One of the most challenging tasks when working with wood is nailing a large number of work pieces. The traditional method of nailing with hammers is time-consuming, and extremely tiring when the workload is heavy.
That’s exactly why nail guns were invented and first used on Howard Hughes’ famous airplane “the Spruce Goose”. Brad nailers are one of the most common types of nail guns. In this article we will talk about these amazing tools and help you choose the best brad nailer for you.
Brad nailers are a type of nail gun that shoot and drive small finish-type nails which are called brad nails. These tools used to be exclusively pneumatic tools.
Nowadays, there are electric models in both corded and cordless varieties. These power tools are amazing products with many applications in carpentry, woodworking, and construction.
If you are a DIYer or a professional, or anything in between, these tools can immensely elevate the productivity and efficiency of your workshop. In this article, we will look at the qualities that every type of brad nailer should have to make them the best in that specific category.
Safety tip: Make sure of safety. Wear eye protection and don’t put your hands next to or close to the place of the operation.
Buying Guide for Best Brad nailer (Features to Consider)
Before talking about each type of this tool, we will have to talk about features to consider universally among all the different types of nail guns (pneumatic, cordless, and corded) and introduce factors that are present in the best brad nailers.
The first thing that you have to think about before buying any type of tool and especially brad nailers is that you have to think about your specific application.
Why do you need a brad nailer? Do you want it for Home use or DIY purposes? Or do you intend to do professional work with this tool? Are you going to use it exclusively at your workshop? Or are you going to take your nail gun to different worksites? Depending on how you answer this question, you may need a different kind of model.
Gauge of Brad nailers
This section might be a bit redundant because this is kind of the same as the previous section. Each nail gun works with a specific gauge for example a gauge 18 brad nailer does not accept a gauge 23 brad nails or any other gauge other than 18. To find the best brad nailer for your needs, you need to assess your needs and find the right brad nail size.
Pneumatic, corded, or cordless
One of the major differences between pneumatic nail guns and electric nail guns, whether corded or cordless, is the fact that pneumatic nailers are used with a compressor.
Compressors are relatively heavy equipment and they have to be carried anywhere you want to use your nailer but the pneumatic nail guns themselves are lightweight tools.
Pneumatic nail guns are a lot lighter than cordless ones due to the fact that cordless tools have a battery which adds a lot to their weight. Between pneumatic nail guns and corded nail guns, there isn’t a huge weight difference. If you want to find the best brad nailer that is suitable for you, you need to think about their power source.
Nail guns are dangerous tools and they could injure the user in a different number of ways. This is why manufacturers have developed and implemented safety features for nailers. The most common of these safety features is a safety tip.
In the absense of safety tips, nail guns shoot instantly when the trigger is pulled and that could be extremely dangerous. So, if you are looking for the best brad nailer for any application you should look for one with a safety tip.
Nailing operations even with the presence of a nail gun take a long time to finish and fatigue is inevitable therefore an ergonomic handle is essential for a nail gun.
Nail guns have parts, such as the safety tip, the blade piston, and the magazine, that go through a lot of action and usage. If these parts are not made of high-quality and durable material they can get corroded. So, if you are looking for the best brad nailer for any job, you should look for one made of durable materials.
Pneumatic brad nailers and other types of air nailers usually need to be lubricated to continue to work properly. Pneumatic nailers require frequent cleaning as the air that passes through the gun can bring dust into the gun.
Brad nailers could have either of these two types of firing modes: contact and sequential. Some models use both of these two modes.
Having a model that uses both of these two firing modes gives you a lot of versatility because different types of jobs require different firing modes. The best brad nailers have both both sequential and contact firing modes.
Length of the Nail
If you want to buy a brad nailer, you should think about the length of the nail that you require for your job and get the proper tool. It is even better to buy a tool that can work with a various range of brad nail lengths. You should get a tool that can accept various lengths of nails if you are looking for the best brad nailer.
Adjusting Gauge Depth
On some nail guns, the depth that the nail is inserted into the workpiece is adjustable. The way the gauge depth is adjusted is through a dial on the nail gun. This is one of the features of the best brad nailers.
Best Electric Brad nailer Overall
Electric brad nailers, whether corded or cordless, are ideal for people who need mobility in their work because if you get a pneumatic brad nailer, you will need an air compressor and an air compressor is a relatively heavy piece of equipment and it is hard to take with you to every job.
The overall best electric brad nailer for you firstly depends on whether you want to get a cordless or corded tool. Each of these two tools has caveats of its own, as mentioned before. So, there is no hard and fast rule for whether you should get a corded nailer or a cordless nailer.
Best Pneumatic Brad nailer
Before thinking about the best pneumatic brad nailer you can get, you have to think about whether a pneumatic is the ideal tool for you or not. The first thing you have to consider when you want to get any pneumatic tool is whether you have an air compressor.
So, look carefully at all the shelves of your storage area, all the crevices and dark corners of your garage, and your house. Did you find an air compressor? How about the dusty garage at your parents’? Look extra carefully.
If you found one then you can get a pneumatic brad nailer without any hesitation… No. You should not do that but you should take that as a factor in your final decision especially since pneumatic tools are generally less expensive and more powerful than electric ones.
The other factor that you have to take into consideration to decide if you should get a pneumatic model is the location of your work.
