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M18 Fuel 18 gauge brad nailer


Don Monfils

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 Do any of you guys use this brad nailer?

 I was thinking about purchasing one .

  I have a paslode 18 gauge cordless nailer that was a Christmas gift 3 years ago.

 I love the tool when it works ,  between the maintenance of cleaning the tool and the drive blade breaking three times in three years ,

i am thinking about retiring the tool.

I have a paslode 15 gauge angled finish nailer that is over 10 years old that has been a great tool.

 Also I have a 25-year-old porter cable pneumatic 18 gauge brad nailer that has never needed servicing and has never let me down.

 

 I use the 18 gauge,  mainly to install baseboards and  quarter round/ shoe molding.

 I like the convenience of not dragging out an air compressor and hose, especially when we’re doing a small bathroom on the second floor of a home .

 I have read some reviews on the Milwaukee and would like to hear your thoughts on it.

 

 

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I'm a Milwaukee fan boy and have lots of M18 and M12 tools, the 18 gauge nailer was the first and only Milwaukee tool I thought was absolute garbage. It jammed constantly, it would make it maybe 10 1" nails before jamming, as the nails got longer it would jam more frequently.

 

I ended up sticking with pneumatic.

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I've actually had decent luck with mine - no jams to date and I've driven maybe a thousand brads.  I do have to say that it is quite finicky when it comes to sinking nails fully. If you don't get the angle just right and have the face fully flush against the work piece, you've got a decent chance of a nail sitting proud of the surface when it fires.  This is more of a problem when you're in a tight spot and maybe can't get the gun all the way in or are at an angle.

 

The Ryobi is much more forgiving in this respect and even though it has a ramp up, is heavier and can't fire as fast, I think I prefer it.

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4 hours ago, khariV said:

I've actually had decent luck with mine - no jams to date and I've driven maybe a thousand brads.  I do have to say that it is quite finicky when it comes to sinking nails fully. If you don't get the angle just right and have the face fully flush against the work piece, you've got a decent chance of a nail sitting proud of the surface when it fires.  This is more of a problem when you're in a tight spot and maybe can't get the gun all the way in or are at an angle.

 

I would agree. Definitely need to make good contact and keep it pressed tight. I use Hitachi nails from Lowes and don't have too many jams. I've shot several thousand through mine. I am 100% cordless with Milwaukee, so I do have that pressure to stay on the same platform and not introduce a new brand/battery, so it's worth it to me to stay and deal with a few minor issues.

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 I was speaking to a Milwaukee sales rep at Home Depot and he had mentioned, not using any type of coated nails (like  paslode nails) in the M18 gun. 

 He said he gets his nails at Lowes 

 I believe he said he used porter cable nails and had no fastener jams .

 I think I might pick one up and if I am not happy with it I will return it  .

 

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I have the 16 and 18.  The 16ga is complete trash, and jams almost constantly.  I sent it in under warranty and they sent me a refurbished one that is slightly better but still more of a nuisance than it's worth.  The 18ga is better. Still jams way more than any of my air guns but its tolerable.  My biggest issue with it is its wildly inconsistent depth of drive.  It will over drive one nail, then leave the next proud.  It's ok for punch list stuff, but I tried trimming a whole house with it and wouldn't bother doing that again. More hassle than worth.  It also leaves an enormous hole, almost double the size of a normal 18ga gun.  Now I bought the Hitachi 15ga a couple months ago and it's far superior in every way, so much so that I rarely use my air 15ga, and I intend on getting the 18ga Hitachi at some point.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gotta say... Milwaukee makes great tools but absolutely the worse cordless nailers... dewalt 20v nailers are very good, we use them everyday framing, putting trim on......but for finish work myself and other finish guys I know,switched back to air guns (grex) and use the DEWALT cordless compressor...it will run two trim guns no problem....I went cordless guns for a while till that compressor came out....love the small air guns again.

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I own the Milwaukee M18 15 gauge nailer and it has been fantastic, I mainly use DeWalt and Porter Cable nails and have never experienced a jam, not once.  I have pushed a lot of nails through it, from the shortest to the longest that Milwaukee says it will shoot and all have worked just fine.  It can be finicky if you're not careful when shooting on an angle and I've had a few nails left proud of the surface but they are mostly due to my failure to pay attention and get a good full positioning prior to firing.  All in all I am extremely pleased and wish they would get an M18 framing nailer to market. Their pneumatic framing nailer has been rated again and again as the best or one of the best so I hope they can translate that success to their battery version, still waiting.

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  • 2 years later...

Hello, new user here, actually registered to comment just on this post & tool. 
I have a small Motel in the Wisconsin Dells, and this past COVID year I took the slow rental spring (due to the lockdowns) to start renovating our 15 units. So far I have installed Pine Planking ceilings and a couple walls (Limited only due to material availability!) in half our units. I like my Milwaukee tools, they get a absolute work out from me keeping up with repairs and what these people do to our poor units. As such it was a no brainer to get the 18 ga brad nailer. Looking at my receipts, I've run about 30,000 nails through the nailer to install these ceilings. As far as my recollection, I've only had 3 bad nails total. That includes jam ups. I am not counting nails where I hit something such as another nail or screw behind the celling. you get the idea. 

Either way, I need to say this nailer has been ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Not needing the air lines and what not has been a godsend. It allowed me to quickly go in a unit, and to a bedroom or living room and get out quickly to get some work done before the next guest checked in. It has required virtually no maintenance. The best part of all, I'm using the absolute cheapest possible nails I could find, HARBOR FREIGHT! 1000 nails for less than $2 + Free flashlight..... Drive past HFT anyways, so I have about 30 flashlights... Put them in the office and give them to kids to use at night around the yard and camp fire! 

 

So finally my wood planks got back in stock, just picked up another 200 bundles of them, so another 2,800 sq ft of planking to install. 

 

So ONE BIG NOTE! THERE ARE MULTIPLE VERSIONS OF THE MILWAUKEE NAILER! There is a Gen 1, which was absolute garbage according to friends that had one (didn't know until after I purchased mine), and Gen 2, which is ROCK SOLID. I was lucky enough to get one of the Gen 2's. MAKE SURE YOU GET A GEN 2!!!!!

 

I use my 1.5 ah battery on my nailer to cut the weight down. I get about 650 nails per charge on my 8 year old 1.5zh battery. . Usually I'm tired and ready to take a break or call it quits for the day after that. 

Now, I also have battery adapters that let me use my Milwaukee batteries on Harbor Freight's Bauer, DeWalt, Makita, and RYOBI. I do pickup tools from Direct Tool, RYOBI, I go RYOBI for those nice to have's but not used frequently. From DT, The RYOBI usually ends up being even half to a third the cost of even harbor freight! I had the option of getting the RYOBI 18ga brad nailer for $70, or the Milwaukee for $280. In this case, I'm glad I got the Milwaukee. My DT  store here (Tourist city, and all the locals know each other) let me bring a battery in and a box of nails + piece of 2x4 wood. While it worked, and did it's job, the additional weight, and slower nail rate was a bit turn off. Especially doing ceilings. #1, the weight of holding the tool up, #2 the slower speed. While doing a ceiling, when I'm ready to pickup the tool to nail the planking, I want to go "Boom Boom Boom" done. Not "Boom, wait, Boom, wait, Boom". Takes longer and more fatigue. 

For someone doing small projects. 

 

For those curious, www.SandriftResort.com is our Motel. 

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  • 2 months later...

I want to second IslandBayy’s comment about getting the newest version of the Milwaukee 18g nailer. Milwaukee made several modifications with the new model and they are all improvements. 
I have had one jam in about 1000 1 9/16” nails. I never have a nail head proud. I set the depth at half way (count the clicks). Mostly my problem is the nails emerge out the side or do practically 180° turns. I think this is my error not holding the gun straight and jerking the trigger, and I went cheap on the nails. 

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Bit late here.. i agree, The Milwaukee gen 1 guns were garbage and awkward to handle, belt hook location was also odd. The gen 2 models are great.  Personally I'm all dewalt 20v cordless 16g, 18g, framer, roofer. 18g has been hit and miss sinks 4 out of 5 nails leaving nail head out 1/8" occasionally.  

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