Using the best nail gun for crown molding can help you avoid DIY disasters. Because crown molding is so heavy, the correct nail gun should be used.
Larger nails and more force will be needed to counteract the weight and gravity factors when installing these types of decorations. Therefore, the best nail gun is critical to safely and appropriately installing crown molding.
A nail gun for this type of work needs to be at least a 15 gauge. The larger the gauge number, the smaller the nail. For example, 18 gauge nails can install lighter woods or materials.
However, for crown molding that is made from harder and heavier materials, a 15 or 16 gauge nail gun is the best bet.
Nail guns for this type of work are also called finish nailers. That is because they are used to attach finishing pieces around a room.
These types of nail guns are designed to nail items with uniformity and discretion that other nail guns may not offer.
For your convenience, we’ve gathered the best nail guns for this type of work to make your shopping experience easier. To learn more about what a nail gun can offer, keep reading.
Best Nail Guns for Crown Molding Reviews:
1. Makita AF505N Nail Gun
Pneumatic Operation: The Makita AF505N is a pneumatic nail gun. It operates at a pressure between 60 and 115 psi. Once it has the right pressure, the tool can fire 18-gauge nails sizes 5/8 to two inches.
Its magazine can hold up to 100 nails, which gives you the capacity to work on a huge part of the project before reloading.
Lightweight Construction: Like other pneumatic tools, the Makita AF505N Nail gun is lightweight and small in size. It weighs only three pounds, which means you can use it all day without hand fatigue.
It is also a compact and ergonomically designed tool, so you can use it even on those hard-to-reach areas.
Quick-Release Cam Lock: The tool comes with the convenience features you need in a nail gun. For starters, it has a quick-release cam lock that allows you to open the nail guide assembly with ease.
This is important in case there is a nail jam and you need to continue with your work with no downtime.
Further, this crown molding nail gun has a depth adjustment dial, which allows you to work on several applications.
Non-Marring Rubber Nose: On the unit is a non-marring rubber nose with bumpers that protect the wood surface you are working on. The nose will not leave scratches on the wood.
The tool hook allows you to rotate the nailer up to 180 degrees without disrupting the operation of the tool.
The nose piece is machined for precision operation. You can use it on delicate surfaces and still expect stellar results. There is a reload indicator that shows you when you are down to two nails.
This way, you can reload in time to avoid blank drives. The exhaust port on the tool can rotate 360 degrees so that you can direct the fumes away from you.
Ergonomic Grip: The tool sports an ergonomic rubber grip that is comfortable to use. This grip gives you control over the tool and ensures you do not end up fatigued after a day of using the tool.
Versatile Construction: This nail gun is ideal for trim work, crown molding, baseboard molding, and flooring among other applications.
With the package, you get an oil supply, safety goggles, and a toolbox for your nailer.
- Lightweight and well balanced to give you control
- Easy to fix jams, which are less common
- Versatile for several woodworking applications
- Cast and machined nose piece for precise operation
- The nose doesn’t scratch the working surface
- Does not need any tools to adjust during use
2. Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP Finish Nail Gun
Rubberized Grip: The Senco FinishPro nail gun is designed for professional users. It provides superior performance and offers a professional finish on a variety of projects.
This crown molding nail gun has a rubberized grip and a rugged internal mechanism that gives you control and allows you to drive in nails in the toughest joints.
Its internal structure has some magnesium parts that make it lightweight and easy to use.
The ergonomic design and the lightweight construction reduce arm and wrist fatigue so that you can do more in a day.
Pneumatic Operation: This is a pneumatic tool that operates at between 70 and 120 psi pressure. You can use it with 150-gauge nails, which can be galvanized or bright. The nails can be between 1.25 and 2.5 inches long.
Tough Construction: With this tool, you can drive nails into tough woods such as white oak. This also makes the tool ideal for interior trim work, base and crown molding, door and window casings, flooring, cabinets, and chair rails.
Thanks to the magnesium casing, the tool is able to withstand the toughest jobs without wear and tear.
Depth Gauge Feature: Besides being tough, the Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP nailer offers precise performance, thanks to the depth gauge dial.
It also has a variable thumbwheel that allows you to adjust the depth of the drive for precision.
The magazine can hold up to 104 nails, allowing you to work with no interruptions. Their EZ clear latch ensures there are no nail jams, and you can work without downtime.
Even better, it is designed to work with no misfires or double nailing for even better precision.
Lightweight Construction: You will find this nail gun safe to use, thanks to the lightweight construction. It is comfortable to hold and has a custom grip and trigger.
Lever Lube and Anti-Mar Nose: This tool comes with a lever lube that protects the work surface so that there are no scratches on your delicate work surface and there are also no oil spills.
The mar-pad ensures that the wood is safe from harm and also reduces the chances of slipping. You will get a case to store your crown molding nail gun when not in use.
- Tough construction for touch jobs
- Precise operation
- Lightweight and comfortable to use
- Protects your work surface from scratches and oil spills
- Comes ready to use
- High magazine capacity, 104 nails
3. Freeman P4FRFNCB Pneumatic Nail Gun
Set of Three: This is a set of four pneumatic nailers from Freeman. This way, you will have a tool for each of the framing and finishing tasks you want to carry out.
The four tools in the set include a framing nailer, a brad nailer, a finish nailer, and a narrow crown stapler.
You can use the brad nailer when you need a crown molding nail gun. Freeman offers you a heavy-duty canvas bag to carry or store the four tools.
Heavy Duty Construction: You can use these nailers for heavy-duty work. They are powered, which gives them the capability to handle nailing on the hardwood.
You can use them for subfloors, fencing, roof decking, and pallet building. However, they still offer great precision when you are doing crown molding or decorative work indoors or outdoors.
Durable Features: The unit features Teflon O-rings that ensure the unit wears less so that the cylinders and the pistons last a long time.
Further, it features single-piece hardened steel blades that ensure the unit doesn’t develop internal failure.
The magazine and the cylinders sport an anodized aluminum construction, which makes them more durable even under rugged use.
When the pistons fire or retract during use, the surface is able to withstand the friction.
Tool Jam Release: There is a quick jam release; one of the best features of the nail gun for crown molding. With this feature, you will be able to clear nail jam in case it happens.
Convenience Features: Freeman offers a host of convenience features such as an adjustable depth knob, allowing you to handle different applications.
Inside the unit is an air filter, which acts as a dust cap to ensure dust and debris do not get into the magazine.
This is how the nail guns avoid a nail jam. By protecting it from dust and debris, the life of the tool also extends.
Oil-Free Design: Unlike other units, this tool has an oil-free design, which makes it easier to maintain. It has an anti-dry fire mechanism that reduces the damage to internal components.
The tool has a magnesium construction, which makes it lightweight and allows you to use it without fatigue. There is a no-mar tip that ensures that the tool doesn’t cause scratches on the board surface.
- Lightweight construction
- The no-mar tip produces clean work
- Air filter to protect the magazine and internal components
- Maintenance-free design
- Quick-release nose to fix the jam
- Set of all the tools you need for different applications
4. NuMax SBR50 Pneumatic Nail Gun for Crown Molding
Lightweight: This is a two-inch brad nailer designed for crown molding, doors, baseboard, trim, and handrails. It features aluminum construction that makes it lightweight and easy to use, especially for projects that last many days.
There is an adjustable exhaust that sends the fumes away from you. It also comes with a reload indicator that notifies you when you need to reload the nails.
Versatile Construction: This crown molding nailer works with 18-gauge brad nails, which are between 5/8 and two inches.
This makes it a versatile tool that you can use for chair rails, base molding, decorative trim, crown molding, shoe molding, casing doors and windows, and handrails among several other projects.
Durability: Each tool features high-grade aluminum construction that not only makes it light but also makes it durable. You can buy the tool for simple DIY projects at home, or you can have it for professional work.
All the tools are manufactured in the USA, and they thus follow strict industry standards to ensure they serve you right.
Air Powered: You only need at least 100 psi pressure to get the gun ready. It is powerful enough to sink nails into the wood until the head of the nail is almost into the wood.
Further, the manufacturer offers Allen wrenches and the oil needed to get started with the tool. There is a side-loading magazine that is easy to access.
Ergonomic Design: This nail gun sports an ergonomic handle and a design that allows great balance when you are working. After a day of crown molding, you will not end up fatigued and your work will look better.
Affordably priced: This tool is affordable and also comes with a one-year warranty and a 30-day warranty on parts.
- Lightweight for easy use
- Versatile for several projects
- Long-lasting, thanks to die-cast aluminum construction
- Comes with all needed hardware for out-of-the-box use
- Powerful enough for different tasks
5. DEWALT DC608K Nail Gun Kit for Crown Molding
Fast Operation: The DEWALT DC608K nail gun sports an advanced design that allows it to work as fast or as slow as the end-user. This 18-volt nailer is powerful enough to penetrate through soft and hardwood joints.
The engine allows sequential operation that provides you with the perfection you need for a crown molding project. Further, its bump operation capability gives you the speed you need to operate.
You will need to choose between the sequential mode, which fires nails one at a time, and the bump mode which fires nails rapidly.
Easy to Load Magazine: The magazine of this nailer is easy to access and easy to load. Its straight magazine accommodates 18-gauge nails that can be between 5/8-inch and two inches in length.
Fix Jamming: The nosepiece of the nail gun is easy to access as it swings open when you need it to. If it ever jams, you can remove the jammed nails with ease using a screwdriver or the provided tool wrenches.
Versatile: The tool accommodates up to 110 brads. This box-style magazine has a design that keeps out dust and debris, ensuring that the nails do not jam.
You can use it to fire nails through softwood, plywood, and hardwood, among other sheet wooden products.
The tool is ideal for cabinets, shoe molding, baseboards, chair rail moldings, crown molding, window and door casing, and paneling.
Convenience Features: If you are looking for the best cordless nailer for crown molding, this might be a good option. It has a depth-control mechanism, safety lock-off features that protect the trigger, and a reversible belt hook.
Further, it has a powerful NiCad battery that charges to full capacity in only one hour.
Accessories: The manufacturer offers you safety glasses to protect your eyes and a plastic storage case. You also get a one-year limited warranty and a two-year service contract for the battery.
- Two working modes for when you need to work fast
- Has a safety feature that locks off the trigger when not in use
- Convenient depth control feature
- Balanced weight with an ergonomic construction
- Can drive up to 600 nails in one charge
- Charges to full capacity within one hour
6. PORTER-CABLE MAX Finish Nail Gun
Powerful Battery: This is a cordless nail gun for crown molding designed to offer precise nailing. It runs on battery 100 percent, so you do not need a compressor, a hose, and a gas cartridge.
You only need to charge it for an hour or so and then get ready to use it. When charged, the unit allows you to fire up to 1000 nails.
Advanced Motor: This nailer has an advanced motor that works with 16-gauge nails. The motor offers consistent firing power.
It is powerful enough to drive nails in different materials, including hard and softwood. It also works perfectly in different weather conditions.
Tool-Free Settings: There are several tool-free settings that allow you to use your tool better. You do not need to bring screwdrivers and other tools into the workplace as the nailer is easy to set up.
Ergonomic Construction: The crown molding nail gun has an ergonomic construction and a balanced weight so that you can use it all day without arm and wrist fatigue which makes the tool safe to use.
You will find it easy to use in several use positions.
LED Light: There is an LED light that shows when there is an error and when you need to reload the nails. The light is also powerful enough to illuminate the working surface when you are working in dim light.
Tool Jam Release: The magazine accommodates 100 nails, so you do not need to reload severally when working on one board. There is also a tool jam release that further reduces downtime.
Further, there is a depth adjustment wheel for when you need a precise operation. This allows you to drive nails on different surfaces without damaging the wood.
- Allows depth adjustment for precise operation
- Balanced weight and ergonomic design for ease of use
- List Element
- Compact design for smaller jobs
- Allows up to 1,000 guns with a single charge
- Has an error LED light
- Charges fast
7. WEN 61720 Nail Gun for Crown Molding
Tool Jam Release: The PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Finish Nailer for crown molding was designed to shoot nails without jamming.
This compact nailer for crown molding allows you to work on delicate finishing work on interior wood surfaces.
It can shoot nails that are between 0.75 and two inches perfectly. Loading and working with these 18-gauge nails is easy with this tool.
Lightweight Construction: This nailer weighs three pounds, which makes it easy and safe to handle. Its aluminum body is not only lightweight but also long-lasting.
