Best Brad Nailer of 2019
Handpicked for Home and Pro User

NAILGUNGUIDE
Last updated on January 25, 2019

Brad nailer will be your tool of choice when you are engaged in home renovation, smaller project like crafting dollhouse for kids or furniture upholstery. Brad is a part of trim nailer family commonly referred as finish nailer and frequently used by professionals, homeowner and DIYer alike for attaching small moldings and trim to a woodwork. Brad nails are thinner than 15 or 16-gauge finish nail, often used by carpenters where typical thicker finish nail might split trim or driven through work piece. Brad and finish nailers are designed in such a way that complement each other in woodworking project rather as alternative to one another.

This guide provides details on brad nailer, brad nailer application, how to find best brad nailer for your woodworking projects and our buying recommendations for best brad nailer. If you’re just looking for recommendations on the best brad nailer, don’t worry we handpicked best model and listed here. Click on details to get description of the major brands and models.

Not sure which brad nailer you looking for?

Read our brad nailer buying guide, learn how to pick the right brad for you

Summary of Best Brad Nailer of 2019

Brad NailerBest ForPower SourceMax FastenerWeightLearn More
WEN 61720 18 GA
Pneumatic Brad

3.9
NailgunGuide Review
Best Value
Pneumatic
suitable for small jobs
Air powered (Pneumatic)
60 - 100 PSI
100
18-gauge brad nails
3.3 lbs.Check Price
On Amazon
Hitachi NT50AE2 18 GA
Pneumatic Brad

4.4
NailgunGuide Review
Premium Pick
Pneumatic
Combination of price and features, great for DIYer and professionals
Air powered (Pneumatic)
70 - 120 PSI
100
18-gauge brad nails
2.2 lbs.Check Price
On Amazon
Bostitch BTFP12233 Smart Point 18 GA
Pneumatic Brad

4.3
NailgunGuide Review
Premium Pick
Pneumatic
High precision brad nailing with smart point technology
Air powered (Pneumatic)
70 - 120 PSI
100
18-gauge brad nails
3.1 lbs.Check Price
On Amazon
Dewalt DWFP12231 18 GA
Pneumatic Brad

4.2
NailgunGuide Review
Well balanced for
trim work
Air powered (Pneumatic)
70 - 120 PSI
100
18-gauge brad nails
2.65 lbs.Check Price
On Amazon
Porter-Cable BN200C 18 GA
Pneumatic Brad

4.2
NailgunGuide Review
Heavy duty pneumatic brad,
suitable for pro and home user
Air powered (Pneumatic)
70 - 120 PSI
100
18-gauge brad nails
2.38 lbs.Check Price
On Amazon
Dewalt DC608K 18V NiCad
Cordless Brad

4.2
NailgunGuide Review
Premium Pick
Battery-powered
Perfect tool for trim carpenters & cabinetmakers
Cordless-electric
18 Volt NiCad Battery full charge in 1 hour
100
18-gauge brad nails
7.4 lbs.Check Price
On Amazon
Porter-Cable PCC790LA 20V Li-ion
Cordless Brad

4.2
NailgunGuide Review
Best Overall
Battery-powered
Lightest in its class, work with various material & climate conditions
Cordless-electric
20 Volt Li-ion Battery
100
18-gauge brad nails
5.9 lbs.Check Price
On Amazon
Ryobi P320 18V One+ Li-ion
Cordless Brad

4.2
NailgunGuide Review
Best Value
Battery-powered
Cordless-electric
18 Volt Li-ion Battery
100
18-gauge brad nails
7.0 lbs.Check Price
On Amazon

How to Pick the Right Brad Nailer For You

Let’s start familiarizing with brad nailer and what make this power tool unique. A brad nailer is specifically designed to run 18-gauge, fine wire brad nails. 18-gauge fasteners is considerably thinner than 15 and 16-gauge and typically range from 5/8-inch up to 1-1/2 inches or 16 mm to 50 mm in length. Manually driving nails of these size can be very hard, besides shape of the nail head which comes in either roundhead or clip head design make them more difficult to drive with a hammer. So you need to have a brad nailer in your tool kit to sink these thin nails into work pieces. On top of that short length and narrow diameter of 18-gauge brad nails allows you to drive them below the surface of the stock, leaving a smaller nail hole almost invisible to naked eye. There is good chance you will need less hole to fill with carpenter’s putty before finishing the piece, and sometime you may not need to fill the hole at all. These unique functionality makes brad nailer number one choice of professionals when working with delicate trims, attaching thin strip, upholstery, smaller wood projects, fixing trim or moldings for great finish. However brad does not work well with hardwoods and manufactured wood products such as plywood or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). Also they do not have the holding strength of finish nails and not suitable for larger, heavier project like large crown molding or baseboard.

