Milwaukee M18 Brad Nailer – 1 Year Look Back

Milwaukee 18 Gauge Brad Nailer 2746-20 Gen 2 Look-back Review

I run mostly Milwaukee and Makita platform tools. Many of the tools in this trailer I have done a tool review on, and while tools usually perform well in the beginning the real testament to a good tool is productivity and longevity. We took a look back at the Milwaukee 18 Gauge Brad Nailer.

So here we are 1 year later, or more later.

  • Did we get it right the first time?
  • How are these tools holding up to remodeling work?
  • Would recommend this tool now?
  • Would re change anything?

It’s too cold out here, let’s go into the shop and go thru these tools to answer the questions

M18 Fuel Brad Nailer  – Gen 2

The earlier Gen 1 tool had several negative user feedback issues, that resulted in a complete “Back To The Drawing Board,” approach.

Gen 1 User Feedback:

  • Double-Strike mark
  • Oversized holes in the material
  • Bulky nose that inhibited sight lines
  • Excessive recoil
  • Inconsistent toe-nailing result

Gen 2 Improvements

The earlier Gen 1 nailer was powerful which resulted in too much recoil. Milwaukee reduced the energy output [PSI in the tank] Which results in less wear and tear on the tool, less jumping off the material [smaller fastener hole] and less recoil. Here is our original Gen 2 Review

The Gen I depth adjustment interfered with the user line of sight.  Milwaukee moved the depth adjustment from the left side of the tool to the right side,

More Compact

The Gen 1 nailer had a bulky nose, which made it difficult to get into corners. Milwaukee significantly reduced the weight by 1-pound, and size of the Gen 2 nailer, making it more compact, lighter, better accessible and improved line of sight. The also improved the nailers toe-nailing ability.

Workpiece Contact Bracket has improved Accuracy!

Milwaukee improved the contact bracket by reducing this play, or wobble, improving fastener placement accuracy.

Angled Battery

The battery orientation has been angled allowing the tool to sit on its battery pack and magazine.

Belt Hook Relocated

The reversible belt hook was relocated the front / bottom / battery area of the tool and enlarged to allow better balance, and hooking onto tool belts.

Increased Runtime

Milwaukee found that by reducing the PSI in the cylinder tank the tool drew less energy from the 2.0 Ah battery which resulted in an increase in runtime.  Gen 1 experienced 1200 fasteners on a 2.0 h battery charge and was improved to 1500 fasteners in the Gen 2.

Thermal Overload Protection

Gen 1 would hit the thermal protection at approximately 100-150 nails when fired at a fast rate continuously.  The Gen 2 tool won’t hit a thermal protection until between 700-2000 continuous nails, depending on how fast your firing. [i.e. 3-4 nails/second continuously vs 1 nail/second continuously.]

Power Switch

The Gen 1 tool requires you hold the power switch button down for 5-7 seconds to turn off the tool. On the Gen 2 turning the unit off requires depressing the switch for 2-seconds. Which is WAY better.

We’ve had zero performance issues with the brad nailer  – Did we get this review right? Hell yes we did! It’s a keeper!

Milwaukee 18 Gauge Brad Nailer 2746-20 Look-back – VideoReview

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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