The handle has a comfortable rubber grip, so you can work all day without fatigue.
Pneumatic Operation: You only need to connect the air compressor and the tool is ready to use. During operation, the tool runs between 60 and 100 psi.
Its magazine can hold up to 100 brad nails, so you can work on a huge part of the project before reloading. It has a quick-release feature that makes it easier for you to fix nail jams.
Enough Accessories: Each kit comes with a crown molding nailer, air tool oil, wrenches for adjustment, and a carrying case so that you can store it when not in use.
You will also get a one-year warranty with the purchase of this tool. There are skilled technicians in different parts of the country ready to check your tool if it fails at any point.
Rotatable Exhaust Port: At the top of the tool is a rotatable exhaust port that allows you to adjust the direction of the air released from the tool.
The quick-release magazine at the front of the tool allows you to fix jams to avoid downtime when you are working.
Better still, the unit has a depth adjustment wheel that allows you to regulate the depth of the nails, depending on the project. This is a feature that every best crown molding nailer has.
Safety Features: To ensure that your tool operates safely, the manufacturer created it to shoot only when the contact grip touches a surface.
This feature minimizes misfires and ensures you are safe when using this tool.
- Ergonomic rubber grip
- Spacious magazine to hold up to 100 nails
- A nail guide helps you track when the nails are running low
- Contact trip makes the nailing safe
- Quick-release feature to clear the jam
- Easy to use depth-adjustment wheel
8. NEU MASTER NTC0040 Nail Gun
Corded: The NEU MASTER NTC0040 is an electric corded nail gun for crown molding. It is a powerful nail gun designed to drive 18-gauge brad nails into hard and softwood surfaces.
For brad nails, it accommodates different sizes up to 1.25 inches. It also works with crown staples between 0.25 inches and one inch.
This makes the gun ideal for simple repair works, decorative work for interior and exterior surfaces, craftwork, crown molding, and upholstery work.
Free Nails: With every tool you buy, NEU MASTER gives you 800 brad nails and 200 staples so that you can get started on your DIY projects. This 2-in-1 operation, for staples and brads, makes it versatile.
You do not need a compressor or hoses – just plug in the tool and start using it.
Rubber Anti-Mar Nose: The rubber nose of this tool ensures there are no scratches on the surface of the board you are working on. It doesn’t offer a quick-release mechanism, but it will not jam often, so you are good to go.
Lightweight Construction: The unit weighs 5.15 pounds, which is light enough for you to use all day long without being fatigued. Its magazine can accommodate up to 100 brad nails.
You can fire up to 20 nails or staples every minute. This is enough speed to work on a project very fast. It doesn’t have bump mode, but it still operates fast.
Heavy-Duty Materials: The brad nailer features heavy-duty construction that lasts long and allows it to handle tough jobs such as fencing and roofing.
It has a soft rubberized grip that makes it easy to handle and gives you enough control with your tool.
Easy to Use: The manufacturer recommends a two-hand operation to enhance the penetration strength.
Place one hand on top of the tool and press down. This helps when you are handing tough joints such as hardwood.
Ensure that the voltage in the outlet in your workshop as voltage has an impact on penetration. Further, the extension cord should be short and at least 12 gauge.
- Offers 2-in-1 operation
- Wide application for different projects
- Does not scratch the board
- Allows you to adjust power, depending on the task
- The oversized trigger for easy operation
- Allows safety operation as it works only on contact
Buying Guide of The Best Nail Gun for Crown Molding
Types of Nailers
• A pin nailer is the smallest of all nailers. It accommodates the smallest nails, which is 23 gauge or 0.025 inches in diameter. The pins are nails with no head. You can use the pins for molding, but they are also used for beadings and casings.
• A brad nail can also be used for crown molding. It accommodates 18-gauge nails or 1.022mm in diameter. These nails are called brad nails. They are used in crown moldings, but can also be used for trimming hardwood.
Some brad nails have a head while others do not. The presence or absence of a head doesn’t affect the effectiveness of the nails, and it depends on the nails’ manufacturer.
• Finish nailers can also be used for crown molding. These nailers accommodate 15- and 16-gauge nails. These finish nails can be used for general fixing work and for MDF trims. They provide general finishing to the wood.
The other nailer is large and cannot be used for crown molding as the nails will split the wood. Besides the size, you can pick a crown molding nail gin based on the power source and firing mechanism.
Under this category, there are three types of nailers:
Electric nailers are either battery-powered or corded to draw electricity directly from the outlet. Corded nailers are ideal when you need to nail without downtime.
Even the cordless units can still operate without downtime as some shoot up to 1,000 nails on a single charge. The cordless units are ideal when you need a portable nailer.
Pneumatic nail guns are common, thanks to their power. They have an internal air compressor mechanism that releases the pressure behind the nail.
These nailers are lighter to carry as they do not have a battery as cordless nailers.
However, you will need an air hose to use them, and this can limit where you carry them. They fire up to 60 nails a minute, which makes them fast and convenient.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of your nailer are also essential factors to consider. When using a nailer, you will probably be holding on to it for several hours without rest.
Thus, you need to opt for a model that features a lightweight build. With a lighter nailer, you are less likely to experience arm fatigue. However, this comes with a compromise.
After all, heavier nailers offer a better edge and allow for seamless nailing. When you choose a nailer to invest in, think of how you intend to use it.
If you plan on using it in hard-to-reach areas such as ceilings or the top of a cabinet, you are better off with a lighter model.
However, if your projects are floor and ground-based, a heavier model with higher force will do.
Safety and Ease of Use
Like any other power tool, using a nailer can sometimes be a headache. So, to minimize any interruptions, you have to pick an ergonomically designed model.
When observing the suitable model, always opt for one with a tool-free jam release.
This means that if nails get jammed, you can easily remove them using an attached knob without having to stop your work or disassemble the entire tool.
Nail guns come with coil or nail stack magazines. Thus, the choice of the magazine you opt for depends on your preferences. Coil magazine features a coil of nail strips in the gun.
This type of magazine tends to be ultra-flexible and with less recuperation time. You can also load more nails in the magazine at a time.
However, coil magazine gun nailers tend to be more expensive. On the other hand, nail stack magazines feature an arrangement with nails protruding from the gun.
Thus, you will take longer to load. However, these guns feature multiple magazines and tend to be less expensive.
The best nail gun for crown molding should at least allow for depth control. With the depth control feature, you can regulate the depth of the nails.
In turn, you can easily control the force you use to blast the nails into the wood material.
Features such as a quick-release nose, depth adjustment mechanism, power, and pressure adjustment mechanism, LED lighting, and safety features also come in handy.
You may also need an air filter, an anti-mar nose, and an adjustable exhaust port. The more the features, the more the best crown molding nailer feels convenient to use.
How to Nail Crown Molding with a Nail Gun
Nail crown molding is simply a decorative trim that adds style and aesthetics to your interior décor. Thus, using a nail gun for crown molding is pretty easy. Here are the steps;
Decide the Design
Crown molding works best on the joining lines of the wall or ceiling or flooring. You can also use it on cabinets or wall units. Before starting the process, pick the design you want – whether ornamental, plain, narrow, or wide.
Measuring and Cutting
Measure the wall length you intend to fit the molding, taking note of the wall angles and corners. When done, use a hand saw or router to cut your molding to the dimensions of the wall.
Attaching the Molding
Align the molding flat to the edges against the ceiling and wall. Along the nail studs, hold the nail gun against the flat surface. Drive 2-inch nails using a nail gun into the framing, leaving 16-inches of space between each.
Attach the nails following a pattern, starting at the middle, top, and bottom edges for added precision. However, leave the corners loose as they may need adjusting later.
After properly fishing the molding, tighten the loose nails, and fill any visible holes with wood putty.
Use of Backing Strip in Crown Molding
Using a backing strip in crown molding comes with several benefits. Here are some of the critical benefits of using backing strips in crown molding;
Using backing strips helps to attach your crown molding securely. After all, if you opt for backing strips, you will not have to use studs.
Additionally, you can even use smaller nails through the crown without needing to cross nail into the drywall or glue with DAP.
Furthermore, backing strips facilitate two-part molding. With two-part molding, you can minimize separation caused by temperature and humidity.
Using backing strips, you can attach the molding base to the wall and the upper part to the ceiling.
