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Flooring Nailers for DIY Jedis

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Best Floor Nailer

Manual floor nailers are ideal for relatively small floor paneling jobs (e.g., a 100 square-foot area) that shouldn't take more than a day to finish. For larger jobs or for professional work, a pneumatic floor nailer will save time and can help provide consistently tight joints. Make sure to test a nailer before purchase. Both manual and pneumatic nailers should be light enough and well balanced for all-day-long use, and should be able to uniformly drive the majority of the nails or cleats straight into the floor panel (of whatever thickness they were designed to work with).

Hardwood Floor Cleat Nailer

Both manual and pneumatic cleat nailers can perform satisfactorily on hardwood floor panels. Manual nailers are expectantly less expensive (in terms of purchase price or rental cost) than the pneumatic nailers. Pneumatic nailers are appropriate for larger floor paneling jobs or when installation time is short. Nailers should be durable and perform as advertised for more than a few years. High wear parts should be easily replaceable.

Floor Nailer Review

Powernail has been producing floor nailers for more than 50 years. Manual nailers include the Model 101 Face Nailer and the Model 45 Nailer. Pneumatic models belong to the Model 445 series (LL, LS, SL, SS) which offer four choices of long (L) or short (S) handle and nail channel-guide lengths. Powernail floor nailers feature changeable adapter plates that can accommodate different thicknesses of tongue-and-groove hardwood floor panels. The nail channel is made from extruded aluminum with a wear-resistant coating. The cast aluminum body, handle, and adapter foot have a durable powder coat finish. Powernailers come in models that can drive 16-, 18-, or 20-gauge cleats.

Hardwood Flooring Cleat Nailer

Most floor nailers of all brands work just as well on hardwood floor panels as they do on laminates. Pneumatic nailers are recommended for hardwood panels because they are less likely to drive the cleat only partway into the panel. Bostitch and Porter-Cable floor nailers seem to be very popular among professional installers. These brands are well designed and include accessories that improve the performance of the base equipment.

Best Flooring Nailer

The best floor nailers are lightweight but durable. They should consistently drive the nails straight in most of the time. Nail jams should be rare and easy to clear if they occur. The ram head should not come back up fully if a nail or cleat does not sink all the way in. Well-known manufacturers include Bostitch, De WALT, Hitachi, Milwaukee, Paslode, Porta-Nails, Porter-Cable, Powernail, and Senco.

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