Top 8 Best Brad Nailers | Tips For Choosing A Brad Nailer

Brad nailer has become more popular with DIYers and as a result, choosing the best brad nailer is very crucial to getting any task done. A good brad nailer will come in handy in your construction projects, repairs and a couple of other projects.

There are quite a number of these light and compact power tools with excellent ratings giving you a wide range to choose from. The different models are designed for different projects and each performs differently. This is why it is important to understand the features of each tool so that you can end up with the right tool.

We have reviewed 8 top rated brad nailers; their unique features and a comprehensive buying guide that will help you get the right model for your home improvement and other maintenance projects.

The comparison table below summarizes each model key attributes and it will be useful to help you choose the right brad nailer if you don’t want to go through the full article.

Best Brad Nailer Comparison Table

Brad Nailer

Nails

Pressure

Our Rating

Price

5/8"- 2"

60-100PSI

4.8

5/8"- 2"

70-120 PSI

4.6

5/8" - 2"

Battery Operated

4.7

5/8"- 2"

Battery Operated

4.3

5/8"- 2 1/8”

70-120PSI

4.5

5/8"- 2"

60-115 PSI

4.2

 ½”, 9/16”, 5/8”

Electric

4.4

5/8"-2 1/8"

70-120 PSI

4.3

1. DeWalt DWFP12231 Brad Nailer Kit

The DeWalt DWFP12231 comes with incredible features and it is the perfect choice for small tasks. This 18 gauge pneumatic model supports nails sizes of up to 2-inch with nail depth control which ensures easy penetration without interruptions. Its maintenance-free motor makes the tool serve for a long period of time and it keeps the working space free from stains.

Key Highlights and Benefits of DeWalt DWFP12231

  • Depth and Pressure Adjustment Features: DEWALT DWFP12231 comes with a wheel for adjusting the drive depth which enables you to change the depth of the brads appropriately. This is important as it allows you to sink the brads deep enough or remove the ones that have been placed too deep than they are supposed to. In addition, it also comes with a pressure adjustment knob which also allows you to adjust air pressure to the required levels.
  • Anti-slip and Rubberized Grip: This tool has integrated a rubber grip to make you feel comfortable while handling the equipment especially while working for extended periods of time. In addition, it also features a rear exhaust vent to keep the exhaust air away from the operator and the working area.
  • Extra Durable Magnesium Construction:  DEWALT DWFP12231 comes in a strong magnesium body that it is not only light but also offers flexibility and extra comfort while using it. The magnesium body also makes it strong and durable giving you years of service.
  • Narrow Non-marring Nose Tip: Its well-crafted nose tip makes it possible for you to accurately nail in tricky and awkward places. While it is almost impossible not to leave marks on the working area, with DEWALT DWFP12231 you don’t have to worry about leaving visible marks or marring the finish of the work piece thanks to its narrow nose tip.

Pros

  • It comes with an oil-less and maintenance-free motor
  • Its magnesium body is quite durable and lightweight
  • It comes with a rubber grip ensuring comfortable usage
  • DeWalt DWFP12231 has an adjustable belt hook for easy manipulation
  • Its air exhaust is at the rear ensuring safe use

Cons

  • It is a pneumatic type hence you need to buy a compressor separately
  • It is not the perfect choice for progressive nailing

Our Verdict: DeWalt DWFP12231 Brad Nailer Kit is a one of the most precise, reliable and sturdy brad nailer that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance making it a great carpentry tool of all time.

Add this great equipment to your collection as it’s worth the investment.

2. Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer

This lightweight tool from Hitachi is capable of handling any task thrown at it thanks to its high capacity magazine, depth control mechanism, rear exhaust vent, and the ability to switch between firing modes. Its aluminum construction gives it a robust design that ensures durability and reliable performance guaranteeing you of a professional finish with minimal interruptions.

Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer Key Highlights and Benefits

  • Selective Actuation for Continuous or Precise Firing: This bard nailer is fit for a variety of applications thanks to its selective actuation that allows for firing transitions. This is done by simply flipping the switch just next to the trigger whereby you can choose between the sequential mode for precise driving or the bump mode for rapid and mass production applications.
  • Elastomer Grip for Extra Comfort:  The integrated elastomer grip is comfortable to handle especially during extended use and it prevents accidental slips. Hitachi NT50AE2 also features a light magnesium body which also adds to the overall comfort considering that you will have to carry the tool on your hands most of the time.
  • Depth Adjustment Mechanism:  Just like most of brad nailers in our review, NT50AE2 features a depth adjustment dial which allows you to accurately modify the driving depth without the need for extra tools. With just a simple dial you can decide how deep to sink the brad into the workpiece.
  • High-Capacity and Easy to Load Magazine:  The conveniently place magazine is easy to load with of 5/8-2 inch brad sizes reducing on the downtime. With a capacity of about 100 brads, you can work for longer periods of time before you stop for a reload.  The visual brad indicator enables you to keep an eye on the amount of brads remain so as you can refill as necessary.

