This is a truly unique tool and quite possibly the first of the next generation of cordless nailers. According to the manufacturer, the battery on this unit is good for 600 shots per charge. With the lithium-ion batteries and fast charger that’s included in the package, you can recharge to 80 percent in 15 minutes, allowing for quick turn-around and continued work.
But that’s not what makes this nailer unique. What’s so great about it is the truly innovative way that it drives the nails. Instead of burning gas for power, Senco has built this unit with an integral gas chamber, filled with non-reactive nitrogen. When the trigger is pulled, the gas drives a piston, pushing the plunger which drives the nail. There is a small gear motor, which returns the piston to its original position, re-compressing the gas in the process.
A built-in work light is included, along with a led indicator for battery power level (not just an “I’m dead light”). A selector switch offers sequential (pull the trigger every time) or “bump-fire” mode. The unit is quickly adjustable for depth with an easily accessible thumbwheel. They've even made the belt hook adjustable for both depth and right or left handed operation.
After looking at all the “standard” cordless brad nailers (ones that burn gas), I’ve come to the conclusion that Hitachi makes the best. While I’ve given the number one spot to the Senco Fusion, this is the best of the standard cordless units. What really makes it great is that the unit is only four pounds, making it the lightest brad nailer on the market. The handle is made from a patented elastomer, adding to operator comfort. Hitachi has also created a jam release mechanism that doesn’t require any tools, making for quick, convenient jam release.
Just like Senco, Paslode is another old-timer in the air tool market. Overall, this is an excellent tool, even though there isn’t one specific feature that stands out. This one has a tool-free depth of drive adjustment and a low nail lockout. This prevents firing the gun, if there are no nails in it. A great feature to help protect your tool investment and your work. They brag that this nailer can get 4,000 shots from one battery charge; that’s enough for the whole day’s work. Paslode is known for making high quality tools. While it is not quite as light as the Hitachi, at 4.9 pounds it is still very comfortable to use.
Like the Senco, this unit doesn’t require gas charges; making it much easier and less expensive to use. it is considerably larger than the Senco though. Like all the air nailers on this list, this one has a selector switch for sequential (pull the trigger) or “bump” firing. Depth control is done off of a 12 position dial, which is much easier to work with than the old system. DeWalt has done a really splendid job with their nosepiece design, allowing jam removal without any tools. A trip lock-off safety feature insures that the tool can’t be fired when not in use. There’s also an integrated LED work light to make it easier to see what you’re working on.
Bostitch is somewhat of an unsung hero in the air nailer business. Everyone seems to know about them for their office staplers, but few people realize that they also make construction nailers. This cordless brad nailer has a low nail lock-out to prevent damage to the tool from dry firing; a feature that I think all nailers should have. Both the depth adjustment and the jam clearing are tool free for convenience as well. The handle is rubber overmolded for comfort and it has a belt hook.
Senco has been building air nailers for years and this brad nailer shows all their experience, in an easy-to-use, comfortable package. The main body of this gun is magnesium, making it extremely light weight and durable as well as also oil-free, to protect your work. Even so, the exhaust on this gun is in the rear, where it won’t have a chance of splattering your workpiece.
Depth of drive is adjustable and the trigger is selectable actuation. The nosepiece is easy-open for quick jam removal. There’s a low nail indicator on the magazine and it includes a belt hook and even a swivel air connector. You can’t go wrong with this model.
Hitachi makes some of the most popular air nailers on the market. This brad nailer has a depth-of-drive dial to make it easy to get the nails exactly where you want them while the trigger is selectable like the Senco, giving you more flexibility in your work. The safety is behind the nosepiece to get it out of your way and out of your sight line. An easy-open nose makes jam removal quick and easy and there’s a low nail indicator on the magazine. The air inlet connector swivels as well, for ease of use.
This upgraded brad nailer will handle 2-inch brads, unlike the BN138 it replaces. The BN200C has a maintenance-free motor, meaning it doesn’t need to be oiled. There’s also an internal piston catch, to ensure that all your shots are the same depth. Depth-of-drive is adjusted tool-free, as well as the nosepiece opening for jam removal.
Porter-Cable put the safety behind the driver, which improves your visibility, there’s low nail indicator built into the magazine, and it also has a belt hook for convenience. This is one of the few air nailers with a rear exhaust, which helps prevent marring the finish on your work.
The updated design of this nailer has a narrower nose, making it easier to nail in tight spaces. Like the others, Makita puts a cam-lock nosepiece latch on their brad nailer, to make it quick and easy to remove jams, without any tools. The non-marring rubber nose is augmented by rubber pads on the side of the tool, to prevent marring the workpiece when the tool is set down.
The nosepiece is both cast and machined for the greatest precision possible along with dual nail indicators on the magazine so you can see when it’s time to reload. The exhaust port is designed to rotate 360 degrees, so you can direct it away from your work and yourself while the belt hook rotates for your convenience.
For those who don’t have a lot to spend, Wen makes a decent pneumatic brad nailer. This unit doesn’t have any whistles and bells, nor is it as light as some of the others, but it will get the job done. The magazine has a nice big window to show how many nails are left and there’s an easy-open catch on the nosepiece. They’ve made the exhaust rotate 360 degrees as well, so that you can point it away from your face and the workpiece.