David Frane

Hitachi recently introduced three brushless cordless nailers: an 18-gauge brad gun (NT1850DE), a 16-gauge straight nailer (NT1865DM), and a 15-gauge angle nailer (NT1865DMA). According to the press release, more 18-volt nailers are on the way. I saw these tools at the STAFDA show and was told a framing gun is scheduled for release in the summer of 2017. The brad gun and finish nailers in this story are available now.

The tools take 18-volt slide-style batteries and ship with the company’s new 3.0-Ah compact pack. Most compact batteries top out at 2.0 Ah; only Metabo (now owned by Hitachi) offers more—with its 3.1-Ah compact LiHD pack. Hitachi’s new compact battery should provide the same runtime as the 3.0-Ah full-size packs that were the standard a few years back, and that many of us still have in our tool kits.

Like many newer battery-powered nailers, Hitachi’s do not contain flywheels and instead rely on a mechanism that mimics the operation and drive characteristics of a pneumatic. The motor lifts a piston and attached driver towards the top of a sealed cylinder, compressing the air behind it. The driver remains “cocked” in that position until the trigger is activated. When the trigger is squeezed, the compressed air drives the piston towards the opposite end of the cylinder, slamming the driver into the nail. After the drive, the motor immediately raises the piston to prepare for another shot. It feels like shooting a pneumatic, with fast cycling and no ramp-up before shots.

Hitachi Power Tools

Features include a belt hook, LED light, and tool-less adjustment of depth-of-drive. There is a control panel above the battery with an on/off switch, charge indicator for the battery, and a selective activation switch that allows users to choose between sequential and bump fire mode. If the gun ever jams, the nose can be popped open without tools to remove bent fasteners. All three guns are currently offered in kit form, with a bag, charger, and one 3.0-Ah compact battery.

Hitachi Power Tools

NT1850DE 18-Gauge Brad Nailer
Fasteners: 5/8” to 2”
Weight: 7.3 pounds
Runtime: up to 1,650 nails per charge
Kit includes: bag, gun, charger, and one 3.0 Ah compact battery
Cost: $339

Hitachi Power Tools

NT1865DM 16-Gauge Finish Nailer
Fasteners: 1” to 2-1/2”
Weight: 7.3 pounds
Runtime: up to 1,500 nails per charge
Kit includes: bag, gun, charger, and one 3.0 Ah compact battery
Cost: $369

NT1850DE_KIT

NT1865DMA 15-Gauge Angle Finish Nailer
Fasteners: 1-1/4” to 2-1/2” (34-degree DA style)
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Runtime: up to 1,100 nails
Kit includes: bag, gun, charger, and one 3.0 Ah compact battery
Cost: $369