A buying guide for the flooring nailers

Whether you are planning to repair your hardwood floor or you want to install entirely new flooring, one of the must-have tools is a flooring nailer.

Without one, not only will the process be tedious but you will not love the results. On the other hand, the best flooring nailers will ensure that nails are inserted in the right angle and so, there will be no need for replacement.
But with the wide range of flooring nailers available, all with different features, you will need to ensure that you pick the right choice for the job. On top of deciding the best options available, you will need to understand how to choose the right tool for the job.

The ½ and ¾ interchangeable base plate sit perfectly flat against the floorboard, ensuring stability. This helps you to drive cleats at the right depth and angle. The no-mar base late also ensures your floor isn’t scratched. Overall, this is a good and reliable tool that is worth buying. With the topnotch features of this Bostcitch flooring nailer, it’s worth buying.

To help you make an informed decision, we have reviewed the top flooring nailers. These are:

Best flooring nailers

The most heavy-duty flooring nailer

1. BOSTITCH Flooring Nailer (MIIIFN)


If you need one of the most heavy-duty framing nailers in the market today, you should consider the Bostitch flooring nailer. The quality of this tool is the same as those rented out by home depot for DIY projects. While its price is on the higher side, it’s just but a percentage of the flooring you are installing. By choosing to buy the tool, rather than renting, you will not have to work haphazardly because the meter is running.

While the Bostitch flooring nailer requires some level of assembly, all the necessary Allen wrenches are included. It also comes with easy to understand instructions. With a 3/8 air fitting, the pneumatic flooring nailer consumes a bit of air. The half-inch to two-inch air-powered flooring nailer is suitable for driving the L-shaped flooring cleats.

The best flooring nailer is made of aircraft-grade aluminum making it durable but lightweight. Apart from the base, all the other parts of the nailers are made of metal so that it doesn’t scratch the base. The hardwood nailer comes with a different base for different types of floors. But the plastic base ensures that it doesn’t scratch the floor


• Air-craft grade aluminum material
• Rubber tipped mallet
• 420-inch pound driving power
• Fastener: 16 GA cleats
• Wide composite base
• Rolling slider base

In case you jam the flooring nailer, it can be a bit hard determining how to un-jam it. You will need to take the nail off and remove the nail from the bottom. It’s easy to service the floor nailer and the service kits are available at an affordable price.

flooring nailer

Best Value for money

2. DEWALT Flooring Stapler (DWFP12569)

If you are searching for a solidly-made and foolproof flooring nailer, you may want to consider the DEWALT Flooring Stapler, 2-in-1 Tool (DWFP12569). This is a dual fastener that uses nails or staples. The wood stapler is made of aluminum, making it lightweight and ensuring better control and balance. It is not only long-lasting but offers great protection for your floor.

The 2 –in-1 flooring nailer can drive 16-GA L cleat nails and 15 1.2 GA staples ranging from 1 ½ to 2’. These are the two most popular fasteners for solid floors. The floor stapler comes with a mallet that is actuated pneumatically. The air nail gun allows you to drive nails in tight corners with a little space where the floor can expand and contract. It offers you great control over the air nailer. While its price is for the home DIY yourself projects, it can also be used by professionals.


• Weight of 10.6 lbs
• Ergonomic longer handle
• Magazine capacity of 100
• 15.5 GA staples fasteners
• Rear exhaust
• Scratch-free pad

The wood stapler comes with an interchangeable base plate that easily adjusts to the flooring size. It comes with a long, ergonomic, and comfortable handle that allows you to use it for long periods. The scratch-free pad ensures that the floor stapler doesn’t damage your floor.

flooring nailer

The cleat holder doest hold the cleats tightly and they will easily slip out. The gun’s size is also a bit bigger and will, therefore, not easily fit in small spaces. Overall, this is a good quality flooring nailer that is worth the money.

best hardwood floor nailers

3. BOSTITCH Flooring Nailer (BTFP12569)

If you are searching for a pneumatic flooring nailer that will help you speed up the installation of your hardwood floor, you should consider the Bostitch flooring nailer 2-in-1 (BTFP12569). This flooring nailer comes with pneumatic operated mallet and an interchangeable base plate. The base plate ensures that there are no scratches on the materials. It also enables you to work with various flooring thicknesses.

The air nail gun can shoot staples as well as L-shaped cleats. The Bostitch floor stapler comes with an ergonomic handle that is made of a comfortable rubber grip, making it easy to work with the whole day. At a weight of 10.85 lbs, the flooring nailer is lightweight. When you buy this tool, you also get wrenches, oil, and ¼’ air fitting.


