One thing that many people begrudge while working with power tools is the involvement of cords. They can get in the way pretty often, thereby causing minor frustrations to even accidents.
While many experienced workers have learned to live with cords, with the arrival of cordless brad nailers in the market, they do not have to anymore. These models are incredible upgrades from the good old pneumatic brad nailers.
So, anyone looking to get rid of the bothersome cords can happily rely on one such nailer. Read on to find out which are the best cordless brad nailers, according to us.
Benefits of Cordless Brad Nailer
If you are a professional, or even someone who likes the highest amount of mobility while working, a cordless brad nailer could be right for you. While compressor-powered ones are smaller and lighter, they require you to set up the compressor.
On the other hand, it is straightforward to get started with a cordless brad nailer. You do not have to worry about setting up the compressor at all, and neither will you be dragging around a cord that might limit your mobility. You can just pick up the nailer and get to work, which does make for some hassle-free work time.
6 Best Cordless Brad Nailer Reviews
Here, we bring you the reviews of the best 18 gauge cordless brad nailers, so that you can browse through some top-notch models immediately and hopefully find the one that will be just right for you.
1. PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA Cordless Brad Nailer
This nailer can be considered as a prime candidate for a variety of reasons, but its most notable qualities are its efficiency and consistency. This unit has a depth adjustment wheel that lets users adjust depth settings very fast. This makes your work much more accurate and adds suitability as well.
Its release lever is tool-free, so you can reload the unit very easily, meaning you can use this tool frequently.
This tool will give you a top-notch output per charge ratio. Its battery can take the work of discharging approximately 1000 nails every time you charge it. So, you can get a lot ahead in your work before you feel the need to charge your batteries once more.
Some minor flaws were indeed found in this largely appreciable nailer. This particular model is relatively more substantial, which is why some people might find it a little challenging to use in large-scale projects.
It also comes with a slightly bigger price tag than many other models. This could make some price-sensitive buyers turn their backs on it.
But all being said, it does have all the standard features that you would need in your cordless brad nailer, and it will give you a solid performance. So, for most people, this should not be a bad thing to keep on hand.
- Easy to use, which makes it pretty user-friendly
- Inclusion of depth adjustment wheel which speeds things up
- Inclusion of a release wheel which is tool-free so that one can reload in a swift and efficient manner
- Very good battery life
- Slightly more expensive than other models, which might put off some customers
- Relatively heavier
2. Ryobi P320 Airstrike 18 Volt Cordless Brad Nailer
This is a very good cost-effective option for anyone looking for a relatively cheap brad nailer. It has been designed to ensure that you get the finest balance while you are using it, all the while giving you some amazing benefits.
Both sequential and bump fire modes are available in this unit, so you do not have to compromise between speed and precision. You can switch modes as needed when you are working.
It accommodates 100 brads in its magazine at a time. The brads can be 1-1/4” long.
It automatically stops firing when the brads are down to five, which protects the driver blade and lets you know that it is time to reload. Another great feature it has is RIDGID’s grip-activated lights. Two bright LED lights shine in the front of this cordless brad nailer and let you easily see where you are putting in the brads.
This is an air-powered nailer, and it works with a single-piston. That piston pressurizes air inside with every squeeze of the trigger, and drive in the brads. It has a very quiet motor, so noise will not be a concern when you are working. The ramp-up time for this nailer is pretty brief, too.
Its design ensures that even long brads will go into thick and hardwood without much recoil. It also does not dent veneered plywood or delicate pine trim.
A unique feature of this nailer is that it allows you to fine-tune how much you want to countersink the nails. A big air pressure dial on the top of the nailer has been put in for this purpose. You can also set the countersink depths using another wheel for contact element adjustments.
The tool-free release system on the nose of this model will let you open it up in the case of jamming. This makes jam clearing quite hassle-free. Jams should be quite infrequent in this nailer anyway, so overall you will lose very little time.
- Tool-free release
- LED lights
- Lack of denting
- Countersink depth adjustment
- Good balance
- Quite heavy
3. DEWALT 20V MAX DCN680D1 Cordless Brad Nailer
This kit comes with a brad nailer, a Li-ion battery, a charger, and a kit bag. The gun is a bit larger and heavier than a pneumatic model, at 6 pounds if you include the battery. However, this much weight should not be an inconvenience for most users, even if they have to work with it all day long.
