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How to Use a Brad Nailer

When you're installing trim, crown molding or door frames, a corded or cordless brad nailer can help you finish the job quickly and efficiently. A brad nail gun drives brad nails into wood with high force and precision, which helps create a professional finish. This type of device comes in a wide variety of styles and sizes, depending on your nails' gauges of or if you're working in tight spaces. Before starting a big project, here are some tips on using a brad nailer.


Safety precautions

This tool should be kept out of the reach of children. Always make sure you and any assistants are wearing safety glasses and earplugs while using the nail gun. The glasses help protect your eyes from misfired nails or flying wood splinters while the earplugs soften any loud noises from nailing in a confined space. As with most home improvement projects, avoid wearing baggy clothing. If you wear a long-sleeved shirt, tightly roll the sleeves above your elbows.

 

When operating the nailer, keep your hands away from the nail's path. If you aren't using the device, don't squeeze or put your finger on the trigger. If you're changing nails, clearing jams or not using it, disconnect the air hose or power supply.

Safety Glasses

Select the right type of nails

Using a cordless or corded brad nailer properly depends on the type of brad nails required for the project. Choose a nail length that will go through the material and penetrate about three-quarters to an inch into the underlying wood. When doing fine work, such as securing miters, use short nails. Heavy-duty jobs, such as nailing down door jambs, typically call for long nails.

 

Select the right nail

Sink the nail in the right spot

Don't try to place a nail too close to the end of a piece of trim because wood could split along the grain. Remember that every type of wood has unique splitting properties, and thicker pieces of wood usually can be nailed closer to the edge than thinner pieces. In most cases, nails should be fastened half an inch or more from the end of the wood piece.

Sink the nail in the right spot

Make necessary adjustments

Adjust the air pressure as needed to drive in a nail. Some models let you adjust the nosepiece to control how deeply the nail is driven. If the nail hits a knot or accidently pops out, cut off the protruding nail end with nipper pliers and use a nail set to tap in any metal that remains.

Make necessary adjustments

Troubleshooting

Remember to disconnect the air hose or power supply before fixing your device. If the clip has nails in it but nothing comes out, lubricate the nail feed mechanism. If you pull the trigger and nothing happens, try adjusting the air pressure. When a jam occurs, disconnect the nailer and consult your owner's manual for information about how to safely remove a jammed nail.

Troubleshooting