Mod­els We Tested

The Family Handyman - - 2018 BEST IN DIY -

To see how the 18-gauge bat­tery-pow­ered brad nail­ers per­formed un­der ad­verse con­di­tions, we drove hun­dreds of 2-in. brads into 2-1/4-in. solid oak. Then we tested in real-world con­di­tions by nail­ing oak cas­ing to an oak jamb. Here’s what we dis­cov­ered:

RIDGID R09890K $298 This is a ruggedly built tool with the ad­van­tage of Ridgid’s life­time war­ranty. We like the trans­par­ent mag­a­zine cover and the two styles of no-mar tips that Ridgid sup­plies so you can choose your fa­vorite. MIL­WAU­KEE 2741-21CT $399

From the sleek, com­pact body to the pre­ci­sion brad-depth ad­juster, this tool has a high­qual­ity feel. Our only gripe is that the view of the tip is ob­scured by the jam-re­lease lever. The nailer re­sponds in­stantly and per­formed well in our test­ing. DEWALT DCN680D1 $299

This nailer ap­pears to be nearly iden­ti­cal to the Bos­titch. Both nail­ers drove 2-in. brads con­sis­tently into solid oak and worked per­fectly in our test­ing. BOS­TITCH BCN680D1 $299

This nailer has a fly­wheel-type drive sys­tem that revs up as soon as you press down on the tip, en­sur­ing a quick re­sponse when you pull the trig­ger to drive the brad. The nailer has ev­ery fea­ture you could want and per­formed flaw­lessly in our shop.

HI­TACHI NT1850DE $299

Weigh­ing in at 7.65 lbs., this is the heav­i­est tool of the lot. The nailer per­formed well in our test­ing and would be a good choice if you have other Hi­tachi tools to share bat­ter­ies with. Our only com­plaint is the depth ad­just­ment, which is hard to turn and dis­con­nects from the safety tip if you turn the ad­juster too far. PCC790LA $190 We like the weight and bal­ance of this nailer. And it drives brads con­sis­tently with­out prob­lems. The only down­side is the lack of a dry-fire lock­out to pre­vent fir­ing when there are no nails in the mag­a­zine. SENCO FU­SION F-18 6E0001N $309 Senco uses a sealed cylin­der in con­junc­tion with a mo­tor to drive the brads. This re­sults in good power and al­most in­stan­ta­neous re­sponse. We like the bal­ance and feel of this tool. MAKITA XNB01Z $378

We like how easy it is to see the tip, aid­ing in ac­cu­rate brad place­ment. But the shape of this nailer gives it a back-heavy feel that we found un­com­fort­able. This is the only gun that re­quires a tool to take apart the nose to clear jams. PASLODE IM200Li $329

This brad nailer is in a class of its own. The gas-fuel tech­nol­ogy is sort of old-school, but it’s tried and true. In our test, this tool was the light­est (4.7 lbs.) and felt the most com­fort­able. If you’re will­ing to shoul­der the ad­di­tional cost of fuel can­is­ters and put up with the faint smell of ex­haust, put this gun at the top of your list. RY­OBI P320-P128 $188

This model per­formed well and has all the fea­tures of more ex­pen­sive nail­ers. The unique ad­justable air pres­sure could be handy for fine-tuning brad depth. It uses Ry­obi’s One+ bat­tery— great if you own other tools us­ing the same bat­tery plat­form.

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