The 5 Best Pneumatic Flooring Nailers [Ranked]

If you need to install some hardwood floors in your home, a pneumatic (air-powered) flooring nailer provides an indispensable advantage (Source).

Hand-nailing a hardwood floor is grueling work- tedious and time-consuming.

Plus, it's often more economical to purchase a new flooring nailer than daily-rent some old, beat-up model from the hardware store (Source).

A pneumatic flooring nailer can make quick work of most any hardwood flooring task, and will ensure that the nailing is done efficiently and accurately. One of our favorites is the 10.6 lb. DeWalt pneumatic flooring nailer (Source).

It's designed to work with the most popular solid flooring fasteners, 15.5 gauge staples and 16 gauge L-cleat nails.

Three of the five we review are operated using rubber mallets (the NuMax, Freeman & DeWalt), while the other 2 work from finger triggers (the Bostitch & Bynford)

The Dewalt DWFP12569 is a highly regarded flooring tool with many satisfied buyers.

It's particularly lightweight at around 10.6 pounds, and designed for to provide enhanced control and balance.

DeWalt Buyer Feedback

One buyer we spoke with applauded how solid-feeling it was, while being lighter than other flooring nailers on the market.

Another reviewer accustomed to doing smaller hardwood installation jobs, ultimately decided to invest in a high-quality flooring nailer because he had begun to take on larger areas.

He particularly liked that it is a dual fastener, enabling him to use staples or nails, and because it is made from aluminum as opposed to steel, it was much lighter to wield, causing less physical strain as lay out hardwood flooring.

Yet another purchaser that we interviewed said that he used it for a 400 square-foot hardware floor installation and said that as he initially got used to wielding it he took his time aligning it correctly to the boards.

After about half an hour he got into the swing of things and in conjunction with his three-quarter horsepower compressor with 90 psi he was quickly laying about 15 ft.² per hour.

Let's take a look at five of the best-selling hardwood flooring nailers on the market today and see how they compare.

Comparing The Options

View Jet.com PricesFlooring NailersOur RatingPriceGaugeWeightMethod
The NuMax Pneumatic Flooring Stapler4.6$$15.5 & 1616.2 lbsMallet
The Freeman Pneumatic Flooring Nailer4.6$$15.5 & 1612 lbsMallet
The DeWALT Flooring Nailer4.4$$$15.5 & 1614.7 lbsMallet
The Bostitch Hardwood Flooring Stapler4.2$$$183.5 lbsTrigger
The Bynford Hardwood Flooring Stapler4.3$$184.2 lbsTrigger

The 5 Best Pneumatic Flooring Nailers

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This pneumatic flooring nailer offered by NuMax is well-constructed, inexpensive and practical. Users love the durable aluminum construction, but some do note that it’s heavier than they expected. With a size of 16.75″ x 3.5″ x 22.75″, this floor stapler has interchangeable base plates, a wooden no-mar rubber mallet, a capacity for 100- 120 staples or cleats, and a long-reach handle with padded grip.

 

You can use 15.5 gauge staples (1 to 2 inches) and 16-gauge “L/T” cleats (1-1/2-Inch to 2-Inch) and this pneumatic flooring stapler comes with oil and wrenches.

 

In general, users have a very favorable opinion of the NuMax 3-in-1 pneumatic flooring nailer, and they praise its functionality, performance, and durability. A buyer comments that he had no prior experience with pneumatic flooring staplers, but he found the NuMax floor nailer to be well-built, easy to use and durable.

 

The reviewer stated that he has used over 3000 staples and he had no misfires or jamming problems. Another user mentioned that he was surprised by the low price and the sturdy design, and he didn’t have any issues to install 300 square feet of hickory. A happy user shares that the instructions for use are well-written and simple to follow and that he advises users to oil the plunger shaft to avoid jamming.

 

However, some customers have complained that the floor stapler jams regularly, splits the tongue or drive the cleat too short. Some also complain that the pneumatic nailing tool broke after a couple of weeks.

Pros

  • well-constructed
  • inexpensive
  • easy to use
  • shoots three types of fasteners
  • comes with accessories

Cons

  • complaints of jamming and malfunctioning
  • heavy

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This 3-in-1 pneumatic floor stapler offered by Freeman is compact, efficient and practical. Users love the extra accessories, but some do note that it occasionally misfires. This floor staple tool has a size of 3.5″ x 16.75″ x 22.75″, two interchangeable floor plates, a magazine capacity for 120 staple or 100 cleats, and it comes with a plastic carrying case, a wooden mallet, oil, wrenches, and goggles.

 

You can drive three types of fasteners – T-cleats, L-cleats and floor staples without changing the magazine and you can use 15-gauge flooring staples and 16-gauge cleats.

 

As a whole, users agree that the Freeman 3-in-1 pneumatic floor stapler is a product of high-quality, and they praise its functionality and performance. A customer shares that he installed about 3500 feet of hardwood flooring with no issues and that it was very easy to load and use this pneumatic stapler for floors.

 

Another buyer comments that he was skeptical at first due to the price, but he was utterly surprised how well it worked – he just oiled it, hooked it up and started nailing with 2-inch nailing cleats right away, and he had no jams or misfires. A happy user mentions that it takes him about two seconds to clear the floor stapler when it jams, and he highly recommends it. However, some customers have complained that they received a broken and defective unit.

 

Some also state that they had no problems with the Freeman flooring nailer in the beginning, but it broke or started to jam regularly after several hours of work.

Freeman PFL618BR Video Review

Pros

  • light
  • comfortable to use
  • two interchangeable floor plates
  • comes with accessories
  • shoots three types of fasteners

Cons

  • complaints of malfunctioning
  • jams occasionally and misfires

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you are looking for a top-rated flooring nailer, you might take a look at the Dewalt 2-in-1 flooring tool. Users love the compact size, but some do note that there are no instructions how to unjam it. The Dewalt flooring stapler has a size of 3.94″ x 20.55″ x 23.39″, a weight of 10.6 pounds, non-marring interchangeable base plates, a long handle with a comfortable rubber grip and a lower CFM requirement.

 

You can use this nailer to drive 15.5 gauge floor staples or 16-gauge L-cleat nails, so this is a high-quality product suitable for any professional.

 

Overall, purchasers are very satisfied with the performance and convenience of this air compressor floor stapler. A customer shares that he has been using the Dewalt 2-in-1 flooring nailer for about a year, and he has managed to install 10,000-feet of wood with no problems. Another buyer mentions that the floor stapler is light, sturdy, easy-to-use, and he would recommend it to any first time user.

 

A  reviewer also states that he was surprised how well this pneumatic floor nailer work – no jamming or misfires at all, and that he managed to finish his room in about two days. However, some customers have complained that this wood floor nailer started to leak air even though they oil it regularly. Some users also complain that it doesn’t come with a carrying case.

DeWALT DWFP12569 Video Review

Pros

  • light
  • compact
  • durable
  • efficient
  • interchangeable base plates
  • long rubber handle
  • low CFM requirements

Cons

  • leaks air
  • no carrying case
  • poor instructions
  • expensive

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This engineered hardwood flooring nailer offered by Bostitch is effective, efficient and well-constructed. Users love the lightweight design, but some do note that it arrived with no manual. This hardwood floor stapler has adjustable knobs, an over-molded rubber grip, a muffled rear exhaust, non-marring caps to avoid damage to the floor, an easy sight tongue guide, and the capacity for 100 18-gauge staples. 

 

You can use it for solid hardwood (5/16 – 7/16 inches) or engineered hardwood and bamboo (1/2 – 5/8-inches), and it comes with 18-gauge flooring staples, a carrying case, two spare no-mar tips and an installation block.

 

In general, users are satisfied with the performance, functionality, and design of the Bostitch 18-gauge stapler. One buyer comments that it’s ideal for 3/8 -5/8-inch hardwood floors, and he would recommend it to anyone looking for a top-rated hardwood floor stapler. Another customer shares that this floor nailer is very easy to use and he needs to make only a few adjustments to achieve the perfect depth.

