You might have heard that Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless nailers feature a “nitrogen air spring mechanism.”
Some of the benefits of this include zero ramp-up time, and I believe it’s what gives cordless nailers a near-pneumatic-like performance.
It makes sense when you think about it, for cordless nailers to feature a self-cycling air-powered actuator.
Shown above is the Milwaukee M18 Fuel brad nailer (Gen II).
Now, here’s a look at one of the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless framing nailers that we recently posted about.
In that post, a couple of readers discussed the potential for Milwaukee’s nitrogen spring mechanism to lose air.
Milwaukee has been using nitrogen spring mechanisms in their M18 Fuel cordless nailers, starting with their initial offerings back in 2016.
In each Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless nailer, the compressed nitrogen chamber is sealed and should not require any user attention, ever. The last I checked, the user manuals don’t even mention the nitrogen chamber, its workings, or anything related.
Nitrogen-based cordless nailers aren’t a modern invention – we first saw this type of tech in Senco’s Fusion nailers starting in 2010 – a decade ago! I briefly reviewed Senco’s Fusion finish nailer here.
In a comment to our Milwaukee cordless framing nailer post, a reader mentioned that he has had to add air to his Hitachi cordless framing nailer. I’m sure he’s not the first to have to do this, but it’s really the first time I’ve ever heard it happening. (Thank you Rudy for sharing about that!!)
My understanding is that Milwaukee’s cordless nailers are designed to be maintenance-free for as long as you use them.
They’re not supposed to need maintenance, servicing, or refilling. To date, I have not heard of any Milwaukee cordless nailers losing power over time, or leaking air due to a compromised seal.
Marketing materials for the new Milwaukee framing nailer emphasize that it doesn’t require a gas cartridge to operate, and that this “eliminates the maintenance and cost of gas cartridges.”
Some contractor supply shops will hold free Paslode nailer cleaning events every so often, but it’s still something you have to do regularly.
If you had to deal with seal maintenance or nitrogen refilling on a Milwaukee cordless nailer, that would just about destroy one of their biggest selling points.
Milwaukee’s cordless nailers having been on the market for 4 years now, and Milwaukee is a very popular cordless power tool brand, and so I know that quite a few of you have used these nailers before.
Will these nailers leak? Probably not. “Nitrogen air spring” technology is fairly mature by now, and Milwaukee has had time to respond to user feedback or any failings reported to them.
I like to think that I hear about widespread problems, if not from readers or local contractors, then from the occasional research we do to stay up to date about user sentiments. However, although I haven’t heard of any Milwaukee cordless nailers developing compromised nitrogen chamber seals, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.
This brings me to ask: have you ever experienced a compromised seal that led to your Milwaukee cordless nailer to require servicing, repairs, or refilling of any kind?
Have they leaked? I’m sure that defects and heavy wear and tear are possible, but I haven’t heard of any air chamber-related issues thus far. That’s also the main point of this post, to learn more about your experiences with Milwaukee’s cordless nailers and others like them. I’m sure that if this kind of problem is happening, it would have happened to at least some of you. Please chime in!
If you haven’t already done so, here’s the scoop on the new framing nailers, as well as pre-order links for both types: