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Tool Review- Brad Nailer Showdown! Battery or Air Which Is Better?

Hey guys hope you are all doing well. Today I wanted to address a question that I have been seeing asked lately. Is is better to get a battery powered or air powered brad nailer? Iv seen this asked a few times here lately on social media and it got me to wondering the same thing myself. I have both and honestly I use the battery powered option much much more I thought it would be good to do a simple comparison of the two. 

Now remember this is just my finding and what I find suites me best for the needs and my used in my shop. You might have a different setup and might be better served by a different arrangement. 

Let’s start off by looking at the two different and Brad nailers that I will be using during this video. The first off is a Pneumatic or air powered Hitachi brad nailer. This is a pretty standard style brad nailer and most of you have probably seen one very similar to this. Their price ranges go from around $50 and I believe just depending on the brand and location that you are buying the tool.  it does have a selector switch for both single fire and multiple fire.

 This is something I will talk about a good bit. Single fire is a setting where every time the safety plunger is pushed down and the trigger is squeezed One Nail will fire. You have to reset the safety switch and Trigger by releasing them both to fire the next nail.

 Multiple fire is a mode that is operated by compressing the trigger and then simply using the safety plunger to fire the brad nailer. The Hitachi is a great brad nailer and it is one that I do highly recommend if you are looking for a Pneumatic brad nailer as it is very reliable, has plenty of power and can accommodate the use of most 18 gauge brad nails. It also like most nailers has an adjustable depth of fire. It is air powered so an attached air hose and compressor is required. 

The other brad nailer that we will be using in this comparison is the DeWalt 20 volt Max battery operated brad nailer. While this option is a good bit more expensive ranging somewhere between 240 and a $340 depending on location in and availability. There is also a lot more features on this particular Brad never that you might find helpful. First off it is battery operated using a 20 volt system. Which makes the brad nailer very mobile and easy to carry whether it be inside your shop or outside on the job site. Next just like the Hitachi  it also allows for single or multiple fire. with a simple selector switch on the bottom of the Guard. 

Like the Hitachi the DeWalt also has an adjustable depth of fire and will accept almost all 18 gauge brad nails. A couple of the other added options are the ability to use larger amp hour batteries search as the 6 amp hour. As well as integrated LEDs to allow for better visibility while working on your project.

 For the comparison of these two what I decided to do was to leave my 8 gallon compressor off as with both of these brad nails if you allow for things such as cool down time replacing batteries are allowing the compressor to refill with air you can go on firing almost indefinitely. To avoid this I filled the 8 gallon compressor tank and then shut off the compressor itself allowing for as many nails to be fired from one 8 gallon tank  as possible. For the DeWalt I started off with  a full battery and would go until the gun failed to fire or the battery life had been used up. For this I got some pretty interesting results. The Hitachi with a full 8 gallon air tank fired around 350 to 375 brad nails. Before the air tank had ran out of pressure to fire the nails. This is not bad but on the idea of Mobility this could cause an issue as if you are using a 1 and 1/2 to 3 gallon pancake compressor which is something many people use due to its ability to be carried easily you would only get around a hundred brad nails fired before having to refill the compressor.

 Now I would like to know too that while the compressor is feeling you might be able to Fire and keep going but I will go more over the cons of this in a minute. After firing the Hitachi until it failed to fire due to lack of air pressure I then moved on to the DeWalt. I was able to fire somewhere around 1100 to 1150  brad nails before the inhaler stopped firing due to going into a protection mode from heat buildup in the motor. No honestly I could have kept firing as I only used one bar of three on a fully charged battery. But to me this showed the absolute limit of being able to constantly fire the brad nailer before any type of stoppage or cool down.

 What type of mine I’d like to go into a bit of a conclusion on the two Neighbors. The Hitachi brad nailer  is a great nail gun. And anyone who has ever used a Pneumatic brad nailer knows they are extremely reliable and easy to work with. It is a lightweight option that does not weigh much and does not pretend your hand get much and with a good compressor that can keep up with the air pressure needs you can fire almost indefinitely Or until you run out of brad nails. Some of the cons of this particular brad nailer are that it has to be connected to a air compressor. This can be a bit of a pain in a couple of different ways. If you are working in an area where you need a quieter compressor if you do not have a quiet ruin it can be quiet loud. Working in say a attached garage or something of that nature and in the evening you would not want a very loud compressor running and bothering people inside the house same thing for sale a basement type shop setup. Also you are limited in mobility by the air hose itself.  Now this may or may not be a deal-breaker depending on your particular needs or shop setup but I use my air compressor for things other than just my brad nailer so being able to leave the air hose open for used for other things without disconnecting the nailer every time is a bit of a plus to me.

 The DeWalt 20 volt Max battery operated brad nailer  is an absolute awesome option if you are looking at a mobile battery powered brad nailer. Some of the  pros of this particular brad nailer are an extremely fast rate of fire. As I have not seen any other battery operated brad nailer be able to continuously fire without stopping at least for a second or two between shots to allow for compression to be achieved by the nailer. The DeWalt was able to fire at almost the same rate of speed as in the pneumatic brad nailer. This to me is extremely impressive. There is no lag time between being able to fire the first to the next nail. Simply holding down the trigger and tapping the safety prong down onto the wood fires then they’ll almost as fast as you can go. Or at least as fast as you can accurately go. The next Advantage is all of the different features. This has many of the same features as the Hitachi or most of their pneumatic Brad nailers but some are even better. With a very ledge depth gauge for the nails you’re using as well as LEDs to help see you in those tight spots or say inside of cabinets are the things like that where there might not be as much light as needed. Also the sheer battery life out of the DeWalt Is amazing. I used one bar of battery on a 5 amp hour battery and fired over 1100 brad nails. This would mean if you took the battery life to its full capabilities you would likely fire between 3 and 4000 brad nails before having to change batteries. And this is with the medium size 5 amp hour. With the 6 amp hour larger battery that is offered by Dewalt  you would likely get much more  longevity out of one battery. This is a feature that to me is very nice as I can leave one battery on the brad nailer for extended amounts of time without having to worry about if I’m going to have a dead battery or not be able to use the brad nailer on a moments notice. The two main cons  of the DeWalt brad nailer are the price and the weight. Depending on where you purchase the brad nailer it is somewhere between $230 and $330.  Now while this is a good bit more than the pneumatic nailer. In my opinion it is absolutely worth the cost. If you do not have a decent compressor or air hose those can be factored into the cost as well if you are going to buy a Pneumatic nailer. Which might bring you to spending around the same thing after everything needed is purchased. The next issue that I did have or I have had with the DeWalt brad nailer is the weight. It is quite heavy. It is not on wieldable or on the manageable but it does have a good bit of weight and if you are using it for extended periods of time this can be a little bit of a factor.  For me though it is negligible and I have learned to get past it.

 So in conclusion  both are a great option for your shop. You must determine what will fit your needs and your shop the best and make a determination on your own. I personally highly recommend the DeWalt 20 volt Max battery operated brad nailer  I use mine all the time and it is one of my favorite tools in the shop. If you already have a compressor and air hose and just need a cheaper version of a brad nailer a Pneumatic one may be the way to go. Hopefully you guys have founded this at least somewhat helpful. And hopefully it helps and you making the proper decision for what is needed for your shop.

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