Pros

  • Big nail capacity of up to 100 nails
  • It comes with a narrow and removable nose cap allowing easy nail jam clearing
  • It has a 360-degree air exhaust vent
  • The depth dialer allows for easy adjustment of the depth of the nail in the working surface
  • It is easy to switch between the contact and bump firing modes

Cons

  • This model poses challenges when shooting nails from certain angle
  • It uses oil as such it requires high maintenance practices

Our Verdict: This brad nailer is a professional grade tool and it cut across large-scale trim and finish jobs to small carpentry projects. It is the perfect choice for any DIYer or a general woodworker on budget.

Consider this inexpensive power tool for a complete turn-round in your workshop.

3. Porter-Cable PCC790LA Brad Nailer Kit

The cordless PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA comes with a Lithium-ion battery which means that you will not need an air compressor lowering the cost of operation.  It is appropriate for large-scale and professional applications as it can fire up to 300 brads on a single charge.  It offers consistent depth drive thanks to its depth adjustment dial which also allows for countersinking. The jam release lever ensures that the jamming nails are removed easily saving a lot on stoppage time.

Features and Benefits of PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA

  • Integrated LED Lights: Porter- Cable PCC790LA has inbuilt LED lights that come in a pair of two lights which helps in lighting up the working area and also they act as an indicator whenever an error occurs. For example, it will always indicate whenever a nail jams prompting you to act accordingly. Further, the nailer features a jam release lever that enables you to remove jam nails easily without the need for extra tools.
  • 1.5 Lithium-Ion Battery: Porter-Cable PCC790LA is battery operated and it features the strong 1.5 which is not subject to the memory effect. This battery is more durable compared to other battery types. The nailer comes with the battery and its charger meaning that you don’t have to acquire the accessories separately.
  • Sequential Firing Mode: Unlike most of the nailers in our list, Porter Cable PCC790LA uses the sequential mode to fire the nails. This is means that it is the perfect choice for slower tasks that requires more precise firing.
  • Depth Adjustment for Nail Countersinking: Porter-Cable PCC790LA is equipped with nail adjustment settings that allow you to perform nail countersinking with consistency. This in addition to the sequential driving mode enables you to deliver an outstanding and precise nail firing.

Pros

  • It comes with a rechargeable battery lowering the cost of operation
  • It has inbuilt multifunctional LED lights
  • It comes with depth adjustment wheel ensuring consistent brad depth and secure nailing
  • It is an electric so you don’t have to worry about cords there no compressor is needed
  • It has a safety lock for safe operation

Cons

  • It tends to struggle with hardwood
  • It may become noisy after some time
  • You may experience some delayed shots with this nailer

Our Verdict: Porter-Cable PCC790LA is a definite pick if maneuverability and convenience are your greatest concerns. On top of this, this nailer comes with outstanding features like the LED lights that ensure accurate firing even in poor illuminated places.

Check Porter-Cable PCC790LA ratings on Amazon to see what we are talking about.

4. Ryobi P320 Airstrike

This cordless power tool is convenient for any nailing task at home /workshop and the good thing is that it can work with both 1.5 Ah and 4.0Ah lithium-ion batteries. A single charge can fire up to 700 brads which is more than enough for most home-based tasks. The LED lights keep your visibility on point and in addition, the included dial helps you adjust the depth of the nails without the need for additional tools. 

Key Highlights and Benefits of Ryobi P320 Airstrike

  • Easy Switch between Different Firing Modes: Ryobi P320 Airstrike provides easy settings to help you switch from the contact firing mode to sequential actuation if you want to achieve more precise placement and switch the other way round if the nature of the project calls for rapid firing.
  • Dual LED lights: Ryobi P320 Airstrike features two LED lights that are activated by a switch on the handle which help in lighting up the work area. This comes in handy when you will be working in areas that are not well illuminated such as nailing inside a cabinet and other dark places.
  • Nail Depth and Pressure Control: Ryobi P320 offers nail depth and air pressure control mechanism through a knob that helps to deliver the desired pressure and the desired nail depth. These setting help to eliminate the need for extra tools for these controls which help to save on time and money.
  • Low Brad Indicator:  Interestingly, Ryobi P320 has a low nail indicator which alerts you when the magazine is running out of nails. It will do this when only about 5 nails are remaining. This helps to lock-out the dry fires that would otherwise mar the working surface which also helps to maintain the tool improving its longevity.

Pros

  • It comes with twin LED lights for clear visibility
  • It automatically stop to work when the nails are depleted hence no blank firing
  • It provides for depth control through a depth dialer
  • Tool-less and simple jam release
  • It has dry fire protection feature for protection the working surface

Cons

  • Short battery lifespan
  • It is pretty easy to jam the magazine area when you are loading the brad strips
  • The light at the firing area does not stay on for long as expected

Our Verdict: This is one of the best battery operated brad nailer meaning that you don’t have to carry an air compressor with you which is an added advantage especially because you will be doing a lot of handy tasks around the workplace.

Ryobi P320 exquisite features speak for themselves. Check the latest prices on Amazon.

5. Bostitch BTFP12233 Smart Point Brad Nailer Kit

Bostitch BTFP12233 operates on an air compressor unlike the two above that operates with a battery. It comes with an easy to fill magazine with a clear indicator of nails level reducing the likelihood of dry fires. A unique feature with this model is that it has a micro nose which helps to prevent marring of the working piece and also enables you to clearly see the area that you are working on.

Bostitch BTFP12233 Smart Point Brad Nailer Kit Key Features and Benefits

  • The Smart Point Technology: Bostitch BTFP12233 employs the smart point technology which implies that for you to start firing; you will not be required to compress the contact trip as it is with many brad nailer models. This is facilitated by a narrow nose which allows you to shoot the nails faster making you finish the job quickly. This nose also allows you to reach the tight corners and other tricky places.
  • Dual Operation Modes: Bostitch BTFP12233 comes with a selectable trigger which makes it easy for you to shift from the quicker contact mode to the much precise sequential patio mode.  This makes it very convenient to work with this nailer as you don’t have to stop as you switch from one task to the other.
  • Maintenance-free operation: The oil-free nature of BTFP12233 keeps the maintenance level close to nil and you can stay stress-free concerning oil stains that might otherwise result with an oiled nailer.   In addition, this nailer has a rear exhaust which help to keep the exhaust air away from the person operating the nailer as well as the workpieces.
  • The TM (Dial-a-Depth) Mechanism: This is simply the use a dial to control the depth of the nails to ensure a precise countersinking. This gives you control of how deep the nail sinks in the wood piece. Additionally, the tool-less jam nail release comes in handy in having the job done quickly and with perfection.

Pros

  • It allows you to select the trigger system that is most appropriate
  • Oil-free design; you don’t have to worry about stains
  • It is compact and light making it easy to fit it tight corners and other tight spaces
  • It features a rear exhaust vent for safe operation
  • Concise and convenient depth adjustment mechanism

Cons

  • It is sometimes difficult to unjam
  • This brad nailer tends to misfire occasionally
  • Absence of inbuilt lights

Our Verdict: Bostitch BTFP12233 is one of the narrowest brad nailer which is important when it comes to visibility and precise shooting. This means that you will only require little physical force to drive the nail as everything else is under control.

Try Bostitch BTFP12233 today and the good thing is that it is quite affordable.

6. Makita AF505N Brad Nailer

The durable Makita AF505N is designed with convenience and comfort in mind with its excellent features which includes bumpers and an ultra-narrow nose which helps to protect the workpieces from damages. Its slim design allows you to work with precision even when you have to work in tight spaces and its tool-less operational mechanisms makes it very simple to learn how to use this brad nailer.

Key Features and Benefits of Makita AF505N Brad Nailer

  • Anti-dry Fire System: This brad nailer is equipped with an anti-dry fire system which helps to ensure that the nail does not fire if there are no nails in the magazine. In addition, it has a reload indicator which turns red signaling only few nails are remaining hence preparing you for a refill.  The magazine holds about 100 nails giving you ample time to work before a reload.
  • Rotatable 360-degree Exhaust Vent: A special feature in Makita AF505N is the exhaust vent that can be rotated at an angle of 360-degree which enables you to direct the used air away from you or the workpiece. It also features a hook that rotates at an angle of 180 degrees which ensures that the tool does not get in your way.
  • Great Design and Strong Build: The nailer features an aluminum body which is not only lightweight but also presents a compact and durable design. Its cylinder has a conveniently placed air inlet at the bottom. Its handle is rubberized for the comfort of the user and for easy maneuverability.
  • Rubber Nose Tip: The nose tip is rubberized to prevent marring the surface of the wood and it is made to remain in close contact with the nailer. The nose is also narrow enough to maneuver through tight spaces. In addition, the nailer comes with bumpers which offer extra protection. Apart from that, Makita AF505N has very minimal recoil which helps you to be more precise when firing.

Pros

  • It comes with tear-resistant rubber nose tip
  • It has nail level indicator for timely refill
  • Multi-directional air exhaust making it appropriate for many working conditions
  • It allows you to rotate the hook at 180 degrees as its convenient allowing more flexibility
  • Quick and tool-free jam release functionality

Cons

  • Not recommended for toe nailing
  • Lacks rapid firing function
  • It only offers sequential firing and lacks contact or bump firing

Our Verdict: Makita AF505N comes with an incredibly small nose which allows quick and precise shooting in confined or tight spaces and the fact that it allows you to check the number of nails remaining in the magazine makes sure that you will not run the risk of dry firing.

Get Makita AF505N and experience the value of Makita products.

7. Stanley TRE550Z

Stanley TRE550Z features dual power modes which enables the nailer to work on all type of materials without much hassle. It is designed for heavy-duty applications and it can also be used as a stapler. Its flush nose is designed to enable you to use the nailer in tight spaces. The contoured grip ensures that you are comfortable throughout the working session making this model a great choice for DIY enthusiasts.

Stanley TRE550Z Key Features and Benefits

  • Unique Dual Power Technology: Stanley TRE550Z is designed with the unique Hi/Lo power modes which enables you to work on either hard or soft pieces. This means that you can switch at the Hi mode to work on hardwoods and at the same time switch to the Lo mode when you are dealing with soft materials.
  • Flush Design Nose Piece: The uniquely designed flush nose is perfect to work in narrow spots and other tight situations as lays flat the working surface. This design also enables you to nail or place the staple more accurately and you don’t have to spend much figuring out where to shoot. 
  • The long 8” Power Cord: Stanley TRE550Z comes with a long enough power cord measuring about 8-inch allowing easy connection. In addition, it provides for safe connection as it gives you enough operating space.
  • Variable Capacity for Light and Heavy-Duty Applications: Stanley TRE550Z is a special kind of a nailer as it accepts variable nail sizes (1/2, 9/16, 5/8-inch) not forgetting its outstanding firing power. In addition to this-this nailer work with both nails and staple making it fit for a wide range of applications.

Pros

  • Has nail level indicator minimizing the risk of dry firing
  • It has dual power levels allow you to use it with a range of hard and soft materials
  • It features an anti-jam function for a jam-free operation
  • Quite versatile as it can shoot both brads and staples
  • Well-designed trigger for ease of use

Cons

  • It does not support long brads
  • It is relatively heavy when compared with other similar models
  • The plastic body makes it less durable

Our Verdict: This multi-purpose power tool is just what you could be looking for as it acts as a brad nailer and as a stapler at the same. This versatility in addition to a number of adjustable functions and dual operating power makes it suitable for just any type of material.

Why not try this multi-purpose tool and get to save some bucks? Check it today on Amazon.

8. SENCO FinishPro

The durable Senco FinishPro is lightweight and comes in a rugged magnesium construction that makes it perfect for any type of use and in any weather condition.  This is reinforced by a rubber grip which ensures maximum comfort and control during usage. In addition, it comes with nail level indicator which turns red when the magazine has run out of nails enabling you to refill it on time which helps to prevent dry fires.

Features and Benefits of SENCO FinishPro

  • A Reload Indicator: SENCO FinishPro features this unique feature which turns red to alert you that the magazine is running out of brads. Without this, you will run the risk of dry firing which not only mars the working area but also damages the tool in the long run. However, the nailer does not have the anti-dry fire mechanism but with the reload indicator, you are fully covered.
  • Durable Magnesium Housing: SENCO FinishPro comes in a durable magnesium housing which makes it sturdy and solid and you can feel this once you hold it in your hands. Magnesium is light which makes it easy to carry the tool around. Its tapered nose makes it easy to fit small spaces.
  • Oil-less Operation: Oil-less design means minimal maintenance which is an added advantage especially if you don’t have time for oil refills and other maintenance practices. Also, you can work without worrying about oil spills ruining your project.
  • Selectable Trigger and Drive Depth Adjustment:  FinishPro offers you the option to choose between bump i.e. rapid firing and sequential i.e. slow and accurate actuation. It also offers a mechanism for adjusting depth of the drive through the onboard wheel allowing you to sink the nail as deep as is desired.

