Best Brad Nailer Reviews 2018: Latest 18 Gauge Top 11

One of the most versatile power tools for fastening materials temporarily is the brad nailer. Using nails that don’t have long lasting holding power, brad nailers give you a discreet look that not only looks professional but is perfect for arts and crafts. You can also use the versatility of the brad nailer almost anywhere including decorative arts and woodworking. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best brad nailer and a few reviews to help you start shopping.

Best Brad Nailer Reviews

In the next few sections, you will discover the top 11 brad nailers, their features, and more.

Model Nail Size Rating Current Price
Pneumatic
WEN 61720
Editor's Choice
3/4 to 2 in. 4.9 Check Here
Hitachi NT50AE2 5/8 to 2 in. 4.8 Check Here
Makita AF505N 5/8 to 2 in. 4.7 Check Here
DEWALT DWFP12231 5/8 to 2 in. 4.5 Check Here
BOSTITCH SB-2IN1 1-5/8 in. 4.4 Check Here
3PLUS HF50SP 3/4 to 2 in. 4.2 Check Here
NuMax SBR50 5/8 to 2 in. 4.2 Check Here
Electric
DEWALT Bare-Tool DC608B
Editor's Choice
5/8 to 2 in. 4.8 Check Here
PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA
5/8 to 2 in. 4.8 Check Here
VonHaus 18-Gauge 2in1
- 4.6 Check Here
Ryobi P320 Airstrike
5/8 to 2 in. 4.6 Check Here

1. WEN 61720 18-Gauge – Best Brad Nailer for Do-It-Yourselfers

Claiming the spot of one of the most affordable brad nailers on the market, the WEN 61720 18 Gauge Brad Nailer also comes with many positive reviews. Capable of shooting 18-gauge brads, this lightweight brad nailer can shoot brads ranging from a 3/4 inch to 2 inches in size. Made entirely of aluminum, this is a strong nailer that is also small enough to fit in your hand.

It has the pressure you need to operate a nail gun ranging from 60 to 100 PSI. it also has the magazine capacity of 100 brads, plus it features a quick-release design in case you get a jam, you can clear it up quickly. The WEN 61720 also features a kit that includes adjustable wrenches, oil, and a carrying case.

PROS

  • Great product especially for the price;
  • Easy to use and great for DIYers;
  • Great product with no misfires.

CONS

  • Not for professionals;
  • Only works on nails under two inches.

2. Hitachi NT50AE2 – Most Lighweight Pneumatic Brad Nailer

If you are looking for a pneumatic brad nailer that is lightweight, the Hitachi NT50AE2 can be used either as a standalone nailer or combined with an air compressor. Weighing only 2.2 pounds, the NT50AE2 has a lot of power and is able to shoot 18-gauge brad nails between 5/8 inch and 2 inches into pretty hard materials. To work efficiently, it does need 70 - 120 PSI from an air compressor.

One of its best features is its selective firing mode that lets you shoot nails by either nose contact or by pressing the trigger. This allows it to adapt to the way you like to work seamlessly, plus the mechanism in the nose lets you make additional adjustments to the firing depth. You only need to twist the nose half-way to either side to decrease or increase the depth-of-drive.

The NT50AE2 is easy to maneuver which is great when nailing in odd positions. This is also an ergonomic tool that lets you use it for long period of times without getting tired. Plus, the elastomer grips are also very comfortable.

PROS

  • Affordable price for a great product;
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver;
  • Comfortable to use for hours.

CONS

  • 2-inch nails can easily jam;
  • Does have the best feeding mechanism.

3. Makita AF505N – Most Convenient

If you love the convenience a brad nailer can provide, the Makita AF505N features both a rotatable tool hook and tool-less adjustment settings. This is a tool that is designed to make using it simple and quick. It also features an extra-narrow nose that lets you get into confined spaces or small areas easily.

It may not be extremely streamlined but it works well in tight spaces and has really good accuracy. This lightweight brad nailer also features a compact design style that doesn’t make your arms tired. The Makita AF505N also features an effective and easy to use jam clearing mechanism than its competitors as well as a dual nail reload indicator window and non-marring rubber nose.

PROS

  • Comes with a rotatable tool hook;
  • Easy to use jam clearing mechanism;
  • The narrow nose makes it easy to get in tight places.

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a lot of power;
  • Tends to throw sparks.

4. DEWALT DWFP12231 – Best Brad Nailer for Beginners

For a beginner-friendly brad nailer, the DEWALT DWFP12231 is an affordable product that easily competes with other brad nailers on the market. Although it is a little heavy at 4.8 pounds, it has a lot of the features you would expect to get with a high-quality brad nailer. The oil-free motor stops stains while the nose detents let you make easy adjustments of the depth-of-drive.

Easily driving 18-gauge 5/8 inch to 2-inch brad nails, the Dewalt DWFP12231 features the exhaust at the rear which ensures a clean nailing finish. The magazine holds100 nails which is standard at this level. You also won’t even notice the extra weight with the ergonomic handles that are coated with elastomer so they are very comfortable to hold.

PROS

  • Good quality and durable;
  • Good ergonomics, comfortable to use;
  • Tool-less Jam clearing mechanism.

CONS

  • Some users find it a little heavy.

5. BOSTITCH SB-2IN1 – Most Versatile

The very versatile BOSTITCH SB-2IN1 makes it unnecessary to purchase both a crown stapler and a brad nailer. This is a handy unit that is ideal for trim, paneling, crafts, and cabinetry. You can easily swap out nails for staples instead of having to disconnect one tool from the air compressor and then connect another.

When the BOSTITCH is in nailer mode, you can drive a brad up to 1-5/8 inches in length while the stapler mode will shoot 18-gauge, 1-1/2-inch finish staples. With the adjustable depth guide, you can set either brads or staples and brads to your preferred depth conveniently and quickly, plus the tool-free adjustable exhaust can direct the exhaust away from you as you work. The BOSTITCH is the ultimate tool for both craftsmen and DIYers.

PROS

  • Quality product;
  • Despite the small size, has enough power to staple completely through;
  • Easy to use and does the job well.

CONS

  • Leaves a dent in the wood;
  • Not a good tool for serious users.

6. 3PLUS HF50SP – Best Value

Ideal for baseboard and crown molding installation, the 3 PLUS Brad Nailer has the capability to drive 18-gauge ¾ inch to 2-inch brad nails. This is a durable and precise nailer that has reliable nail-driving power. It also includes a tool-free depth of drive that is adjustable that gives you both controllable and consistent nail fit while the quick jam release function is easy to use.

Not only will it let you complete your work efficiently, the 3 PLUS Brad Nailer is a versatile tool that works for many woodworking applications, and its narrow nose design lets you easily work in tight areas. Its durability and precision nail placement gives you reliable nail-driving power would help you complete job efficiently. Plus, its composite plastic magazine weighs less than conventional aluminum magazines and the adjustable exhaust keeps the air out of your face as you work.

PROS

  • Nice heavy feel, solid construction;
  • Works well, no misfires;
  • Great price for the value.

CONS

  • Trigger tends to jam;
  • Nails don’t slide easily out of the gun and get stuck.

7. NuMax Brad Nailer SBR50 – Most Easy to Use

With a lightweight aluminum design, the NuMax Brad Nailer is perfect for both exterior and interior trim and finish work and is versatile enough to handle cabinet work, furniture, crafts, and hobbies. This is a tool-free adjustable tool that also has an exhaust that keeps that are away from your face while you work.

This is an easy to handle tool that also features a reload indicator that lets you know when your magazine is running low. It has the ability use 18-Gauge straight brad nails that range from 5/ inch to 2 inches. It also features an ergonomic handle, dual spring magazine, and a reversible belt hook.

PROS

  • Great product for an excellent price;
  • Easy to use and well-built;
  • Doesn’t jam and shows you when it needs more nails.

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a safety lock;
  • Doesn’t come with an adjustable depth control.

8. DEWALT Bare-Tool DC608B – Best Cordless Brad Nailer

If you are looking for a brad nailer that is cordless, the DeWalt DC608K is worth checking out. Driven by an 18V NiCAD battery, the DeWalt DC608K weighs a little more at 7.4 pounds, but it is still very maneuverable and portable. It can also fire 1,000 nails with just a single charge, plus that battery can completely charge in one hour.

With a powerful firing mechanism, you don’t have to pause to fire more nails. The DeWalt DC608K helps to increase your productivity on heavy-duty projects, and it can easily and quickly change from bump to sequential mode by just hitting a button. Plus, when you are in the fast mode, you can shoot an incredible five 18-gauge brad nails from 5/8 inch to 2 inches per second.

PROS

  • Does not need an air compressor to operate;
  • Quick charging battery;
  • Versatile and cordless with an adjustable firing mode.

CONS

  • Some users find it a little heavy.

9. PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA – Most Portable

The Porter-Cable PCC790LA is a lightweight and durable brad nailer that is very portable. Powered by a Lithium-ion battery, you won’t have to worry about using an air hose and air compressor with this solidly built tool. You can also use it in several different positions without worrying about body strains, plus its unique motor allows you to fire brad nails into different types of material no matter what climate you are in.

The adjustable nail depth setting is tool-free, and it also includes a nail jam-release feature. It can easily accommodate brad nails from 5/8 inch to 2 inches and has a magazine capacity of 100 brad nails. The trigger features a lock-in length and has a nail magazine with a capacity of 100 brad nails. The Porter-Cable PCC790LA also includes dual LED lights that let you light up your work area.

PROS

  • Comes with a jam-release feature;
  • Features adjustable brad nail depth;
  • Comes with a safety lock on the trigger.

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with a spare battery.

10. VonHaus 2 In 1 – Best 2 in 1 Brad Nailer

Perfect for a wide variety of projects and materials, the VonHaus 2 in 1 can take on plastic sheeting, carpeting, insulation, PVC Panels, and upholstery. It features a bottom loading magazine, two firing modes, two-stage safety triggers, depth control adjustment, and a smooth action trigger switch. The included 18 V Max.Li-ion battery has a rapid charge of only 45 minutes and includes the charger.

An ergonomic soft-grip handle that lessens your chance of fatigue during long periods of use, and the generous capacity of the easy to refill magazine lessens your need for frequent refills. It also boasts of low recoil levels allowing for smooth and controlled operation while the adjustment nozzle allows you to easily choose your preferred tacking strength to match your project.

The VonHaus 2 in 1 has a comfortable to use heavy duty plastic body and handy tool belt hook that designed with ease of use in mind. It has a wide variety of features including dual-functionality as both a staple and nail gun that makes projects faster and easier to complete. The smooth action trigger switch gives you incredible drive power letting you fire up to 60 nails per minute while the anti-jam mechanism keeps the tool from jamming and delays in use.

The VonHaus also has two firing modes including contact firing mode for faster and more convenient use and single firing mode for accurate placement. The two-stage safety trigger helps to prevent accidental use while the LED indicator light helps you know when the battery is low when you have jammed staples or nails, and when the gun is in dry fire protection mode. The convenient cordless design and easy access to the magazine make this a well-designed tool that is handy to have around the house and the job site.

PROS

  • Nice quality construction;
  • Affordable price for a great product;
  • Great tool for home repairs and crafts.

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with depth adjustment;
  • Arrs the surface of the wood you are working on.

11. Ryobi P320 Airstrike 18 – Most Adjustable

Comparable to a few gas-powered nailers on the market, the Ryobi P320 brad nailer also features the convenience of a cordless power tool with the capability of performing any nailing project you may have around the house. You can easily reinforce joint and install roofing tiles with the P320. You get 4 amp hour battery on just one charge allowing you to fire up to 700 nails that can be up to 50 millimeters long.

