Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

Battery powered nailers have come a long way over the years.  While finish nailers have exceeded our expectations and can run neck and neck with its pneumatic counterpart, framing nailers are a little different.  Over the years power tool manufacturers have released cordless framing nailers.  While they have been a great start, they can’t keep up with the pneumatic framing nailer in regards to speed.  Well, the Hitachi took it one step further with their cordless nailer.  So let’s jump into the Hitachi cordless framing nailer review.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review Overview

I can’t say I am a huge fan of battery powered framing nailers.  The battery powered nailers always seem slow.  I have always been a fan of pneumatic nailers.  However I love the Paslode framing nailer, but it does require gas cartridges.  Even though you have to pay for the gas, you still have the freedom of losing the cord.

Hitachi saw a way to improve on the current products on the market and make a faster and cheaper way to operate a framing nailer.  The Hitachi nailer is a little different in that it doesn’t use a flywheel to drive the nail which means there isn’t a ramp up time before you fire the nail.

Hitachi uses an air spring drive system.  There is a cylinder in the head of the nailer and the nailer has the ability to compress gas which it uses to fire the nail.  The nailer uses a brushless motor, which drives a piston, which compresses air in the cylinder.  When you press the fire button, there isn’t a waiting period, it just drives the nail.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review Features

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

The Hitachi NR1890DR comes with the nailer, a battery, a charger, and a nylon bag.  I know companies are going to bags, but I have to admit that I wish they would still come in boxes instead of bags.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

The nailer is powered by a single 3 Ah battery.  You can drive up to 400 nails per charge.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

Hitachi designed this around a brushless motor which means the nailer is more efficient.

One thing you will notice is the weight.  The nailer weighs about 10.8 lbs which is on the heavy side for framing nailers, even in the cordless world.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

The magazine is a 21° magazine and holds about 37 plastic strip collated fasteners from 2″ up to 3-1/2″ in length.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

On the handle, there is a lockout switch to protect it against accidental fires.  Perfect for when transporting or climbing and the battery is installed.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

On the base of the tool, you can not only check your battery fuel level, but you can also turn the nailer on/off or select from bump or sequential mode.

You have to hold the power button on for 1 second to turn the nailer on.  For safety reasons, the nailer will shut off after 30 minutes of no use.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

While you will need a tool to clear a jam, the nailer does have a tool-free depth adjustment.  The tool also has a dry fire lockout when no nails are available to fire.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

One nice feature is the fold away rafter hook.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review Performance

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

We used this nailer extensively for our roofing and soffit project.  We were replacing a flat roof on the house and beefed up the joist.  We ripped out the old 2x4s and went with 2x6s.

While the nailer is heavy, it would fire shot after shot without having to wait for the tool to ramp up.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

We never experienced a jam with the nailer and we fired a ton of nails through the system.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review

The item we noticed was user error.  You have to turn on the nailer.  A couple of the guys who didn’t know this either thought the nailer was broken or the battery was dead.  Just an FYI when you take this out for your crew.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review Value

We feel the Hitachi framing nailer is a decent value.  When compared to the Dewalt cordless nailer and the Paslode framing nailer, they are all about the same price.  Currently, the Hitachi is right around $430.

Considering you don’t have to deal with a compressor and hoses laying around, it is up to you if the extra $230 is worth the extra cost over a pneumatic nailer.

Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Final Thoughts

This is a great nailer.  While it’s on the heavy side, it’s one of the fastest cordless nailers we have tested.  Time and time again it was able to keep up with what we asked of this nailer.  I have to say this is my favorite framing nailer on the market.  Yes, it’s heavy compared to other nailers, but I love not having the cord and not losing speed.

If you own the Hitachi battery platform, this is a no-brainer.  If you don’t have the Hitachi line of tools, but are looking to go cordless with a framing nailer, this is one you should consider looking into.


  1. First Hitachi tool, in a long time, that could tempt me to invest in a new battery platform. The Dewalt framing nailer I have has this annoying requirement of needing to warm up a bit, each time you let it rest more than a couple of hours. You have to fire several nails at the start of the day (up to a full clip), before it will properly sink them fully. At first I thought that it needed a break in period, and while it has improved some with use, it has never started a day without misfiring the first several nails through it.

    One of the unboxing videos I watched for the Hitachi, showed flawless operation right out of the box, leaving me with only one question about it. How many nails will it fire before needing the compression cylinder replaced?

    • Good point about the replacement. I am on board with you. I know a lot of people like the Dewalt, but I am not a huge fan of the framing nailer. The Hitachi is the first battery-powered nailer that I think really works like a framing nailer should. No ramp-up time and is consistent.

  2. Eric how did the 3Ah battery do on run time. Were you able to drive a lot of nails on a charge. That 3Ah battery looks pretty thin in the picture. Thanks for the review.

    • Good question. I didn’t keep track but I do know for the roof in the front and back, it lasted all day. The only issue we had was remembering to turn it on before we grabbed it after sitting around a while. The nailer is heavier than a pneumatic but was great not tied to a cord.

  3. I have only had the Paper tape version for three days so far, other then the weight and bulky head it is really quite nice. I still have and use Dewalts first DCN690 and the second DCN692. The Hitachi sinks better and I like no ramp up time. It is odd to me that battery has no indicator, the 3.0 is dirt cheap however and Menards even has them on the shelf.

  4. I own a variety of cordless and pneumatic tools and after reviewing the Hitachi NR 1890DR cordless framing nailer I decided to give it a try. I ran into a couple issues after purchasing this nail gun. I purchased the gun on Monday, registered it on Wednesday and attempted to use it on Thursday. The first issue was it would not let the nails slide down the rack. I called Hitachi 1-800 number and spoke to a customer service rep and he told me to take the rack of and make sure the metal clip was installed correctly. I found the problem, the plastic in the rack was warped I had to sand it down to get the nails to work. The second issue is on bump fire – it will not set the nails 2 1/4″ or 3″ (see pictures – 1st pic 2 1/4″ and 2nd pic 3″). I emailed Hitachi and never received a response. On single fire it sets the nails just fine. The 3.0 amp battery does not last very long in my opinion. Hitachi implied it should last up to 400 nails and I was only getting half this number at best. I am disappointed in the gun itself as well as Hitachi customer service knowledge and lack of response to my email. Just wanted to share my review in case it helps others make a decision.

    • I am heavily invested in the Dewalt battery platform, flexvolt, etc, but this nailer (and the LOW price of the 3.0ah batteries) was well worth the cost of the gun and 2 extra batteries. I own the paper tape version (NR1890DC) – and myself and all of the other members of my crew, who also each own one of these guns, love this tool. (We framed an entire house last week, 1200 sq/ ft. ranch, in 2 days time, without ever needing a hose or leadcord thanks to these nailers and my flexvolt saws. However, I have noticed that with some cheaper brands of nails, (especially over 3″) , the nailers have trouble advancing the nails, causing dry fires and is quite frustrating, but we simply swapped out to better nails with less glue between the paper and have not had any other issues since. I can’t speak to the plastic collated version, but I can say that all 5 copies of these nailers my crew and I have purchased work remarkably well, and allow us to be much more efficient by not dragging around an air hose and setting up compressors, and they DON”T FREEZE UP like pneumatic nailers during the winter months out on the job. 😀 (Sorry about your poor experience with your copy!)

  5. I would highly recommend this cordless nail gun i have used Paslodes and there is no comparison the Hitachi is very responsive and the battery last i am going to invest in one


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