What is the best brad nailer for trim, DIY, crown molding, baseboards, cabinets and woodworking? Let’s find out.
If you’ve used a pneumatic nailer before, then you probably know the struggle of having to move the air compressor around whenever you need to move the tool. You might also be familiar with how loud it can be. Even though pneumatic brad nailers do have their advantages, their flaws and shortcomings can’t be denied.
This is where having the best cordless brad nailer can be a lifesaver for some people. While cordless power tools may not have the upper hand in terms of force, they make up for it by being a lot more convenient. Whether you’re a professional or a DIY enthusiast, having the best cordless brad nailer at your disposal can be very helpful as it saves you a lot of time when you’re doing simple jobs that require you to move around a bit.
In this review guide, we’ve compiled a list of contenders for the title of the best cordless brad nailer as well as a buying guide to help narrow down your search as much as possible. I have done the research so you don’t have to.
Without further ado, here are the best cordless brad nailers available today!
Best Cordless Brad Nailer – Top Picks
Rather than forcing you to go through a long list of brad nailer reviews, I decided to post only the best cordless brad nailers that I can recommend you with confidence. Here are the top 3 cordless brad nail guns.
#1 – DEWALT DCN680B Cordless Brad Nailer
You can always expect Dewalt’s products to be the best at what they do. If you’re looking for a well-known brand that never fails to deliver a high-quality product, then you can’t go wrong with Dewalt. This 18 Gauge DeWalt brad nailer is no exception.
What makes this potentially the best cordless brad nailer is a mix of power, portability, and durability. You’ll be able to get a lot from this product whether you’re a professional or an amateur.
One of this nailer’s greatest strengths is its accuracy. You’ll be able to consistently get accurate shots thanks to its micro nose and LEDs which allow for a better line of sight and overall visibility of your workpiece.
Another great thing about the DCN680B is its brushless motor which is very helpful considering battery life and power efficiency are a common problem for cordless power tools. In the case of the DCN680, you can also get a 20V lithium-ion battery to further increase the tool’s battery life. However, you’ll have to buy it separately.
Furthermore, the DCN680B features an automatic shut-off feature to prevent wasting battery life when the tool is not in use. Lastly, this nail gun allows you to adjust the driving depth from 5/8 inches to 2-1/8 inches without need any tools.
All in all, if you’re looking for a good product from a reputable brand, then Dewalt’s DCN680 nailer might be the best cordless brad nailer for you.
- Very lightweight
- Large magazine capacity
- Capable of shooting 2-1/8″ long brad nails
- Brushless motor
- 3-year warranty
- Battery life is a bit short
- Lithium-ion battery not included
#2 – PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA Cordless Brad Nailer
The Porter-Cable PCC490LA is yet another strong candidate for the title of the best cordless brad nailer for a lot of reasons. Not only is it powerful and reliable, but you can also expect consistency and accuracy whenever you’re using it thanks to the features it comes with.
For instance, this model has a depth adjustment wheel that makes it possible to change the depth settings effortlessly which makes it very versatile. There’s also a tool-less release lever for loading. This also helps make the tool easier to use by making the overall workflow much faster and simpler.
Finally, the battery life on this model is quite impressive. You’ll be able to fire 1,300 nails on a full charge before having to recharge it. Battery life is usually the bane of most cordless brad nailers. However, this one does not suffer from this issue.
As for the main issues regarding this brad nailer, there are no major flaws to mention. However, there are a couple of minor inconveniences that are worth addressing. For instance, this is a relatively heavy nail gun when compared to the competition. This can make it hard to use for extended periods of time without having to take a break. There’s also the issue of the price which can be a bit too expensive for some people.
Overall, this is a very strong contender for the best cordless brad nailers out there.
- Easy to use
- Depth adjustment wheel
- Tool-less release wheel
- Excellent battery life
#3 – Ryobi P320 Airstrike Cordless Brad-Nailer
The last entry in the list is geared towards those who are on a budget but still want something reliable and of high quality. The Ryobi P320 is the best cordless brad nailer in terms of value. It strikes a balance between price and performance that can’t be found anywhere else.
The battery will allow you to fire 700 nails before needing a recharge. You’ll also appreciate how light this nail gun is. You’ll be able to use it comfortably even in tight spaces and for long periods of time thanks to its ergonomic design.
Furthermore, the P320 features tool-less adjustment settings as well as LED lights that help improve visibility when working in the dark.
One thing that we noticed when we were testing this product is the fact that it jams quite often. Another thing to keep in mind is that even though this is the best cordless brad nailer in terms of value, it isn’t the best in terms of power. You’ll find that there are better alternatives if money is not an issue.