• Ergonomic handle
• Air requirement: 3.7 SCFM
• Power Source: Pneumatic
• PSI: 70-100

At an air requirement of 3.7 SCFM, its air requirement is quite low. The engineered hardwood flooring stapler has been made for engineered and hardwood flooring installation, ensuring that no gaps are left between the flooring boards. Take note that the tool is not a good choice for repairing old hardwood flooring that squeaks as a result of joist sagging or warping.

flooring nailer

Bostitch has made a name in making of the best hardwood floor nailers and the Bostitch flooring nailer 2-in-1 (BTFP12569 is a big testament of their quality workmanship. The non-marring and interchangeable base make this Bostcitch hardwood floor nailer be a good choice for the engineered floor. These base plates also help to prevent scratches and make it possible to work with floor thickness of different sizes. While its price is on the higher side, it’s definitely worth the price.

Best for your DIY or commercial projects

4. Freeman PFL618C 

With the Freeman PFL618C Pneumatic 3-in-1 15.5-Gauge and 16-Gauge 2″ Flooring Nailer and Stapler, you can work faster while making fewer mistakes than when using a hammer, nail-set, or drill. When using the Freeman floor nailer for floorboard nailing, it will ensure that no gaps are left.
The pneumatic flooring stapler can work with 15.5 gauge 0.5 crown staples as well as T-cleats and L-cleats with a gauge of 16 from 1.5 to t2 for the 3 kinds of fasteners.

You will work seamlessly with the tool as long as you hold it tightly to the floor or the recoil will prevent the nil form setting all the way. You will also need to hit firmly to ensure the nail penetrates well especially when working on tight corners.

Made of die-cast aluminum, the finishing nail gun guarantees many years of service. Besides its durable body, the flooring nailer is also versatile making it a good choice for firing both L and T cleats. It also features an interchangeable base plate(1/2 and 3.4 inches), making it a great choice in the installation of floors of different thicknesses.


• PSI: 70 to 110
• Power source: Pneumatic
• Anodized aluminum magazine
• Capacity: 100 to 120 staples/cleats

The pneumatic flooring nailer doesn’t consume a lot of air as it runs as between 70 and 110 PSI. The tool also comes with a high capacity magazine that can accommodate 100 to 120 staples/cleats. With a long reach handle and padded grips, this engineered flooring stapler is comfortable to work with.

flooring nailer

The case that comes with this pneumatic flooring stapler has ample space. You can pack a lot inside including a whole box of flooring nail set and other small stuff. Its price is also affordable as compared to the competition. This tool is a good choice for the installation of ½ and ¾ tongue and groove hardwood flooring. At its price point, the Freeman PFL618C Pneumatic 3-in-1 15.5-Gauge and 16-Gauge 2″ Flooring Nailer and Stapler offer good value for money.

Best for a variety of woodworking applications

5. NuMax SFL618 

If you are searching for a good and reasonably priced flooring nailer for adding tongue and hardwood flooring to your home, the NuMax SFL618 Pneumatic 3-in-1 15.5-Gauge and 16-Gauge 2″ Flooring Nailer and Stapler with White Rubber Mallet Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun for T-Cleats, L-Cleats, and Staples, Grey is a good choice. With this hardwood floor nailer, you will experience little or no misfiring.

The air-powered flooring nailer comes with a solidly-made mallet. It’s compactable with 16 gauge L-cleat and T-cleats as well as 15.5 gauge glue collated 1/2 and crown staples ranging from 1 ½ to 2 for the 3 kinds of fasteners. The tool is made of die-cast aluminum and heat-treated steel parts, making it rugged and lightweight. The pneumatic flooring nailer also has an ergonomic handle that makes it easy to use for many hours.


• 3-in-1 design
• Rubber mallet
• Operating pressure of 70 t0 120 PSI
• Magazine capacity of 90 to 120 staples
• Replaceable base plate

The 3-in one design makes it easy to switch between L cleats, T-cleats, and staples. The hardwood nailer comes with a default base plate set at ½ to ¾ of wood while keeping your finished flooring surface in good condition. You will not experience any scratches on the wood surface. This ensures that your results look promising even if you are a DIY enthusiast.

flooring nailer

The tool comes with the handle unassembled but with two L bolts/clamps and four nuts. It’s easy to assemble everything. Overall, this is among the best hardwood floor nail gun that has no misfires and partial drives.

Flooring nailers vs. staplers

A common misconception that homeowners have is that it’s possible to use nailers and staplers for the same jobs. While the services offered by these tools are similar, their operations are different:

  • Nailers. These use cleat nails to fasten. There are two kinds of flooring nailers: manual and pneumatic. When using a nailer, you will apply the pressure depending on the floor’s thickness.
  • Staplers. These use staples to fasten. There are three types of staplers: manual, pneumatic, and electric staplers. The staples consist of two prongs that fasten the floor into the subfloor.

flooring nailer

A buying guide for the best flooring nailers

Whether you are a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, there are a few factors you need to consider when choosing the best flooring nailers. These include:

Staples or cleats

Some of the best flooring nailers use stales and cleats while others don’t. Depending on the kind of job you are doing, you may want to consider a pneumatic flooring nailer that enables you to use different types of fasteners. Cleats are usually made of steel and a better choice than staples. They can also tolerate changes in temperature that can cause the wood to expand and contract. However, they are more costly than staples.

