September 28, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18ga Brad Nailer 2746-21CT

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18ga brad nailer

The second-generation 18ga finish nailer from Milwaukee Tool boasts a whole new redesign. The new Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18ga Brad Nailer improves both visibility and the rate of fire. No small update, this tool truly feels and operates like a completely new tool. Using it at the 2019 Milwaukee NPS19 Media Event, we experienced fast firing with zero ramp-up delay. Similar to the way the Metabo HPT cordless framing nailer operates, the battery preps each shot before the tool fires. That eliminates any lag. On top of that, we used the tool in bump-mode. The fast firing speed should keep up with just about anyone’s needs.

Check out our YouTube video!

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18ga Brad Nailer Features

Nail holes looked clean—and small. We fired the tool into poplar, pine, red oak, maple, and more. It consistently sank nails below the surface of the wood. The prior Milwaukee Gen 1 18-gauge finish nailer required a bit of force to bury the head in denser woods.

Milwaukee 18ga cordless nailer

A dial on the right side of the tool at the nose lets you set the depth-of-drive. Happily, we found that we didn’t really need to do much. The tool had pretty consistent results even when switching between materials.

Milwaukee 18ga brad nailer depth of drive

Milwaukee did a great job redesigning the front of the nailer to improve the line-of-sight. They also reduced the weight slightly. Take a look at the original tool (on the left below) and the redesigned 2nd-gen finish nailer on the right. You have a much better view of the nail placement with the new finish nailer.

New Controls

Balance is excellent, and Milwaukee improved how the tool powers up and adjusts modes. Formerly, you had to press and hold to turn the tool on and off. The bump and sequential modes were also difficult to activate due to the thick rubber overmolded button. Milwaukee relocated the new easier-to-use controls to just in front of the handle.

Milwaukee 2746-21CT brad nailer controls

You get the expected dry-fire lockout, LED light, and a belt hook. Everything looks very promising for this tool as well as the upcoming narrow crown stapler and M18 Fuel framing nailer. We can’t wait to get these tools in-house for more extensive testing.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18ga Brad Nailer (2746-21CT) Specs

  • Model: 2746-21CT (kit), 2746-20 (bare)
  • Nail Sizes: 5/8” – 2-1/8”
  • Magazine capacity: 110 nails
  • 1500 nails per charge (using a RedLithium 2.0 compact battery)
  • Sequential and contact actuation modes
  • Dry-fire lockout
  • Adjustable belt hook
  • LED work light
  • Includes: Milwaukee 2746-20 M18 FUEL 18ga brad nailer, M18 RedLithium 2.0 compact battery, charger, and contractor bag
  • Price: $279 (bare tool); $399 (kit)

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Any reason the 15ga and 16ga were not included in a second generation?

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