Ridgid Brad Nailer Review

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review

Ridgid has been making pneumatic nailers for quite a few years now. Even though there is a big push now for battery operated tools, Ridgid has continued to produce and improve their pneumatic nailers. In my 15+ years using nailers, I’ve seen a few “innovations” added to new models. Some of these innovations are true breakthroughs and some are just cosmetic improvements. Ridgid’s new version of their 18 gauge brad nailer (Model# R213BNF) has some nice improvements providing the user with a trouble-free and productive experience. Let’s see what these changes are all about in the Ridgid Brad Nailer Review.

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review Overview

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review

The very first nailer I got was a Ridgid 18 gauge brad nailer that my dad bought me about 14 years ago. I still have that nailer and as a matter of fact, it is my very favorite nailer. If I had to venture a guess, I must have shot several thousand nails through that unit. To my recollection, I have never had a fastener get jammed. I can’t say enough good things about that nailer.

With my infatuation of Ridgid’s old brad nailer model, it’s going to be tough for their new design to take over as my new favorite nailer. Going forward with this review, as I take a look at the features of this nailer, I will also talk about how important I find these features and sometimes compare them to the older model.

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review Features

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review

At first glance, it is obvious the new Ridgid 18 gauge brad nailer has gotten a cosmetic facelift. The size and weight are very similar to my older unit. I’ve always found the 18 gauge brad nailers to be the most comfortable units to work with. They aren’t nearly as heavy as a finish nailer and unlike pin nailers, aren’t so small as to feel like a toy.

The Ridgid brad nailer accepts and fires 18 gauge nails of the following sizes… 5/8”, 1”, 1-1/4”, 1-1/2”, 1-3/4” and 2-1/8”. This is a huge range and covers everything you would need in a brad nailer.

The nail compartment is made of a durable plastic that has a transparent smoke tint. This is a nice touch. Being able to see when you are running low on nails can allow you to add nails at your convenience. I always find it annoying when I’m in the middle of nailing a piece into place and I run out of nails. It can be frustrating.

The selectable trigger allows a user to switch between single nailing, and bump nailing.  They call this bump nailing contact actuation mode. It’s very easy to switch between modes and at a glance, easy to see what mode you are in. This feature is not a new one, but it is nicely executed.

Ridgid has made clearing jammed fasteners a breeze with this new unit. By pulling up on the latch label located on the front, it will open the jam release. This allows for extremely simple and fast removal of jammed nails. Many years ago, in order to remove jammed fasteners, you would have to use an Allen wrench to gain access to the jammed nail. This took a lot of extra effort that slowed down production.

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review

The depth of drive adjustment is simple to operate. It is a wheel that you turn to adjust the depth that your nailer is sinking nails.

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review

This nailer comes with three no-mar pads that attach to the workpiece contact point and has onboard storage for the two spares. I find this really nice. My old nailer’s no-mar pad is split and falling apart. Do you think I can find any spares….nope. And finding a new one to order isn’t as easy as you might think.

The Ridgid 18 gauge brad nailer has a dry fire lockout feature which prevents misfires and extends motor life.

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review

The oil-free operation means you don’t need to add oil to the nailer before or during use. My old unit is oil-free as well and is still running strong.

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review

On the back of the nailer, there is a belt hook, an adjustable quick connect hose fitting and a stationary exhaust port.

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review Performance

The Ridgid 18 gauge brad nailer performance is as I expected. It is an updated version of the older model that I have and performs flawlessly.

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review

Ridgid is touting a Clean Drive Technology on this nailer. They are claiming this unit will produce 17 times more consecutive perfect drives than the competition which in turn means you can spend less time fixing and more time working. I’ve never liked statements like this because it’s impossible to compare when you don’t know who the competition is. What I can say is this unit does a remarkable job driving its fasteners and does so without many (or in my case, any) misfires.

Everything else on this nailer is very intuitive and easy to operate.

Ridgid Brad Nailer Review Value

On The Home Depot’s website, this nailer is listed at $99.00 which includes a carrying bag and 200 1-1/4” nails to start you off with. This price is lower than what my dad paid for my older Ridgid brad nailer 14 years ago ($119.00 I believe).

Because many people are starting to move more and more to battery operated tools, lower prices on corded and pneumatic tools are becoming more commonplace. Because this tool is so much lighter than its battery operated counterpart, in a shop setting, I prefer to hook up to my air hose with my Ridgid 18 gauge brad nailer.

At $99.00, this is a tool that will last you for quite a few years and give you exceptional results. For professionals needing constant use from their nailers, this is a great value. For homeowners, Ridgid produces a great product that won’t break the bank.

Ridgid 18 Gauge Brad Nailer Review Final Thoughts

It’s hard for me to believe, but I may just like this new Ridgid 18 gauge brad nailer may take over my top spot on my favorite nailer. The improvements that Ridgid made to this unit isn’t anything that is groundbreaking, but all of the changes and improvements that they made are just that….Improvements. If you do a lot of woodworking and want a brad nailer that is going to perform day after day at a very high level, then look no farther. The Ridgid 18 gauge brad nailer is that tool.

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John has been woodworking, building his shop, and collecting tools since 2000. His passion is spending time with his wife and two kids. He especially enjoys coaching his daughter's softball teams which takes up nearly all summer. He is a lifelong fan of the Michigan State University Spartans and the Pittsburgh Steelers. When he is not spending time with his family, John is either in his workshop or working on some home improvement.
ridgid-brad-nailer-reviewRidgid continues to be one of the top producers in the tool market. From time to time, Ridgid revisits some of their older model tools to see how they can improve them. The new R213BNF Ridgid 18 Gauge Brad Nailer is the new model for their pneumatic 18 gauge brad nailer offering. Without a doubt, this Brad Nailer makes meaningful improvements that consistent users will appreciate.


  1. Recently purchased the ridged 18 gauge brad nailer. I cannot get it to use all of the clip. It will not use the last 5 nails. Is there a release or an adjustment that is required?


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