Best Brad Nailer in 2018 – Expert Picks & Reviews

Brad nailers are often the best option when it comes to attaching small pieces of wood together or putting them in place. It is perfect for trims and highly versatile when it comes to home improvement plans.

You can use it at a professional and non-professional level, as long as you have the basic know-how from using to maintenance as well as safety tips. Besides, some of the best brad nailers often work efficiently, no issues. Nevertheless, you can always make use of their instructional manual.

TOP PICK: DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer

This is the best brad nailer as it has a lifetime motor, maintenance-free that will prevent it from staining the work area. Its rear exhaust system keeps all the debris off your workspace.

Besides, it can drive in 18 gauge nails, 5/8-2 inches and has a sequential nail trigger style with 100-capacity nail magazine.

It is easy to work with and comes with a lightweight magnesium body for longevity.

In this buyer’s guide, you will get to know more about brad nailers, their types, functions, and level of maintenance as well as buying tips. So, read on and know why brad nailers often stand out from the rest of the nail guns.

Why Should You Trust Us?

You should place your sole trust in all our recommendations as well as guides and tips when it comes to buying any brad nailer. This is because we have done thorough research on some quality brad nailers and have managed to narrow it down to a few six that we know can function very well with zero hitches.

Besides, most of them are user-friendly and cost-effective in the end. You can easily afford to buy any of them and maintain it for optimal functionality. You will not even have to break the bank for maintenance costs.

Moreover, these that made it to our top six brad nailer reviews of 2018 are highly versatile and adjustable when it comes to functionality. You can rely on them to deliver as stipulated. You just have to double check the user manual to ensure you are using it right and you will never regret coming across this brad nailer review.

What are Brad Nailers Used For?

1. Home improvement Schemes

Brad nailers are often very effective when you want to fix a window or door casing as well as add some light trim crown molding or baseboards. Moreover, brad nailers are often very handy when it comes to home renovations, you can easily make upgrades with it as long as you have the skill sets and know-how.

2. Professional Works

Brad nailers can be used to make chairs, cabinets and other sorts of furniture with a combination of some special adhesives to make them sturdy. You just need to have a quality brad nailer and some basic carpentry skills and you can make anything you want.

3. Crafts and Toys

You can use your imagination to create some picture frames, piece some broken wood trim together as well as make some toys using a brad nailer. You can even make some home or office crafts with it and other small-scale crafts.

4. Construction

Brad nailers are very effective in securing parts of a building as well as other structures in place. It can nail things in different blind spots, making the site safer for working.

5. Other Odd Jobs

Brad nailers are also used to build fences, as well as different kinds of flooring projects. You do not need to limit yourself when it comes to its use, just knowing its functionality is enough to open a wide door of its endless potential

Brad Nailer Vs. Finish Nailer

Brad nailers and finish nailers are both ideal for carpentry. It is the nature of the woodwork that often differs, making each useful on its own platform.

BRAD NAILER

  • A brad nailer is often smaller when compared to a finish nailer. You can easily distinguish one from the other just by size.
  • Brad nailers often use brads, thin gauge nails that are used to piece and attach together lightweight trims.
  • Brads often have a thin flat head that is invisible over the wood trim. This ensures that you do not use any wood putty to cover the nail hole.
  • Besides, finish nailers can split any lightweight wood trim and their big nail heads often leave the wood with insertion holes, which needs to be covered for a clean finish.

FINISH NAILER

  • Finish nailers often use shorter, lighter nail gauge of 14-16 gauge that is 1-2 ½-inch in length. While brad nailers have lighter 18 gauge nails that are 5/8-2 inches in length.
  • Finish nailers are often used for finishing only, just as its name suggests while brad nailers are highly versatile and can be used to patch, attach or frame any light wood trim in place.

Evidently, a brad nailer is usually the best choice, if you have to make one. This is mainly due to its versatility when it comes to different woodwork projects. You can use it at home and work, construction sites.

However, you can always invest in both, if budget is not an issue.

Types of Brad Nailers

There are mainly three types of brad nailers, corded, electric and pneumatic.

Pneumatic Brad Nailers

This brad nailer uses compressed air. The air is fired via a hose, which energizes the compressor and powers the brad nailer. You just have to be cautious and exercise some safety, as its pressurized air is often hazardous.

This is often the best brad nailer as it is lightweight, works efficiently and allows for a clean finish.

Pneumatic brad nailers are often cost-effective but constant hose replacements and oil checks often make it hard to maintain. However, it is highly versatile as it can hold different nail types and comes in different sizes.

Electric Brad Nailer

This brad nailer is powered by an electric motor that drives the brads into the wood trim. It is a bit heavier due to the motor. Nevertheless, it gets the job done very fast and efficiently.

It works very quietly and can double as a staple gun.

It is often a bit pricier than a pneumatic brad nailer but with time, it becomes cost-effective due to its minimal maintenance costs.

Corded Brad Nailer

This is the most expensive brad nailer and is powered by a rechargeable battery. It is easy to use and highly portable. Besides, it has low-maintenance costs

How to Use a Brad Nailer

Using and maintaining a brad nailer is not that hard, here is a look at how you can do both without any serious injury.

First, you will have to decide on which brad nailer to use. This often depends on whether you have an air compressor or are always on the move, in which case an electric or corded brad nailer would be ideal.

You should then exercise some level of safety no matter the type of brad nailer you are using. Brad nailers often exert a lot of force and power and if handled badly can cause physical harm.

Ensure you have enough and extra brad nails to work with. Brad nails are often useful when it comes to fixing or hammering small trims of wood. Likewise, you should use the right size or type of brad nail depending on the trim. As most versatile brad nailers often accommodate different sizes and types of brad nails.

You can then start firing, making sure to aim at the correct angle. You can always make some pencil marks to ensure you have the correct position. Remember to also adjust the air pressure and get the depth of the fastener right.

After you are done, you can store it in a secure casing or unplug its cord or air hose for safekeeping. Remember to wipe any debris from it to prevent any jamming or corrosion.

How to Maintain a Brad Nailer

1. LUBRICATE

You should always lubricate the brad nailer with pneumatic tool lubricant, no additives, detergents or oil as they would damage some if its rubber parts and O-rings. The lubricant will limit its malfunction

2. CARE DURING COLD WEATHER

​​​​Never store the brad nailer in any cold place always keep it warm to avoid rust. If it gets cold, you can warm it by reducing its air pressure, emptying all the brad nails and then blank firing. This will help warm its shifting parts

3. INSPECT THE NAIL MAGAZINE

Always keep the nail magazine and air hose very clean and lubricate it with pneumatic tool lubricant. Make sure it has no debris

4. STORE

When not in use, always put some thin coat of pneumatic tool lubricant on its metal parts to avoid rust. Do not keep it in a cold place and always ensure it is dry and warm

Brad Nailers Buying Guide: Things to Consider

Brad nailers are not an easy buy, especially if you do not know some of the ideal features to look for. You can rely on the list below as a simple guide to making any purchases. This will prevent you from making a faulty purchase.

1. Nail length

This is very important as some brad nailers will not be able to accommodate some brad nails due to their length. Most brad nailers often accommodate nails of 5/8 to 2 inches in length. Therefore, it is ideal to buy a brad nailer with a limit of about 2 1/8 inches.

2. Nose size

Nose size is important to ensure that the brad nailer will end up where you want it. Therefore, the smaller the nose size the better, especially for finish results. Besides, always opt for ones with non-marring rubber nose tips as they guarantee a clean finish.

3. Power Source

You should always consider your source of power. This will help you in choosing the most convenient type of brad nailer. You can opt for pneumatic brad nailers if you have an air compressor around or an electric or corded one if you can afford to.

4. Trigger Type

There are often two types of trigger, contact and sequential. Contact trigger often requires you to tap the object with the tip of the brad nailer for it to release the fastener immediately. Meanwhile, you will have to keep a hold of the trigger with your fingers. This can be dangerous, as the brad nailer can be activated instantly, no warning.

As for a sequential trigger, you will have to push the tip of the brad nailer to the object and pull the trigger. It is the safest but can be tiring in the end.

5. Warranty Period and Repair

It is always better to buy a product with a longer warranty which also covers repairs and other malfunctions.

6. Adjustability

Adjustability is important in a brad nailer, be it depth adjustability or power source settings. The easier the adjustments the better it will function and last

7. Type

You will also have to consider the type you can work with comfortably be it corded, pneumatic or electric. This also depends on a lot of factors like power source, where you are going to work, maintenance level and even cost

8. Cost

Different brad nailers often come at different costs depending on make as well as model type. Likewise, progressive brad nailers are often pricier than the regular ones. So choose carefully, keeping in mind its use, effectiveness, level of maintenance as well as durability

Top Brad Nailer Reviews 2018

Best 18 Gauge Brad Nailer

1. DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer

This is an excellent pneumatic brad nailer as it can accommodate up to 2-inches of brad nails. It is the best brad nailer with an adjustable tool-free depth for proper nail set. Besides, it has tool-free nail jam mechanism for easier removal of jammed brad nails.

