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WHAT IS THE BEST BRAD NAILER TO BUY

Christopher Clark by Christopher Clark

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.29 out of 5)
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Last Updated January 16, 2019

BOSTITCH BTFP12233 review (4)
BOSTITCH BTFP12233

Pros

  • It uses Smart Point nailing technology
  • It has an oil-free functionality
  • You can easily adjust the depth settings

cons

It can be difficult to un-jam

It can misfire occasionally

Best Value
PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA review small
PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA

Pros

  • It only weighs 5.9 pounds
  • There’s no need for a compressor
  • It has a well-built, sturdy design

cons

It struggles with harder wood

It can become noisy over time

DEWALT DC608K review small
DEWALT DC608K

Pros

  • The bump feature will help you quickly execute a lot of brad nailing
  • The nosepiece is easy to remove
  • It has an adjustable depth

cons

Precision is somewhat lacking

It lacks consistency with tougher hardwoods and sheet rock

Hitachi NT50AE2 review (5)
Hitachi NT50AE2

Pros

  • This brad nailer only weighs a little over two pounds
  • It’s very ergonomic.
  • It’s relatively easy to adjust the depth-of-drive with this product

cons

Angled brad nailing is problematic with this nailer

The spring in the front can experience faults over time

Best Overall
DEWALT DWFP12231 review (5)
DEWALT DWFP12231

Pros

  • It has a fairly ergonomic design
  • Its magnesium body is lightweight and very durable
  • The air exhaust is in the rear

cons

It can struggle with some more professional jobs

It tends to jam a lot

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Buyer’s Guide

WHAT IS THE BEST BRAD NAILER TO BUY

 

If you’re going to be doing a job that requires you to nail brads into place, then you need to have a top rated product. The products that have been covered in the best brad nailer reviews are all excellent and have some great features, but it’s also important that they have some basic features that will ensure that the job is done right. In this section of the guide, we’re going to review some of the best features to look for in your brad nailer so you choose one that can do the work that you need it to do.

The Size of the Nails in the Nailer

Most brads nails are 18 gauge, which isn’t very large in overall diameter. Also as a general rule, most brad nailers have one of two 18 gauge nail length limits: either a two-inch or two and one-eighths inch varieties.

For the most part, it’s always a good idea to err on the larger sizing because many brands of brad nails typically run slightly larger than two inches. Usually, they aren’t much larger, but if you have a two-inch limit, then it can reduce your options somewhat. For this reason, two and one-eighths inch brad nailers are often considered the more versatile of the two.

This being said, keep in mind that these larger nails are still only 18 gauge, which means that they may also be more likely to bend or break during most work, so there’s something of a trade-off when comparing the two nail sizes.

The Size of the Magazine

For the most part, most brad nailer magazines will hold 100 nails or so, but there are more professional models that can hold more. Typically, most home-level jobs won’t require a larger magazine, so if you’re just going to be doing around-the-house brad nailing, consider a standard 100-count magazine.

The Type of Brad Nailer

As with most power tools, there are a wide variety of brad nailers out there to choose from, and each has its pros and cons. Here are a few of the more common types:

  • Pneumatic: Pneumatic or air-powered brad nailers are some of the top rated brad nailer options on the market today. To provide nail-driving power, these brad nailers need to have a continuous supply of compressed air, and they provide a good amount of force.For this type of nailer, you’ll need a portable air compressor for power, and the air is pushed through a valve system that provides the force needed for nail driving. The chief drawback of this type is the fact that the pressurized air is so compressed that it’s relatively easy for accidents to occur on the worksite if you’re not careful. You may also need a quality air hose reel.
  • Battery: When you select a battery-powered brad nailer, you’re most likely thinking about convenience and portability. These nailers aren’t best for professional jobs because they simply aren’t as powerful as the best pneumatic brad nailer, but when you need to do some brad nailing around the house, these aren’t bad at all.As you might expect, these use battery packs for power and are completely cordless, allowing you to have a lot of freedom of movement.
  • Electric: This type of brad nailers uses an electric motor to power the brads into the surface that you’re nailing. As a result of their power and reliability, you can easily find these nailers on the professional worksite, and many professionals consider this type to be the best because they require very little upkeep.With that said, the main issue with these nailers is the fact that they tend to have more internal components required to complete the job. As a result, these are far and away the heaviest type of brad nailers currently on the market, so expect a bit of fatigue when using this type.
  • Gas: The final type of brad nailer is also a cordless type. These use batteries and fuel rods that make them a very portable product. Additionally, this type is used by both professionals and amateurs alike. If you want to buy a very reliable and portable type of nailer that also has power, consider a gas-powered product.

