A decent brad nailer

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Forum topic by Palmer posted 02-19-2014 09:29 AM 1243 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1582 days

02-19-2014 09:29 AM

I should need a brad nailer soon and I came here for some advice from you guys. This is the first time I’m buying such a tool, so if anyone could helpme by advising me on what should I look for in a brad nailer. basically, I need it for some small projects around the house, so nothing too fancy or huge.
I’ve read this article but, I would also like some real-people advice about this matter.

Thank you in advance.

13 replies so far

View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2309 days

#1 posted 02-19-2014 11:23 AM

8-9 years ago I bought the HF brad nailer and the 2 in 1 crown stapler and brad nailer. Both have worked flawlessly. They were $15 each and still work today. Thinking that they worked so well I bought their framing nailer and it is a piece of junk. Can’t shoot five nails without it jamming. Today I would either go for the HF or get the Hitachi from Big sky Tools reconditioned “A”. I have bought several tools from them and have never had a problem. I recently bought the Hitachi framing nailer and it is great. But I can’t kick the HF brad nailers, just wonder if they are as good today as when I bought mine. I have only bought the reconditioned A tools from Big Sky and they are new looking and I doubt they have even been used.

-- Bill R

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2100 days

#2 posted 02-19-2014 11:31 AM

I have no experience with any other than the one I have so take it for what it’s worth.
I bought the Porter Cable one when it went on sale at HD. If I recall correctly, it came with the small compressor. It suits my needs, the depth adjusts easily and I’ve never had a problem with it.

I eventually bought a Ridgid headless pin nailer also and find I use that more often than the brad nailer now.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#3 posted 02-19-2014 12:36 PM

I like the Hitachis best all around. I have about 6 nailers/staplers
and 2 are Hitachi and they hit the mark with the ergonomics.

All the nailers are pretty similar brand to brand. I read in a Jim
Tolpin book “don’t try to save money by buying cheap
nailers because you won’t” (paraphrased). That book was
written awhile back and maybe the HF nailers are pretty
good these days. Dunno… it’s mostly about the seals in
that air chamber I think and the cycling of air pressurized
at 120psi can be hard on them.

I’d look at features more than brand but I think Hitachi
is a good bet for quality.

View JayT's profile


5674 posts in 2235 days

#4 posted 02-19-2014 12:50 PM

+1 to Loren. If you go with a good brand, you’ll be OK. Hitachi, Senco, Bostitch, Porter Cable, Dewalt, Grip-Rite plus some others will all be pretty similar in price and performance. Buying a factory reconditioned unit is a good way to save a bit, without sacrificing performance.

As far as the HF unit. I have one, but will be upgrading in the near future. It works, but doesn’t have some of the features of a brand name nailers.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Todd's profile


398 posts in 1701 days

#5 posted 02-19-2014 01:00 PM

I have had the HF for 3 years. It jammed once, and that was my fault. I use it quite a bit. I have done interior molding, loaned it to others to do their projects, use it for joinery on painted projects, and to attach backs on my finer projects. Your mileage may vary…

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3985 days

#6 posted 02-19-2014 02:55 PM

I’m lucky enough to have the PC nailers that were made in Jackson, TN. 16 and 18 gauge. Bought a pin nailer from Tool Mart, and a combo stapler/nailer from HF. All have served me well. Trimmed 2 houses with the PC with good success.
Whatever ya buy, keep ‘em clean and oiled (if required). The good thing about the Pcs is that you can get rebuild kits if needed.


View WhyMe's profile


1025 posts in 1585 days

#7 posted 02-19-2014 03:28 PM

I have a HF brad nailer and it’s barely okay. I broke down and purchased a Bostitch and it’s night and day difference. I haven’t used the HF one since. I have since replaced all my HF nailers with Bostitch.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2097 days

#8 posted 02-19-2014 03:38 PM

I have had, and used them all in a full professional shop setting (That means I supply and maintain tools for my 14 employees) Senco is the winner by far. Especially OLD senco. The brad nailers that have lasted the longest are the senco slp 20’s and slp20x’s that I have bought used on ebay. I have a local shop that will rebuild the older (plain grey finish) guns, and then they are good almost for life. Second is the newer slp25x’s by senco. Not american made any more, but they stand up, just not as long. That is my vote. P.s. These guns might see as much use in one month as you will give them in 2 years. I can’t make a good argument about the other brands. I have some of each in use now, and they do all stand up to some level, just IMO senco is best. One consistent thing between brands is look into buying used older ones that are still supported by a dealer in your area (like the sencos) All the older senco, bostich, porter cable guns in the shop all stand up better than the others.

+1 loren on Air pressure. Keep an eye on that… don’t over pressure your guns and don’t run them at max pressure. Most are rated max 120lbs, we keep are gun lines at 105lbs, with no problems, but get problems starting at about 95lbs.

-- Who is John Galt?

View jmartel's profile


7954 posts in 2174 days

#9 posted 02-19-2014 03:38 PM

If you are just using it occasionally, the Harbor Freight one will be fine. I got mine for $15.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2995 days

#10 posted 02-19-2014 05:44 PM

I have 3 Porter Cable and 3 HF pneumatic nailer/staplers. Never had a problem with either.
Wouldn’t call it a problem, but my HF 16ga brad nailer kept shooting two brads at at once on a fencing project. Realized why when I went to reload and saw that I had picked up a box of 18ga brads instead of 16ga. To it’s credit the HF nailer never jammed, even with my operator error.

View Todd's profile


398 posts in 1701 days

#11 posted 02-19-2014 07:37 PM

Pragmatically I believe HF has it’s place. My occasional use of my 18ga brad nailer didn’t warrant paying a lot of money. In fact, I bought it for one remodeling project at my house, but it keeps on working. When it dies I’ll chunk it and know I got way more than my money’s worth out of it. If you are going to use one a lot then by all means feel free to bypass the HF. Most of my projects are not painted and therefore I am careful about using as few fasteners as I can.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3610 days

#12 posted 02-19-2014 08:16 PM

I like bostech or dewalt, or senco .Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2050 days

#13 posted 02-19-2014 08:24 PM

I have a Husky, came with my compressor from HD, no complaints from me.

-- atta boy Clarence!

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