Pierce Brand Harbor Freight Brad Nailer Review, Any Good?

Rate this post

Brad nailers from Harbor Freight. Are they any good or are they complete junk? Here is my review of the Pierce 18 Guage Brad Nailer.

Over the years I have heard many people bash tools found at Harbor Freight. “Complete Junk”, “Not Worth the Money”, or “Go Buy a (insert name brand) Instead”.

However, in my experience the majority of their products have been pretty good. Decent quality at a fraction of the cost vs big names (DeWalt, Makita, Hitachi, etc).

***See our List of Top Rated Battery Powered Nail Guns here***

Today I will go over my first time using the new Pierce Brand 18ga finish & trim nailer.

Initial Impression, “Whats in the Box?”

The nail gun comes in a black plastic case. Inside you will find two allen wrenches and a set of instructions. While the case is nothing to get excited over. It does a fine job of protecting the tool during storage.

What is not included

• 18ga nails ( 5/8″ – 2″ size range)
• Air Tool Oil
• Air Compressor

To operate this nail gun you will need nails, air tool oil and an air compressor. The nails I used were 1-3/4″, 18Ga Galvanized Brand Nails by Fasten Strong. (also purchased at Harbor Freight)

For the air tool oil I picked up a bottle at Home Depot made by DeWalt. This oil is important to extend the life of your air tool by providing lubrication and rust prevention.

*Hate Rust? Check out this rust converter for car and truck frames here*

How does it look?

Here is a photo of the Pierce nailer along with the pack of nails.

Pierce 18ga Brad Nailer by Harbor Freight image

The Orange & Black paint job and sleek plastic shell look pretty good! Overall 10 out of 10 on the style.

The bad: Grip Area

One of the first things I noticed that seemed a little cheap was the black sleeve around the handle of the tool. This just felt thin and I can see where this might wear out with frequent use.

Worst case this rips off completely and you use the tool without it. Another option may be to wrap it in athletic tape. Either way, with my infrequent use I do not see see this being a problem anytime soon.

Setup: How to setup a pneumatic brad nailer

This part is pretty easy. But, if you are new to this or have never used an air tool before. Here are the steps I used to setup the nail gun.

**Be careful, this is a nail gun** A device designed to blast nails through wood surfaces at high speeds. Keep that in mind when handling this kind of tool and be sure to read all safety instructions prior to use.

• Read the instructions (learn the parts of the tool, controls and specific setup instructions)
• Open the magazine to load in a strip of a nails. Place them with the point side facing down/away from the tool
• Apply a few drops of Air Tool Oil directly into the pneumatic fitting on the bottom of the gun
• Check the pressure on your air compressor before connecting the tool. According to the Pierce PRC-18 user manual do not use above 120PSI max
• Attach the air supply. Remember, once this is connected the nailer is live. Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to use.

Nail strip loaded in Pierce Nail Gun

Now that we are locked and loaded, time to test it out on some scrap material.

**See our complete list of Top Tools and Products for 2019 here**

Testing: Testing operation and nail depth on scrap wood

In this project I will be trimming out a window with poplar and pine. But, since this is the first time using this brad nailer, some testing is in order.

The last thing I want to do is take the gun out of the box and just start using it on finished trim pieces. Instead. I will be shooting a few nails into scrap material to ensure the nails will be set to the proper depth.

Tip: Test the nailgun on scrap pieces taken from the same material that you plan on working with

Since not all wood is created equal (different hardness and thickness). By using the same material you can ensure consistent results when transitioning over to the final product.

On the Pierce nailer there is even an adjustment knob above the trigger to Increase or Decrease nail depth. (see photo below)

Increase or Decrease nail depth adjustment know

This adjustment knob allows you to dial in exactly how far the nail will penetrate into the surface. It is also an added feature, not included on the less expensive Central Pneumatic line, also sold by Harbor Freight.

Usage: 18 Gauge Brad Air Nailer on Window Trim

Now that I have a feel for the operation and the nail depth has been set. It’s time to start hanging some window trim!

To use, just point the “work piece” contact tip to the surface to disengage the safety and pull the trigger. I have attached a few photos below to show the 18guage hole size on pine window trim.

18guage brad nail in window trim image

The photo above shows the nail hole. Nice and clean, just below the surface for a good hold. This will be easy to fill with a little bit of white caulk.

Fast and Clean

As someone who previously used to hammer-in trim nails and then set with a punch. Using a pneumatic nail gun is a true blessing. Especially at this price there is no reason not to have one.

**See our complete list of Top Tools and Products for 2019 here**

Conclusion, Pierce Brad Nailer By Harbor Freight (Review)

Overall I am pretty impressed with the Pierce air gun. As someone who does not work in the trades but likes to do projects around the house this appears to be more than adequate for those needs.

• Easy Setup
• Consistent/predictable operation
• Nail Depth adjustment
• Price
• Looks

So far so good. I was able to hang my window trim with little to no frustration and zero malfunctions. The tool looks pretty sharp and the price (currently $49.99 before coupons) makes this a great deal!

• Cheap grip
• Flimsy case

It’s hard to say anything bad about the Pierce trim gun. The only two things that come to mind would be the thin grip material and the very lightweight case. Again, for the occasional projects both should do just fine.

**See our complete list of Top Tools and Products for 2019 here**

Only time will tell regarding the reliability of this product. As I get more use out of it I will be sure to update this article with the results.

Reviews on more products from Harbor Freight:
• HOLT Industries Pistol Grip Grease Gun

You are viewing this post: Pierce Brand Harbor Freight Brad Nailer Review, Any Good?. Information curated and compiled by Kayaknv.com along with other related topics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here