The Best Cordless Nail Guns: Top 5 of 2023

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Dewalt Nailer

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When it comes to DIY projects, having the right tools for both efficiency and quality of work is really important. Having a cordless nail gun is absolutely one of those tools. I’ve used pneumatic nail guns for years, but ever since I picked up my DeWalt 20V max finish nailer about 2 years ago, the game has changed. No more lugging around a compressor and getting tangled in hoses, these bring complete freedom.

In this review, I’ve tried to pick out the best cordless nailers that most DIY’ers might be interested in. I’ve focused on brad nailers, but the analysis is valid for a wide range of nailers from 23 gauge pin nailers, to 18 gauge brad nailers up to framing nailers. My reviewing method is structured, comprehensive and un-biased, it’s uncanny how often my overall best and Runner up are DeWalt vs Milwaukee, these two giants make some great tools.

DeWalt 20V MAX XR Milwaukee M18 FUEL Ryobi 18V One+ Metabo HPT 18V Craftsman V20
DeWalt 20V MAX XR Milwaukee M18 FUEL Ryobi 18V One+ Metabo HPT 18V Craftsman V20
$302.95* $579.99* $189.99* $199.00* $243.99*
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*Price at the time of this review

Product Reviews

Our Mission & How We Review Products

At, we are dedicated to providing our readers with comprehensive and reliable product reviews. Drawing on 35+ years of engineering expertise, having owned nine homes, along with being seasoned DIY’ers, we meticulously research the products we recommend. From appliances to the latest gadgets, to an extensive array of tools, we’ve seen it all. When we recommend a product, it’s after the same rigorous evaluation we would employ for our own purchases.

Our mission is to ensure you always make an informed choice. We personally use or test many of the products recommended.

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We sift through detailed product specifications, analyze user reviews, cross-reference findings from various sources to identify the top selections then list the Pros and cons. Our Job is to do comprehensive research for you to make the best buying decision.

Benefits of Cordless Nail Guns for DIY Projects

Cordless nail guns have revolutionized the way DIYers approach their projects. The absence of cords and hoses offers unmatched mobility, allowing you to move freely around your workspace. This flexibility is particularly beneficial when working in tight or elevated spaces. Moreover, the latest models boast impressive battery life and power, rivaling their pneumatic counterparts. The convenience of a cordless design, combined with the power to drive nails efficiently, makes these tools a must-have for any serious DIYer.

How to Choose the Right Cordless Nail Gun

Choosing the right cordless nailer involves considering several factors to ensure you get a tool that meets your specific needs. Here’s a guide to help you make the right choice.

  1. Understand the Project Requirements:
    • Type of Work: Determine the nature of your projects. For delicate trim and molding, a brad nailer (18-gauge) is ideal. For heavier trim work, a finish nailer (15 or 16-gauge) is more suitable. For construction projects like framing, a framing nailer is necessary.
    • Material Thickness: Thicker materials require nails with greater holding power, which means opting for a lower gauge nailer such as a framing nailer.
  2. Battery Power and Runtime:
    • Battery Type: Look for nailers with Lithium-ion batteries, that offer longer runtime and faster recharge times.
    • Voltage and Ampere-hour (Ah): Higher voltage and Ah ratings generally provide more power and longer runtime. Consider how long you’ll be using the nailer between charges.
  3. Nailer Weight and Ergonomics:
    • Weight: A lighter nailer reduces fatigue, especially for overhead or extended use.
    • Ergonomic Design: Comfortable grip and balance are important, especially for prolonged use.
  4. Nail Size and Magazine Capacity:
    • Nail Size Compatibility: Ensure the nailer can accommodate the nail sizes you plan to use.
    • Magazine Capacity: A larger magazine means fewer reloads but can add to the weight.
  5. Depth Adjustment:
    • Look for a nailer with easy-to-use depth adjustment settings. This feature allows you to control how deep the nail is driven, which is crucial for different materials and finishes.
  6. Ease of Maintenance:
    • Tool-Free Jam Clearing: This feature is a time-saver and reduces work interruptions.
    • Easy to Clean and Maintain: Consider how easy it is to maintain the nailer to ensure longevity.
  7. Additional Features:
    • LED Lights: Useful for working in low-light conditions.
    • Belt Hook: Adds convenience when moving around.
    • Selectable Firing Modes: Some nailers offer multiple firing modes (sequential and contact) for different types of work.
  8. Brand and Warranty:
    • Choose a reputable brand known for quality and reliability DeWalt and Milwaukee are both fantastic.
    • Check the warranty and after-sales service options.
  9. Price and Budget:
    • Balance the cost with the features and quality you need.
    • More expensive doesn’t always mean better, but investing in a good quality nailer can save money in the long run.
  10. User Reviews and Recommendations:
    • Read user reviews and seek recommendations from professionals or experienced users.

