Trying to reach tight corners and spaces with a traditional hammer may seem like mission impossible even if you’re a professional. Using a palm nailer can get the job done fast and without any hassle.
The major advantage palm nailers offer over other types of nailers is that they provide better accuracy and depth control. They make nailing a breeze and can be put into many uses, from finishing to framing applications.
Apart from their general application in nailing hard-to-reach corners, they are also ideal for decking and flooring edges.
In this article, we are going to review the best palm nailer in the market. We hope to help you make a clean jump to the top 10 products currently available so you can save yourself the time and stress of sorting through so many options.
So if you’re ready for it, let’s delve straight in.
What Is a Palm Nailer Used for?
Palm nailers are just like your regular nailers, just that they have a different shape – more like pint-sized nail guns.
As their name suggests, they are designed to fit into your palm, generally come lighter and simpler than your regular nail guns. They are generally more comfortable to use and thus better at preventing hand fatigue.
You can use a palm nailer to do almost anything you can accomplish with a regular nailer but on a smaller scale. They are not as powerful as larger nailers and thus are generally preferable for smaller projects. You will find them very useful for working in small and tight spaces, which may not be accessible to a regular hammer.
These are extremely useful for joist hangings and are generally ideal for nailing operations that require precise position.
Overall, a palm nailer is the tool you want to go for when you want to access tight spaces and get nailing results with higher precision.
Best Palm Nailer Reviews
Below is a review of the top palm nailers currently available in the market.
BOSTITCH PN100K Impact Nailer Kit
To kick-off our list of top palm nailers in the market, here is the Impact Nailer Kit from BOSTITCH.
BOSTITCH is one of the leading brands in the world of power tools. So we can bet on the performance of their nailers.
From nailing metal connectors to constructing decks, this kit provides everything you need to accomplish numerous nailing operations.
Inside the kit, you will find three different noses you can use for a wide range of tasks. This includes a Standard Nose, a Finish Nail Nose, and a LargeBore Nose that can be used in various situations.
The Finish Nail Nose is mainly used for smaller nails while the Bore Nose is suitable for larger nails. These noses feature a magnetic tip that helps to enable a firmer attachment to the job so that the nail is always in a position you can’t miss. This allows for a more accurate and consistent result.
In addition to a magnetic tip, the tool is equipped with a recessed slot, which also helps to ensure accurate nail placement. The slot is also there to keep your hands safe by preventing direct contact.
Unlike many palm nailers, this one can be used to drive bulky nails with greater ease and accurate – thanks to the shape and design of the slot and nose.
It can handle nails up to 5 inches long, which makes it very versatile.
The tool weighs only 2.9 pounds, which makes it one of the lightest models out there. You will find it highly portable and comfortable to use. Its ergonomic design also helps to minimize fatigue when using it for extended periods.
You will need 70 – 100PSI pressure to use the nailer.
Besides all the amazing features we have described above, the nailer is also provided with various spares, tools, and oil – everything you need to start using the tool. A carry case is also supplied for easy storage and transportation.
However, some users complained about not being able to shut the case when using the nailer with the air fitting. This problem stems from the case design. A good to resolve it is to detach the Air Fitting between uses.
That said, the BOSTITCH PN100K is still one of the best value palm nailers you will find out there. For its price, you might not find a better alternative.
Metabo HPT NH90AB Palm Nailer
Originally known as the Hitachi NH90AB Mini Impact Palm Nailer, the Metabo HPT is another great tool you can rely on for numerous nailing tasks. Whether you need to install joist hangers or set up metal connectors, you will find it quite sufficient for your needs.
The Metabo HPT is one of the best-rated palm nailers you will find out there. It is reasonably priced and offers just enough power to help you handle numerous nailing operations with ease.
With 1.3 pounds weight, this is probably the lightest palm nailer on the list. So no doubt, you will find it extremely light to handle. You will find it very easy to get to those hard-to-reach corners. However, the extreme lightness of the tool also means you may have a little problem with control if you have very heavy hands.
That said, the nailer is compact and is neither a mini nor full-sized palm nailer, just somewhere in-between. It also comes with a rubber grip that makes it comfortable to hold and reduces vibration.
