There is no small nailing job without the best pneumatic brad nailer to help you out. Carpentry, light framing, trimming, cabinetry, and all sorts of DIY projects are fair game for a brad nailer. Since these nailers use thin nails (brads) with small heads, they will adhere to the surface to the point that you barely even see them. So, the work must be precise and the nail gun must be trustworthy.
To make the job easier for you, we went and gathered some pneumatic brad nailer reviews so that you can find a suitable model for your projects. We also brought some buying advice, as well as tips on how to use this kind of pneumatic nailer.
Benefits of Pneumatic Brad Nailers
There are several reasons why pneumatic brad nailers are a good choice for every household. You may think of using a regular pneumatic nail gun – but there are some perks that would certainly make the pneumatic brad nailer a better choice. Among these are the following:
1. They Leave Smaller Holes
With your standard nail gun, for instance, you would leave quite a large hole in the aftermath – one that would most likely have to be covered separately. However, with a pneumatic nail gun, the hole will be barely visible – and in most cases, won’t even require coverage.
2. They Are More Affordable
Pneumatic brad guns tend to be less expensive in comparison to electric brad guns, for instance. This is why, if you are a carpenter on a budget, a pneumatic brad nailer will help you save more money on the initial purchase.
3. They Are Ideal for Delicate Work
Standard nailers can be rather bulky, and they may be more difficult to handle – which can be very troublesome if you are having a delicate job. Since pneumatic brad nailers use smaller nails and tend to be on the more lightweight side, they are more suitable for details and delicate work.
4. They Are Perfect for Reaching Difficult Areas
Again, since they are smaller in size, a pneumatic brad nailer can easily reach more difficultly accessed areas such as the doorway or the ceiling. You will also not get as fatigued in the process, as you would with a standard nail gun.
Best Pneumatic Brad Nailers Comparison Chart
DEWALT DWFP12231 Air Brad Nailer Kit
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BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Air Brad Nailer Smart Point 18GA
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Makita AF505N Pneumatic Brad Nailer, 2-Inch
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Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Air Brad Nailer
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SENCO FinishPro® 18MG Air-Powered Brad Nailer
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Metabo HPT NT50AE2 Pneumatic Brad Nailer, 5/8 up to 2-Inch
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WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Air Brad Nailer
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Best Pneumatic Brad Nailer Reviews (Updated List)
1. DEWALT DWFP12231 Air Brad Nailer Kit
This one is yet another good unit that you might want to consider using. Efficient for smaller jobs, this one allows you to easily adjust the pressure from 70 to 120 PSI. It also features a sequential trigger, meaning that it is perfect for jobs of a more delicate nature. Its tool-free jam-clearing mechanism is also perfect for keeping the unit in perfect shape and function.
This tool is an investment for the future, as its motor features a lifetime warranty. Moreover, since it is compact in size, it is easy to carry it from one place to another.
The body of the unit is also strong magnesium, which means that it will not be breaking under the pressure. Plus, since it has a comfortable non-slip rubber handle, it is very easy to maneuver. You won’t have to worry about the tool slipping out from your hands.
- Lifetime warranty that gives you coverage for the motor
- Strong yet lightweight and compact body
- Tool-free depth adjustment
- Nails may sometimes jam
- Only suitable for small projects
2. BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Air Brad Nailer Smart Point 18GA
If you are looking for a precision tool with a relatively small nose, then this is certainly something you might want to look into. Many say that it is the perfect tool to have around if you are a perfectionist and want everything done just the right way.
This pneumatic brad nailer has an inner capacity of 11 nails, ensuring that you can get any job done without too many interruptions (if any). You may also easily do depth adjustment and countersink the brads with the help of the Dial-A-Depth control.
The model itself is fairly lightweight and compact. Moreover, the trigger is selectable – which means that you can choose between sequential and bump-mode at wish. This makes the unit quite versatile, no matter if you are looking for quickness of precision.
- It features a tool-free jam release
- Very lightweight and compact
- Low maintenance required
- Versatility in its use
- Tends to jam rather often
3. Makita AF505N Pneumatic Brad Nailer, 2-Inch
Those of you looking for something with a narrow design and with easy maneuverability might want to take a look into this unit. At only 3 pounds and featuring non-marring rubber bumpers, it is the perfect choice for the DIY worker on-the-go.
This unit may not have an anti-dry firing feature that prevents you from “shooting blanks.” However, it does have a nail reload indicator that flashes red when you have to put new nails in.
This product features a relatively narrow nose. This means that it should be fairly easy for you to adjust your nails, firing them at precise points and not half an inch off. It is quite a convenient tool if you are looking for precision in a delicate project. That being said, it can easily get any job done in a fairly quick manner.
- The soft and comfortable rubber grip makes it easy to hold
- Sold at a fairly affordable price
- The narrow frame is perfect for nailing into smaller places
- Does not have a rapid-fire mode
- Not very efficient when it comes to toenailing
4. Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Air Brad Nailer
If you need something that can help you with your small carpentry work, then you might find great use in this product. Moreover, since it is sold at a relatively affordable price, it is great for the carpenter on a budget.
Featuring a lightweight and well-balanced design, this can easily be used all day long without tiring your hands too much. Moreover, even if it weighs just a little over 2 pounds, it is still very powerful and efficient.
This unit comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. Therefore, if you do not like this brad nailer, you may easily return it and get your money back. You also have a 1-year warranty that ensures coverage over any malfunctioning parts.
- Has a versatile firing mechanism
- Features both narrow and wide nose options
- The well-balanced and lightweight frame is easy to hold
- It is hard for you to tell when there aren’t any more nails in the unit
5. SENCO FinishPro® 18MG Air-Powered Brad Nailer
Those of you looking for a nailer that is user-friendly, versatile, and powerful alike might want to take a look at this product. It is the perfect choice if you have to deal with cabinetry, woodwork jobs, paneling installation, and casing.
With an adjustable operating pressure that can go from 70 to 160 PSI, this can be easily used with many portable air compressors. It is also fairly portable and can easily drive nails through both softwood and hardwood.
At almost 2.5 lbs, the magnesium body of this unit is not only very lightweight and compact, but also very durable. It also features a very narrow nose that gives you great precision with any project. Unlike many similar units, this one has a magazine capacity of 110 nails, and can also be adjusted from sequential to bump firing.
- Lightweight construction for easy operation
- Can use both sequential and bump-firing
- Very low maintenance costs
- You can’t easily tell when the nails run out
6. Metabo HPT NT50AE2 Pneumatic Brad Nailer, 5/8 up to 2-Inch
A brand-new version of the Hitachi Power Tools, the Metabo is once more something to look forward to if you are looking for efficiency in a small frame. With its lightweight aluminum body, fatigue is reduced, and you may easily use it for a prolonged amount of time.
Thanks to its selective actuation feature, you may easily change the trigger type. You can go from sequential firing to bump firing with just one flip of a switch – depending on the project that you are planning to undertake.
This unit also comes with a 360-degree adjustable exhaust port. This way, you can make sure of the fact that your working area stays clean, as it will keep the oil, debris, and dust off your finish project.
- Versatile trigger selection
- Mess-free operation due to the adjustable exhaust port
- Lightweight yet durable aluminum body
- The decorative plastic accessories tend to fall off
7. WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Air Brad Nailer
If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive tool that comes with a variety of useful features, then you might want to take a closer look at this unit. It is perfect for DIY projects, as it can easily operate between 60 and 100 PSI once connected to an air compressor.
This unit is fairly lightweight and has a design that will certainly impress you. It also features a rubberized handle, which means that it won’t slip out of your hands while you are doing your work.
With a capacity of 100 brads, this product can easily get you through any job – easy to medium-duty – without you having to reload it. It is also backed up by a one-year warranty, which proves that the product is actually fairly reliable.
- Very powerful, considering the price
- Lightweight design, making it easy to carry
- Very affordable
- The maximum power is rather limited
- You may experience the occasional jam
Types of Brad Nailers
Brad nailers come in different types, depending on your preferences: electric, cordless, and pneumatic. Each type will have its own benefits and drawbacks, which you will have to be aware of.
1. Electric Brad Nailers
If you are a fan of standard tools, then electric brad nailers might be the first thing one sees in your toolbox. Obviously, these units use an electric motor to send the brads into the surface.
These nailers are generally quite versatile and are also easy to use. Moreover, since they are plugged in an outlet, they offer you a constant supply of power. This way, you will not have to stop working mid-way simply because the power ran out.
However, bear in mind that you may only go as far as the electric cord allows you to. This is why you should have the surface in mind and purchase a unit with a cord that is not too small, nor too slim. A cord that is too short will not allow you to reach the surface, whereas a cord that is too long might have you tripping over it constantly.
2. Cordless Brad Nailers
Cordless brad nailers are also electric – but instead of drawing power from an electrical outlet, they draw it from a battery instead. These are the more portable option, as they do not limit you to staying near a power source – nor do they require you to carry an air compressor around.
Keep in mind that these might not bear as much power as a plugged-in unit. Moreover, the battery means that their runtime is limited – and that they are also slightly bulkier. They might be useful in places without an electricity source – but at the same time, they might have a heavier weight.
3. Pneumatic Brad Nailers
A pneumatic brad nailer functions by making use of compressed air. This air is further on fuelled through a relatively lightweight hose. These nailers are actually quite popular among amateurs and professional woodworkers alike, as they tend to be reliable and very powerful. You can see some woodworking tips about pneumatic nailing here.
These types of nailers also have the tendency to be more affordable in comparison to electric models – all while allowing you to work very efficiently. Everything should be neat, and you will not be wasting any time. They are fairly lightweight in general, so you will not have any issues carrying them around.
Bear in mind that since they use compressed air to function, this might add to some additional costs. Plus, the hose might make their use rather limited – also tangling around and obstructing your work.
What Is a Pneumatic Brad Nailer?
A pneumatic brad nailer is in a way similar to a standard pneumatic nail gun – but compared to it, a brad nailer has a smaller head and a much thinner frame. It is suitable for attaching lightweight, small trims to wood projects, but is also efficient for adding small moldings and stops.
Pneumatic brad nailers generally use 18-gauge nails. For this reason, they do not leave such big holes and are not as likely to split the molding you are working on.
Actually, the nail holes produced by brad nailers are so small that you won’t even need to cover them with putty when you are done. They are perfect when your renovation projects are in need of delicate nailing – and when you have limited hole visibility.
How Do Pneumatic Brad Nailers Work?
Pneumatic brad nailers work by firing brads (which is a thin-gauged nail) into a lightweight wood trim, fully embedding them into the base surface. Like a standard nail gun, the pneumatic nail gun has two jobs:
- To concentrate a fair deal of hammering force into one single blow of the pneumatic nailer, quickly and efficiently.
- To load a new brad nail after the previous one had been ejected.
In the case of pneumatic brad nailers, the hammering force is a result of compressed air that is generated by a different, separate air compressor. This compressor uses piston cylinders that draw air from the atmosphere and then push it through the compressor.
In the end, this will generate a steady supply of compressed air, which will further on flow through the pneumatic brad nailer’s hose and into the reservoir.
Pneumatic Brad Nailer Buying Guide
When it comes to buying a pneumatic brad nailer, there are several aspects that you might want to keep in mind. These aspects might seem small at first, but they are essential if you want your unit to work properly.
1. Trigger Type
The type of trigger that the pneumatic brad gun uses will also affect the precision and nailing speed of your unit. This is exactly why you need to be particularly attentive when it comes to deciding on this aspect. You will have to choose between a sequential trigger and a bump one.
Both of these triggers will have their own advantages and drawbacks. For instance, when you use a sequential trigger, you will first have to compress the nose before you pull the trigger. This might result in a much smaller nailing process. However, these triggers are quite suitable when it comes to handling a delicate project – or something that needs a higher accuracy.
On the other hand, with a bump trigger, the pneumatic brad nailer will drive the nail as soon as it makes contact (or bumps) with the wood – leading to a much faster nailing process. It might not help much in terms of accuracy, but it is very efficient when it comes to projects delivered on mass production.
2. Nose Size
The nose size is a very important aspect to consider when it comes to buying a pneumatic brad nailer. The reason why it’s so important is that you want to ensure the brad nails go exactly where you need them to – and not an inch off.
In this regard, the diameter and length of the nose will be very helpful at improving your accuracy. The smaller the nose, the better – as it will allow you to each the precise spot. With a larger nose, ii will be much more difficult for you to line the nails up with entry point – making the unit much more difficult to use as well.
Pneumatic brad nailers tend to be fairly expensive. The last thing you want is for the unit to break under pressure in the first few days – without any warranty to cover you. You will want a warranty that will ensure you make the most out of your purchase – and that it was worth the money.
Needless to say, the longer the warranty, the better it will be. If a product has a generous warranty, then it will also be a reassurance that it has a fairly high quality. No producer gives out a lengthy warranty if they will have to repair a product too often under it – it’s bad for production.
The average warranty for these products is 6 months and up to one year. However, some manufacturers will provide a lengthier warranty – of two years or more. Look for those that offer longer terms, as they also tend to be more reliable.
4. Extra Features
Depending on the pneumatic brad nailer that you choose, you might get some special features. Some of these features might include depth adjustment, whereas others might bring swivel cords, tool-less jam clearing, adjustable belt hooks, and broad loading mechanisms into the mix.
