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May 16, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Metabo HPT 3-1/2 Inch Coil Nailer Review – NV90AG(S)

Metabo HPT 3.5 in coil nailer flooring
PTR Review
  • Pro Rating 8.5

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 and we'd love it if a rafter hook was included but, even so, the new and improved NV90AG(S) is our starter on each job.

Overall Score 8.5 (out of 10)

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.


Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • In our experience, the NV90AG(S) firing pin hasn’t held up too long with case-hardened nails

Recommendation

Our 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.

Performance

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.

Metabo HPT coil nailer studs

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.

Hitachi NV90AGS vs Metabo HPT coil nailers
Metabo HPT NV90AGS vs Hitachi NV90AGS coil framing nailers. Can you tell them apart?

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.

Metabo HPT 3-1-2 inch coil framer

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.

Metabo HPT coil nailer trigger

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.

framing Metabo HPT NV90AGS coil nailer

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.

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.

Hitachi NV90AGS coil nailer

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

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Jay

How badly is the brand changeover from Hitachi to Metabo going to affect pneumatic sales for them? The re-branding shouldn’t really affect their cordless tool sales – no one really buys them anyway. However Hitachi was a legit brand in pneumatics, especially with the coil framing and especially roofing nailer.

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