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10 Best 16 Gauge Finish Nailers 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

person using BOSTITCH BTFP71917 Finish Nailer

Finish nailers allow you to achieve a stronger and aesthetic finish when working with thick or tough materials.

Nonetheless, with there being so many finish nailers on the market, choosing a reliable one that meets your needs is not as straightforward as it might seem. This is because finish nailers differ significantly in quality.

Fortunately, if you are looking for a 16-gauge finish nailer that won’t disappoint, we’ve got you covered. We have compared the various models out there to bring you these reviews on the best 16-gauge finish nailers on the market today. There’s also a quick buying guide to help you pick the best item for your needs.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
DEWALT D51257K Finish Nailer DEWALT D51257K Finish Nailer
  • Bevvy of features
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Best Value
    Second place
    NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge Straight Finish Nailer NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge Straight Finish Nailer
  • Quick reloading mechanism
  • No-mar tip to prevent dents
  • Easy to use
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    PORTER-CABLE PCC792LA Finish Nailer PORTER-CABLE PCC792LA Finish Nailer
  • LED lights for enhanced accuracy
  • Battery-powered with a long-lasting battery
  • Ideal for professionals
  • Valu-Air T64C 16 Gauge Finish Nailer Valu-Air T64C 16 Gauge Finish Nailer
  • Can handle heavy-duty projects
  • Tool-free adjustment
  • Durable construction
  • Hitachi NT65M2S 16-Gauge Finish Nailer Hitachi NT65M2S 16-Gauge Finish Nailer
  • Variety of firing modes for versatility
  • No-mar tip for scratch prevention
  • Ergonomic handle
  • The 10 Best 16 Gauge Finish Nailers – Reviews 2020

    1. DEWALT D51257K Finish Nailer – Best Overall

    DEWALT D51257K

    DeWalt is arguably the most popular power tool manufacturer today. Their tools rarely disappoint when it comes to practicality, ease of use, and durability. Take the case of the D51257K.

    For starters, this finish nailer comes with the Sealed Lube Dial technology that lubricates the system, automatically saving you time and effort.

    The D51257K’s magazine can hold up to 100 finish nails, allowing you to work for longer before you have to refill. Moreover, it accepts a variety of nail sizes, ranging from 2d to 8d, for increased versatility.

    This unit also features a well thought out design. For example, the nail depth adjustment feature is situated on the side of the body to allow you to change depth on the fly. It also comes with an internal piston catch for enhanced accuracy as well as drive. Moreover, thanks to the tool-free jam extraction mechanism, you will not waste time removing jams.

    The DeWalt D51257K is also easy and safe to work with. It features an ergonomic non-slip handle for enhanced grip and comfort, as well as a no-mar tip to protect your project from scratches. You will also appreciate the all-around 360-degree exhaust system that prevents exhaust air from blowing directly on your face.

    However, since this unit is a straight finish nailer, you might have problems using it at an angle. Nonetheless, when you consider the versatility, ease of use, accuracy, and durability of the DeWalt D51257K, that drawback is nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

    • Bevvy of features
    • Durable
    • Lightweight
    • Reasonable price
    • Comes with carrying case and sample finish nails
    • 3-year warranty, 90-day money-back guarantee
    • Difficult to use at an angle

    2. NuMax Pneumatic 16-Gauge Finish Nailer – Best Value

    NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge Straight Finish Nailer

    The Nu Max SFN64 16-gauge finish nailer is one of the best finish nailers for the money. And that’s isn’t all; It is adept at baseboards, chair rail, crown, window casing, shoe molding, and furniture trim projects.

    One of the things we liked most about this nailer is its ease of use. It features a finger depth-adjustment mechanism that makes nail depth regulation an easy and straightforward process.

    This tool is also designed for comfort. It features an ergonomic handle with an enhanced grip to allow you to use the nailer for longer without fatigue, in addition to maximizing your accuracy, thanks to having better control. Moreover, its lightweight frame reduces the onset of fatigue further.

    You will also appreciate the adjustable exhaust system on the NuMax SFN64, as it allows you to direct the air away from your face. Durability should not be of concern, thanks to its aluminum construction, and with its no-mar tip, you can rest easy knowing that it will not cause any dents on your materials.

    While this finish nailer might not be ideal for professional craftspeople, it is more than equipped to handle small-scale projects.