I hope these explain pretty much everything about a brad nailer. But if you are still not convinced, you may take some time to go through our Nailer Buying Guide before moving on to more technical details on brad nailer that enable you to buy best brad nailer. I will be honest with you, what we already discussed is enough for anybody with no knowledge of brad nailer, go to market and buy a brad nailer. But I am sure of you getting confused as most of brad nailer specification and important things you need to know before buying is not discussed yet. We want you to have enough information on brad nailer so that you can pick one particular model let’s say from a pool of 5 or 10 different brad nailer models. How you do that? Narrow down the pool that give best feature, usability and value for money. So here are few thing you need to consider before comparing with major feature of brad nailer.

Corded vs. Cordless: Picking the Right Brad Nailer

Mark my word this will be your most important decision you’re going to make moving forward to pick a brad nailer that is corded or cordless. You can go for cordless brad comprising fuel cell or gas powered models and corded brad consist of pneumatic and electric models.

In the cordless category, fuel or gas powered brad nailer are the most powerful one. But corded-air (pneumatic) brad nailers are the first choice of the professionals for consistent power and mostly used in big jobs, though you’ll have to stick within the length of your air hose that is connected to the compressor.

Battery powered cordless brad gives you mobility, but they weigh and cost more than the gas powered and corded brad nailers. Also note that cordless-electric brad has less power than gas and pneumatic powered brad with limited runtime per battery charge. However they require less maintenance and don’t require oiling.

Pneumatic or air powered brad nailers are the most least expensive nailer on the market and also most popular. They offer more power at the same they are lightweight. Average weight of a pneumatic brad is around 3 pounds. While pneumatic brad nailers offer greater driving power but they require air compressor, regular maintenance and oiling.

A Word About Safety

Nail Guns are not toys. They are serious construction tool that fire different sizes of fasteners and staples with same speed of a bullet. There is always chance of misfiring and accidental firing that can hit you or anyone near you. Some of these injuries are fatal and can lead to death. Please always read product manual carefully and follow safety instructions while handling the tool.

Commercial contractor need to check towns regulation on worker safety or nationwide safety guidelines. You can also check the Nail Gun Safety Guidelines issued by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to learn more about nail gun accident statistics, major type nail gun injuries, common safety measures.

Protect Yourself

  • Read Instruction Manual
  • Properly oil pneumatic tool before and after use
  • Wear protective goggles and a dust mask
  • Keep people and pets from working area

Brad Nailer by Type

Selecting the right brad nailer comes down to  job, materials and budget. All brad nailer are designed for same purpose, drive 18 GA brad nail. Type of brad nailer you pick will define how much mobility you get when using your brad. Corded and cordless models have their benefits and downsides. We gathered some useful info on pneumatic, electric, gas and battery powered brad nailer to narrow down the list for best brad.

Brad_Nailer_Review_Type_Pneumatic_TRP

Pneumatic Brad Nailers

Pneumatic brad nailer are widespread among DIYer and professionals for its efficiency and cost less than an electrical and battery powered one. It can achieve professional finish without wasting your valuable time. It’s very lightweight, even the heavier model will not weight more than 3.5 lbs. Fewer moving parts inside a pneumatic brad nailer require very little maintenance. However like all pneumatic tool you need to oil the machine after each use to keep it running smoothly. This corded brad nailer do not offer best mobility as you need to carry the air compressor in work site and connected hose will not give you much room to move freely within your project area. Another important safety issue you need to keep in mind that it’s run on pressurized air can cause a great deal of accidents. Wear protective glass and handle the instrument with care.
Cost: $30 to $110

Brad_Nailer_Review_Type_Electric_TRP

Electric Brad Nailers

If you are looking for a simple brad nailer that just work like a power drill, connect the tool with power source, press on and just fire nail than electric brad nailer kit is there for you. They rely on internal electric motor that generate the power to shoot brad nail into woodwork. With electric brad you just need the nailer, no additional tools required to run it. They are powerful but comes at high price tag. Bulky internal motor makes it heavy but barely require maintenance. Make sure that heavy-duty line coming out of the nail gun itself is not plugged into simple household extension. It need lot juice that regular extension cannot provide, you need to use heavier gauge wire extension. Limited electrical cord may not be ideal choice for large project but can be used for small home projects. As long as you have your power running so do your electric brad.
Cost: $20 to $75

Brad_Nailer_Review_Type_Gas_TRP

Gas-Powered Brad Nailers

Gas or fuel cell powered are the newest edition of cordless brad nailers capable of handling all jobs that pneumatic and electric brad perform but without the fuss of dragging an air compressor and hose. Drastic fall in prices of gas powered brad and effective in dealing with hardwoods as well as softwoods have made them smart alternative to pneumatic brad. Biggest advantage of cordless-fuel brad is mobility, weight and shape. Depending on brand and model you can fire 2000 to 4000 18-gauge fastener per charge and 1200 to 2000 shots per fuel cell. A lot of carpenters complain about awful smell produced by gas-powered cordless nailer and working in confined areas for longer time can be discomforting for many of you. However if you don’t want to invest in an air compressor or be tethered to an air hose all the time and ready to pay some extra bucks then a gas powered brad is there for you.
Cost: $200 to $450

Brad_Nailer_Review_Type_Battery_TRP

Battery-Powered Brad Nailers

All big name brands now offer 18 or 20-volt Li-ion (Lithium-ion) battery powered cordless brad nailer and few model with NiCad (Nickel-cadmium). While feature and operation are similar to other brad type but size and shape have more resemblance to 15 or 16-gauge finish nailer making them relatively larger and heavier. Most of them are really well designed and well balanced to use in any angle, even when you’re driving overhead and have adequate power to drive long brad nail into thick hardwood. You can buy these tool without battery and charger to save money, if you own other 18 or 20 volt cordless nailer that can used for the brad also. As long as you have charged batteries, you can continue driving brad. Without any doubt battery powered cordless brad are pretty much perfect with few exception- They are most expensive brad nailer and have issue with continuous firing.
Cost: $110 to $340

Essential Brad Nailer Feature

Making a prudent choice for brad nailer can highly depend on some built-in features that enable the tool to function in right way. Understanding these essential brad nailer feature gives you the edge while picking best brad nailer model out 100 or more you can find right now on the market. Some of these features related to product durability others to performance, is it easy to handle, what you should look for as accessories things like that. With so many feature found on the tool, identifying most essential feature to consider for buying best brad nailer might be an overwhelming task. We handpicked essential features for you and tried to explain in simple term so that on next purchase you get what you are looking for. Also note you are not going to find all features in one brad nailer, but make sure your brad nailer is armed with most of the essential features related to performance, durability and usability.

 