 

A happy purchaser also mentions that he has been using the Bostitch 18-gauge stapler for three years and it always works flawlessly and cuts his installation time by half. However, some customers have complained that this Bostitch stapler started to malfunction after a couple of days or that they received a broken tool. Some users also stated that it jammed more than they expected.

Bostitch EHF1838K Video Review

Pros

  • easy to use
  • adjustable knobs
  • a rubber grip
  • a muffled rear exhaust
  • non-marring cap
  • a sight tongue guide
  • carrying case
  • spare non-mar tips

Cons

  • complaints of malfunctioning and jamming
  • arrived without a manual
  • shoots only 18-gauge staples

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This hardwood flooring nailer offered by Bynford is stable, reliable and useful for anyone who wants to lay his floors by himself. Users love durable construction, but some do note that the instructions are poorly written.

 

The Bynford hardwood floor staple has a size of 12.2 x 10.6 x 3.6 inches, a weight of 4.2 pounds, an adjustable shoe for multiple floor thickness (from 5/16 to 9/16), and it can easily be converted to a standard stapler/brad nailer. You can use both standard 18-gauge crown staples and 18-gauge brad nails up to 1-9/16″ so this is a handy tool to have around.

 

A buyer comments that he installed over 800 feet of 3/8-inch thick hardwood flooring and this floor nailer neither jammed nor misfired, and it wouldn’t drive the staples in if it wasn’t lined up properly. Another customer mentions that the best thing about this 18-gauge floor nailer is that it uses ¼ -inch staples which are inexpensive and easy to acquire.

 

A happy purchaser shares that he used the Bynford floor stapler tool to install ½ -inch engineered wood and it never misfired or marred the floor. He would recommend it to anyone looking for the best floor nailer available.

 

However, some customers have complained that they had problems using this flooring stapler on hardwood stating that the nails wouldn’t sink completely or that it jams too much. A user complains that when he used it on bamboo and the nails didn’t even make it through the wood.

Pros

  • inexpensive
  • an adjustable shoe
  • can be converted to a standard stapler/ brad nailer
  • easy and comfortable to use

Cons

  • complaints of malfunctioning
  • complaints that it doesn’t work well on hardwood
  • shoots only 18-gauge staples
  • no clear instructions

What Are Buyers Saying?

One of our favorite flooring mailers is the NuMax SFL618. It ships with a long-reach handle designed to prevent back strain, has interchangeable base plates for 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch and 3/4 inch flooring, and an extra-long magazine for expanded nail capacity.

This nail gun is able to shoot both staples and cleated nails, shooting 15.5 and 16 gauge staples that range from 1 to 2 inches and cleats that range from 1.5 to 2 inches. The driver blade itself is made from heat-treated hardened steel reinforced with an aluminum cylinder and rubber o-rings.

Buyers, in general, were pretty satisfied with this pneumatic flooring nailer, saying that it was an easy decision to purchase it rather than rent it considering how low-priced many modern flooring nailers are today.

Pro Tip: If you need some help cutting laminate flooring- check out this complete guide.

One buyer that we interviewed told us that he had purchased it to do 500 ft.² of flooring. He said that it was a great tool for the job, even though he did experience several jams, he quickly realized that the problem was that the plunger shaft was not popping back up because paint had been over sprayed into the shaft. He squirted oil into the plunger shaft and that fixed the problem.

Another buyer that we spoke to had decided with his family to install 800 ft.² of maple hardwood flooring after having ripped out some ugly carpeting. In all, he ran about 2,500 nails through the device without a single misfire, though he advises new users to oil the plunger every so often, particularly after 1,000 nails. Another buyer says that in general it loads really easily, provides consistent firing, and it is simple to align.

Installing Floating Floor Hardwood

One small problem he had was that when the NuMax would run out of nails, sometimes he couldn't tell, only realizing it after inspecting the strike zone and realizing there was not a nail, and that also the exhaust was generally about 15% louder after he had run out of nails.

