9 Best Brad Nailers for Woodworking

Published on: January 29, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

Using 18 gauge nails of different lengths is a common thing in woodworking. Especially when we need to attach a thin wood with a more significant piece seamlessly, these tiny nails come in handy. However, doing this job is cumbersome for severe woodworkers and it can’t be done with other nailers other than brad nailers. 

9 best brad nailers for woodworking

So we decided to research the most popular brand nailers among professionals and DIY enthusiasts. As a result, we have developed a list where you can find one or two nailers that fit your budget, meeting all other requirements. Here you can get a complete idea about the best brand nailer for woodworking projects, so keep with us.

What Is Electric Brad Nail Guns

An electric brad nail gun is mostly powered by a cord or a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It does not give the same driving force as a pneumatic nailer. Most homeowners and hobby builders use it for its ease of use and its lighter-weight features.

What Is Pneumatic Nailer

Do you know a pneumatic nail gun-powered system? It can be powered by an air compressor or air hose. The air pressure is the driving force of the nailer. That’s why it is used for heavy-duty home repair.  It is also suitable for roofing, trim work or crown molding, etc. They don’t require electrical cords or batteries.

Do I Really Need Brad Nailer? 

To fire an 18 gauge nail frequently, yes you need a brad nailer. Some also think that it can be done with a finishing nailer, but the mistake is, the finishing nailer uses 15 or 16-gauge nails, which is way too big for 18-gauge. After firing, those nails leave a big noticeable nail hole on the wood that you need to cover up with putty later on.

Another alternative is doing it manually. Seriously? 18 gauge nails are hard to see. It is pretty impossible to hammer this needle-thin nail in different wood materials. Most of the time, most people end up breaking or bending the nails and leaving a mark on the wood in the process. To save the day, you must get a brad nailer tool for that job.

16 Gauge Brad Nail VS 18 Gauge Finish Nailer?

16-Gauge Finish Nailer

It contains a 0.0625-inch-thick knife. It is regularly provided in 1 to 3½-inch lengths. As it is thicker, it holds up better than the 18-check brad. In addition, it tends to be utilized to attach thicker, denser bits of wood.

18-Gauge Brad Nailer

This nail is 0.0475 inches thick. And it comes in regular ½ to 2½-inch lengths. Brads or “pins” predominate with softer, more delicate pieces such as trim work, decorative molding, baseboards, casing, veneer, and paneling. With these lines, it is helpful to stay close to the opportunity to complete a more confusing task.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Brad Nailer

Brad Nail Features

Considering the highlights of a brad nail is essential to help you decide on an educated choice when you need them. Nail highlights have an impact on improving nail features depending on the size and model. 

Here are three basic elements to consider:

Features NameFeatures Details
Nail HeadThe various kinds incorporate checkered level heads, flatheads, measuring heads, and countersunk heads.
Nail ShankThe various nail cuts that fill changed need to integrate spiked blade, smooth shark, and screw blade.
Nail pointIt decides how simple it will be to drive the nail during the activity. The various sorts incorporate long precious gems, stones, and gruff. Precious stone point nails are the most famous.


The lighter nailers are the easiest to work with. Luckily, the nailers we have reviewed here primarily weights under 2.5 pounds. This weight is okay to work with when you have to do trim work or work on the crown molding, veneer, or cabinetry. 

Air Pressure

Pneumatic brad nailers operate from 70 to 120 psi. If the compressor you use can’t deliver that pressure properly, then it may ruin the machine in the long run. So make sure you have a functional air compressor before actually ordering a pneumatic nailer. Or you can choose to order a combo pack that includes both!


Corded brad-nailers have also gained popularity for logical reasons. For short-term work or work in isolated places, these are the best choices. The only drawback is, the battery increases its weight slightly.

Quick Solutions

What Does One Use an 18 Gauge Brad Nailer for?

The small 18-gauge brad nail helps you to connect delicate trims without splitting the trim. In contrast, finishing nail guns that drive thicker nails offer more holding strength. With a brad nailer, you’ll attach thin trims and moldings without the requirement for using putty.

Can You Use 18 Gauge Nails for Baseboards?

What gauge nails to use for baseboards? Supported nail size, you ought to be trying to find anything between 15 gauge and 18 gauge nailers. You’ll quickly find nails up to 2.5” long with these gauges, which are a perfect nail length for baseboard nails.

We’ve narrowed down the research work, let’s check out the nailers we’ve picked out for your woodworking projects. Let’s look at the specifications of each below.

1. Makita 2-Inch Brad Nailer, AF506

  • Operating Air Pressure (PSI) 70 – 120;
  • A powerful motor drives a range of 18 gauge brad nails;
  • Material plastic, metal;
  • Pneumatic nailer oil, 2 No-mar tips, air fitting, tool case, and safety glasses.

Most people prefer doing jobs around the house all by themselves. A decent brad nailer like this Makita nailer comes in handy in that case. It is easy to operate, and affordable, and the included plastic case protects the tool. It has a magazine capacity of up to 100 nails and is equipped with sequential and contact firing options. 

The depth adjustment wheel, clearing jammed nails and exhaust can adjust depending on your comfort. There is no bump firing option, which is why I don’t recommend using it for professionals. There is no dry fire blocking mechanism, but the notification is set while running a low nail is useful.

This pneumatic brad nailer barely weighs 2.9 pounds, and the rubber grip makes it comfortable. Any compressor can generate the pneumatic pressure you need to run this. If you already own a compressor, then this machine is suitable for fixing crown molding, veneer, and similar objects in no time.

I liked

  • For its smart features is easy to jam clearly;
  • You can carry it safely because of its hard case;
  • Its lightweight and compact design make it more popular;
  • Mostly suitable for DIY projects.

Didn’t like 

  • Not convenient for professional use.

2. BOSTITCH 18GA Nail Gun with Smart Point (BTFP12233)

  • You will get a 1/4 inch Air fitting, carrying case, and extra no-mar tips with the nailer;
  • Operating Pressure: 70-120 psi;
  • 5.16 pounds.

So far, Bostich 18 GA brad nailer is on top of my list for its ease of operation. While operating this, you don’t need to carry around the oil bottle to release a jammed nail or make the nail run. Its oil-free maintenance makes the whole nailing business a breeze. 

This tool is heavier than other competitors, but that’s because of its high quality. Moreover, it is also backed by a 7-year long warranty. It makes investing in it more reliable. No matter what your business is, whether it is cabinetry, fitting crown moldings, or upholstery, this brad nailer is the boss of firing 18 gauge nailers in the right places and also comes with the belt hook. Unlike other models, toenailing is also convenient with this machine.

My only complaint is, the exhaust is not adjustable and is placed on the rear of the gun. As a result, when you are working close to the ground, it blows dust everywhere disturbing.

I liked

  • Easy nail placement and jam release system can save you time ;
  • Without using any Oil- you can maintain it easily;
  • Long warranty;
  • Suitable for professional use.

Didn’t like 

  • This tool is a little bit heavy from others;
  • Inconvenient placement of exhaust.

3. PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit, (PCC790LA)

  • Cordless operation;
  • Runs of 1.5 Ah 20Volt MAX Lithium-ion battery (included in the package).

Once you use a cordless brad nailer gun for the small jobs that require nailing thinner nails, you will not want to go back to pneumatic nailers. Cordless means, you don’t have to fiddle with the extra wires and machine oil. Besides, it does not need any compressor, hose, or expensive gas cartridges to run so it is budget-friendly as well. The battery and charger it needs to power up are included in the package. 

This gun is durable; you can realize it when you hold it. The weight is slightly heavy because of its battery, but it is not a problem for overhead operations. I liked the LED lights on the tip, and it makes nailing in the right corners in the right places more confident. You might be thinking, how long will it last for one charge? Well, it does not have any building time, so you don’t have to wait for anything. One charge can last up to 700 to 900 nailing. Of course, if you have a spare battery, then it will last longer.

I liked

  • Portable;
  • Cost-effective make you easy to choosing decision;
  • LED light for precise nailing;
  • Durable. 

Didn’t like 

  • Slightly heavy than other brad nailers.

4. DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit for Woodworking (DWFP12231)

  • 2.65 pounds;
  • Tool-free jam release;
  • Operating pressure 70 – 120 psi.

Dewalt means durability. That is why professionals around the world rely on it with their eyes closed. I can assure you, this brad nailer is worth your trust. It is a pneumatic nailer, and it is the lightest of its kind. It’s great to use a lightweight nailer when working overhead or for a prolonged time.

This tool is maintenance-free. The motor is mighty, as well. From firing nails to removing nails to releasing a jam or adjusting the depth, all can do without any additional tools.

Just like most of the other nailers, the exhaust is placed at the rear so that it does not come in your way while working. Preparing to use a brad nailer for decades to come? Then this one might be the best to invest in. 

I liked

  • Maintenance-free motor; 
  • Removable nose tip;
  • Feather-light and long-lasting;
  • Long-lasting.

Didn’t like 

  • Nothing to mention.

5. Hitachi 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer, NT50AE2

  • 2.2 pounds
  • Dual Firing Option;
  • Accepts nail head sizes between 0.075 and 1.9 mm.

I love the uniqueness of this brad nailer from Metabo (former Hitachi). First of all, it lets you drive the gun in the bump, contact, and dual firing mode. On top of that, you can change between different modes with a flick of the switch. Furthermore, the tip is a no-mar tip that is also easy to clean if any jamming incident happens. And its brushless motor is adjusting the longer life performance.

This tool is so powerful that it fires 18 gauge nails right through hardwood and engineered lumbers. Surprisingly, the lightweight and ergonomics make it hard to believe. That is why it is the best professional brand nailer for overhead jobs. The exhaust will not blow air just about anywhere. It is adjustable, so you can change its position while working on different levels. 

There is no risk of dry firing because you can always keep an eye on the number of nails left in the magazine. The magazine holds 100 nails, like any other typical brad gun nailer. However, this nailer will let you have a superior performance from a trustworthy brand for more affordable options.

I liked

  • Well-balanced features gives you more comfy to use; 
  • The powerful and portable system offers help to do your job as a professional ;
  • Fits in a small space, so you can save space;
  • Adjustable exhaust is included.

Didn’t like 

  • Nothing to mention.

6. DEWALT, Cordless 18GA Brad NAILERBARE, DCN680B

  • Automatic shut-off;
  • Runs on a 20V battery.
  • Weights are 4.00 pounds.

A general belief is, corded nailers are less potent than pneumatic ones. To some extent, it is true; for example, it runs on a battery, and when the battery dies, the tool is useless. But we can’t deny how nailing gets easier and more manageable when we don’t have to carry around the noisy air compressor everywhere, oil the machine now and then, invest in gas cartridges, and so on.

So, I recommend people invest in quality guns if they mean to use a cordless one. Then, at least you will not be hesitant about the power. This Dewalt Nailer bare is an excellent cordless nail gun to run 18 gauge nails in just about anything.

It is equipped with two modes and arrives with a battery and charger. Do you own other cordless tools from Dewalt? It will be excellent then because now you have a spare battery when the included battery runs out. Overall, this is a reliable option for cordless nailing. 

I liked

  • The quiet application makes it quite different from another brad nailer;
  • Portable and quality brad gun;
  • A powerful brad nailer is suitable for woodworking projects.

Didn’t like 

  • Creates dent on softwood. 

7. BOSTITCH Air Compressor with Brad Nailer Combo Kit, (BTFP1KIT)

  • Compressor max PSI: 150, 6.0-gallon tank;
  • 1/4″ x 25′ PVC air hose;

If you don’t own an air compressor yet and are planning to buy one separately, then don’t. Buy this combi instead because combo packs are way too cost-effective than buying individually. Moreover, you will be sure that this compressor is made to operate this specific nailer, with no confusion on compatibility.

Both the nailer and the compressor (with additional fittings) are made with high-quality control procedures, and it is Bostitch, after all. The motor is powerful so that it does not have any issues powering up during the wintertime. In addition, when you connect the compressor with this nailer, it delivers a quick recovery time, minimizing the downtime of getting the full pressure like other models.

However, if you are a newbie, a DIYer or a homeowner, or even a professional, this combo kit is worth the price. Unfortunately, these two tools-the compressor and the nailer both work worse when paired together.

I liked

  • A complete combo kit will need every woodworker;
  • Suitable to work with during snowy weather;
  • It runs noise-free, that’s why most people like it;
  • Quick recovery time is the most attractive feature of this brad nailer.

Didn’t like 

  • Nothing to mention.

8. PORTER-CABLE 18GA Brad Nailer Kit,  BN200C

  • Rear exhaust;
  • Operates 18 gauge nails from 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch length;
  • Weighs 1.24 pounds. 
  • Includes a carrying case.

Yes, you are reading right, it really is lighter than 1.5 pounds. Don’t get deceived by the weight because this nailer can drive 18 gauge nails as small as ⅝ inch to as long as 2 inches. It is a totally non-maintenance tool. You don’t have to worry about staining the workpiece, the workplace, or simply yourself.

This tool comes with a carrying case that makes carrying this gun safe and comfortable, protects the gun from dust contamination, and falls over for longer life. Being lightweight, this tool is the easiest to maneuver among all the items we have reviewed here.

The functionality is quite the same, and it has a tool-free depth adjustment wheel, tool-free jam release, and two modes to operate. For newbies, working with this lightweight gun will be easier to begin their first attempt at woodworking.

I liked

  • maintenance-free motor;
  • The lightweight and portable feature is mostly like users;
  • Easy maneuverability system is available.

Didn’t like 

  • Not comfortable to nail in confined space. 

9. KIMO 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer/Stapler Gun

  • No cords, no limits;
  • Suitable for 18 gauge brad nail: 3/4’’to 2’’, and 18 GA staples:
  • Weight: 6.2 Pounds;
  • 1 Lithium-ion battery is required.

KIMO cordless brad nailer proved that you simply don’t need a noisy compressor or tangles of hose anymore to drive brads, sort of a pro. For over 25 years, KIMO has made significant progress within the 1,000-Charging Cycle Test, ensuring each KIMO lithium-ion battery is more powerful and lives longer than others.

This cordless nailer is utterly perfect for light work like trimming or hanging some laminate on the wall. It’s simple to use and lightweight, and therefore the LED lights thereon are a bonus. It could quickly switch from Staples to Nails.

The best part of this nailer is it’s so much quieter than other cordless nailers. No flywheel spin-up or delays between fires. it’ll sink 2″ brads into some pretty hardwood. Quality seems good, and therefore the warranty is fair.

I like

  • Quite and little bit different tools for others;
  • Lightweight and LED lighting make easier your job;

Didn’t like

  • Some users said it will easily jam from another brad nailer.

10. NEU MASTER NTC0040 Electric Brad Nailer

  • Material ‎Use: plastic;
  • Cord Length: 6.6 feet;
  • Brad Nail Size: 18 gauge brad nail, 400pcs per 5/8”, 3/4”, 1”;
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 2.5 x 10.3 inches.

We wanted to wrap up our survey with another awesome Senco FinishPro Brad Nailer. Nevertheless, during our test, we ran above NEU MASTER. 

A state-of-the-art brad nailer with stapling capabilities, making it one of the most well-known DIY devices.

It has innovative effects driving innovation that allows you to apply full force while maintaining greater accuracy and great accuracy for brad /staple penetration. It meets the requirements of a link, gas, or blower due to the additional innovation. 

Thus, it is flexible enough to be used for pruning work both internally and externally.

It comes with a powerful 20v max lithium-ion battery that has completed 1000 charging cycle evaluations to cover the above exercises. You can run up to 1100 brads or staples on each charge, which will help you to go through a continuous day.

I liked

  • Drive nails and staples;
  • Ergonomic grasp;
  • Power change dial and oversize trigger;
  • Speedy delivery process;
  • Contact well-being with a non-defacing nose gives an immaculate completion.

Didn’t liked

  • It’s not ideal for baseboards.

Don’t Forget to Follow the Safety Feature of a Brad Nailer

Not only for brad nailers but also for all kinds of tools you want to purchase make sure to know some common safety features to avoid an accident. There are some safety features of a brad nailer-

  • Make sure your nailer is built with LED lights. You will get lots of benefits from this feature. It will help you to get a clear and better view in tight spaces which are normally hard-to-see corners. For using this feature, you don’t have to pass your eyes.
  • Dry-fire lockout systems must be considered. These features don’t allow the nail gun to fire during the abscess of the nail in the chamber. It will reduce the chances of internal damage or breaking your nail gun.
  • Having your nail gun is the daily in-depth adjustment system. It will make the process safer and easier.  
  • Make sure your brad nailer has an oil-free motor. Because, if you use an oil motor then when you want to check or add the oil, it will easily slip. So, an oil-free motor is a better and safe option to purchase. 

Concluding Remarks

For flawless woodworking, a brad nailer tool is a must. It is affordable, easy to operate, and most importantly, reduces the downtime of nailing the 18 gauge nailer manually without breaking or bending them and without leaving a mark on the workpiece.

Now you know which brand nailer is waiting for your encounter. No matter if you are a beginner or on a budget or both, the nailers we have listed here will never compromise in terms of performance.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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