If you’re dealing with thin, delicate carpentry, you’re likely going to need a best Brad Nailer to get the job done – a nail gun that specifically uses 18 gauge nails known as brads. What makes a brad nailer ideal for certain jobs is that the small nail size makes it unlikely to cause splitting and other damages to the wood through typical use, plus you often don’t need to use any wood putty when working with brads.

Brads are not very strong. You don’t want to use a brad nail for any kind of structural work. But if you are working with trim, for example, they can be far better for the job than finish nailers or pinner tool.

You can get a battery powered nailer if you want to go cordless. This is good for getting into those tricky spots that are away from outlets, but of course, the inconvenience of dealing with batteries is the trade-off. When you work with a battery operated nailer, you want to consider the life of the battery and the power of the unit, as often a battery-powered one is weaker, or not quite as durable.

If you don’t want a battery powered nailer, your other option is to go for a pneumatic one.

What is a Pneumatic Brad Nailer?

Pneumatic brad nailers are powered by compressed air instead of a battery. You get an air compressor, attach it to the unit via a hose, and you use compressed air to drive the nail into the work area. You can measure the power of a pneumatic nailer by its psi range. Psi stands for Pound-force per Square Inch and is a unit for measuring pressure, in this case, the air pressure put into each time the nailer fires.

Remember, power isn’t everything. Sometimes you don’t want to fire a nail at 120 psi. When working with weaker materials, a more delicate is preferable. This is especially true when using brad nailers, which are often used for trim carpentry.

What you want with a pneumatic nailer is one that has a good psi range.

On that note, let’s discuss what to look for in a brad nailer.

What to look for

It’s easy to write off the design of the machine as being purely aesthetic, but this is not the case. A Brad nailer is a tool. You should think about getting a compact design, because you may need to use the nailer in small spaces. A bulkier unit may prove to be very inconvenient for what you need the nailer for.

Think about getting a light-weight unit, since a lighter unit is easier to handle and manage. Don’t forget about balance either. An off-balance unit is difficult and can lead you to a lot of mistakes. Anything that makes handling easier is vital – from having a lower weight to being balanced well, to having a good, non-slip handle.

One thing to especially keep an eye on is the nose size. A nailer with a short nose has two major benefits. The first is that it’s easier to reach into tight places with the tool if you don’t have a long nose sticking out.

The second benefit is that you are actually more accurate with a small nose as you can line up the nail with the precise angle and location you want it to enter from. For this reason, in particular, you ought to go for a short-nosed nailer.

You should choose tools that suit the needs of the job at hand, and not adjust the job to suit the tool. To make sure you get the right product when you are shopping for a best brad nailer, know the length of the nails you will be using, and choose a nailer that accommodates that.

Consider going for a length limit of 2 1/8” in your nailer, especially if you plan to use 2” nails often. It sounds silly, but sometimes a 2” nail is actually slightly over, and it would be seriously unfunny for you to go out of your way to buy a nailer only for it to be incompatible with the nails you need to use.

On the accessory side of things, you want to aim for a nailer that has a good belt hook. It seems like a silly thing to consider when you make your decision, but keep in mind that a good belt hook will keep the tool within convenient reach at all times. You won’t know how much you rely on a quality belt hook until you don’t have one anymore.

The last thing to look for is durability. This is a tool. It will experience wear and tear, that’s just how reality works. You shouldn’t get a nailer that is bound to break within a few months of regular use. These tools are expensive. It is wise to go for something that is reliable and dependable, something that can handle all the things you plan to use it for.

Some materials are more durable than others. Some types of nailers require more maintenance than others. Keep these things in mind when you look for potential nailers. This applies to all kinds of nail guns, not just brad nailers.

 

Best brad nailers reviews

Now that you know what is important when shopping for a nailer, consider getting one of our picks for the top 8 brad nailers on Amazon.


PORTER-CABLE PCC790LAPORTER-CABLE PCC790LA

Specs:

  • Power type: Battery
  • Measurements: 13.9 x 5 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 8.1 lbs.
  • Nail size: 5/8” to 2”
  • Magazine capacity: 100

If you want to see the poster image for reliability, search this tool up.

The Porter is a brilliant battery-powered nailer that delivers reliability without the need for all the things that come along with a pneumatic nailer. For starters, you don’t need an air compressor, the hose, or any gas cartridges.

Without having to pay for cartridges, you will end up saving incredible amounts of money in the long run. For the reason of affordability, battery-powered nailers are often the better choice – especially because the difference in performance isn’t that noticeable in the top quality units like this one.

The lithium batteries that power this brad nailer gives it plenty of life, so you don’t have to worry too much about it dying on you.

This nailer features excellent balance to help with handling and aim. It’s comfortable and easy to use, which goes a long way towards making the job stress-free. It comes with a sequential firing mode, which helps to improve the safety of the user and those around them. Essentially, the nailer won’t fire unless the nose is pressed against the work surface.

The LED lights on this unit are a great addition – they make it easy to see any and all mistakes you might be making, and if lighting isn’t great in the areas you are working on, the onboard lights make a world of difference.

The Porter brad nailer comes with a 3-year warranty, just in case anything goes wrong.


DEWALT DWFP12231

DEWALT DWFP12231

Specs:

  • Power type: Pneumatic
  • Measurements: 13 x 3.7 x 13.1 inches
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs.
  • Nail size: 5/8” to 2”
  • Magazine capacity: 100

Dewalt is a great brand for power tools. There is quite a bit of love for Dewalt out there – so much so that we have two of their products on this list. It’s safe, it’s not that big, and it’s really easy to use. The tool comes with an easy-to-use jam-release mechanism to help you get the nails out and features a 100 nail magazine.

With a weight under 5 pounds, it is exceptionally light which makes the machine beyond easy to handle. Lighter is better when it comes to hand-held tools, as a heavier tool can be difficult to handle and tiresome at best.

The nose tip is removable, and it comes with a belt hook so you can keep it close at all times.

You can easily set the depth of the drive without too much trouble, and setting your nail heads is easy. Plus, the exhaust is in the rear, which keeps potential contaminants away from your work – good for sensitive materials.

One of the best features of this nailer is the comfortable anti-slip grip, which is combined with the sequential trigger and the lightweight magnesium body to ensure accurate nail placement every single time.

It is a pneumatic nailer so you will need to get an air compressor to power it, but they are easy to find.

The DWFP12231 comes with a handy carrying case and 500 nails.


Makita AF505NMakita AF505N

Specs:

  • Power type: Pneumatic
  • Measurements: 14 x 14 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 6.28 lbs.
  • Nail size: 5/8” to 2”
  • Magazine capacity: 100

One of the main things we mentioned you should look for are nailguns that are small and easily maneuverable, and that is exactly what this Makita unit is. Its narrow design makes it the perfect choice for getting into those hard-to-reach areas. This nailer will get into those tight corners better than any other, no doubt.

One of the things we really love about this one is the rubber tip on the nose, which prevents the nailer from scratching the work area. This is great because no matter what kind of job you’re doing, you want it to look nice once it’s done, don’t you? This anti-scratch mechanism will help tremendously with that. The nailer comes with extra nose tops as well.

The depth adjustment dial is simple and easy to use, allowing you to change how deep you drive the nail in without too much trouble. On top of that, there’s a tool hook that has a 180-degree rotation, so you can keep it close at all times. All in all, the Makita brad nailgun is extremely convenient.

The nose is specially designed to ensure accuracy. There is also a quick-release cam lock that lets you clear our potential jams quickly and simply.

This nailer is a pneumatic-powered one, so you don’t need batteries to operate it. It has a max PSI of 115, and it does, of course, require air compressors to operate.

The Makita also comes with a tool case, some oil for maintenance, and a pair of safety goggles so you can keep your eyes safe.

On top of everything else, the aesthetic design just looks really good.


DEWALT DC608K

 DEWALT DC608K

Specs:

  • Power type: battery
  • Measurements: 11.5 x 3.5 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 7.4 lbs.
  • Nail size: 5/8” to 2”
  • Magazine capacity: 110

We mentioned before that Dewalt products are top notch, and as proof of that, we have another Dewalt Brad Nailer on this list. Unlike the previous Dewalt unit mentioned, the DC608K is battery powered, so you get the convenience of not having to deal with air compressors and hoses and the like.

This unit is designed to work at your speed. Its engine, combined with bump-fire mode allows for quick, reliable nail placement. This is the tool of choice for someone who works quickly and efficiently. Bump fire is a safe and quick firing more for nail guns, which allows the user total control over the speed of the placement while reducing the chances of an accident to nearly zero. The DC608K is so fast that you can fire up to 5 brads per second.

The nose piece is accessible, which allows for you to clear jams without having to fiddle with other tools or risk breaking the machine or doing something unsafe. The magazine is straight and designed to prevent potential jams.

The magazine is also dust-proof, which helps tremendously as dust build-up can often cause malfunctions in a nailer.


