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Best Brad Nailer Reviews of 2020 – Top Picks and Buying Guide

Last Updated on February 14, 2020 by Robert Bennett

Those days are gone when we used hammers, applied brute force to drive nails into the material. Fortunately, the development of so many convenient tools changed our lifestyle completely. One such tool is a nail gun that drives nails into the wood smoothly. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best brad nailers, which is one of the significant nail gun types.

A brad nailer is a tool useful for finishing tasks. Finishing jobs require a versatile tool that not only holds two wood pieces together but also doesn’t create large holes. And, a brad nailer is a perfect pick for these situations. This type of nail gun uses 18 gauge nails; gauge means the number of wires or nails per inch. So higher the gauge number means smaller the diameter of the nails.

Brad Nailers has various applications. Users can use this nail gun for home improvement projects, light finishing works, fixing trims and molding, renovation projects, upholstery, and other precise jobs.

Best Brad Nailers 2020

If you’re planning to add a nailer into your toolkit, then make sure to compare and find the right one, as there are tons of models available. Here are some of the best brad nailers available in the market.

1. DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic Brad Nailer

Dewalt DWFP12231 Brad Nailer

DEWALT DWFP12231 is known for its durable construction, extended warranty, and top-performance. DEWALT DWFP12231 uses a maintenance-free, long-life motor that doesn’t require any lubrication. It also means that you can continuously work with this tool for longer years without leaving any stains on the material.

It includes a high-capacity magazine that can hold around 100 brad nails of 5/8 to 2-inches length. Also, it comes with a tool-free jam release mechanism that allows you to remove/clear the jams conveniently. Thanks to the depth-of-drive feature that will enable users to easily adjust the nail depth, without making use of any tool.

The body of this brad nailer is magnesium constructed, which is not only durable but also lightweight. A rubber grip provides extra comfort to the users and also prevents slippage of the tool.

It weighs 2.65 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 13 x 3.7 x 13.1 inches. It also comes with a removable non-marring nose tip that avoids your tool and workpiece from getting damaged.

What We Like:

  • Equipped with a maintenance-free motor.
  • A three-years of long warranty.
  • It has magnesium construction, which is sturdy and durable.

What Can Be Better:

  • It can jam in rare cases.

2. WEN 61721 18-Gauge Nailer

Wen 61721 18-Gauge Nailer

WEN 61721 is an affordable brad nailer that performs outstanding for such a low price. It has an aluminum body, which gives it a lightweight and durable design. With a cheap price tag, WEN 61721 is capable of delivering top results effectively. This tool uses 18-gauge brad nails ranging from 3/8 to 2-inches.

It has a standard 1/4-inch NPT air inlet, which is compatible with almost any air compressor. It is capable of operating between a pressure rating of 60-115 PSI. The magazine can hold about 106 brads at a time, so you don’t need to reload the tool quite often.

The quick-release mechanism ensures the clearing of jams in just a few seconds. Plus, a depth adjustment wheel makes you eligible to control the depth of the driven nail.

This tool also features a comfortable rubber-grip handle that provides stability to the unit and results in precise performance. This brad nailer weighs 2.7 pounds and has the dimensions of 10 x 8.2 x 2.8 inches. For more convenience, there is an exhaust deflector and a magazine window that tells you about the remaining brads.

What We Like:

  • It has a lightweight aluminum designed body.
  • Features quick-release mechanism.
  • A comfortable rubber-grip handle.

What Can Be Better:

  • Not recommended to drive 2-inch nails.

3. Porter-Cable PCC790LA Cordless Nailer

Porter-Cable PCC790LA Cordless Nailer

Porter-Cable is a great pick for buyers who’ve been looking for a portable and convenient brad nailer. Porter-Cable PCC790LA is a cordless nailer, and it uses a 1.5 Ah 20 Volts MAX lithium-ion battery. The battery has enough power to provide relatively longer work time. Because of the battery, the portability of this tool increases as there is no compressor or power cord.

This brad nailer also features a depth adjustment wheel, which comes into play while driving the nails at a particular depth. The tool-free jam-release mechanism ensures smooth and comfortable performance.

Featuring a high-capacity nail magazine, this nailer can accept around 100 5/8 to 2-inches brad nails. This brad nailer weighs about 5.9 pounds. There are also multifunctional LED lights present, which indicates the errors, and also enlighten the surface for better visibility and precision.

What We Like:

  • It has multifunctional dual LED lights.
  • Cordless model, so won’t require any gas cartridge or compressor.
  • Consists of a jam clearance and depth-adjustment mechanism.

What Can Be Better:

  • Slightly heavier than other models.

4. Bostitch BTFP12233 Brad Nailer

Bostitch BTFP12233 Brad Nailer

Bostitch is a leading manufacturer of nail guns. Bostitch BTFP12233 comes with a feature known as Smart Point Technology, which you’ll rarely find in other brad nailers. With this technology, users don’t need to compress the tip to actuate the tool, which reduces the chances of damaging your workpiece.

Due to the small nose, it becomes easier to place the nails accurately in the correct position. Another essential feature of this tool is, it doesn’t require any lubrication (oiling). It also means that users will work on a clean, stain-free atmosphere.

Like other brad nailer models, this tool also comes with a tool-free jam release mechanism. So even if you’re working on hardwood Dial-a-depth control feature is another useful key that allows you to adjust the depth of the driven nails.

This tool uses brad nails of ⅝-inch to 2⅛-inches by length. It weighs 5.16 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 12.2 x 11.7 x 4.5 inches. It also has a rear exhaust vent, which is extremely useful and keeps the contaminates away from your face and material.

What We Like:

  • It comes with a depth-control mechanism.
  • Equipped with a unique Smart Point technology.
  • Features tool-free jam release mechanism for smooth performance.

What Can Be Better:

  • No dry-fire lockout feature.

5. Hitachi NT50AE2 Nailer

Hitachi NT50AE2 Nailer

A brand like Hitachi has a reputation for manufacturing high-quality tools for many years. Hitachi has different nail gun models in the market, but the common factor with every model is its lightweight design. Similarly, Hitachi NT50AE2 is no exception.

Even though lightweight, Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge is one of the best brad nailers for carpentry projects. This brad nailer has got a soft elastomer grip handle, which enhances comfort and control. The capacity of the bottom-loading magazine is excellent, which can hold around 100 standard brad nails.

This tool also allows you to choose between different nail fire mechanisms, where one can perform intermittent or continuous nail firing. Users need to flip a switch to select between dual-firing options. It also features a depth-of-drive adjustment knob that permits you to drive the nails at the required depth accurately.

For the security of your nailer and the workpiece, this tool comes with a no-mar nose cap that prevents them from getting damaged. Like other brad nailers, this tool also comes with features like jam clearing, adjustable exhaust vent, and others. This nailer weighs only 2.2 pounds which is very helpful for long-time work.

What We Like:

  • One of the most lightweight and well-balanced brad nailers.
  • A comfortable grip handle for user’s convenience.
  • Easy to adjust the depth.

What Can Be Better:

  • Hard to tell when the nails need to reload.

6. Makita AF505N Brad Nailer

Makita AF505N Nailer

If, somehow, you’ve no experience of Makita tools, then this Makita AF505N Brad Nailer will let you experience the quality of Makita products. If you’re interested in working with accuracy, precision, and convenience, then Makita AF505N will stand out.

It has a narrow nose design, which allows you to place the nails accurately at the required position. Also, it makes it more comfortable for you to work in tight areas. It has a high-capacity nail magazine with a cam-lock feature, which clear jammed nails and holds 100 brad nails ranging from 5/8″ to 2″.

For user’s convenience and comfort, it also comes with a soft rubberized grip. This nail gun weighs about 3 pounds.

