Nail Gun Types & Features

Five Best Brad Nailers On The Market – Buyers Guide

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The Five Best Brad Nailers On The Market

As any skilled craftsman knows, you need the right tools to produce great work! Having the best tools available will also make you more efficient and helps to ensure the job is done correctly.

When it comes to carpentry and cabinet making, one of the most useful tools you can purchase is a high-quality nail gun. Not only will your work be completed faster, you can get the job done with less stress on your body.

•Roofing nailers
These nailing guns are also heavy duty and are used to secure roof tiles or siding. They use shorter nails with larger heads

Flooring nailers
These nail guns are specially designed to join tongue & groove floorboards. They usually use 16 gauge nails that are 38 to 50mm in length.

• Finishing nailers
A lightweight nail gun normally used for indoor trim. They typically use nails that are 14 to 16 gauge and 1” to 2½” in length.

• Brad nailers
A brad nailer is a light duty nailer that usually fires 18-gauge nails that are between 5/8” to 2” (16 mm to 50 mm) in length. The main difference between brad nailers and finishing nailers is that the brad nailer has a straight magazine instead of an angled one.  Brad nailers are normally used for upholstery, smaller wood projects, fixing timber trim or moldings, and other precise jobs.   They leave a small hole which means you won’t have to use much filler (if any).

How having a brad nailer helps you get the job done                                                                                                        Here are a few reasons why having a brad nailer in your arsenal will make your life easier!

You can get your work done faster                                                                                                                                            Using a brad nailer is much faster than manually hammering in nails by hand.  You will be able to drive in thousands of nails each day, accomplishing much more with each work day.

Tips For Buying  The Best Brad Nailer

Here are a few useful tips to help you choose the perfect brad nailer:

Think about the size of nails you prefer to use
Brad nailers typically drive nails that are between 5/8  to 2 inches in length. However, some nailers will only handle smaller nails that are between 1 to 1  1/4 inch nails. Before jumping in consider the kinds of projects you work on and the nails you need.

best brad nailer nails

Think about your preferred power source
Most commercial brad nailers are pneumatic (powered by a compressed air supply) or electric (powered by an electric motor and spring). Cordless electric brad nailers are also available.

Pneumatic brad nailers are reliable and powerful — however, you have to deal with a hose and you must have an air compressor available. A cordless electric brad nailer is convenient to use because it does not have a cable — however, they are more expensive and you have to charge batteries regularly. They can also be heavier because of the additional weight of the battery.

Think about the trigger type you prefer
Most brad nailers have two components to their triggers. The first is the tip of the gun, which must be pushed against an object before the fastener can be released. The second is the trigger on the grip, which you press using your finger.

Brad nailers with “contact triggers” allow you to simply hold down the trigger with your finger and tap the tip of the gun on the object, immediately releasing fasteners. They are considered to be more dangerous because they can be activated very rapidly. The other type of trigger is the “sequential trigger,” where the tip of the nailer must be pushed against an object “before” you pull the trigger. This is a safer type of trigger, but can be more tiring to use.

Think about adjustability,
Other useful features available in some brad nailers include:

• Adjustable depth
Nailers let you fine tune how far the fastener is pushed into the material. Some products allow you to adjust the depth by hand, while others require a special tool.
• Power adjustments
Some brad nailers have variable power settings, which you can adjust depending on the type of material you are working with.
• Jam Clearing
Some brad nailers have designs that make it easier to clear nail jams.

Five Of The Best Brad Nailers On The Market

Here are five of the best products on the market. They are all reliable, precise, comfortable-to-use, and great value-for-money.

DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer  
Dewalt has established a solid reputation as a manufacturer of high quality power tools. This pneumatic brad nailer is no exception. Its magnesium alloy body weighs just 4.8 pounds, making it lightweight and comfortable to handle all day. It is a highly adjustable brad nailer with tool-free depth-of-drive and jam release features. The DWFP12231 uses a sequential style trigger and molded rubber handle for additional safety. The adjustable belt hook makes using this nailer quick and convenient.

• High-pressure pneumatic motor
• Tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment
• Tool-free jam release
• Uses 18 gauge nails from 5/8″ to 2” in length
• 100 magazine capacity

• Solidly built and reliable
• Light weight and comfortable
• The rear exhaust removes the risk of contaminating your timber

• Depth adjustment setting can change after a lot of use
• Sequential trigger sometimes requires repositioning before use

WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer 

The WEN brad 61720 nailer is very reliable and well-built while remaining affordable. It is a pneumatic nail gun that shoots brads ranging in size from 3/4 inches to 2 inches. A lightweight gun is always a plus, built with a  sturdy aluminum body and only weighs in at 3-pounds. The Wen 61720 uses a 1/4 inch NPT air inlet to connect  your air compressor while operating anywhere between 60 to 100 PSI.


  • High-pressure pneumatic motor
  • Depth-of-drive adjustment wheel
  • Jam clearing quick release
  • Sequential style trigger
  • 1/4 inch air inlet
  • Uses 18 gauge nails from 3/4″ to 2” in length
  • 100 magazine capacity
  • Transparent nail gauge and quick release magazine 


  • Very affordable!
  • Tool-free depth adjustment and jam clearing
  • Comes with some accessories including oil and adjustment wrenches


  • Depth adjustment needs to be carefully adjusted

Makita AF505N Brad Nailer, 2-Inch   
If you want a brand you can trust, Makita is the perfect choice. They have been making high quality power tools for many decades. This 2-inch brad nailer has a tough design that will stand up to the abuse of a busy worksite. It is a compact brad nailer with a narrow-nose design that makes it easy to get into tight spaces.

It is a pneumatic brad nailer that can operate from 60 to 115 PSI and drives in 18 gauge nails from 5/8” to 2-inch. The rubber grip makes this nailer quite comfortable to handle. This is a great all-round brad nailer than is perfect for trim work, flooring, baseboard and crown molding installation, and general woodworking.

• High-pressure pneumatic motor
• Easy to use depth-of-drive adjustment
• Sequential style trigger
• Uses 18 gauge nails from 5/8” to 2-inch in length
• Non-marring rubber nose
• 100 magazine capacity
• Transparent nail gauge and quick release magazine clip

• Made by a very trustworthy brand name
• Tool-free depth adjustment and jam clearing
• Very precise and easy to use in confined areas

• More expensive
• The red nail count indicator window is quite small
• It requires oil
• The nailer head is capable of leaving a mark on very soft timbers

Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer                   
Hitachi is another big name tool manufacturer producing excellent brad nailers. This 18 gauge brad nailer is packed with features including selective actuation, which allows the user to switch between bump firing or contact firing modes. It is one of the lightest brad nailers review, coming in at just 2.2 pounds. This nailer also comes with a very comfortable elastomer grip that makes it a real pleasure to use.

All aspects of the nailer are tool free, including the easy-to-clear nose which allows the user to removed jammed nails in seconds. Depth of drive is control by an easy-to-use dial mechanism near the nailer’s nose. The quick release magazine can hold up to 100 x 5/8-2 inch brad nails with head sizes between 0.075 and 1.9 mm. It requires 70 to 120 psi operating pressure.

• Very light weight nailer
• Made by a dependable manufacturer
• Easy to use depth-of-drive adjustment
• Selective actuation allows user to change trigger style
• Uses 18 gauge nails from 5/8” to 2-inch in length
• 100 magazine capacity with quick reload

• Only weighs 2.2 pounds
• Tool-free depth adjustment and jam clearing
• Very easy to handle

• Expensive
• It requires oil

NuMax S2-118G2 18-Gauge 2 In 1 Brad Nailer and Stapler          
This is a very versatile brad nailer from NuMax. It is capable of using two types of fasteners — 18 Gauge Brad Nails and 18 Gauge ¼” Narrow Crown Staples. This makes a great choice for craftsmen looking for a tool with a bit more utility. It can take nails ranging from 3/8” to 2” in size and staples ranging from ½” to 1-5/8” in size.

• 2-in1 nailer and stapler
• Adjustable exhaust
• Sequential fire mode
• No-mar safety contact with anti-dust cap
• Easy-to-read reload indicator

• Durable build
• Accomplish two jobs for the price of one brad nailer!
• Very easy to handle

• Requires tools for some adjustments
• It requires oil

We hope you enjoyed our guide to the five best brad nailers! For more framing nailer reviews, subscribe to the blog or follow us on social media! If your unsure which type of nail gun is right for you than check out our list of top nail types of 2017 here!

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