The magnetic nose helps to keep your nails or screws in position for accurate finishing. Like the BOSTITCH PN100K, this model is also suitable for bulky nails, though it doesn’t accept up to 5 inches nails as Bostitch does. To be more specific, the tool accepts fasteners between 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches.
The swivel fitting can turn 360 degrees; this helps to keep the hose out of your way and increases the maneuverability of the nailer. A front exhaust is also provided to direct air away from you and the work area.
With only 1.3 pounds weight, this device is extremely lightweight and easy to handle. Notwithstanding, it still delivers more power than many standard palm nailers out there.
Overall, this is a great tool to add to your work arsenal. We have no doubt you will totally appreciate it.
Freeman Pneumatic Mini Palm Nailer
Working in tight spaces requires a lot of stability, which you can only get with a good palm nailer. The Freeman PMPN doesn’t only provide all the stability you need but also ensures you work with great precision.
Whether you need to drive a 16D nail or 18D, you will be surprised at how easy it is when you use a tool like the Freeman PMPN.
As the name suggests, this is a mini palm nailer, which means it is one of the smallest you can get. But don’t be deceived by its small size; it is actually more powerful than many large models in the market.
Like many high-end models, this nailer comes with a magnetic tip, which helps to ensure accurate positioning of nails. It is lightweight and has an ergonomic design that makes it highly portable and easy to use.
The outer body is made of steel, which is responsible for its low weight and toughness. In fact, in terms of durability, there are very few ‘minis’ that can match this nailer. Its compact design makes it easy to reach those confined spaces and suitable for sensitive nailing tasks.
With less than 2 pounds weight, this is one of the lightest palm nailers you will find out there.
The tool features a magnet at the tip, which helps to ensure the proper positioning of nails for greater precision. It accepts 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches nails, which makes it suitable for projects that require you to drive bulky nails in tight spaces.
Overall, we are impressed with this nailer. We highly recommend it for DIY projects in the home as it doesn’t require a big compressor.
PORTER-CABLE PN650 Palm Nailer Kit
Next on our list is one of the best-rated palm nailers out there – the PORTER-CABLE PN650.
Built to offer great comfort and performance, the PN650 is one of the most popular palm nailers you will find in the market right now. And like the other models we’ve reviewed so far, it comes fully equipped to enable you to start working straight away.
The tool is made in the US, so you can rely on its quality. It is an ideal palm nailer you want to have in your tool chest. No longer will you struggle to put a nail in any tight corner again.
As expected, the tool is lightweight, which means you can use it for extended periods without getting tired. It weighs only 4.45 pounds and works with a pressure-activated engine.
You will be impressed by its stylish design, which makes it highly attractive. The comfort level of the nailer is also incredible – thanks to its leather case and integrated strap. There are not many guns that can match the ergonomics of this one.
It will also interest you to know that the tool can accept a wide variety of nails, from 1-1/4 to 6-1/2 inches long. This makes it one of the most versatile palm nailers out there.
It is also equipped with four different tips, not two or three. These include steel hammer, standard, magnetic, and wide nail tip. This gives a lot of placement and removal options, which makes the tool even more versatile.
Depth adjustment is also provided so you can control the depth of the drive. This ensures your nails don’t end up going shallow or too deep into the wooden material.
While this may not be the fastest nail guns out there, it is one of those you can rely on for a stable performance. It doesn’t jam too much and can run for a long time without any interruption. All the noses are made of high-grade steel, which makes the entire tool very sturdy and durable.
We highly recommend this nailer for working in confined spaces. You might not find a better deal out there.
3PLUS HMPN50SP Mini Palm Nailer
If you’re shopping on a tight budget but still want a palm nailer that can deliver, then the HMPN50SP mini model by 3PLUS would make a great choice.
This high-performing palm nailer is your best bet for squeezing into tight spaces and working around the home.
This nailer is one of the most affordable palm nailers out there that really provides great value for your money. It is hard to imagine anything out there with the same price that is of better quality or performance.
But despite being cheap, it comes with all the features you would normally expect to find in a standard palm nailer and even more. And like any other premium tool, it works for both beginners and professionals.