The nose is also non-marring, which ensures the safety of your tool and workpiece. It also features a tool-free depth adjustment dial, which allows you to adjust the depth of the driven nails and makes it useful for various applications.

What We Like:

  • A soft rubberized grip for more comfort.
  • The narrow nose makes you capable of working in tight spaces.

What Can Be Better:

  • Not recommended for toenailing.

7. Ryobi P320 Airstrike Cordless Nailer

The need for a cordless nailer is exceptionally high when you don’t want to tolerate a noisy air compressor. Ryobi P320 Airstrike is one such cordless nailer that works the same as other pneumatic ​brad nailers do.

Ryobi P320 Airstrike uses typical brad nails having a size of 5/8 inch to 2 inches. The performance of this nailer is impressive. This tool also features two firing modes, i.e., sequential and bump firing modes. You can easily switch between these two modes as per your preference.

The most liked feature about this Ryobi P320 Airstrike is the anti-dry firelock, which doesn’t fire when no nails are left and avoids dry-firings.

With the depth of drive adjustment dial, you can even adjust the depth of the brads fired. In terms of specifications, this brad nailer has the dimensions of 10 x 3 x 7 inches and weighs 6 pounds.

What We Like:

  • The anti-dry fire lock feature is useful.
  • It has 2 LED lights that glow well.
  • An ergonomic rubber grip handle.

What Can Be Better:

  • You’ve to purchase the lithium-ion battery separately.

8. NuMax S2-118G2 Brad Nailer and Stapler

NuMax S2-118G2 Pneumatic 2-in-1 Brad Nailer and Stapler

NuMax S2-118G2 is a 2-in-1 pneumatic tool which is capable of firing both brad nails and narrow crown staples. This makes NuMax S2-118G2 a highly versatile and useful tool for woodworkers.

Similar to other brad nailers, this tool also comes with the depth adjustment feature that enhances its applications. It has a die-cast aluminum body, which makes it a lightweight and highly-durable.

The 360-degree adjustable exhaust will always protect you from dust and debris. There is also an indicator that’ll continuously remind you about the remaining nails.

It is an extremely easy-to-use and useful tool. The comfortable grip handle doesn’t produce any vibrations. This nail gun weighs 3.09 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 2.6 x 9.7 x 9.8 inches. So if you’ve tasks like window casing, crown moldings, and decorative trim, then NuMax S2-118G2 will be a great pick.

What We Like:

  • One of the most versatile nail guns available.
  • Highly affordable.

What Can Be Better:

  • Not recommended for dealing with heavy-duty tasks.

9. Senco FinishPro 18MG

SENCO FinishPro 18MG

If you’re looking for a sturdy, durable, and reliable model, then the SENCO FinishPro brad nailer is the best choice. This tool is made from magnesium and has a galvanized finish, which increases its durability. Also, it has a lightweight body design.

It is a pneumatic brad nailer that uses an oil-free motor and operates at a pressure rating of 70-120 psi. This tool can fire brad nails of size 5/8″ to 2-1/8″. A red indicator will keep warning you about the remaining brads in the tool’s magazine. So whenever necessary, users can reload to avoid dry firing.

This tool comes with a dual-action trigger, which allows users to switch between sequential firing and contact firing modes. The user’s comfort is fully kept in mind while designing this tool. It also includes an over-molded rubber grip.

In terms of specifications, this SENCO FinishPro weighs 4 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 10 x 4 x 1 inch. There is also an LED headlight present, which can be operated by the red button. 

What We Like:

  • The air outlet is at the bottom of the handle that doesn’t interfere.
  • It features dual-action trigger settings.
  • The magnesium body is durable and lightweight.

What Can Be Better:

  • The nail gun will have dry firings that could affect your work.

10. Porter-Cable BN200C Nailer

PORTER-CABLE BN200C nail gun

With an affordable price tag and great functionalities, Porter-Cable BN200C is a manifest tool to consider. This extremely lightweight brad nailer has a maintenance-free motor that doesn’t require any oiling or lubrication. Your workpiece will remain clean and stain-free throughout the process.

