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
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.
The nailer is powered by a single 3 Ah battery. You can drive up to 400 nails per charge.
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.
The magazine is a 21° magazine and holds about 37 plastic strip collated fasteners from 2″ up to 3-1/2″ in length.
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.
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.
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.
One nice feature is the fold away rafter hook.
Hitachi Cordless Framing Nailer Review Performance
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.
We never experienced a jam with the nailer and we fired a ton of nails through the system.
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.