In turn, this prevents the bottom of the molding from separating from the wall.
Variety of Shapes and Sizes
Backing strips come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Thus, despite the type of crown molding you opt for, you can always find the appropriately sized strips to fit it.
For example, if you use a wide crown molding, you can use triangle-shaped backing strips for a more secured nailing surface for the molding.
Crown Molding Installation Tips
When you learn how to install crown molding, the process is pretty easy. Nonetheless, you will be impressed even more with the results by learning a few simple tips. Here are some of the common crown molding installation tips;
- Always hand the crown molding at the top. The deeper grooves (more detailed side should be closer to you) should always be the bottom, while the shallow grooves go to the top.
- Make sure you paint and finish (if you need to) the crown molding before installation.
- Use a miter saw with a fine-toothed blade to achieve smooth cuts for the best appearance and to prevent tear-outs
- If you use a pneumatic finish nailer, be extra careful, the high power they produce can very easily damage the trim, which, in turn, will force you to have to repair dents on the new molding.
Staple Gun Vs. Brad Nailer
A staple gun and a brad nailer are all-powerful nail guns. However, they also vary based on design and functionality.
Also known as a crown stapler, a staple gun uses staplers designed with two legs and are typically sized based on the width of the crown.
The staplers in the staple gun use their two-pronged legs to drive fasteners into the depth of the wood.
Generally, a staple gun is a perfect tool for applying fabric to wood. Furthermore, staple guns come in various sizes for different applications, making them ideal for heavy-duty jobs. However, they are not very aesthetically attractive.
On the other hand, a brad nailer uses a small and thin nail with no head. A brad nail typically resembles a pin.
A brad nailer is ideal for fastening molding and trimming into a wall. If you plan on doing more delicate crown molding work, a brad nailer is a better option.
Thanks to the smaller and more delicate design, a brad nailer leaves a clean finish. Additionally, a brad nailer is perfect for applying wood to wood.
However, due to its light work design, brad nails aren’t as strong as crown staples.
What Exactly is Crown Molding?
Crown molding refers to the horizontal trim that sits on the edge of the ceiling, connecting the ceiling to the wall.
It is also used as decoration for other architectural elements such as cabinets and door casings.
The trim shape that is contoured to fit on the space between the ceiling and the wall is the one specifically referred to as crown molding.
1. Do Nail Guns Need Compressors?
Pneumatic nail guns need an air compressor. These are the nailers that release pressure behind a nail to fire it.
If a nail doesn’t require an air compressor, then it must have a different power source such as electricity or a rechargeable battery.
The nail guns with compressors require regular oiling, some will even need to be oiled every day. Further, you will need a hose to keep the pressure within the recommended range. This makes them less portable.
2. What is the Most Favorite Pneumatic Nailer for Crown Molding?
The brad nailer is the most common among crown molding professionals. The nailer accommodates a wide range of nail sizes, including crown molding nails.
You can use the nailer for so many other applications, and this makes it a versatile tool.
If you carry out other woodwork tasks except crown molding, a brad nailer can be a great option for you. Most of these will accommodate 18-gauge nails that are between 5/8- and two-inch-long.
3. What Gauge Nail Gun for Molding?
You can mold with 23-gauge pins without a head when you need great precision. The pins without heads are so thin that they will not affect the delicate wood you use for crown molding.
However, if you are using hardwood, these nails may bend and fail to get through the board.
Most professionals, therefore, prefer 18-gauge brad nails. These are stronger than pins, but still thin enough not to split the wood.
For large moldings in halls and other big buildings, you can use the larger 15-gauge and 16-gauge finish nails. Anything bigger than that will split aboard.
The NuMax SBR50 Pneumatic Brad Nailer should be the best nail gun for crown molding because of the versatileness of its use and the host of other applications.
Being a pneumatic tool, the nail gun is powerful enough to drive nails on soft as well as hardwood.
It has a host of convenience and safety features such as a quick-release nose, so you can fix nail jams with ease. It also has an anti-mar nose so that you do not damage the surface of the molding.
It is easy to use, thanks to its compact and lightweight construction and ergonomic handle.
The rubber handle ensures that you do not end up fatigued after a long day of nailing.