10 Best Brad Nailers in 2020

Last updated: October 8, 2020
Published 5:58 pm

Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer

DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch (DWFP12231)

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA (PCC790LA)

Published 5:58 pm

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If you have worked a lot with wood, you know how important it is to get a nailer that does not damage your material or leave large holes in your wood. The brad nailer is the ideal choice for light finishing works and DIY projects.

A brad nailer is a pneumatic-powered nail gun that uses compressed air to drive small-sized nails into wood. They are designed for 18 gauge nails and can be used for projects like trim work, fastening, paneling, and casing.

An 18-gauge brad nailer is a cost-effective upgrade for a hammer, which, unlike the brad nailer, leaves really large holes in the wood and could possibly damage your wood.

For your woodwork projects, also see

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Best Electric Nail Guns in 2020

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HOW TO GET A BRAD NAILER

Figuring out the perfect brad nailer for your project may be a hassle sometimes, especially with the large variety of brad nailers available in the market. Luckily, we have put together a list of the factors to look out for before getting the ideal brad nailer. These factors are:

TRIGGER TYPE: Brad nailers work with two common trigger modes; the sequential and bump or contact trigger.

The sequential trigger mode works by compressing the nose before firing. The finger trigger needs to be pressed before firing a nail. This method may be slow, but it is very safe and is ideal for delicate projects.

The bump trigger mode drives a nail as soon as the nose tip comes in contact with the material.

NOSE SIZE: The nose size of your brad nailer is a very important factor to consider, especially if you want accurate nail placements. It is advisable to get a brad nailer with a small nose tip as this improves accuracy and ensures that your nails are fixed exactly where you want them to. Small nose tips also make it easier to fix nails in tight areas.

DURABILITY: If you work with a nailer frequently for small or large projects, it is important to get a brad nailer that would last long. Look out for the ones that require little oiling or maintenance; if you decide to get a battery-powered nailer, make sure to get an extra battery.

COMFORT: Getting a brad nailer that is comfortable and easy to use is very important. You don’t want to get a brad nailer that causes a hand strain. It is advisable to get a lightweight brad nailer that has a comfortable, preferably rubberized handle.

We have put together a list of the ten best brad nailers you can find. We have included some of their specs and why we think they are ideal for your projects. This review will guide you and improve your knowledge of the best brad nailers you can get.

The 10 Best Brad Nailers in 2020 Are Reviewed Below

After adequate research, we have put together a list of the ten best brad nailers available on the market:

1

Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer

The Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer is the ideal choice if you work on different projects that need different firing mechanisms; it has a switch that allows you transition between bump fire and contact fire mode. It is a very powerful 18-gauge nailer that provides precise nail placements and can be used for furniture building, trim work, and other woodwork projects.

It features a tool-less depth adjustment that lets you adjust the depth at which each nail is driven into the wood. With a weight of 2.2 pounds, this brad nailer id very lightweight and can be handled for long hours without strain or discomfort. Its elastomer grip provides you with extra comfort and makes it easier to handle.

Its nose tip is quite narrow, allowing you to place nails in corners and areas that are hard to reach; it also protects your material from dents or damage. It also features a 360-degree adjustable exhaust vent and a high capacity magazine for maximum performance.

Key Features:

  • Selective actuation switch
  • Bump fire and contact fire mode
  • Elastomer grip
  • Depth of drive dial
  • Easy to clear nose

Specification:

  • Brand: Hitachi
  • Model: Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer
  • Size: 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum
Pros
  • It has a comfortable elastomer grip
  • It is lightweight and easy to handle for long hours
  • It features a tool-less and easy jam clear setting
  • It has two fire mechanism that can be changed with a switch
  • It allows for easy depth adjustment
  • It is ideal for hardwoods
Cons
  • Prone to jamming
  • It’s hard to know when you run out of nails

2

DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch (DWFP12231)

The DEWALT DWFP12231 Brad Nailer is a powerful and reliable pneumatic brad nailer. It is durable and easy to maintain. It also features a maintenance-free motor that operates powerfully and does not stain your material. It shoots nails ranging from 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch and accurately places these nails in the material.

This 18-gauge brad nailer features a tool-free depth of drive adjustment dial that allows you to fire each nail at the right depth and for proper setting of nailhead. Its tool-free jam release mechanism allows for easy removal of nails and also makes to easy to clear jams. It works with an operating pressure of 70 – 120 psi and has a large capacity magazine that can accommodate as many nails as you need for each project.

Its rear exhaust functions by keeping dust or other contaminants away from your work area. It is easy to use and provides maximum performance for both home projects and professional woodwork projects. It requires a compressor to function properly.

Key Features:

  • Maintenance-free motor
  • 70- 120 psi operating pressure
  • Tool-free depth of drive adjustment
  • Tool-free jam release mechanism
  • Rear exhaust

Specification:

  • Brand: DEWALT
  • Model: DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch (DWFP12231)
  • Dimension: 13.03 x 3.74 x 13.09 inches
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 5.14 pounds
  • Material: Plastic
Pros
  • It has a maintenance-free motor
  • It is easy to handle
  • It has a comfortable rubber grip
  • Its sequential style trigger provides accurate nail placement
  • Its tool-free depth of drive is very easy to adjust
  • It has a rear exhaust that keeps contaminates out of your work area
  • Can be used for different projects
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • Jams very easily
  • The piston sealer and ring may be defective

3

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA (PCC790LA)

The PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA 20V MAX, 18GA Cordless Brad Nailer, is a cordless electric nailer that operates on a powerful 1.5 Ah, 20 volts Lithium-ion battery. It does not need a compressor, hose, or expensive gas cartridges to function properly. It comes with a charger that fully charges the battery within a half hour.

This brad nailer has a tool-free depth adjustment wheel that allows you to adjust the nail depth for each project. It also features a jam release mechanism and a tool-free release lever that makes it easy to clear jams and remove nails. It has a large capacity magazine that holds about 100 nails and can shoot up to 1300 nails in a single charge.

Its sequential firing mode ensures accurate and precise nail placements. It also features LED lights that enhance visibility in dark areas and a belt hook for portability. The entire kit consists of the brad nailer, batteries, and charger.

Key Features:

  • Cordless
  • Tool-free release lever
  • Jam release mechanism
  • Depth adjustment wheel
  • 1.5 Ah 20Volt MAX Lithium-ion battery

Specification:

  • Brand: PORTER-CABLE
  • Model: PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA (PCC790LA)
  • Dimension: 13.88 x 5 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 5.9 pounds
  • Power Source: Battery-Powered
Pros
  • It is durable
  • Easy to handle and use
  • It has a comfortable grip
  • It has LED lights that allow work when it is dark
  • Its depth adjustment wheel produces ideal nail placements
  • It doesn’t require cord, hose, or gas cartridges
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • It is quite heavy
  • Its battery power gets used up quickly

4

BOSTITCH Nail Gun, Brad Nailer, Smart Point, 18GA (BTFP12233)

The BOSTITCH Nail Gun BTFP12233 Brad Nailer is a durable brad nailer that drives 18 gauge nails of sizes ranging from 5/8 inch to 2-1/8 inches in length. It is a very versatile pneumatic nailer that features an oil-free design that makes the nail gun easy to maintain. For precise countersinking of nails, it features an adjustable nail depth dial; this helps o adjust the depth at which you drive each nail into the material. It also features a tool-free jam release mechanism making it easy to remove nails and clear jams.

It is easy to use by homeowners and comes with a trigger system that provides precise and accurate nail placements. Its small nose tip makes it convenient and simple to use. It also features a ¼ inch air fitting, rear air exhaust, and belt hook with an integrated pencil sharpener that adds to its efficiency and versatility.

This brad nailer gives you full control and flexibility when using it with different materials. It also includes an ergonomic carrying case that lets you carry this power tool with ease to your work station. The entire kit consists of Nailer, 1/4 inch Air Fitting, Carrying Case, and Extra No-Mar Tips.

Key Features:

  • Tool-free jam mechanism
  • Dial-a-depth control
  • Drives 18 gauge brad nails
  • 5/8 inch to 2-1/8 inches brad nails
  • 1/4 inch Air Fitting
  • Extra No-Mar Tips
  • Carrying case

Specification:

  • Brand: BOSTITCH
  • Model: BOSTITCH Nail Gun, Brad Nailer, Smart Point, 18GA (BTFP12233)
  • Dimension: 12.2 x 11.7 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 5.16 pounds
  • Power Source: Air-Powered
  • Material: Plastic
Pros
  • It features a tool-free jam release mechanism for easy nail removal
  • It provides maximum control and flexibility
  • It has a comfortable grip
  • It includes an extra no-mar tip
  • It is convenient and easy to use
  • It features a carrying case that makes it easy to carry around
  • Nail placement is simple due to its small nose
  • 7-year limited warranty
Cons
  • It’s prone to jamming
  • It does not have a dry-fire lock mechanism
  • The position of the air exhaust may affect your work

5

Makita AF505N Brad Nailer

The Makita AF505N Brad Nailer is a durable brad nailer built to withstand harsh weather conditions. It comes with a narrow nose that makes it easy to fit into small and tight corners. Not only is the nose tip narrow, but it’s also rubberized and causes no mars; this rubber nose and bumpers protect the material from getting scratched or damaged.