WHAT IS THE BEST BRAD NAILER TO BUY

A Good Belt Hook

When you’re working with a brad nailer, you’ll need to put it aside from time to time. With this in mind, you should have a belt hook so you can neatly carry your brad nailer around on your belt when it’s not in use. As a rule, buy one with a hook that’s fully adjustable to give you some versatility between belts.

The Narrowness of the Nose

When you have a narrower nose on the brad nailer, it eliminates the need to have to push hard against the wooden surface that you’re trying to nail. As a result, you won’t mar or damage the top surface of the wood. Additionally, you’ll have better visibility at the surface point so you can be much more accurate during your job.

Final Thoughts

Finding the top brad nailer for your money can be tough, but the products that we’ve featured in our brad nailer reviews are some of the best brad nailers on the market. If you’re looking for another top rated brad nailer model, simply use the buyer’s guide to ensure that you find a model that has all of the features that you need.

Brad nailers from companies like Bostich are constantly evolving. Some models have micro-thin noses, allowing less marring and more control over your nail points, and some even have additional features like pencil sharpeners so you can more easily mark your brad nailing point.

It’s clear that as time progresses, more and more revolutionary technologies will work their way into the modern nailer and future brad nailer gun options will be even more feature-rich.

Reviews

01

This model from Bostich is a brad nailer kit that uses a pneumatic system to drive brads into the preferred surface. It can manage brads from 5/8 of an inch to two and one-eighth of an inch and has a nose that was fairly well-received in the industry.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency for this particular brad nailer to jam occasionally and it’s not particularly easy to clear the jams when they occur.

This is one of the first brad nailer models to feature a micro nose that is specifically designed to prevent marring the wooden surface. Additionally, the tiny tip makes it easier for the operator to see the surface while brad nailing.

Verdict

This 18 gauge pneumatic brad nailer is a good well-rounded gun that can be used on a wide variety of jobs. Not only does it require less physical force when placing brads, but it also has improved visibility during the job.

Specifications
Type
Pneumatic
Nail Size
18ga, 5/8 to 2-1/8
Weight (Rounded)
Three pounds
Operating Pressure
70-120 psi
Pros
  • It uses Smart Point nailing technology that was developed based on feedback and reviews.
  • It has an oil-free functionality.
  • You can easily adjust the depth settings.
Cons
  • It can be difficult to un-jam.
  • It can misfire occasionally.
BOSTITCH BTFP12233 review (4)

BOSTITCH BTFP12233

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02

When you need portability and freedom of movement, this battery-powered brad nailer is a good option. It can nail 18 gauge brads that are 5/8 to two inches in size and also has a fairly consistent driving depth that doesn’t jam often.

While the gun is fairly convenient to use, it can struggle with some types of hardwood. Also, over time, the magnet can sometimes falter, which means that it can start to degrade over time.

This product has a tool-free jam release that makes clearing up the nose very convenient. Additionally, the gun also has LED lights that make it easy to see where you are nailing in your brads.

Usually, battery powered nailers have a tendency to be heavy; this product, on the other hand, is only about six pounds.

Verdict

For those looking for maneuverability, this gun from Porter-Cable is a good option to buy. It lasts for about an hour on a charge and is completely cord-free, which can be useful around the house.

Specifications
Type
Battery-Powered
Nail Size
18ga, 5/8 to 2
Weight (Rounded)
Six pounds
Magazine Capacity
100
Pros
  • It only weighs 5.9 pounds.
  • There’s no need for a compressor.
  • It has a well-built, sturdy design.
Cons
  • It struggles with harder wood.
  • It can become noisy over time.
PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA review small

PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA

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03

For those seeking a battery-powered unit, this brad nailer from industry icon DEWALT has a very easy-to-use design that provides one of the best mobile brad nailing experiences available. It accommodates brads that are 5/8 to two inches in size.

At 7.4 pounds, the product is definitely not one of the lightest brad nailers on the market.

Also, understand that it’s not really rated for tougher woods and sheet rock, so if you’re going to be doing more professional-quality work, this may not be the product for you.

This product features bump operation, which means that you’ll be able to get a lot of brad nailing done in a relatively short period. When you’re done, you can lock the trigger so you can store it on a belt quickly and easily.

Verdict

Overall, this product from DEWALT is a good option for anyone looking to execute some around-the-house work. It’s cordless, keeps a charge for about an hour, and has a reversible belt hook for convenience.

