Lately I’ve been using the Bostitch Smart Point pneumatic 18-gauge brad nailer, 15-gauge DA-style angle finish nailer, and 15-gauge FN-style angle finish nailer.
These nailers employ a new type of safety that I really like. Other brad and finish nailers force you to compress a spring-loaded nose against the work surface to fire a shot. With Smart Point nailers, however, you just touch the non-marring tip to the surface, with no pushing required. No contact, no shot. I didn’t realize how much focus I put into compressing the nose until I no longer had to do it. The small nose fits into tight spaces and gives you clear sight lines, so you can accurately place your fasteners.
I also appreciate that these tools are oil-free, which helps prevent staining, and they include a built-in pencil sharpener that helps keep my layout marks crisp.
I’ve used plenty of other brad and finish nailers over the years, but these are my new favorites. A 16-gauge Smart Point model is also available. Prices range from $120 to $190. —Gary Striegler is a trim carpenter in Fayetteville, Ark.