Ten Best Flooring Nailer Reviews & Guide For 2018

Necessity leads to invention. Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose’s fuselage was the first wood to be nailed together using a nail gun. The first air-pressurized nail gun was marketed in the 1950s to increase post-war housing construction production. Floor sheathing and sub flooring were installed at 40-60 nails/min, using this first air-powered flooring nailer. Today there are types and sizes from every project phase, from flooring nailers to framing, finish, and roofing nailers. For this post, we are going to look specifically at the best flooring nailer products on the market today.

Flooring nailers are compared on their type, operating pressure (psi) (when applicable), type and size of fasteners used, and the maximum number of fasteners installed per second. While cleat nailers are better for hard and brittle wood flooring, staple nailers and fasteners more firmly anchor softer tongue-and-groove plank.

 

The Best Flooring Nailer Mini Buyers Guide

 

Choosing The Best Flooring Nailer

A manual floor nailer relies on muscle to operate it. Air-powered/pneumatic floor nailers provide their own power or force (from an air compressor) to sink nails into flooring material. They are the most popular and commonly used in by contractors. The effort/power required depends on the density/hardness of the flooring, the number of hits per second the nailer can exert, and the length of the nail/cleat. For example, thicker wood requires longer nails/cleats and additional force to drive the nail/cleat fastener.

 

Types of Flooring Nailers

Cleat Nailer – Cleat nailers are floor nailers. They most often are manual or pneumatic. A cleat nailer and fasteners work best for very hard and brittle woods, such as bamboo, Brazilian walnut, Brazilian cherry, as well as American woods.

Palm Nailer – A flexible, lightweight, handheld pneumatic nail gun that is intended for working in tight spaces. This air-powered nail gun straps to the hand and effectively drives 6” nails into wood or short nails into metal straps. The hammer action repeats approximately 40 hits/sec. The nail is driven into the wood using constant palm pressure.

Flooring Stapler – There are manual, pneumatic, and electric flooring staplers. Air-powered models are typically used on professional construction projects. Electric staplers require a power source. A hardwood stapler drives staples into the tongue of a wood plank. Floor staplers are best used for American woods others not considered “brittle.”

 

Types of Fasteners

Floor installation durability and longevity are important when choosing between nail/cleat and staple fasteners.

Flooring Nail/Cleat – A flooring nail/cleat is either an L-head or T-head type and typically available in 16-, 18-, and 20-gauge. A cleat nail has a sharp, rigid body designed to grip the sub-floor. The smooth portion of the nail adjusts to the (seasonal) expansion and contraction of the flooring. Cleat nails are more durable but also more expensive than flooring staples.

Flooring Staples – Flooring staples are a less expensive options for securing hardwood flooring. They are double-pronged to provide a strong installation grip. They do not have the flexibility to hold firmly when the floor expands and contracts, however, resulting in floor creaks. Staples may also tend to split tongue-and-groove flooring when the planks are less than ¾” thick.

It is important your flooring nailer and fasteners are compatible. During the installation, keep in mind that applying too much nail/air pressure can damage your floor. Conversely, too little pressure fails to completely sink the nails/cleats or staples, resulting in a loose fit between planks.

 

Comparison Guide – Top Flooring Nailers

1. NuMax SFL618 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Stapler/Nailer with White Rubber Mallet – Best Seller

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 15.5 (Staples), 16 (L- & T-Cleats)
Operating Pressure: 70-115 psi

2. DEWALT DWFP12569 2-N-1 Flooring Tool

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 15.5 (Staples), 16 (L-Cleats)
Operating Pressure: 70-100 psi

3. Freeman PFL618BR 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 15.5 (Staples), 16 (L- & T-Cleats)
Operating Pressure: 70-115 psi

4. BOSTITCH BTFP12569 2-in-1 Flooring Tool

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 15.5 (Staples), 16 (L-Cleats)
Operating Pressure: 70-100 psi

5. Powernail PowerPalm Floor Nailer – Top Palm Nailer

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 16 & 18 (L- & T-Cleats)
Operating Pressure: Max. 125 psi

6. Freeman PF18GLCN 18-Gauge Cleat Flooring Nailer for Bamboo and Exotic Flooring – Best Hard/Brittle Floor Nailer

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 18 (L-Cleats), and 16 (T-Cleats)
Operating Pressure: 70-115 psi

7. Estwing EFL50Q 2-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer and Stapler

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 15.5 (Staples), 16 (L-Cleats)
Operating Pressure: 70-115 psi

8. 3PLUS HFSNSP 2-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer/Stapler

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 15.5 (Staples), 16 (L-Cleats)
Operating Pressure: 70-100 psi

