Dewalt Adds New DCN21PL Nailer To 20V MAX Lineup

Speed, reliability and power. Essential qualities in a contractor-grade power tool. But, does Dewalt live up to these expectations with their new cordless framing gun, the DCN21PL?

Man Using Dewalt Cordless Framing Nailer

The latest addition to Dewalt's 20V MAX line, which has grown to a whopping 180 products, the DCN21PL runs exclusively on lithium-ion power. As with other Dewalt battery-powered nailers, available in two formats, choose between the DCN21PLB bare tool (i.e. no battery) or DCN21PLM1 kit. If you opt for the kit, you'll find a 4.0 Ah battery (DCB204), battery charger (DCB115), no-mar tip, and storage bag for your tool.

What It Features

The Dewalt DCN21PL is designed to meet the needs of a professional tradesman, accommodating applications like wall framing, subfloor installation and fence building, deck building, setting trusses, sheathing and fastening walls. Solidly built and versatile, the new cordless nailer boasts a dual-speed motor and selectable actuation. For greater efficiency, the DCN21PL has tool-free adjustment when alternating from sequential to contact-fire modes. Many of these qualities have been passed down from the original DCN692 cordless framer, though some were left behind.

Closeup Setting Dewalt DCN21PLM1 Nailer

One feature not retained from its predecessor is the chamber. An upgrade over the previous generation’s plastic magazine, this one is made of sturdier aluminum. In fact, the DCN21PL features a 21°, top-loading magazine.

Pro Tip: If you need help learning how to load a framing nailer, see our video tutorial.

Hand Loading Dewalt DCN21PLM1 20V Max Cordless Nailer

When the earlier DCN692 cordless framing nailer launched, users reported nail jams and firing delays—though some have recommended upgrading to a 60V battery and revisiting the manual. As for the DCN21PL, it appears these kinks have been ironed out.

Tool Tip Dewalt Cordless Framing Nailer

You’ll find Dewalt’s respected ergonomics present in the new DCN21PL 20V MAX framing nailer, as well as the brand’s celebrated durability. And you’ll certainly appreciate the mobility of being cordless, eliminating the need for air compressor hoses, fuel cells and electrical outlets.

What It Fastens

The DCN21PL holds 49 nails in its magazine and accommodates a range of full-round-head, plastic-collated framing nails, from 2” to 3-1/4” in length. Dewalt states that it has the power to drive .148-diameter nails into dense wood. You may wonder, as with any cordless power tool, if it can really go the distance? With the capacity to drive 899 nails per charge, when driving 2” nails into SPF lumber using the tool’s speed 1 setting, it certainly promises staying power.

The DCN21PL weighs in at 8.2 lbs. bare; slightly heavier than its paper collated counterpart. Other features on this Dewalt cordless nailer include a stall-release lever, easy-access nose piece in case of a nail jam, an adjustable rafter hook, and dry-fire lockout. Thanks to its cordless design, you can cut the long-term costs associated with a pneumatic nailer, with accessories like hoses, air tool oil, and fuel cells.

Dewalt DCN21PLM1 20V Max Cordless Framing Nailer Kit

As will all Dewalt tools, the DCN21PL 20V MAX cordless framing nailer is backed by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty, as well as one-year complimentary service and 90-day money-back guarantee through Dewalt. Only time will tell if this new plastic strip framing nailer lives up to the expectations of Dewalt die-hards.


~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

Leave a Reply


  • Rod December 19, 2019 at 9:29 AM

    Would you happen to have a case for a Dewalt DCN21 nailer or know the part number.
    Thanks Rod.

    • Nail Gun Depot December 20, 2019 at 7:18 AM

      Unfortunately, Dewalt sells that item as a kit. We do not offer the carrying bag as an individual item. If you give them a call at 800-4-DEWALT, they may be able to help you out though. Thanks for reaching out, Rod.

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