Brad Nailer Top Picks and Buying Guide

The best brad nailers are your savior, including the products we’lltalk about in this quick guide.


Gone are the days when you need to manually drive nails using a hammer. It is now a lot easier even for people without carpentry experience and expertise. In a nutshell, a brad nailer is a nailing gun. It uses brads or thin-gauged nails, relying on automatic and electric power. It is a great replacement for a hammer. Not only that it makes nailing quicker, but it is also safer—no need to worry that you will end up smashing your hand instead of the nail.

Best Brad Nailers: 2021 Top Picks and Buying Guide

Best Overall

WEN 61721 Pneumatic Brad Nailer

From the price to its performance, there are endless reasons why it is a great product. As a bonus, it comes with 2000 nails, so you can save money!

If you are on a budget and already have a compressor at home, this is the best option. It is from one of the most trusted names in the market, and that is enough to convince us of its superior performance. This is a well-made nailer that can meet the needs even of the most discerning users.Well-Made Despite Being Affordable

A common problem with cheap brad nailers is that they are flimsy. That is not the case with this model. Right out of the box, it seems that it has a solid construction. From the grip to the air hose, I am confident that this will withstand many years of use. Even the seals and the gaskets look solid enough to handle tough use and harsh environments.

Impressive Technical Specs for An Affordable Nailer

Being cheap does not mean that the performance has to suffer. Wen makes sure that this product is designed to perform. This is proven by its top-notch specs. It has an operating range of 60 to 115 psi, which is more than enough for most applications. It consumes .028 CFI or air. There is a ¼-inch inlet, which is what you will connect to your compressor of choice.


BRAD nailer photo:amazon

Lightweight Cast Aluminum Body

If you have used other brad nailers in the past, you will notice how lightweight this product is, which will greatly impact your comfort. Weighing only 2.71 pounds, it won’tbe a burden to hold. Even if you need to grip it for a long time, the weight will never be an issue. It uses cast aluminum as the main material in its body, which helps keep the weight at a minimum.

Has a Transparent Window for Ease of Monitoring

The magazine of this tool accommodates up to 106 nails at a time. One thing that we love the most about this product is the transparent window. This will let you quickly see how many nails are remaining, so you will immediately know if there is a need to reload. This is one feature that many professional users are sure to appreciate.

Onboard Wheel for Quick Adjustments

This brad nailer targets novices, so it is worth praising because of its user-friendly design. One reason for this is the built-in adjustment wheel. You can turn the wheel to set how deep the nails will be driven by the tool. You can customize the depth as needed, depending on what material or job requires.

Direct Air Wherever You Like

One more thing that we love in this nailer is the 360-degree directional exhaust. This means that you can position the exhaust to expel air wherever you want to direct it. Being adjustable, you have the complete freedom to deviate the exhaust in the direction that you prefer.


Best for Durability

DeWALT DWFP12231 18GA 

This pneumatic brad nailer has a long service life without compromising its performance. It offers tool-free adjustments and prevents jams effectively.

For a long time now, DeWALT has enjoyed a solid global reputation for its wide array of power tools, and this brad nailer is no exception. A mid-priced product, this 18-gauge nailer requires a compressor to operate. It has an operating pressure of 70 to 120 psi and will accommodate 18-gauge nails with lengths ranging from 5/8 to 2 inches.

Comes with a Dependable Maintenance-Free Motor

Anyone who has used a DeWALT power tool will agree that the durability is hard to match.Unsurprisingly, this product comes with a long-life motor that guarantees serviceability through the years. Plus, the motor is maintenance-free. Even without requiring too much on your end, it is easy to ensure that its motor remains reliable.

Lightweight but Durable Body

When a power tool is lightweight, we often assume that the durability suffers. This brad nailer proves that such isn’t always the case. It has a magnesium body that makes it lightweight while still making sure that it remains useful through the years. It is easy and comfortable to hold, even for an extended time.


brad nailer photo:amazon

Integrated Rubber Grip for Comfort

A brad nailer can end up being uncomfortable to hold, especially when using it for a long time. This product addresses such an issue by integrating a molded rubber grip, which is effortless for you to hold. You won’tfeel much pressure even as the nail is driven into the material you are working on. The rubber grip provides effective shock absorption.

Has a Strategically Positioned Exhaust

Another notable feature of this brad nailer is the rear exhaust. This is effective in keeping the contaminants out of the workpiece. This means that the dust will not go straight to the area where you are driving the nail.

