Best Brad Nailer Reviews 2017

If you are a carpenter, or just love doing some DIY repairs or projects around your home, a brad nailer can come in handy to fix those thin trims, delicate wood and crown molding among others. Using normal harmers can split the boards or leave ugly marks. As the choices for brad nailers are quite varied, finding the right one can be a challenge. So we’ve reviewed some of the best brad nailers from 5 top brands to help you get the one most suitable for you!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Size
Gauge
Driving Depth
Capacity
Our Top Choice
Bostitch Smart Point 18 GA Brad Nailer
When you need tools and accessories to get the job done, trust Bostitch. This company has years of experience tucked under its belt, having been in existence since 1896.
Smart Point technology. Smaller nose. Precise brad placement. Dial-a-depth mechanism.
Noisy compressor.
Air-powered
12.2 x 11.7 x 4.5” / 3.1 lbs
18-gauge
Depth adjustment
100
Best Value
Hitachi 18-Gauge Brad Nailer
Hitachi, whose headquarters is in Japan manufactures and distributes a range of power tools and life-science instruments.
Gives a brad range from 5/8” to 2”. Narrow nosepiece. Short center height to easily work tight corners.
Costs more since compressor is sold separately.
Air-powered
10 x 9.25 x 2.4” / 2.2 lbs
18-gauge
Depth adjustment
100
Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Brad Nailer
Makita began in 1915 as a motor repair and sales company. It has since grown and expanded its business to more than 40 countries.
Gives a brad range from 5/8” to 2”. 2-mode selector switch. Easy-to-use "tool-less" depth adjustment dial. Anti-dry drive mechanism. Magazine capacity of up to 110 nails. Battery gauge.
Not ideal for prolonged projects.
Battery-powered
14.5 x 11.7 x 4.4” / 7.5 lbs
18-gauge
Depth adjustment
110
Porter-Cable 20V MAX Lithium Brad Nailer
Having been in existence since 1906, Porter Cable boasts of more than 100 years of experience in manufacturing and servicing a variety of power tools.
Better runtime with1.5 Ah 20V lithium battery. Consistent driving depth. Lightweight. Multiple tool free settings.
There were incidents of faulty workmanship after a year’s usage.
Battery-powered
12.5 x 11 x 3.9” / 5.9 lbs
18-gauge
Depth adjustment
100
Dewalt Heavy Duty Staple and Brad Tacker
Dewalt, founded in 1924 by Raymond Dewalt, has grown in leaps and bounds and is now a multinational company producing highly effective and efficient power tools and accessories.
The Dewalt brad nailer uses heavy duty staples and 18-gauge brads and also features an anti-jam mechanism that prevents misfiring.
Nails did jam in some isolated cases
Battery-powered
10.5 x 7 x 1.7” / 1.9 lbs
18-gauge
No depth adjustment
100

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How Do I Choose the Best Brad Nailer?

(Updated )
When you simply want to hang that painting or family portrait in your living room, all you need is a nail and a good sturdy hammer to fix the nail. If instead you want to do some handy work that requires fixing thin trims, baseboards, crown molding or just delicate wood, then you’d need either a brad or finish nailer depending on the type of work. Just before we go to the details of what entails a good brad nailer, first let’s see the difference between the two.

Brad and finish nailers are useful equipment for home improvements, carpentry and construction work. You use brad nailers to fix hardwood floor, interior trim, door casings, frames, crown molding and other small craft work. These tools drive small slim nails called brads into these materials to fix them on to other surfaces without breaking or staining them. A brad nailer is typically smaller than a finish nailer and uses thin nails as compared to those a finish nailer uses. You do not run a risk of splitting thin trims when using a brad nailer. If you need a stronger attachment like when attaching larger and harder pieces of wood, a finish nailer comes in handy.

Now that we know the difference, let’s check out the type of brad nailers available in the market. These light power tools come in either pneumatic or cordless features. Pneumatic brad nailers are powered externally by an air compressor or connected to a power source while the cordless types are powered by a battery. Pneumatic models are more ideal in a workshop setting while the cordless models are better suited in small home projects. You may also want to check the availability of safety glasses that come with some brad nailers or purchase your own separately.
Price
One important aspect you have to consider whenever buying anything is the price. This is true especially if there is a significant difference in the price range of the product in question, and there are other vital features to consider.
Brad nailers range from as low as $20 for the simple models with limited features to as high as $260 and above for high-end models.

The type of nailer you choose plays a key role in determining the price. There are pneumatic and cordless models. Pneumatic models are powered by an air compressor that you connect via a hose pipe or power using electricity while the cordless models use batteries. You will have more freedom with the cordless brad nailers, and you also don’t have to deal with the noise the compressor produces. The cordless models also tend to have more advanced features than their counterparts hence their higher price. The pneumatic models are cheaper, but you will have to buy the compressor separately which adds on to the cost. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find good quality and cheap brad nailers. There are some really good ones that won’t damage your pocket that much. Just consider your needs, check the features, compare it to your bracket, get yourself one, and you will be good to go!
Features
Brad nailers are handy tools for minor home repairs or major carpentry projects. Driving the small nails manually in thin trims is nearly an impossible task and even if you tried, you would leave unprofessional marks on your working surface. A brad gun with a no-mar-tip and sturdy rubber grip can assist you to achieve just that.

Here are some other features for you to consider
  • Type -Brad nailers can either be pneumatic or cordless. Pneumatic brad nailers are powered by pumping air from a compressor through a hose pipe while the cordless models use battery power
  • Gauge -Brad nail guns use 18-gauge small nails called brads
  • Size -This is the weight and the shape of your brad nail gun. It should be light if you will be working with it for extended periods
  • Driving Depth -This feature determines the quality of the finish. Go for one that completely drives the nails in leaving no marks
  • Capacity -This is the number of brads the cartridge can hold at a go. You may want to go for one with a higher capacity if you will be using yours for long periods
  • Actuation Modes -There are two actuation modes, sequential and contact. The sequential mode allows you to only shoot one nail at a time while the contact mode allows shooting more than one nail at a time
  • Extras -Consider features such as dry fire-lock-out, jam release mechanism and filters among others
Construction and Design
Brad nailers are relatively small in size and made of light materials to enable you work without getting tired quickly. You will sometimes have to hold the tool overhead hence the need for it to be light. Most have ergonomic handle covered with rubber to avoid them from slipping. The nose should be narrow to fit into small spaces.

Pneumatic brad nailers come with a small opening just behind the handle to fix the hose pipe from the compressor. Those powered by electricity have an opening that you plug in the power supply cord. Cordless models don’t have cords, but have a battery casing where you put the battery. Both models have a magazine on the side that holds the brads. Most have a capacity of around 100 brads.
Performance and Ease of Use
If you are a carpenter, you will be firing a lot of brads in the course of the day especially if you have a big project. A heavy and difficult to use brad nailer can leave you feeling very tired and frustrated hence the need for an effective tool. You also need a tool that will give you that professional finish.

Consider the job you want to do with the brad nailer to determine whether to take the pneumatic or the cordless model. Most professionals give credit to the pneumatic model saying that it is more powerful than the cordless one. If you will be mostly in the workshop, then you may want to go with the pneumatic one to avoid the interruptions of having to keep recharging or changing the batteries. It also has consistent power that lacks in cordless models especially when the battery is about to run out. However, the cordless models are effective in simple home fittings and if you do not want the hassle of a tangling hose pipe. You also avoid the deafening noise that accompanies the compressor when using a pneumatic one. Both have their uses based on the condition of the project.

A well-designed handle is essential for carrying projects that require accuracy and precision. An ergonomic and rubber padded handle not only gives you extra comfort and prevents your tool from slipping, but it also ensures that you nail those brads with precision and accuracy for a quality finish. You also get to work for a longer time without getting too tired.

You may want to check the size of the nailer’s nose. It should be slim to fit in to narrow spaces and to provide better precision. Those that have a no-mar-pad don’t leave any tool marks. It should also feature a good driving depth adjustment for a clear finish. You will be working on soft wood and boards most of the time. You may also want to check out the dry fire lock out feature that prevents shooting blanks, the jam release mechanism and the actuation modes. Some brad nailers come with a brad indicator that alert you of low brad count, a tool-free jam release mechanism to enable you remove jammed brads, as well as sequential and contact actuation modes that allow you to fire either a single brad or a series of more than one depending on the situation.

Last, but certainly not the least, consider going for one with LED lights. There are times you will be working in dark spaces. These lights come in handy to illuminate your working area. Thus, are the main factors to consider in addition to other minor factors in choosing the right brad nailer.

What is the Best Brad Nailer?

Before you go shopping for a brad nailer, you must first identify what exactly you want to do with it. After you have done that, decide whether to buy a pneumatic or electric powered nailer and the size of brads you are intending to use in relation to your materials. Ultimately, the best brad nailer is one that places the nails precisely without breaking or staining your projects leaving a clean and professional finish.
Our Top Choice
The BOSTITCH SMART POINT 18 GA Brad Nailer features Smart Point technology with a small nose that ensures precise and accurate brad placement without the need to compress it on your boards. Looking for a 16 GA with Smart Point Technology? Check out the Bostitch Smart Point 16GA Finish Nailer Kit.
Bostitch Smart Point 18 GA Brad Nailer Kit - Available in 3 Styles

Bostitch Brad Nailer BTFP12233 - 2 1/8” Oil Free, Smart Point


Features
Carpentry jobs or simple DIY home projects are a synch with Bostitch tools and accessories. This company has years of experience tucked under its belt, having been in existence since 1896—that’s more than 100 years of continuous research, innovation and improvement.

With its Smart Point technology, the Bostitch Brad Nailer enables easy and precise nail placement due to its small nose. You also do no need to compress the tool on your boards leaving unsightly marks. If you are a woodworker or carpenter, you will love this amazing tool.

Here are some for more features that you will find useful:
  • It drives 18-gauge brad nails ranging from 5/8” to 2 1/8” in length
  • It comes with a tool-free jam release mechanism that allows you to remove nails easily
  • Features a dial-a-depth control mechanism that ensures precise nail countersinking
  • Provides a very clear line of sight
  • Comes with a brad nail indicator that tells you when to reload to avoid dry firing
  • Has an internal filter that clears out debris for optimum performance
  • Powered by an air compressor
  • Its oil-free operation ensures that you do not have oil stains on your working surfaces
  • It comes with some extra perks like a carrying case, 1000 2” brads and a pencil sharpener
Brad nailers can fit different sizes of brads. This product comes in a variety of 3 styles that can fit 3 different lengths of brad nails.
Best Value
The Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer can fit 18-gauge brad nails from 5/8” to 2” giving you a range of brads to work with featuring a narrow nosepiece and a short center height that work in tight corners If you’d instead opt for one with an integrated air duster and can fit 16-gauge brads, consider the Hitachi NT65M2S 16-Gauge Finish Nailer with Integrated Air Duster, 2-1\/2-Inch.
Hitachi 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer - Available in 4 Styles

Hitachi Brad Nailer NT50AE2 - Brad Nailer


Features
Hitachi Power Tools is a Japan-based company with branches all over the world. It manufactures a range of power tools and life-science instruments. The company has been in existence since 1948 and started Hitachi Canada in 1997. Its continuous research and development has seen the company through its extensive growth by always keeping up with the latest technology.

Whether a carpenter by profession, or just a DIY hobbyist who loves doing woodwork projects, your toolbox kit will not be complete without an efficient brad nailer. Hitachi 18-Gauge Brad Nailer is among those tools that you will just love having around. Lightweight at only 2.2 pounds, it makes handling less tiresome, and can fit 18-gauge brad nails from 5/8” to 2”.

Here are some other features that make it one of the best:
  • It comes with an elastomer grip that prevents it from slipping and is very comfortable to hold
  • Its visual nail reload indicator that is on its magazine alerts you when the quantity of brads is low for a refill to avoid blank drives
  • It features an easy-to-clear nose to enable you remove nails in a jam
  • It has a narrow nosepiece and a short center height that enables you to place nails in tight corners
  • Features a 360-degree adjustable exhaust port that expels all debris and oil and prevents staining your working area
  • The depth of drive dial feature allows you to adjust the drive depth to get a more professional finish
  • Has a no-mar tip on its nose that prevents unnecessary markings on your working area
  • Its aluminum body is light and has a composite magazine that ensures you do not get very tired working with this tool
  • Has extra perks like safety glasses, carry case, hex bar wrenches and air fitting saving you some bucks of your budget
Depending on your budget, you can purchase this product in a variety of 4 styles or packages. You can get the product alone, or with some extra perks.
The Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Brad Nailer can drive a variety of 18-gauge brad nails that range from 5/8” to 2” and features an easy-to-use "tool-less" depth adjustment dial with a battery gauge to indicate charge levels. Looking for brad gun with a tool hook that can rotate 180 degrees, check out Makita Af505N 2 Inch Brad Nailer Replaces Af505.
Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Tool Only Brad Nailer - Available in 2 Styles

Makita Brad Nailer XNB01Z-Brad Nailer


Features
Makita began in 1915 as a motor repair and sales company. It has since grown and expanded its business to more than 40 countries. Its consistent research and development culture has seen the company manufacture products unmatched in quality by others in the same industry. Its products deliver the performance and are durable as well as powerful. This is what professionals need hence the company’s good reputation.