For proper firing of nails, users will have to set the compressor from 70 to 120 PSI, based on the required force. Another good thing about this BN200C nailer is a removable non-marring nose tip, which prevents your workpiece from scratches and damage.

It has an aluminum body, which is not only lightweight but is also strong. So even after long-term usage, users will have minimal hand fatigue. Also, the presence of an integrated rubber grip takes comfort to the next level.

This brad nailer weighs around 1.24 pounds. There is also a low nail reload indicator, which lets you know when you run out of nails.

What We Like:

  • Equipped with a maintenance-free motor.
  • A rubber-grip handle for better control

What Can Be Better:

  • Need some improvements in-depth adjustment wheel.

Features to Consider When Buying a Brad Nailer

Depth Adjustment

For any brad nailer, depth-control or depth-adjustment is a must-have feature. We use nails of different sizes and workpieces of different thicknesses. Thereby, it becomes necessary to adjust the depth of the nail you drive into the workpiece. You can control it by turning the dial clockwise or anti-clockwise in many models.

Exhaust Air Control

A pneumatic brad nailer uses an air compressor, and then the compressed air powers the nailer to drive nails into the wood. Once the air finishes its job, this air needs an outlet or exhaust to escape from the tool. Until the air is not exhausted, you cannot drive another nail into the workpiece.

However, it is not the purest form of air as it contains contaminants like dust and oil. Eventually, you don’t want to breathe in this air as it may harm you. But, most of the models use a 360-degree exhaust air control mechanism, which you can adjust to keep yourself and your workpiece away from the stains.

Tool-Free Jam Release

It doesn’t matter how costly the brad nailer you buy, it may jam anytime. If jamming occurs, the nail will get stuck in the nose of the tool, and you’ve to remove it manually. You can continue with your work only after removing the brad.

That’s why we recommend you to look for a tool-free jam-release mechanism in your brad nailer. Users will not require any tool (like Allen wrench) to remove the jammed nail. The brad nailers now use a lever, which is to be flip-right to remove the stuck nail.

Size of the Nose

If you need precision in your work, then you should check the nose size of your nailer. We recommend our buyers to ignore the brad nailers with a larger nose as the probability of hitting the target decreases. On the other hand, a brad nailer with a smaller nose will allow you to drive nails into the exact spot conveniently.

Nailing Modes

Most of the brad nailer comes with two standard nailing modes, contact nailing, and the sequential nailing mode. The contact nailing, also known as bump nailing mode, is used to finish your work speedily. You’ve to pull the nailer trigger and bump the tool into the workpiece to drive nails.

On the other hand, sequential nailing mode is mainly used to ensure safety. Firstly, compress the nose and then pull the trigger with the nose to work with this model. You’ll be able to drive another nail only after lifting the nailer. It ensures the user’s safety but slows down the speed.

You may like this video if you’re a beginner or have no experience with Brad Nailers:-

Final Thoughts

The market is filled with different brad nailers, and choosing an ideal nailer is a real challenge. You’re spending your hard-earned money, so definitely, you should look for the best brad nailer. In this article, we’ve mentioned all the best available brad nailers with essential details that will surely help you.

After researching a lot and comparing the performances, we’ve found DEWALT DWFP12231 as the best available brad nailer in the market. It is a perfect tool for working on small projects and is a value-for-money option.

For those buyers, who don’t want to buy a pneumatic brad nailer, Porter-Cable PCC790LA is the best available cordless model. This model offers massive convenience to the users and doesn’t create unnecessary mess.

Whereas, for all the buyers with a limited budget, NuMax S2-118G2 will be a great versatile option. But in the end, all of it depends on your woodworking needs and your likings.

About Robert Bennett

Hey there! I'm Robert from San Antonio, Texas. I've worked as a carpenter for six years, and I'm very passionate about writing on stuff related to woodworking and DIY. I love to spend my free time working in the workshop or playing with my kids.