What is a Brad Nailer?
A brad nailer is a small power tool, usually handheld and it is used to drive brad nails into the designated surface. Brad nails are typically small finishing nails, which are very thin and have very narrow heads, a characteristic that makes them fully embedded into woodworking projects, leaving no visible whole.
A brad nailer is basically a small version of the contemporary finish nailer and it is preferred in cases involving delicate trims and thin strips where an ordinary finish nailer is likely to crack the piece of trim or strip as the nail is being powered through. As such we can say that both tools complement each other.
Brad nailers have variety of applications from carpentry tasks to fastening furniture at home among many other uses. However, some hardwoods and other wood product such as the MDF may require the use of more advanced nailers as it may be difficult to drive nails through using a brad nailer.
Using a brad nailer may appear as a difficult task at first which is why we are offering you a comprehensive guide and instructions to help you use the nailer with ease. However, to avoid major risks read our safety guideline about brad nailer.
Types of Brad Nailers
There are 2 types of brad nailers available in the market today. These are:
1. Pneumatic Brad Nailer
Pneumatic nailers are the most common nailers and they use an air compressor. The nailer is connected to the compressor via a hose which is used to discharge the compressed air, and subsequently powering the nailer. Pneumatic brad nailers are the most preferred choice as they work faster and the finishing is very neat and professional. They come in different sizes as well as different operating mechanism as such you should choose the one that suits your needs.
2. Electric Brad Nailer
The electric brad nailer, on the other hand, uses electric power to operate. They are very convenient and they are as powerful as pneumatic brad nailers. In addition, they operate quietly as there is no compressor involved. They are also easy to maintain as compared too pneumatic nailers. However, they are slightly heavy and bulky and they are also costly when compared to pneumatic brad nailers.
Note: A brad nailer should not be confused with a pin nailer. The greatest difference between the two is that brad nails have heads but pins nail don’t have heads. Pin nails require a nail gun which is perfect in driving smaller nails through the working surface.
Supplies Needed to Use Brad Nailer
This is what you will require before you get down to work;
- Pneumatic or electric brad nailer
- Brad nails
- Air compressor(for pneumatic)
- Air hose
- Hose adapter
- Safety glasses
- Teflon tape
- Pneumatic tool oil
- A piece of cloth
How to Use a Brad Nailer
The following easy steps will help you use a brad nailer with ease.
1. Get everything you need for a Secure Hose Connection.
This is for the pneumatic brad nailer. The first thing will be to secure the hose connection. Get an air hose and hose adaptor that matches your brad nailer. You will also need to get some pneumatic tool oil for lubricating the system and Teflon tape for tight connection when assembling the nailer.
2 .Secure the Hose Connection.
Use the Teflon tape to wrap the hose adaptor tightly before you connect it to the nailer. Connect the hose adaptor to the nailer and use the adjustable wrench to fasten the connection to eliminate chances for air leaks.
3. Lubricate the System
Use the pneumatic tool oil to lubricate the adaptor to keep in functional. Use just a small amount of the oil to lubricate the air piston in the pneumatic brad nailer to reduce friction. Wipe any excess oil to avoid clogging the system.
4. Load the Brad Nailer
The next step is to load the bard nailers with brads (nails) to the required capacity as depicted by the specific model. The model of your nailer will also dictate the size to use as provided in the user manual. The nails should slide smoothly into the nails clip and you should have enough for the work at hand to avoid interruptions.
5. Connect the Brad Nailer to the Air Compressor
Turn on the air compressor and allow the pressure to build up before connecting it to the nailer. Use the air hose to connect the two devices and ensure that the connection is tight on both ends. Use the adjustable wrench to secure the connection further.
6. Test the Nailer to Establish if it is Working
Always conduct a prior test to see if the tool is functioning properly,avoid wastage as well getting accustomed to how it works. To do this, place the machine on a wooden surface and hold it at an angle of 90 degrees. Press the trigger and observe if the machine will shoot the nail through the wood. If it is successful, then it is ready for use.
7. Using the Brad Nailer
You can now start working on your project once you have ascertained that the nailer is working properly. Just like in testing phase, always make sure the machine is held at an angle of 90 degrees from the working surface, press the trigger to drive into the surface until the job is done.
Using an Electric Brad Nailer
For electric brad nailer, you will only need to load it with nails and plug it into a power outlet or connect it to generator and it is ready to go. Additionally, it does not require any lubrication as it is the case with pneumatic brad nailer.
William Phillips was born and raised in Keller, Texas. He is a licensed general contractor, and he has been a home improvement specialist for two decades. His passion for the trade led him to freelance writing to share his life experiences with his readers. Phillips enjoys thoroughly researching DIY tools and writing guides at ToolsHaunt as a way of giving back to the community.