8 Best Metal Connector Nailers

Published on: January 29, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

As the rate of natural and manmade disasters taking place higher than ever, people are being desperate to make establishments more durable. You can’t deny that regular framing gets stronger and immune to hurricanes, earthquakes, and similar disasters when it is reinforced with metal connectors. Joist hanger, rafter ties, strapping, hurricane ties, anchors, and post bases are now the most used metal connectors, but the list is endless and ever-growing. 

best metal connector nailer

However, the metal connectors require specific types of nails to attach to wood and engineered lumbers. These nails can’t be driven by other nailers as the opening to shoot the nail through the metal connectors is very narrow. So just like the specific type of nails, the gun also should be specifically made for metal connectors.

Why Use a Metal Connector Nailer?

You can always use a hammer to connect the metal connectors to the frame if you have it all day. But you don’t, right? A metal connector has an exposed tip that shows the tip of the nail. In this way, you can tell if the tip is placed right or not. Other nailing guns won’t let you do this so precisely. 

A palm nailer is another substitute for metal connecting nailers when it comes to placing a nail within a very tight spot. But truth be told, palm nailers lack the durability, maneuverability, and safety features a metal connector nailer provides. 

How to Choose Metal Connector Nailer?

Tip Mechanism

All the metal connector nailer comes with an exposed tip that shows off the nail. Some also come with a pilot to make the tool last longer. It gets even better if there are small pawls inside of the tip to hold the nail. It helps to always shoot in a horizontal direction and prevents firing at an angle. 

The tip is designed in a way that only shoots the nail when it is pressed on the metal connector’s hole. Make sure all these are present and functioning in the gun you want to buy. 

Weight and Size

The smaller size and weight are better because it becomes difficult to nail in hard-to-reach areas with bigger models. Professionals also even choose to use multiple nailers, for this reason, others seek help from palm nailers. If the nailing gun you are picking is small, then it is enough to do the job, 

Operating Nail Size

If you use large nails on the connector, but your nailer only allows you a smaller particle size, that is bad news. The best policy would be investing in a nailer that accepts a wide range of nails in terms of size. It will allow you to use this nailer in whatever metal connector you choose.

Magazine Size

Magazine size helps to downsize the time to reload the gun. Though it is not a really big deal, you should take note of the magazine size and make the most of it during the operation. 


For professionals, the durability of a power tool is the most important factor to look for as their living depends on the durability of the power tools. Yes, the same goes for the nailer as well. To work with nailers in an abusive and harsh environment, get the one that prevents any kind of dust contamination and lasts long even after countless numbers of falling off. 

View Top 8 Metal Connector Nailers, Below-

1. BOSTITCH Strap Shot Metal Connector Nailer, MCN-150

  • Drives 1-1/2-inch metal connector nails;
  • Weights 4.6 lbs.;
  • Includes cases.

This nailer is so small that it fits in a place that is at least 12 inches wide. Metal connector nailers are made bigger and stronger to do the job properly, so finding one to fit in a small space to fire in a weird corner is hard. Moreover, this model weighs merely 4 pounds, probably the lightest you can find. 

To fix hurricane tie, joist hanger, or stud plate ties in place, 1-1/2-inch metal connector nails are enough. Use nails that are 0.131 0R .148 shank in diameter to use with this tool. Because these nails are specially hardened to an extent that, even if it gets jammed in the nailer, the nailer still can shoot this nail through the metal connector without breaking it into pieces. This is an important issue to make any nailing gun last longer. 

Like any other metal connecting nailer, this one also has an exposed tip to fit on the joist hanger’s punched hole. But rest assured, it won’t fire a single nail unless it is placed in the right spot. This mechanism prevents accidental firing. Considering the affordable price and long warranty, this metal nailing connector is a must-have for a homeowner for all time and a contractor to get into critical places. 


  • Affordable price;
  • Very light;
  • Prevents accidental firing;
  • Backed by a long warranty;
  • Fits in a small space. 


