Whether you are a professional or a home-owner who likes to keep handy equipment close by, a brad nailer is a must-have item for your tools box.
The tool not only makes your work more comfortable but also stays as a reliable tool that you can count on. Brad nailers not just make putting things together well, but they put things together in a considerably satisfactory manner with little risk of splitting wood by accident.
If you are trying to decide whether or not you should get a brad nailer, we can be of a lot of help! This article will help to thoroughly educate you about brad nailers, their functions, and which ones to buy from a wide array of options.
What Do You Use a Brad Nailer For?
A brad nailer is used to nail together pieces of material, for example; two thin planks of wood. They use "brads" instead of nails which are thinner and weaker forms of general nails. Brad Nailer, therefore, helps you put brads into various kinds of material and attach them.
If you already own a finish nailer, you might feel like you do not need a brad nailer. But the functionality and usefulness of a brad nailer and a finish nailer are distinctively different, and both are necessary for a complete toolbox.
Brad nailers are meant for comparatively thinner material. If you need to attach something directly to the wall, you should use a finish nailer instead of a brad nailer. On the other hand, brad nailers are used for comparatively delicate pieces of wood and trim.
The best thing about brad nailers is that, since the brads have thinner heads, they don't show and thus can make things look more beautiful. They are also lighter in weight and much easier to use.
Our Best Brad Nailer Reviews
Here we present the top picks that we found after hours of research considering reliability and user experience. If nor the best, these are the most functioning models available in the market.
1. WEN 61720
It is capable of firing brads starting from 3/4 to 2 inches in size. Since the body is made of lightweight aluminum, the built is sturdy and light at the same time. Weighing at only 3 Pounds, this is very easy to use.
Its handle has a rubber grip, making it comfortable to hold and work with. The maximum number of brads that can be inserted in the magazine is 100. A quick-release system makes it easy to clear any brad jams.
The package comes with additional oil, adjustment wrenches and a case that can be used for carrying the equipment. Standard 18 gauge nails can be used with this tool. You can use it with the help of an air compressor.
Furthermore, the exhaust deflector is adjustable, making work easier. Dimensions of the product are 3 inches x 13 inches x 11 inches making it quite easy to carry and use.
2. Hitachi NT50AE2
Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer is the best 18 gauge brad nailer you can think of ever coming across. The model has different methods to choose from depending on whether the user wants bump fire mode or contact fire mode.
A switch is available to shift from one way to another. For a more precise finish, intermittent firing will be the best. Weighing only 2.2 lbs, this device is one of the lightest products you could ask for. The balance of the device is merely great, combining with the lightweight feature.
To prevent the device from slipping and for making the gripping more comfortable, an elastomer grip has been added. During nail jams, the blockage is very easy to clear due to the tool-less, easy-to-clear nose. For a more professional finish, the drive can be easily adjusted with the depth of drive dial.
The dial is located near the nose of the device and can be turned to make necessary adjustments. Maximum capacity of the magazine is 100 brads at a time before it has to be reloaded.
Measuring about 15.6 inches x 12.1 inches x 3.4 inches, this object is quite lightweight and easily portable. It requires a 70- 120 psi pressure to operate and provide the best results possible. The body of the device is made of lightweight aluminum, making it quite sturdy and safe during impact.
3. DEWALT DWFP12231
At number three, this Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer Kit easily falls under the list of our top 18 gauge brad nailer reviews.
This is one of the most durable products out there with very minimal maintenance. To ensure proper setting of nails, a tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment is available. Nails can be easily removed through the tool-free jam release mechanism.
The rear exhaust system works amazingly to keep away dust and other dirt away from the place of work. It accommodates 18 gauge nails that can vary from 5/8 inches to 2 inches in length. Being a pneumatic tool, it uses the help of an air compressor to work.
A removable non-marring tip sits at the nose which can be used or removed as per convenience. The body of the device is made mainly of magnesium, thereby delivering a sturdy and lightweight design. For improved comfort, an integrated rubber grip has been provided.
It comes with an adjustable belt hook that can be used after customizing according to the needs of the user. The kit comes with a hook belt, 500 nails, a case for carrying the equipment and a manual. Its trigger style is sequential which provides a consistent pace and excellent finish.
Weighing about 5.4 Pounds, this product is comfortable to carry, hold and use. This product measures 13 inches x 3.7 inches x 13.1 inches overall and is a good size for use.
4. PORTER-CABLE BN200C
This device is in a word amazing. Since the nose of the device is comparatively small, nails can be placed quite easily. There is no necessity of compressing the contact tip for the tool to work. It can accommodate 18 gauge nails ranging from 5/8 inches to 2-1/8 inches in length.
There is a tool-free jam release system for easy removal of the nails. The box comes with a carrying case, extra no-mar tips, simple fasteners, and 1/4 inches air fitting. For providing a precise countersinking, a dial-a-depth control system is present, which can be turned according to the necessary precision.
A maximum of 100 nails can be accommodated in the magazine of this nailer. The operation is entirely oil-free, and therefore, there are no risks of oil stains on wood or other surfaces. The exhaust is at the rear of the machine, which helps in keeping the work surface clean and tidy.
Both countersinking option and trigger system are available so that the user can choose the one that best suits him or her.
5. BOSTITCH BTFP12233
This one is the best brad nailer for woodworking on our list. It is built with a smart technology that enables easy placement of nails with a design that has a comparatively smaller nose. There is no necessity of compressing the contact tip to use the tool. It accommodates 18 gauge nails ranging from 5/8 inches to 2-1/8 inches.
The kit essentially comes with extra no-mar tips, a case for carrying the equipment and sample fasteners. This equipment provides precise countersinking due to a dial-a-depth control mechanism. Nails, if jammed, can also be easily removed owing to the presence of tool-free jam release system.
Its exhaust is at the rear that keeps the working spot clean. This is a straight design, not an angled one. The magazines can be loaded from the sides, and each time, the magazine can hold up to 100 nails.
The operation being entirely oil-free, the surface will remain free from oil stains. Both trigger system and contact firing modes are present for the user to choose from. It weighs about 5.16 pounds, and the dimensions are 12.2 x 11.7 x 4.5 inches which aren't too big of a hassle to handle.
6. Makita AF505N
In case of this device, nailing is very easy in tight spots due to the narrow design of the nose. The design is very efficient, and there are no downtimes with this guy. Clearing jammed nails are very easy owing to the easy to use "tool-less" technology.
Its nose is covered with non-marring rubber tips that protect the surface of the material from impact and scratches. The 180 Degree rotatable tool hooks keep the device close and out of the way at the same time. To ensure precise contact, the nose piece is cast and machined.
An easy-to-adjust depth dialing system is present to ensure proper depth of nails into materials. It can be easily adjusted by turning the dial. A soft grip is provided with the help of rubber that makes it comfortable to work with the equipment.
This device is perfect for flooring, crown molding installation, attaching baseboards and trim work. It performs the best at an air pressure of 60-115 PSI and can accommodate 18 gauge nails ranging from 5/8 inches to 2 inches. The magazine can hold a maximum of 100 nails at the same time before it has to be loaded again.
7. DEWALT DCN680B
This product is designed with built-in LED lights that communicate the status of battery charge. The automatic shut-off mechanism lets the device to stay protected from extra use of battery charge and saves the hassle of turning the device off every time during intervals.
It functions at a maximum initial battery voltage of 20V, but 18V is the nominal voltage. Standard Dewalt 12V- 20V max Li-ion batteries can be used with this product. Although the batteries of another brand can be used, it is best to use Dewalt batteries. Once charged, the device can be used for a considerable period.
Weighing about 5.91 Pounds, this guy is not the lightest brad nailer out there, but it is not heavy enough to cause convenience. It measures about 14.4 inches x 14.1 inches x 4.6 inches and can be considered of a standard size.
The body is made of steel making the equipment strong, protecting the device from impact in case it is dropped.
8. SENCO FinishPro®
This one is a very user-friendly model. Initially produced in China, this device is ultra-light and very durable. The body is made of magnesium, making the product sturdy and light at the same time.
Its design is also completely oil-free, saving the surfaces from oil stains. The depth-of-drive is adjustable, and hence, nails can be driven with perfect precision. Moreover, the exhaust at the rear helps keep the working spot clean.
Weighing about 4 pounds, this product is not too heavy. In fact, it is a great weigh for a product like this. The body is comparatively small, measuring only about 10 inches x 4 inches x 1 inches. It is quite rare to find such a high performing model within such a small size.
This product is entirely air-powered, not battery powered. This means that air compressors will be necessary to run this device, which could be bit of an inconvenience. It can accommodate brads up to 2-1/8 inches, which is great because standard brads generally go up to this length.
The product is overall very durable, and of the highest quality. The service provided by this product is also very consistent. So, this model can be easily relied on for your average brad nailer activities.
9. DEWALT DC608K
DEWALT DC608K is yet another amazing model that is super reliable. The engine of the product is designed in a way that accommodates very fast working. The consistency of firing is impressive and is applicable for both hard and soft surfaces.
Two modes are available to work; the bump operating mode that allows speed, and the sequential operating mode that allows for more precision.
This product comes with a straight magazine, which allows 18 gauge nails ranging from 5/8 inches to 2 inches. The nose piece is easily accessible in case of nail jams. This is a cordless model that will save you from the hassle of air compressors.
Its contact tip lock-off system lets the device to be triggered off when the device is not in use. The magazine can hold 110 nails at a time. This whole package comes with a hard case, charger, and battery.
The speed is as high as firing 5 brads per second. Weighing about 7.4 pounds, this guy is comparatively heavy with a size of 11.5 x 3.5 x 11 inches.
10. SENCO FinishPro® (ProSeries)
Built in China, this is a very easy-to-use model. It’s is highly durable, and the design is ultra-light. The oil-free technology keeps oil stains away from your surfaces.
Operational triggers are selective and can be chosen as per the user's necessity. The depth drive is adjustable and precise results can be obtained. Its exhaust is at the rear, keeping everything cleared off at the front.
The product weighs about 4 Pounds which is pretty good. Measuring about 14 x 4 x 1 inch, this product is neither too large, nor too small. Furthermore, the body is made of magnesium making it light and sturdy at the same time.
This product can accommodate nails measuring up to 2-1/8 inches. Sadly, it is an air-powered device which will need air compressors and hoses to function. Batteries are not included in the package.
What To Look For Before You Buy?
Before you settle on a particular design, make sure that you have taken notice of the following aspects;
Weight is one of the most important aspects when you are about to buy a brad nailer because when it comes to working with heavy tools, ease of use is everything. Brad nailers can weigh from around 2 Pounds to 9 Pounds. So, try to buy a product that is quite light and will be comfortable to use.
Dimensions are also critical because bigger products are not very comfortable to work with, whereas, products that are comparatively smaller in size are more natural to use. It is better to buy a relatively smaller product, especially if you are new to using these.
Brad nailer usually have a body made of steel or plastic. Nowadays, magnesium has also become quite popular for manufacturing the body of the product. Steel or magnesium bodies provide better protection if the nailers are dropped.
So, it is preferable to get a model that has a metal body, instead of a plastic body.
LED lights are present in most models of brad nailers either to illuminate the workspace or to indicate various states of the equipment. Both functions are equally important.
However, if you are certain that your work station will always be outdoors, you can buy a model that doesn't have an illuminating LED light at its tip.
It is always better to buy a model that has a battery with higher capacity, because a battery with higher capacity will be able to store more charge, and thus, will work for longer, compared to batteries that have less capacity.
Capacity of The Magazine
Typically, magazines of brad nailers can hold about 100 nails at the same time. When you have used up all 100 nails, you will have to refill the magazine. Some models can hold up to 110 nails, but that would hardly make a difference.
Try to pick a model that can accommodate at least 100 nails.
Different Modes of Operation
Most models have switchable modes with at least two modes present; rapid fire, and consistent. Rapid fire will help you work faster, but if you think you might be working slow, then you should not use the rapid fire mode.
Whatever be the case, it is essential to buy a model that lets you switch between the two modes.
Can You Use A Brad Nailer For Trim?
You can use brad nailers for trim. It is the better option when attaching trims to wood. Since trims are delicate, a finish nailer poses the threat of splitting the wood. In that case, your wood and trims can be ruined. Brad Nailer, being thinner and gentler, is safer to use in this case.
Besides saving yourself from the risk of splitting the trims, there is also the fact that since brads are thinner than nails and the top is smaller in diameter, brad will provide a better finish.
They are less visible than nails and can be easily hidden with wood putty, whereas hiding nails are comparatively tough and requires more effort for the finish.
Therefore, you should go for a brad nailer for trim, especially if you are dealing with delicate pieces.
Brad Nailer Brands
Various brands are available in the market having a lot of merits and drawbacks. However, the following brands can be considered as the top brands for brad nailers;
Wen is one of the best brands out there for various tools, especially brad nailers. These brad nailers provide various facilities like tool-less jam cleaning and multiple modes to choose from.
Bostitch provides some of the best models of brad nailers. The products are durable and provide consistent quality.
Known for its versatile products and great quality, Hitachi is always a brand that you can trust and count on when it comes to electronics and equipment.
Dewalt has some of the best models in the market of highly competitive quality. The products are also very durable and easy to use.
Well-known for its superior quality, Makita is a very trusted brand for brad nailers and other equipment. The products are also quite innovative and durable.
Now that you know all about brad nailers, you can easily pick a model that best suits your needs and the budget. Do remember to check out the most important features before making a decision.
We hope that our best brad nailer reviews were of some help to you. Hopefully, you’ll get the best model!