Hitachi NT50AE2Hitachi NT50AE2

Specs:

  • Power type: Pneumatic
  • Measurements: 14.6 x 11.9 x 3.4 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Nail size: 5/8” to 2”
  • Magazine capacity: 100

The Hitachi brad nailer features a very convenient select-fire system, enabling the user to switch between a bump-fire mode and contact fire mode in less than a second. It also features a great elastomer handle for easy grip and handling, giving you great control over the unit.

This is a super lightweight tool, only 2.2 pounds, which is incredibly easy to use. The small and light design is perfect for getting corners and other difficult-to-reach areas. You won’t strain your hands or wrists using it.

It comes with a simple-to-understand dial to control the depth-of-drive in the unit, so you can adjust it based on what you’re shooting nails into.

This is a pneumatic nailer which operates between 70-120 psi, and it comes with a 360-degree exhaust that blows away from the work area.

Finally, it has that no-mar nose cap we like so much, preventing the nose of the nailer from scratching the work area while you’re putting nails in. the box comes with safety goggles and a protector case. It comes in a sleek, great-looking silver color.


WEN 61720WEN 61720 brad nailer

Specs:

  • Power type: Pneumatic
  • Measurements: 13 x 3.7 x 13.1 inches
  • Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Nail size: 3/4” to 2”
  • Magazine capacity: 100

The WEN is a great pneumatic Brad Nailer that operates at 60-100 psi. While the max psi is lower than other ones on this list, it is still a well-made unit that has good penetration power. It weighs in at just 3 pounds, giving that light frame that makes such a big difference.

The lightweight is thanks to the aluminium body – it’s a fairly light material.

The handle has a rubber grip which is comfortable and secure, so you don’t have to be too scared about dropping it.

The nail gun is designed to reduce the odds of a jam even occurring in the first place, but it also has some traits to make clearing those jams easy.

The nailer comes with oil, a carrying case, and hex keys for adjustments. The WEN Brad Nailer is covered by their standard 1-year warranty.


SENCO FinishPro® 18MG SENCO FinishPro® 18MG

Specs:

  • Power type: Pneumatic
  • Measurements: 10 x 4 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Nail size: 5/8” to 2 1/8”
  • Magazine capacity: 100

SENCO’s FinishPro is a great brad nailer for all those trim jobs. It is designed to be the most user-friendly nailer around, which makes it ideal for beginners and amateurs. You don’t need oil for maintenance with this nailer, and it’s got a convenient rear exhaust.

There’s a select-fire trigger and the depth-of-drive is adjustable, which allows the user to have a lot of control, and makes the tool quite versatile.

The FinishPro has a light design, but it is also durable and built tough so that it can last you for years. The magnesium body is effective at reaching the difficult spots, and it can handle quite a bit of wear and tear.

FinalPro is Pneumatic, so remember that you will need air compressors and a hose to power it. Get it going through and the nailer will be able to handle just about any job you’d need a brad for.


BOSTITCH BT1855K BOSTITCH BTFP1850K

Specs:

  • Power type: Pneumatic
  • Measurements: 11.1 x 12.2 x 4.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs.
  • Nail size: 5/8” to 2 1/8”
  • Magazine capacity: 100

This great Brad Nailer from Bostitch is another great, durable unit. It’s a pneumatic nailer, and by now you know exactly what that entails. It’s easy to handle and use thanks to its comfortable handle and short nose. There’s a dial for controlling the depth of drive, which is simple to understand and doesn’t require tool adjustment.

The nailer has excellent balance, so it doesn’t feel too top-heavy or bottom-heavy.

There’s no need for oil maintenance, so you don’t have to be worried about potential oil stains on your work surface.

You can easily switch between sequential firing and contact mode. There’s also a trigger lock to prevent accidents and mishaps, and mechanisms to prevent dry firing the nailer.

This nailer also comes with a reversible belt hook so you can keep it nice and close.


Conclusion

Most brad nailers have similar dimensions, nail size limitations, and magazine capacities. These things are based on standards after all. It’s nice to keep track, as you get the occasional nailer with a capacity of 80 or 120 or something else, but realistically, those three stats are likely going to be the same no matter what nailer you get.

Keep costs in mind when you consider a nailer. A pneumatic brad nailer will end up costing you more money as you have to pay for the compressor for it. You have to keep these machines oiled and that costs money too. The cost factor is important. Even nails can end up costing you quite a bit depending on the scope of the job you’re doing.

Even if you pick a nailer that isn’t on this list, remember the important things you need to look for. Durability, ease of use, short nose, good balance and lower weight.