If you prefer a brad nailer that’s simple to maintain and has convenient features, the Milwaukee 2746-20 M18 FUEL 18 Gauge Brad Nailer is a great choice for you. This brushless motor-powered brad nailer is a great jobsite companion or a go-to tool for simple home projects and DIY tasks.
So, what are its features, pros, and cons? To help you decide whether to buy this brad nailer or not, I’ve laid it all out below.
As a cordless brad nailer, the Milwaukee 2746-20 excels at convenience with its plethora of usability features, as well as having a cool-running brushless motor – perfect for both jobsite and at-home use.
This 18-gauge brad nailer has zero ramp-up time, firing three nails per second with no delay between your nail fire and when you pull the trigger. It also has three interchangeable tips for you to use and it will take nail sizes from 5/8 to 2-1/8 inches. This cordless brad nailer measures 10.2 x 11.9 x 3.3 inches, and weighs 6.3 pounds.
It has a 5-year warranty from the manufacturer. However, this 18-gauge brad nailer also has many durability features that uphold its quality. For instance, it uses a brushless motor, which combines with its REDLINK PLUS™ Intelligence battery system.
The advantage of a brushless motor is that it runs cooler than a standard motor (with carbon brushes) while also prolonging the tool’s lifespan. Plus, the REDLINK PLUS™ battery system will help to conserve battery life without sacrificing power.
When it comes to usability, the design of this brad nailer features a reduced size, which allows you to get into smaller and narrower spaces that other brad nailers would be too bulky to fit into. With its zero ramp-up time, you’ll have no delay and faster productivity with your tool and project.
It also has a tool-less drive depth adjustment fto easily adapt to your project’s various demands. Aside from that, it has a dry fire lockout feature, which helps to keep your surface free from dents that are caused by accidental firing of blanks. For added convenience, it has a reversible belt hook that allows you to mount it on either side.
Likewise, it also has a tool-less jam clearing latch in the event of an emergency. As with most cordless brad nailers out there, it has both sequential and contact actuation firing modes to cater to your current needs.
Should You Buy the Milwaukee 2746-20 Cordless Brad Nailer?
I think that the Milwaukee 2746-20 will appeal to you if you’re looking for a low-maintenance brad nailer with a brushless motor. This tool will work well for a jobsite, a garage, a woodworking shop, or even home remodeling.
If you are still unsure about the decision, go through the below list of the pros and cons of the tool.
Pros of the Milwaukee 2746-20
Let’s start with the positives.
It has a brushless motor.
Having a brushless motor for any tool, such as this brad nailer, really makes a difference when it comes to its durability. Brad nailers that run on a brushless motor will produce less noise and heat, allowing them to run cooler. Aside from that, this kind of motor will wear down significantly slower than a motor that runs on carbon brushes.
Moreover, brushless motors also have the advantage of being convenient to maintain. Therefore, if you’re aiming to use this brad nailer for jobsite work or a garage, you’ll want to have something that will be worry-free (and headache-free) when it comes to maintenance – in which case, brushless motors don’t need carbon brush replacements.
The belt hook is reversible for both sides.
Having a reversible belt hook will help people feel at ease when multitasking around the house or jobsite. This will appeal to both left- and right-handed people, as you can place the brad nailer comfortably on your preferred side for easy access.
It has a dry fire lockout feature.
What I like about this brad nailer is the dry fire lockout feature, which prevents you from marring your surface with an unsightly mark from an accidental blank fire.
There’s always a probability of dry firing, no matter your skill level. This is especially true when working in cramped spaces where you can’t see the magazine. The dry fire lockout feature is sure to come in handy during use of the tool.
There’s a tool-less jam clearing latch.
Tool-less features often save time and effort, specifically if you’re on a tight deadline or simply looking to finish your work quickly and efficiently. Tool-less jam clearing latches are lifesavers that not only easily get the jammed nail out, but also save your unit from the abuse of nail retrieval.
Cons of the Milwaukee 2746-20
Even though the Milwaukee 2746-20 is a great tool, there are a few cons worth noting as well.
The tool is on the heavy side.
At 6.3 pounds, it’s not exactly the lightest in its class. Therefore, it’s only recommended for people who have a strong arm or who want a heavy-duty cordless unit.
It doesn’t come with a clear instruction manual.
This brad nailer doesn’t exactly come with a complete instruction manual. Nonetheless, you can just search online on other tutorials on how to set it up.
What are the Alternatives to the Milwaukee 2746-20?
If you want a unit that’s lighter in weight, the Craftsman CMCN618C1 V20 Cordless Brad Nailer Kit (read my review) is only 5.3 pounds. It has a 100-nail magazine capacity plus it will drive up to 420 nails per charge. Like my Milwaukee pick, it also has a tool-less nail jam release but the difference is that it also has a stall release (which also doesn’t require tools).
While the Milwaukee pick is slightly heavier, this Craftsman brad nailer has an optimal center of gravity and lightweight feel. However, they both have a belt hook and a comfortable molded grip. Also, since the Craftsman model comes as a kit, it includes a battery and charger, unlike the Milwaukee brad nailer that I mentioned above.
Another similar unit to the Milwaukee model that I mentioned is the Porter-Cable PCC790LA 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer, which works well for crown molding projects. It has a 100-nail magazine capacity and it will fire up to 1,300 nails on a single charge. Like my main pick, it also has tool-less features, such as the jam release and the stall release lever.
Similarity, it also has built-in LED lights for accuracy and safety. This Porter-Cable unit weighs 5.9 pounds – which is just shy of the Milwaukee tool. As well, it has a convenient depth adjustment wheel.
Yet another lightweight alternative is the DeWalt DCN680D1 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit, which also comes equipped with LED lights to assist with both accuracy and safety. Switching between the sequential and contact actuation modes is also a breeze due to the tool-less mechanism.
Aside from that, its stall release and jam clearing mechanisms are also both tool-less for added convenience, much like my main Milwaukee pick. This brad nailer only weighs 5.3 pounds, so it’s not that heavy to carry around. It has a low nail knockout to keep your material from being ruined by accidental dry firing.
Overall, the Milwaukee 2746-20 is a solid tool due to its brushless motor, dry fire lockout feature, and tool-less jam clearing latch for convenience. It’s also not that difficult for both left and right-handed use thanks to its reversible belt hook.
While it does have a few minor cons, such as lacking detailed instructions and added weight, for me, the Milwaukee 2746-20 is already a great brad nailer worth getting for the jobsite and home repairs and projects.