There are three main types of brad nailer tools that you might need to use.
Perhaps the most common type of brad nailer, you’ll need an air compressor in order to use one of these powerful units.
It’s crucial that the PSI and volume of the air compressor is equal to or outflanks that of your nail gun.
While these nailers are generally cheaper to buy, you’ll need to think about the cost of the air compressor when budgeting.
Some nail guns come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery meaning you won’t need an air compressor at all.
Technology has advanced so you can now expect decent run times and more than serviceable power levels from battery-powered nailers.
With this type of nailer, you use a disposable gas cartridge and a battery so you drive your nails using combustion.
These are for heavy-duty nailing jobs so you won’t get a brad nailer powered like this.
Who Needs Brad Nailers?
If you undertake any kind of small and detailed woodworking or crafting projects, there’s every chance the best brad nailer will be an essential part of your kit already.
You might be a little confused about the difference between a brad nailer and a finish nailer…
Both these nailers look the same at a glance. They also use similar nails.
The difference comes in the subtly thinner gauge nails used by a brad nailer making them ideal for the most tasky and involved projects.
So whether you’re toiling away in the workshop at home or you need something for the worksite, a great brad nailer is a key purchase.
We’ll give some more pointers now so you can get the best model for your needs the easy way…
When you’re looking for a nail gun, the first thing you should do is think about your budget and stick to it. Buy the best you can afford without overextending yourself. The inbuilt advantage of this approach is that you’ll immediately whittle down your options without actually needing to do anything.
Reading through a good chunk of user reviews is a great way to see what genuine customers feel having parted with their hard-earned money. Check out reviews rating the nailer somewhere in the middle for a balanced perspective.
Being fully aware of all the basics of the tools you’re looking to buy is another way to avoid costly blunders.
As with all woodworking tools, you should be looking for quality first and foremost. A solid tool collection is built over time and never stints on quality in the quest of saving a couple bucks.
We’ll laser in now on what you should look out for when you’re tracking down the best brad nailer…
What To Consider When Buying a Brad Nailer
First up, think about whether you want to use a standalone nailer or you’re happy to connect up a pneumatic model to an air compressor. We’ll set aside fuel-powered variants as they’re far less common.
Once you’ve got the type of nailer penciled in, what next?
You need to think about price beyond the simple bottom line…
If you’re going for a pneumatic model, you need to factor an air compressor into the equation if you don’t already have one.
From there, you’ll need to price up the ongoing cost of nails so you can work out whether or not a nail gun is affordable or whether you’ll end up regretting the expense.
Get your budget locked and loaded then stick to it unwaveringly.
How you plan to use your brad nailer dictates the kind of model you should look into.
Are you just a casual home hobbyist or DIY enthusiast? If so, even the very cheapest brad nailers will be more than enough for your needs. There’s no need to spend a large amount if you’ll only use it from time to time.
If, on the other hand, you need to use a nailer out on the job site for extended periods on more challenging applications, you’ll need to look for a much more rugged nailer designed for that purpose.
Once you’ve got these generalities ironed out, you can think about some brad nailer specifics…
Most of the best brad nailers come with a nail length limit of 2 inches or 2 1/8 inches. As with all aspects of your purchase, think about what you need from your gun and buy accordingly.
If you routinely use 2-inch nails, it’s well worth considering a 2 1/8-inch nailer.
Most of the time, when you’re using a brad nailer, you’re working in confined spaces.
Since you’ll also be prizing accuracy when you’re working on detailed finishing projects, it pays to look for a nail gun with the nose designed to make your life easier.
Look for tool-free depth adjustment if time is really of the essence.
Most user reviews will flag whether or not making these tweaks is easy or not.
While this might not seem worth mentioning, keeping your tools safe is that much easier when you’ve got the proper protective covering in place.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a hard carrying case, especially if you’re working out on site.
Is The Exhaust Directional?
Fumes spewing out all over your workpiece is a menace unless your brad nailer has a fully directional exhaust.
Look out for nailers that allow you to direct those fumes wherever you choose whatever angle you’re working at.
With the brad nailer basics covered, what’s the deal with maintenance?
Usage and Maintenance Tips
Once you’ve got yourself the best brad nailer for your needs, the great news is that upkeep is as close to nil as it’s possible to get.
Aside from a little lubrication, there’s nothing you need to do. Just look after your nailer well when it’s being used and always store it in its protective case and you should get plenty of service from your nailer without needing to constantly look after it.
After all, it’s pointless buying a labor-saving device that only ends up requiring more work.