  • Uses only one size of a nail.  

2. Metabo HPT Positive Placement Nailer with Strap-Tile Fastening System (NR38AK)

  • Operates 1-1/2″ strap-tile, paper strip collated nails;
  • Weights 4. 6 lbs.;
  • Includes safety glasses.

If precision is what you opt for while using metal connectors during framing, then this nailer from Metabo might be the best deal. Unlike other nailers, this gun uses the nail tip itself as the guide. When you pull the trigger, the nail sinks in. While on other models of nailers, the exposed tips are often equipped with a pilot that works as a guide. When we pull the trigger, the guide moves, and the nail shoots. These models get wobbly over time, but this Metabo will not. 

It is super light and small. You can use it on all those corners where you have been using a palm nailer to shoot metal connecting nails. The price is also reasonable and this tool is protected by a 5-year long warranty. It comes with only one stock. If that is okay for you, then this one is worth your consideration. 


  • Easy to maneuver;
  • Precise nail placement;
  • Durable; 
  • Suitable for hard-to-reach areas.


  • Nothing found.

3. MAX “Super Locator” – Metal Connector Nailer, SN438J

  • Uses 34 Degree nails with 1-1/2 in. L, 0. 131 to 0. 148 diameters;
  • 7.79 pounds;
  • Up to 32 nail capacity.

MAX realizes all of the nightmares a contractor’s faces while working with metal connector nailers. To save you from the terrible experience of double firing and dry firing, which are the main culprit to damaging the tool early are perfectly presented in this model. In fact, it is maintenance-free and also prevents contamination to make the inner parts last longer. 

The capacity is somewhat limited and the tool is very heavy for the job. But for its durability and ease to use, I don’t have to bear these as long as the tool serves as it is advertised. You can never go wrong with the precision you get from this connecting nailer. From the first to the thousands shooting, not a single nail will hit the wrong spot or get jammed inside. To ensure your nailers have all these features, you must be ready to pay a big fat price for it!


  • Prevents dust and debris contamination;
  • Long-Lasting;
  • Prevents double firing;
  • Prevents dry-firing.


  • Pricey.

 4. Senco Metal Connector Nailer

  • 5.91 pounds;
  • Drives 1-1/2″ – 2-1/2″ nails.
  • A Rafter hook and a belt hook are included.

I don’t think you are naive enough to think that you can use any metal connecting nailer on any surface. The one meant to use on wood is going to get damaged if you use it on engineered lumber. But if you take this nail from SENCO, it will nail everything no matter what. In addition, it takes a variety of nail sizes and types. No doubt it expands your workability during the job. 

The included belt and rafter hooks may seem insignificant at one glance, but trust me, these additions are great to have when you have to work all day with this nailer. I can’t get why every nail doesn’t include these hooks. However, as this nailer doubles as two or three nailers of different features, it is also priced almost twice as much as any regular metal connecting nailer. But the good thing is, it still saves you from purchasing, carrying, and using two or three multiple tools for a simple task. 


  • Versatile; 
  • Can be used on tough lumbers;
  • Well-designed ergonomics;
  • Adjustable exhaust deflector.


  • Very expensive. 

5. Freeman PMC250 Pneumatic Nailer With Safety Trigger

  • Operates 35-degree 8-10-gauge nails 1-1/2″ to 2-1/2″;
  • Weighs 7.21 pounds
  • You get a reversible belt hook, air tool oil, and adjustment tools with it.

It is a pneumatic metal connector nailer that accepts both 1-1/2′ and 2-1/2″ taco nails. Meaning, whether you are using rafter ties, strapping, hurricane ties, anchors, post bases, or caps, this nailer can easily handle all of these. The safety mechanism will save you from probable accidents and also will save the gun from possible damage. It is safe from dry firing, accidental firing, and accidental push on the trigger. So, you can be assured that no harm will be caused by these parts. 