Staples on the other hand are usually longer than cleats. Their initial grip is also usually stronger. However, when installed in an area with a lot of expansion and contraction, they can loosen leading them to separate from the flooring and causing creaking.

Body construction

The best wood floor nail gun doesn’t come cheap. You will not want to keep buying one after every few projects. Therefore, you will need to choose one that is well-constructed and highly durable. Check the body construction of the best floor nailers to see if it’s made of sturdy and tough material. The body should also be lightweight enough and should come with a comfortable handle.

One of the best materials for making flooring nailers is Aluminum. Not only is it durable and tough but it’s also lightweight.

flooring nailer


The weight of the flooring nailer is also a key consideration. You want the flooring nailer to be made of a material that is easy to lift and move around. Like we have already seen, the most lightweight flooring nailers are made of aluminum.

Ergonomics and comfort

Remember that you will be holding your flooring nailer for a long time. You will, therefore, need to ensure that it’s comfortable. The best flooring nailers come with an ergonomic rubber handle that ensures you get a good grip. This prevents your hand from aching when you are working, and, therefore enable you to work for long hours. You will also want to ensure that the wood floor nail gun comes with a long handle that will enable you to use the tool without having to stoop down.

Manual or pneumatic

Like we have already seen, the two most common options are pneumatic and manual power sources. The flooring nailers that are manually operated are usually tedious but they are easier to operate. These aren’t suitable for large floor areas. On the other hand, pneumatic flooring nailers are the most popular. These are usually more expensive but they make it easier to install your wooden floor.

Nail gauge

You will also want to consider the thickness of the nail you want to use when buying a flooring nailer. Different flooring nailers support the different thickness of nails and staples. The thickness can be 15 gauge or even 18 gauge. Therefore, be sure to pick a floor nailer that corresponds to the gauge of your construction requirement.

flooring nailer

Function modes

Many of the flooring nailers have multiple function modes that allow you to use the nailer with different staples. This can include things like nails, cleats, staples, and other things. While there are models that come with two in one function, others come with three in one function modes. The higher the number of functions, the more versatile the flooring nailer will be. The tool comes with switches and controls that enable you to control the nailer.


With the best floor nailers coming at a huge price range, you will want to ensure that you are getting value. When buying the best flooring staplers, you should pick an option that performs well, is well built, and affordable.


A good way of checking if a flooring nailer will serve you for long is by looking at the warranty. Ensure that you pick an option that comes with a reasonable warranty. Some of the tools we have reviewed above come with a warranty of 7 years. The longer the warranty, the more durable the tool is likely to be. However, you should remember to look at the terms of the warranty.

Faqs on the best flooring nailers

Here are some of the frequently asked questions of the best flooring nailers.

What is the best flooring nailer for a hardwood floor?

If you are searching for a flooring nailer that will help you install a hardwood floor, you should consider a pneumatic nail gun. This is because it has been made to go over the tongue and the edge of the plant.

Should I choose staples or cleats?

This will depend on the kind of flooring that you are installing. Cleats are a good choice for thicker floors. Staples are a good choice for thinner floors. However, we recommend that you choose a flooring nailer that can accommodate both types of fasteners.

flooring nailer

How do you use a flooring nailer?

Hit the actuator with a mallet for it to start firing nails and to fasten the floor.

Should you nail into tongue or groove?

When flooring tongue and groove, you should hit the nail at an angle of 45 degrees through the tongue. Engage the groove on the board that follows to conceal it. Ensure that the nail is driven slightly below the wood’s surface so that it doesn’t interfere with the joint.

How can I prevent my flooring nailer from jamming frequently?

A majority of flooring nailers will jam as a result of using the wrong type and size of the nail. To avoid jamming, make sure you use the type and size of fastener recommended by the manufacturer. The problem will also happen as a result of the driving gauge obstruction. You should disassemble the nailer if you suspect this to be the case. Replacing worn out parts can also help to reduce jamming.


Your choice of a flooring nailer will greatly affect the quality of your installation, the completion speed, and the accuracy. This is why you will need to be careful when choosing the best flooring nailers. The good news is that we have narrowed down your choices to the top 5 options. When installing your hardwood flooring, these nailers are some of the best as they offer everything from functionality, versatility, to affordability.

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