Dependable Oil-Free Operation

A lot of nailers will require regular oiling to maintain their functionality. Like other power tools, lubrication is important to keep the moving parts smooth. Otherwise, when there is too much friction, the performance suffers. Luckily, this model is designed in such a way that it is oil-free. This also means that the motor won’trequire too much on your end when it comes to care and maintenance.

Comfortable Carrying Case

As a bonus, this model comes with a comfortable case, which will allow you to carry the tool anywhere work needs to be done. Because the case is made of a hard shell, there is no need to worry about dropping it, assuring that the tool will not end up with significant damage. The carrying case also makes it easy to keep everything organized.


Best for Professionals

Porter Cable PCC790LA 

This cordless brad nailer ensures maximum productivity. It comes with a long-lasting battery and an industry-leading warranty for your peace of mind.

If you are a pro, then this is one brad nailer that you will love. It is the most expensive of the products in this guide, but the cost should not be a reason to dismiss it. The tool is worth every dollar, especially consideringits dependability, even in the most demanding applications.

Cordless Operation for Convenience

If there’sone thing that makes it better than the two products mentioned above, it would be its cordless design. This will allow you to use it even outside of the workshop and without a compressor. If portability is your main concern in a brad nailer, it is hard to go wrong with this model.

20V Max Lithium-Ion Battery

Speaking of cordless operation, another notable feature of this product is the lithium-ion battery. This is a standard in many other power tools from Porter Cable. The 1.5Ah 20-volt battery has a long runtime, eliminating the need to charge often. This is more powerful than NiCad batteries, which are common on cheaper brad nailers. The battery is also strategically positioned under the grip, making it easy to put on and off.


brad nailer photo:amazon

Equipped with Dual Lights

In many instances, you will be working in a poorly lit area. If you cannot see the workpiece properly, you can end up driving nails in the wrong places. Such a problem is addressed by Porter Cable by equipping this model with two LEDs. The latter will provide the needed illumination, allowing you to work with better precision.

Designed to Reduce Fatigue

Using a brad nailer can cause hand and wrist fatigue. It won’t take long before you complain of discomfort. Thanks to the lightweight design of this product, your comfort is guaranteed. It also optimizes the center of gravity, which improves handling, and as a consequence, you can control the unit better.

Drive Depths Accurately

Setting the drive depth of the nail is quick and effortless with this product. Even if it is designed with professionals’ needs in mind, it is easy to use even for beginners. There is a drive dial that you have to turn to customize the depth. There is also a visual indicator that will let you know when an adjustment is necessary. We love how we are in complete control of how it works on different jobs.

Comes with a Three-Year Warranty

Another compelling reason to choose this model is the industry-leading warranty that the manufacturer offers. It is covered for three years against problems in workmanship. This is a far cry from the standard one-year warranty that many manufacturers are offering.

How to Choose the Best Brad Nailers

Especially if you are purchasing a brad nailer for the first time, the options are confusing. For the best bang for the buck, keep in mind the things that are briefly mentioned below.

Type of Brad Nailer

One of the easiest ways to categorize brad nailers is to determine how it works. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional, below are two of the options that will challenge you:

  • Pneumatic Nailer: It compresses air for driving nails into a specific material. Also called an air-powered nailer, this is the most common choice for many users. A lot of people love its lightweight design, making it comfortable to use. It is good if you already have a compressor in your garage. It has a bothersome cord, which can annoy some users.
  • Electric Nailer: If cords aren’tyour thing, this is a great option. It is battery-powered, which also makes it more portable. You can use it anywhere work needs to be done, even without a nearby compressor. Nonetheless, it is more expensive. Also, the presence of the battery means that it can be heavy and bulky.


bread nailer photo:amazon

Depth Adjustment

This technical feature is one of the most crucial factors that affect the performance of your choice of a brad nailer. It indicates how deep the nail will sink into the material which you are working on. There is often a wheel or dial, which will let you customize the drive’s depth depending on what a specific job requires.

Nose Size

The nose or the tip is the part of the nailer that directly gets in contact with the material where you will drive the nail. It is good if it comes with a narrow nose design, which means you can use it without problems, even in narrow spaces.

Ease of Use

Especially if you are a beginner, this is an important consideration. Find a brad nailer that promises a straightforward operation. Read online reviews to learn from the real-life experiences of other people as you narrow down your choices. From firing to depth adjustment, look for a product with user-friendly features.


It is annoying to have an uncomfortable brad nailer. This can be frustrating for novices and professionals alike. Look for a product that comes with a lightweight body and an ergonomic design. It must be effortless to grip. You will benefit from one that comes with a molded rubber grip, which is also effective in shock absorption.

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