Having a cap nailer in your toolset is something every DIY enthusiast should strive for, especially if you plan on doing a roofing project. Nailing by hand with a hammer-tacker might be faster, but it’s not as accurate or safe as a cap nailer.
Besides that, the cap nailer offers you stronger fastening and greater surface area protection with the cap. The cap fastener is way more durable and can easily withstand harsh weather or other calamities.
With a cap nailer in your hands, you can effortlessly do any roofing, siding, stapling, and more. In this review list and buying guide, we’ll be looking at the top cap nailers on the market.
Without further ado, let’s move on to the reviews for the best cap nailer in 2021.
8 Best Cap Nailers in 2021 [Reviews]
- DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit
- Metabo HPT Finish Nailer Kit
- BOSTITCH Brad Nailer
- Freeman PCN65 Pneumatic
- STINGER CN100B Pneumatic Cap Nailer
- Bostitch Cap Nailer Model N66BC-1
- Metabo HPT Cap Stapler
- BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer
*Note: Dimensions are Length – Width – Height (L x W x H)
1. DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit
The first contender for the best cap nailer is DeWalt‘s pneumatic model, the DWFP12231. It’s an excellent fastener and an overall great tool for a variety of tasks including cabinetry work. It has an operating pressure between 70 and 120 psi, and with it, you can effortlessly drive 18 gauge nails from 5/8″ to 2″ in length.
The DWFP12231 was built to last. Its maintenance-free motor keeps your working surface free of stains. On top of that, the rear exhaust keeps contamination away.
The biggest advantage of DeWalt‘s nailer lies in the tool’s oil-free operation. Because unlike most nailers of similar type, the DWFP12231 doesn’t require any lubrication—a brilliant feature that saves you a lot of time since you don’t have to lubricate the tool before every use.
Another superb feature is the tool-free jam release mechanism that allows you to easily remove nails.
Also, its 5.06 pounds weight means you can take it wherever you want. Its magnesium body is lightweight and sturdy.
Just like most of their tools, DeWalt designed the DWFP12231 brad nailer for user comfort. That can be seen from the integrated rubber grip feature and the adjustable belt hook that allows users to keep the nailer close to them.
- Proper setting of nail heads thanks to a tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment with detents
- Easily remove nails with the tool-free jam release mechanism
- Maintenance-free motor keeps the job site clean with oil-free feature
- Lightweight and ergonomic design for easy portability
- Removable non-marring nose tip for better accuracy when nailing
- Rear exhaust to prevent contaminates in your work area
- Hard to repair if the tool gets damaged due to a lack of spare parts
- Doesn’t have a dry fire lockout mechanism and can jam from time to time
2. Metabo HPT Finish Nailer Kit
Next in line is the pneumatic cap nailer NT65MA4 by Metabo HPT. For those unfamiliar with the recent changes, Metabo HPT is the new name of the world-renowned Japanese power tool manufacturer Hitachi.
This award-winning cap nailer by Metabo HPT is ideal for exterior trims, window and door casings, installing crown or base moldings, chair rails, cabinets, etc. It accepts 15-gauge nail fasteners from 1-1/4″ up to 2-1/2″ in length.
Hitachi’s NT65MA4 model weighs only 4.2 lbs, which increases maneuverability, reduces user fatigue, and makes it very easy to transport. It also comes with a selective actuation trigger that allows you to switch between sequential or contact (bump fire) nailing in a second.
Other great things about this nailer include the tool-free features for a faster nailing experience. The first is the tool-free nail extracting mechanism that allows for quick nail replacement or freeing a jammed nail. The second is the tool-free depth of drive adjustment for better control and professional finishing with flush fastening.
Then, we have the fully adjustable 360-degree exhaust portal. This helps keep exhaust air away from the operator.
However, one of the disadvantages of the NT65MA4 nailer compared to its DeWalt counterpart is the lack of the oil-free feature. You will have to frequently lubricate the nailer so it can ruin without issues.
