How To

How to Use a Brad Nailer for Small Projects?

A Brad nailer comes with a thin head and is perfect when you have to attach a lightweight piece of wood to a thicker one. It is also easy to use for smaller moldings which use 18 sized gauge nails and only leaves small holes with lesser chances of splitting the mold. Even after you take out the nail, it doesn’t look too bad with these tiny holes. Also, before you finish working on your piece, you will not need to fill in the holes much either. Mostly it will not be required at all. A brad nailer usually ranges from 5/8-inches to 1-1/2 inches. As they are short in length and smaller diameter, they can’t hold on to larger nails or screws much. So, they are perfect for using on a thin and delicate piece of wood, ideal for structural working.

Uses of brad nailer

It is also possible that at times, as brad nailers are pretty light and used on thin wood, the nails may not sink in easily. This can also be a challenge as it will be difficult to hammer them in, unlike the regular finish nail. It can also bend easily if hammered and due to the wooden knots causing a perfect brad to blow up from the side of the trimmed piece. So, the best method here would be to just remove it instead of cutting off the nail or drive it inside the protruding brad.

The finish nailers, however, use 15 or 16 gauge sizes instead. Hence, it is an extremely useful piece of tool, especially when you can’t pass through a regular nailer. Both brad nailers and finish nailers are like cousins, and both have their own purposes. So, it may be good ideas to own both as you never know when each will be required.

Now, let’s come to the usage of a brad nailer and how you can work with it well. A brad nailer is mainly useful when we think of thin wood pieces. They are usually lighter and smaller in size than the finish nailers. There are many brad nailers available in the market for you to choose from. They come in two different models of cordless or pneumatic.

Mostly when you go to buy a brad nailer, you will find pneumatic ones more commonly available. These have the fitting of a hose, which is connected to an air compressor for powering the equipment. Usually, brad nailers come with straight clips wherein the square-shaped nail clips come in are held by the magazine and driven into the cylinder. But you may also get angular ones at times nowadays which can easily fit into smaller spaces and easier to use.

However, when you think of cordless brad nailers, they basically work on battery and have an air canister, which is compressed and helps in powering the tool to drive the nails in the wooden pieces. They are the best as they are portable and perfect for home and any of the projects you wish to accomplish out here, including interior work like doors, frames, windows, cabinets, or any other furniture works. But finish nailers will be definitely useful in a construction site. Always remember the type of brad nailer used must be appropriate for your requirement.

Instructions to use a brad nailer

Even though it is not very difficult to use any of these nailers, it is important that you must follow some simple steps for their use. Here are some of them mentioned below for you to take the utmost advantage of this tool:

  1. When using them, ensure that they are not very close to the wooden pieces as it may, of course, be a bit scattered for usage as well as you may even split the pieces or damage them unnecessarily. A brad nailer is very light, but at the same time, it can be good enough to break light and thin wood pieces.
  2. Ensure that your brad is not bent as you will not only find it difficult to bring it back in shape but may even damage it.
  3. Have you checked if your nail clip works well? This is an important step to check, especially when you think all is going well. Just reload it if it is not working as you wanted it to. Also, ensure to develop a habit of checking if there are enough nails in the clip as the brad nailer may impact the surface and damage the wood pieces. And sooner or later, it can damage the tool as well.
  4. When using the brad nail, ensure that you have an easy grip while using the trigger. Every time you fire the nail, it can loosen the tool as well a bit. While putting the device on any surface, also ensure that you do it carefully so that its nose doesn’t hit the wooden piece you are working on and create a dent. So, check the pressure and then place it well.
  5. Also, one important point is that you must never use the brad nailer on any hard wooden piece as it is so difficult to use it on wood like plywood or even MDF. A must remember point is that the brad nail is very thin and can be even damaged if used on such surfaces. So it is better to avoid it at all times.


Brad nailers are usually pretty safe to be used as they are using smaller nails anyway. However, you must be careful, just like with any equipment you use in carpentry. So, do get your glasses, mask on before working with them. Wear easy clothes with which you can move around easily while working but don’t wear too loose clothes as they may get stuck anytime. Even though you may not find brad nailers very noisy, still it’s always a better idea to use your earplugs if you are working in a confined place. Once you are all equipped, it’s time for you to create your project!

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