Review: Wen 61720 Brad Nailer Works Great and is VERY Affordable!!

Hiya folks, my hands shake due to what is known as a hereditary tremor.  When I try to do fine work it often gets even worse and I hate trying to drive fine nails/brads.  A number of years back I bought a Harbor Freight brad nailer that broke in 2016 after a few years of very light use (read that to mean the quality was very disappointing from the get go).  So, rather than play Russian Roulette with Harbor Freight, I went to Amazon and started digging on brad nailers and reading the reviews.

I came across the WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer.  It is both their best seller and with 926 reviews, it has 4.7 stars.  Folks, when you have that many reviews and that kind of score, it says something.  If a product sucks, reviewers can go back in and change the score so I figured the quality must be pretty decent.  I paid $26.33 for it in May 2016 and now it is $19.34!!  Yes, the price actually went down.  But I tell you what, I have no regrets.

The Wen uses regular 18-gauge brads.  It came in a simple plastic case with a small tube of oil and instructions.  It even had the 1/4″ air fitting installed.  I’ve used Senco, Bostitch, Porter Cable and Harbor Freight brads no problem.  I bought a few variety packs of brads but most of my nailing seems to be 1″, 1-1/4″, 1-3/8″ and 1-1/2″ with this unit.  I have a bigger 16 gauge nailer that I use for longer heavier nails.

 

To make moving the nailer around easy, I have a 1/4″ x 50′ Amflo Polyurethane air hose on it with Milton fittings.  This hose is light and very flexible.  Even in the winter it has been great – I use it to put air in my truck tires when it is so cold that my rubber hoses are stiff.  By the way, if you want air couplers that hold up over time and do not leak – go with Milton.  They beat the beat the heck out of Harbor Freight and Husky.

I tend to run the tool between 60-90PSI depending on how hard I want it to hit the nail.  If you are working with really soft pine, it can really drive it in so I run a lower pressure, usually 60 PSI, in those cases.  I will drive a test brad and look at the results to decide if I need to adjust the pressure further or not.  Most of my work is with pine but I have also done some poplar as well as a bit of oak trim.

As with just about any air tool, be sure to lubricate it with air tool oil.  I don’t run inline oilers due to needing clean air for my plastic work so I simply put in a few drops when I start using the tool for the day.  I have used all kinds of oil and just stick with name brands.  Right now, I have bottles from ATS and others sitting by various tools.  I would recommend sticking with a name brand and one that is relatively light for use in nailers vs. thicker for impact wrenches (Lucas is an example of a heavier pneumatic tool oil).  Also, unless you have an inline oiler, a squeeze bottle with a spout really helps vs. a pour top that will make a big mess.  For guys getting started, the small bottle that comes with the nailer will last you quite a while – just be sure to use it!!  Don’t run the nailer dry.

My project the other day was to resurrect and old planter from my dad.  I took the screws off and each shelf that was stapled together had become very loose.  I put a few drops of air tool oil int he Wen’s inlet fitting, selected brads that were a hair shorter than the wood I was putting together, and then drove 2-3 of the small 1-1/4″ brads into each individual slat to stabilize it.  I then reassembled the plant stand with new screws, stained it with Minwax Provincial Stain and applied 4 spray on coats of satin spar polyurethane on top.  The project turned out great.  It’s rock solid and it’s a little something from my dad that reminds me of him.

So I have driven probably at least 500 brads with this over the past year without one problem of any kind.  The reliability is a huge plus as I hate having to mess with tools to get them to work.  I have no problem recommending this Wen brad nailer to you for relatively casual use – I do not use it in production.  I’d certainly buy it again – you can’t beat the combination of quality and price.


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