When it comes to framing nailers, the field is so large and wide-ranging that it’s almost impossible to find common ground on which to compare them in a tool test. For most carpenters who need to purchase a new tool, the best approach becomes determining which style of framing nailer best suits their needs. As builder Michael Springer writes, you first need to decide what nails you’ll be using before you purchase a framing nailer. These tools come in two styles, coil and stick. Coil nailers dispense coils of nails welded to thin wire; stick nailers shoot nails that have been assembled in angled sticks of 25 to 40 nails. Nail heads are either clipped or offset round. According to Springer, the must-have features for a quality framing nailer are good balance and feel; an aluminum or magnesium body; a selective-fire setting; and good depth-of-drive adjustment. Handy perks include nose magnets, built-in air filters, and nonmarring nose caps.
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