The most common question asked about this model is its battery life. It comes with a DeWalt 20V 2A battery, which works fine for occasional tasks at 2200 nails per charge. But this is relatively less battery power.
If your project requires more than two hours on your brad nailer, you might want to switch to a 4A battery. This is because the given battery will not last that long.
The unique feature of this unit is the advanced brushless motor. This is part of the reason behind its comfortable weight in spite of being a cordless brad nailer.
Moreover, the brushless motor provides much better battery mileage and longer useful life for the tool itself. This feature can give up to 57% more runtime than the brushed motors present in other models. And the brushless motor in this particular model is way stronger and faster than even the other older DeWalt ones.
This unit is on par with the best air-powered nail guns in the market when it comes to firing speed and power consistency. So, it is safe to say that it is a solid performer that will not let you miss your old pneumatic nailer.
- Brushless motor
- Comfortable weight
- Good firing speed
- Consistency of power
- Low life on the battery that comes within the kit
4. Hitachi NT1850DE 18V Cordless Brad Nailer
This brad nailer has thin, 3.0 Ah Li-ion batteries that let you start working quickly. These batteries are powerful enough that they will last you all day, and then some. So, you could get a huge amount of work done before recharging forces you to take a break.
Like many other cordless nailers, this one is on the heavier side. But its balance and ergonomics nullify that to an extent. The design is comfortable, so working with it is quite pleasant.
Firing delay is a common problem in nearly every cordless nailer. That is where this Hitachi unit stands out. It has an air spring drive system which fires immediately, so you do not have to worry about any annoying delays at all. The entire design is such that your work gets much simpler.
For all its amazing features, it even comes at a slightly cheaper price point than many other cordless nailers on the market. That makes it a pretty cost-effective option that a great number of buyers can go for.
However, this is not a perfect nailer and does raise some minor concerns. While you are shooting long nails, you will feel that the gun struggles if you do not put enough pressure on it. So, there are a lot of times when you will have to use both hands.
- Absence of firing delay, which speeds up work a bit
- Quickness and consistency in nail driving
- Excellent ergonomics and balance for comfortable working experience
- Incredible battery life that lets you get a day’s worth of work done
- Good price
- Heavy, which could cause fatigue in some users
- The requirement of extra pressure when the nails are long or the wood is hard
5. BOSTITCH 20V MAX BCN662D1 Finish Nailer
This has some obvious similarities with the previously mentioned Porter-Cable model. Its interface has been designed for easy usage, which a lot of users will appreciate, especially those who are new to using this kind of tool. This unit also features tool-free adjusting. It has also been designed to optimize accuracy.
It has a narrow nose by design for a broader view, and an LED light fixed near the barrel that should help you with the vision further.
Its design is a bit lighter than the Porter-Cable unit, so it would be easier to use for a lot of new workers. This added comfort makes it suitable for extended usage.
However, some downsides do exist to this particular cordless brad nailer. The biggest problem is that the battery is far from spectacular. The battery life is such that you will likely have to recharge it a couple of times if your project is longer.
It also leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to power. This model is not powerful, like the Porter-Cable model. On a few occasions, you might feel like using a hammer set alongside this brad nailer.
All things being said, this is still not an option to be ignored. It is a generally good tool that some people might happily buy for short or infrequent projects.
- A simplistic user interface which lets almost everyone work with ease
- Inclusion of an LED light to increase visibility and precision
- Lightweight, which adds comfort to your work and reduces fatigue
- Tool-free adjustment for more efficient performance
- Increase in visibility because of the narrow nose
- Unsatisfactory battery life
- Lack of power which may see you needing a hammer
6. Hitachi 18V Cordless Brad Nailer – NT1850DE
A great quality cordless framing nailer by Hitachi, this one catches the eye of most DIY enthusiasts and experts. Hitachi has always been renowned for its innovative designs of brad nailers, and this one meets all the expectations as well.
It comprises of excellent quality features that will last you a long time and provide optimum service at the same time.
Hitachi brad nailers are unique in every aspect, considering their rapidly acting speed and efficiency. This one is supplied with 18 volts and a compact 3.0 Ah lithium-ion battery so that the quality is of a higher level. It also comes with slide-type batteries, so the mounting system is adjustable.