Moreover, its rear exhaust system vents off any debris on your woodwork. In addition, it has anti-slip rubber grips for comfort and easier handling. Its nose tip has a removable rubber non-marring feature for a clean finish, no leaks. Besides, it has a belt hook you can adjust for easier nailing.

This brad nailer is designed to work with 18 gauge nails, 5/8-2 inches and has a sequential safe trigger. Besides, its nail magazine has a capacity of 100 nails.

It has a lightweight magnesium body and comes with a user manual as well as a carry case. It also includes 500 brad nails of 1-1/4 inches in length.

Its maintenance cost is also low as it comes with a lifetime motor that is maintenance-free and can keep the workspace stain-free.

Why Is this the Best 18 Gauge Brad Nailer?

This brad nail is one of the best 18 gauge brad nailers in the market as it has a small nose tip, an adjustable nail depth and it can accommodate up 2 1/8 inch of brad nails.

1. Nose tip

 Its small nose tip also makes it the best 18-gauge brad nailer as it can guarantee a clean finish in tight small spaces. Besides, its nose tip has a rubber non-marring feature and does not leak

2. Nail Length

This 18 gauge brad nailer is one of the best when it comes to accommodating different brad nails. You can use up to 2 1/8 inch brad nails for any of your projects

3. Tool-free Adjustable Depth

This brad nailer is easy to use, as you can easily adjust its depth setting for easier brad nailing

Customer Reviews

  • This brad nailer is of superior quality and does not even jam at all. You can use it for years and it will still function as the day you bought it
  • Very easy to use and has no issues when it comes to driving in a 2-inch brad nail into different types of wood trims
  • Works very quietly with minimal kickbacks. Its depth setting is also very easy to work with, no air leaks

PROS

  • Very lightweight, easy to work with and carry
  • Has a rear exhaust to limit any risk of contaminating your workpiece
  • Very sturdy and reliable when it comes to functionality

CONS

  • The sequential trigger sometimes needs to be repositioned before it is used
  • It is not ideal for large projects

Best Electric Brad Nailer

2. Stanley TRE650Z Brad Nailer

This electric brad nailer is easy to use and has comfortable soft grip handles. Besides, its cap and trigger is easy to use and reduces any chance of body fatigue.

This brad nailer can only be used on a dedicated electric power circuit, a power strip or any other power dividing system. Besides, its electric cord is 8 inches long, giving you the appropriate safe distance from its power source.

It can easily fire 18 gauge brad nails of 5/8-1 inch length. Moreover, it has a brad nail-empty feature to ensure the workflow never stops. Its nail magazine also slides easily for easier re-fill. Additionally, its jam-clearance mechanism is hassle free, no time wasting.

Moreover, this brad nailer comes with an adjustable Hi/Lo power, which you can turn easily using its dial system.

You can rely on it for small projects. It is guaranteed to work as stipulated. You just have to follow its instructional user manual.

Why Is this the Best Electric Brad Nailer?

These are the top reasons why this is the best electric brad nailer.

1. Adjustable Power Setting

You can easily adjust its power setting from Hi/Lo with just a dial, very convenient and easy to use. This keeps you in control of it and ensures you do not exert too much force that can split the wood surface

2. 8-inch Electric Power Cord

It comes with a convenient 8-inch electric cord for easier connection to a power source. Besides, this gives you the appropriate safety room between the power source/circuit and the workspace

3. Convenient Power Source

You can easily connect it to any power strip or device available and it will work as expected

Customer Reviews

  • This machine is well built and works just fine on different wood surfaces. You just have to follow the instructional manual
  • The best professional brad nailer as well as the DIY projects. Highly recommendable
  • Everything with it is very straightforward and easy to handle. From reloading to jam clearing, very efficient and effective

PROS

  • Comes with a soft-grip handle for comfort
  • Has an easy jam-clearing system for faster work, no hassles
  • Designed with a brad-emptying indicator to ensure the smooth continuity of your work

CONS

  • This electric brad nailer only supports 5/8-1 inch nails

Best Corded Brad Nailer

3. PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA 20V MAX Lithium 18GA Brad Nailer

This brad nailer is made of durable lightweight material and is highly portable. It is battery powered and comes with one 1.5 Ah 20V MAX Lithium-ion battery you can always recharge. It comes with a charger too. Therefore, you will not need any air compressor or air hose for it.