9. BYNFORD HARDWOOD FLOORING STAPLER NAILER

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 18 (Brad nails). 18 (Std. crown staples)
Operating Pressure: Unavailable

10. LSN3 LOTOS 2-in-1 Air Hardwood Flooring Cleat Nailer and Stapler Gun

Type: Pneumatic
Gauges: 15.5 (Staples), 16 (L- & T-Cleats)
Operating Pressure: Max. 120 psi

 

Top Ten Best Flooring Nailer Product Reviews

NuMax SFL618 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Stapler/Nailer with White Rubber Mallet – Best Seller

The NuMax SFL618 3-in-1 stapler/nailer is an inexpensive, sturdy, durable, air-powered flooring installation tool. This flooring nailer offers features that are functionally well-designed for professional contractors and DIY alike. It is the flooring nailer “workhorse.”

This flooring nailer/stapler is durable die-cast aluminum construction. It is manufactured within strict QC guidelines including a strong, one-piece, heat treated hardened steel, aluminum cylinder driver blade, internal air filter, and high-quality rubber o-rings.

The NuMax 3-in-1 has two interchangeable composite, non-marring base plates that add stability and scratch-prevention. It allows easy installation of tongue-and-groove wood flooring in ½”, 5/8”, 19/32”, ¾”, and 25/32” sizes. It effectively shoots three types of flooring fasteners including 1½” to 2” flooring staples (15.5 gauge) and L- and T-cleats (16 gauge). The magazine holds 100-120 cleats/staples. The ergonomically-designed long-reach handle has a padded grip that adds comfort and control.

The NuMax 3-in-1 pneumatic flooring stapler also comes with oil, wrenches, and a wooden, no-mar rubber mallet.

Pros:
Price
• Easy to use
• Multiple fastener types and sizes (3-in-1)
• Sturdy; durable
• Accessories
• 1-Yr. Limited Warranty; 30 Day Wearable Parts Warranty

Cons:
Heavier than expected
• No case

 

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DEWALT DWFP12569 2-N-1 Flooring Tool

The DEWALT DWFP12569 2-N-1 flooring nailer is a lightweight, sturdy, well-balanced, air-powered flooring installation tool. This flooring nailer offers features that are functionally well-designed for professional contractors. This flooring nailer/stapler is a DEWALT-brand optimized professional workhorse solution. It has a mallet actuated pneumatic driving action and lower CFM requirements for less compressor run-time. It is also equipped with a ¼” air fitting w/anti-dust cover.

The The DEWALT DWFP12569 2-N-1 has non-marring, interchangeable base plates that add stability and scratch-prevention. It allows easy installation of ½” (12.7 mm) through ¾” (19.1 mm) flooring sizes. It effectively shoots two types of flooring fasteners including 1½” to 2” flooring staples (15.5 gauge) and L-cleats (16 gauge). The magazine holds 100 cleats/staples. The ergonomically-designed long-reach handle has a padded grip that adds comfort and control.

The DEWALT DWFP12569 2-N-1 pneumatic flooring nailer also comes with a mallet, oil, and wrenches.

Pros:
Durable
• Low CFM requirements
• Multiple fastener types and sizes (2-in-1)
• Accessories
• 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee; 3-Yr. Limited Warranty; 1-Yr. Free Service

Cons:
No jam clearance
• Carry case not included

 

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Freeman PFL618BR 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer

The Freeman PFL618BR 3-in-1 stapler/nailer is a compact, efficient, high-quality air-powered flooring installation tool. This flooring nailer offers features that are functionally well-designed for professional contractors and DIY alike. It is the “workhorse” in the Freeman collection.

This flooring nailer/stapler is durable die-cast aluminum construction. It is manufactured within strict QC guidelines including a strong, one-piece, heat treated hardened steel, aluminum cylinder driver blade, internal air filter, and high-quality rubber o-rings.

The Freeman 3-in-1 has two non-marring, interchangeable, composite base plates that add stability and scratch-prevention. It allows easy installation of solid wood tongue-and-groove flooring in ½”, 15/32”, 5/8”, 19/32”, and ¾” sizes. It effectively shoots 1½” to 2” flooring staples (15.5 and 16 gauge) and 1½” to 2” L- and T-cleats (15.5 and 16 gauge). The anodized aluminum magazine holds 100-120 cleats/staples. The ergonomically-designed long-reach handle has a padded grip that adds comfort and control.

The Freeman 3-in-1 pneumatic flooring stapler also comes with safety goggles, oil, wrenches, and a no-mar white rubber mallet, and hard-plastic carrying case.

