Senco SLP20XP 1-5/8-Inch 18 Gauge Brad Nailer / Best Review 2018


Senco SLP20XP 1-5/8-Inch 18 Gauge Brad Nailer

Features a air-driven design for excellent ease of use and razor-sharp precision. The Senco SLP20XP 18 Gauge Brad air nailer offers plenty of driving power for fastening tough materials, both thick and thin, and the strip loading is perfect for 18-gauge fasteners (fasteners not included). The nailer drives light-head brads and medium-head brads and requires fasteners collated with glue. Strip loading feeds the nailer quickly Air driven for driving in tough materials Pro-series design delivers precision and power Requires fasteners collated with glue (fasteners not included) Drives light-head brads Drives medium-head brads For 18-gauge fasteners 5/8 in. minimum fastener size 1-5/8 in. maximum fastener size Perfect for driving in thick and thin materials 5-year warranty.

Around the House

We had some random projects to wrap up around the house and received a reason to get them done in the form of the new Senco SLP20XP 18 Gauge Brad air nailer. It came along with Senco’s new Hybrid Hose and some swivel couplings to try out as well. Paired with the PC1010N 1-gallon compressor from Senco, we set to work with a lightweight “grab and go” finish system.

The Senco SLP20XP 18 Gauge Brad air nailer weighs in at just 2.8 pounds. Much of this can be attributed to the use of magnesium in the material choices. Magnesium offers high strength like steel, but at a much lower weight. They also went with composite construction on the magazine.


As the model number indicates, this finish nailer is an 18-gauge model. It can handle nail lengths from 5/8″ to 2-1/2″. The composite magazine will hold up to 100 nails. Common applications for this model include external trim, chair rails, baseboards, ornamental, case backs, cabinetry, furniture repair, small trim, and craft assembly.

The Senco SLP20XP 18 Gauge Brad air nailer motor is oil free and requires very little maintenance, making you more productive. The exhaust port is capable of being pointed in 360 degrees with no tools needed to keep exhaust away from you and the work surface. A swiveling belt hook makes climbing applications much more convenient.


While most finish work has an element of precision, some require less than others. You can change between bump and sequential fire modes with a simple flip of the switch. Push the spring-loaded button on the right side of the trigger and turn to make the change.

For those precision applications, a nose light helps you see the placement. While there isn’t a dry fire lockout, there is a low magazine indicator to help reduce dry fire incidents. A standard thumb wheel depth of drive adjustment and no mar tip round out the major features.


With the innovations provided by cordless nailers, it’s wonder why you’d want to reach for a traditional pneumatic model when running a punch list or doing renovation work. The thing is, however, we ran into two situations where the small form factor of the Senco SLP20XP 18 Gauge Brad air nailer was necessary to getting the job done.

The first situation involved placing quarter round molding underneath an existing bathroom vanity. The vanity was a 60-inch wide antique, claw foot model, and it had been installed before the shoe molding was in place. As a result, the molding needed to be inserted and nailed into place—preferably without removing the entire sink assembly and vanity. The vanity was also nestled into an alcove, so you had a scant 4-1/2 inches of clearance on the bottom and 4-inches on the sides.

I was able to get the Senco SLP20XP 18 Gauge Brad air nailer both underneath the vanity to nail the central portion of the rear quarter round in place and also along the sides to secure the left and right ends. Then, I turned the tool sideways and nailed in the side pieces. It was a job that required a narrow tool, and the Senco FinishPro 18BMg had the right clearance.

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Pleasure or Not?

Few things compare to the sheer visceral pleasure of sinking a nail several inches into solid hardwood with the slightest curl of the index finger. Pneumatic nailers have a way of imbuing the user with power – increased by orders of magnitude – that few other tools can mimic. Sure, it’s a simple pleasure. But the best solution is often the simplest one, Senco is to the world of making pieces of metal wire go into pieces of wood. The Senco SLP20XP 18 Gauge Brad air nailer gauge brad nailer was sent to us by our friends at Senco to evaluate. And I’m just simple enough to put their “razor” to the test.

Ok, I’m just going to go ahead and dispense this criticism right up front so we can move on to the good stuff. The first thing I noticed when I opened the case was the beautiful sight of a Senco nailer. I’m not gonna lie, I’m fond of Senco. They generally make some pretty great tools. And this one is no exception.

Safety Glasses

But the second thing I noticed was the safety glasses they include, presumably to “provide added value”. Now I realize that you’re buying the tool and not the safety glasses but, come on guys, the included safety glasses – and I use “safety” in the loosest possible sense here – are what you might call disposable, as in: one should dispose of them from the get go.

They may be acceptable if bare eyes is your only alternative. Nay, I say! Buy and use some decent safety glasses when working with any pneumatic nailer or other power tool. Your eyes are too important to auction off to the lowest bidder.senco review 2

Now for the really good stuff

With the “safety glasses” safely disposed of in the rubbish bin (and replaced with more serious eye protection), let’s address the tool itself. This baby met or exceeded all expectations with regards to the 3 F’s (that I just made up): form, features and function.

The rubber grip is perfectly sized and feels great in the hand. The wide ergonomic trigger cradles your finger in comfort with little chance of blister induction, even after hours of continuous use. And the lightweight magnesium body gives your arm a much-deserved break from those 5 pound monsters out there on the market. The weight advantage comes without compromising durability.

Senco FinishPro 18BMg 18 Gauge Gets You Out Of A Jam

Even though I had no jams in 800 nail firings, it’s nice to know just how easy it would be to clear a jam, should one occur. I have a no-name pin nailer in my shop that requires pulling a pair of allen bolts to clear a jam. And let me tell you – even though it’s rarely an issue – it’s a serious pain to deal with.

The Senco SLP20XP 18 Gauge Brad air nailer, on the other hand, would actually be a pleasure to clear a jam from. Just pull on the levered lock and the entire front end opens up. It can’t get any easier than that. I know there are other nailers on the market that use a similar method, but it’s a solution I genuinely appreciate. And you will too.


Super lightweight

Gets into tight spaces

Holds 100 nails


You’ll need to provide the inlet plug since one doesn’t come packaged with the Senco SLP20XP 18 Gauge Brad air nailer. We’d recommend one of Senco’s new swiveling plugs to help reduce stress around the connection point and work in tighter areas. That’s far too narrow for any battery-powered finish nailers.



Overall performance you will definitely love this brad nailer. It is easy, lightweight and perfect for anyone to handle, even a woman! Fits into tight places with is great when installing cabinets or crown molding. You need this brad nailer for your tool collection!