It features a tool-less quick release cam lock close to the nose tip that lets you clear jams and removes the nails easily. Its tool-less depth of drive adjustment allows you to fully control the nail depth and provides flexibility when fastening nails into different materials. It comes with a selective actuation trigger that lets you select between either sequential firing mode or contact firing mode of nailing.

This brad nailer has a large capacity magazine that can accommodate 100 nails. Its handle is made up rubber, making it comfortable to grip and ensuring that it won’t slip. It also features a tool hook that can be rotated 180 degrees providing easy access to the nailer. It is convenient, easy to use, and provides a fast response. It is compatible with any type of material and drives nails with little or no effort required.

Key Features:

  • Narrow nose design
  • Tool-less quick release cam lock
  • Tool-less depth adjustment dial
  • Non-marring rubber nose
  • Tool hook
  • Cast and machined nose piece

Specification:

  • Brand: Makita
  • Model: Makita AF505N Brad Nailer
  • Dimension: 10.25 x 2.5 x 9.38 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Material: Metal
Pros
  • Lightweight and balanced
  • It has both sequential and contact firing mode
  • It comes with a tool hook for convenience
  • It can handle thick wood with ease
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Its tool-less depth of drive adjustment provides full control and flexibility
  • It has an ergonomic grip design
Cons
  • Toe nailing is not easy due to its safety
  • Randomly misfires
  • It doesn’t work well with long nails

6

NuMax SBR50 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2

The NuMax SBR50 Pneumatic Brad Nailer is a lightweight and durable brad nailer. It has an aluminum body and is ideal for homeowners and professionals. It is built with a tool-free adjustable exhaust located at the rear end of the nailer. It works with an operating pressure of 60 – 100 PSI to produce the right amount of pressure needed for various types of material.

This nailer features an adjustable depth of drive that allows you to adjust the depth at which each brad sinks into the material. It can accommodate brad nails of length ranging from 5/8 inch to 2 inches. It comes with a dual spring magazine that can accommodate as many nails as needed; it also features a reload indicator that lets you know when you run out of nails.

This lightweight brad nailer is very easy to use, and its handle is coated with rubber making it very comfortable and convenient. It also comes with a reversible belt hook that provides a wide range of flexibility. This compact brad nailer can be used for decorative trim, door installation, and many other projects.

Key Features:

  • Tool-free adjustable exhaust
  • Dual spring magazine
  • Reload indicator
  • Reversible belt hook
  • Operating pressure: 70 – 100 psi
  • Nail size: 5/8 inch to 2 inches

Specification:

  • Brand: NuMax
  • Model: NuMax SBR50 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2″ Brad Nailer
  • Dimension: 2.5 x 9.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Power Source: Air Powered
  • Material: Aluminum body with heat-treated steel parts
Pros
  • Lightweight and well balanced
  • It features a reload indicator
  • It is easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Its operating pressure makes it capable of handling various wood sizes
  • It has a comfortable grip
  • It has a good jam clearing mechanism
  • One year warranty
Cons
  • No safety lock
  • It can’t be used for heavy-duty projects

7

DEWALT DC608K 18-Volt 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer

The DEWALT DC608K 18-Volt Brad Nailer is a cordless brad nailer with a distinctive engine that works very fast and provides consistent nail placements in various types of wood. It has a large capacity magazine that accommodates 18-gauge brad nails of sizes ranging from 5/8 inch to 2 inches.

This nailer has two operating modes; a sequential operating mode that allows for precise and accurate nail placement and a bump operating mode that speeds up your work. Both operating modes improve efficiency and work speed. It has a narrow nose piece that makes it easy to reach tight corners; this nose piece is also easy to access so you can remove the jammed nails without needing screwdrivers or wrenches.

It also features LED lights that allow you to work conveniently when it’s dark and a contact trip lock-off, which disables the trigger when the nail gun is not used. It is very easy to handle, affordable, and requires little maintenance.

