Best Nailers for Joist Hangers

Installing and nailing the joist hangers o roof, frame and table joints with nailer.

Not so long ago, I was building my deck, and one big question I got confronted with was: Which is better: joist hangers, end nailing, or toe nailing? I wanted to know which offers the most robust method for attaching joists to rim joists and ledger boards. I did get some advice and ended up favoring joist hangers. 

Corollary to my abovementioned question is the question about which nailer is best for joist hangers. So, I also needed to find the best nailer for driving nails into joist hangers. Well, I was a bit confused, given the myriads of options of nailers at hand. So, I researched and ended with a list of the most recommended nailers for attaching joist hangers.

Best Nailers & Palm Nailers for Joist Hangers

When buying something like a nailer for joist hangers, you need to limit your option to the best options. You can narrow down your choices by knowing the most recommended nailers by experts. Below are the most recommended nail guns for joist hangers:


If you want something with a compact design, you should check out the BOSTITCH MCN150. You can operate this nailer with a single hand as you drive nails deep into the joists and through the ledger boards and rim joists. It can make the installation of joist hangers quick and straightforward. This nail gun can fit joists without a hitch, leaving not much space in between. 

The BOSTITCH MCN150 is also safe to use with its safety features that prevent any misfire. It also comes with a dry fire lockout that prevents dry firing. Besides, it comes with all the necessary kits like replacement parts, power tool accessories, and fasteners. 

The BOSTITCH MCN150 is lightweight and compact at 5.83 pounds. Its trigger style is non-slip, and its inline magazine offers excellent maneuverability and balance. Moreover, this nailer is robust and durable. It is also easy to use and very portable. It can shoot up nails with a maximum 1-1/2-inch length without leaving any exposed nail tip. 


  • Ergonomic and compact with its trigger-style that’s non-slip
  • Durable and heavy-duty
  • Offers excellent maneuverability and balance


  • Hard to get online help if an issue with an order occurs


Another excellent option of nailer for joist hangers is the METABO HPT NR65AK2. This nail gun weighs around 6.4 pounds. So, you don’t tire your hands quickly using this nailer. Moreover, you can easily maneuver it because of its compact and lightweight design. 

This pneumatic nailer doesn’t need any battery, battery charger, or electrical cord. Thus, you can work efficiently and faster using this nailer. It can drive nails with lengths ranging from one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half inches. Its magazine can also accommodate up to 44 nails. 

Its air deflector allows for easy adjustment of its exhaust air, so you don’t need to bear with the exhaust air hitting your face. Besides, it features a sequential drive setup that ensures the precise driving of nails. It also comes with a soft trigger for better comfort. Lastly, it doesn’t engage in dry firing.


  • Compact and lightweight
  • It comes with a positive safety feature
  • Features a comfortable soft trigger
  • It has an air deflector for deflecting exhaust air
  • It comes with a dry fire lockout mechanism


  • Relatively expensive


I have used the DEWALT DWMC150 to drive more than 5000 nails, and it has proven itself to be very durable and reliable. It is lightweight, easy to use, and easily fits into tight spaces. It can fit easily inside a 12-inch on-center framing to allow you to drive nails inside. 

DEWALT DWMC150 comes with excellent power. It also features a jam-release mechanism, adjustment belt, and rafter hook. The rafter hook adds some extra ounces to its weight, but it is a valuable feature. 


  • Features a jam-free mechanism
  • Comes with a helpful rafter hook and belt


  • Might jam likewise after continuous use


METABO HPT NH90AB is a palm nailer that offers all the necessary features you would love to have in a nailer for joist hangers. It is accurate in driving nails and lightweight enough for better usage and portability. It can drive fasteners ranging from two-and-a-half to three-in-a-half inches. It can also drive fasteners with diameters ranging from 0.113 – 0.162 inches. 

It is very lightweight at 1.3 pounds and comes with a five-year warranty. It also comes with an ergonomic rubber grip for maximum comfort. Plus, it comes with a magnetic nose for holding the fastener in place. Besides, it has a front exhaust for directing the air away from your face. 


  • Features a magnetic nose for accurate placement of the fastener
  • Ergonomic and comfortable to use
  • Offers maximum maneuverability
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Budget-friendly


  • Use much air

5) Senco PC1195

Senco PC1195 is around fifty percent lighter than the standard hand nailer. Thus, it can provide you with ease of use and a high comfort level. It comes with a magnetic nose that holds well nails, and it is pretty accurate. 

You can use this for installing joist hangers, and it is very efficient. It is easy to use, and you can quickly get the hang of its use out of the box.


  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Easy to store away when not in use


  • It doesn’t come with added security features

6) Ridgid Palm Nailer

One sterling feature of the Ridgid Palm Nailer is its magnetic guide for exact fastener placement. It also comes with a depth adjustment that doesn’t need any tool. This depth adjustment allows for micro-adjustment for accurate depth nailing. 

You can use this nailer in places wherein you can’t use your hammer and other more extensive tools. Its operating pressure is from 50 psi to 120 psi. 

It has sufficient power to drive up to 3-1/2″-long nails. Moreover, it is compact and very lightweight, made of aluminum. It also comes with a hand strap that you can adjust with ease.


  • Easy to use in tight spaces
  • Allow for easy nailing of lower angled corners
  • Lightweight and compact


  • Its exhaust can annoy you

7) Estwing EMPN Pneumatic Mini Palm Nailer

The Estwing EMPN comes with a nose that is quite interesting because it is magnetic and holds the nail for easy driving. It is lightweight and compact enough for use. Besides, it is perfect for tight spaces and difficult-to-reach angles. Thus, it is ideal for joist hanger installation. 

It can accommodate nails ranging in length from two inches to four inches. Moreover, it comes with a rubber grip that is comfortable enough. It is also equipped with an air filter.


  • Lightweight and compact
  • Excellent for tight spaces
  • Easy to use and very comfortable


  • Necessitates practice to get the hang of its use

Essential Factors to Consider When Buying a Nailer for Joist Hanger

Aside from knowing the abovementioned most recommended nailers for joist hangers, it will also help if you are familiar with the following essential factors to consider when buying a nailer for joist hangers:

Driving Force

One crucial factor to consider is the nailer’s driving force. Remember that ledger boards and joists are hard and thick wood. Hence, you need sufficient driving force to drive nails onto this lumber. Your nailer should be capable of producing at least 18N to 20N with at least 2000 to 2300 BPM hammering. 

Fastener Compatibility

When installing joist hangers, you will also need to use broader and longer nails. AS such, you will need something compatible with bulk nails ranging from 6D to 16D, and the length’s range should be from 2-1/2 inches to 3-1/2 inches standard nails. 

Nailing Speed

The nailer’s speed is also a crucial factor to consider when buying a nailer for joist hangers. It will help if you go for higher-speed nailers because you will be driving nails through different surfaces. 

Weight and Sizes

You will be using the nailer to drive nails for a prolonged time. Hence, you need something that is not bulky and not weighty. Besides, if you opt, for example, for a palm nailer, you should not choose something too big for your palm. It should also not be heavy not to tire your hands quickly. 

Comfort Level Afforded

You should look for something with an ergonomic design. It should provide a comfortable and solid grip to allow you to hold it without tiring your hands. It should also have a design that is suited for your dominant hand. For example, if you’re a lefty, it should allow your left to use it with ease. 

Magnetized Nose

Another feature to look for is that of a magnetic nose. In this way, you don’t need to hold the nails when you drive them. It should also allow for accurate and quick nailing.

Rubber Grip

It should also feature a rubber grip. If your palms, for example, are sweaty, you will find a rubber grip helpful in keeping your hold on the tool. 

Drive Depth Adjustment

It should have a depth of drive adjustment feature. In this way, you can have perfect control over how far you will drive the nails. Most specialized nailers have this feature.

Velcro Adjustable Strap

Lastly, you should look for something with an adjustable strap. In this way, you can release your grip on the nailer if you are not driving nails.

Frequently Asked Questions

You inch closer to the ideal nailer for joist hangers once you know the essential factors to consider and the most recommended nailers for joist hangers. Nevertheless, you will also benefit if you know the following FAQs about nailers for joist hangers, for they might also be the questions you have in your mind:

Which Types of Nailer Are Most Suitable for Joist Hangers?

Well, the best nailers for joist hangers are those nailers with metal connectors. These metal connectors are not easy to break or bend, and they are robust and sturdy.

What Nailers Should You Use for Nailing Joist Hangers?

You can use the range of nails for joist hangers from 8D to 16D galvanized nails (double-dipped). You can likewise utilize 2-1/2-inch to 3-1/2-inch nails. They should also come with rink shanks.

What Screws Are Best for Joist Hangers?

You can use various screws that could provide a robust and sturdy attachment. You can use SD#9X2-½” and SD#10X2-½”. You can also use SDS#10X1-½” and SDS#9X1-½” for these screws get often used for joist hangers.

Should You Use a Finish or Brad Nailer for Metal Connectors?

You can use these two types of nailers to attach those metal connectors to the wooden frame. Yet, their use isn’t so much recommended. 

Would Gas-powered Nail Guns Work for Joist Hangers?

Gas-powered nail guns might not have sufficient power to drive sturdier and more robust nails for joist hangers. So, you should go for tools with more power. 

Would Pneumatic Tools Work Well for Joist Hangers?

Pneumatic nailers are excellent for joist hangers. So, they are good options for attaching joist hangers. You can also use air-powered nailers. 

Is It Advisable to Use a Palm Nailer for Joist Hangers?

Yes, you can use palm nailers to install joist hangers. They are also more efficient and work well than using your traditional hammer. They got sufficient power to drive nails, and they drive longer nails. Besides, they are easy to use in tight spaces and offer excellent maneuverability.


Joist hangers are usually preferred over end-nailing and toe-nailing. They provide superior force to support the joist and allow for both toe- and face-nailing onto rim joists and ledger boards. The only question you need to address is which nailer you should use for joist hangers. 

As mentioned above, nailers for joist hangers are myriads, making the choosing process a bit confusing. Yet, if you are cognizant of the best nailers for joist hangers and are familiar with the essential factors to consider, you can breeze through the choosing process with ease and make an intelligent purchase that you would not regret.

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