Works with a variety of lengths of 18-gauge brad nails from 0.625 to 2.125 inches. Easy to remove any jams that occur without need for tools. Multiple operation modes for a variety of jobs. Exhaust in the rear to keep expelled air out of the operator's face. Doesn't require oil, which reduces mess.
Larger than average size brad nailer, which limits work in tight spaces.
Supports 18-gauge brad nails ranging from 0.75 inches to 2 inches. Handle has rubber grip for excellent handling and comfort. Clearing jams is easy. Oil and adjustment wrenches are included, making this low-priced tool an even better value. Can direct the exhaust to avoid air in your face.
Probably not powerful enough for certain construction jobs.
Works with 18 gauge brad nails ranging in size from 0.625 to 2 inches. Well-designed brad nailer that includes comfortable hand grip and lightweight body. Can clear jams easily without the need for tools. Allows for use of brad nails with varying head sizes. Exhaust vent can be rotated 360 degrees.
May experience misfires more often than with some other models.
Will work with 18-gauge brad nails ranging in size from 0.625 to 2 inches in length. Also can handle crown staples. Easy to adjust the depth of the nails. Rubber grip ensures your hands won't slip, even while using this tool for long periods. Can rotate exhaust air vent 360 degrees. Good value.
Not powerful enough for some people. Will have some misfire issues.
Drives 18-gauge brad nails ranging from 0.625 to 2 inches. Tough and durable tool that requires little to no maintenance. Exhaust in the rear to keep it away from operator's face. Simple release mechanism requires no tools if nails jam. Easily adjustable nail depth and nail head setting.
Nail firing mechanism may seize up for some users, leaving tool inoperable.
If you’ve always driven nails the old-fashioned way, using a hammer, you need to educate yourself about nail guns. Nail guns simplify the process of driving nails, allowing you to work more quickly and accurately.
And best of all, no more smashed thumbs from a badly aimed hammer.
When studying nail guns, you’ll quickly discover that different kinds of work require different tools. For small and precise nailing jobs, a brad nailer will deliver the results you want.
If you’re ready to buy a brad nailer, see our top picks. If you’d like to know more about these tools, continue reading our shopping guide.
A brad nailer is a type of nail gun designed for specific nailing jobs where precision and detail are more important than brute force. Because brad nails are so thin in diameter (18 gauge), it can be difficult to drive them in with a hammer – you usually end up just bending the nail. With a brad nailer, you can have far more success driving in the nails properly.
These types of nail guns still deliver a lot of power, but they aren’t made to replace framing nailers (8 or 10 gauge), which you would use to join studs, or roofing nailers (11 gauge), which you would use for shingles. A brad nailer is closest in design to a finish nailer (14 to 16 gauge), which also works with trim and thin pieces of wood.
A brad nailer might not be a tool you grab on a daily basis, but for what it does it can’t be beat and should have a key place in your arsenal of power tools.
A brad nail is a thin diameter (18-gauge) nail with a small (or no) head that is used for certain woodworking jobs, such as finish carpentry. The small head doesn’t leave a large hole in the wood, so it isn’t as noticeable as larger nails. In some cases, you may not even need to cover the nail hole with wood putty afterward. Some people use brad nailers in combination with wood glue, for example, to repair furniture. Here are some other uses for a brad nailer.
These brad nailers use compressed air to drive a piston that drives the nail into the wood.
Pneumatic brad nailers work quickly and accurately on wood of any hardness.
You can usually select the depth of the nail head.
You can choose from a variety of nail lengths.
If you already have other pneumatic tools, using pneumatic brad nailer makes sense because you can use the same air compressor for all your tools.
These brad nailers use an electrically activated piston to drive the nails into the wood.
These tools require access to a power outlet.
These brad nailers are heavier, so you may tire sooner using one, especially doing overhead work.
Electric brad nailers work quickly and efficiently and provide plenty of power, similar to pneumatic brad nailers.
These brad nailers work on nearly any hardness of wood.
Battery-powered brad nailers use a smaller motor than electric models, so, on average, these models don’t provide as much power as other types.
These models don’t have a power cord, so you can use them anywhere.
These brad nailers are available in multiple sizes, meaning some are heavier and more powerful than others.
These tools don’t work as well for professional-level work. They’re best for homeowners who will use them occasionally for simple jobs on softer woods.
You may be able to save money by purchasing a battery-powered brad nailer that uses the same battery system as other battery-powered tools you own.
When shopping for the best brad nailer, the most important consideration will be the power source. However, a few other key features, such as the following, can help you distinguish one model from another.
Some brad nailers use a cartridge system to load the brad nails into the gun. Others use glued strips of nails that load into a channel. Make sure you purchase the right style of brad nails to fit your model of brad nailer.
Advanced brad nailers allow you to adjust the depth of the head of the brad nail. Pick the right depth and you can use less wood putty to cover any nail holes. Cheaper brad nailers may not have this type of depth setting.
Most brad nailers use one of two trigger systems. Some brad nailers can use either system, allowing you to pick the appropriate one for each job.
Contact: This means that you hold down the trigger and press the nose of the gun against the wood to fire the nail. You can fire nails one after the other if you keep the trigger depressed, allowing you to work at maximum speed. This is not a feature that most people would use with a brad nailer, which is intended more for precise work rather than speed.
Q. How do I know what nail lengths I can use in a brad nailer?
A. Each brad nailer will include a list of nail lengths in its specifications. Most advanced brad nailers can use nails ranging from 5/8 inch to around 2 inches. Less expensive brad nailers may be limited to shorter nails.
Q. What does the gauge rating on the brad nailer mean?
A. A brad nailer uses 18-gauge nails. The gauge refers to the thickness (or diameter) of the nail. Nails as thin as 18 gauge will not have enough strength to connect or support the weight of heavy pieces of wood or trim. For these jobs, you need a finish nailer that uses 15- or 16-gauge nails. Brad nails are best for thinner, lighter pieces of wood.
Q. Why can’t I used a brad nailer for all of my projects? I don’t want to spend money on more than one nail gun.
A. A brad nailer only uses brad nails, which are limited to 18 gauge and have little to no head on them. This means that if you use brad nail to hold two pieces of wood together, and they’re placed under stress, the wood could pull off the brad nail. Thicker diameter nails with a large head are better for certain types of projects, and these require a different type of nail gun.
Q. What if I don’t have the money to invest in a pneumatic power tool system?
A. Most heavy-duty power tools make use of a pneumatic power system. This air-compression-driven system gives you a ton of power to drive nails quickly and efficiently. But because brad nailers don’t require as much power and don’t need to work as quickly as other types of nail guns, you can effectively use a brad nailer that runs off a battery or an electrical power cord, for example, and reduce your overall investment.
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