Grex has just come out with a new 18 gauge cordless brad nailer, model GC1850, that is powered by AAA batteries and a fuel cell.
But here’s the ooh ahh part – the new Grex cordless nailer is said to be around the same size and weight as most pneumatic brad nailers, and delivers comparable power too. Grex says it’s the first of its kind.
To prove it, Grex compared their new cordless brad nailer alongside Paslode, Dewalt (18V), and Senco Fusion nailers.
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Here are just a few of the more recent and upcoming battery-only-powered cordless nailers:
- Milwaukee M18 Fuel brushless nailers
- Porter Cable 20V Max nailers
- Ridgid 18V Brushless HypderDrive nailers
Most brands have been coming out with cordless-only nailers, and so it’s surprising to see that Grex’s new nailer works with fuel cells.
Well, fuel cells and 2 AAA batteries!
The Grex GC1850 is rated to run at least 50,000 shots per battery lifecycle, while each fuel cartridge is expected to last for around 1,300 shots.
The fuel cells consist of odorless compressed liquefied propane gas. We’re not sure how much the cartridges will cost, but hopefully it’s reasonable.
Update: We’re seeing street pricing of $25 for 4 cartridges.
So what’s the story behind the new nailer?
As mentioned, it’s said to be comparable in size, weight, and power to most other pneumatic brad nailers. This is actually a big deal.
While I personally prefer the convenience of fully electric nailers, the newest cordless nailers are quite heavy – in some cases more than double the weight of comparable air nailers. If you’re wielding a nailer for long stretches of time during a project, a lighter tool is going to be a lot easier on your arms and body.
Raymond Wong, Chief Marketing Officer at Grex, says this about the nailer:
Addressing an age-old concern among trim carpenters and woodworkers, we understood the need for a lightweight, cordless finish nailer. One providing the same benefits as our competition – without sacrificing the ergonomics of an air tool. Our cordless is the first to do both.
Additional features include:
- Self-lubricating piston ring and cylinder
- Easy driver replacement
- All-metal body, for better durability, reliability, and to facilitate heat dissipation
- Powerful enough to fully sink 2-inch brad nails into 2-inch oak
- Safety nose with no-mar tip
- Anti dry-fire lock-out
- Adjustable driving power
Street Price: $440
Buy Now(via Tool Nut)
I find myself at a loss of what to think about this new nailer.
On one hand, it’s powered by AAA batteries, which helps to keep the nailer lightweight and compact in size.
On the other hand, it works with consumable fuel cartridges.
It’s smaller and lighter than competing units, and is as powerful as traditional air brad nailers.
But it’s priced at $499, which is not a small amount of money considering we’re talking about a brad nailer.
My only Grex experience was an airbrush demo at a Woodworking Show once. I liked the continuous feed compressor, mainly since I previously used a small hotdog shaped compressor for my airbrushing and it was a nuisance when it kicked back on.
I have heard good things about Grex nailers in general, but don’t think I’d be ready to plunk down $500 for this cordless fuel cell model. But I also don’t work with a brad nailer on a daily basis. I imagine that, if I did, I might be a lot more open minded.