How to Use a Brad Nailer (All Types)

Choose nails of the size you want, load the gun, press the trigger, and then fire. Adjust the nail if needed. Before shooting ensure that no jam is placed at the tip, the battery is fully charged (for electric guns) and the air compressor is properly connected (for pneumatic guns).

The Best Way to Use a Brad Nailer

how to use a brad nailer

The main two types of brad nailers are the most common in the market. One is the pneumatic nailer which needs a compressor, hose and uses its energy to fire nails. Meanwhile, another one is the electric nail gun. So, we will try to discuss both using procedures here.

1. Running the Pneumatic One

The instructions are generally for shooting 18-gauge nails. But these can also work for the other sizes. However, the higher the gauge number, the smaller the nail.

Safety First

First of all, you need to make sure that you have the proper safety gear. For example, wear safety glasses, and hearing protection. And in some cases, you may need a mask. Generally, the mask is needed when you are going to work on lumber.

Need an Air Compressor

You will need an air compressor for running the pneumatic nailers (90 to 120 pounds of pressure is needed. Therefore, a portable air compressor is enough for this job). However, regulate the knob first to adjust the output pressure.

Load the Magazine

Firstly, just pull up and open the magazine, and sit the set of nails. Moreover, make them sit right down on the bottom and slide it forward. That’s it!

However, many of the brad nailers bear small windows on the magazine cover to allow you to see how many nails are available to shoot.

Remove the Jams Regularly

If there is a jam inside or a nail somehow gets bent up, then bring a special wrench to loosen the two studs off and as a result, the front will come out off and you can get the jam out.


The front tip has to be depressed so that the trigger will be allowed to make a fire. If it is not pushed against the surface you are working on, it will not fire. The most important thing to say, keep your nailer perpendicular to the long narrow piece so that the nail can go in perfectly. Moreover, your fingers will be said from pokes. Then place the nailer like a gun, depress the foot, and squeeze the trigger.

Controlling the Nail Depth

Some of them will have adjustments back there for adjusting the depth of the nail. Besides, some nailers have a slide mechanism to replace this adjustment knob.

U-Shape Nose

So, here is the U-shape nose, it helps to catch on the edge at the time of the shooting. And also, you can get close to the edge. Most of the machines have rub rubber protective pieces there so, there is zero percent chance of leaving a mark every time it touches the surface.

Air Pressure Dial

It works to control the amount of pressure while pressing the trigger. The more pressure you get, the deeper you can set the brads.

Oil the Machine

Almost all the machines require some oil. It is a must for every 500 pins or whenever you are using for every day. Drop air oil where you connect the air hose. So, the oil can lubricate all the rings, everything inside the plunger mechanism, and the piston.

2. Electric Nail Gun

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Now is the time for the electric nailer. Almost the same rules, same instructions you will find here.

Preparations Before Nailing

Wear goggles, and put up a mask as before. Always be sure that your battery is fully charged. Also, check the battery after a while.

Check the Nail Option

Underneath the trigger, towards the front, there is a small switch. If you shift the switch on the “Multiple Nail” option, then you will not need to pull the trigger every time while shooting nails.

Fill Up the Magazine

Now, take the nail set, load it on the magazine and push up the magazine cover. There is confusion that occurs on what is the front side and back of the nail set. It is very easier to tell that, there are line marks to indicate the thick area. Put the thin part facing out as it can enter the wood piece first.

Time for Shooting

Pull the safety component (in front of the trigger), engage the trigger, and therefore fire. If you somehow feel a jam in the top of your gun, all nail guns have the feature to lift this lock, clear the jam and close it back in place.

How Does a Brad Nailer Work?

When it is a pneumatic tool, it bears a piston that holds a long shaft. It gets its power from a tiny air compressor. While pressing the trigger, a valve gets opened and enters air into the cylinder. Thus, the pressure above the piston becomes higher than below it. as a result, the piston moves down, and nailing occurs.

On the other hand, an electric nailer works interestingly! When we pull the trigger, the lever gets pressure and compresses two springs. Consequently, the axle turns and shoots nails.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do All Brad Nailers Need Compressed Air?

Not at all. Electric brad nailers require a continuous power supply source to operate. But if it is pneumatic, then you will only need an airflow of 1 Cubic Foot Meter (60 PSI). You can also create a blow by your mouth to shoot a nail!

What Can You Do With a Brad Nailer?

Brad nailers are amazing for making the trims decorative or building a picture frame, or birdhouse at home. Not only these, but it also works great for shoe molding, door/window trimming, or any of the woodcuts. 

Can I Use Brad Nails on Plywood?

Yes, you can. But first, check the width of that plywood. If you are confused about the width, then take 15 or a 16-gauge of nails because these may go on almost all of the plywood.


No need to maintain all of the advice and instructions before. Just try to remember that, you have to choose your nail, fill the magazine, fix the depth, and shoot. As a final word, we can ensure you that one will find the first to the final procedure of driving a nail gun above in this article.

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