12 Best Brad Nailers of 2021 Compared & Reviewed

Best Brad Nailers
Photo: Makita

As a DIYer on the hunt for a versatile nailer, a homeowner looking for a reliable nailer for repairs around the home or a professional woodworker looking for a trustworthy finish nailer, the brad nailer is a must-have.

With the best brad nailer, you can be confident of not only getting sufficient hold power for most projects, but also a more aesthetic finish as they leave tiny holes.

Brad nailers are finish carpentry nailers that shoot the 18-gauge brad nails, which are a special type of nail that is thinner than the 15 and 16-gauge finishing nails. And they also have a thinner head that leaves tiny holes that hardly ever need filling.

To help you choose a good brad nailer model and brand, below we review 12 top-rated brad nailers, and we also highlight the important things to consider when choosing one.

What To Check Before Buying Best Brad Nailers?

How to Buy the Best Brad Nailers
Photo: PowRyte

Besides understanding how you will use it, choosing a good brad nailer will also require you to understand the following important things.

1. Pneumatic vs. Electric Brad Nailers

The power source determines important things from the nail driving power to user convenience, and so it is a vital factor to consider when choosing a brad nailer. And in most instances, you will need to choose between pneumatic and electric brad nailers.

Pneumatic Brad Nailer

Pneumatic brad nailers are the air-powered types that will require an air compressor. These brad nailers are powerful and quite reliable and this is what makes them highly popular with professional woodworkers.

They will provide a cleaner finish than most other types, work more efficiently and except for the air compressor, they are also quite lightweight. And they provide enough power to make nail fastening easy even when dealing with hardwood.

However, the need for an air compressor makes these nailers more expensive to buy and run and most also require more maintenance.

Electric Brad Nailers

Electric brad nailers are quite popular with DIYers and hobbyists that hate having to buy and deal with air compressors. And they are available in two broad categories which are the corded-electric and battery powered nailers.

Corded-electric brad nailers are almost as reliable as the pneumatic brad nailers as they provide continuous use provided they are plugged in. However, the inclusion of a cord makes them a little annoying as the cord will keep coming in your way when working, and they can only be used where there is electricity.

Cordless brad nailers like Porter-Cable PCC790B, on the other hand, are the perfect choice for anyone looking for something more portable for use from different locations. They run on batteries, and this means there are no cords to deal with or air compressors to refill and maintain. But, the battery power only provides a limited run time and comes at an extra cost given that many models sell batteries separately.

2. Nose Size

As you shop for the best brad nailer, you also need to consider the nose size as it will affect the nail drive accuracy.

The size of the nose determines how easy it will be to place your nails and hence how precisely you can drive them into the workpiece.

A smaller nose size is the best option as it allows you to aim more accurately. And besides the size, you should also make sure that the nose or tip is non-marring to ensure it does not dent or scratch your workpiece.

3. Trigger Type

Like with many other power nailers, there are two types of triggers that you can get on a brad nailer which are sequential and contact/bump. And what makes the trigger type important is that it will affect both nailing speed and precision.

Sequential trigger types are the kinds that will require you to compress the nose by pushing the tip to the workpiece before pulling the trigger to release a nail. They are the safer option of the two and also more accurate but also slower.

With the bump triggers, a nail is released as soon as the tip comes into contact with the workpiece which makes the job faster. But these triggers are not very safe as you can easily discharge a nail accidentally and are also not very accurate.

4. Extra Features

There are other features that might not be necessary for a brad nailer to work, and so not all models will have them but they are still great to have on what you buy as they will make it more efficient.

Some of these extra features to watch out for include depth adjustment, tool-less jam clearing, reversible belt hook, dry lock-out, and integrated LED light.

Also, other things like a carry case can also be a good bonus as it will make it easy to carry and store your brad nailer.

12 Best Brad Nailers of 2021 Reviewed




Porter-Cable PCC790B

1. Porter-Cable PCC790B (Best Cordless)

  • More portable cordless operation
  • Handy dual LED work lights
  • Too-free depth adjustment, jam release and stall release lever
  • Relatively longer battery life
Bostitch BTFP12233

2. Bostitch BTFP12233 (Smart, Oil-free)

  • Convenient oil-free operation
  • Smart nail placement system
  • Highly precise depth adjustment
  • Easy jam clearing
Hitachi NT50AE2

3. Hitachi NT50AE2 (Reliable Performance at a Great Price)

  • Highly reliable and consistent overall performance
  • Allows for selective actuation
  • Comfortable and slip-resistant elastomer grip
  • Easily adjustable depth of drive
Makita AF505N

4. Makita AF505N (Unbeatable Quality for under $100 Nailer)

  • Great price tag given the quality
  • Easy nailing in tight spaces
  • Protective no-mar nose and bumpers
  • Tool-free jam release
DeWalt DWFP12231

5. DeWalt DWFP12231 (Long Service Life Guaranteed)

  • Sturdy and highly durable construction
  • Convenient rear exhaust
  • Tool-free jam release and depth adjustment
  • Comfortable rubber grip
Porter-Cable BN200C

6. Porter-Cable BN200C (Dependable & Durable)

  • Highly dependable and durable maintenance-free motor
  • Easy and tool-free jam release
  • Handy rear exhaust
  • Tool-less depth setting with handy detents
Valu-Air SF5040

7. Valu-Air SF5040 (Highly Affordable 2-in-1 Nailer)

  • Highly affordable and versatile
  • More durable aluminum housing
  • Quick and easy jam release
  • 360-degree adjustable air exhaust
NuMax S2-118G2

8. NuMax S2-118G2 (Ergonomic, Lightweight & Versatile)

  • Ergonomic design for user comfort
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum construction
  • Ideal for variety of applications
  • Convenient reload indicator
Senco 1U0021N

9. Senco 1U0021N (Good Value for Money)

  • Great value for money and quality
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Convenient rear exhaust
  • Oil-free design
Wen 61720

10. Wen 61720 (Best Budget)

  • Highly affordable nailer
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum body
  • Comfortable rubber grip handle
  • Quick-release magazine for easy jam clearing
DeWalt DC608K

11. DeWalt DC608K (Incredibly Powerful Cordless Nailer)

  • Powerful and with long lasting battery
  • Easy nosepiece access for simple jam clearing
  • Allows both bump and sequential firing
  • LED work light included
PowRyte 1033060

12. PowRyte 1033060 (Efficient & Great Value)

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Comfortable and non-slip rubber grip
  • Well-balanced and lightweight
  • Handy reload indicator

1. Porter-Cable PCC790B – Best Cordless

Porter-Cable PCC790B Brad Nailer
Photo: Porter-Cable

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2”
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • Weight: 5.1 pounds

Nothing beats the convenience of a cordless brad nailer as you can carry and use it from almost anywhere. And if it is as high quality as the Porter-Cable PCC790B, you get almost the same power and performance you would expect from the popular pneumatic types.

What makes this one of the best cordless brad nailers out there is that it is packed with many convenient features such as tool-free jam clearing and depth adjustment. It has a depth adjustment window that will help enhance precision.

This Porter-Cable brad nailer is 100% battery-powered to ensure you never have to buy air compressors, and it includes some multifunctional dual LED lights to make it ideal for use in dark space and a trigger lock to prevent accidental firing when not in use.

While the PCC790B is one of the heaviest brad nailers on our list, for a battery-powered nailer, it is one of the lightest in its class, and so this should not be a significant concern.


  • Works entirely on battery power
  • Tool-free depth adjustment and jam clearing
  • Handy depth adjustment window
  • Includes trigger lock for safety
  • Integrated multifunctional dual LED lights


  • Relatively heavier
  • Carry case not included

2. Bostitch BTFP12233 – Smart, Oil-free

Bostitch BTFP12233 Smart Point Brad Nailer Kit
Photo: Bostitch

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2-1/8”
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 5.16 pounds

Bostitch makes their BTFP12233 brad nailer to ensure that users will have an easy time with it as it is super easy to use.

The smart point technology is one of its key highlights and what makes it easy to use as it ensures easy nail placement thanks to a smaller nose and the fact that no compression is required to actuate the tool.

Depth adjustment is also simple and precise to ensure you always countersink the nail how you want it, and you can use this nailer without worrying about damaging your workpiece as it has a no-mar pad. And you also get to choose between contact and sequential operation.

Some woodworkers might find that this brad nailer jams a little more often or at least more than other top models, but the good news is that jam clearing is simple and tool-free, and so you will hardly have any significant downtimes.


  • Completely oil-free operation
  • Simple nail placement
  • Easy and tool-free jam release
  • Precise nail depth adjustment
  • Dual trigger modes


  • Quite prone to jamming
  • A little heavier

3. Hitachi NT50AE2 – Reliable Performance at a Great Price

Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer
Photo: Metabo HPT

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2”
  • Nail Gauge:18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

Any woodworker looking for a reliable brad nailer but does not want to spend much to get it will love the Hitachi NT50AE2.

It is one of the best pneumatic brad nailers under $100 and has a lot to offer including a selective actuation trigger that makes it easy to switch between sequential and bump firing modes.