- Excellent value for the money
- Tool-less adjustment settings
- LED light
- Nail jams
- Average power
Choosing the Best Cordless Brad Nailer – Buying Guide
If you’ve read our reviews for the best cordless brad nailers but still haven’t found what you’re looking for just yet, this section is for you. We’ll be citing all of the things you need to look for whenever you’re looking for the best cordless brad nailer.
These features will vary in priority depending on your situation. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to ditch some features over others. The most important thing is that you go in knowing exactly what you need the nail gun for. That way you’ll be able to considerably narrow down your search and save yourself a lot of time.
The main advantage that cordless brad nailers have over other types of nail guns is the extra mobility they offer. Since you don’t need to be connected to an air compressor hose in order to make use of the tool, you have a lot more room for maneuverability. However, this comes at the cost of the nail gun being overall heavier since you’ll have to take into account the weight of the motor and the batteries.
To give some reference, the majority of pneumatic brad nailers usually weigh in at around 2 pounds. When it comes to battery-powered brad nailers, you’ll be looking at about 5 pounds in the best cases.
Weight is a very important factor if you’re going to be using the brad nailer for extended periods of time. A heavy nail gun will eventually cause a lot of physical discomfort and in some cases, pain. This is why I always recommend opting for the lighter options if possible.
Another vital thing to take into consideration is the contact tip of the nail gun. Unfortunately, some contact tips can end up marring the piece you’re working on, which can result in a lot of inaccuracy and, in some cases, can ruin your work. This is why you need to always opt for a non-marring contact tip.
Since finish nailers and brad nailers are mainly used for fixing fine moldings and jobs that require a certain degree of finesse and precision, getting a non-marring tip is crucial no matter the situation.
- Recommended Reading: Difference between brad nailer vs finish nailer
Another thing to take into account in regards to the contact tip is its size. This can play a major role in how accurate you are with the tool. We recommend going for thinner contact tips.
Every brad nailer comes with the sequential firing mode which means that each time you press the trigger, you fire one nail. This is the mode to use if you want accuracy and precision.
There are brad nailers that feature a bump/contact firing mode where you can keep holding the trigger and a nail will fire each time the contact tip is depressed.
This is yet another vital feature to take into consideration in any cordless brad nailer you want to buy. This feature can be found in almost any cordless brad nailer you come across. However, not all nail guns are created equal. In some cases, making adjustments can be a tedious hassle that takes up way too much time. However, when we’re talking about the best cordless brad nailer, making adjustments is usually tool-free and very easy to do.
We highly recommend choosing a nail gun that has tool-less adjustments. Thankfully, this shouldn’t be too hard to do since the tool-less adjustment is becoming more popular as time goes on. With that said this isn’t the most important thing in the world. It’s mostly a time saver. If you don’t have the budget for it, you’d probably be better off prioritizing other factors when you’re considering making a purchase.
Even though relying solely on a product’s brand is not always a good idea, it is still a good point of reference. There’s no better way to make sure a product is of high-quality than seeing the name of a well-known and reputable brand.
However, the best cordless brad nailer is not tied to one brand, there are numerous exceptions and if you’re willing to do some extra digging, you’ll be able to find some real hidden gems. Look for a particular brand only if you have heavily invested in cordless powerful tools from that brand. In that case, you can interchange the batteries and use the same charger which will save you some money.
All in all, going by brand name is not too bad of an idea. However, don’t use it to immediately dismiss or blindly trust any product you see. Make sure to check the other features to make sure it’s the right product for you before you make a purchase.
Aside from the aforementioned features, there are still some other small ones worth considering
- Dry Fire Protection: We recommend looking for a nail gun that boasts a mechanism that prevents it from dry fire since it can be harmful to the gun and the user.
- Adjustable Depth of Drive: The nail gun must feature an easy way to adjust how deep the nails are driven.
- Fastener Capacity: A higher capacity means that you’ll be able to fire more nails before needing to reload
- Maximum Fastener Length: The majority of brad nailer can shoot up to 2-inch brad nails. However, there are nail guns that can shoot longer nails
- LED Lighting: As you can guess, LED lights can only be found in electric battery-powered brad nailers. Home users might not find lot of use for it. However, if you are a professional such as building contractor, then you will definitely appreciate the built-in LED lights.
- Belt Clips: This is especially important for people who regularly use nailers.
Given how cordless brad nailers can be a hefty investment, it’s very important to invest in a cordless brad nailer that has a good warranty. This can save you a lot of money and can also be used as a way to gauge how confident the manufacturer is with their product.
Now that you’ve read through the article, you should be able to easily choose the best cordless brad nailer. You can’t go wrong with any of the products we mentioned in our list. However, if you’re still looking for other options, then the buying guide we have provided should be more than enough to help you narrow down your search and get exactly what you need.
What are you waiting for? The best cordless brad nailer is just a few clicks away!
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