Best 18 Gauge Brad Nailer in 2020 – Ultimate Guides

Do you have a new home carpentry project in mind? And are you looking for great types of equipment that will help you get the project done efficiently and in a timely manner? Then you have come to the right place. Today, I will make your future projects easier by helping you choose the best high-quality 18 gauge brad nailer out there.

This will greatly help you save lots of time you would have spent wasting your energy and time hammering those nails using your regular hammer.

But I know what you may be thinking. Why should I trust this guy? Well, I am quite experienced when it comes to DIY and industrial carpentry projects that involve brad nailers. In addition to that, I have worked with hundreds, if not thousands of power tools over the last couple of years.

If that is not enough to go by,  I do not know what is. And to top off your confidence in me, I did not choose the products in this enumeration lightly either. I took them through a series of tests and reached out to some of the best carpenters out there in an effort to get their opinions.

So, whichever product you pick, you can rest assured that it will meet your needs, requirements, and personal preferences.

Better yet, after the review, I recommend that you stick to the end of the post. That is because I have also included several sections after the review. These will tackle some of the frequently asked questions regarding the best 18 gauge brad nailers.

These sections include:

  1. What is an 18 gauge brad nailer?
  2. The buying guide
  3. Difference between different types of brad nailers
  4. And much more.

So ensure you stick with me to the end.

Without further delay, let us skip to the main section of the post and look at the best 18 gauge brad nailers out there today.

Best 18 Gauge Brad Nailers Comparison

Photo Name Avg. Rating Price
BOSTITCH BTFP12233 4.8 / 5 Check Price
PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA 4.7 / 5 Check Price
Hitachi NT50AE2 4.6 / 5 Check Price
DEWALT DWFP12231 4.5 / 5 Check Price
WEN 61720 4.4 / 5 Check Price

Best 18 Gauge Brad Nailers Reviews

1. BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Nail Gun, Brad Nailer

BOSTITCH Nail Gun, Brad Nailer, Smart Point, 18GA (BTFP12233)

Are you looking for the best 18 gauge brad nailer that can do extreme precision work such as picture frames? Then this is the best option for you right now in the marketplace. Just bear in mind that it is a pneumatic, which as you will see later in this post, will require you to have a compressor in your workshop.

That was the only downside to acquiring this appliance. Especially since not most individuals have air compressors lying around in their workshops. The extra precision we are talking about here comes from the appliance’s tip that is excessively tiny when compared to most appliances.

In addition to that, the appliance does not require you, the user to press it down all the way while operating it. That is also a very nice completing touch. And if you have careful hands, then you will realize that the tool is superprecise. Even more precise compared to the average appliances you will get in the marketplace today.

Another feature of this appliance worth noting is the fact that it boasts an astoundingly accurate depth meter. This also allows for the countersinking of the brads at just the perfect depth. It is what ensures the professional finish that you can see.

The other slight downside I noticed with this appliance is the fact that it does not include an LED light. So ensure that you are working in a well-lit environment when you are using the appliance.

The price of the appliance is also on your side.


  • Retails with a seven-year warranty
  • Reduced work damage thanks to oil-free use
  • Includes adial a depth adjustment
  • Tool free jam resolution included
  • Boasts a small nose. This allows for better precision when you’re firing nails
  • Has a 1/4 inch air connection


  • Isn’t the best when it comes to working on hardwood like oak
  • No LED lights included

2. PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA Cordless Brad Nailer Kit

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA (PCC790LA)

We both know that plug-in and pneumatic models tend to be slightly powerful. But we cannot disregard the ease of use that is delivered by battery-powered 18 gauge brad nailers. The best one in this category is this PORTER-CABLE Cordless Brad Nailer Kit.

I know that this power tool can’t compete with the best pneumatic models out there. But I took it through a series of tests. And I honestly experienced virtually no issues with it. In fact, if anything, it surpassed my expectations.

It can fire approximately 1300 brads per fully charged battery and will hold up to 100 brads.


  • Very light, making it highly portable
  • Boasts a rear exhaust
  • Anti-jam feature included
  • No oiling will be needed for the motor
  • Has an adjustable depth of drive
  • The motor is maintenance-free


  • Depth adjustment is not very easy to work with
  • Not as powerful as pneumatic models

3. Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge Brad Nailer

Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer

Are you in the marketplace looking for a pneumatic nailer that can keep working for a long time without a hassle? Then this Hitachi NT50AE2 Brad Nailer is the best option for you. In fact, I found it could go the longest distance continuously.

The appliance is also highly durable and can easily fire brad nails from 5/8 to 2 inches. This further gives it one of the widest ranges I have ever seen in most, if not all best 18 gauge brad nailers. To that off with the fact, it’s easy to switch between modes with this appliance.


  • Has an impressive limited warranty by the manufacturer (five-year)
  • 360 degrees exhaust vent
  • Has a high capacity nail magazine
  • The nose cap is removable
  • Slip-resistant grip


  • No indicator included
  • Slightly challenging to shoot brads from a certain angle

4. DEWALT DWFP12231 Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA

DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch (DWFP12231)

This list would be incomplete if I did not include a masterpiece form Dewalt. This company is arguably the best power tools brand in the market place today. And this is hugely due to the fact they have been in existence for almost a decade now.

And throughout the years, they have delivered tools that met everyone’s needs and expectations. This DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit is one of such products. It retails with a case included and 500 nails. The appliance itself can hold 100 nails at a time

Other features in the product include a rear exhaust, sequential trigger, as well as an ergonomic design.


  • Anti-slip
  • Ergonomic design
  • Very powerful
  • A case and 500 nails included in the package
  • Easy to operate
  • Rear exhaust for safe work


  • Slightly heavier than other products
  • You will need an air compressor to operate this tool

5. WEN 61720 18-Gauge Brad Nailer

WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer

If you liked the Bostitch model we just looked at, then I am confident that you will love this WEN 61720 18-Gauge Brad Nailer. It is the perfect 18 gauge brad nailer. Especially for those who just want to execute small projects around their house and would not quite like to spend a whole lot of their hard-earned cash.

This WEN 61720 18-Gauge Brad Nailer also has a very impressive level of power. That is exactly what you need to go through any woodworking projects without a hassle. You can also rest assured that all nails on this appliance will be shot all the way.

This WEN 61720 18-Gauge Brad Nailer also holds around 100 brad nails at the same time. It also retails with a quick-release lever that is in place to allow you to clear the jams relatively easier. The appliance also boasts an adjustable exhaust port. This is in place to make sure that you will not be continually getting the wind blowing on your face when you are using the appliance.

The only thing that several people complained about is the fact the appliance is not as durable as most of its counterparts. Do not let this fool you though. It does not mean that you won’t get what you paid for.

It just means that the other models are more likely to last a little bit longer compared to this one.


  • Retails with a one year warranty
  • The company has a very customer friendly service
  • The kit you will get includes oil, adjustment wrenches, and anice carrying case
  • Can hold up to 100 brads at the same time
  • Has an excellent grip
  • Lightweight, making it portable


  • You will need to make several adjustments through the depth gauge
  • Not very durable like the rest

There you have it, my detailed and comprehensive review on the best 18 gauge brad nailers. As I promised at the beginning of the post, I have also included some bonus sections in this enumeration. The first thing we will look at is the definition of brad nailers.

What is a brad nailer?

I have decided to include the definition of these power tools for one reason. Those who are new into this realm. And in a nutshell, the best 18 gauge brad nailers do only one job. They shoot very thin (also known as 18 gauge) brads into a small wood and other trim pieces in order to attach them to larger elements.

They usually drive the brad deep into the wood. Such that no nail head will be visible. You may have already noticed that this is how most wood floor trims and other different cabinetry trims are held in place nowadays.

Why do people prefer these appliances instead of hammers? You may ask. Well, if you use a hammer, then lots of hammer dents will be left in your woods. In addition to that, the nail heads will be visible, which is everything but attractive. The last reason is that it saves you time because a project that would take you more than an hour could be done in less than 20 minutes.

Now that you understand what this appliance is and why most people prefer it, let us look at instances when the tool will come in handy.

When should one use 18 gauge brad nailer?

The one and only time that 18 gauge brad nailers will come in handy is when you would like to work with small trim pieces. The power tool does not shoot nails that are large enough to frame or attach the bigger pieces of wood together.

This is where the downside of the appliance comes to light. Since it only has this use, it means that most of the time the tool will be in your toolbox. Collecting dust.

But I believe that this is a small price to pay given the appliances’ long list of advantages.

When I first acquired my first 18 gauge brad nailer, I used it strictly for finish trimming. This implies that whenever I had new flooring laid during a project, then the brad nailer would come in handy. I would use it to work on the quarter round molding which covers the seam at the point that the walls meet the floor.

And to this day, I can finish such tasks in minutes. By hand using a hammer, it would usually take me more than half an hour to get the job done.

What is the difference between brad nailers and other different types of nailers?

All you ought to remember about this point is that all the differences usually come down to size. And I am talking about the size of the nail that will be driven by the power tool. I understand that some times it feels like the best nail gun should have the ability to fire nails of any sizes. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

The piston on the power tool that is responsible for driving nails ought to be equal to the size of the nail you would like to use. Failure to adhere to this implies that the appliance will leave an ugly gash on the surface of your trim pieces while you are executing the nailing.

Braid nailer vs pin nailer

The pin nailer shoots slightly larger projectiles compared to a brad nailer. The pins are usually extremely thin nails that are also used for when working with highly delicate attachments. Pins are usually 23 gauge nails whereas brads are 18 gauge.

With that in mind, note that pins are only used on the tiniest trim pieces. In addition to that, they are also frequently coupled with other fasteners, such as glue and other adhesives.

Brad nailer vs finish nailer

A finish nailer utilizes the largest nails that can easily mate larger wood pieces together. This is due to the fact that these larger fasteners simply boast more strength. So, let us assume that you would like to take on the job of installing the quarter molding and baseboard in a room that has a brand new carpet that has been laid.

In that case, you will use the best finish nailer to install the baseboard. The quarter molding, on the other hand, will be installed using the best 18 gauge brad nailer.

Things to consider when choosing the best 18 gauge brad nailer

I ensured that I completely understood these factors before coming up with the final list above. That said, there is still a reason I have decided to include it in this post. This is not the last time you’ll be picking one of these appliances. And this section is to educate yourself on things you ought to check in the future when I won’t be around to help you choose.

With that in mind, let us skip to the main section of this guide.


The first thing you ought to think about is the type of brad nailer you need given your work requirements. As you have seen in the preceding section of the post, there are different types of this appliance and each one of them retails with its own set of uses.

Once you have nailed the type of gauge brad nailer that you would like to acquire, then it is time to move on to the next factor


When it comes to price, you ought to think outside the box. For me, I usually have a simple rule when it comes to any appliance that needs my hard-earned cash. “the product I pick should be of the highest quality in that price range”.

This implies that if I choose a brad nailer going for $150, then it should be the highest quality brad nailer that I can get at that price. Once you understand this, comparing the different product features will not be a problem at all.

Let us move on to other features.

Carrying case

This is a must to consider feature and factor for those who tend to move a lot. I, for instance, tend to work in a new town every week. This means that my best power tools must retail with their carrying case so I can be able to carry them around without a hassle.

The best carrying case will also keep your tools safe from damage and dust.

Depth Adjustment

When choosing a brad nailer, pick the one with tool-free depth adjustment. Especially if time is not on your side during projects. In addition to that, ensure that the product you chose will not be troublesome when you want to make the tweaks.

Nose size

More often than not, you will be using your best 18 gauge brad nailer in confined places. This implies that you will also be prizing accuracy if you are working on detailed finishing projects. With these two factors in mind, make sure you choose a product with a nose size that will make your life easy.

Nail length

Most of the best brad nailers out there retail with a nail length limit of approximately 2 1/8 inches. First, have the nature of your tasks in mind. Then ensure that you comprehensively think of everything you need from your gun and acquire the best one accordingly.


This is the most important feature you ought to look at. A brad nailer that cannot sink the brad entirely into the surface is a real nuisance. It usually becomes a simple, glorified setter because you will consequently need a hammer in order to sink the nails all through.

And as you may have read in under “why people choose brad nailers” this will defeat the purpose because your material will be left with dents all over.

With that in mind, ensure that the tool you choose can execute the role you have in mind and still leave your material looking as beautiful as ever.


Hanging these appliances while you are working will cost you lots of time. This implies that you will be having the brad nailer in your hands the whole time you will be working.

That translates to you ensuring that the appliance you pick boasts the best ergonomic grip so holding it in your hand won’t be a hassle. And kindly never dismiss this point. You will be holding your power tool all day and choosing the wrong ergonomic design will only hurt your wrists.

Power Source

Here is a general rule of thumb. People who are dead serious about setting brads in the best way will usually go with pneumatic power tools. This is usually due to the fact that they are the most powerful and reliable of the bunch by far.

Such power tools also avail an air compressor. And I imagine this is not something that everyone has lying around in their garage.

With that in mind, most DIYers and hobbyists usually prefer electric options. They can be equally great if you are experienced and know what you are doing. What’s more? If you prefer the electric alternatives, then be careful and ensure you choose something that can set the brads all the way down.

The only downside of using electric brad nailers is the fact you will be burdened by the cord. But you can also rid yourself of this downside by choosing a battery-powered option.


The best 18 gauge brad nailer will make a very big difference in your overall performance and day to day work. And this is regardless of how seasoned you are in the realm of DIY or professional carpentry. From today onwards, say goodbye to the painstaking and slow hammering. Simply by acquiring one of the high-quality brad nailers in the enumeration above.

If the one you pick best serves your needs and personal preference, do not hesitate to leave a comment below and let me know.

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