7 Best Brad Nailers 2020 By Experts

7 Best Brad Nailers

* If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

In order to dig out the perfect top notch Brad nailer for yourself, you’ll have to scour both the internet and the market looking for general criteria and specific criteria for your device. So, what is a brad nailer?

Brad nailers are members of the finishing nail gun family. They use 18, pretty small, gauge brads; however, they are not the smallest member of this family. Such small size allows them to do delicate trim work without splitting the wood while still maintaining respectable binding power.

Brads are headless and can go up to 2 inches into your material; hence, they hardly leave any visible marks behind them. You don’t have to use wood putty or any other sort of camouflage here. Now, we will take you through our choices for the best brad nailer of 2020.

Comparison Table

Air CompressorLbs Capacity
PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA5.9100
Hitachi NT50AE22.2100
DEWALT DWFP122312.6100
BOSTITCH BTFP122333.1100
SENCO FinishPro 18MG4110
Makita AF505N3100
Senco FinishPro 182.9110

The 7 Best Brad Nailers in 2020


1. Porter-Cable Pcc790La – Best Overall


PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA

 

Check Latest Price

We shall now meet the first device on our list; a cordless brad nailer… It is battery powered using at 20V Max lithium-ion battery, which gives you around 1300 nails ranging 5/8 – 2 inches in length.

It enjoys tool-free depth adjustments and tool-free jam release, although that might be a little bit tricky as it is located behind the battery, so it will need a little bit more effort and a tool-free stall release lever.

As this guy is battery powered, you don’t have to worry about an annoying air hose getting in the way, bulky air compressors that you have to log around or expensive fuel canisters that will seriously harm your wallet in the long run.

One thing that we have not seen yet in this article is LED lights. This guy has a lighting/indicating system that improves visibility immensely because you can see precisely where your nail is going.

Also, another unmissable pro is the fact that is the battery wanes down without taking the efficiency of the nail gun with it. It continues to work with the same power and speed until the battery has died out completely.

Pros

  • Lightest in its class class 
  • LED lights 
  • No compressor or gas needed 
  • Tool-free jam release 
  • Tool-free depth adjustment 
  • Can use Nicad batteries 
  • Very well balanced 
  • Consistent power 

Cons

  • Can be a little slow 
  • A lot heavier than a pneumatic brad nailer

Final Verdict

Switching from pneumatic to a battery-powered brad nailer is a great investment in the long run because you will be saving a lot of money. However, you will be investing a little bit more in the beginning. This guy comes with one battery. Still, we would advise you to buy a spare and a charger so that if the first dies out on you on the spot, you can switch them and charge the dead one.


2. Hitachi NT50AE2 – Best Comfort


Hitachi NT50AE2

 

Check Latest Price

This pneumatic brad nail gun is, of course, an 18 gauge which accepts 5/8 all the way up to 2-inch brads. Metabo/Hitachi has always worked towards the comfort of its clients. Hence, this brad nail gun here is exceptionally lightweight at 2.2 pounds, which makes it easier to use for extended periods. That, combined with the elastomer grip, makes for maximum comfort.

It supports both modes of firing sequential and bump. With an extremely thin nose and no-mar tips, all of these options work towards allowing the device to get into tight nooks and corners and work them efficiently.

Of course, it supports the tool-less option so you can enjoy tool-free jam release, which allows for the user to reach jammed nails and remove them without any tools. Plus, tool-free depth of adjustment, which was made into a dial enabling users to input to the exact drive that they need.

One more thing is that it has a 360° adjustable exhaust port which keeps the debris and air away from the user for safety. One frequently reported disadvantage is that the compartment is not transparent, so you cannot see when you are running out of nails. This magazine can hold up to 100 nails.

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Dual firing mode 
  • Adjustable exhaust 
  • Well balanced
  • Comfortable grip
  • Tool-less jam release 
  • Tool-less depth adjustment 
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Opaque comportment 
  • Can’t shoot angles 
  • No dry lockout

Final Verdict

This guy is reasonably priced for the options that he gives you, and the disadvantages that you might very well face. It’s incredibly versatile and can take on any job presented.

The drawbacks here are not huge, and it has been very well received by users. We fully support the purchase of this Brad Nailer.


3. Dewalt Dwfp12231 – Best Motor


DEWALT DWFP12231

 

Check Latest Price

This is the first Dewalt model of this article, and it is a pneumatic 18 gauge brad nailer that can shove nails 5/8 to 2 inches into your material. It is the second lightest device, the first being that Hitachi ( 2.2 pounds), at 2.65 pounds.

And, just like other Dewalt products, you can absolutely count on it to give you a great performance for many years to come. It has tool-less depth adjustment and tool-less jam release. It has been equipped with a very comfortable rubberized grip and durable, lightweight magnesium housing, plus it comes with its case.

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Maintenance-free motor 
  • no-mar tip 
  • Good balance 
  • Comfortable grip

Cons

  • Faulty piston-sealer design 
  • No pump mode 
  • Reports of frequent jams exist

Final Verdict

Like any other model, it offers you options and takes away options. Therefore, if you’re ready to endure a few jams in order to get a lifetime motor, which will always be there for you, then you might want to consider this device.


4. Bostitch Btfp12233 – Precision Pro


BOSTITCH BTFP12233

 

Check Latest Price

The thing about this product is that its nose is 60% smaller/thinner than usual, which means that this guy can get into those tight nooks and corners like a knife through butter. It’s a pneumatic 18 gauge brad nail gun that supports nails that are 2 1/8 inches, which is longer than the standard 2.

It has the tool-less jam release and depth adjustment plus no-mar tip, which allows for both perfection and precision. It enjoys both sequential and bump actuation modes and you can flip through them with a simple trigger.

It is also absolutely oil-free, so it eliminates a lot of hassle for the user and is integrated with an internal filter, which extends the lifespan of the motor by keeping it clean and healthy. Handle, and bumper are both over-molded to allow you comfort and, at the same time, protect the device itself from damage. It has extremely lightweight magnesium housing.

Pros

  • Smart point technology
  • Tool-less jam release 
  • Tool-less depth adjustment 
  • No-mar tips 
  • Adjustable belt hook 
  • Over-molded grip

Cons

  • No dry fire lockout

Final Verdict

This product has been designed for a specific purpose, which is precise lined shots and tight angles. Therefore, if you know that your work will revolve around such situations, then this is undoubtedly the best choice for you.

However, the magnesium housing is not as durable as aluminum, so that’s what you will be sacrificing when making this purchase.


5. SENCO FinishPro 18MG- Best Comfort


SENCO FinishPro 18MG

 

Check Latest Price

This guy here is designed towards the comfort of the user with an all-mold grip, swivel blog, and an air outlet that’s located at the bottom of the handle so that it will blow the air entirely away from you. It catches the eye quite nicely while firing 5/8 to 2-1/8 inch brads out of a 110-nail magazine.

It has a dual-action mode pump and sequential depending on what you need at the moment and magnesium housing with a galvanized finish to increase the lifespan. It has a red indicator in the magazine that warns you against low nail count.

Do not hesitate to reload on the spot so that dry firing would not ruin your piece. It is designed with a tapered nose, which allows it to get into hard nooks and corners. It is quite lightweight.

Pros

  • Dual-action modes 
  • Magnesium housing 
  • Oil-free motor

Cons

  • No dry fire lockout 
  • Not enough safety options

Final Verdict

This product is a very good one with minimal disadvantage. Dry fire lockout is the only missing option. However, you can always check the indicator on the side for remaining nails and reload on time.


6. Makita AF505N – Best Price


Makita AF505N

 

Check Latest Price

This device is also a pneumatic brad nailer that supports 18 gauge brad’s 5/8 to 2 inches. This guy also enjoys a very narrow nose and customized rubber tips/no-mar tips that help you to get into narrow angles.

It has an indicator that shows you when you need to reload and an integrated adjustable hook that can go 180° so that it’s out-of-the-way when not needed.

Plus, the tool-less jam release has one quite significant option, which is that whenever a jam happens, the cam-lock opens immediately, exposing the said jam to you. You need no tools whatsoever to remove it.

It comes with safety goggles, hard plastic case, and nail oil, which makes it perfect for traveling. The exhaust outlet goes 360°. It’s multi-directional, allowing it to blow debris and air in any direction away from the user.

Pros

  • Narrow nose
  • Comes with plastic case 
  • Tool-less jam release 
  • Tool-less depth adjustment 
  • No-mar tip 
  • Rubberized grip 
  • Aluminum housing

Cons

  • Does not fire pump mode 
  • No dry lockouts

Final Verdict

When you buy this device, you get a lot of accessories included, and that certainly adds to its value and appeal. It comes with a lot of options, which is definitely a great advantage. Therefore, if you want the full package, this will be an excellent choice.


7. Senco FinishPro 18 – Best Versatility


SENCO FinishPro 18

 

Check Latest Price

This guy here is our basic pneumatic 18 gauge brad nailer. It can drive nails into your material 5/8 to 2 inches with relative ease. The thing here and what makes this device a diamond cut to last is the number of jobs they can get done. Cabinets, hardwood, chair rails, or any sort of up-fixing simply stand no chance against the Senco FinishPro 18.

It has an ergonomic design presented by the comfortable grip, rear bumper, and no-mar tips. Such options delay the onset of muscle fatigue and protect the final general look of your piece.

A higher than average magazine is sideloaded and has an indicator that can tell you when it’s time to reload. Adjustable belt hook that allows you to slide the tool out of your way when not in need.