Some pneumatic brad nailers might have all of these features, whereas others might have none. Bear in mind that each of these extras will weigh more to the price of brad nailers – so, you should only choose from the features that you believe will be useful to you.
The price is obviously something we all look at – but we should not let it lead us, and it should not discourage us. You should be able to buy a pneumatic brad nailer that is within your budget, but that can also deliver great power.
That being said, prices depend on a variety of things – such as its features, its extras, and obviously, the brand. A good pneumatic brad nailer can cost anything from $20 to $250 – but you should not be afraid of making an investment. Most of the time, a more expensive unit also tends to be more qualitative.
You may be supporting the brad nailer on the surface – but there are cases when you may have to lift it to nail a vertical surface. In this case, you might want a brad nail that is fairly lightweight and will not drag you down.
7. Operating Pressure
How strong is your pneumatic brad nailer? Each unit needs to have a decent PSI level – otherwise, the nails won’t be fired properly into the wood. The harder the surface you are planning to nail into, the more PSI the unit should have.
How to Use a Pneumatic Brad Nailer
Using a pneumatic brad nailer should not be more difficult than using a pneumatic die grinder, nor should it be any different compared to using your average pneumatic nailer. The overall procedure should be very intuitive – but just in case you have no idea, here is a step by step process:
1. Secure Your Hose Connection
Before you turn your pneumatic brad nailer on, make sure that the hose connection is secure. Assemble it tightly so that the air does not leak out from the connection point. Air leaks cannot only be dangerous, but they may also make your unit lose from its power. For more information regarding these hoses and their connection, you are always welcome to visit our home page.
2. Lubricate the Air Piston
Since you are using a pneumatic brad nailer, you will have to lubricate the air piston as well, for ease of operation. This will ensure that the piston moves around properly and freely, without any friction – which in most cases, is the reason for wear.
Take some pneumatic tool oil and use it on the adaptor. You won’t need many drops, just a few – as little goes a long way. Once you lubricate the air piston, you may want to use a piece of cloth to wipe away any excess oil that has spilled or dripped.
3. Load the Brads
This step should be really obvious, but you shouldn’t forget to load the brads into the brad nailer. Read the instructions of your unit and see how many brads each unit can take (as each pneumatic brad nailer will have its own capacity).
Make sure that your brad nailer is full of brads before you start working on your projects. This way, you won’t have to stop on a regular basis to load it again. You may continue your work without being interrupted.
4. Test the Pneumatic Brad Nailer
Before you actually use your pneumatic brad nailer, you might want to test it out. Take a scrap of wood and fire a few nails into it. The last thing you want is for the nailer to not work properly – and you might find this out the hard way. Testing it will also help give you a feel over how the pneumatic brad nailer works.
5. Use the Brad Nailer
Now that everything is properly secured and tested, you are ready to use the brad nailer to secure the trim or molding. Like when you tested the device, use the brad nails on the actual work surface.
Take the brad nailer and hold its nose to exactly the place where you want the brad nail to go. Keep hold of the handle, and make sure that the area has been cleared when you pull the gun’s trigger. Remember that the brad nailer nose should stay at a 90-degree angle on the wood piece that you are working on.
When you are set into place, simply pull the device’s trigger. This will send the brad straight into the trim or wood molding with great ease.
FAQ about Pneumatic Brad Nailers
1. Can I Use a Pneumatic Brad Nailer for Baseboards?
No, you should not use brad nails to attach baseboards on your wall. Since you will be attaching the baseboard to drywall – and not wood – the brads will not fix too well. Consequently, this also means that your project will not be very long-lasting.
2. Should I Use the Pneumatic Brad Nailer for Framing?
Similarly, brad nailers might not be such a good idea when framing is involved. Brad nails are usually used when it comes to delicate finish work – and framing is generally nowhere near that. For framing, you might want to go for some long, sturdy nails instead of the small, delicate brad nails.
3. What Limitations Are There to Pneumatic Brad Nailers?
Generally speaking, you should not use the pneumatic brad nailer for anything structural or for DIY projects set outdoors. Since brad nails are fairly delicate, they also have the tendency to wear out faster than usual – particularly if you expose them to harsher environments. This is why you should probably limit their use to indoor projects.
Finding the best pneumatic brad nailer is certainly a demanding task, as there are many good products out there. Some are more expensive, whereas others are relatively cheaper – but what’s important is that you buy the one that has the right features for you.
Hopefully, you found our pneumatic brad nailer reviews useful. We tried to bring you the highest quality models – and the suggestions that we have listed seem to be very popular among buyers. Good luck with all of your trim and molding projects!