Pros:
Reliable
• Multiple fastener types and sizes (3-in-1)
• Accessories; carrying case
• 7-Yr. Limited Warranty

Cons:
Price

 

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BOSTITCH BTFP12569 2-in-1 Flooring Tool

The BOSTITCH BTFP12569 2-in-1 stapler/nailer is a lightweight, efficient, well-constructed air-powered flooring installation tool. This flooring nailer offers features that are functionally well-designed for professional contractors and DIY alike. It has a mallet actuated pneumatic driving action and low (3.7 SCFM) CFM requirements for less compressor run-time. It is also equipped with a ¼” air fitting w/anti-dust cap.

The BOSTITCH 2-in-1 has non-marring, interchangeable, composite base plates that add stability and scratch-prevention. It allows easy installation of flooring ½” (12.7 mm) through ¾” (19.1 mm) flooring (i.e.: solid hardwood (5/16” – 7/16”) or engineered hardwood and bamboo (½” – ⅝”)). It effectively shoots 1½” – 2” length flooring staples (15.5) and cleats (16 gauge). The magazine holds 100 18-gauge staples. The ergonomically-designed long-reach handle has a padded grip that adds comfort and control.

The BOSTITCH BTFP12569 2-in-1 pneumatic flooring nailer also comes with comes with oil, wrenches, mallet, 18-gauge flooring staples, a carrying case, two spare no-mar tips, and installation block.

Pros:
Easy to use
• Low CFM requirements
• Adjustable knobs
• Accessories; carrying case; staples
• 7-Yr. Limited Warranty

Cons:
No manual
• (Review) Some hangup with the nail feed

 

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Powernail PowerPalm Floor Nailer – Top Palm Nailer

The Powernail PowerPalm floor nailer is an efficient, palm-held, tight-space, pressure-actuated air-powered flooring nailer installation tool. This flooring nailer offers features that are functionally well-designed for professional contractors and DIY alike. It makes blind nailing starting rows and final rows, and nailing in tight spaces, easier.

The Powernail PowerPalm floor nailer effectively eliminates the need to top nail hardwood and engineered tongue-and-groove flooring without compromising the aesthetics of the installation. It effectively drives 16 gauge and 18 gauge L- and T-cleats (of any length). The PowerPalm floor nailer also allows you to countersink unset cleat nails. It is made to hold one nail at a time (due to working in tight spaces). It has a specially-designed angled tip that fits into the nail pocket. The tip magnetically holds the cleat securely and rotates to fit into the tight spaces.

Pros:
Good for tight spaces
• Magnetic, rotating tip
• 1-Yr. Limited Warranty

Cons:
Price
• Drives cleats only
• Not very good if you have a lot of flooring

 

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Freeman PF18GLCN 18-Gauge Cleat Flooring Nailer for Bamboo and Exotic Flooring – Best Hard/Brittle Floor Nailer

The Freeman PF18GLCN 18 Gauge L-Cleat flooring nailer is an affordable, fully-adjustable, air-powered flooring installation tool specifically for dense flooring materials such as bamboo, teak, cherry, engineered, and other exotic hardwoods. This flooring nailer offers features that are functionally well-designed for professional contractors as well as DIY-ers.

This flooring nailer/stapler is durable die-cast aluminum construction. It is manufactured within strict QC guidelines including a strong, hardened steel, aluminum cylinder driver blade, and high-quality rubber o-rings. It is equipped with a pre-installed ¼” NPT air hose fitting w/anti-dust cap.

The Freeman 18 Gauge L-Cleat flooring nailer has three different-sized interchangeable, no-mar base plates that add stability and scratch-prevention. It allows easy installation of solid hardwood tongue-and-groove flooring in ⅜”, 5/8”, 19/32”, and ¾” sizes. It effectively drives 1¼” to 1¾” L-cleats (18 gauge). The high-capacity magazine holds 120 cleats/staples. The ergonomically-designed long-reach handle with anti-vibration grip adds comfort and control. It is equipped with a light strike bumper.

The Freeman 18 Gauge L-Cleat pneumatic flooring nailer also comes with a white, no-mar fiberglass mallet, oil, and wrenches.

Pros:
Fully-adjustable
• Accessories
• User manual
• 7-Yr. Limited Warranty

Cons:
Only drives 18 gauge cleats

 

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Estwing EFL50Q 2-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer and Stapler

The Estwing EFL50Q is a lightweight, durable, 2-in-1, air-powered flooring installation tool. It is well-suited for installing dense flooring materials such as oak, maple, cherry, walnut and other solid hardwoods. This flooring nailer offers features that are functionally well-designed for professional contractors as well as DIY-ers. A tool-free quick-release allows you to clear jams quickly.

This flooring nailer/stapler is lightweight aluminum construction. It is manufactured within strict QC guidelines including a one-piece, cylinder driver blade and high-quality rubber o-rings. It is equipped with a pre-installed industrial ¼”, 360-degree, swivel NPT air hose fitting w/anti-dust cap.

