Part of my job at Popular Woodworking Magazine is to talk with tool manufacturers and get their newest innovations into the PWM shop to test and review. I tend to do things in a big way, which means I have a small mountain of things to review crowding the shop, my cubicle and the storage area in the front of the PWM offices – it’s a big pile. And with the International Woodworking Fair coming up in about a month in Atlanta, I expect it to get much bigger.
The trouble with getting in so many great tools is, we only publish seven issues of the magazine each year. In those issues there are only three (occasionally four) tool reviews, in which I like to provide variety. What this means is, I either take the next seven years to write reviews in the magazine of every tool I currently have or I spend a few weeks letting you know about the latest and greatest tools on the market right here on the Editors’ Blog.
So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do and I’m going to start with one of my favorites; the Uffy TH-T-1825XP 18-gauge brad nailer (check it out here). Uffy Tools has been in business for about five years and they produce industrial quality tools. As we take a look at the 1825XP, you’ll see what I mean.
As soon as you open the box you can see the tool is heavy duty. There’s not a lot of flash and decoration – it’s a working tool. It’s a little heavier than some competitors’ equivalent tools, but not so much so that you would go home exhausted after using it all day. The reason it’s a little heavier is there’s more metal. In fact, there’s very little plastic on this tool. The only parts I could find that are not metal are the trigger, the rubber grip and the directional exhaust.
It shoots 5/8″ to 2″ AX and AY type 18-gauge medium and slight-head nails. In use, the spring action on the safety tip is smooth and the tip doesn’t mar the material whether it’s a hard or soft wood. With a 110 psi air rating, there’s plenty of power to drive the nails into any wood. I had no trouble fully sinking 1-1/2″ nails in hard maple.
The grip is comfortable and the brad nailer is extremely well balanced. On the trigger is a switch to set the nailer to fire a single shot or bump fire. The switch is conveniently placed and easy to adjust but low profile enough that you can’t accidentally change modes. Once you get going, the bump mode makes quick work of putting moulding on a piece of furniture.
Another feature I liked, but didn’t need to use, is the quick release to clear jammed brads. The latch is stiff enough that it wouldn’t inadvertently come undone while in use, but it’s easy enough to release that you don’t feel like you have to work out for three weeks before using it. The fact that I’ve been using the brad nailer in the shop for a few months and had no problem with nails jamming makes the feature less of a necessity, but I’m glad it’s there because sooner or later every nailer jams.
All in all, the Uffy TH-T-1825XP is a really nice brad nailer. It hasn’t got flames painted up the side or flashy chrome accents, but it does everything you want a brad nailer to do and it does it well. At a suggested retail price of around $189 it sounds like it’s a bit pricey compared to other 18-gauge brad nailers, but few of it’s competitors stand up to this kind of quality. If you’re in the market for an 18-gauge nailer, take a look at the Uffy TH-T-1825XP. Uffy’s website is uffytools.com.