Grex GC1850 cordless 18-gauge nailer
Nailer lets you lose the compressor
At the heart of the Grex GC1850 cordless 18-gauge nailer is an internal combustion engine. A fuel cartridge and a pair of AAA batteries provide the energy needed to activate the engine and drive the nails. The GC1850 shoots standard 18-gauge brads from 1⁄2 in. to 2 in. long. A depth-adjustment knob limits fuel flow from the cartridge, so setting this according to nail length and wood density saves fuel. The fuel cartridges, which are specific to this gun, come in packs of 4 and 12 (a 4-pack sells for around $25). A belt hook and an extra no-mar rubber tip are included. A couple of things to note. The locking mechanism for the fuel cell was a bit stiff on the model I tested. I also found the handle uncomfortable for my grip, so I’d head to a store for a test run to see if the handle fits your hand. Overall, the fuel-driven Grex is an improvement over other cordless nailers I’ve used. It’s a well-built nailer with good weight and balance that performed well.
—Tony O’Malley is a professional furniture and cabinet maker in Emmaus, Pa.