If constantly have to move to get to new job sites then perhaps the best brad nailer for you is not a pneumatic one due to the fact that you’ll have to bring your air compressor with you and an air compressor is a relatively heavy piece of equipment. In case this is the type of work that you do, the best option for you is to get an electric brad nailer.
If you eventually decided to get a pneumatic brad nailer, you should take these things into consideration to find the best pneumatic tool for you.
We already talked about all the features to be aware of if you want to buy any type of this tool. The following points are especially important to find the best brad nailer for you, if you want to get a pneumatic nail gun.
Maintenance and durability are key elements to consider when you want to buy the best brad nailer, especially a pneumatic one, or any type of pneumatic tool for that matter. Pneumatic brad nailers need a lot more maintenance than electric brad nailers.
They have to be oiled constantly and cleaned. If you buy a pneumatic model with durable parts and material and constantly take care of it, you can be sure that you can keep using it for a long time.
Bostitch, Porter Cable, DeWalt, Makita, Ridgid, and Ronix are brands that make exceptional pneumatic nail guns and staplers.
Best Corded Brad nailer
Now that we have talked about pneumatic brad nailers, let’s talk about corded ones. Corded models are more portable than pneumatic models but less portable than cordless models.
Corded models are ideal for professionals who need to easily take their tools to different job sites without worrying about the hassle of charging their batteries. Although, you need to make sure there is an available power outlet close to your work area. As always, when evaluating any type of nailer, you should take nail gauge, safety, ergonomics, firing mode, and durability into consideration if you want to find the best brad nailer for you.
If you want to buy corded nail guns and staplers, look into the catalog of the following brands: DeWalt, Stanley, Arrow, and Ronix.
Best Cordless Brad nailer
Cordless brad nailers give you a lot of portability, but they are heavier in comparison to pneumatic models because of the weight of the battery. The heavier weight is worth it if you’re going to move around a lot and do jobs on different job sites.
If you want to find the best brad nailers that are cordless, you should pay attention to the capacity and the quality of the battery. A battery with a higher voltage gives you more operation time before having to charge the battery again.
When it comes to cordless nail guns the Big Three (DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee) pretty much occupy most of the territory.
Best Brad nailer for Woodworking
If you are a woodworker, whether professional or DIYer, you will most probably need at least one brad nailer! In woodworking, two wood pieces are usually connected with adhesive and then these tools are usually used to nail the two pieces together as the glue dries.
Depending on the type of result you want to achieve in any type of woodworking, you may need a different gauge. Large gauges are stronger but they are more likely to split the wood and damage the surface or the structure of it.
Smaller gauges are usually used because they are not easily visible on the surface of the wood and they are perfect for finish jobs. You have to pay attention to this factor and find the right gauge that is suitable for your job.
Another feature that should be factored in when you want to buy a brad nailer for woodworking, is the length of the brad nails. You should always make sure to get a tool that can accept your required nail length. It is even better to get a model that can accept a vast range of nail lengths.
Pay attention to the firing mode of the brad nailer you want to get for woodworking. The best brad nailers for woodworking are certainly ones that have both firing modes of contact and sequential. Durability is also extremely important.
The amount of mileage that woodworking takes out of your tool is usually high. Therefore, you need a durable and resilient tool. Out of all the parts that these parts have, the safety tip is the most important in terms of durability. If the safety tip gets marred it may stop working as intended.
Best Brad nailer for Beginners
If you are a beginner, you probably don’t want to overinvest in tools and equipment. If you don’t have an air compressor, you should definitely get an electric brad nailer. If you don’t mind the higher weight of cordless tools, get yourself a cordless model.
Safety features, ergonomics, and ease of use should be prioritized for any tool that a beginner wants to get, especially for these tools. Pay attention to these qualities if you want to find the best brad nailers on the market.
Best Electric Brad nailer for Crafts
If you want to get the best electric brad nailer for crafts, you should look out for a couple of features. You should probably look for a nailer that doesn’t leave a mark on the workpiece. Also, you should look for a brad nailer that gives you a lot of versatility.
There are a number of features that exceptionally increase the versatility of a nail gun including depth gauge adjustment, the presence of both contact and sequential firing modes, and the ability to accept various ranges of nail lengths.
Best Budget Brad nailer
Regardless of your budget, our recommendation is that you assess all the important features mentioned in the buying guide section and come to your final conclusion to find the best brad nailer for you and remember that You don’t need a super-expensive one to accomplish your tasks! The best brad nailers are not always the most expensive ones and in fact, if you are on a budget, you can get an amazing tool that goes most of the way in comparison to a pricey one. Ronix has a vast catalog of amazing nail guns with exceptional prices. Don’t hesitate to take a look! There’s no point for us to be humble!
What types of brad nailers are available, and which one should I choose?
Brad nailers come in three types: pneumatic, corded, and cordless. Pneumatic brad nailers are less portable but less expensive and more powerful. You also need an air compressor to use them.
Can a brad nailer be used for heavy-duty projects or on hardwood?
Brad nails (23 to 18-gauge nails) are not the most ideal type of nails for heavy-duty projects and thus brad nailers are not the idel type of nailers for this purpose. You can use nail guns and nails with more powerful gauges.
3 August 2023