Also, this brad nailer offers an easy, tool-less jam clearing, easy to use and precise depth of drive dial and an elastomer grip that makes it comfortable to operate and prevent slippage.

At 2.2 pounds, it is one of the lightest on our list, and it is also a well-balanced and easy to operate nailer with a 360-degree adjustable exhaust and a no-mar tip to protect the work surface.

When compared to other brad nailers, this one seems to leave a relatively larger nail hole, but if you plan to paint or stain the piece, it will hardly be noticeable.


  • More reliable and consistent performance
  • Comfortable and slip-resistant grip
  • Lightweight and well-balanced
  • Convenient dual mode trigger
  • Easy, tool-less jam clearing


  • Leaves a relatively larger hole
  • No dry fire lock-out mechanism

4. Makita AF505N – Unbeatable Quality for an under $100 Nailer

Makita AF505N Brad Nailer
Photo: Makita

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2”
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 3.0 pounds

Makita should always be on top of your mind when shopping for the best 18-gauge brad nailers as they have some of the most popular models in the market like their model AF505N.

This well-built nailer comes with a narrow nose design for easy nailing in a confined area and allows for quick and tool-less nail depth adjustment and jam clearing.

With the non-marring nose and bumpers, it will also protect the workpiece from scratches and dents, and its 360-degree adjustable exhaust port helps to protect the user by directing air away.

There is a comfortable rubberized soft grip to make the tool easier to control, dual nail reload indicator window to help prevent dry firing and a 180-degree adjustable tool hook to help keep the nailer close.

When working on a production project that requires you to fire nails fast, this brad nailer might not be very useful to you given that it does not have a rapid-fire feature. But, for most other projects it will still be perfect.


  • Relatively more affordable
  • Tool-less depth adjustment and jam clearing
  • Multi-directional exhaust port
  • Handy nail reload indicator window
  • Comfortable rubberized soft grip


  • No rapid fire feature

5. DeWalt DWFP12231 – A Long Service Life Guaranteed

DeWalt DWFP12231 Pneumatic Brad Nailer Kit
Photo: DeWalt

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2”
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 5.45 pounds

Nobody wants to keep buying a new brad nailer after every few months, and so if you are on the market for something long-lasting, the DeWalt DWFP12231 will be a perfect pick.

What makes it a long-lasting nailer is that it runs on a highly durable and high-performing maintenance-free motor and come with strong magnesium housing.

Besides being durable, this top-notch brad nailer offers simple and tool-free drive depth and jam clearing and a rear exhaust to help keep the work area clean.

Also, many users will love the adjustable tool belt as it helps keep it close and other things like the removable no-mar tip, sequential trigger, and the comfortable rubber grip.

Many hobbyists and professional woodworkers hate having to deal with oil when using a nailer, and so the fact that this is not an oil-free model can be a turn off for some. However, the good news is that it uses very little oil and its design makes it hard for any to leak and stain your workpiece.


  • Durable maintenance-free motor
  • Non-marring nose tip
  • Strong magnesium body
  • Comfortable rubber grip
  • Convenient adjustable belt hook


  • Not oil-free
  • Relatively heavier

6. Porter-Cable BN200C – Dependable & Durable

Porter-Cable BN200C Brad Nailer Kit
Photo: Porter-Cable

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2”
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

With a dependable and durable brad nailer like the Porter-Cable’s model BN200C, finish carpentry will be a lot easy for you.

This pneumatic brad nailer runs on a long-lasting motor that does not require any maintenance and features a lightweight and durable magnesium body for long service life.

Depth adjustment and jam clearing are both quick and easy as you will not need to use any tool. And this brad nailer also offers a convenient rear exhaust that will help keep your workpiece free of debris.

The rubber grip improves user comfort and makes the tool easy to control while the removable no-mar tip helps to prevent dents and scratches on the wood.

While the depth dial still feels a little finicky, it is still quite precise and you should be able to get consistent enough depths.


  • Long lasting and maintenance-free motor
  • Easy jam release
  • Simple and precise depth adjustment
  • Convenient rear exhaust
  • Comfortable rubber grip


  • Depth dial is still a little finicky

7. Valu-Air SF5040 – Highly Affordable 2-in-1

Valu-Air SF5040 2-in-1 Brad Nailer and Stapler
Photo: Valu-Air

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2” and 5/8”-1-5/8” (1/4” staples)
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds

With the capability of shooting both brads and staples, the Value-Air SF5040 is a versatile finish nailer that will come in handy for a variety of projects.

The versatility makes it one of the best brad nailers out there, but it also has a lot more to offer such as a more durable and lightweight aluminum alloy construction, quick and tool-free jam clearing and an easy to use and tool-free depth control.

Also, the brad nailer includes a 360-degree adjustable exhaust, ergonomic and comfortable rubber grip and a spacious 100-nail capacity magazine with a convenient visual nail reload indicator.

Lack of adequate instructions on the manual might be a big concern for beginners but like most brad nailers, it does not take a lot of effort to figure and furthermore there are lots of helpful resources online like videos that will provide more than enough instructions.


  • Lightweight aluminum alloy housing
  • Quick nail jam release
  • Tool-free drive depth adjustment
  • Non-marring rubber tip
  • Convenient nail reload indicator


  • Instructions manual is not very detailed

8. NuMax S2-118G2 – Ergonomic, Lightweight & Versatile

NuMax S2-118G2 Brad Nailer
Photo: NuMax

  • Nail Size: 3/8” – 2” and 1/2″-1-5/8” (1/4” staples)
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 3.09 pounds

NuMax S2-118G2 is another top-notch quality 2-in-1 nailer that shoots both brads and staples and with a lot to offer which makes it an amazing finish nailer.

It is built with durable and lightweight die-cast aluminum alloy housing for long service life and with a convenient 360-degree adjustable exhaust.

This brad nailer includes a comfortable anti-vibration grip, easily adjustable drive depth, quick and tool-free jam clearing and a secure and comfortable grip for extended use. Users will also love the non-marring tip and handy reload indicator.

The most notable issue with this NuMax brad nailer is that it seems to leave a more visible indentation on the wood. However, in most instances, this occurs as a result of setting the depth too deep and adjusting it should solve the issue.


  • Conveniently adjustable exhaust
  • Durable, ergonomic and lightweight design
  • Versatile 2-in-1 nailer
  • Comfortable anti-vibration grip
  • Easily adjustable depth


  • Leaves visible indent on the stock
  • Still not heavy duty enough

9. Senco 1U0021N – Good Value for Money

Senco FinishPro Brad Nailer
Photo: Senco

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2-1/8”
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 2.48 pounds

Given its features and solid construction, Senco’s FinishPro will ensure that you get great value for your cash, and it is the kind of brad nailer that you can expect to serve you for many years.

The well-built Senco brad nailer features a durable and lightweight magnesium motor that will be ideal for extended use and an oil-free operation to minimize maintenance and prevent oil messes.

Also, it has a selectable trigger to allow you to control the fastening method and simple depth of drive adjustment for more precise nail sinking.

The rotatable rear exhaust is handy in keeping debris and dust out of the wood while the belt hook helps to keep the tool close and over-molded rubber grip makes it comfortable to operate.

Lack of dry fire lock-out mechanism means that this nailer will continue firing even when it runs out of nails, but this should not be an issue if you pay close attention to the nail quantity when nailing.


  • Great for the price
  • Simple depth of drive adjustment
  • Durable and relatively lightweight construction
  • Convenient rear exhaust
  • Comes with a sturdy carry case


  • No dry fire lock-out

10. Wen 61720 – Best Budget

Wen 61720 Brad Nailer
Photo: Wen

  • Nail Size: 3/4” – 2”
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 3 pounds

Wen 61720 is made for DIYers and hobbyists shopping for a high-quality brad nailer but on a tight budget and for its price, it is hard to get a better pneumatic nailer.

The top-rated brad nailer has a lightweight and durable aluminum body for durability and to make it comfortable to handle for extended periods. Also, it has a rubber grip handle that has been designed to enhance user comfort.

With the quick jam release mechanism, you will never have to worry about long downtimes as a result of nail jams, and this is also a safer nailer to use thanks to the directional exhaust that allows you to direct the air away from you.

The depth adjustment wheel delivers an easy depth of drive adjustment while the more spacious magazine accommodates up to 100 nails and has a transparent side window to allow users to monitor the nail quantity.

If you are completely new to pneumatic tools, the included instructions might not be very helpful, but the good news is that this is a straightforward nailer to figure out and if you watch a few online videos, mastering the tool will take little effort.


  • Relatively more affordable
  • Comfortable rubber grip handle
  • Quick jam release
  • Simple drive depth adjustment
  • Lightweight aluminum body


  • Poor instructions for beginners
  • No calibration marks for depth adjustment

11. DeWalt DC608K – An Incredibly Powerful Cordless

DeWalt DC608K Brad Nailer Kit
Photo: DeWalt

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2”
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Battery-powered
  • Weight: 7.4 pounds

A powerful cordless brad nailer like the DeWalt DC608K is what every hobbyist and woodworker needs when looking for something for use on the go. Because besides offering cordless convenience it also has the power to handle almost any job.