If you want a brad nailer that won’t require you to carry around air compressor or that which you can keep noise to a minimal especially if you are working indoors, then check out Makita Cordless Brad Nailer. This tool can drive a variety of 18-gauge brad nails that range from 5/8” to 2” in addition to a built-in LED light that lights up your working area.

Here are some more amazing features that you may want to consider:
  • It has 2-mode selector switch which allows you to switch between contact and sequential nailing operations
  • It features an anti-dry drive mechanism that prevents you from firing blanks that can damage your work area
  • It has rubber bumpers that protects the tool and your working area from potential damage
  • It comes with a battery gauge that shows you when the charge is low
  • Its rubber handle comes in an ergonomic design that enables you to work comfortably
  • Comes with a depth adjustment dial giving you a more professional finish
This product is available in two styles—the brad nailer and another with a pin nailer. The additional pin nailer comes at an extra cost.
The Porter-Cable 20V MAX Lithium 18GA Brad Nailer features a 1.5 Ah 20V lithium battery that gives you a longer runtime and a consistent driving depth for that flawless finish. If in case you want a powerful pneumatic brad nailer, check out the Porter-Cable PCFP12236 Brad Nailer Combo Kit
Porter-Cable 20V MAX Lithium 18GA Cordless Brad Nailer - Available in 2 Styles

Porter-Cable Brad Nailer PCC790LA-With 1 Battery


Features
Having been in existence since 1906, Porter Cable boasts of more than 100 years of experience in manufacturing and servicing a variety of power tools. It designs and produces professional and superior quality tradesman and woodworker tools. The company values and prioritizes satisfying its clients through excellent customer service.

The Porter-Cable 18GA Brad Nailer is an effective tool to have in your home for major and minor projects. It’s 100% battery-powered eliminating the need to have a compressor and tangled hoses. It increases your range of movement considering that it is cordless.

Here are some more features that you may want to put into consideration:
  • Has a 1.5 Ah 20V lithium battery that gives you a longer runtime
  • It comes with a tool-free release lever that enables to clear nail jams easily
  • Features a depth adjustment wheel that gives a professional finish
  • Comes with dual LED lights that illuminate your working area
  • Features a motor design enabling consistent firing power
  • Its limited warranty runs for three years covering faulty material defects and minor repairs
This product retails with and without a battery. So, if you have a lithium battery at home, you can opt to buy it without one at a lower price.
The Dewalt Heavy Duty Staple and Brad Tacker uses heavy duty staples and 18-gauge brads and is dependable enough for all-around DIY projects around the house. If instead you’d want a tool with sequential and contact modes, consider the DeWalt 18 Gauge Precision Point Brad Nailer with Selectable Trigger.
Dewalt Heavy Duty Aluminum Staple and Brad Tacker - Available 5 Pack Sizes

Dewalt Brad Nailer DWHTTR350 - Stapler


Features
Dewalt Products Company, founded in 1924 by Raymond Dewalt has grown in leaps and bounds and is now a multinational company producing highly effective and efficient power tools and accessories. It focuses on extensive research incorporating professional contractors to design and produce highly effective tools.

If you want an effective tool, you cannot overlook the Dewalt Heavy Duty Staple and Brad Tacker. This tool doubles up as a stapler and a brad nailer, enabling you to perform two different tasks with the same equipment. This light weight two-pound tool uses heavy duty staples and 18-gauge brads.

Here is more that comes with this product:
  • Features an anti-jam mechanism that prevents nail jamming and misfires
  • Its made of quality die-cast aluminum material that is light weight and very durable
  • Has an easy-squeeze technology that reduces actuation force
This product is sold in packs of 2,3,4,5 and just the stapler at different prices. You can choose from those packs depending on your budget.

Get the Best Brad Nailer of 2017!

With the top products we’ve selected for you, we are glad to have assisted you in choosing the best brad nailer. Go ahead and have a nice time making those cabinets and placing those baseboards. If in case you haven’t found one, don’t worry. We’ve got more! Just keep on reading our reviews.

Our Top Choice
Bostitch Smart Point 18 GA Brad Nailer
Best Value
Hitachi 18-Gauge Brad Nailer
Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Brad Nailer
Porter-Cable 20V MAX Lithium Brad Nailer
Dewalt Heavy Duty Staple and Brad Tacker