- A versatile tool for a variety of applications from installing window and door casings to cabinets
- Can accept 15-gauge nails fasteners from 1-1/4″ up to 2-1/2″ in length
- Lightweight design for easy maneuverability including three superb tool-free features
- Angled magazine to easily operate in tight and seemingly unreachable angles
- Air duster keeps the job site clean and exhaust port keeps air exhaust away from you
- No-mar tip to protect surfaces from damage
- 5-year warranty
- Requires frequent lubrication
- Doesn’t feature a dry-fire lockout and a belt hook
3. BOSTITCH Brad Nailer, 18 Gauge, Pneumatic, 2-Inch (BTFP1850K)
The third contender on our list for best cap nailer is a pneumatic nailer by BOSTITCH: the BTFP1850K.
The BOSTITCH BTFP1850K nailer weighs a stunning 2.9 lbs, making it the lightest tool on our list by far.
The lighter a nail gun is, the better. Why? Because you have more control over the nailer, and it reduces user fatigue.
The lightweight design is due to the tool’s small size and magnesium housing. The magnesium housing also provides durability and sturdiness.
This is an excellent tool for paneling installation, trim, staircases, cabinetry, and similar woodworking. It can accept an 18-gauge nail fastener from 5/8″ up to 2-inches in length.
The BTFP1850K has a few tool-free features. Use the tool-free adjustable exhaust cap to effortlessly deflect the exhaust air away from the workspace. The tool-free nail jam release easily removes jammed nails. Then, there’s the adjustable depth guide. Use it to quickly set the nails to the desired depth.
What sells the BTFP1850K, however, is the oil-free feature. No need to worry about lubrication or stains at the job site.
- Ultra-lightweight design for excellent tool maneuverability and minimized user fatigue
- No worries about lubrication since it’s an oil-free nailer
- Tool-free nail jam release, adjustable exhaust cap, and adjustable depth guide
- Comes with a carrying case for even easier transportation
- The no-mar tip that protects the working surface
- Dry-fire lockout feature to prevent it from firing a blank
- 7-year limited warranty
- Doesn’t show how many nails you have left
4. Freeman PCN65 Pneumatic 15 Degree 2-1/2″ Coil Siding Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun
The Freeman’s PCN65 pneumatic model is a reliable, lightweight, and well-balanced nail gun with many great features.
It’s a versatile nailer for a variety of applications that both professional contractors and DIY-enthusiasts can use. You can easily do cement siding, fencing, decking installation, sheathing, roofing, nail plywood or OSB, and so on.
The PCN65 coil siding nailer comes with a magnesium body that makes the tool both lightweight and durable. It has an operating pressure of 70-110 psi and it features a superb magazine with a capacity of 400 fasteners. You won’t have to reload the magazine very often.
An interesting feature of this nailer is the multi-position tray that allows you to use nails of different sizes. Whether you want plastic collated nails from 1-1/4” to 2-1/2” or wire collated nails from 1-3/4” to 2-1/2”, it isn’t an issue for the Freeman PCN65.
Then, we have the 360-degree adjustable exhaust and safety trigger lock features. The first will blow the air away from your face during work, while the second feature allows you to lock the tool and prevent accidental firing.
This oil-free nail gun also features a tool-free depth adjustment to control how deep the fastener goes.
- Transparent bucket to see how many fasteners you have left + side load magazine for quick nail load
- Anti-dust cap to keep the power tool internally clean
- A versatile tool for many applications ranging from roofing to flooring to siding
- Oil-free operation and tool-free depth adjustment feature
- Adjustable belt hook and safety trigger lock
- Ergonomic grip for comfort and adjustable exhaust port
- 7-year limited and 90-day wearable parts warranty
- The PCN65 has a double-firing issue
- Can jam while nailing
5. STINGER CN100B Pneumatic Cap Nailer
When it comes to the best cap nailers, it’s impossible to make a list without the CN100B Stinger cap nailer.
The CN100B cap nailer will help you install roofing underlayment in half the time. How? Because cap fasteners are best for this type of job, and the Stinger CN100B cap nailer ensures you first-class speed and accuracy.
This cap nailer has a cycle rate of 5 cap nails per second when using the correct psi. Moreover, it has a magazine capacity of 200 caps and nails each for fewer reloads when working and increased productivity. Plus, Stinger has special 1″ collated plastic caps and ring shank nails.
Then we have the bump fire and sequential firing modes. But there’s also the tool-free depth of drive adjustment that allows you to set how deep the fastener will penetrate.
Similar to most of the cap nailers we’ve reviewed, the CN100B features a 360° tool-free exhaust, a belt hook, and air fitting.
- Comes with a fastener capacity of 200 caps and nails for fewer reloads
- Cycle rate of five cap nails per second
- Easy-to-use cap nailer with lightweight and ergonomic design
- Tool-free 360° exhaust to keep air away from your face
- 50% faster roofing underlayment installation with the CN100B cap nailer
- Sequential and bump fire firing modes
- Only 1-year limited warranty
- One of the most expensive cap nailers
6. Bostitch Cap Nailer Model N66BC-1
The Bostitch N66BC-1 cap nailer model rivals the CN100B Stinger cap nailer.
This cap nailer has a magnesium body just like the previous tools we reviewed. Because of that, you get a durable and lightweight cap nailer weighing just 5.8 lbs. It’s easy to control and maneuver when operating in tight spaces or doing overhead work.
The Bostitch N66BC-1 cap nailer is great for installing insulation board, foam, and fabric for sheathing, house wrap, etc. With the quick load magazine feature that supports 300 nails and caps, you can do these tasks in one go. For fasteners, you can use both wire weld and plastic inserted coil nails as long as they are from 1-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ in length.
Furthermore, there’s the tool-free depth adjustment feature to easily set the cap nails to the desired nailing depth. Make sure to use the tool-free adjustable exhaust to direct exhaust air away from your face.
- Quick load magazine with a cap capacity of 300 nails and caps
- Adjustable rear exhaust to keep air exhaust away from the operator
- Tool-free depth adjustment to quickly set the cap nail at the desired depth
- Magnesium body for durability and lightweight design
- 7-year limited warranty by Bostitch
- Similar to the Cn100B cap nailer, the N66BC-1 is also quite expensive
- Can skip caps or nails
7. Metabo HPT Cap Stapler
As the penultimate tool on our guide, we chose another product by Metabo HPT. The N3808AP is a great pneumatic cap stapler for fastening tasks. And, it includes a 5-year warranty.
The Hitachi N3808AP is ideal for foam insulation, house wrap, roofing felt, tar paper, and so on. It supports 18 gauge staples of 7/8″, 1-1/4″, and 1-½” lengths.
Thanks to its lightweight design (4.8 lbs.), the N3808AP cap stapler is easily maneuverable even for beginners. The ergonomic soft-grip handle gives the operator greater comfort during work and minimizes fatigue.
You can fill the magazine with 200 staples, and add an equal amount of caps in the basket as well. The side-load cap magazine is also translucent so you can check the number of caps left with ease.
Just like every other tool on this list, the N3808AP also comes with a tool-free depth of drive adjustment to set the fastener’s depth depending on the task. Same with the 360° adjustable exhaust that deflects air away.
- Ergonomic design with a soft grip handle for added comfort and less user fatigue
- Red trigger for sequential firing and black trigger for bump fire
- Translucent magazine with capacity for 200 caps and staples
- A versatile tool for a variety of applications (roofing, foam insulation, house wrap, etc.)
- Tool-free depth of drive adjustment and adjustable 360° exhaust
- 5-year warranty
- The N3808AP cap stapler may misfire
8. BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer, 1-3/4-Inch to 1-3/4-Inch (RN46)
If you weren’t impressed with the first two Bostitch nailers we reviewed, here’s a third one. This time, we have the RN46-1 nailer—the best for roofing.
The Bostitch RN46 weighs just 5.8 lbs thanks to the magnesium housing, making it well-balanced and easy to maneuver.
Besides roofing, you can use it for many other applications as well, such as insulation board, vinyl siding, drywall, cement, etc. It can support ¾” to 1¾” coil roofing fasteners and has a dry-fire lockout mechanism that prevents it from shooting blanks.
But the best thing about the RN46 is its power and speed. For instance, when on bump fire mode, you can drive up to 100 nails per minute.
The adjustable depth control feature allows you to control the fastener’s drive to your liking. What makes the Bostitch RN46 special compared to other nailers is the patented single-action side-load canister. This allows easy one-step nail loading.
- Features both sequential and bump firing modes with a cycle rate of 100 nails per second
- Over-molded grip for added comfort and security
- Magnesium housing for durability and lightweight design
- Adjustable depth of drive and adjustable shingle guide for fast shingle spacing
- Patented single-load canister for quick loading of fasteners
- Lockout mechanism that prevents dry-firing
- 7-year limited warranty
- Smaller magazine capacity—can hold only 120 coil nails
Buying Guide for Cap Nailer
In most situations when buying the “best” tool, in this case – the best cap nailer, the deciding factor is the buyer himself. On the market, you’ll find dozens of excellent products, however, only a few will suit your needs.
That’s why it’s important to know what type of work you’ll be doing before buying a suitable cap nailer. Will you use it for framing, roofing, siding, flooring, trim work, moldings, or casings? Make sure you have the best cap nailer for the task.
What is a Cap Nailer?
A cap nailer is a type of nail gun that uses a cap fastener instead of the standard nail. The cap increases the surface zone which the nail protects, thus making it stronger. The cap also makes the fastener more durable during harsh weather conditions.
While the cap nailer is used for many applications, it’s most popular for roofing underlayment, felt, and house wrap.
What to Look for in a Cap Nailer?
On our list, every cap nailer is pneumatic (i.e. air-powered). Their operating pressure is 70-110/120 psi and all of them are well-balanced and durable with lightweight design. While we made sure all of them fall in the same range quality-wise, there are still differences between them.
Make sure you pay attention to the following:
- Weight – The lighter the tool, the easier it is to maneuver and shoot.
- Magazine Cap Capacity – Larger capacity makes for less reloading.
- Quick Load Magazine – Quickly reload your fasteners to save time.
- Contact/bump-fire vs Sequential fire mode – The first is faster but more dangerous, while the second is slower and safer.
- The Material – This tells you how durable, sturdy, and lightweight it is.
- Dry-fire lockout mechanism – Prevents the nailer from firing blanks
- Tool-free features – Whether for nail jam release, depth, or exhaust adjustment, tool-free is always faster.
- Oil-free operation – Saves you valuable time on lubrication.
When facing a roofing, siding, or similar project, your best investment would be a top-tier cap nailer. Hammer-tackers might give you the speed, but they can’t guarantee you accuracy, safety, or most importantly, surface protection like the cap nailer can.
To achieve that you’ll need a great nailer. That’s why in this guide we reviewed some of the best cap nailers on the market.
Depending on the type of job you’ll do, choose an adequate nailer for your needs.
You may also like
The 8 Best Sanders For Cabinets In 2021 And A Detailed Buyer’s Guide
In this guide, I road test the eight best sanders on the market in a real-world environment and tell you how they perform.Read more
The 9 Best Sanders For Refinishing Furniture In 2021 [Detailed Buyer’s Guide]
Whether your favorite household furniture is starting to look a bit tired or you’ve picked up a diamond in the rough from a yard sale, you need the tools and know-how to restore them to their former glory.Read more
The 12 Best Sanders For Trim Work And A Detailed Buyer’s Guide
In the detailed buyer’s guide to choosing the best sanders for trim work, I’ll show you everything you need to look for when shopping for a sander to help you prepare your trim.Read more