Another favorite of ours is the Freeman PFL618BR pneumatic flooring nailer. This flooring nailer boasts an ability of driving three different types of fasteners without requiring a change on magazine: L-cleats, T-cleats and staples. It ships with two interchangeable floor plates, also includes a sturdy plastic carrying case and a wooden mallet.

A professional contractor we spoke with who installs tons of flooring was impressed with this Freeman model. While he laments that it is made in China, as many power tools are nowadays, he was immediately impressed by its seven year limited warranty, which struck him as an excellent reason to invest in this pneumatic flooring nailer.

Another buyer we consulted specializes in home repair and rehabilitation purchased this nailer to do 1,000 ft.² of hardwood flooring, and decided it made sense to purchase rather than to rent. His first attempt at nailing revealed that that the Freeman nailer would have a problem where the drive blade would fail to retract after having fired a naiI.

He found that this happened several times, even though he made sure to oil it before using. He ended up contacting support and they shipped him a new tool which ended up working flawlessly.

Another buyer we spoke to says that it handles great, has a nice finish on the nail gun itself, although he says for heavy-duty and extended use he might invest in a more professional-quality tool, he thought that this Freeman model was more suitable to smaller, residential applications than for professional construction workers and contractors.

How To Install Hardwood Flooring

The Bostitch EHF1838K hardwood flooring stapler was another option that we examined. Its manufacturers say that it is ideal to use with engineered or solid hardwood, and bamboo flooring, and its adjustable knobs allow you to match the dimensions of your flooring material, all with a non-morning tip to prevent scratching and accidental damage.

The easy-sight tongue enables you to accurately drive staples into pockets and because of its oil-free operation you don't end up staining or damaging your floor with accidental spills. It weighs 3 1/2 pounds which means that after prolonged use contractors experience only minimal operator fatigue.

As well, it is designed to accommodate any flooring size, featuring adjustable knobs to work with fastening flooring of different thicknesses. You can adjust between 5/16 inch and 7/16 inch in the case of solid hardwood, or change it up to 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch for bamboo or engineered hardwood surfaces. Bostitch backs up their flooring stapler with a seven-year limited warranty and it ships with a carrying case, 2 non-marring tips, an installation block, as well as 1,000 staples to get you started.

Buyers we spoke to provided pretty positive feedback for this Bostitch engineered hardwood flooring nailer, saying that in one users case he was able to easily lay out 500 ft.² of engineered hickory flooring.

The adjustable cleat provided a great deal of freedom, and after it was set up he found that it never unnecessarily adjusted or moved throughout the duration of the job.

A safety feature that he applauded was that the safety itself would not engage when the clip was empty, this prevents dry fires. Another buyer we spoke with had purchased the Bostitch engineered hardwood flooring stapler to do about 600 ft.² of 3/8 inch engineered surface nailing and says that it never jammed, not even once.

The final option that we examined was the Bynford hardwood flooring nailer. Its manufacturers say that it is designed primarily for floors measuring 5/16 inch to 9/16 inch. While not intended for commercial application, they endorse it as a handy residential tool for the home-repair hobbyist, or as a spare back up tool for contractors.

One buyer that we spoke with was laying out 700 ft.² of 3/8 inch engineered oak flooring that required using over 7,000 staples. He was pleased that the flooring nailer worked without any misfires and says that it wouldn't shoot if he hadn't lined up the nailing correctly. Another buyer we interviewed told us that it was a solid stapler, great for engineered flooring, and jam-free operation.

One of the best things about it, users agreed, is that uses 1/4 inch staples, which are more readily available, cheaper, and better able to hold things down because of their extra thickness.

  • Updated May 7, 2019
  • Tools
Top 5 Staff
 

We are a team of product researchers that specializes in assembling comprehensive buying guides. Our team has a variety of backgrounds, with a mixture of soft and hard sciences represented. Check out our About page to read more about our reviews and editorial process.

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