    • Best value for money
    • Quick reloading mechanism
    • No-mar tip to prevent dents
    • Easy to use
    • Lightweight
    • Ergonomic handle for comfort
    • Not ideal for heavy-duty or professional use

    3. PORTER-CABLE Finish Nailer – Premium Choice

    PORTER-CABLE PCC792LA Finish Nailer

    If you are looking for a finish nailer for heavy-duty or professional use, you definitely won’t ignore quality and reliability. The PCC792LA by Porter-Cable offers you just that. Don’t forget; the Porter-Cable is among the most reputable brands in the power tools industry.

    The first thing you should know about this finish nailer is that it is entirely battery-powered. This means you will not need any compressor, hose, or expensive gas cartridges.

    The 20V battery on this nailer will allow you to drive up to 1,000 nails on a single charge. And that’s not all. The PCC792LA’s motor features an ingenious design that allows it to provide consistent firing into a vast array of materials across a wide range of climatic conditions.

    This tool’s design also makes it one of the user-friendliest finish nailers out there today. It comes with built-in LED lights to enhance your accuracy, as well as tool-free settings to enhance your productivity and safety while working.

    At only 6.5 pounds, the lightweight design of the Porter-Cable PCC792LA is easy to manuever, in addition to allowing you to work for longer before you start to tire. It also features an ergonomic handle for comfort.

    The PCC792LA by Porter-Cable is one of the best finish nailers in production today. It is easy to use, comfortable and gets the job done. It is a bit pricey, which is why we could not have it as our top pick.

    • Easy to use
    • Comfortable
    • Lightweight
    • Tool-free adjustment
    • LED lights for enhanced accuracy
    • Battery-powered with a long-lasting battery
    • Ideal for professionals
    • Pricey

    4. Valu-Air T64C 16 Gauge Finish Nailer

    Valu-Air T64C Finish Nailer

    Who said that you have to skimp on quality if you are on a budget? The Valu-Air T64C offers a rare combination of affordability, great workmanship, and versatility.

    For starters, this finish nailer supports a wide variety of nail sizes, ranging from 7/8 inches to 2-11/2 inches. As such, you can utilize it for a diverse array of projects, including baseboards, decorative trims, bedding, chair rail, molding, kitchen cabinet, paneling, window casing, and furniture.

    The Valu-Air T64C is also remarkably durable as well, thanks to heat-treated aluminum housing, thus making it ideal for heavy-duty use. Moreover, aluminum is a lightweight material, thus allowing you to enjoy a light tool without sacrificing durability.

    Thanks to the tool-free nose latch on this finish nailer, clearing nail jams is incredibly easy. It features a no-mar tip that protects the surfaces you are working on, as well as an adjustable 360-degree exhaust deflector to direct air away from your face.

    With its tendency to fire blanks, however, the T64C might not be the most efficient finish nailer out there.

    • Affordable
    • Can handle heavy-duty projects
    • Tool-free adjustment
    • Durable construction
    • Fires blanks occasionally

    5. Hitachi NT65M2S 16-Gauge Finish Nailer

    Hitachi NT65M2S 16-Gauge Finish Nailer

    The Hitachi NT65M2S is a joy to work with. There are few other finish nailers that allow you the freedom this unit allows when it comes to modifying various settings for enhanced ease of use.

    This finish nailer accepts a variety of nail sizes, ranging from 1 to 2.5 inches. Thanks to the tool-less extraction mechanism, removing stuck nails should be a walk in the park.

    Weighing in at only 3.7 pounds, the Hitachi NT65M2S is one of the lightest finish nailers on the market today. As a result, you get to enjoy unparalleled levels of maneuverability, allowing you to work in awkward angles. Additionally, it means that you can work longer without fatigue. It also features elastomer-wrapped ergonomic handles for a better grip and comfort.

    This tool comes with two modes of firing: Bump fire and sequential fire. In the bump fire mode, the nailer shoots automatically when the tip is in contact with the surface. In the sequential mode, you will have to press the surface firmly first to activate the trigger and start firing. This allows you to meet the varying demands of different projects. Nonetheless, this means that you will need to learn how to use the machine properly before you start using to avoid injuries from accidental firing, especially in the bump fire mode.

    • Variety of firing modes for versatility
    • No-mar tip for scratch prevention
    • Ergonomic handle
    • Lightweight
    • 360-degree rotating exhaust portal
    • Not ideal for beginners

    6. Metabo Finish Nailer with Integrated Air Duster

    Metabo NT65M2S HPT Finish Nailer

    In case you were not aware, Hitachi now goes under the brand name of Metabo. Therefore, do not give Metabo’s products a wide berth thinking it is a new company.

    The NT65M2S by Metabo HPT is a fantastic finish nailer that has been designed to meet the needs of professionals.

    This unit comes with an ergonomic flip actuation switch that allows you to toggle between bump fire and sequential firing modes seamlessly. This design enhances not only your versatility, but also your efficiency and productivity as well. It accepts nails ranging from 1 inch to 2.5 inches.

    You will also appreciate the integrated air duster mechanism that directs air from the compressor to the front of the unit. It also features a fully adjustable 360-degree exhaust port that allows you to direct air away from your face while working.

    To protect your work from scratches, this finish nailer comes with a no-mar tip. Additionally, it features an elastomer grip for a more secure hold as well as comfort.

    This product, however, does not work very well in the cold.

    • Flip actuation switch that allows you to toggle between different firing modes
    • Versatile
    • Has a no-mar tip to prevent scratches
    • Lightweight
    • Not ideal for use in cold places

    7. Makita AF601 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nailer

    Makita AF601 Straight Finish Nailer

    The Makita AF601 is a pneumatic straight finish nailer that is excellent for a wide variety of projects. It features a compact design to allow for use in tight spaces, in addition to having a durable build that assures you reliability.

    The Makita AF601 comes with a highly efficient motor that provides you with excellent performance while not requiring a lot of maintenance. It features a rear-loading magazine that can hold up to 100 finish nails of various sizes ranging from 1 to 2.5 inches. Thanks to its nail lockout mechanism, the Makita Af60 rarely fires blanks.

    You will also appreciate the ergonomic switches it comes with to allow you to toggle between sequential and bump firing on the fly. For further ease of use, this finish nailer allows for tool-free depth adjustments. Nonetheless, it is still prone to jamming

    • Features a lockout mechanism that prevents dry firing
    • Compact size to allow for use in tight spaces
    • Lightweight
    • Durable
    • Prone to jamming

    8. BOSTITCH BTFP71917 Finish Nailer

    BOSTITCH BTFP71917 Finish Nailer

    The Bostitch BTFP71917 finish nailer can handle nail sizes ranging from 1.25 to 2.5 inches.

    It features a small design to allow for easier placement of nails. You will also be getting a tool-free jam release mechanism to allow for the fast and safe removal of jammed fasteners. And that is only part of the deal because they have also thrown in a Dial-a-Depth feature to allow for accurate countersinking of nails.

    Unfortunately, this finish nailer isn’t appropriate for heavy-duty projects and might not be as durable as other finishers on this list.

    • Easy to use
    • Not ideal for heavy-duty use
    • Questionable durability

    9. CRAFTSMAN Cordless Finish Nailer

    CRAFTSMAN CMCN616C1 Cordless Finish Nailer

    Craftsman is renowned for its exemplary tools, and the CMCN616C1 finish nailer is a good example of this.

    For starters, it is cordless, thus eliminating the need for compressors, hoses, and gas cartridges. Its design also allows you to enjoy consistent firing power regardless of environmental factors.

    Thanks to its tool-free settings, making adjustments on this tool is remarkably easy.

    At 9 pounds, however, this is one hefty finish nailer that will fatigue you rather quickly. Furthermore, its large size means that you cannot use it in tight spaces. Additionally, it is rather expensive compared to most other models in its category.

    • Allows for quick adjustments
    • Heavy
    • Not ideal for use in tight spaces
    • Pricey

    10. Ridgid HyperDrive 16 Gauge Finish Nailer

    Ridgid HyperDrive R09892B 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nailer

    While this finish nailer by Ridgid is powerful, thanks to the Fasten Edge Technology, it can be incredibly tasking to work with.

    Weighing in at nearly 10 pounds, it is extremely heavy for a finish nailer. It is also obnoxiously loud, in addition to being prone to misfiring and jamming.

    Unless you are strictly looking for a battery-powered unit, this machine might not give you the best value for your money.