Pros

  • Adjustable modes (bump and sequential) for easy manipulation
  • Has nail level indicator immediate refill
  • It comes with a thin body and a narrow nose for maneuvering in tight spaces
  • The nose has light at the tip hence it can be used in dark places
  • It has a rear exhaust which is rotatable

Cons

  • Not designed for heavy applications
  • Comes with a plastic magazine which requires regular replacement
  • The nail can sometimes slide off the driver resulting into accidents
  • It may occasionally fail to set the nail

Our Verdict: This is a brad nailer for any type of job from installing a door, moldings, wind casing to carpentry fixes. It is easy to operate, portable and has an elaborate nail countersinking mechanism making it one of the best and affordable hand tool.

Buy your tool from Amazon today while stock lasts.

How to Find the Best Brad Nailer: Buyer’s Guide

In this section, we will guide on some of the key factors to look for in a good brad nailer so that that you choose the one that will deliver optimal performance. These are;

The Sizes of Nails Supported by the Nailer

It is important to consider the nail sizes that the magazine can accommodate depending on tasks to be performed.  This should be done regardless of whether you intend to use the one nail size or different sizes.

The Size of the Magazine

The standard magazine capacity for most brad nailers is 100 brads but a couple of professional brands can hold more than this. If you intend to use the brad nailers for home-based projects then a standard 100 count magazine will be the most appropriate. Big project may require that you look for a unit with more capacity.

Trigger Modes

This entails the ability to control the nailing process with precision and at the desired speed. The two common trigger modes are the bump/contact mode and the sequential mode. With the bump/contact mode, you only need to press the trigger once whereby the tool will start to drive nails the moment you place it on the workplace. This mode is preferred for large-scale production as it faster than the sequential mode. Sequential mode, on the other hand, requires that you press the trigger while at the same time compress the nose for the nail to be fired. This mode is appropriate for delicate projects where accuracy is paramount.

Nail Depth Adjustment

The nail depth adjustment is an important aspect of any brad nailer as it provides the means to adjust how far the tool drives the nails into the workpiece. The depth adjustment will depend on the thickness of the workpiece as well as on the nail sizes.  In most brad nailers the nail depth adjustment will be in form of a wheel or a dial which is turned either in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction depending on whether you want to increase or decrease the depth.

Jam Release Mechanism

Nail jamming is almost inevitable even most good brad nailers. That’s why it is important to look for a tool with simple jam clearing mechanism without the need for extra tools.

The Design of the Nose

The narrower the nose the easy it get to drive the nail through the working area.  This helps to reduce the chances of damaging the working surface and at the same time improves the accuracy as you will have a better visibility.

Anti-dry fire features

Look for a bard nailer that has anti-dry fire mechanism to help prevent the nailer from firing when the brads are depleted. Dry firing not only mars the working surfaces but also it will damage the brad nailer eventually.

Control of Exhaust Air

For pneumatic brad nailers there is need to have a mechanism for controlling exhaust air for safety purpose. The used air is full of contaminants like the used oil which is why the air outlet should be at the rear of the nailer. Additionally, you should be able to control the direction of the air exhaust so that you don’t end up blowing the air to yourself or nearby surfaces.

Ergonomics

Considering that you will be using the brad nailer for quite some time, you will need one that will offer a comfortable grip. Look for a brad nailer with preferably rubberized handle to prevent it from slipping off your hands. The trigger also needs to be rubberized as you will be in contact with it throughout the session. Read more about major risks of brad nailer and how to stay safe.

Final Thoughts

A good brad nailer is what makes a difference in your overall performance irrespective of how good a DIYer or a professional you are. And because many options out there, finding the one that is most useful and comfortable is what is going to bring about the difference in performance.

The choice is really big; ranging from cord to cordless, light to heavy duty models to those that functions as both a nail gun and a stapler. But all in all they all have what it takes to get the job done and we hope that you will find these brad nailers worth investing in.

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