When it comes to quality, all the parts and tools of this machine are manufactured and assembled in the USA. Now it is something you can rely on with all your heart. It comes with different useful hooks that are useful on the construction site. The hooks and hangers are not as good as this nailer, but for the price and the long warranty, I have already overlooked it. 


  • Safety lock;
  • Uses different sizes of nails;
  • Small and compact size;
  • Comfortable grip.


  • A bit heavy.

Read more: Finding the Best Pneumatic V Nailers

6. BOSTITCH Strap Shot Metal Connector Nailer, MCN250

  • Uses 1/2″ and 2-1/2″ SLAPSHOT fasteners;
  • 11.13 pounds;
  • Magazine capacity: 53.

I call this a homeowner’s nailing gun. Sometimes it is not necessary to call the contractor just to make an extension room to the house or garage. Some DIYers can do this just fine with adequate tools and research. This Bostitch nailer is just the right tool for you for such projects if you want to save time on manual nailing on metal connectors. 

Its pawls in the tip hold the nail in place so that it never drives the nails at an angle. Always fires straight and only when it is touched by the punched holes on the metal connectors. Moreover, it comes with a large 53-capacity magazine to save the downtime of reloading. But it also is the main reason for making the tool heavy. Besides, changing the size of the nails in that magazine is really annoying because it takes a while. 

Another problem is, it only takes STRAPSHOT fastener nails. It can be hard to find in the local stores, so be prepared to order those too with this nailing gun. To nail the DIY projects, this gun works fine. 


  • Drives various nails;
  • Precise firing;
  • Large capacity magazine.


  • Takes time to unload;
  • Heavy and bulky.

7. DEWALT DWMC150 Metal Connector Nailer

  • 1-1/2 Inches nailer;
  • Weights 4.4 pounds;
  • Magazine capacity 29.

This pneumatic nailer comes in a hard plastic case. The case is as durable as the tool itself. It is small, compact, lightweight, and well-balanced. Front the tip to the tail, it measures only 10 inches. So, it will fit within a 12 inches space to do the job perfectly. It is a 1-½ inches nail so the functionality is limited to the nail size. 

The magazine of this machine is kept small and positioned centered. Obviously, it is done to make the tool easy to maneuver. So it has a small capacity to load nails and needs frequent reloading in the middle of the job. The adjustable rafter hook and exhaust are an added benefit for this compact nailing gun. Other than reloading frequently, I don’t see any other issues for not investing in it. After all, it is from DEWALT!


  • Highly durable;
  • Fits a small space;
  • Well balanced;
  • Ultra-light.


  • Low-capacity magazine.

8. Metabo HPT Strap-Tite Metal Connector Nailer, NR65AK2

  • 2-1/2-inch nailer;
  • Nail Capacity: 44 nails;
  • fasteners;
  • Weighs 6.4 pounds.

Now, installing joist hangers, hurricane ties, and foundation caps will be effortless as this powerful nailer from Metabo HPT NR65AK2 is made affordable. It is great for overhead nailing and working for prolonged hours with this nailer for its lightweight. It is pneumatic and the exhaust can be adjusted 360 degrees for added ease of use. 

Being light and low-cost does not mean this nailer can’t win the race. In fact, its anti-kickback mechanism is something that I did not find in many name-brand metal connector nailers. The nail size is enough to seal joist hangers, hurricane ties, and foundation caps on any tough surface like engineered lumber. There is a belt hook attached to it that can be adjusted for added comfort. This nailer is a basic and easy-to-use pneumatic nailer. 

There is no unnecessary fancy feature to mask its weak points. To do the metal connecting job at an affordable price, this one can be a good choice. 


  • Budget-friendly price;
  • Lightweight;
  • Adjustable exhaust.


  • Not found.

Concluding Remarks 

Only a high-quality nailer can assure the resistance of your house against unforeseeable events like natural disasters. Don’t make buying and using a metal connector a child’s play. Pay attention to choosing the right one from the list. 

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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