Key Features:

  • Sequential operating mode
  • Bump operating mode
  • 18-gauge brad
  • Nail size: 5/8 inch to 2 inches
  • Contact trip lock-off
  • Integrated LED lights

Specification:

  • Brand: DEWALT
  • Model: DEWALT DC608K 18-Volt 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer
  • Dimension: 11.5 x 3.5 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 7.4 pounds
  • Power Source: Cordless-electric
  • Material: Glass-filled Nylon
Pros
  • It has two firing modes; sequential and bump fire mode
  • It has a large nail magazine capacity
  • It features LED lights that enhance visibility
  • It is compact and portable
  • Its contact trip lock-off system improves its safety
  • It produces good nail penetration
Cons
  • It is heavy
  • Quite expensive
  • Has no reload indicator

8

Ryobi P320 Airstrike 18 Volt One+ Lithium-Ion Cordless Brad Nailer

The Ryobi P320 Airstrike Cordless Brad Nailer is a durable brad bailer that offers premium comfort and durability. It works on a powerful 18-volt Lithium-ion battery that consistently sinks nails into your material. It has a large magazine capacity and can drive up to 1700 nails in a single charge.

It works with brad nails of sizes ranging from 5/8 inch to 2 inches in length. It provides accurate and consistent nail placements without a need for a compressor, gas cartridges, or hoses. It is well designed for convenience and high performance. It features an adjustment dial that helps to regulate the pressure depending on the width of the wood you are working with.

It also features an indicator that lets you know when it’s time to reload your nailer. Its ergonomic rubber grip makes it easy and comfortable to handle for long hours. It has two non-marring pads that protect the surface of your wood from dents or damage.

Key Features:

  • 18 volts lithium-ion battery
  • Drives 1700 nails per charge
  • Pressure adjustment dial
  • Low-nail indicator

Specification:

  • Brand: Ryobi
  • Model: Ryobi P320 Airstrike 18 Volt One+ Lithium-Ion Cordless Brad Nailer
  • Dimension: 10 x 3 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • Material: Plastic
Pros
  • It has a large magazine capacity
  • Features a reload indicator
  • Provides targeted nail placement
  • Its operating pressure can be adjusted to fit the wood
  • Jams are easy to clear
Cons
  • Misfires occasionally
  • Does not have a depth adjustment dial
  • Its battery does not last long

9

SENCO FinishPro 18MG, 2-1/8

The SENCO FinishPro Brad nailer is a highly durable and easy to use nailer. It features an adjustable depth of drive dial that allows you to control the depth at which each nail is driven into the material. It is firm and lightweight, which means it can be handled conveniently for long hours without pain or stress.

It features a selective trigger, that is, you can select between the sequential firing trigger mode and the bump fire trigger mode. It ensures consistent nail placements and protects the wood from dents or damage. It requires little maintenance thanks to its oil-free design.

This brad nailer is ideal for homeowners and can be used for many woodwork projects. It also comes with an exhaust at the rear part of the machine keeping dust out of your work station. Its nose is also really narrow, allowing it to work in tight corners.

Key Features:

  • Oil-free design
  • 18-gauge brad nailer
  • Adjustable depth of drive
  • Selective trigger
  • Rear exhaust

Specification:

  • Brand: SENCO
  • Model: SENCO FinishPro 18MG, 2-1/8″ 18-Gauge Brad Nailer
  • Dimension: 10 x 4 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Material: Metal
Pros
  • It is lightweight and easy to use
  • It has a comfortable grip
  • It has a selective trigger that gives you control over the nail firing mode
  • It requires little maintenance
  • Its narrow nose makes it ale to fit into tight corners
Cons
  • It’s prone to jamming
  • Occasional misfires
  • It does not last long

10

WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer

The WEN 61720 18-Gauge Brad Nailer is a highly durable nailer. It has an aluminum body and is lightweight. This lightweight design allows it to be used conveniently in one hand for long hours. It has a large capacity magazine that can occupy about 100 nails at once. It also features a quick-release system that makes it easy to clear jams and remove nails.

This brad nailer occupies 18-gauge brad nails of size ranging from 3/4 to 2 inches in length. It produces consistent and precise nail placements and has a narrow tip that doesn’t damage or dent the material. It has an operating pressure of 60 – 100 PSI that can be adjusted to suit the material.

It can be used with both hard and softwood; also, its grip is made with rubber to improve comfort. The entire kit is made up of the nailer, oil, two adjustment wrenches, and a carrying case.