The Estwing 2-in-1 flooring nailer has two interchangeable, no-mar base plates that add stability and scratch-prevention. It allows easy installation of solid hardwood tongue-and-groove flooring in ⅜”, 15/32”, 5/8”, 19/32”, and ¾” sizes. It effectively drives 1½” to 2” L-cleats (16 gauge) and 1½” to 2” ½”-crown flooring staples (15.5 gauge). The nailer is equipped with a light strike bumper that allows you to fully-drive the fastener with only a light strike. The high-capacity magazine holds 120 cleats/staples. The ergonomically-designed long-reach handle with anti-vibration grip adds comfort and control.

The Estwing 2-in-1 flooring nailer pneumatic flooring nailer also comes with wrenches, oil, white rubber-headed, fiberglass mallet, and padded bag w/front and interior pockets.

Pros:
Jam quick-release
• Accepts name-brand or generic fasteners
• Accessories; padded bag
• 5-Yr. Professional Tool Warranty; 90-Day Wearable Parts Warranty

Cons:
No safety trigger

 

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3PLUS HFSNSP 2-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer/Stapler

The 3PLUS HFSNSP 2-in-1 flooring nailer/stapler is a durable, air-powered flooring installation tool. It is well-suited for installing dense flooring materials such as oak, maple, engineered, and other solid hardwoods. This flooring nailer offers features that are functionally well-designed for professional contractors as well as DIY-ers.

The 3PLUS 2-in-1 flooring nailer has two interchangeable, no-mar base plates that add stability and scratch-prevention. It allows easy installation of ½” (12.7 mm) through ¾” (19.1 mm) flooring sizes. It effectively drives 1½” to 2” L-cleats (16 gauge) and 1½” to 2” flooring staples (15.5 gauge) from the same magazine. The ergonomically-designed removable, long-reach handle with anti-vibration padded grip adds comfort and control.

The 3PLUS 2-in-1 flooring nailer pneumatic flooring nailer comes with a rubber-headed mallet.

Pros:
Easy to use
• Durable

Cons:
No case included

 

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BYNFORD HARDWOOD FLOORING STAPLER NAILER

The Bynford hardwood flooring nailer/stapler is a reliable, cost effective, general-purpose, air-powered flooring installation tool for DIY-ers. It is only intended as a back-up tool for professional contractors. This flooring nailer/stapler adjusts for multiple material thicknesses. It has been re-designed to allow flooring to be stapled using the lower lip extension on the groove-side that requires that side to be nailed (i.e.: SHAW, etc).

The Bynford hardwood flooring nailer staple has an adjustable shoe for multiple floor thickness from ¼” – 9/16”, and ¾” in limited applications. ). It has an adjustable depth control for limited countersink. It can easily be converted to a standard stapler/brad nailer and effectively drive 1-9/16” brad nails (18 gauge) and less-expensive narrow ¼”-crown flooring staples (18-gauge

The Bynford hardwood pneumatic flooring nailer also comes with a mallet.

Pros:
Adjustable depth
• Inexpensive
• BM plastic case included

Cons:
Poorly-written instructions
• Not recommended for very-thick/very-thin flooring
• Not suitable for cleat nails

 

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LSN3 LOTOS 2-in-1 Air Hardwood Flooring Cleat Nailer and Stapler Gun


The LSN3 LOTOS 2-in-1 flooring nailer/stapler is an easy-to-use, durable, air-powered flooring installation tool well-suited for flooring installation professionals. It is well-suited for installing hardwood materials such as oak, maple, cherry, bamboo, etc.

This flooring nailer/stapler is a lightweight, durable, die-cast, alloy construction. It is manufactured within strict QC guidelines including a cylinder driver blade and extra rubber o-rings. It is equipped with a pre-installed industrial ¼” NPT air hose fitting w/anti-dust cap.

The LSN3 LOTOS 2-in-1 flooring nailer has an extra-wide, composite, interchangeable, no-mar base plate that adds stability and scratch-prevention. It allows easy installation of hardwood tongue-and-groove flooring in ⅜”, 15/32”, 5/8”, 19/32”, and ¾” sizes. It effectively drives 1½” to 2” L-cleats (16 gauge) and 1” to 2” staples (15.5 gauge) without changing magazines. The magazine holds 100 cleats/staples.

The LSN3 LOTOS 2-in-1 flooring nailer pneumatic flooring nailer also comes with oil, a white rubber-headed mallet and modeled carrying case.

Pros:
Easy-to-use
• Lightweight
• Accessories; carrying case
• 1-Yr. Limited Warranty; 3-Yr. Parts & Labor Warranty

Cons:
Intended for professional installers
• No goggles

 

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