The Top 5 Cordless Nailers: Detailed Reviews

DeWalt 20V MAX XR 18GA Cordless Brad Nailer Kit (Best Overall)

DeWalt 20V MAX XR 18GA Cordless Brad Nailer Kit

DeWalt 20V MAX XR 18GA Cordless Brad Nailer Kit


  • ✅ Brushless motor maximizes runtime and durability
  • ✅ Micro nose improves accuracy of nail placement
  • ✅ Tool-free depth adjustment and jam release
  • ✅ Multi-functional LED lights for workspace illumination


  • ❌ Relatively expensive compared to other models
  • ❌ Heavier than some other cordless models

John’s Take

The DeWalt 20V MAX XR is a stellar choice for DIY enthusiasts seeking a high-performance cordless nailer. Its brushless motor and micro nose design make it exceptionally reliable and accurate for various projects. While it’s on the pricier side, the investment is justified by its top-notch features and durability.

Price at the time of this review: $302.95
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The DeWalt 20V MAX XR 18GA Cordless Brad Nailer Kit stands out as the best overall choice for DIY’er. This model is a powerhouse. Its brushless motor ensures longevity and consistent performance. The micro nose design enhances visibility and accuracy, making it perfect for detailed work. With features like tool-free depth adjustment and jam release, it’s designed for convenience and efficiency. Priced at $302.95, it’s a valuable investment for serious DIY projects.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18GA Brad Nailer Kit (Runner Up)

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18GA Brad Nailer Kit

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18GA Brad Nailer Kit


  • ✅ Powerful brushless motor for heavy-duty tasks
  • ✅ Compact design ideal for tight spaces
  • ✅ Includes safe accessories for added convenience
  • ✅ 18-volt battery for extended use
  • ✅ Durable and reliable construction


  • ❌ Higher price point than some competitors
  • ❌ Battery sold separately, adding to overall cost

John’s Take

The Milwaukee M18 FUEL is a robust and reliable choice for those who need a powerful cordless nailer. Its compact design and potent brushless motor make it ideal for both DIY and professional use. While the initial investment is higher, especially with the separate battery purchase, its performance and durability make it a worthwhile choice.

Price at the time of this review: $579.99
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The Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18GA Brad Nailer Kit earns its spot as the runner-up. This model is renowned for its robust construction and exceptional performance. It’s powered by an 18-volt battery, making it ideal for heavy-duty tasks. The tool’s design allows for precision in tight spaces, and its brushless motor guarantees durability. At $579.99, it’s a premium choice for those who prioritize power and reliability in their tools.

Ryobi 18V One+ AirStrike 18GA Brad Nailer and Battery (Best for Budget-Conscious DIYers)

Ryobi 18V One+ AirStrike 18GA Brad Nailer and Battery

Ryobi 18V One+ AirStrike 18GA Brad Nailer and Battery


  • ✅ Adjustable knob for air pressure control
  • ✅ Contact-actuated mode for rapid nailing
  • ✅ IntelliPort technology for efficient battery charging
  • ✅ Compact battery for easy handling
  • ✅ Excellent value for money


  • ❌ Refurbished product may not appeal to all users
  • ❌ Limited to 18-gauge nails

John’s Take

The Ryobi 18V One+ AirStrike is an excellent choice for budget-conscious DIYers. Its adjustable air pressure and contact-actuated mode offer great versatility for various projects. I included a refurbished model to provoke some thought as these are great choices for a tighter budget. While it’s a refurbished product, its performance and value are hard to beat, making it a smart choice for those starting out or needing a reliable secondary tool.