    • Powerful
    • Heavy
    • Prone to jamming and misfires

    Buyer’s Guide

    A finish nailer is one of those must-have tools for craftspeople who desire to have a professional finish on their projects. However, before you get one, you must identify your needs first. This will bring you closer to the right tool.

    In this section, we shall discuss some of the things you should consider when looking for a reliable finish nailer. The following are some of them.

    Straight vs. Angled

    Finish nailers can be either straight or angled. Each design has its inherent advantages and flaws. Let us look at both in a little more detail:

    Straight Finish Nailers

    In this design, the tip of the nailer and the cartridge are perpendicular to one another. As a result, they are able to shoot thinner nails than their angled counterparts can, thus resulting in a less visible nail head. This also means that they do not require a lot of filling. Another benefit of straight nailers is that they are typically more affordable. Moreover, their thin nails are less expensive.

    Nonetheless, this design also makes them bulky, thus limiting their use in tight spaces.

    Angled Finish Nailers

    Angled finish nailers are more popular thanks to their versatility and ease of use. They feature a design where the nail cartridge slants towards the handle, resulting in an angular design.

    The beauty of this design is that it allows the angled nailer to access tight spaces and other hard to reach areas that a straight finisher nailer cannot. They also have a smaller front end, further increasing their utility in cramped spaces.

    Another advantage that these nailers have over straight finish nailers is that they are usually more precise.

    However, they do have some drawbacks. First off, since they shoot thicker nails, it means that their work on finishing is usually more visible. They also tend to be costlier.

    While the choice between straight and angled depends on the types of projects you are involved in, it is usually a good idea to have both. However, if you must choose one, consider the angled finish nailer, as it is more versatile. If you have budget limitations, look for a high-quality straight finish nailer.

    Power Type

    Finish nailers are power tools, meaning they require a source of power to operate. When it comes to power type, they can be either electric, pneumatic, or gas-powered.

    Electric finish nailers run on electricity. They can be either corded or cordless. The corded versions tend to be more powerful, while the cordless battery-powered ones offer you the benefit of portability.

    Pneumatic finish nailers utilize air compression technology to drive nails into surfaces. They are the most popular types thanks to their power. However, they tend to be costly.

    Gas-powered finish nailers come with the benefit of power and portability. Nonetheless, they are not as popular since they are not environmentally friendly in addition to being costly.

    Magazine Type

    Finish nailers can also be categorized based on the type of magazine they come with. There are two main magazine types. These include the nail stick and the coil.

    Coil magazines are typically more convenient than nail sticks, as they can hold more nails. This allows you to work for longer before you have to refill, hence boosting your productivity. However, units that feature coil magazines tend to be more expensive.

    man using Valu-Air T64C Finish Nailer

    Size and Weight

    It is important to consider the size and weight of a finish nailer, as these factors affect its ease of use. Generally, you want a tool that is lightweight, as it allows you to work for longer before you start to tire.

    Nonetheless, make sure that the model you choose does not compromise durability for a lighter weight. When it comes to size, opt for a compact model that allows you to access most spaces with ease.

    Nail Depth Adjustment

    You want a finish nailer that allows for depth adjustments since different materials or projects have different depth requirements. While at it, look for a nailer that allows for tool-less depth adjustment, as it makes the process a lot simpler.


    As with other power tools, you want the assurance that a manufacturer has your back in case of anything. Moreover, a warranty is usually a good indicator of quality, as it shows that a manufacturer has faith in its product’s longevity and reliability. Therefore, look for a tool that comes with some form of guarantee.

    Learn more about nailers here:

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    Finish nailers are some of the most essential tools in carpentry. However, the various models on the market today differ significantly in quality and usability. Therefore, it is important to do your research before you purchase this tool.

    Thanks to its versatility, ease of use, accuracy, and durability, the DeWalt D51257K is easily one of the best finish nailers on the market today. No doubt, it is a brand that you can trust and features a great price point considering its numerous features. This is why we would recommend this finish nailer to professionals and DIYers alike.

    If you are on a budget, consider the NuMax SFN64. This finish nailer is practical, easy to use, and reliable while costing less than half the price of some models. It is an excellent option for DIYers.

    Check out the other items on this list, too, as they are also among the best finish nailers on the market today.

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