The Flex 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Takes Cordless Performance To The Next Level
Leaving the air hose and compressor behind is a great feeling. However, cordless nailers have suffered from much larger sizes and weights than their pneumatic counterparts. We brought in the brand new Flex 24V 18-Gauge Brad Nailer to see how it compares to the competition.
Flex 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Performance
- Nail Type: 18 Ga
- Magazine Capacity: 110 nails
- Nail Length: 5/8 – 2 1/8 in.
- Firing Modes: Single, Sequential
- Runtime: 2200 shots per charge (with 2.5Ah battery)
The Flex 18-gauge brad nailer delivers excellent driving power with zero ramp-up time. This allows you to fire up to three nails per second, even in hardwoods like Oak.
Like most modern nailers, the Flex FX4331 brad nailer has two firing modes—single and sequential, or “bump” fire. Switching between modes is easy. When the tool is powered up, simply press the arrow key on the right side of the control panel to select your desired mode.
This nailer can hold up to 110 nails ranging is size from 5/8-inch to 2 1/8-inch. Flex tells us you can expect up to 2,200 shots per charge with a standard 2.5Ah battery. There’s also a dry-fire lockout to prevent unintended damage to the work surface or the tool itself.
Flex 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Design Notes
- Model: FLEX FX4331
- Power Source: FLEX 24V battery
- Weight: 4.9 lbs (bare), 6.3 lbs (with 2.5Ah battery)
- Length: 11.75 in.
The Flex 24V brad nailer measures 11.75 inches from tip to tail and weighs in 6.3 pounds with a 2.5Ah battery. The overall frame is pretty compact, allowing for better access in tight spaces such as a cabinet.
The grip features a heavily textured rubber overmold with large grooves to channel away sweat and debris. There are also protective bumpers on the sides and back of the tool for peace of mind in case of an accidental drop.
Adjustable drive depths are nothing new when it comes to modern nailers, but Flex really changed the game. Rather than a wheel, they utilize a 7-position lever that allows you to quickly adjust the drive depth with little to no effort.
Another standout feature on this brad nailer are the three LED lights positioned on the front. Now ordinarily, we wouldn’t make a big deal about lights, but Flex did something a little different. They positioned one on top, one on the left in line with the nose, and one on the motor housing that’s pointing upward. This gives us nearly full light coverage when the tool is pressed against the work surface.
During the course of our testing, we didn’t experience any jams or misfires. However, it’s bound to happen sooner or later. If you have a jam, clearing it is easy thanks to the simple latching mechanism on top of the tool. Just flip the latch over and lift upward to expose the firing chamber. For added safety, be sure to remove the battery and nails first, just in case.
- Compatible with all Flex 24V batteries
- Sturdy belt hook
- Comes with two spare no-mar tips
Flex 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Price
This cordless nailer retails for $279 as a bare tool and is backed by the Flex limited lifetime warranty. Just be sure to register your purchase within 30-days.
The Bottom Line
For a first generation tool, we think Flex absolutely nailed it. The Flex 18-gauge brad nailer demonstrated Pro-level performance, and its compact design was very easy to handle and maneuver. If you’re thinking about retiring your old pneumatic brad nailer but don’t want to lose any power, Flex might just be the one for you.