The battery is shorter and lighter than conventional batteries, so you can easily carry it around due to its lightweight appearance. It also includes a charger and safety glasses with the kit. Another essential feature of this nailer is that it does not require any air hose or compressor to function.
So there is minimum effort and maximum saving of time. There are two operating modes, which are the sequential mode and bump fire modes. To transition between the two modes, a selective actuation switch persists for control.
Additional features include a tool-free depth adjustment and brushless motor design for better performance. The depth adjustment is required for a professional finish while the motor design imparts improved quality. An LED light is beneficial in areas with a diminished light source.
Furthermore, it also comes with a side lock switch to hinder firing accidentally. Keeping all these features in mind, it is easy to denote that this nailing gun is a convenient option for those requiring quick-fix options. Its working speed and quality plus points are very much suitable for both beginners and experts.
- Compact battery for portability
- Does not require a compressor or air hose
- Brushless motor design for improved functioning
- Dual operating modes and actuation switch to control transitions
- Sidelock for safety purpose
- Warranty: Lifetime tool, 2-year battery & 1-year charger.
- The safety trigger can feel somewhat heavier
What to Look For Before Buying
There are some things you should pay particular attention to before you decide to buy a cordless brad nailer. This will ensure that you are getting more out of your unit, and it is better suited to your work.
Battery-powered brad nailers are heavier than the compressor-powered ones. The simple explanation behind this is the presence of the battery. There are no cords, so needless to say that you will be supporting and balancing the entire unit by yourself.
A few extra pounds of weight could be the difference between a pain-free work session and one that ends with some seriously aching shoulders. So, pay careful attention to the weight of the nailer(s) you have been thinking of buying.
Accuracy is quite important in your output when you are using a nail gun, more so if you are installing trims. So, you will need a pretty good view of the tip of the gun while you are working. There are quite a few models that have considerably narrow heads so that your visibility is maximized. You might want to settle for one such model.
Many brad nailers have a display window to show how many nails are left in the magazine. However, not every worker is generally careful about it or can be consistent about checking the number of nails. At any rate, it can prove to be a bothersome business for many. That is where the dry-fire lockout feature comes in.
It prevents the gun from firing when the magazine is running empty, or in some nailers when it is empty. So, this lets you know when you have to reload your unit, and till then, you can keep working without any worry.
This is especially true because a lot of time and energy does go into firing the nails, so shooting blanks is a big waste that would harm your efficiency. Perhaps even more importantly, it would cause some damage to your brad nailer.
Work can run much smoother when you do not have to worry about damaging your unit or wasting resources. So, this is one feature you should see as a priority while browsing through brad nailers, cordless, or not.
This is a pretty common feature in brad nailers these days and for a good reason. Jams can be a problem in many, if not all, nailers, and how quickly you can clear them, can say a lot about how efficiently you will be working.
If you have a tool-free release system in your unit, you just have to release a latch to open it up and access the jammed nail. This makes clearing quite fast and easy, so you can go back to working in no time. Therefore, you should be making sure that whatever option you go for has this feature.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Sequential Firing Necessary?
The trigger has to be released between two shots in the single-fire mode. Sequential firing mode holds down the trigger, so you can just bump-fire brads if you are pressing the nose of the brad nailer against the workpiece. It can lend speed to your work, so it is a pretty useful feature, but not critical.
- Is Maximum Power Necessary?
Perhaps some conventional nailers cannot or will not drive big brads into extremely solid wood. But generally, all nailers should be capable of driving 1-1/2” brads through ¾” oak, which under normal circumstances is as difficult as a nailing job gets. So this much power should be good enough for most workers, even if it is not maximum.
- Can I Drive in Angled Nails using Cordless Brad Nailers?
You will need some very specific models for that because this is not a usual feature.
- Can I use Cordless Brad Nailers for Framing?
No, what you will be needing is a framing nailer. Brad nailers, cordless or otherwise, are for installing door and window casing, trim, etc.
- Can you Prevent a Dent in the Wood while Firing a Nail?
Some models allow dent prevention, but unless a nailer has been specifically designed to do this, you cannot prevent dents.
Now you are equipped with all the necessary information about the best cordless brad nailers in the market. So, say goodbye to cords and get the model that you think suits your needs. Happy working!
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