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Great cordless nail guns and other DIY gadgets

You've probably used a nail gun if you regularly update or renovate your home. They're a great way to hang trim, install crown molding and repair roofing materials. But traditional nail guns often involve a large, heavy air compressor, limiting your mobility while you work. Cordless nail guns eliminate the hassle of cords, power outlets and air compressors, making them ideal for home-improvement projects.

If you're looking to update your tool kit, there are several cordless nail guns and other gadgets you should consider.

In this article: DeWalt 20 Volt Max Cordless Brad NailerRyobi P320 Airstrike Cordless Brad Nailer and Flir TG165-X Thermal Camera.

What to consider when buying a cordless nail gun

  • Purpose: It's a good idea to consider how you'll use your nail gun. Low-powered models are OK for hanging pictures and installing baseboards, but you may need something with more force if you plan to use it for framing or roofing.
  • Battery life: If you're working on a job site without electricity, you'll need a nail gun with a long-lasting battery. Some can last days without being charged, while others only last a few hours. In many cases, you can buy inexpensive backup batteries to ensure it doesn't die in the middle of the job.
  • Nail gauge and size: The nails' length and width is an essential consideration, as these dictate what you can and can't do with your nail gun. Most cordless nail guns use 18-gauge nails, making them ideal for decorative molding, trim and other fragile materials.
  • Depth control: This setting controls how deep your gun will drive the nail. In most cases, you'll want to match the thickness of the material you're nailing. Most cordless nail guns have tool-free depth control, meaning you can quickly adjust this setting without interrupting your work.

Other tools worth checking out

  • Stud finders: These let you locate wooden framing studs behind your walls. They are particularly handy when you're hanging a heavy object, as a drywall anchor may not support the weight. Many stud finders have additional sensors that help detect wires and plumbing lines.
  • Handheld woodworking planer: Woodworking is becoming increasingly popular, but there are various tools you'll need to get started. A woodworking planer lets you smooth out uneven cuts of wood and is typically faster than using a sander. It can save you money over time, as you can use it to smooth out rough-cut or recycled wood you've purchased at a discount.
  • Impact driver: Some jobs are too tough for a traditional drill. Impact drivers can drive screws through sturdy materials, reducing the time and effort required to finish a job. Some newer impact drivers are roughly the shape and size of a screwdriver and can be struck with a hammer to increase their torque. These are ideal for those wanting a compact option to carry in a pocket or small toolbox.
  • Thermal camera: Thermal cameras are excellent to have in your arsenal while preparing for winter. They let you identify poorly insulated areas in your home and find gaps that let cold air in. They can be relatively pricey, but can save you money over time since you'll be able to make repairs that cut energy costs.

Best cordless nail guns and home-improvement tools

DeWalt 20 Volt Max Cordless Brad Nailer

This has tool-free depth adjustment and jam-release features, so you can continue working without interruption. The battery can last through multiple jobs on a single charge. Many reviewers said it made hanging trim significantly easier.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Bosch Woodworking Hand Planer

This features an ambidextrous lock-off release button for added safety. An excellent choice for leveling uneven boards, it comes with a carrying case.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Ryobi P320 Airstrike Cordless Brad Nailer

This can drive around 60 nails per minute and has a built-in belt clip. The low-nail indicator is a convenient addition that eliminates the hassle of trying to drive nails with an empty gun.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Craftsman V20 Cordless Brad Nailer Kit

This is lightweight and easy to use. It comes with a battery and 300 nails. The depth and jam-release settings don't require tools.

Sold by Amazon

Neu Master Cordless Brad Nailer

This versatile device can drive nails or staples, and has built-in LED lights and a belt hook. It doesn't have as much power as other cordless nailers, but many users said it was a great value for the money.

Sold by Amazon

Flir TG165-X Thermal Camera

This is an excellent way to detect poorly insulated areas in your home. It has a 2.5-inch display and a built-in LED light. It's surprisingly easy to use and comes with a micro SD card to store images.

Sold by Amazon

Makita LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Brad Nailer

This features an ergonomic design and rubber stoppers that prevent you from scratching your work surface. Unlike other nail guns, it doesn't let you dry fire, so you don't have to worry about harming your building materials.

Sold by Home Depot

Craftsman Hand Impact Driver

This simple impact driver can be struck with a hammer to increase its torque. The bits are easy to switch in and out. It's surprisingly affordable.

Sold by Amazon

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Gen II Brad Nailer

This has a nitrogen gas firing mechanism that simulates a traditional nail gun. Its precision-point tip delivers consistent results.

Sold by Home Depot

Franklin Sensors Professional Stud Finder

This features an easy-to-read display and multiple sensors that detect stud edges. It works on drywall, plaster and wood paneling. You can buy it with or without a laser measure.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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