  • Depth Adjustment: This is the most important adjustability function you must look for. Your brad will fire 18-gauge brad nail ranging from 5/8 to 2 inches in length. With Depth Adjustment setting you can sink, countersink or flush nailing. You have the option to drive nail deep or shallow into work piece based on the wood type. Some model require special tool for depth of the drive adjustment and other model have depth adjustment wheel or dial commonly referred as tool-less or tool-free depth adjustment, which is more user friendly.
  • Nose Piece Design: Back to basics, Brads are precisely designed to fire tiny nail with high precision within confined spaces. Pointing your nailer with high accuracy in tight spaces surely need small enough nose piece design. Without compact and slim designed nose nail may not end up in the right place. We analyzed more than 50 different brad nailer to find one with narrow nose design that fit in tight corner. Remarkably most of the model have standard nose design but some model took nose piece design to another level. Find out more from our brad nailer review.
  • Tip Style: When you are using small diameter brad nail for trim or any upholstery project, denting or damage to work surface will be the last thing you looking for that is generated from recoil and dry firing of nose tip into woodwork. To prevent this kind of damage you need a brad that have non-marring nose tip. It’s a small plastic on the head of the nose that prevent any marking of nose tip on wood surface.
  • Fastener Length: This is the maximum and minimum length of nail your brad nailer can accommodate in the magazine. Brad nailers typically drive 18-gauge nails ranging from 5/8 to 2 inches in length. Most electric brad will accept nails between 1 to 1-1/4 inches in length. What’s more some 2 inches nails are little bit longer than regular 2 inches nails and most brad nailer will not support even slightly longer 2 inches nails in their magazine. When deciding best brad nailer for you, we recommend you consider this facts. If you can anticipate that most of your project will require frequent use of 2 inches brad nail, please consider buying one with a 2-⅛ inches length limit. Otherwise up to 2 inches will be more than adequate.
  • Dual Trigger: Please consider two things about brad nailer trigger while choosing best brad for you. Trigger is directly linked to nail gun safety. Another thing is selectable trigger, option to switch between two trigger systems. Contact trigger is commonly used in nailer to fire fastener rapidly by simply pressing the trigger and tapping the contact tip on the surface. They are considered more dangerous and mostly used by professionals for continuous nailing. Best brad nailer that we recommend designed with selectable trigger, contact and sequential trigger. You can switch between two trigger, usually by turning the knob or dialer found above the trigger. Sequential trigger is considered the safest as it only fire single nail when tip of the nailer is pushed against the work surface before you pull the trigger. You need repeat whole cycle to fire another nail. As suggested by CDC, application of sequential trigger can prevent approximately 65% to 69% of injuries originated from contact trigger use. Choose a brad that offer selectable trigger for contact and sequential actuation.
  • Adjustable Belt Hook: Main purpose of a belt hook is to clip your brad nailer to your belt. This user friendly feature makes your nailer handy and keep your hand free so you don’t have to hold your nailer all the time. Now few power tool brand has taken belt hook to a new level by introducing adjustable belt hook. Earlier belt hook design were not flexible but now you can change side whenever you want and move it from right to left.
  • Easy Jam Clearance: Throughout this website you will find we have discussed about easy jam clearance for all kind of nailer. This is an unavoidable circumstances that you will face one way or another. Even simple stationery stapler used at office or at home get jammed at some point. How you remove jammed nail from your brad can make a lot of difference in overall performance. So look for model that offer open nose design that allows you to remove jammed nail without using a tool.
  • Power Adjustment: This feature mostly found on an electric powered brad nailer. With variable power setting you can adjust depth of drive. As its run on a motor and don’t have piston to push nail into work surface, it rely high and low power setting. For driving deep you need high power and vice versa.
  • Swivel Cord and Adjustable Exhaust: These two feature only found in a pneumatic brad nailer and related to pressurized air that give the necessary power to a pneumatic nailer. Swivel cord is great mechanical device that help you to move air hose connected pneumatic nailer within your work area that prevent air hose getting twisted while moving around project area. Giving you more flexibility and mobility with corded brad nailer.
    What happen to the air that force the piston to move and fire nail? Every time you fire nail from a pneumatic nailer excess air will come out through air vent located on the back of nailer that is directed towards operator. Now best brad nailer found in the market offer 360-degree adjustable exhaust so that you can direct air and other debris to opposite direction.
  • Warranty and Repair: You will surprised to see some manufacturer offer up to seven year warranty for bare tool and dedicated service centers. Some big name brand offer separate warranty scheme with yearly subscriptions. You may not want to invest more money for warranty, in that case choose one that have at least one year product warranty with coverage for repairs and other malfunctions.
  • Value for Money: At the end of the day all things will come down to money that you want to invest in a brad nailer. With almost identical feature and configuration a battery powered brad nailer will cost you more money than a pneumatic brad. Also newer version will cost more than older version. Big name brand will have premium pricing whereas less known brand generally tend to offer very competitive price. Another important things to consider is included accessories that come with product packaging. They include carrying case, tool set, fasteners, oil, safety goggles, and gloves things like that. These accessories not only handy but also provide a value for money.

Only you decide what is best

Our goal is to bring all things you need to know about brad nailer to help you understand the gun itself, where it can be applied and how to find one that suits your need. After going through all the guideline and recommendation you are equipped with great deal of information on brad nailer to find best brad nailer for you.