Key Features:

  • Operating pressure of 60 – 100 PSI
  • 1/4-inch NPT air inlet fitting
  • Nail size: 3/4 to 2 inches
  • Rubber grip handle

Specification:

  • Brand: WEN
  • Model: WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer
  • Dimension: 3 x 13 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Power Source: Air-powered
  • Material: Aluminum
Pros
  • It has an adjustable operating pressure
  • Its rubber grip makes it comfortable to use
  • It is easy to handle and sturdy
  • It is ideal for both hard and softwood
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • It overshoots
  • It doesn’t work well with 2-inch nails
  • Beginners may not find it easy to load

Buying Guide Questions

What is the best cordless brad nailer?

From the review above, the best cordless brad nailer is the PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA 20V MAX, 18GA Cordless Brad Nailer. It works with a powerful 1.5 Ah, 20 volts Lithium-ion battery, and it comes with a charger that fully charges the battery within a half hour.

This cordless brad nailer has a tool-free depth adjustment wheel, a jam release mechanism, and a tool-free release lever for accurate and precise nail placements. It has a large capacity magazine that holds about 100 nails and can shoot up to 1300 nails in a single charge. It also features LED lights that enhance visibility and a belt hook for portability.

Are Cordless Brad Nailers any good?

Cordless Brad nailers are very efficient. They may be heavier than the regular pneumatic nailer, but they drive nails with much more power. They are the ideal choice for driving nails into tough or hardwood and delicate trim moldings. With a cordless brad nailer, you don’t have to attach an air hose or carry a compressor with you everywhere. It comes with a battery that needs to be charged for about an hour, and you’re all set. It offers you complete freedom and mobility; you can move around your work site without worrying about tangled air hose or loud compressors.

Should I buy a brad nailer or a finish nailer?

This depends on the weight and thickness of the material you are using the nailer on. If you are dealing with hardwood or thick plywood, it is advisable to use a finish nailer as a brad nailer may not handle that thickness. On the other hand, if you have to work with thinner woods, then a brad nailer is the ideal choice.

Can a finish nailer use brad nails?

Brad nails cannot be used with a finish nailer. Brad nails are designed to be used with a brad nailer. Finish nailer works perfectly with finish nails, which are built from heavier 15 or 16-gauge wire, making them thicker than the brad nails.

Are they compatible?

No, a finish nailer is not compatible with a brad nail. A finish nailer is, however, compatible with a finish nailer, and brad nails are used with a brad nailer.

Can I use a brad nailer for baseboards?

Although the ideal nailer for baseboards is a finish nailer, you can use a brad nailer to fasten moldings but bear in mind that it should not be used with nails that are over 2 inches long. If you are worried about damaging the baseboards, you can pre-drill your nail holes.

What is the best brad nailer for home use?

The best brad nailer for home use is the Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer. It has a selective actuation switch that allows you to transition between bump fire and contact fire mode. It also features a tool-less depth adjustment and an elastomer grip that provides extra comfort and makes it easier to handle.

It is also quite lightweight and can be used pain-free for long hours. Its nose tip is also narrow enough to work in tight corners and areas that are hard to reach and a 360-degree adjustable exhaust vent to enhance its performance.

Can a Brad Nailer use staples?

Yes, it can. A brad nailer can use 18 gauge brad nails and 18 gauge ¼ inch narrow crown staples to produce a professional-looking finish to your work.

What do you use an 18 gauge brad nailer for?

An 18-gauge brad nailer shoots 18-gauge nails, which are quite small in size. Because of their small size, they are ideal for attaching thin pieces of wood with larger woods. They can also be used for furniture building, trim work and molding.

Can you use 18 gauge nails for baseboards?

Yes, 18 gauge nails can be used for baseboards. The ideal nail size for baseboards should be anything between 15 gauge to 18 gauge nails. If you are worried about splitting the baseboards, you can pre-drill the nail holes for easy and precise nail placements.

Conclusion

A brad nailer is a great replacement for a hammer. It is safe to use and provides consistent nail placements. It has adjustable features that give you full control of the depth of each nail, operating pressure, and trigger mode.

Our top choice is the Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer. It is a very powerful 18-gauge nailer that can be used for furniture building, trim work, and other woodwork projects. It consistently shoots nails into your material and has a tool-less depth of drive dial that gives you full control over the depth at which each nail is sunk into your wood.

We hope this review on the ten best brad nailers has given you more insight into how to choose the ideal brad nailer for your project and factors to consider when buying a brad nailer.