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Pneumatic vs Cordless Finish Nailers – Which One to Choose?

Whether you are a hobbyist handling a DIY project or an expert, you need to use a finish nailer that is right for the job. Otherwise, the quality of work won’t be pleasing to the eye, and for a professional, this may cost you valuable contracts. In choosing a finish nailer, you can either go for a pneumatic or a cordless one. Many people, especially the inexperienced, find it hard to choose between these two. To help you choose, let’s do a comparison between pneumatic and cordless finish nailers. This will help you make a decision on which one to choose between the two.

1. Comparison in terms of cost

In terms of costs, Cordless finish nailer is cheaper. Some cordless nailers, without accessories, start at around $140. A pneumatic finish nailer at the base level is cheaper. However, when you add the accessories, it becomes more expensive and can rise up to over $200. In spite of the higher prices, the pneumatic is better for professionals. It’s more recent, which means it is equipped with better functionalities.

2. Comparison in terms of ergonomics

In terms of ergonomics, the pneumatic one is better. One of the reasons why it is better is because it’s lighter. A standard pneumatic finish nailer can weight around 2 pounds. That’s much lighter than standard cordless finish nailer, which can start at 7 pounds. For a person working on a DIY project, the pneumatics’ light weight is perfect. However, for a professional, any of them can do just fine, though the pneumatics’ light weight is an advantage.

3. Comparison in terms of run time

When it comes to run time, the cordless finish nailer takes the prize hands down.  It is battery powered, which means you have more flexibility to operate it even when you don’t have power. On top of that, the batteries are quite long-lasting, which means you are unlikely to outwork them in one session. The pneumatic finish nailer is not that inconvenient though. As long as you have a reliable power source, it will serve you much better. However, since one may not always work in environments where there is a connected power source, the cordless one may be the best option.

4. Comparison in terms of ease of use

Ease of use is relative. A tool that looks easy to use to a professional may seem difficult to a newbie. For people who are not used to finish nailers, a cordless one may be the best option. That’s because the pneumatic is designed to fit more with the needs of professionals. Professionals prefer pneumatics because they can be used in circumstances that would be hard to work on with cordless finish nailers. In essence, if you are just a DIY type of person, just go for the cordless. Otherwise, you may be better off choosing pneumatic nailers.


What to go for should mainly be determined by your level of experience, with the pneumatic being more preferable to experienced professionals. Cost and aesthetics do have a role to play too, but the differences in these aspects are not that big.

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