Wooden fencing can be a pain to put up, particularly if you insist on doing it the old fashioned way. With a good nail gun, you can have the job finished quickly and cleanly, allowing you to enjoy your new fence in an afternoon rather than over the course of several, labor-filled days.
The type of nail gun you’re looking for in this case will need to be a powerful one. Something which can easily drive through the materials and allow you to get things going as quickly as possible and with as little hassle as possible.
Basically, you’re going to need a pneumatic framing nailer, and we’ve gathered some of the best nail guns for fencing to look over (and we go into what criteria you should be cognizant of after our reviews).
Hitachi NR90AES1 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Plastic Collated Framing Nailer
The NR90AES1 is a fantastic tool for those who are looking to get their fences done in a hurry. It uses a 21-degree magazine that’s rear loading and easily repairable in case of malfunction and it can take a variety of nail sizes. There’s enough power here that with proper use you’ll rarely have to finish the nail off with a hammer, and it comes in at a very moderate price for the amount of utility you’ll receive.
NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer
Coming in at a great price, the NuMax SFR2190 is a terrific option for the would-be carpenter on a budget. It’s a durable piece of hardware which is well suited for those DIYers who aren’t intent on slamming some nails every weekend, but it does lack some of the features that pros have come to love like tool-less jam removal. You’ll also have to switch out the trigger to get a hold of the bump fire capabilities, but most people working around the home will be better off with pulling the trigger for each nail anyways. If you can keep these limitations in mind, this is without a doubt one of the best fence nail guns around.
Paslode 501000 F-350S PowerMaster Plus Pneumatic Framing Nailer
Paslode makes some of the best nailers in the business, and the F-350S is no exception. It’s lightweight, designed to be used in any weather, and comes with some considerations you just won’t see with cheaper products. The ergonomics of the handle and the specially placed center of gravity make it a joy to use, and the fact that it can handle most common sizes of nail is fantastic. If you’re a fledgling framer and possibly looking to turn your hobby into a career, you’re looking at the right nail gun for your needs.
BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer with Positive Placement Tip and Magnesium Housing
The Bostitch F21PL is almost a work of art, a precision-made powerful nailer which is suitable for the novice or the professional. It comes with both a bump nailing and a sequential trigger and can apply a stunning 1,050lbs of driving power to the nails you’re seeking to place. Combined with a seven-year limited warranty and a lightweight magnesium housing, you’ll have a great tool for prolonged use whether you’re home or in the field. Bar none, this is one of the best nail guns for fencing.
A Quick Discussion of Safety and Trigger Types
Let’s face it, most nail guns do the same thing. The only real caveats you’re going to run into is low power and nailers that jam frequently, neither of which we’d recommend to you.
Before we even go into other criteria of the best nail guns for fencing, the first thing any novice framer needs to understand is the difference between a bump and sequential triggers.
A bump trigger is commonly used by professional framers, and they’re also responsible for most of the people who end up in the ER each year. There’s not much of an advantage to using one for the home craftsman, especially if you’re working alone but they’re fantastic for the rapid assembly-line type production which sometimes has to occur in the field.
A bump trigger requires two factors to be in place to shoot the nail: the muzzle of the gun must be under some level of compression and the trigger has to be pulled. This means that you can hold down the trigger and just “bump” the gun up against the project in order to deliver a nail.
It sounds convenient, and it most certainly is, but it can lead to injuries in novices. Nails can be deflected if placed in the wrong area—knotholes in the wood, for instance—and a lot of people will have a tendency to develop itchy trigger fingers much like careless people with firearms. In essence, they’ll be holding down the trigger even when they’re not firing the gun, which can make a trip rather hazardous.
A sequential trigger requires two things to fire. First, the muzzle of the nail gun and the trigger must be pulled, the second is that they have to occur in that order.
It sounds like a small difference, but it can be huge when you’re getting a project done since you’ll have to line up each shot individually and the gun can only fire once per trigger pull. This adds an extra level of safety, and many common injuries can be prevented by using this type of trigger.
If you’re a novice, stick with the sequential trigger option. Chances are there’ll be a couple of occasions where you’re glad you did.
Picking the Best Fence Nail Gun for You
While all of the above are fine respectable choices, the differences can be a bit confusing for the beginner.
The main thing you’ll need to decide upon is how often you’ll be using it and your budget for the project. If your gun is going to spend a lot of time in the shed or garage, and only be pulled out for the occasional project, it makes sense to go with something cheaper like the NuMax SFR2190 (see full specs).
On the other hand, if you’re a professional or you’re going to be pulling it out for projects every weekend, spending a little bit more money will pay off in the long run. The Paslode F-350S (see full specs) is probably what you’re looking for. The light weight and extra attention paid to the ergonomics of the gun will allow it to be used for a long time to come, and it might just be the last nailer you ever have to buy if you treat it well.