pneumatic nailers awards lg

Few tools can match the power and weight advantages of pneumatic models. On the other hand, lithium-ion technology is moving even the toughest nailers to drop the hose in favor of unlimited movement. Whichever camp you fall into, this year’s 2016 Pneumatic Tools & Nailers Awards category features the best of what pneumatics and nailers have to offer. You may also get a glimpse of where these tools might be headed in the future.

Winner – Cordless Finish Nailers

DeWalt DCN660DeWalt DCN660 20V MAX Cordless 16 GA Angled Finish Nailer with EXTREME RUNTIME (XR)

What they said: DEWALT introduces the DCN660, its most advanced, light-weight, compact, and highly anticipated 20V MAX* Cordless 16 GA Angled Finish Nailer with EXTREME RUNTIME (XR), powered strictly by a Lithium Ion battery. With its efficient brushless motor, the DCN660, ‘ready to fire’ 16 GA cordless finish nailer is designed to be the primary finish nailer for Contractor’s, Remodelers, Trim and Finish Carpenters, and Cabinet Makers and Installers

What we say: DeWalt’s DCN660 doesn’t completely bridge the gap between pneumatic and cordless nailers, but it sure makes up some ground! Advances in firing speed and run time are there, but the really big deal is the footprint. DeWalt’s 20V Max 16 Gauge Angles Finish Nailer is smaller and lighter than its current competition. Weight is the bigger issue for most users, and getting down to the 6-pound mark with a battery is a significant achievement. 

Price: $399

For more information, click here.


Winner – Pneumatic Framing Nailers

DeWalt DWF83PLDeWalt DWF83PL 21° Plastic Collated Framing Nailer

What they said: DEWALT’s 21° Plastic Collated Framing Nailer (DWF83PL) weighs only 8 lbs. and is only 12.5” in height. Its lightweight and compact design is optimized to be balanced at the trigger. This, combined with the framer’s engine designed to dampen recoil, provides the user with a smooth feel during use which allows for high production framing applications. The low recoil of the tool helps to reduce user fatigue and allows for comfortable use. In addition, the framer offers extreme durability with an extruded aluminum magazine as opposed to stamped sheet metal, enabling the tool to withstand harsh jobsite conditions, preventing nail stick overlap, ultimately preventing jams and offering better drive quality. Finally, the framer includes industry-standard tool-free features such as an adjustable rafter hook, depth-adjustment and a selectable trigger.

What we say: Smooth isn’t necessarily a term you’ll hear tossed around when it comes to framing nailers, but the DeWalt DWF83PL is being described as such. DeWalt managed to get the weight down to just 8 pounds while still offering a magazine capacity that holds two full strips of nails. This, combined with reduced recoil, nets a relatively smooth user experience compared to other nailers on the market. As they continue to find their way into the hands of professional users, you’ll be hearing more people talk about DeWalt’s pneumatic nailer lineup.

Price: $269.00

For more information, click here.


  • Prime Global Estwing EFR2190
  • Ridgid R350RHF 21 Degree 3-1/2 in. Round Head Framing Nailer

Winner – Cordless Metal Connector Nailers

DeWalt DCN693DeWalt DCN693 20V MAX* XR Cordless Metal Connector Nailer

What they said: DEWALT introduces the 20V MAX* XR® Cordless Metal Connector Nailer (MCN) with EXTREME RUNTIME, powered strictly by a Lithium Ion battery. This cordless Metal Connector Nailer is the only cordless MCN available on the US market today, it drives industry standard 35° paper collated metal connector nails from 1-1/2” to 2-1/2” in length and achieves 600 shots per charge with 1-1/2” nails on a 4.0Ah 20V MAX* DEWALT Battery. 

A tip probe ensures precise fastener placement while multi-functional LEDs provide added convenience. The 20V MAX* Cordless Metal Connector Nailer (DCN693) offers tool-free depth adjustment, allowing users to adjust nail depth for different materials. A convenient speed selector switch can easily change from Speed 1 for operating 1-1/2″ or to Speed 2 for 2-1/2″ nails while a stall release lever helps to reset the driver blade in the case of a stall or jammed nail and an onboard hex key can be used to clear tool jams for magazine removal.

