Hardworking Brad Nailer
The new Metabo HPT 18-ga. cordless nailer is smaller and lighter than the previous model, with all the must-have features.
With an ability to drive a 5⁄8-in. to 2-in. nail, an 18-ga. brad nailer has to be one of the finish carpenter’s most versatile tools. I use my pneumatic brad nailer all the time, but I’ve never felt the need to buy a cordless model, because lugging a small compressor—all that’s needed for a brad nailer—isn’t a huge deal. However, managing the hose, which seems to get hung up at the worst possible moments, can be a problem, and rolling it out and coiling it up adds time to the beginning and end of every job. Unfortunately, most cordless brad nailers are pretty big and heavy compared to my air-powered version, which makes them less appealing.
A notable exception is Metabo HPT’s new cordless brad nailer. The maker claims it’s 30% smaller and lighter than the previous model, and the size comparison seems legit to me. But most importantly, it works without drama and checks all of the boxes for a full-featured brad nailer: headlight, bump and sequential firing, and adjustable depth-of-drive. There’s no dry-fire lockout, but it does have a yellow indicator on the magazine that tells you when you’re running out of nails. The belt hook is frustration-free and you can put it on either side of the tool. Visibility at the driver tip is good and the contact safety is small and unobtrusive. There is no ramp-up like the early flywheel nailers and it drives brads as fast as I can fire them. Although I haven’t had a single jam, it has a tool-free nosepiece for clearing them.
The manufacturer claims 1650 nails per charge, but doesn’t specify the nail length or material. For testing, I drove 1080 1-1⁄4-in. brads into Douglas-fir 2x4s before the battery was spent. The fan-cooled charger brings the 18v pack to a complete charge in just over a half-hour. It’s a great tool because you don’t have to think about it—it just works.
–Patrick McCombe, senior editor
From Fine Homebuilding #303