Hitachi Air Compressor 18 Gauge Brad Nailer Review

Hitachi Air Compressor

Today we’re going to take a look at Hitachi’s brad nailer and compressor

combo kit that comes with a 2-inch brad nailer model number NT50AE2 and 6

gallon pancake compressor model number ICI710s this kit includes the 2-inch

brad nailer the 6 gallon pancake compressor a hose with fittings safety

glasses manuals for both the pancake compressor and the 2-inch brad nailer

and then pneumatic oil to keep your brad nailer nice and lubricated we’ll take a

look at the features for both the unit’s the compressor and the nailer we’ll talk

about my first impressions what I’m going to use it for in the shop and then

we’ll talk about who’s this unit geared for and who’s going to buy it we’ll go

ahead and get started here on the compressor itself there’s a nice beefy


frame that protects the compressor and then also the front of the regulator it

has a nice soft rubber handle for carrying around your workshop your

jobsite your garage your home or work area as we move to the right-hand side

of the unit there’s this red switch that is very satisfying it’s your power

switch if you put it in the vertical position or pointing towards the zero

it’s in the off position and if you point it towards the vertical line or in

the horizontal position it is in the off position as we move down toward towards

the regulator it has two standard quarter-inch couplers on the right hand

side for you to run two different hoses two different tools off this unit they

are pretty much standard in the industry as far as features and things like that

if you focus on the gauges on the unit itself this top gauge measures the PSI

or pressure per square inch that is sent to your tools or to these two quarter

inch fittings this bottom gauge measures the PSI or pressure in your tank itself

and then there’s a red dial on the left hand side of the regulator that can

adjust your psi going to your tools that will be shown on this top gauge as

you increase it your pressure is going to increase in your line and then as you

decrease it what I like about this regulator is it will actually decrease

the pressure and bleed off that air which is something unique to this unit

that I haven’t seen here going forward I will say that I have I’ve had four or

five pancake compressors or have used four or five different units in the past

but this is one of the most recent ones that I’ve dealt with so some of the

features may now be standard industry practice but I’m just seeing here for

the first time and I’ll give you my impressions and I’ll walk you through

this unit as we look to towards the back of the unit there is a high pressure

release valve so where if this unit something goes wrong in the regulator

and sensing and it gets over pressurized this unit will bleed out this pressure

avoiding any catastrophes or explosions you also it is a safe practice before

you use the unit give it a tug relieve some pressure and then push it back in

just to make sure that’s you working and not seized up for that current use and

then also future uses if you look at the bottom of unit there is a drain on

the bottom to drain the moisture or water or even air out of the unit as

you’ll want to do that frequently maybe once a month – depending how long you

use this unit Eric and or water condenses inside the tank and will drain

to that drain and that’s how you take it out of the unit I will say when

you drain your compressors do it in a place or over something because in the

past I’ve had some rusty contaminated water in there that will stain concrete

or anything you kind of put on it it’s it’s tough to get out so make sure

you’re aware that this unit is one horsepower I’m in the United States so

it’s 120 volts it’s 12 amps it has six gallon capacity and it’s 2.8 CFM at 90

psi CFM stands for a cubic feet per minute so it is relatively

standard noise level for a pancake compressor I don’t have a decibel meter

but if I can find the decibel reading I will overlay it on the screen here also


one thing to note which is really really cool is instead of just padded feet on

the bottom that are screwed to the stand this unit has four legs that are

completely wrapped in a rubber safety or non marring padding on the bottom here

so when taking a quick look at the two inch brad nailer that is included with

this kit it has a nail capacity of 100 it does not have a dry fire lockout mode so as

you get down there it will continue to fire leaving the piston dimple in your

work piece thinking that you have you know you’re sending nails into your

workpiece but you’re not I was a victim to that during my testing and I’ve used

this on one other project in the shop here nailing some things to the wall as

far as cleats and I was bit by the non lockout bug so at the front of the

magazine here there’s a little window and when you are out or getting near out

there will be a yellow plastic piece that will show up and notify you that

you are getting low or you are out of nails so keep an eye on that that is a

big drawback of this unit is there’s no no dry lockout preventing you from

firing without nails in there this is a 18 gauge brad nailer it can handle 18

gauge brad nails from 5/8 of an inch to 2 inches long I shot everything on the

spectrum during my testing and in that project or what I was using it in the workshop

I shot two inch nails into some two by fours had zero issues the depth setting

was perfect I wasn’t really in a fine fine woodworking or trim situation so

the setting and that occasion really wasn’t bad this unit is very light it

was surprisingly light when I first picked it out and it has a very very

satisfying trigger to it and then the depth mechanism to increase or decrease the depth that the

nail is set at or driven to is just in front of the trigger right above the

magazine itself the magazine is a straight magazine so if you need to get

in some corners or really tight spaces this may be a difficult unit to do so it

does have a very small point to it as far as where the the nails come out and

the piston drives that nail in so you’re able to be very very precise with it I

found that that very small bumper on it allowed me to glide across the workpiece

I do a lot of cabinetry and and project making to where I can get pretty crazy

with my Brad nails because it’s not going to be shown so when I’m tacking

parts or cabinet sides together I can just scream down the side and boom boom

boom this thing really promoted itself to be nice and smooth as I drug that

bumper across the surface right above the bumper on the front of the unit here

or the top of the unit as you’re looking at it is a toolless jamb release you

simply pull on the lever it releases the lock one thing I should note before you

do that and before you open it you need to release the pressure off the magazine

take the nails out and then do your jamb freed lever up here because if you don’t

it will shoot those nails and whatever’s in your magazine straight out

I should note when I use this unit I did not have any jams I am using B and C

Eagle quality fasteners I buy them locally at my Acme tool store they seem

to be price right I haven’t had a lot of issues with them if I can give any

advice no matter what nail are using buy quality fasteners it will make a world

of difference and keep your frustration level to down when you’re doing your job

with that being said I do not have to use the tool free jamb release mechanism

on the front but when I did open and close it if you let it kind of flick

open the handle itself will lay in between these two tabs and it’s kind of

difficult to grab so if do have to use it don’t flick it open

slowly release it yourself and control that tab the back of the unit where the

hose connects it’s a non swiveling fitting which is kind of disappointing

you of course can buy the unit unscrew it and put your own swiveling hose

connection on there but I’m a big fan of swiveling hose connections as it’s just

a little bit more comforting and forgiving when you’re using that tool as

the hose will find its natural position rather than being stuck and being forced

to go on that tangent on where the fixed fitting is making it go this also does

have single fire and bump mode single fire means that you have to push down

the front safety bumper and then pull the trigger if you flip this switch into

the forward position or pointing towards the discharge or the magazine portion it

will put it in bump mode which means you can hold the trigger and then every

single time that the bumper gets depressed it will fire so when you’re

tacking things down or or going in a spot where you need to put down a lot of

nails that is a that is a nice feature to have not so much if you are a trim

carpenter and you’re putting up trim you really don’t want to be in bump mode but

I will say that it is very convenient for me in this workshop where I use a

lot of Brad nails when I’m tacking patterns together like I said earlier

putting plywood and case work together so having the bump feature I have the

ability to lay down a lot of nails do my work when it doesn’t matter that they’re

going to be seen or there’s going to be a lot in my pattern work I’ll tack parts

together on all four corners and then maybe a couple in the middle on the

edges do my work and then the parts the scrap is going to land where the Brad

nails are placed so I like having that feature available to me so one of my

first impressions well first off this unit was very well packaged it came in

obviously a one box kit to where everything that’s included came in that

single box and then it was also sub packaged within that so the hose the gun and the compressor

wall packaged separately so there’s not going to be any shifting and damaging

each other in shipment so that was very nice and comforting focusing on my

impressions on the compressor itself pretty standard pancake style compressor

the two fittings on front is nice both the the red switches the pressure

regulator on the left hand front side of the unit here and then the power switch

are very satisfying they have a very positive feel to them whether they’re on

or off and then the pressure regulator has some nice clicks and then some

visual representation on the dial itself to notify you what pressure you have

going to your tool focusing my first impressions on the 18 gauge 2 inch brad

nailer from hitachi i was very impressed with this unit right out of the box I noticed it was

very light very comfortable to hold on to very maneuverable this is a straight magazine

so again if you’re trying to get in some tight spaces and corners and things like that

this unit might not be right for you but overall the features on this unit were

great one thing I forgot to cover in over viewing the features is this

adjustable exhaust port which you can turn and it will exhaust the air after

each use in a specific direction or whatever you set it at this trigger

mechanism on this unit is by far the most comfortable trigger mechanism on an

air tool or battery-powered nailer that I’ve used to date it just has a very

positive reassuring mechanism to it when it’s aired up the unit is pressurized

the triggers pressurized to where when you know exactly when it’s going to go

and that’s very comforting knowing when you’re holding workpieces or we’re

trying to align some cabinet parts you know exactly when that nail is going to

be released so that’s very nice the bump feature on this unit is something that

may or may not be applicable to you depending on what you’re doing if you’re

someone that’s a weekend warrior you may not appreciate that feature but for

myself I like it as when I’m tacking parts together in the cabinet shop or

templates or things like that I know I can simply just put it in bump

mode hold that trigger down and scream around my part and drive a lot of nails

in a short amount of time to get my work done as that glue is drying or as I just

need to move on and get things done how will i or how would I use this kit this

is something that I will use potentially building it into my new assembly table

and having it in one of the cabinets hardwired to a real on the left or right

side I can simply power up the unit unreal it plug it into this 18 gauge gun

or another gun that I have and get the job done there right at my assembly

table with a nice compact unit here I also do some rare installations on a job

site a client’s family friends even my house with my workshop being remote and

about 15 minutes away from my house something like this is great to be able

to disconnect from my shop throw it in the pickup and head to where

I need to go it’s a great segue into the other clientele that would be interested

in this the contractor the Installer someone that’s on the go this is a

relatively light unit compared to our their large compressors it is something

that would be a very high quality unit for someone that’s on the go and then

needs to get the job done in addition to that someone on the other end of the

spectrum someone that doesn’t need a compressor every single day doesn’t need

a nail gun every single day this still is a great kit for someone to buy

someone to to get involved in the air pneumatics the 18 gauge brad and it’s

also even great for someone that just needs a compressor every now and again

someone that’s filling out footballs or soccer balls for the kids

airing up bike tires or vehicle tires this is a great little unit to have in

the workshop or in the garage and takes up not a lot of space compared to a

large traditional sized compressor I’m Andy glasses workshop addict there’s no

doubt I missed some specs or features or things like that.


Source : Hitachi 18 Gauge Brad Nailer and Compressor Combo

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