What we say: Metal connector nailers are worth their weight in gold when it comes to fastening beams, joists, and other material using metal straps and hangers. When DeWalt announced they had produced a cordless model, it immediately turned heads. Similar to the DeWalt cordless framing nailer, the company put a two-speed selector on board to cover the range of nail lengths it can handle. Plenty of other user-friendly features are found on this nailer, but the fact that it’s cordless is a huge advantage for this class of tool. 

Price: $549.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Roofing Nailers

DeWalt DW45RNDeWalt DW45RN Coil Roofing Nailer

What they said: The Coil Roofing Nailer (DW45RN) weighs 5.2 lbs. and is less than 10” in height to aid in hard-to-reach nailing under dormers and overhangs. Parallel valve technology offers dampened recoil for a smooth feel and rapid cycle speeds. The roofing nailer offers robust feed and drive mechanisms and a composite piston ring for long life. The design of the canister is innovative, with a window to easily identify when to reload. The dual sequence loading system can hold nails in place while closing canister doors and the integrated latch and hinge tray is easily adjusted for different nail lengths. Finally, this roofing nailer is extremely durable and provides easy serviceability. Common maintenance such as valve or piston changes can be completed in less than five minutes with just one tool. With low maintenance intervals and service cycles, it is optimal for use installing standard asphalt shingles.

What we say: Lightweight and compact are relative when it comes to nailers, but DeWalt’s DW45RN is about as lightweight and compact as we’ve seen. At just over 5 pounds and under 10 inches tall, this well-balanced roofing nailer will reduce fatigue and get into some tight spots. You’ll be hard pressed to outwork this model. It has the ability to fire 10 nails per second, and we have yet to meet someone who can pull that off while getting quality results. When it comes to installing asphalt shingles, this nailer is an easy recommendation. 

Price: $269.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Staplers

Prime Global EFL50QPrime Global EFL50Q

What they said: The EFL50Q 2-in-1 Flooring Nailer and Stapler is part of Estwing’s inaugural line of pneumatic tools. Well-known for its line of hammers, Estwing continues to innovate and has introduced a flooring nailer that takes the hard work out of laying wooden flooring.

The 2-in-1 flooring nailer gives you the flexibility to switch between the two most popular flooring fasteners without having to carry around separate tools. The light-strike bumper makes it easy to drive 16-gauge L-cleats or 15.5-gauge 1/2″ crown staples at the perfect angle every time with just a single strike. The interchangeable base plates give you the versatility of installing flooring from 5/8” to 3/4″, and the top-load magazine holds up to 120 fasteners ranging from 1-1/2” to 2” depending on your flooring thickness. The lightweight fiberglass mallet sets flooring into place without marring the surface, the no-mar foot protects surfaces when the nailer slides into place.

What we say: Estwing has built its reputation in the hand tool sector with its line of hammer and axes. Now they’re moving into the pneumatic side of things and hope to find the same success. Estwing partnered with Prime Global Products to immediately go after a 2-in-1 solution rather than individual flooring nailer/staplers to accomplish the same task. They’ve kept the weight down pretty well at just 8 pounds. They also paired it with a 22” handle to help save some strain on your back. We’re all curious to see how well Estwing’s pneumatic tools are going to be received, but it looks like they’re off to a solid start. 

Price: $249.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Cordless Staplers

Fasco F70G Fence 40-315

Fasco F70G Fence 40-315

What they said: With innovation in mind, after several years of success of the F46 Fencing Stapler and ef40-315 galvanized and copper clad staples we have created a battery and fuel operated tool to satisfy the needs of the worker who doesn’t have easy access to air or power. The F70G Fence 40-315 was designed to take the same 10-1/2 gauge staples used in construction of wire fence, animal confinement (hog panel), and utility ground wire applications with the added benefit of being cord free.

What we say: There are few frontiers remaining where pneumatic nailers and staplers haven’t been replaced by some form of cordless model. Fencing is one of the most recent to fall. Fasco has developed the F70G Fence 40-315 as a fuel cell stapler to cover agricultural, perimeter, and utility applications. The benefits are huge time savings over hammer and staple as well as the convenience of not dragging around a gas compressor and hose. For applications where you need to install 10-1/2 gauge staples, Fasco has the solution.

Price: TBD

For more information, click here.

Winner – Air Compressor Accessories


What they said: The AIRKEG works in conjunction with a contractor’s existing pneumatic system and provides numerous benefits.

1). It provides the user with more air, which prevents the air compressor from cycling too often. As a result, gas-powered compressors get better fuel economy and electric-powered models run cooler.

2). By bringing a supplementary air supply closer to the tool, the user can work farther from the air compressor while minimizing frictional loss.

3). Lastly, additional air means consistent pressure to the tool for longer periods of time. The result is fewer ‘stair-stepped’ nails.

What we say: Rolair is rolling out a keg party! How many times have you wished your compressor had more capacity? Now you can add an extra 10 gallons without forking out the cash for an entire compressor. Rolair’s AirKeg is a simple reserve tank that you can fit to your existing system to give you more air at the pressure you need. Once the AirKeg and compressor tanks are full, your motor will need to cycle less to keep up. Alternatively, you can charge the AirKeg and use it as a portable air supply for spaces where motor noise (or dragging a heavy compressor) isn’t an option. How will the AirKeg make your life easier?

Price: $185.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Electric Air Compressors

ROLAIR Compressors JC10PLUSROLAIR Compressors JC10PLUS

What they said: The JC10PLUS is the follow-up to our popular JC10 oil-less, ultra-quiet compressor. It’s been redesigned to feature a sturdier roll cage, larger tank and lower profile. The gauges are now easier to read and the tank assembly features thicker vibration dampeners, a cord wrap and an ergonomic handle grip. Performance improvements include lower amp draw, improved cold-weather starting and increased CFM output.

What we say: Rolair makes just one type of product: compressors. When you’re hyper-focused on a product class like that, you become really good at what you do. That’s why Rolair enjoys such a solid reputation in the industry. Rolair took their popular 1HP compressor and tweaked it to make it better without losing any performance. Durability is improved with a stouter roll cage. The gauges are also easier to read, and the tank size has increased. All this comes with performance benefits as well. You get higher air delivery, better cold weather starting, and a lower amp draw. Can Rolair make it any better? If they think there’s a way, we’re pretty sure they’re already working on it!

Price: $239.00

For more information, click here.


  • Wood Industries EA-5000 Silent Series Side Stack Compressor w/Wheels

Winner – Gas Air Compressors

ROLAIR Compressors 6590HK18ROLAIR Compressors 6590HK18

What they said: Although the 196 cc (6.5 HP) model 6590HK18 has been on the market for a number of years, it has stood the test of time with very little competition. It’s very popular among residential contractors because it delivers nearly 50% more air than the 163 cc (5.5 HP) model 4090HK17, but costs only about 10% more (based on MAP pricing). The compressor features an Italian-built pump with a finned aftercooler and over-sized crankcase pre-filled with synthetic blend oil. Contractors also like the foam-filled, flat-free tire which holds up well on the job site.

What we say: When any tool stays on the market for a long period of time and remains a top choice among Pros, you know the manufacturer did something right. That’s the case with Rolair’s 6590HK18. Its 6.5 horsepower, 196 cc Honda engine produces a beefy 13.8 CFM at 90 PSI. It’s rated to run up to 9 roofing nailers or 7 framing nailers at one time. Rolair has built this compressor to be as durable as the jobsites it works on. What little competition it has seen continues to fall short of the quality and performance that Rolair offers in this unit. 

Price: $1,099.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Pneumatic Impact Wrenches

Proto J150WP-M 1/2" Mini Impact WrenchProto J150WP-M 1/2″ Mini Impact Wrench

What they said: PROTO Mini Impact Wrenches deliver big power in a small package that allows them to break loose and fasten bolts in a limited space. With the versatility to perform multiple applications with one tool, they also provide durability for the demands of the industrial market.

At 4.4 inches in length, the 1/2” Mini Impact Wrench features 635 foot-pounds of breakaway torque. The unit weighs only 2.9lbs which adds to its ease of use in a wide range of applications including the assembly and disassembly of heavy equipment, industrial maintenance and repair, manufacturing, and fleet maintenance. 

What we say: If you work in a shop with air power available, there are few tools that can match the power of a pneumatic impact wrench. The telltale zip of a pneumatic wrench in action is a surefire call that gets car enthusiasts excited. Proto offers a full line of pneumatic wrenches, and the 1/2” Mini is a compact tool that packs a big punch. At just under 3 pounds, and less than 4-1/2” tall, you’ll make the grab for the Mini’s 635 foot pounds of breakaway torque on all but the toughest jobs.

Price: $275.00

For more information, click here.