The first thing you will notice about the tool is its solid body construction, which largely consists of die-cast aluminum. It also features an ergonomic grip, which makes it very comfortable to handle, much to the delight of users.
With less than a pound weight, this is one of the lightest palm nailers out there — no need to worry about hand fatigue when you have this as your companion.
The nailer’s nose features a magnet that helps to properly position your nail, while the inclusion of a front exhaust ensures safe operation by directing spent air away from you. More so, you don’t have to worry about slippage anymore while using this tool.
Like most high-end models, you can use the 3PLUS HMPN50SP for almost any type of nailing operation. Its only limitation is a small size, which might make it less suitable for large projects. That said, it can be used for most DIY jobs, which may include fencing, joist hanging, decking, and others.
The nailer can accommodate nails up to 4-inches long, which is not bad.
Overall, this is a versatile palm nailer that offers exceptional performance. It is lightweight, easy to use, and suitable for everyone.
PORTER-CABLE PN350 Mini Impact Palm Nailer
PORTER-CABLE PN350 is another small nailer that comes in handy for most woodworking projects. It adopts a minimalist design, which might be different from anything you’ve seen on the list.
But despite being simple and small, it still manages to deliver all the power you need to accomplish most nailing operations. You will also discover that it has everything you would expect to find in a regular-sized palm nailer.
The tool weighs only 1.1 pounds, which makes it one of the lightest options out there. You can use it for long hours without developing hand fatigue.
As indicated earlier, it has a simple design and requires 50 to 120PSI pressure. This means you can use it with a portable compressor, especially when operating it around 50PSI pressure.
Like the previous models, it also features a front exhaust that helps to direct spent air away from your hands. This is one of the safety features you should look out for in any palm nailer or pneumatic nail guns generally.
A swivel male connector is added to prevent the tangling or twisting of your hose. This contributes to the maneuverability of the tool, making it more comfortable to use.
You can apply the nailer to different projects, ranging from framing to hanging metal connectors.
The tool also features a recessed slot that enables you to position the nails properly. Its compact design also allows for easy storage.
The nailer also has a multi-blow function, which makes it suitable for most framing nails as well as those for connecting metals.
The major downside we found with the PORTER-CABLE PN350 is that it’s quite small. Even though this is expected for palm nailers, this one is smaller than expected. This makes it unsuitable for large nails. People with large hands might also find tool-less controllable.
Notwithstanding, this is still an awesome palm nailer with an unbeatable price. It might be less than the palm nailer out there, but you will surely get good value for your money.
Senco PC0781 Pneumatic Palm Nailer
The SencoPC0781 is another budget-friendly mini palm nailer that is built to last.
Like any other pneumatic nailer, it provides incredible power, which makes it ideal for working on both soft and hard surfaces. The engine can handle up to 125PSI pressure, which is quite impressive; the highest you can get with similar models is 120PSI.
Thus you can use the tool for almost any kind of installation task.
To ensure comfortable handling, the device features a leather grip and a rubber pad that feels soft on the palm.
While most users expressed their satisfaction with the level of comfort provided by the nailer, there are still few that complained that it was too small. But the little size could actually be to your own advantage as it ensures you can work for longer hours without getting tired.
The tool weighs only 2.5 pounds, which makes it very easy to maneuver. You will find it super easy to reach those tight spaces your regular hammer would never get to.
Despite its small size, the nailer can handle any material, whether it’s sheet metal or hardwood. It features a magnetic nail guide and can accept 5D to 70D nails up to 5 inches long.
Another thing we like about this nailer is that it is tough and durable. It can withstand rough handling and can drive bulky nails with ease. This makes it suitable for both small and large projects. It could have been an all-round nailer, except for its small size.
We highly recommend this SencoPalm Nailer for occasional projects that require you to drive nails in hard-to-reach locations. It works great for both beginners and professionals.
Milwaukee M12 Cordless Palm Nailer
If you don’t like the idea of using an air compressor with your palm nailer, then opting for a battery-powered model will be a perfect move.
One of the major advantages of this type of nailers offer is their convenience and flexibility – you can use them from almost anywhere. The Milwaukee M12 is one of the best models you will find in this category.
Like any other palm nailer, it is designed to reach into very small spaces. However, its compact design makes this a lot easier. This makes it the perfect companion to have when faced with a lot of nailing work.
The tool has a long battery life and a rapid charger that ensures you experience minimal downtimes. You will find it sufficient for many DIY nailing tasks around the home.
An LED light is included to illuminate the workspace; this is really important when working in low light areas. Most tight spaces are normally dark, so you will find this feature really handy.
The nailer can accommodate 6D-16D nails, which is quite impressive. A hand strap is included to ensure comfortable operation and reduce fatigue. Moreover, the tool also has a special nose design, which includes a magnetic tip that ensures proper nail placement.
The mere fact this is a battery-powered model makes it highly portable. You don’t need to attach it to any compressor. A carrying bag is also provided for easy storage.
Overall, this is a great tool to add to your arsenal if you need something you can easily carry around. However, since it runs on battery, you might find it less powerful for large projects.
Carpenter CMPN90 Mini Impact Palm Nailer
If you’re looking for a palm nailer under $50 that will be handy for most DIY tasks around the home, then the Carpenter CMPN90 will make a great choice.
Despite being very affordable, this nailer boasts of a reliable build-quality and brings a lot to the table. It is arguably the best small palm nailer you will find out there for its price.
One of the first things you will notice about the tool is its ergonomic design, which features a comfortable rubber grip that makes it very easy to use and handle. This also helps to reduce vibrations so you can work with greater precision.
With less than 1 pound weight, you will be able to use the nailer for prolonged periods without getting tired from hand fatigue. Experience shows that working with a lightweight tool also helps to increase accuracy.
The nailer is suitable for shooting round head nails in seconds, and it works with all sizes of nails. Its small and compact design makes it perfect for working in confined areas where it may be difficult to use a hammer.
Interestingly, the tool features a magnet to hold nails, thus allowing for easy positioning. When using it for the first time, you don’t need to lubricate it as this has already been done. In other words, you can start using it right out of the box. All you need is to connect to an air compressor.
The major downside with this unit is that it’s noisy, but this shouldn’t be surprising considering how powerful it is. However, you can get around the noise by wearing ear protection.
Overall, this is a great tool for working on confined spaces. For its price, you might not find a better alternative.
Estwing EMPN – Pneumatic Mini Palm Nailer
Rounding up our list of palm nailers in the market is the Estwing EMPN.
Estwing might not be the most popular brand out there, but this high-quality palm nailer from the company is one of the best you will find in the market for its price.
Like any other palm nailer, it is designed to take away inconvenience that comes from trying to access tight corners with a traditional hammer. It is extremely easy to maneuver and will get to those confined areas you can’t reach with your regular hammer – thanks to its small size and lightweight. You will find it very useful for fencing and joist hangers.
One of the major features that separate this nailer from many in the same category is its fast rapid hammering action. Many users said they were surprised at how fast it was.
It basically operates like most power nailers; simply position a nail in the magnetic nose, then press to release the nail into the material you’re working on. The magnetic nose saves you the pain of holding the nail by yourself. The device can work with 6D-16D nails that are between 2 to 4 inches long.
You will also love the compact design of the tool, which makes it easy to handle. Like most palm nailers, it is lightweight and offers a tool-free depth adjustment that grants you greater control over the depth of each drive.
Its rubber grip also adds to its comfort and minimizes vibration. A magnetic nail holder is provided to ensure accurate nail placement.
The tool also features a 360-degree swivel that makes it very flexible for confined spaces. An anti-dust cap is included to protect the interior, thereby increasing the lifespan of the nailer.
Overall, this Estwing palm nailer is a great choice if you need something to drive a wide variety of nails in tight spaces without any restriction.
How to Choose the Best One?
If you’ve gone through the reviews, then you may have some ideas about what features to look out for when choosing a palm nailer. However, if you’re yet to figure that out, then we’ve written this section to help you out.
With this in mind, here are the key things you should keep in mind when you’re shopping for a palm nailer.
Palm nailers are divided into two types based on their power sources. There are those that rely on compressed air and those that are powered by batteries.
Whether you want to use an air-compressed (pneumatic) model or an electric model is entirely up to you.
But electric palm nailers are generally more convenient, portable, and comfortable to use. They are also cheaper and easier to maintain than the pneumatic models.
On the other hand, pneumatic models are more powerful.
Again, the one you choose will depend on your individual preference and the nature of your project.
Working with a heavy power tool doesn’t only reduce your efficiency but also increases the time you spend on the job. This is why it’s important to go for something that is lightweight and easy to handle.
Like many other power nailers, palm nailers are meant to be used with one hand, so it’s vital the tool is designed in a way that makes it easy to maneuver.
A lightweight palm nailer will greatly reduce fatigue, especially when you use the tool for a long period.
However, you don’t want the tool to be “too light” as this makes control difficult. We recommend between 1 to 5 pounds of weight.
In addition to a low weight, you also want something that will fit perfectly in your palm.
Comfort should always be your priority whenever you’re using any power tool.
You want a nailer that is not only powerful but also comfortable to use. Anything less can jeopardize your safety.
Ideally, the nailer should have an ergonomic design that includes a handle with a soft grip. It should fit nicely in your palm.
Certain features are not necessary for a palm nailer, but they make it more convenient to use.
Models that offer these features are usually more efficient, comfortable, and easier to use compared to those that don’t come with them. You might not find all these features in one model, so it’s important you shop according to your needs.
Chief among these features include an LED light to illuminate the work surface, a cover or strap to minimize vibration, a carrying bag to store the tool and keep it safe from dust, and so on.
Many palm nailers only offer a single tip for holding nails. This is not a big deal, provided this is what you need.
However, some models also offer multiple tips for different types of nails. You may find these ones are more useful for different applications. Usually, the more tip there is, the more versatile the tool is.
So instead of just one tip, you might want to go for a model with multiple tips that you can easily interchange depending on the needs of your project.
We also recommend going for magnetic tips as this helps to ensure accurate nail placement. This doesn’t only help you to get precise results but also ensures you don’t hurt your fingers.
Types of Palm Nailer
We will like to point out that all nailers operate the same way regardless of the type.
Meanwhile, there are basically two types of palm nailers you will find in the market – Pneumatic and Electric (or cordless).
As the name suggests, pneumatic palm nailers are those that are powered by compressed air. They are the most common type of nailers you will find in the market.
You can guess why they are so popular – they make use of air compressors, which is something you will readily find in most homes.
Pneumatic palm nailers do not come with a built-in motor, so they are generally lighter than the electric models. They usually require operating pressures between 50 to 125PSI.
The major downside with this type of palm nailers is that they need to be connected to an air compressor. This makes it difficult to carry them around.
Most electric palm nailers in the market are powered by batteries, usually 18V or 24V. Unlike pneumatic models, they don’t need to be attached to an air compressor. This makes them highly portable.
They are also lightweight but less powerful than the pneumatic models.
In terms of price, Electric palm nailers also tend to cost more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do palm nailers work?
All palm nails basically work the same way. The nail to be driven is held in a magnetized nose. Then you get hold of the grip and apply pressure to drive the nail into the material. You can control the depth of the drive by the amount of pressure you apply on the grip.
Should I use a palm nailer in place of a nail gun?
The simple answer is ‘no.’ While palm nailers are highly versatile, they are not meant to replace your regular nail guns. We recommend having both nailers in your tool chest, especially if you’re using them for business.
Should I opt for an electric or pneumatic palm nailer?
It all depends on your personal preference. Both basically do the same thing. However, while pneumatic models are more powerful, electric models have the upper hand when it comes to convenience.
What is the best palm nailer?
There is no direct answer to this. Anyone of the products above could easily make a palm nailer depending on your needs.
How do I purchase these products?
To purchase any one of the items above, simply click on the corresponding link to go to the product page.
We’ve finally come to the end of our palm nailers review. It is now up to you to decide which one works best for you.
Don’t go all out for features – instead, choose a model that can do what you want.
Having palm nailer by your side will not only make your work easier but also save you time.
If you have any more questions you will like us to answer, please drop a comment in the comment section.