Coil Framing Nailer vs Stick Nailer: Which is Better?

Coil Framing Nailer vs Stick Nailer: Which is Better?Coil framing nailer vs stick nailer? This is a common question that gets asked several times.

Large carpentry projects require a ton of nails to secure. When you frame a home, put an addition on your home or even build a new fence, you can be sure that you’ll use hundreds of nails, and sometimes thousands of nails, depending on the size of the job.

Hammering these nails by hand is an option, but it’s an option that is outdated and only leads to time wasted.

A coil framing nailer or stick nailer would be the best choice. So the question is: which is better? A coil framing nailer or stick nailer? We’re going to find out.

Coil Framing Nailer vs Stick Nailer

Both a coil and sticker nailer are found on job sites and are used for framing. The coil nailers are not as popular as their counterparts, but they’re still a versatile tool that can help speed up the framing process.

What is a Coiler Nailer?

Coil nailers hold 200 to 300 nails in their canister at one time, depending on the type of nails in use. Two main types of nails can fit in the canister:

  1. Framing nails
  2. Sheathing nails

The cannister is adjustable and allows for nails to be angled at 15 degrees. Since the holding capacity is so high, the carpenter or builder doesn’t have to reload the canister often and can save significant time in the process.

You’ll find that the coiler nailer is compact, so it can be used in tight spaces and is a lot easier to maneuver than other nailers. But there is a downside: weight.

A full canister can add significant weight to the nail gun and quickly cause fatigue for the user. If trying to work overhead, it’s often better to use a stick nailer due to the lower weight and fatigue factor.

What is a Stick Nailer?

A stick nailer can use a variety of nails, and while the additional options may come in handy in some situations, there is a downside: fit. You have to spend more time making sure that the nail has the right:

  • Angle
  • Collation style

You’ll have two magazines that hold 25 – 40 nails each, so you’ll have a lot more reloading while on the job yet you’ll also enjoy a lower weight and less fatigue. The average stick nailer will be able to accommodate the following nail types:

  • Plastic nails that are between 28 and 30 degrees
  • Round-head nails with an angle between 20 and 22
  • Sticks with angles of 30 or 35 degrees

The right nail choice will also be very important. A builder will have to follow all local codes, which may dictate which type of nail should be used. The nailer you purchase will have a certain type of nail that is accepted, and it’s very important that you pay attention to the nail type when making your purchase.

If the nailer cannot use the type of nail that is required for your location, you’ll need to buy a different model.

Key Comparisons: Coil vs Stick Nailer

The function of these two nail guns is the same, but it’s their design and features that really make a difference. A few of the key comparisons between the two are:

  • Loading. A coil nailer uses a canister, its round, that attaches to the nail gun and holds all of the nails. The loop design allows for rapid firing and helps to lower the risk of jams. Stick nailers use magazines that have nail strips. Two magazines are on each nailer, and the length of the magazine makes the stick nailer bulkier.
  • Capacity. If you have a large job, you may not want to reload your nailer every 50 to 80 nails. A coil nailer has a capacity of 200 to 300 nails, and the capacity allows for less reloading and the ability to finish projects faster. If working on a roof, less reloading also means you’ll spend less time going up and down ladders to get more nails.
  • Weight. You’ll find that a fully loaded coil nailer can weigh 15 to 18 pounds, depending on the model. Holding one of these nailers overhead for the majority of the day will lead to fatigue and strain. Stick framing nailers weigh around nine pounds when loaded, so they’re much easier to handle and are the go-to choice for most builders.
  • Jamming. A lot of time, framing is spent on trying to clear jams from the unit. Stick nailers use a magazine style nail holder, so the nails are far more prone to jamming. A stick nailer has a much higher rate of jamming compared to a coil nailer.
  • Nail pricing. In terms of cost, filling up a coil gun is far less expensive. The coil gun is less reliant on certain angle nails, and the unit will be easier to fill. If you’re concerned about cost, the stick nailer will almost always be more expensive in hardware than its counterpart.

Choosing the right model for you is 100% personal preference. A stick nailer and coiler nailer can do exactly the same thing, so there’s no wrong answer on which one to choose. We do recommend that if you have to work in smaller areas, the coil nail gun is more compact and slightly advantageous in these areas.

The larger magazine of the stick nailer can get in the way in these tighter spots.

If you carry a pouch with you, you’ll find that it’s much easier to refill a stick nailer. One key mistake that people make is that they don’t bring enough nails in their pouch or have the stick nailer magazines setup so that they can reload them quickly. If you’re prepared for a lot of reloading, you’ll spend less time reloading. But even with preparing for reloads, the coil framing nailer will reduce the time it takes to reload drastically with fewer jams along the way.


Now that you better understand the different of a coil framing nailer vs stick nailer, you’ll be better prepared for your next carpentry project.

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