Makita is one of the renowned brands in the tools industry and has quite a reputation for its quality products. So, it's no wonder that they would produce well-designed, robust, and accurate pneumatic brad nailers for their users. Hence, Makita AF506 is the newest 18GA brad nailer model that comes as a replacement of its predecessor Makita AF505N. It features a durable and compact design that is equipped with lots of easy-to-use handy features. Its robust motor and narrow nose design makes it ideal for a wide variety of finish application. It also features a built-in air duster (which was not in FN505N) that provides convenient air flow to clean the work surface. All other features are very similar to its predecessor but remarkably improved in many cases. However, let's dig deeper into our Makita AF506 review and explore what new it offers and what improvements have been made.
Makita AF506 Overview
Makita is continuously looking to improve its tools. Therefore, its model turnover tends to be comparatively higher than most other power tools manufacturing companies. The improvements made in the upcoming models tend to be incremental, and older models are continually being replaced with better versions. We've seen the same thing happen with Makita AF505N, and it has been replaced by AF506. You can still buy Makita AF505N from various retailers, but buying the new version would be the right decision. However, Makita AF506 is very similar to the previous model AF505N. It has got almost all the features found in its predecessor, but Makita has made some significant changes to justify its introduction as a new model.
Makita AF506 is a pneumatic brad nailer similar to its previous model and drives 18 GA straight-collated brad nails from 5/8" to 2" into hard or soft wood applications. Its magazine can accommodate up to 100 nails. The AF506 also has the same tool-free jam cleaning features but is operated by an advanced front-mounted lever, allowing easy access to the nailer's internal functions. The depth control knob is placed in the same position as before, right in front of the trigger, which gives you easy and precise control over the nail depth penetration. Its ultra-narrow nose design makes it more usable in space confined areas, and the removable no-mar nose tip protect the delicate work surface from marring. It also features a reversible belt hook similar to AF505N that allows your nailer to hang on-the-fly and quickly frees your hand when needed.
The most significant difference of AF506 compared to its predecessor AF505N is that Makita has improved a couple of its technical specifications and redesigned the chassis. Firstly, it requires 70-120 psi operating pressure to run the nails, and it's slightly higher than the AF505N. Higher operating pressure has the benefit of ensuring the nails can fully penetrate the workpiece, even with harder woods. Still, higher air pressure tends to lessen the service life of the pneumatic tool. Thus, it is advisable to complete the nailing work using minimal air pressure unless very much needed. Like the AF505N, you will need an air hose with a minimum diameter of 6.5mm and a length of less than 20m. Moreover, its equipped with a built-in air duster (not seen on the AF505N) that allows you to clean the work surface by providing convenient air flow.
Makita AF506 Key Features
Makita AF506 is the updated version of AF505N and has become as popular as its predecessor. Its average user rating is 4.8 out of 5. Its powerful motor can drive 18GA brad nails from 5/8 inch to 2 inches into soft or hardwood applications. The lightweight aluminum body makes it durable, and its ergonomic rubber molded anti-slip soft grip ensures maximum comfort and secure hold. So, you can work with this nailer for a long time without feeling tired. Other features are almost the same as the previous model but have improved significantly. Here are the key features of the Makita AF506,
The Makita FN506 features a built-in air duster that was not featured in its previous model FN505N. Accordingly, Makita has redesigned the nailer chassis and placed a push button behind the bottom of the grip. Once you press the button, it bypasses the compressed air into the air duster and produces a strong air blast to clean the work surface. Also, it features a multi-directional exhaust port like the AF505N that can rotate 360 degrees to direct exhaust air away from the user.
Makita AF506 features a tool-free jam release mechanism and tool-free depth adjustment dial similar to its previous model AF505N.
Nail jam is certainly the most annoying condition when you're working on your woodworking project, but its tool-less easy jam release mechanism will allow you to clean the jammed nail like a breeze. Moreover, its easy-to-use tool-less depth adjustment dial lets you use this nailer for a wide range of finish applications effortlessly. Hence, the tool-free features make Makita AF506 a super-efficient and convenient 18GA bead nailer.
Ultra Narrow Nose Design
Its ultra-narrow nose tip feature allows easy access to confined areas and increased visibility, which will give you a more precise nailing experience. Therefore, it becomes a very versatile nailer to own. Additionally, its non-marring rubber nose and bumpers protects the work surface from being damaged or scratched.
Anti Slip Soft Grip
Power tools with poor and slippy grip often tend to fall off the user's hand when they are in use, resulting in thousands of unusual injuries worldwide. However, you don't need to worry about such issues with Makita AF506. Its high-quality rubberized anti-slip soft grip offers a high level of comfort and provides a secure hold for greater control over the nailer.
High Capacity Magazine
Makita AF506 comes with high capacity magazine similar to its predecessor. You can load up to 100 brads from 5/8" to 2". The nailer magazine also has a dual reload indicator to notify you before nails run out. So, you can easily avoid blank fire that may cause your work surface damaged and even can harm your tool. However, you will require 70-120 PSI operating pressure to drive nails, slightly higher than Makita AF505N.
Makita offers 3 years limited manufacturer warranty and 30 days money-back guarantee for AF506 2 inch brad nailer. Moreover, the nailer package will include air fitting, nailer oil, two No-Mar nose tips, safety glasses, and a hard tool carrying case.
Pros & Cons
The Makita AF506 is an updated version of the AF505N that has been redesigned and comes with significantly improved many of its technical features. The older version has been discontinued by the manufacturer and is no longer available in most cases. Although the Makita AF505N is still available from some retailers as their stock clearance. However, Makita AF506 is an excellent pneumatic brad nailer tool with all essential features. While it's a bit expensive compared to other popular pneumatic brad nailers such as WEN 61721, but its extensive and easy-to-use features set it apart from others. Overall, it can be defined as "you get what you pay for".
Please note, you will need an air compressor to operate the nailer, and it will not be included with the nailer package. You have to buy an air compressor separately if you don't own any. If you want more mobility with the same power and consistency and don't want to drag a bulky air compressor, consider battery-powered cordless 18 gauge brad nailers such as PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA, DEWALT DCN680D1, CRAFTSMAN CMCN618C1, or Ryobi One+ P320.