This amazing brad nailer offers both sequential and bump firing modes which makes it ideal for almost any project. And users can easily clear jams thanks to the easily accessible nosepiece and adjusting the depth of drive is also simple and precise.

With the narrow, tapered nose, you can easily use this nailer in tight and hard to reach areas, and it includes a trigger lock-off to prevent firing when not in use. With the included reversible tool belt, it should be easy to keep it close when working.

Being the priciest among out brad nailer reviews, it means you have to spend more cash to own this DeWalt nailer, and it is also quite heavy and bulky. But, for a cordless brad nailer, both the price and weight are still within the acceptable parameters.


  • Convenient and powerful cordless operation
  • Dual firing modes
  • Easily accessible nosepiece
  • Narrow nose easily fits tight spaces
  • Precise depth adjustment


  • Relatively pricier
  • Heavier and bulkier

12. PowRyte 1033060 – Efficient & Great Value

PowRyte Air Brad Nailer
Photo: PowRyte

  • Nail Size: 5/8” – 2”
  • Nail Gauge: 18-gauge
  • Power Source: Pneumatic
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds

An efficient brad nailer that comes at a great price tag like this one by PowRyte will ensure you get the best value for your cash which is just what every woodworker wants.

At only 2.1 pounds, it is the lightest model on our brad nailer review, and it is also well-balanced to make it perfect for extended use.

It offers a tool-free jam release and a reload indicator to allow for visual recognition when you need to reload the magazine.

Also, many users will love that it comes with a narrow nose design as it will make it easier to nail confined areas and the non-slip grip and plastic trigger as they make it more comfortable to operate.

The lack of depth adjustment on this brad nailer might be a significant drawback for professional finish carpenters, but for most DIYers and hobbyists, it is hardly a dealbreaker as many will hardly even use the feature.


  • Inexpensive for such an efficient nailer
  • Lightweight and well-balanced
  • Easy confined areas nailing
  • Comfortable and non-slip grip
  • Handy reload indicators


  • No depth adjustment
  • Carry case not included

Brad Nailer vs. Finish Nailer

Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailer

Brad Nailer

Brad nailers are generally smaller than the typical finish nailers but what truly sets them apart is that they shoot thinner special types of nails referred to as brads.

These special nails are 18-gauge and will also have a thinner head that is meant to ensure they leave tiny holes on the workpiece that will in most instances not require filling because painting or staining is often enough to cover them.

With the brad nailers, the brads are also typically between 5/8 and 2 inches long which is a perfect length for attaching lightweight trims. This length and the thinner gauge will not split the delicate wood.

Brad nailers are quite versatile and will be ideal for applications that do not require a lot of hold power and for users that do not want to live large holes on the workpiece.

These nailers will be ideal for most projects that involve low-density materials like plywood, MDF, and fabric. And you can also use them to apply pressure on two pieces of wood as the glue dries.


  • Tiny nail holes
  • Great for thin and delicate trim
  • Does not split wood


  • Does not offer a lot of hold power
  • Not ideal for thicker and larger wood pieces

Finish Nailer

While brad nailers might be very useful for attaching delicate pieces of wood or applying pressure to wood as the glue dries, they still do not have enough holding power. When you need more hold power, a finish nailer will be a more appropriate choice.

Finish nailers will shoot 14 to 16 gauge nails that are typically between 1 and 2-1/2-inch long and the thicker gauge and larger head are what ensure you get more hold power.

The greater hold power means that finish nailers will be handy when dealing with heavier and larger pieces of woods such as when installing wider crown moldings and baseboards and for cabinetry.

However, the larger head on the finish nails that these nailers shoot means that you will end up with larger and more visible nail hole that will require some wood putty to fill. Also, the nails can easily split delicate trim.


  • More hold power
  • Highly versatile
  • Great for thicker and larger wood


  • Larger nail holes
  • Can split delicate trim

Buying Advice

Given that brad and finish nailers shoot different gauge nails the best idea is to have both as they will come in handy for different projects.

But, if you only have to buy one, the finish nailers will be ideal when you want something more versatile with greater holding power while the brad nailers are your best bet if you deal with delicate trim often and want something that leaves tiny holes on the workpiece.

More detailed: click here


Nothing beats a brad nailer when it comes to finish carpentry that involves delicate and thinner material as it can easily fasten them without splitting or leaving huge nail holes.

With our top 12 brad nailer reviews above, you can now spend more time on your projects and not shopping for a nailer as we have narrowed down the options for you.

For those looking for a more budget-friendly brad nailer that still offers all the good features such as tool-free jam release, the Wen 61720 is a perfect choice.