Brad nailer capacity

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Forum topic by sry posted 12-23-2008 07:58 PM 1527 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 4624 days

12-23-2008 07:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: brad nailer question

What size brad nailer do you guys have/recommend?
I’m starting to shop around, and see a bunch at the 1 1/4” size and a bunch at the 2”+ size. I’m trying to determine if it’s worth the extra money for the bigger capacity, or if the smaller size is really all that’s necessary.
I would anticipate using it mostly for cabinet-y type projects


15 replies so far

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2824 posts in 4606 days

#1 posted 12-23-2008 08:01 PM

Get one that supports 5/8” brads up to 2” brads.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View lew's profile


13317 posts in 4771 days

#2 posted 12-23-2008 08:44 PM

I’ve found that the longer the brad, the more likely a blowout will occur- given the same gauge brad. My old Bostich only shot 5/8 to 1”. The newer one goes all the way to 2” These are all 18 gauge. When the brads get to about 1 1/2” length, blowouts occur far too often.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View sry's profile


147 posts in 4624 days

#3 posted 12-23-2008 09:40 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I’ve never used a brad nailer before, but am thinking that one will be very handy with the projects I have queued up, mostly shop storage furniture/workstations as I transform my basement corner into a shop area.
So are there applications where having the longer capacity would be worth it? Obviously there are plenty of situations where you could use 2” brads, but I’m not sure how many people actually choose brads in that situation.
I just don’t want to find myself in a situation where a few months down the road I wish I had the bigger gun, but I also don’t want to buy more capacity (and weight) than I really need.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4601 days

#4 posted 12-23-2008 10:51 PM

It depends entirely on the work you wish to undertake.I have several brad nail guns as well as staplers I like them to take big and small up to two and a half inches from half an inch and never had any trouble with these for cabinet making I have both 16 and 18 gauge the work fine.This gives me pleanty of choice.Alistair p s good luck with your choices

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

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 4794 days

#5 posted 12-24-2008 12:26 AM

I use 2” all the time. I’d recommend you get at least a 2” gun to start.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5416 days

#6 posted 12-24-2008 01:07 AM

If you are only getting one get the 2” gun. I have about 6 of them and the smaller ones are easier to hold, But if yiy are putting up molding. The 3/4 + 1/2” drywall and you’ve exceded the lenght of the smaller guns.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4777 days

#7 posted 12-26-2008 10:09 PM

A 1 1/4” brad is not going to do a very good job of connecting 3/4” thick stock. My nailer has 2” capacity but I find that the 1 9/16 brads do everything I need.

A brad nailer is a very handy tool. I don’t know how I got along without it.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5330 days

#8 posted 12-26-2008 11:23 PM


View John Marr's profile

John Marr

17 posts in 4704 days

#9 posted 12-27-2008 12:24 AM

I bought a 18ga nailer from Grizzly for $30 that takes up to 2”. Granted i don’t use it every day but it will shoot 2” brads into Oak with no problem and it’s never jammed once. I’m really happy with it, especially for $30.


-- John

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 4724 days

#10 posted 12-27-2008 02:20 AM

I swore I didn’t have a use for one after seeing Norm shoot brads into pretty much everything in sight. I broke down about 5 years ago and got a DeWalt and have found it pretty handy. I’ve used 5/8: to 2” with everything in between.

-- Use the fence Luke

View sry's profile


147 posts in 4624 days

#11 posted 12-27-2008 09:55 PM

Thanks for the helpful advice everyone. I think I’m going to end up with the PC pancake compressor (or possibly the Makita that I’ve heard about here if I can find a little more $$$), and a 2” nailer from either PC or Paslode, leaning towards the PC b/c I know where I can get supplies locally.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4601 days

#12 posted 12-27-2008 10:06 PM

dont just pay attention to the lengthe which should be able to take up to two inches plus but also pay attention to the gauge 16 is best for cabinet making and heavier work but eighteen gauge is ver much cheaper in terms of nails refills etc and they are also good.Alistair

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

View sry's profile


147 posts in 4624 days

#13 posted 12-27-2008 10:15 PM

I think for now I’m going to start with an 18 ga. nailer. I made a deal with my parents to do crown molding throughout the downstairs of their house if they buy the 16 ga. gun.

I’m still at the stage where I’m choosing projects to justify tool purchases. Does that ever end? :o)

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 4794 days

#14 posted 12-28-2008 04:43 AM

Look for a deal on a compressor with included nail guns. Several manufacturers offer them.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4704 days

#15 posted 12-28-2008 05:39 AM

I lucked into a Porter Cable deal when i was searching as you are now . It came with the compressor , hose , and 5 different guns including a staple gun . So far I’ve used the 2” capacity gun the most . The others are pretty much just collecting dust until I need them specifically for a job .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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