pounds
- The elastomer grip provides comfort while gripping and prevent slippage
- Easy and quick to extract jammed nails
- Not ideal for professional work
- Doesn’t have a dry-fire lockout feature
4. YEAHOME 4-in-1 Stapler Gun
For a simpler yet effective classic nail gun alternative for crafting, you go for a stapler gun like this one. It is much easier and convenient to use.
This is a versatile stapler gun entirely made of chrome steel. Not only that, but it also comes with a chrome finish on top, which made the entire gun very durable and tough.
You can use different stapler shapes or types in it that include the D-Type, U-Type, and T-Type. And the kit delivers 1000 pieces of all these types with the tool, so you don’t have anything extra to buy to use it.
Moreover, the stapler gun offers power or pressure adjustment for your projects. You can change it between low to high pressure using the screw lever. This means you can adjust its use on softer and harder materials without ruining them.
The magazine is constructed from steel and has a bottom load design which makes it easier to load the staples in. You will also be getting a user manual to solve any issue or problem using the tool.
- Versatile and easy to use
- Fits D, U, and T-type staples and offers 1000 piece of each with the kit
- Allows high to low-pressure adjustments
- Made of chrome-steel with chrome plating
- Bottom load design makes it faster to re-load
- The end of the stapler remover can be a bit weak and flimsy
5. Arrow CO LLC T50DCD Cordless Electric Staple Gun
If you think the previous stapler gun was weak or didn’t meet your expectation, then surely this electric staple gun will change your mind.
The tool is cordless as well, so you can charge and take it with you wherever you need to. It uses a 3.6-volt internal lithium-ion battery which, combined with the brand’s breakthrough design, creates a powerful tool.
In fact, it is about 25 percent more powerful than other competitive cordless tools on the market. You can fire up to 500 full power shots with a full charge.
And thanks to the oversized trigger, you get more area to adjust and aim accurately. Plus, with the soft over-molded grip, you won’t feel any discomfort using it for long.
Other safety features include a staple viewing window to help you learn where you are firing and prevent you from misfiring or injuring yourself. There is also a convenient battery indicator light for you to know when it needs charging.
- 25 percent more powerful than other competitive cordless tools
- Can fire up to 500 full power shots with a full charge
- The oversized and over-molded trigger provides comfort using
- Includes a staple viewing window to prevent misfiring
- Offers a convenient battery indicator light
- The battery might not last very long
Things to Consider Before Buying
Crafting nail guns are not that cheap. So, you might want to look for these traits and features along with your preference in mind before purchasing.
First, consider what type of nail gun will be the best for your use. These types are mainly based on power and force sources.
Corded or electric nailers use direct power or electricity to work. So, you need to have a power source near your workspace or crafting area. Luckily, many corded nailers have a very long cord for you to use without much of a problem.
- Cordless Nailers
Cordless nailers are another electric nailer, except they use batteries to work. You need to charge as often as you use the tool. They can be quite powerful, but you might want to double-check on the batteries as some can die really quickly or perform poorly.
- Pneumatic Nailers
Pneumatic nailers have become quite popular among people. It uses compressed or pressurized air to fire the nails. This makes them easily one of the most powerful nailers out there. However, its maintenance and use, in the long run, can be quite costly.
A good performance is a must if you want your crafts to be smooth and how you wish them to be. The nail gun or nailer should easily be able to drive through wood without leaving any marks or dents on the board.
If you are aiming for small trimming and designs, then power is a big factor. On the other hand, jamming can hinder the progress and the work, so look for nail guns with a tool-less feature and or that comes with a dust cup to capture all the debris before it jams the mechanism.
Be sure to check the weight of the tool before buying. If it is over 3 pounds or 1.3 kilograms, using it for hours might get difficult. You want your tool to be very lightweight, under 2 pounds or 0.9 kilograms.
Maintaining tools is very important if you want to be able to use them for many, many years without issue. But in that sense, the tool also must be easy to maintain.
One of the most common problems with nail guns is jamming. And to be able to remove the jam, you need to open the magazine and clear out the debris. So, it is essential that the process can be done quickly and easily. If it is in any way hard to clean the tool, I recommend you look for another one.
Lastly, you want to check the quality of the nail gun, which corresponds to the durability of the product. Being lightweight as well as durable, aluminum is a favorite choice among people for such tools.
Chrome and steel are other common materials used, and they can be quite durable as well but on the heavier side.
Is a Brad Nailer the Perfect Tool?
If you are wondering what would be best for crafting: a brad nailer or a finish nailer? Then the answer is a brad nailer.
They use tiny 18-gauge nail pins, which are perfect for attaching a light or thin trims, doing delicate designs or trims on wood, etc. These pin nails are just 0.0475 inches in cross-section or thickness, so they are barely visible on larger projects.
You can use it to make picture frames by attaching those thin and light wood trims together that would otherwise easily split using a finish nailer. Other than that, you can do many other DIYs with leftover wood and materials.
Once you have got the hang of using one, the possibilities of crafting are up to you and your abilities entirely.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best nail gun to use for crafts?
Pneumatic nail guns are the most favored for crafting due to them being firing tiny pin nails or brads, lightweight, and easy to use.
- What size air compressor do I need for a nail gun?
For a pneumatic nail gun, you might want to invest in air compressors having no less pressure than 90 PSI. It will provide your nailer with enough power to do a generous number of crafts smoothly.
- What is the best nail gun for crafting at home?
There are many options for you in the market for home crafting when it comes to nail guns. But I truly recommend any of the five that I reviewed above. Based on your preference, the most fitting one should be the best for you.
- Can I use a 16-gauge nailer for crafts?
A 16-gauge nailer will fire much thicker nails than the most common 18-gauge nailers. So, if your crafting project includes thicker woods or pieces, then they are safe to use. Other than that, it is not fit for delicate pieces like trims and veneers, etc.
- What size nail do you use for frames?
For a regular size picture frame, any pin nail smaller than 1 inch in length should be good enough to fix the pieces tightly in place.
With the help of our guide, I hope you can find the best nail gun for crafts among our recommendations. Also, keep in mind the kind of project you want to start with it to make your decision.