The onboard dial allows you to adjust your depth so you don’t need to worry about using other tools. And, it comes with built-in LED lighting that will conveniently light up your work area and the attached belt clip makes sure your tool is always nice and handy. Built for work, the P320 lets you get what you need done.

The P320 works with a single piston inside ambient air that is pressurized by each squeeze of the trigger. It also includes a quiet motor, fast ramp-up time, and no annoying recoil when you sink a long brad into thick hardwood. You also won’t have to worry about denting wood from delicate pine to veneered plywood.

You can quickly and easily clear about brads if it should jam with the tool-free nose release. You get 500 1 ¼ inch brads that you can finely tune on how deeply you want to countersink with the air pressure dial, and the adjuster wheel also allows you to set countersink depths.

PROS

  • Good solid tool, very easy to use;
  • Drives nails perfectly;
  • Stands up to heavy use..

CONS

  • Will sometimes misfire;
  • No real difference between settings.

Brad Nailer Buying Guide

Cordless vs. Pneumatic Brad Nailer

With a couple of different types of brad nailers available, it’s important to choose the type that will be the most handy for you.

Electric brad nailer – If you are looking for versatility, the electric brad nailer can give you maneuverability and portability. Usually using a strong NiCAD battery, electric brad nailers can fire a good number of nails on just a single charge. This is an efficient brad nailer that will usually come with a bunch of professional level features. Keep in mind that it will be heavier due to the motor that is needed to deliver that level of firing which also will make it more expensive.

Pneumatic brad nailer – The most powerful of the brad nailer types, the pneumatic brad nailer requires an air compressor to run it. Keep in mind that if you don’t already own an air compressor, purchasing a pneumatic brad nailer can fast become an expensive purchase.

Nail Size

Usually, a brad nail is 18-gauge which isn’t very large and can bend easily. The longer the nail that is used, the more likely it will bend or break. Whatever nail size works best for your project, you need to choose a model that will fit that nail size instead of just looking for one that will accommodate the longest nail. Most brad nailers that are available will only accommodate nails between 5/8 inch to 2 inches in length, so it is best to choose a brad nailer with a limit of about 2 1/8 inches.

Depth Adjustment

If you have depth adjustment in your brad nailer, it will make it more versatile so that you can adjust to the material you are working with. You also want the adjustment feature to be easy to handle. You will find that many quality brad nailers use a detent twist mechanism on the brad nailer’s nose that lets you adjust the depth-of-drive with just a quick turn.

Nose size

To make sure that the brads end up where you want them, the nose size is very important. If you have a small nose size, this type of brad nailer will be good for finish results while nose tip with non-marring rubber is great for projects that need a clean finish.

Power Source

Depending on your needs, you may need a specific type of power source to make the brad nailer the most convenient for your projects. If you have an air compressor, then a pneumatic brad nailer will work in your situation, but if you don’t, then you probably will need a corded or electric brad nailer.

Trigger Type

You will find that there are two types of trigger types that include sequential and contact. Sequential triggers need to have the tip of the brad nailer pushed up to the object and then you can pull the trigger. This is the safest of the two but can become tiring after a while.

Contact triggers need you to tap the object with the tip of the brad nailer so that it can immediately release the fastener while you hold the trigger with your fingers. Keep in mind that this can be dangerous since the brad nailer can be activated without warning.

Adjustability

Important to a brad nailer, adjustability helps a brad nailer with its functionality and longevity. You will find most brad nailers will have adjustability in its depth and power source settings. The easier the adjustments the better it will function and last.

Other Considerations

Magazine Size – Most entry-level brad nailers can hold one hundred nails per magazine. If you need a larger magazine, high-end models can accommodate more with cordless models allowing you to fire at least 1000 nails before you need to recharge the battery.

Belt Hook – Belt hooks are a great option for brad nailers that make it easier to carry them around by just hooking it to your belt.

Brad nailers are a great value and a useful addition to your workshop. Depending on your needs, you can definitely find an affordable brad nailer that is handy and powerful enough for all of your projects.



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