In its second generation, the Milwaukee 2746-20 M18 Fuel 18-gauge cordless nail gun proved worthy of a compressor powered replacement in our test. For any woodworker or carpenter that is in the Milwaukee battery “club” it is a must buy to enjoy compressor-free nailing.
Milwaukee 18-Gauge Cordless Nail Gun (2746-20)
For trim installation or assembly of cabinets or furniture a compact, cordless nail gun like the 2746-20 is a welcome addition to any woodworkers bag of tricks. Compatible with the popular M18 and M18 FUEL line of batteries this line-up of tools will let you skip the compressor.
- 18-gauge nails
- No gas cartridge required
- Tool free jam clearance
- Zero ramp up time
- Tool free drive adjustment
- On/off power button
- Sequential and contact actuation firing modes
- Three interchangeable tips included
- Model #: 2746-20
- Height: 10.2″
- Length: 11.9″
- Width 3.3″
- Weight: 6.3 lbs
- Nail Length: 5/8 – 2-1/8″
- Capacity: 110 nails
- Battery System: M18
Milwaukee 2746-20 Review
For decades woodworkers have waited for cordless technology to make its way to the nail gun.
And while many tried the gas cartridge assisted nail guns they just didn’t work for higher gauge nails. Until brad and finish nail guns from Milwaukee and other manufactures came on the market.
The verdict? If you are in the M18 lineup of batteries from Milwaukee you’ll want to add at least this nail gun to your collection.
Manufacturer Link: Milwaukee 18-Gauge FUEL
The first project we used this nail gun for was a small room of thick maple trip. And after shooting a few magazines of nails through this surprisingly quiet nail gun discovered its true advantage: portability.
- Fast, easy to nail and 18-gauge nails leave a tiny hole to fill
- No cartridges or air compressor needed
- Fits the popular M18 and M18 FUEL battery line
- Lightweight (using 2.0 amp-hour batteries)
- Zero jams in first three magazines
- Adjustable depth was easy to use
- Nail tip was easy to see
- Zero ramp-up time that was advertised was true
- Solid construction with good “feel”
- LED light was useful to see in corners
Price is the number one downside as there is no avoiding spending 2-3 times (or more) on a cordless brad nail gun than an air compressor equivalent. But the pros of mobility for most woodworkers will outweigh the cost over the long run.
- Deciding on nails was difficult initially with no advertised compatibility (finally decided on Bostitch, which worked well)
- Nails limited to 2-1/8″ in length
Expect to pay an average of $300 for the the “bare” tool without battery and charger. If this is your first purchase into the Milwaukee lineup plan to add in the battery and charger, depending on deals, for $75-150 more.
The 2746-21CT adds a charger, 2.0 amp-hour battery and a contractor bag.
Alternatives to the Milwaukee 2746-20
Dewalt DCN680B: Is a common alternative if your battery system is already with Dewalt. And expect the Dewalt alternative to be more widely available as they more heavily target higher end consumer woodworkers than Milwaukee.
- Slightly lower price
- Similar design
- Fits 20V MAX battery line
- Other nail guns include 16 gauge and framing nail guns
- High user ratings
Makita XNB01Z: completes the “big three” in woodworking tools with an 18-gauge nail gun with similar specs as the Milwaukee 2746-20.
- Slightly lower price
- Similar features
- Line-up also includes a 16 gauge and pin nailer
Porter Cable PPC790LA: is a budget pick that is great for one-time DIY jobs or budget entry into cordless nail guns.
- Basic features of a cordless nail gun
- No gas cannister
- ~40% lower cost (with battery)
- Battery compatible with other Porter Cable cordless tools
For contractors, trades or woodworkers that are owners of Milwaukee you’ll know you aren’t changing line-ups of batteries unless the brand you favor doesn’t have a solid tool.
Fortunately Milwaukee didn’t disappoint with this second generation cordless brad nail gun and its an easy decision to add this to your collection.
With this lightweight nail gun the one “upgrade” to consider is a 2.0 amp hour battery if weight is a concern.
Milwaukee 2746-20: Where to Buy
- Home Depot
- Northern Tool
Read more: Best Cordless Nail Guns for Woodworking