Milwaukee vs. DeWalt 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer Showdown

When it comes to the world of cordless brad nailers, two names stand out as industry giants: Milwaukee and DeWalt. For contractors, construction workers, and DIY enthusiasts, choosing the right tool can be the difference between a job well done and a job plagued with frustrations. In this comprehensive article, we will put the Milwaukee and DeWalt 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailers head-to-head, dissecting their features, performance, and pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

The Contenders: Milwaukee M18 FUEL and DeWalt DCN680B

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Brad Nailer

Milwaukee has a reputation for crafting tools that are robust and reliable. The Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Brad Nailer carries forward this legacy, and it’s a top choice for many professionals.

Key Features:

  • Cordless Convenience: This nailer is powered by Milwaukee’s M18 REDLITHIUM battery system, which provides cordless freedom without compromising on power.

  • Depth Adjustment: The tool offers precise depth adjustment, allowing you to countersink or flush-set brad nails with ease.

  • LED Lighting: A built-in LED light illuminates the work area, making it easier to nail accurately in low-light conditions.

  • No Gas Cartridges: Unlike some cordless nailers, the Milwaukee M18 FUEL doesn’t require gas cartridges, which can be a cost-saving benefit.

  • Sequential and Contact Actuation Modes: You can choose between these two firing modes, depending on your project needs and personal preferences.

DeWalt DCN680B Cordless Brad Nailer

DeWalt is a household name in the construction industry, known for producing high-quality power tools that stand the test of time. The DeWalt DCN680B Cordless Brad Nailer is no exception.

Key Features:

  • Brushless Motor: This nailer features a brushless motor, ensuring longer motor life and consistent firing power.

  • Tool-Free Depth Adjustment: Adjusting the depth of drive is a breeze with DeWalt’s tool-free design.

  • Low Nail Indicator: The nailer comes with a low nail indicator, preventing dry firing and potential damage to the work surface.

  • Precision Point™ Technology: DeWalt’s Precision Point™ Technology provides precise nail placement, even in tight spaces.

  • Versa-Drive™ Technology: A unique feature that eliminates the need for choosing between sequential or bump modes, as it adapts to the task at hand.

Performance and Comparison

Both Milwaukee and DeWalt have put forth impressive contenders in the 18-gauge cordless brad nailer category, and your choice may come down to your specific needs and preferences. Let’s break down the comparison:

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Brad Nailer:

  • Power: This nailer is renowned for its consistent driving power, even in hardwoods.
  • Battery Life: Milwaukee’s M18 battery system provides excellent runtime.
  • Ergonomics: The tool’s ergonomic design and balanced weight make it comfortable for extended use.
  • LED Lighting: The built-in LED light ensures you see exactly where the nail will go.

DeWalt DCN680B Cordless Brad Nailer:

  • Brushless Motor: DeWalt’s brushless motor delivers a long motor life and increased runtime.
  • Precision Point™ Technology: For precise nail placement, even in tight spots.
  • Versa-Drive™ Technology: The versatility of this technology can be a game-changer on the job.
  • Low Nail Indicator: Prevents dry firing and protects your work surface.

Pros and Cons

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Brad Nailer


  • Exceptional driving power
  • Cordless convenience
  • No need for gas cartridges
  • LED lighting for accuracy


  • Relatively expensive
  • Sequential and contact actuation modes might not suit everyone

DeWalt DCN680B Cordless Brad Nailer


  • Brushless motor for longevity
  • Precision Point™ and Versa-Drive™ technologies
  • Low nail indicator for added protection


  • Battery and charger not included
  • Slightly heavier compared to Milwaukee

Making Your Choice

In the end, your choice between the Milwaukee M18 FUEL and DeWalt DCN680B Cordless Brad Nailers will largely depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you value raw power, cordless convenience, and LED lighting, Milwaukee is an excellent choice. On the other hand, DeWalt offers a brushless motor for longevity, advanced technologies for precision, and a low nail indicator.

To make the right decision, assess your projects, consider your budget, and evaluate the features that matter most to you. Whichever path you choose, both of these cordless brad nailers are excellent tools, sure to enhance your carpentry work and help you achieve professional results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *