As a builder or a DIYer, framing nailers and siding nailers have been a staple in your jobsite or garage. They’re fantastic with heavy tasks, binding 2x4s and 2x8s so easily you can finish a single project in mere hours.

But there are certain materials — such as trims and crown moldings — that need a little finesse. A large nail gun that will destroy them simply won’t do. What you need are nailers with enough holding power to bind fragile materials without splitting them. And that is exactly what a brad nailer can do.

There are a lot of brad nailers available online. There are air-powered ones that can do the job but hampers your mobility. If you don’t want to be tethered to an air compressor, then cordless electric brad nailers are perfect for you.

Check out our list of the best electric brad nailers you can purchase. We also have a buying guide to help you choose the right nail gun for your workshop.

1.
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PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit with 1 Battery, 18GA (PCC790LA)
  • 100% battery power of the cordless brand nailer eliminates need for compressor, hose or costly gas cartridges
  • Motor design of 18 gauge brad nailer provides consistent firing power into various materials and climate conditions
  • Multiple Tool-Free settings of the battery brad nailer provide ease of use
  • Unit's lightweight and optimal center of graviy provide user comfort in multiple positions reducing user fatigue
  • Multi functional dual LED lights function for workspace illumination and error indication
2.
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer, 18GA, Tool Only (DCN680B)
  • 100% battery power of the cordless brand nailer eliminates need for compressor, hose or costly gas cartridges
  • Brushless motor of 18 gauge brad nailer maximizes runtime and durability
  • Micro nose of the battery brad nailer improves line of sight and accuracy of nail placement (Compared to DEWALT DC608)
  • Tool-free depth adjustment for precise countersinking of nails
  • Tool-free jam release to quickly and easily clear nail jams
3.
Sale
CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA (CMCN618C1)
  • Drives adhesive collated 18 GA finish nails with this cordless finish nailer
  • ELIMINATES THE NEED: Fully cordless design eliminates the need for compressors, hoses or costly gas cartridges
  • CLIMATE CONDITIONS: Provides consistent firing power in various climate conditions and materials
  • CONSISTENT RESULTS: Tool-free depth settings for quick set up
  • IMPROVED EFFICIENCY: Tool-free jam and stall settings for ease of use
4.
Paslode 918000 Cordless Li-ion Brad Nailer
  • Accurately place every nail with open line of sight
  • 4.6 Lbs. - Lightest cordless brad mailer
  • 7V Li-ion battery drives up to 12,000 mailer per charge
  • 1-1/2 Hour Full Charge; 2 - minute quick charge for up to 200 extra shots
  • Drives into harder woods with total accuracy
5.
Ryobi P320 Airstrike 18 Volt One+ Lithium Ion Cordless Brad Nailer (Battery Not Included, Power Tool Only)
  • Drives up to 1700 nails per charge
  • No compressors, hoses or pricey gas cartridges required. Cordless design offers both convenience and superior performance.
  • Convenient adjustment dial regulates air pressure for optimum results.
  • Low-nail indicator to quickly and easily see when it is time to reload
  • Includes: 18-V ONE AirStrike 18-Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer, Battery sold separately
6.
BOSTITCH 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer, 18GA, Tool Only (BCN680B)
  • NO COMPRESSOR NEEDED: Save time and money by going cordless
  • MORE POWER: Brushless motor and engine design drives 18ga Brad nails from 5/8" to 2-1/8" length.
  • INCREASED ACCURACY: Features a narrow nose designed for clear line of sight and accuracy of nail placement
  • BETTER VISIBILITY: Multi-functional LED lights help to provide both workspace illumination and tool diagnostics
  • SAFER & MORE EFFICIENT: Tool-free jam release to quickly and easily clear nail jams
7.
VonHaus 18v Cordless Nail Gun/Brad Nailer - Li-ion Battery Operated – Ergonomic – Medium Duty For Fabrics, Upholstery, Underlay, Carpeting, Roofing Not Suitable For Hard Wood No. 9100100
  • ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED – 2 in 1 soft-grip nailer/stapler is comfortable and intuitive to use - cordless for convenience with easy magazine reload – ideal for indoor & outdoor jobs
  • ESSENTIALS INCLUDED – 500 X 3/4” staples, 500 X 1” brad nails. Fires 18 Gauge, 5.7mm (1/4”) Narrow Crown staples in 9/16”, 5/8”, 5/7”, ¾” & 13/16” & 18 Gauge Brad nails, 2mm (1/16”) Crown in 9/16”, 13/6”, 1”,1-3/16” & 1-1 ¼”
  • ADJUSTABLE IMPACT CONTROL – for use with varying workpiece materials
  • ANTI-JAM MECHANISM – allows for uninterrupted nailing. Contact safety switch prevents accidental firing
  • 20/Min FIRING SPEED – quick and easy to use this machine will work at your pace. PLEASE NOTE - Not Suitable For Hard Wood Surfaces

Brad Nailer VS Finish Nailer

A brad nailer is a type of nail gun used to fasten thin and delicate workpieces, such as trims, crown molding, paneling, picture and mirror frames, or baseboard shoe molding. 

