The Metabo HPT 3-1/2 inch Coil Nailer is the former, reliable-as-the-day-is-long Hitachi NV90AG(S) with a redesigned head guard. It’s technically a new tool but we’ve actually been using the Hitachi-branded model for years. We’ve been framing up a storm on a recent house remodel: new floor joists, walls, sheathing—you name it. It gave us the perfect opportunity to review the rebranded Metabo HPT NV90AG(S) coil framing nailer.
- Reliable Hitachi NV90AG(S) pedigree
- A lean 7.7 pounds
- Holds up to 300 nails in side-load, tilt-bottom magazine for fewer reloads
- Redesigned head guard for faster tool maintenance disassembly
- Fast recoil
- More compact than a stick nailer so it fits in tighter spaces
- Comfortable rubber grip
- In our experience, the NV90AG(S) firing pin hasn’t held up too long with case-hardened nails
RecommendationOur crew agreed that Metabo HPT’s version of the NV90AG(S) still remains the coil framer to beat. The aluminum body keeps it very light even when fully loading the magazine with 300 nails (which minimizes reloads, too). Moreover, the compact design fits into tighter spaces versus a stick nailer. It’s powerful, boasts a fast recoil that you can’t outrun even sheathing in bump fire mode, and has a comfortable grip. With a head guard redesign that makes maintenance faster, Metabo HPT has managed to improve upon a winning formula.
Frame of Mind
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? That’s the tack taken with the new Metabo HPT 3-1/2 inch Coil Nailer. All indications are that it was a good strategy because this is still an excellent framer. We tried to poke holes in it as we worked on a complete remodel and we couldn’t really do it.
First, the aluminum body is super light. The tool weighs just 7.7 pounds before you load the magazine. That’s light enough to use accurately with your non-dominant hand if you’re in an awkward framing position. That happens more often than you might think.
Our crew has always generally preferred coil nailers to stick nailers (you’ll see we have a couple of older generations of this very nailer in the photos). The Metabo HPT 3-1/2 inch Coil Nailer demonstrates all the reasons why. First, it holds a lot more nails—up to 300 in its side-load, tilt-bottom magazine. Fewer reloads save time. Second, the design is more compact, letting the tool fit into tighter spaces.
According to Coil
The good stuff doesn’t end there. The NV90AG(S) has a fast recoil so you can keep a quick pace. That’s especially helpful in bump fire mode (easily toggled on and off with a switch). We never could outrun it while we had it in bump-fire. Speaking of outrunning the nailer, it lacks a dry-fire lockout feature. That means when it runs out, the air mechanism will continue firing “blanks”. Seasoned framers will recognize the change in pitch, but we do like this feature and expect it on newer nailers.
We like the ridged and bumpy rubber grip. It’s comfortable and solid. I know, it sounds like an obligatory the grip is comfortable comment. But really, several of us noticed that it was a really good grip.
The Hook Brings You Back
We’ve used the Metabo HPT 3-1/2 inch Coil Nailer’s Hitachi predecessors with case-hardened nails from time-to-time for furring. In this application, we found the firing pins wear out pretty quickly. We didn’t get to use it in this manner enough to judge this nailer’s pin—but just keep it in mind. On the upside, easy tool access allows for easier maintenance. That means installing a replacement or stronger firing pin won’t be a problem.
All told, the NV90AG(S) is about as good as it gets—but we’d love a rafter hook, man! We’ve even gone so far as to fashion our own on previous Hitachi NV90AG(S) coil framers.
Metabo HPT NV90AG(S) Coil Framing Nailer Price
Here are few 3-1/2-inch coil framers for price comparison.
- Metabo HPT NV90AG(S): $239.00
- Stanley Bostitch N89C-1: $259.99
- Everwin FCN90: $295
- Senco SCN65: $443.26
- Makita AN902: $504.75
The Bottom Line
With reliable performance, a comfortable feel, and a price better than nearly all of its best competitors, the Metabo HPT 3-1/2 inch Coil Nailer still sets the standard on our job sites. It remains to be seen if the firing pin can handle case-hardened nails for furring strips. We’d also love to see a rafter hook and dry-fire lockout feature. Even so, the new and improved Metabo HPT NV90AG(S) coil framer is our starter on each job.
Metabo HPT 3-1/2 inch Coil Nailer Specifications
- Model: NV90AG(S)
- Fastener type: Wire Coil
- Magazine angle (+/- 1º): 16 degree
- Fastener length: 1-3/4–3-1/2 in.
- Fastener diameter: .099 – .131 in.
- Magazine capacity (.131): 200-300 nails
- Side magazine loading
- Operating pressure 70-120 PSI
- Air consumption @ 100 PSI .09 scfm
- Tool-less depth adjustment
- Actuation Selective
- Jam Clearing Open Nose
- Rubber Grip
- Dimensions: 13-1/4 x 5-15/16 x 13-1/16 in.
- Weight 7.7 lbs
- Warranty 5-year
- Price: $239.00