Moreover, the exhaust has been placed strategically in the back to drive all of the dust and debris away from you and your work surface. One last note is that you don’t just get the nail gun; you get a hex wrench, much-needed nail oil, and an extremely durable case.

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Durable 
  • Comes with case and accessories 
  • Comfortable grip 
  • Higher than average magazine capacity 

Cons

  • Jamming can occur 
  • No dry fire lockout 
  • No pump firing mode

Final Verdict

The last words that we are going to say concerning this product are that it comes with a lot of options; however, it has its risks as well. Reports of misfire and frequent jamming are not uncommon amongst its reviews. Still, an unmissable mass of users have raved about it and sang its praises. Hence, if you wish to take the risk for the sake of versatility, then go ahead.

How to Pick a Brad Nailer?

Like any other power tool, a ton of decisions needs to be made when buying it. There are so many options and criteria that will affect your choices like whether you want a brad nailer for woodworking or a brad nailer for trim. Plus, other smaller details that we will discuss in the following few points.

Nevertheless, first of all, the most crucial thing that you have to keep in mind is what kind of job it’s intended for; will you need a heavy-duty one or a lighter, simpler device? You also have to always keep your budget in sight as these things can range all the way from $20-something all the way to 300$-$400. Hence, know what you can offer in relation to the available market.

Another thing to retain is the available storage that you have. That’s mostly when the device is pneumatic, so you have to have the extra space for the air compressor as well as the gun.

Power

Brad nailers are either powered by compressed air, which makes them pneumatic, by electricity, which makes them electric or battery-powered, which makes them cordless. We have not come across any corded electric brad nailer in our articles, as they are pretty rare in the market. We will take you through the pros and cons of each.

Pneumatic Brad Nailer

As mentioned before, this type requires the presence of an air compressor, so if you don’t have one, you have to add in the cost of the air pump as well the tool.

They are stronger and lighter in weight; however, the consistent presence of the air hose can prove to be quite a nuisance.

Battery-Powered/Cordless Brad Nailer

These guys are great for people who are always on the go; you can just pick it up and be out of the door, no trouble whatsoever. Still, they work with batteries making them a lot heavier and, therefore, not as comfortable as pneumatic brad nailers when having over the head jobs or long periods of work.

Also, you always have to remember that you are limited to the battery and how much time it will give you. When the batteries die-out, there’s nothing that you can do. One way around that is to always keep a spare battery and a charger with you so that you will replace the battery, charge the other one, and keep working. That is, of course, an added cost to you.

Housing

Brad Nailers have either an aluminum or magnesium housing.

Aluminum

They are both lightweight; however, aluminum can be a little bit heavier, but it is the safer choice. There is no way that aluminum would ever react to any materials or outside elements. It will never dent, crack, or let you down in any sort of way.

Magnesium

Magnesium is not a bad choice either, yet it corrodes easier, it may react with outside elements, and if your device falls, it’s more liable to denting than aluminum.

Uses

Brad nailers are used primarily for delicate trim work done to carpentry. It can be used in those last decorative touches that give particular aesthetics to your piece. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, brad nailers use brads, which are 18 gauge headless nails that manage to provide you with adequate binding back power without leaving any visible traces behind them.

Special Features:

  • Tool-less: That can go for both the jam release and the depth of adjustment. It means that no further tools are required for you to reach a jammed nail and release it or to set the depth that your nail will drive into the material at. 
  • LED lights: Those are mostly seen in other types of nailers; however, they can be spotted here too. They will improve visibility and show you exactly where your nail is going to end up. 
  • Any sort of Warning System: This lets you know when your magazine is running out or when your device needs to be charged if it’s battery-powered.
  • Pump actuation mode: This allows the device to fire upon contact with the surface. This can be helpful when you’re trying to reach into tight angles and corners, and you cannot properly push down on the device for it to fire in sequential mode. It can prove to be a lifesaver

Safety Precautions:

When talking about any sort of power tools, safety is paramount. Hence, here are a few points that you can, perhaps, print and hang in your workshop for a constant reminder.

  • Always wear proper safety gear, including gloves, goggles, and even safety shoes that will protect your feet if any mishap should occur. 
  • Wear fitting clothes that will not be caught on the power tool. 
  • Make sure you’re working space is completely dry, well ventilated and well lit.
  • Check all your cords and make sure that none of them is overstretched. 
  • Finally, make sure your workspace is always kid/pet free.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, brad nailers are an extremely handy tool that will save you a lot of trouble. When choosing them, you have to keep in mind what you need them for, your budget, space, and all the options that we have mentioned before.

We would advise you to have a checklist of what you need in the brad nailer so that you are not sidetracked by all of the options available on the market.

If we are going to pick one for you, it will be the PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA as it combines and balances all the options needed in a bread nailer while still maintaining an “affordable choice” price tag on it.

See More: