DeWalt DC608K 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer Review
The DeWALT DC608K 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer is ideal for all your trim work and furniture building adventures. You can just grab this nailer and go because there are no cords or hoses to hold you back. With plenty of power to drive long nails into even hard woods, we found this the go to tool for doing small trim jobs, repairs and anything where we did not feel like dragging out a compressor and air hose for our pneumatic brad nailer.
DeWalt DC608K 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer Feature
Our test tool arrived in the typical black DeWALT hard case. We have to point out that we have really come to like the way DeWALT believes in these cases. Normally when we receive tools for review, they are often double boxed, but this is not the way DeWalt does it. They simply slap a shipping label on the case, zip tie it closed, and leave it to the mercy of the shipping company. We are telling you all this because when these tools arrive in our testing facility, they are in tip top shape and the cases are really no worse for wear. This is a good testimony to the quality and real world durability that we have come to expect from DeWALT. Included with the DeWALT DC608K 18 Gauge 2″ Cordless Brad Nailer is a 1 hour charger, one 18V XRP Ni-Cad battery, reversible belt hook, owner’s manual and safety glasses.
Going over the DeWALT DC608K 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer there are many features that make it very versatile and almost a perfect replacement for a pneumatic brad nailer. We like the idea of battery only power. Sure there are other designs out there, but most of these have to use both a gas & battery system. We liked the idea that this gun is compatible with all your DeWalt 18V battery packs. You can literally have an unlimited ability to nail with this gun if you keep one or two batteries charging while you are shooting. We do wish this gun came with one of the new lithium-ion batteries and chargers though.
As far as the actual nail gun, despite its bulbous appearance; it is nicely balanced if you have one of the batteries in place. We did find the overall body of the gun to have a larger diameter than a comparable 18 gauge pneumatic brad nailer but the overall height and depth of the nailer is actually very similar. The straight box style magazine is very easy to open and load with nails and we like the versatility of using from 5/8″ up to 2″ long fasteners. Should the nail gun ever have a jam, there is a quick access latch on the nose that allows for easy removal of the problem. (In our testing we shot over 200 nails and did not a single jam.) As for controls, the DC608K 18 Gauge 2″ Cordless Brad Nailer has it all, from the ability to do both sequential operation mode (great for very precise nail placement), to the fast acting bump operation mode (shoots a nail ever time the nose is pushed against something when the trigger is depressed). There is a simple switch in front of the trigger that makes it easy to switch between modes. On the side of the gun is the depth adjustment setting dial and just a little father back on the same side of the gun is a Contact Trip Lock-Off that allows the trigger to be disabled when not in use. When you get ready to shoot a nail, there are integrated LED lights that illuminate the work area, definitely a useful feature when working in closets and tight spaces.
Testing and Use
Having used and tested a pretty large number of pneumatic nail guns, it was actually fun to test something that is a little different. To get started, we charged up the included battery until it was full and then inserted it into the base. For our nails we had some 1″ and 2″ 18 gauge brads on hand. We loaded the 2″ nails to start, since we figured that if it was going to have a problem driving nails, it would most likely be the longer ones. Well, this simply was not the case with this nailer. We were able to drive the 2″ nails with ease into pressure treated wood with no trouble at all. We used it also on some oak 1/4 round trim and again we found that all the nails were sent home and properly just beneath the surface so that we did not even had to set them. When we first started using the nail gun, we noticed that there was a motor-like sound that came on when you first pushed the nose against the work piece and then once you pull the trigger, it fires the nail into place. The nail adjustment setting wheel was also easy to configure which we found important in order to perfectly set nails in different materials and with differing nail lengths.
We actually gave this nailer to a local handyman contractor to use for a few weeks just to get some feedback from the real world. He reported to us that he used it more then his air nailers because many times, in his line of work, he only needed to replace or install a few pieces of trim at a time. He said that it was particularly nice when he was working in multiple level/story homes doing punch list work and he did not have to lug a compressor or miles of air hose around with him. He did comment on the overall size of the tool as being larger then what he was used to, but he quickly got used to it. He also said that the included belt hook was a huge plus, especially when he was up on a ladder doing work by himself. It was nice not having to try to balance the gun on the top of the ladder or set it down on the ground when positioning the next piece of trim.
The DeWALT DC608K 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer is the ideal tool to expand your 18V tool collection, especially if you find yourself doing smaller trim and repair jobs. It is worth noting that the overall weight of the nail gun is a pound or so heavier then a comparable pneumatic 18 gauge brad nailer which some might find a negative feature. We think many will find the portability and versatility a worthy trade off. Plus, if you add in the weight of a compressor and hoses, it stacks up quite nicely. For our Performance rating we gave the tool an 8/10 because it really did have the power and ability to keep up with our air nailers and it did it with no cords attached. For our Value rating we gave the brad nailer a 7/10, feeling that even though it might cost a little more then your average pneumatic brad nailer, the functionality for certain types of jobs are worth it.