Shopping online isn’t always the fun task that it’s made out to be. Misleading product descriptions can make it difficult to find a model that will meet your needs and provide great value for the price.
We believe that the online shopping experience doesn’t need to be that way, which is why we’ve created these reviews of the best electric brad nailers of 2020. We include the pros and cons of each model so that you can find the one that’s right for you, at a price you’ll love. Also included is a buyer’s guide, which is designed to help you understand brad nailers, even if you’ve never owned one before.
|DEWALT DC608K |
|PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA ||3 Years||4.7/5|
|Stanley TRE650Z||Limited Lifetime||4.2/5|
The DEWALT DC608 is the brad nailer you should get if you’re looking to get the best overall electric brad nailer on the market today. This model is battery-powered, so you get portability that you wouldn’t get out of a corded electric model. That’s especially useful if you’re going to be working in tight spaces, or areas where you won’t have easy access to electric outlets. It also comes with tool-free jam clears, which will save you a lot of time in the long run.
This model features both precision and bump modes, so you can fire with a tap of the nose to increase your speed, or you can limit the tool to one nail per trigger pull, to maximize your precision. This model works with brads as small as 5/8” and can work with brad nails as large as 2”, giving you diversity in the projects that you can do with this nailer. The only downside to this model is that it’s expensive. If it were to include a second battery at this price point, it would be a much better deal, but as is, it’s still the best electric brad nailer you can find today.
The PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA 20V Lithium is another great choice for those who need a portable, electric brad nailer, and don’t want to settle for a model with inferior power. This model uses a 20V battery, giving it good punch for a portable, electric-powered model. It also comes with LED lights, which make it useful in situations where you may not have optimal light. This model also comes with superior depth adjustment, making it easy to get the right depth.
You can save a bit of money over our top model when you buy this one, so it’s a good overall deal. However, the big downside to this model is that it lacks bump-fire mode. If you’re going to be using your brad nailer in any kind of industrial or construction setting where you need to drive a lot of brads in a short amount of time, then you’ll be disappointed in this model. That’s not a problem that will affect everyone, but it is one that could slow some people down. Ultimately, this model isn’t good enough to take first place, but it’s still a good choice if you want to save some money and don’t need bump mode.
The Makita AF505N is a great example of a tool that aspires to go beyond the industry standards and create a truly superior tool for a price that won’t knock your socks off. Since you can get this model for about a quarter of what you’d pay for the top two models on our list, this model earns the title of “best for the money.” The most innovative feature on this model is its narrow nose, which makes it easy to position the brad nailer in tight spaces. It also comes with a rubber tip on that nose, which does a good job of reducing marring on the surface of the wood.
This model also includes tool-free jam clearing. While it would be nice to find a model that doesn’t jam, it doesn’t seem to exist yet, so easy jam clearing is the next best thing. What keeps this model out of the top two is its lack of high-end power. You can generally drive brads up to 1-1/2″ long, but any longer than that, and this model will start to struggle. Overall, it’s a great deal for the money and a buy that will leave most people satisfied.
The Stanley TREW650Z is a model that has some good features but falls short in the critical areas which would make it an especially good buy. This model comes with easy jam clears, which is very important with brad nailers of any sort since jams happen on every model. It also comes with an empty magazine indicator. While that won’t prevent you from dry-firing, if you pay attention, you’ll be able to get back to work with minimum fuss.
However, this model uses an electric cord, so it doesn’t have the same portability that you could get from a battery-powered model. It also has underwhelming depth adjustment, as it gives you the option of “high” or “low” power, instead of the range of depths available on most models. Even when on high power, many users find that it doesn’t drive brads into the wood. That’s a pain to deal with, as you have to follow up with a hammer, and is a problem significant enough to drop this model to the last place on our list. If you’re looking for a frustration-free model that will make your job easier, you’d be better off getting a different model.
When it comes to getting a great electric brad nailer, you need to consider the power type and your specific project.
The first decision you’ll need to make is whether you’d like a battery-powered or corded brad nailer. Battery-powered models are far more portable and are good in situations where you won’t have regular access to power, or where a cord would be an impediment. Corded models, on the other hand, are better when you’re not going to be moving around a lot, and they can be a few pounds lighter, so they’ll be less of a strain on your hands and wrists.
You also need to keep in mind the kinds of tasks you’ll be doing. Most projects require brads of a certain length, and all brad nailers come with a range of brads by length which they can drive. If you’re going to need to drive brads of differing length, you’ll need a model with a wide range of accepted brads. Likewise, if you’re going to drive brads longer than 1-1/2”, you’ll need a powerful brad nailer. As long as you keep your needs in mind while you shop, you’ll be able to get a model that you’ll like using, which is an underrated feature.
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The DEWALT DC608 is the model you want to get if you’re looking for the best electric brad nailer on the market today. The PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA 20V Lithium comes with LED lights and good depth adjustment, though its lack of a bump-fire mode costs it first place. The Makita AF505N comes with a narrow, rubber-tipped nose, and you can get it for a fraction of what you’d pay for our top models, making it the best value on our list. In the last place is the Stanley TREW650Z which comes with easy jam clears but has poor depth adjustment and underwhelming power.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand electric brad nailers. Armed with this information, you should be able to find the model that’s right for you.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!