Specifications
Type
Battery-Powered
Nail Size
18ga, 5/8 to 2
Weight (Rounded)
Seven pounds
Magazine Capacity
110 nails
Pros
  • The bump feature will help you quickly execute a lot of brad nailing.
  • The nosepiece is easy to remove.
  • It has an adjustable depth.
Cons
  • Precision is somewhat lacking.
  • It lacks consistency with tougher hardwoods and sheet rock.
DEWALT DC608K review small

DEWALT DC608K

Check Price
04

If you need convenience and an easy-to-use design, then the Hitachi NT50AE2 is a good option for just about anyone that needs a good brad nailer. In fact, with its simple pneumatic design, you’ll be able to comfortably get the job done nailing in brads that are 5/8 to two inches.

If you’re going to be firing the brads at an angle, then you may encounter problems because it won’t really fire unless you’re straight-on. In addition, when it runs out of brads in its 100-brad magazine it’ll continue to fire, so you may be firing blanks.

The cap of this product is designed specifically to not mar the materials that you are working with when you fire your brads. The device is also very ergonomic, which can decrease hand fatigue.

Verdict

If you are looking for a quality pneumatic brand nailer, this Hitachi product has more than enough features to get the job done.

Specifications
Type
Pneumatic
Nail Size
18ga, 5/8 to 2
Weight (Rounded)
Two pounds
Capacity
100 nails
Pros
  • This brad nailer only weighs a little over two pounds.
  • It’s very ergonomic.
  • It’s relatively easy to adjust the depth-of-drive with this product.
Cons
  • Angled brad nailing is problematic with this nailer.
  • The spring in the front can experience faults over time.
Hitachi NT50AE2 review (5)

Hitachi NT50AE2

Check Price
05

Another pneumatic nailer that can drive 18 gauge brads that vary from 5/8 to two inches in size, this device may be the best 18 gauge brad nailer in DEWALT’s product line for home use.

Like the first DEWALT product in this guide, this unit has a smaller non-marring tip.

Despite its heavy-duty DEWALT brand, this isn’t suitable for heavy-duty jobs. Instead, this works well for DIY-style jobs that don’t need a lot of power.

One of the best features of this product is its composition. DEWALT constructed this nailer out of magnesium, which is a lightweight metal. As a result, not only is this an easy to use product, but it’s also very durable.

Verdict

If you are thinking of buying a durable pneumatic nailer that can manage most home and industrial applications, then the DEWALT DWFP12231 is a good option for your needs.

Specifications
Type
Pneumatic
Nail Size
18ga, 5/8 to 2
Weight (Rounded)
Five pounds
Magazine Capacity
100
Pros
  • It has a fairly ergonomic design.
  • Its magnesium body is lightweight and very durable.
  • The air exhaust is in the rear.
Cons
  • It can struggle with some more professional jobs.
  • It tends to jam a lot.
DEWALT DWFP12231 review (5)

DEWALT DWFP12231

Check Price
06

Most brad nailers that use pneumatics come in at a fairly low weight, and this product is no different; it weighs only 2.8 pounds and can manage nails from 5/8 of an inch to two and one-eighth inches in size.

Sometimes, when using this product, the nails just won’t set appropriately, which means that you’ll have to set them manually.

Not only is this a fairly high performing product, but it also has some great comfort features. The grip and trigger are both rubber-coated for ease-of-use.

Additionally, the product includes a nose light so you can place more accurately in low-light situations.

Verdict

The SENCO FinishPro® 18MG, 2-1/8″ 18-Gauge Brad Nailer is a great all-around brad nailer for just about any job. It’s lightweight, fairly easy to use, and has enough power for most types of hardwood, though you may notice occasional issues with setting.

Specifications
Type
Pneumatic
Nail Size
18ga, 5/8 to 2-1/8
Weight (Rounded)
Three pounds
Fastener Capacity
110
Pros
  • It has a thinner body that’s very maneuverable in tight spaces.
  • The product has bump and sequential fire modes.
  • The nose light makes it easy to see in dark spaces
Cons
  • It occasionally won’t set the nail.
  • The driver can sometimes slide off of the nail.
SENCO FinishPro 18MG review (5)

SENCO FinishPro 18MG

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FAQ

Frequently asked questions

  • 01
    When would I need a pneumatic brad nailer?

    If you have an air compressor and do not need the mobility and power of a cordless nailer, a pneumatic nailer would be a right way to go. Additionally, an air nailer would be a good choice if you do not mind to spend more on its maintenance in the long run. Otherwise, you should look for an electric cordless brad nailer.

  • 02
    What do I need to run Pneumatic Brad Nailers?

    You will need an air compressor and air hose in order to use any pneumatic brad nailer.

  • 03
    Could I use other nails other than 18-gauge with brad nailers?

    If you are thinking about using 16- or 15-gauge nails with a brad nailer, just know that it won’t work as they are bigger and won’t fit into the magazine. Do not experiment and have the tools you need.