Price at the time of this review: $189.99
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For budget-conscious DIYers, the Ryobi 18V One+ AirStrike 18GA Brad Nailer is an excellent choice. Priced at $189.99, it offers great value without compromising on quality. This kit includes a brad nailer, a 2AH 18V battery, and a dual chemistry battery charger. It’s perfect for a range of applications, from light trim work to more demanding tasks.

Metabo HPT 18V Compact Cordless 18GA Brad Nailer (Best for Compact Design)

The Metabo HPT 18V Compact Cordless 18GA Brad Nailer is the go-to option for those seeking a compact design. At $199.00, it’s an affordable and efficient tool, ideal for DIYers who need a lightweight yet powerful nailer. Its brushless motor technology and selective actuation make it a versatile and user-friendly tool.

Metabo HPT 18V Compact Cordless 18GA Brad Nailer

Metabo HPT 18V Compact Cordless 18GA Brad Nailer


  • ✅ Air spring drive system for pneumatic-like performance
  • ✅ Lightweight and compact for ease of use
  • ✅ Drives up to 2 nails per second with no ramp-up time
  • ✅ Brushless motor technology for durability
  • ✅ Selective actuation for quick mode changes


  • ❌ May not be suitable for heavy-duty industrial use
  • ❌ Battery life could be limiting for extensive projects

John’s Take

The Metabo HPT 18V Compact Cordless Brad Nailer is a standout for its compact design and efficient performance. Ideal for DIYers who need a lightweight yet powerful tool, it offers the convenience of cordless operation without sacrificing the power of a pneumatic nailer. While it may not be the best fit for industrial-scale projects, it’s perfect for home renovations and woodworking tasks.

Price at the time of this review: $199.00
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Craftsman V20 Cordless Finish Nailer Kit (Best for Versatility)

Craftsman V20 Cordless Finish Nailer Kit

Craftsman V20 Cordless Finish Nailer Kit


  • ✅ Part of the versatile V20 cordless system
  • ✅ Drives 18-gauge brad nails efficiently
  • ✅ Extended runtime for larger projects
  • ✅ High-energy cells for improved power
  • ✅ Extra battery included for continuous work


  • ❌ May not be as powerful as some professional-grade models
  • ❌ Limited to 18-gauge nails

John’s Take

The Craftsman V20 Cordless Finish Nailer Kit is an excellent choice for DIYers who need a versatile and reliable tool. Its extended runtime and additional battery make it perfect for long projects. While it may not match the power of professional-grade nailers, it offers great functionality and value for most home-based tasks.

Price at the time of this review: $243.99
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The Craftsman V20 Cordless Finish Nailer Kit is best known for its versatility. Priced at $243.99, it’s a great all-rounder, suitable for a wide range of applications. This kit includes an extra lithium-ion battery, ensuring extended runtime for larger projects.

Cordless Nail Gun Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your cordless nail gun is key to ensuring its longevity and performance. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and battery care are essential. It’s also important to check for wear and tear, especially if you use the tool frequently. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance will help keep your nail gun in top condition.

FAQs About Cordless Nail Guns

What is the average battery life of a cordless nail gun? Battery life varies depending on the model and battery capacity. Generally, you can expect to shoot hundreds to over a thousand nails on a single charge.

Can I use the same cordless nail gun for different types of projects? Yes, most cordless nail guns are versatile enough to be used for various projects, but it’s important to choose a model that suits the range of your work.

How do I safely store my cordless nail gun? Store your nail gun in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Remove the battery when not in use.

Are cordless nail guns suitable for heavy-duty projects? Yes, some models, like the Milwaukee M18 FUEL, are designed for heavy-duty applications.

What safety precautions should I take when using a cordless nail gun? Always wear safety glasses, keep the tool away from children, and follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.

Final Thoughts

The best cordless nail gun for your DIY projects depends on your specific needs and budget. Whether you choose the top-rated DeWalt 20V MAX XR or the budget-friendly Ryobi 18V One+ AirStrike, each of these models offers a blend of performance, convenience, and value. Remember to consider the type of projects you’ll be undertaking and the features that are most important to you. With the right cordless nail gun, your DIY projects will not only be easier but also more enjoyable.

If you have any specific questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or click on the contact us link at the bottom of this post

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Happy DIY’ing….


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