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Best Brad Nailer: Top 7 Reviews

Best Brad Nailer: Top 7 Reviews
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Brad nailers (also known as tack nailers or pin nailers) are compact power tools that most DIYers should have in the toolbox. These brad nail guns are especially useful if you’re looking to do some furniture repair work, light construction jobs or restoration jobs that need sturdy and small fasteners.

A brad nailer can shoot tiny finish nails or 18-gauge brad nails (that have a rectangular head), also known as brads which are used for furniture, upholstery, crafts, repairs and other small projects. Brad nail guns are especially useful if you’re using wood or other lightweight material. Using a brad nailer is a more convenient option compared to hammering in the nails manually. Brad nail guns also help to reduce time, enables you to work faster and delivers a neater finish to your work. However, it is important that you find the most suitable brad nailer model for you.

Brad nail guns are quite affordable and there are many options available in the market, which may get mind-boggling. So, in this article, we present you our list of top 7 brad nailers along with their features and pros and cons, which should make it easier for you to make your choice.

In-Depth Reviews of the Top 7 Brad Nail Guns

ImageBest Brad Nail GunsTypeWeightAmazon Price
BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Smart Point 18GAPneumatic, air-powered.3.1 lbsCheck Price
SENCO FinishPro® 18MG, 2-1/8" 18-GaugePneumatic, air-powered.2.48 lbsCheck Price
DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2-InchPneumatic, air-powered.2.6 lbsCheck Price
PORTER-CABLE BN200B 5/8 Inch to 2 Inch 18-GaugePneumatic, air-powered.2.6 lbsCheck Price
Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-InchPneumatic, air-powered.2.2 lbsCheck Price
DEWALT DC608K 18-Volt 18-Gauge 2-InchCordless, battery-powered.7.4 lbsCheck Price
Ryobi P854 ONE Plus 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion 2 in.Cordless, battery-powered.8.5 lbsCheck Price

BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Smart Point Brad Nailer – The Best Pneumatic Brad Nailer

If you want to ensure the accuracy of your nailing, then the BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Smart Point Brad Nailer is a great buy. Amongst all the brad nailers on this list, the BOSTITCH Smart Point Brad Nailer has the narrowest nose, which enables it to fire with pinpoint precision. It is a great nailer for small and delicate jobs, where landing a nail in the wrong spot is not an option.

The BOSTITCH Smart Point Brad Nailer is compact and lightweight and easy to handle. The rubber grip and ergonomic shape of the nailer make it extremely comfortable to handle and maneuver. The ¼-inch swivel air connector compensates for the maneuverability that is lost when selecting an air-powered (pneumatic) tool. The cord remains out of your way, which is a major plus, especially if you’re working in tight spaces.

The BOSTITCH Smart Point Brad Nailer comes with an impressive 7-year warranty, which is more than the warranty offered on any of the nailers on this list.

Technical Specifications of the BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Smart Point Brad Nailer

  • Size: 11.3” x 3.2” x 9.5”
  • Weight: 3.1lbs
  • Air-powered/ pneumatic
  • Pressure: 70-120 PSI
  • Nail Size/Type: 18-gauge brad nails measuring 5/8”-21/8”
  • Capacity of Magazine: 100
  • Comes with 7-year limited manufacturer’s warranty

Features of the BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Smart Point Brad Nailer

  • Smaller nose due to Smart Point Technology resulting in precision nailing.
  • Adjustable depth.
  • Oil-free operation.
  • Tool-free release mechanism.
  • Rear air exhaust.
  • Contact and sequential trigger options.
  • Belt hook.
  • Comes with sample fasteners, no-mar tips, case and instruction manual.
Pros
  • Equipped with a dial-a-depth control system.
  • Smart Point Technology allows you to use the nailer anywhere even in confined spaces.
  • The selectable trigger offers the choice between 2 firing modes.
Cons
  • Jams quite easily.
  • Needs an air compressor for operation.

SENCO FinishPro® 18-Gauge Brad Nailer – Most Lightweight Pneumatic Brad Nailer

If you’re a beginner and new at home improvement or at using power tools, then the SENCO FinishPro® is ideal for you. However, saying that, it is a fantastic tool in general and can be used by everyone. The SENCO FinishPro® Brad Nailer is very easy to operate.

The SENCO FinishPro® is extremely lightweight, well-balanced and has a comfortable grip that allows you to hold the tool correctly and easily. The SENCO FinishPro® fits up to 21/8-inch nails and the oil-less design of the brad nailer makes it easier and less messy to handle; this also helps to prevent any oil spillage and mishaps. Overall, the SENCO FinishPro® is a great tool to have in your toolbox.

Technical Specifications of the SENCO FinishPro® 18MG Brad Nailer

  • Size: 10.5” x 2.5” x 9.75”
  • Weight: 2.48lbs
  • Air-powered/ pneumatic
  • Pressure: 70-120 PSI
  • Nail Size/Type: 18-gauge brad nails measuring 5/8”-21/8”
  • Capacity of Magazine: 110
  • Comes with 5-year warranty

Features of the SENCO FinishPro® 18MG Brad Nailer

  • Nailer housed in magnesium casing.
  • Adjustable depth.
  • Oil-free operation.
  • Tool-free depth of drive.
  • Rear air exhaust.
  • Jam-clearing mechanism.
  • Contact and sequential trigger options.
  • Belt hook.
  • Reload indicator.
Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • Nail indicator indicates when it is time to reload.
  • Has adjustable modes.
  • Best value for money.
Cons
  • Not designed for heavy use.

DEWALT DWFP12231 Brad Nailer – Most Affordable Pneumatic Brad Nailer

The DEWALT DWFP12231 Brad Nailer is an excellent nailer with a small sleek nose, which helps to deliver quality and precision. This is one of the most inexpensively priced kits that comes with 500 nails and a carrying case.

The DEWALT DWFP12231 Brad Nailer is extremely comfortable to handle, thanks to its no-slip comfort rubber grip. The compact size and the small nose makes the brad nailer extremely maneuverable for a pneumatic tool. The brad nailer does not jam even after prolonged use. The DEWALT DWFP12231 Brad Nailer is a great buy, as it delivers consistently in terms of durability, performance, and quality.

Technical Specifications of the DEWALT DWFP12231 Brad Nailer

  • Size: 13” x 3.7” x 13.1”
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs
  • Source of Power: Air
  • Pressure: 70-120 PSI
  • Nail Size/Type: 18-gauge brad nails that measure 5/8”-2”
  • Trigger: Sequential firing
  • Capacity of Magazine: 100
  • Comes with 3-year limited warranty and 1-year free service contract

Features of the DEWALT DWFP12231 Brad Nailer

  • Nailer housed in magnesium casing.
  • Tool-free depth adjustment.
  • Rear exhaust.
  • Tool-free jam-clearing mechanism.
  • Belt hook.
  • Nose tip that is non-marring.
  • Anti-slip rubber grip.
  • On-tool storage.
  • The motor is maintenance-free.
  • Comes with 500 11/4-inch nails, case and instruction manual.
Pros
  • Efficient and easy to use.
  • Durable and lightweight.
  • Maintenance-free.
Cons
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty jobs.
  • Need some knowledge before the nailer can be used perfectly.

Porter-Cable BN200B Brad Nailer – Most Consistent Pneumatic Brad Nailer

The Porter-Cable BN200B Brad Nailer provides consistent powerful performance with every use. The drive consistency and the maximum power the nailer provides each time it is fired makes this brad nailer suitable for all small jobs.

The Porter-Cable BN200B Brad Nailer has sufficient amount of force that can drive even 2-inch nails into the wood properly. The nailer comes with a kit that includes a carrying case, safety goggles, and 1,000 nails.

Technical Specifications of the Porter-Cable BN200B Brad Nailer

  • Size: 13.2” x 4” x 15.8”
  • Weight: 2.6lbs
  • Source of Power: Air
  • Pressure: 70-120 PSI
  • Nail Size/Type: 18-gauge brad nails that measure 5/8”-2”
  • Trigger: Sequential firing
  • Capacity of Magazine: 100
  • Comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, 3-year limited warranty and 1-year free service contract

Features of the Porter-Cable BN200B Brad Nailer

  • Nailer housed in a magnesium body.
  • Nose tip that is non-marring.
  • Tool-free jam-clearing mechanism.
  • Belt hook that is adjustable.
  • The motor is maintenance-free.
  • Tool-free depth adjustment.
  • Reload indicator.
  • Rear exhaust.
  • Anti-slip rubber grip.
  • Comes with 1,000 18-gauge 11/4-inch, safety goggles and carrying case.
Pros
  • Value for money buy.
  • Prevents the oil from touching the surface.
  • Lightweight.
  • Has a removable nose.
Cons
  • Not very compact.

Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer – Lightest Pneumatic Brad Nailer

The Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer is the most inexpensive brad nailer and is perfect if you are a DIY hobbyist or a woodworker. This is also one of the lightest brad nailers on our list. The elastomer grip of the Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer makes it extremely comfortable and easy to hold and operate the brad nailer.

The Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer is equipped with a reload indicator that helps to prevent dry firing. The best feature of the nailer is the 360o exhaust vent that lets you direct the exhaust in whichever direction you want. So, if you’re on a budget, then the Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer is the best value for money buys for you.

Technical Specifications of the Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer

  • Size: 10” x 2 3/8” x 9 3/16”
  • Weight: 2.2lbs
  • Source of Power: Air
  • Pressure: 70-120 PSI
  • Nail Size/Type: 18-gauge brad nails that measure 5/8”-2”
  • Capacity of Magazine: 100
  • Comes with a 5-year limited warranty

Features of the Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer

  • Nailer housed in an aluminum body.
  • Narrow nose.
  • Elastomer grip.
  • Nose tip that is non-marring.
  • Tool-free jam-clearing mechanism.
  • 360o exhaust port.
  • Trigger Options: sequential and contact.
  • Tool-free depth adjustment.
  • Reload indicator.
Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • Equipped with the 360-degree exhaust vent.
  • Elastomer handle for comfortable grip.
Cons
  • Jams easily, especially larger sized nails.
  • Requires an air compressor.

DEWALT DC608K Brad Nailer – Best Cordless Electric Brad Nailer

The DEWALT DC608K Brad Nailer is the only cordless electric nailer featured on our list and is probably the most expensive option on the list too. This nailer is most likely well-suited for professionals and is ideal for them to work in places that cannot accommodate a bulky air compressor.

The DEWALT DC608K Brad Nailer comes with a battery and a charger unlike some other models that don’t come with both and you need to buy them separately. The DEWALT DC608K Brad Nailer is much heavier in weight compared to the other nailers that have been reviewed and this is because of the weight of the battery.

Technical Specifications of the DEWALT DC608K Brad Nailer

  • Size: 11.5” x 3.5” x 11”
  • Weight: 7.4lbs
  • Source of Power: Cordless Electric
  • Voltage: 18V
  • Nail Size/Type: 18-gauge brad nails that measure 5/8”-2”
  • Capacity of Magazine: 110
  • Comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, 3-year limited warranty, 2-year service contract on the battery

Features of the DEWALT DC608K Brad Nailer

  • Narrow nose.
  • Nose cap that is resistant to impact.
  • Trigger Options: Sequential and contact.
  • Tool-free depth adjustment.
  • Tool-free jam-clearing mechanism.
  • The belt hook is reversible.
  • Comes with a 1-hour charger, 18V XRP NiCad battery, safety goggles and carrying case.
Pros
  • Comes with battery and charger.
  • Accepts nails of a variety of sizes.
  • Narrow tapered nose.
  • 8-hour battery life.
  • Nails are easy to change.
  • No need for air compressor.
Cons
  • Heavier than the other models.
  • Quite expensive.

Ryobi P854 Brad Nailer – Best Cordless Brad Nailer

The Ryobi P854 Brad Nailer is different from the other nailers as it is exclusively powered by an 18-volt lithium-ion battery. The battery-powered brad nail gun is equipped with AirStrike technology that eliminates the need for gas cartridges, hoses, and compressors, which makes it easy to carry the brad nailer around wherever required.

The Ryobi P854 Brad Nailer has LED lights that illuminate the area you’re working on. The 2-depth drive adjustment feature enables you to set the nail heads properly. The cordless brad nailer has 2 non-marring pads that prevent marks on the work surface and it also has a lock that helps to extend the life of the tool. The low nail indicator indicates whenever the nailer requires reloading.

In terms of weight, the Ryobi P854 Brad Nailer is slightly heavier than the other models in the category. This 18-gauge brad nailer is ideal for use by contractors or renovators.

Technical Specifications of the Ryobi P854 Brad Nailer

  • Size: 17” x 3.5” x 10”
  • Weight: 8.5lbs
  • Source of Power: Lithium-ion battery powered
  • Voltage: 18V
  • Nail Size/Type: 18-gauge brad nails that measure 5/8”-2”
  • AirStrike technology for cordless convenience
  • Grip-light technology engages LED when handle is grasped

Features of the Ryobi P854 Brad Nailer

  • Trigger Options: Sequential and contact.
  • Unit comes with battery and charger.
  • Low nail indicator.
  • No-marring pads.
  • Dry lock off.
Pros
  • Reliable and very easy to use.
  • Long-lasting battery.
  • Equipped dry lock off that increases the life of the brad nailer.
  • No air compressor needed.
Cons
  • Unit comes only with one battery.
  • The heaviest model in this comparison, due to the added weight of the battery.

Types of Brad Nail Guns

The first step to buying a brad nailer is to understand what purpose you will be using it for. Think of all the projects you will be doing that will require the use of the nailer. For instance, some brad nailers are specifically meant for upholstery projects, while some others can be used only for roofing projects and others that can be used for general and DIY crafts. This will help you determine the features that the brad nailer should have and the features you can dispense with. This will also give you an idea of the money you need to invest in the brad nailer.

The next aspect you need to consider is the kind of power plant you will use for your nailer. You have the option of using pneumatic brad nailers that make use of compressed air to shoot the nails or gas powered or electric brad nailers that are more portable, but also comparatively expensive.

Pneumatic Brad Nailers

The pneumatic brad nailer unit comprises a nail gun, air hose, cartridges and batteries and it makes use of compressed air to work, which is fuelled via a lightweight hose. The hose connects to the compressor, which in turn powers the nail gun. Pneumatic brad nailers are very popular, as they allow you to complete your work efficiently without any waste of time. It also enables you to get a professional and neat finish despite the complexity of the job. There are several types of pneumatic nailers that differ in terms of the method of operation and size, and you must pick the right one depending on your construction requirements. While a pneumatic brad nailer may be a cost-effective buy, in the long run, the cost of maintenance of the unit like hose replacements, oil checks, etc. may add up.

Also, when buying a pneumatic brad nailer, you should keep safety in mind as the pressurized air can cause accidents and so the nailer should be handled with a lot of care.

Electric Brad Nailers

The other option is the electric brad nailer, which is driven by an electric motor. The gun is powered by the electric motor, which also drives the brad nails. Compared to pneumatic brad nailer, the electric one is bulkier and heavier as the electric motor adds to the weight of the unit. Nevertheless, despite being a bit bulkier, the electric nailer is very efficient and faster too.

Although the initial cost of the electric brad nailer may seem more expensive when compared to the pneumatic brad nailer, in the long run, the cost differences get evened out and can even prove to be more cost-efficient, as the electric nailer does not require too much of maintenance.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Brad Nailer

Here are some tips to consider that can help you choose the ideal brad nailer for your requirement:

Nail Size

Brad nailers usually drive nails of length between ⅝ of an inch to 2 inches; however, some brad nailers can handle nails that are only 1-11/4 inches long. Before actually buying the brad nailer, do consider the projects that you will be doing and the length of nails you will be using for those projects. And, if you will be using 2-inch nails often, then you may want to consider buying a brad nailer with a 21/8-inch limit to accommodate these nails.

Nose Size

Usually, when you use a brad nailer, you are shooting tiny nails in a confined space, which means that accuracy is of utmost importance. In this case, buying a slim brad nailer with a small nose is ideal. Also, select a brad nailer that is compact which you can fit it into confined spaces.

Power Source

As we have already discussed, brad nailers are available in 2 varieties – pneumatic guns which are powered by compressed air or electric nailers that are driven by a spring and an electric motor. There are also cordless electric brad nailers that are available in the market.

While pneumatic brad nailers are powerful and reliable too, you have to deal with a hose and the availability of compressed air. On the other hand, using a cordless electric brad nailer is more convenient as it does not include a cable; however, you need to change the batteries of the electric nailers regularly and they are also comparatively more expensive. Cordless electric brad nailers are also heavier due to the added weight of the batteries.

Trigger Type

There are 2 components that comprise triggers of brad nailers:

  • The nailer tip which needs to be pushed against any object before the fastener is released.
  • The trigger which is located on the grip of the nailer, which you need to press using the finger.

There are 2 types of triggers, contact and sequential triggers:

Contact Triggers

For brad nailers that are equipped with contact triggers, you must hold the trigger down with your finger and then the tip of the nailer must be tapped on the object, which releases the fasteners immediately. These kind of nailers are more dangerous, as they are activated very fast.

Sequential Triggers

Brad nailers with a sequential trigger function in a way that the tip of the brad nailer requires to be pushed against any object before the trigger is pulled. This is a much safer kind of a trigger, but it can be rather tiring to use the sequential trigger.

Adjustability

Some other features of the brad nailers that you must consider are:

  • Power Adjustments: Brad nailers may be equipped with a variable power setting that you can adjust according to the material you are working with.
  • Adjustable Depth: Brad nailers allow you to adjust how far the nail can be pushed into the material. Some nailers allow you to adjust the required depth by hand, while some other need a special tool.
  • Jam Clearing: Some brad nailers are designed in a way that allows you to clear jams easily.

Selecting a brad nailer can be a little overwhelming, given that there are so many brands and models to choose from. It is a good idea to evaluate the various options available to you including their features, their pros and cons, and the cost before deciding on the one that is the right buy for you. And, once you have a fair understanding of how the brad nailer works and with a little bit of practice, you will be all set to finish all your DIY projects like a true professional.

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