Moreover, its lightweight feature allows you to use it in multiple different positions without causing body strains.

It features a special kind of motor that can fire brad nails into different materials regardless of the climate. You can make use of its various free-setting features from its adjustable nail depth setting to tool-free release lever as well as the nail jam-release feature.

This brad nailer can accommodate brad nails of 5/8-2 inches in length and has a nail magazine with a capacity of 100 brad nails. Its trigger has a lock and is the sequential type.

Besides, it can light up your workspace with its multi-purpose dual LED lights. It comes with a three-year limited warranty on all repairs, from the day of purchase.

Why Is this the Best Corded Brad Nailer?

1. Battery Powered

This brad nailer uses rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, so no need for risky air compressors and hoses

2. Highly Portable

You can always carry this brad nailer to any work site without worrying about the power source. You just have to ensure its battery is fully charged and you can work with it in any remote area. Moreover, it comes with a convenient portable charger

3. Features a Special Functional Motor

Its motor is very special in that it can make it drive brad nails on any surface be it wood or plaster without any problem. Besides, it enables this brad nailer to work in whichever weather condition without jamming or malfunctioning

Customer Reviews

  • This brad nailer is lightweight and just the perfect size to work with. It has a solid durable built
  • Gets the job done and can easily handle up to 2-inches of brad nail
  • It is great to work with and can penetrate through plaster and wood. You just have to set its nail-depth at the ideal setting

PROS

  • Comes with a 3-year limited warranty
  • You can adjust its brad nail depth for the right nail drive
  • Designed with a jam-release feature
  • Has a lock on its trigger for safety and uses the sequential firing mode, which is also safe

CONS

  • Comes with only one battery you will need to re-charge, no spare one

Best Pneumatic Brad Nailer

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

This is the best brad nailer for the money as it comes with dual firing mode, intermittent and continuous. You can select intermittent for precise firing and continuous for rapid firing.

Besides, you can adjust its depth drive for accuracy by turning its dial halfway. Moreover, it has a high magazine capacity that can accommodate 100 brad nails of different sizes between 5/8-2 inches.

In addition, its visual nail indicator can show you the nail count as you work.

It is made from an aluminum body, which makes it very conveniently lightweight. Moreover, it has an elastomer grip handle for proper control. You can easily clear its nose in case of a nail jam.

Moreover, it features an adjustable exhaust venting system, non-marring nose cap for tool and workpiece protection.Besides, this brad nailer comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

Why Is this the Best Pneumatic Brad Nailer?

1. Nose and Nose Cap

It comes with a small nose you can clear in case of a nail jam during work, no tools required. The nose cap also protects it and the timber from stains as it is non-marring

2. Two Convenient Firing Options

You can always opt for an intermittent precise firing or continuous rapid firing option depending on what you are working on

3. Air Pressure

It need 70-12 psi air pressure for operation. Moreover, it takes air pressure at the rate of 0.025 cubic feet, per cycle of 100 psi

4. Adjustable Depth

You can adjust its depth for proper drive of the brad nail

Customer Reviews

  • This brad nailer often sinks its brad nails effortlessly to the depth that is set by the adjustable depth drive
  • Lightweight and easy to use, you can lubricate its air connector before each use and you will be good for about 100 brad nailing
  • It comes with convenient safety glasses a well as a protective case, an added bonus to its purchase

PROS

  • Has elastomer grip handle for extra comfort and stability
  • High capacity nail magazine, 100 nail brads
  • Lightweight and well balanced for efficacy

CONS

  • Has plastic parts that might break if it drops

Best Brad Nailer for Trim

5. Campbell Hausfeld 2" 2-in-1 Brad Nailer/Stapler (SB504099AV)

This brad nailer is the best for home projects from piecing small pieces of wood to installing and fastening trims. You can make loads of unique crafts with it as well as do some repairs on screen as well as carpet padding.

It can work with 5/8-2 inch nails and ¼ inch of crown staples. This makes it highly versatile and the best brad nailer for different kinds of trims and woodwork.

You can rely on it for a fast and efficient finish. Besides, its nose tip has a non-marring feature that will keep your work clean and neat. Its grip handle is also very comfortable.

Moreover, it has an adjustable depth and exhaust control system for easier nail drive and debris prevention respectively.

Additionally, it has a 2-in-1 nail magazine for convenient nailing and stapling. It comes with some nails and staples to start you off as well as a convenient carry case.

Why Is this the Best Brad Nailer for Trim?

1. Non-marring Nose Tip

This feature ensures that your trim is clean and neat for the perfect finish. It also protects the brad nailer from any damages during work

2. Versatility

Its versatility when it comes to functionality makes it the best brad nailer for different kinds of work be it wood trim installation or repairs. You can make use of its staples a well as nails with ease

3. Adjustable Depth Control System

This allows you to control the depth of the brad nail for proper installation and neatness

4. Nail and Staple Length

It can accommodate nails of 5/8-2 inches and staple of ¼ inch without any jamming

Customer Reviews

  • Comes with some free convenient nails and staples to start you off with your woodworking projects, highly valuable and recommendable
  • Very affordable considering its dual features and functionality, you can build just anything with it
  • This brad nailer is very easy to use and maintain, besides it has a user manual just in case things get complicated

PROS

  • It's a brad nailer AND a stapler
  • Adjustable depth control feature
  • Non-marring nose tip

CONS

  • Often leaves a mark from the nails, probably due to its dual functionality and accommodation of nails and staples

Best Brad Nailer For Woodworking

6. MAX NF255F/18 18 Gauge Brad Nailer

This is the best brad nailer as you can switch its firing system from contact to a single fire via its switch lever. Moreover, it can reach tight spots due to its small nose tip and compact design. Besides, it is lightweight and easy to work with.

It is ideal for brad nails within 5/8-2 1/8 inches. This means you can opt for whichever nail length as long as it will hold the woodwork without any issues.

Moreover, it has an adjustable depth control system you can maneuver with its dialer for a proper brad nail setting.

Besides, it comes with a screwdriver blade that can last four times more than any brad nailer with a pin design. It also has a convenient belt hook you can adjust as you work. Besides, it has a low nail indicator for convenience.

It is made from light, strong material that enhances its longevity when it comes to using, very durable too.

Why Is this the Best Brad Nailer for Woodworking?

1. Non-marring Nose Tip

This allows it to work efficiently without staining the woodwork. It also keeps the machine in good shape for proper functionality in the long run

2. Compact Design

This ensures it reaches tight spots without any problem. You can rely on it for just any kind of woodwork

3. Nail Length

This brad nailer can accommodate nails of 5/8 -2 1/8 inches, meaning it can do loads of projects, small and large scale without nail jamming

4. Jam-clearance Feature

This allows you to work without worrying about brad nails being jammed and if they happen to do so, the machine will clear it ASAP

Customer Reviews

  • Very solid and well-built and comes with some useful features. You can build just anything with this brad nailer
  • Top-quality, from construction to use. You can never ask for more when you have this brad nailer, comes from a very reputable company

PROS

  • This brad nailer has a nail indicator for a convenient easier nail re-fill
  • Has adjustable depth control
  • Lightweight and compact

CONS

  • A bit pricey but can last a lifetime, very durable

Brad Nailer FAQ's

What do I need to run Pneumatic Brad Nailers?

What is the best air compressor to use with the DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic brad nailer?

What is the difference between an 18-gauge brad nailer and a 16-gauge finish nailer?

Can the PORTABLE-CABLE PCC790LA brad nailer be used for shed framing?

Would a 1-gallon compressor with 110 psi be able to run the Campbell Hausfeld brad nailer/ stapler?

Does the Campbell Hausfeld brad nailer/ stapler take staples that are more than a ¼ inch?

Does the PORTABLE-CABLE PCC790LA brad nailer come with its own storage case?

What is the warranty coverage for the Campbell Hausfeld brad nailer/ stapler?

Does the Max NF255F brad nailer have a dry-fire lockout?

Is the Max NF255F brad nailer oil free?

Where is the Max NF255F brad nailer manufactured?

Would the DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic brad nailer stop and to tell you when the nails have run out and if it is time to reload?

Does the Hitachi NT50AE2 brad nailer come with a carry case?

What size connectors are used for the Hitachi NT50AE2 brad nailer?

Do you make international shipments of the Hitachi NT50AE2 brad nailer?

Final Words - Make Your Choice!

It might seem like a lot but when you want to buy a brad nailer, our brad nailer reviews and buyer’s guide can help you make the right choice. You can rely on it to answer all your questions for an easier purchase.

Moreover, we have skill-fully selected the 6 best brad nailers of 2018, meaning all the information is updated and very useful.

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