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Nailed It: A Bostitch Palm Nailer Tested Review

Palm nailers are indispensable for driving nails in tight spots. Find out what happened when I tested a popular model.
Glenda Taylor Avatar
Bostitch Palm Nailer A person using the Bostitch PN100K Impact Nailer Kit to install framing during testing.

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

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Framing nail guns are great for building walls, decks, and fences, but they’re useless in confined spaces. Palm nailers offer a quick and easy solution to nailing in small nooks, but they come with their own limitations. Recently, I conducted a comprehensive hands-on test to determine the best palm nailers on the market, and a Bostitch model took top honors. 

Bostitch is renowned for producing high-quality tools that deliver exceptional performance, and its PN100K palm nailer is no exception. This little handheld nailer provides the power and flexibility to drive nails in cramped quarters. Is it perfect? No, but it’s a game changer when you’re working in constricted spots. Ahead, find out what I liked about the Bostitch PN100K, and see what I think Bostitch could change to make it even better.

Bostitch PN100K Palm Nailer: At a Glance

Rating: 4.5/5


The Bostitch palm nailer in its leather comfort sheath during testing.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila
  • Power source: Pneumatic
  • Nail range: 5D to 70D bulk nails
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds 


  • Portable, lightweight, and easy to maneuver in tight spots
  • Comes with 3 interchangeable nail noses for driving a range of nail sizes
  • Ergonomic shape reduces hand and wrist fatigue during use
  • Magnetic nail nose helps hold and position nails before driving 


  • Kit does not come with the ¼-inch air fitting that is required to use the palm nailer

Get the Bostitch palm nailer at:

What is the Bostitch PN100K palm nailer?

The Bostitch PN100K palm nailer is a nearly complete kit that includes a lightweight nailer (weighing just 2.9 pounds), three interchangeable nail noses to accommodate various size nails, a leather comfort sheath, a bottle of lubricating oil, and some spare O-rings. Plus, it comes with a hard case for storing the tool. Unfortunately, it does not come with the necessary ¼-inch air fitting, so I borrowed one from another palm nailer I tested, the Ridgid mini palm nailer. These air fittings are relatively universal, but if you don’t have an extra among your pneumatic tool accessories, you’ll need to buy a ¼-inch NPT air fitting to use this palm nailer. 

The handheld construction nail gun has an ergonomic shape that fits nicely in my hand and doesn’t cause hand or wrist fatigue, even with repeated testing. Like most palm nailers, the PN100K is an impact driver tool, meaning it uses a rapid, percussive action—much like repeatedly striking a nail with a hammer, only faster. 

The leather comfort sheath was a bit of a joke. Maybe mine was a fluke, but it was too small to fit around the body of the palm nailer. I even tried getting the leather wet so it would stretch, but it was still too small. On the upside, I don’t think it would have offered much benefit anyway, and I likely would not have used it. 

The nail noses are magnetic, which makes it easier to position and control the nail during use. But you can still use other nails. In testing, I used steel and aluminum nails and just held the aluminum ones in place with my other hand before driving them.

Bostitch Palm Nailer SRP
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Power and Performance

When it comes to any pneumatic tool—including the PN100K—the type of compressor used plays a vital role in its performance. The palm nailer operates at 80 to 125 pounds per square inch (PSI), and I connected it to a Bostitch pancake air compressor for testing. I adjusted the compressor to 80 PSI, and that was all I needed to operate it. As a general rule, you’ll probably want a portable air compressor with a 2- to 4-gallon tank capacity if you’re driving a lot of nails with the palm nailer. 

I tested the nailer using several different types and sizes of nails. It drove all of them into softwood and hardwood without any problems. It’s well suited to driving both large framing nails and smaller finish nails; you just need to use the corresponding nail nose. Bostitch has done well in reducing the vibration of this palm nailer, too. It didn’t leave my hand sore as some types of nailers tended to do. 

Instead of a squeeze trigger, the Bostitch PN100K uses pressure to activate the hammering action. All I had to do was insert a nail in the nose and position it where I wanted it to go. When I was ready to drive the nail, I pushed the palm nailer forward, and the pressure triggered the rapid impacts and drove the nail. The trick is to continue to push until the nail nose is flush against the board. When it is, the nail head will also be flush with the board. 


Bostich says its palm nailer is compatible with nails as small as 5D (12-gauge and 1.75 inches long) and as large as 70D nails. I didn’t have any 70D nails, which are huge (7 inches long and 0.207 inches in diameter), but I did test the tool with finish nails of various lengths, joist-hanger nails, and 16D framing nails that were 3.5 inches long. I don’t see any reason why the palm nailer couldn’t drive larger nails—it’s powerful enough.

As mentioned, the PN100K takes a ¼-inch air fitting, which is standard but not included in the kit. Using a swivel fitting is a good idea with this nailer because it gives the user more flexibility for positioning the tool in tight quarters. The palm nailer also easily drove nails into both hardwood and softwood during testing. 

A person holding the Bostitch PN100K Palm Nailer in their hand.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Should you buy the Bostitch palm nailer?

Currently selling for $96 on Amazon, the Bostitch PN100K palm nailer is at the upper edge of the price range for similar models, but it comes with three interchangeable nail noses, lubricating oil, a leather sheath (which may or may not fit) and spare O-rings. It’s powerful and compatible with a range of nail sizes. It won’t replace a larger nail gun, but it wasn’t designed for that purpose.

If you frequently work in tight spaces where a framing nail gun is impossible to use, this Bostitch palm nailer might be right for you. It offers ample power for DIY and professional construction projects. In addition, its reduced vibration and ergonomic grip make it easy to use without developing hand and wrist fatigue. 

If you already have an assortment of pneumatic tools and a good portable air compressor, investing in the Bostitch PN100K makes sense. However, it might not make sense if you have to purchase the compressor, hose, and air fitting. If that’s the case, it might be better to consider a battery palm nailer, such as the Milwaukee cordless palm nailer, which also scored well in our larger tests. 

The Bostitch PN100K Palm Nailer and accessories in its case.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Where to Buy the Bostitch Palm Nailer 

Get the Bostitch palm nailer at:

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer who specializes in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

Glenda Taylor Avatar

Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries.