Best Cordless Finish Nailer

Having remodeled my parents’ basement, our garage, and my father-in-law’s cabin, I have sat down with several finish nailers and I would have to say I have my own share of ups and downs during the course of shooting more than 2000 nails.

Looking Performance and Convenience: I made the right choice! Drum roll…the Paslode 902400…

Paslode 902400 Cordless 16g Angled Lithium Ion Finish Nailer Review

Paslode 902400 Finish Nailer

I experienced using my father’s old nail gun wherein I had to drag an air compressor and hoses from room to room so it was a blessing when I bought Paslode –my first cordless nail gun.

My wife also stopped complaining on having to deal with loud noises coming from the compressor. It was a bit on the expensive side as it cost me $349.84 but it was worth it and I have not looked back!

For a non-professional like me, I appreciate how easy it is to use even the turn-dial. Nails are driven straight and according to my desired depth. I can see exactly where my nail will drive! I can even use it at narrow joints of shelves and staircases.


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In the Flesh the Paslode 902400 Cordless Nailer

It has a good grip and allowed me to work on hardwood flooring and door jambs straight for couple of hours without having to suffer the usual arm fatigue of carpenters.

More importantly, I didn’t have to worry on having upper arm muscle cramps as it weighed like a feather (only 4.5 lbs).

I did fall from a ladder once (with my Paslode in hand!), but not surprisingly, the tool was durable and I didn’t worry on the battery falling out and breaking since the battery was safely secured. The only thing that I had to worry was my back!

The only drawback is that whenever I use it at dimmed places especially in the basement, I would have to switch on carrying Paslode from right to left to see the LED light. Anyway, that’s a minor annoyance and I still have yet to complain on the price…

Yes, it is a bit costly. But the overall performance and convenience of Paslode 902400 Cordless 16g Angled Li Ion Finish Nailer made every cent worth it!

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Another Five-Star Cordless Nail Gun – The DeWalt DC618K

Imagine my distress when my wife asked me to remodel my father-in-law’s cabin last summer. I think my very gracious wife knew exactly what my reaction would be, which is why she bought me a DeWalt DC618K XRP Nailer Kit. While I have no complains with Paslode 902400, I definitely have no complains on this new nail gun from DeWalt!

Dewalt DC608KThe DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4 Inch – 2-1/2 Inch 16 Gauge 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit

The DC618K is slightly less expensive than Paslode 902400 and cost $329.99. Its functions are not so different from Paslode. However, it has its edges and minor drawback compared to Paslode. You can get a full Dewalt DC618K review here, but for now here is a quick overview.



Power, Performance, and Precision

Similar to Paslode, I had no issues whatsoever with regard to using the nailer gun for hours. Paslode is running on Lithium Ion while DeWalt is running on NiCad battery. While I heard better news on Lithium Ion batteries, I didn’t encounter problems such as having to interrupt my work to recharge the battery. It seems that it can fire a million nails on a single battery. And thank heavens, there’s also no need to drag around air hoses from ladder to ladder.

It has a good nail capacity of up to 120 nails and true to its advertisement, it has an accurate nail penetration according to my specified setting. Have you experienced having nail heads sticking out? Based from the hundreds of nails I drove to hardwood and base boards, so farI haven’t had the annoying misfortune of sticking nail heads.

I also love its bump operating mode wherein I can drive nails as fast as I want by simply flipping a switch. But I guess its safety feature of fully releasing the contact tip first before pulling the trigger is a fantastic one from DeWalt because it ensures that there will be no misfire causing two nails on the same spot. You’ll be thankful if you have a shaky hand like mine.

I had only two cases of jammed nails but it was a minor bother as DeWalt indeed allows easy access to nosepiece as stated in the advertisement. I didn’t even have to use screwdriver or tool wrenches!

Given the large body, you’d think that you can only use this on flat surfaces. But amazingly because of its narrow nose, I was able to drive nails through the inside of cabinets without having to perform some arm acrobatics.


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Praise the lord for LED and versatility

Aside from my favorite feature of bump operating mode where you can fire a nail every time you bump it while holding the trigger, I am totally enthralled by the cool feature of integrated LED lights. Perfect for sticking nails in dimmed areas.

Another plus point for DeWalt? I can use my Paslode 20-degree nails!It is so powerful and convenient I am almost surprised I didn’t buy this tool sooner.

Heavy weight: minor itch

The only minor drawback of DEWALT DC618K is that it is…well, heavy. It weighs 8 lbs –almost twice as that of Paslode. I would not recommend slinging your DeWalt tool in your belt clip unless you want your pants on the floor. But this is just a minor drawback and if you still want to trim fast and flawlessly, DEWALT DC618K is your good investment. You will find your next woodcraft project to be an easy breeze.

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Content and not looking for replacement

I used Paslode and DEWALT for virtually all of my projects. Needless to say, I am very satisfied with both of them (particularly DEWALT) and I am not looking for any replacement any time soon… especially since the cost of the tools is rather expensive!

Nevertheless, it is only fair that I give a review on another cordless nail gun that I used in between: the Bostitch GFN1664K 16-Gauge Cordless Gas Finish Nailer…

Bostitch GFN1664K 16-Gauge Cordless Gas Finish Nailer

Bostitch GFN1664K Finish NailerCosting at around $199.99, the BostitchGFN1664K is one of the cheapest among the popular (cordless) battery powered guns in the market.

Being $100 cheaper than Paslode and DEWALT, I am tempted to question the durability and performance of this Bostitch tool gun. But in all fairness to Bostitch, it is not so far behind the two brands.

It is run by Lithium Ion battery so it can work up to extended hours without being recharged. It is easy to carry around, a feather compared to DEWALT. Similar to Paslode, it has a good grip on sticky fingers and pull of trigger. It uses the same nails as Paslode.

Slightly disappointing lack of power

They say that when you had the best of the world has to offer, it is hard to go back to the second best. Unfortunately,I already experienced using Paslode and DEWALT cordless nail guns. Sad to say, it lacks the power that I get with using either Paslode or DEWALT.

Furthermore, be ready to wear some ear plugs as it can be quite noisier than both Paslode and DEWALT.During my first use of this nailer, my ears started to ring which was definitely a pain so I used ear plugs. But if you are coming from a history of compressors, then perhaps the sound of Bostitch is music to your ears.


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Be careful of the instructions

But those are not the only setback I experienced with Bostitch. I started having problems even from starting to load the gas cartridge.

I spent a good chunk of my time trying to get the cap off the gas canister then trying to figure out the “metering valve.” I thought I was doing something wrong or maybe one more stupid action then I will waste it. Apparently, you just need to apply a strong force in removing the cap as well as pushing the adapter on.I guess the Bostitch folks should look at this as an area for improvement with respect to the manual.

So to all of you who will be using Bostitch GFN1664K for the first time, don’t panic and pull your hair out if you still can’t figure out that gas canister. Just pull hard on the cap and use strong force to attach the metering valve to the top of the cartridge.

It is all I can say about the $100 differential between Bostitch and Paslode/DEWALT. The high dollar value of both Paslode and DEWALT make up the power and consistency that is lacking in Bostitch. As such you will not go wrong with either them!

I have only used this cordless nailer for a few months so I could not vouch for its durability. But if you are a DIY’er, Bostitch may probably be an adequate partner for your bench or cabinet project. Furthermore, if you are running on a tight budget and do not want to compromise on quality, Bostitch GFN1664K is your best bet.

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