Brad nailers look a lot like finish nailers, but there are some subtle differences between these two nail guns. Finish nailers are a little larger than brad nailers. Finish nailers use slightly thicker 15 and 16-gauge nails, while brad nailers use finer 18-gauge nails or brads (we’ve also covered 23-gauge micro pin nailers here if you’re interested in comparing these smaller nailers).

Slender 18-gauge brads are ideal for paneling or attaching wood trim. Because they are finer, they will not split or destroy the delicate trims and moldings you are working on.

Brads can sink flush to the surface of the workpiece, resulting in a cleaner finish. The head of 15 and 16-gauge nails discharged by finish nailers, on the other hand, will still be visible on the surface of the workpiece. 

Brads are available in different lengths, ranging from 5/8″ up to as long as 2″.

Brad Nailer Buying Guide

Power Source

18-gauge brad nailers are either powered by air compressors or batteries. (Note that this review is dedicated to battery-powered brad nailers).

Air-powered brad nailers are easy to use — just hook the compressor’s hose up to the nailer and you’re good to go. They are also lighter and cheaper than their battery-powered counterparts. The downside is that your mobility is limited when you use air-powered tools as you are always tethered to the compressor.

It makes sense to buy an air-powered brad nailer if you already have an air compressor. But if you don’t own one, then it’s best to purchase a cordless electric brad nailer instead. Battery-powered brad nailers are more mobile than air-powered ones. You can use them just about anywhere, from remote locations during home addition projects to basements where it can be difficult to lug an air compressor around.

Cordless electric brad nailers, however, are sometimes heavier than pneumatic nailers. You also have to stop and recharge the battery if you’re running low on juice and you don’t have a spare battery with you. 

Depth Control

The majority of brad nailers have a depth control adjustment dial located at the side of the tool or near the trigger. This allows you to choose whether to sink the brad flush with the surface or drive it (for some reason) slightly shallower into the workpiece.

The depth control adjustment dial is sometimes supplemented with a depth adjustment window. This window lets you know if you have set the nailer to the right depth or if the tip of the brad is going to protrude from the wood. 

Trigger Actuation Modes

Brad nailers have two types of trigger actuation modes: sequential and contact firing.

With sequential firing, you have to press the nose or safety tip of the nail gun against the surface, then press the trigger to fire the brad into the workpiece. Repeat the sequence to drive another nail into the wood. Although slower, sequential firing is preferred by most builders as this mode is safer and more precise than contact or bump firing.

Contractors and woodworkers who value speed can choose to use contact or bump firing. With contact firing, all you have to do is pull the trigger and press the nailer’s nose or safety tip against a surface to discharge the brad. But keep in mind that it is easier to misfire and cause injuries in the workplace using contact firing because all you have to do to discharge a brad is press the safety tip against a surface.

Some brad nailers are designed to offer both sequential and bump firing. Just press a button or switch, and you can automatically switch from one mode to another and vice versa.

Check out our favorite nail gun safety video to know why sequential firing is safer than contact firing.

Other Useful Features

Other useful brad nailer features that you should look into include LED lights, low battery indicator, and jam indicator. A good brad nailer should also have a stall release lever, tool-less jam clearance, and belt hook.

Factor in the tool’s weight when choosing the right brad nailer. The lightest brad nailers weigh around 4 lbs, while the heaviest can weigh as much as 8 lbs. Attach the unit’s lithium-ion battery, and it’s going to add another 1 to 3 pounds to the overall weight. The combined weight of the nailer and the battery will definitely take its toll on your arms especially if you’re going to use it all day.

Conclusion:

We’ve come to the end of the review, but lest we forget, let’s check out the best electric brad nailer on the list.

The best electric brad nailer is the PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA Brad Nailer Kit. Here are some of the features that make it a highly rated and best-selling power tool.

Let’s talk about its performance first. Its powerful motor can discharge 18-gauge brads and penetrate even the toughest of pieces of wood and drywall. Because it is powered by a battery, there’s no need for you to constantly adjust the pressure to ensure that it can drive a brad into a tough surface.

It has a slim safety tip and a couple of LED lights that let you see your work surface for greater accuracy. Other useful features include the depth adjustment wheel and window, jam clearance lever, and durable magazine with low-nail indicator. Its default trigger actuation mode is sequential, making it one of the safer nail guns on the market.

It’s quite expensive, but you get more value for your money as the battery pack and charger are already included.

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