How to Use and Maintain Brad Nailers

Brad nailers are nail guns that are used to piece together small mouldings and woodcuts to woodwork. It is often the preferred choice as it uses very small nail gauges that will not slit the wood surface no matter how light it is.

Moreover, brad nailers are very versatile when it comes to nail accommodation. Most often support 18-gauge brad nails with a range of 5/8 to 2 1/8 inch in length.  These are the smallest kind of nail and are almost invisible over a wood surface. You will not even have to refill the nail holes when using these brad nails. Nevertheless, if you do, it will not be burdensome.

Besides to ensure that it will work as expected, always buy the right one, in terms of nail length accommodation as well as ease of use and maintenance. This allows for better results and prolongs its usefulness. In this guide, you will learn how to efficiently use brad nailers and make the most out of your operations.

How to Use Pneumatic Brad Nailers

A pneumatic brad nailer often uses an air compressor to fire brad nails into wooden surfaces.

Things You Will Need

  • Air compressor and air hose
  • Hose adapter
  • Pneumatic tool oil
  • Teflon tape
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tack cloth

1. Connect the Hose Adapter to the Brad Nailer

When you are using a pneumatic brad nailer, you have to ensure you have the correct hose adapter for it. You can then connect to it, make sure it is tight or tighten it with an adjustable wrench.

You can wrap the hose adapter fitting with Teflon tape to prevent any air leaks and to ensure that the area between the air hose and the brad nailer is not loose.

2. Lubricate the Hose Adapter and the Brad Nailer

Brad nailers often need to be lubricated before every use. Therefore, take the pneumatic tool lubricant and lubricate its metal parts and the hose adapter. A few drops are sufficient. After which you can clean any spills with the tack cloth.

They often use air pistons to function, so lubrication is important for its functionality as well as longevity.

3. Load the Brad Nailer with Brad Nails

When it comes to loading, ensure you have the correct nail size as well as nail count for the wood job. Nevertheless, you can also reload when the nail count reduces.

4. Connect the Brad Nailer to the Air Compressor

You will have to let the air compressor pressurise before connecting it to the brad nailer. You can then connect to it using the air hose. Ensure that both ends are tight to prevent air leaks. If the two end connections are loose, you can use an adjustable wrench to tighten them up.

5. Test the Brad Nailer

Before using any brad nailer, you should test its functionality on a wood surface. Ensure you have a proper hold of it with its nose tip at 90°on the wooden surface. Then pull the trigger and let the brad nail sink in the wood. If it works, then proceed and use it for your woodwork project.

You should always be careful when handling pneumatic brad nailers as they often exert a force that can be dangerous if handled badly. Moreover, you should always wear the required protective gears to stay safe.

Additional Information

All of them need to be handled with care, it does not matter if it is corded, electric or pneumatic. The same applies to nail length. You will have to load each of them with the right nail size for it to function well on the chosen wood.

The only difference when it comes to their use is a power source, as pneumatic brad nailers often use air compressors. While electric brad nailers use electricity and corded ones use rechargeable batteries.

How to Maintain Brad Nailers

Most people often take it for granted when they are told that machines need to be maintained properly in order to function and last for some given time. The same applies to brad nailers, without proper care and storage, it will spoil.

Here are some tips to keep them as functional as they were when newly bought.

1. Lubricate even as you use

You should always lubricate all metallic moving parts in a brad nailer to prevent them from jamming or clogging. It often needs just a few drops.

You can also lubricate the air hose before using and blank-fire the nailer at least thrice to allow the oil to disperse and work on it. If you will be using it the whole day, you can lubricate as you work for proper nail firing.

Moreover, always use pneumatic tool oil as other lubricants can eat away the brad nailer, especially the rubber parts.

Besides, always lubricate before and after use to prevent wear and tear that comes with constant use

2. Environmental exposure and storage

You should always take care not to expose them for too long, in areas with high moisture and salt content. This is often common in coastal regions, where salt can cause the machine to rust and stop functioning. The Same principle applies to when you are working in sandy and dusty areas.

Moreover, the airborne particle can also clog the brad nailer and wear it out. Therefore, invest in an airtight case for storage purposes, when you are not using it.

Besides, keep it away from cold places when storing it. However, if it gets cold you can blank-fire it a couple of times to warm it.

3. Use it properly

The better you handle it, the longer it will last. Therefore, ensure you use it as stipulated in the user manual.

Use the right kind of nails as well as operating pressure, especially if you are using pneumatic brad nailers, as improper pressure can damage it. You should also use the proper size of air compressor depending on the woodwork.

For corded ensure you double check on the battery’s expiry date.

4. Tighten the Bolts and Screws

To ensure that all its parts work well, always tighten its bolts and screws every month. This is because they often loosen up with the constant vibration and firing of the machine.

You should always double check on this, because if any part falls apart then you will lose control of the whole brad nailer, which can lead to injuries.


For a brad nailer to function properly you will have to maintain it and use it as stipulated. Otherwise, you will be buying brad nailers for the rest of your life. Therefore, you should always factor in maintenance costs and time before opting to buy any type of tool.

Conclusively, safety is essential whether you are using it or maintaining it. This also ensures it works properly for a long time.

Emily Floate

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