How To Use 18 Gauge Brad Nailer- Step By Step Guide

Brad nailers are easy to use nowadays for their several user-friendly features. Due to their ultimate performance, carpenters use them in baseboards and molding projects. Sometimes, householders also use them in attaching casing. Unfortunately, many people have no idea about their correct use.

Without knowing how to use 18 gauge brad nailer, you can’t finish your nailing project precisely. Nail jamming, misfiring and many more issues will disturb your work. However, it’s all about loading nails to the magazine and firing correctly.

Unless you want to purchase a nailer earlier, you need to prevent your nailer from jamming. Here you know about a few tips to prevent the nail jamming issue. Using the right PSI and fastener can reduce this issue a lot.

How to use 18 gauge brad nailer- Step By Step process

Using an 18 gauge brad nailer isn’t something like rocket science. All you need to do is follow some regulations. Let’s see how to use 18 gauge brad nailer. But make sure you pick the right 18 gauge brad nailer

Step:1- Connecting the nailer

  • Start by connecting the nailer with the power outlet. Attach the end of the cord with a stable power outlet and keep the main switch turned off. If you have a cordless nailer, then you should skip this step.
  • Before connecting the nailer, dress yourself up with safety kits. Wear at least a protective dress and a pair of gloves to ensure minimum safety.

Step:2- Loading nails

  • Pull out the magazine from the nailer to insert nail clips. For user convenience, most nailer magazines come with a sliding feature. Put a strip of 18 gauge brad nails with their tips pointed down to the magazine. Then, load the magazine and ensure its safe placement by hearing a click sound.
  • If the magazine is coil type, open the cylindrical case first. Feeds nails to the case and puts it back after loading nails. You can now activate the nailer by turning on the power outlet.

Step:3- Position the nailer and start shooting

  • It’s time to hold the nailer pointing to the desired surface perpendicularly.
  • Now, press the gun firmly against the wood. It’ll depress the safety nosepiece of the nailer. Your nailer is ready to shoot nails at this moment.

Step:4- Nail depth adjustment

  • To countersink nails on the woods in the correct depth, using the nail depth adjustment feature is mandatory. Locate the button to perform this action near the main trigger. The position may vary depending on the nailer brands.
  • Press the button or knob and the nails will countersink the wood automatically. That’s how you shoot nails using a brad nailer. After completing your task, don’t forget to detach the cord from the power outlet.

Right PSI for 18 gauge brad Nailer

The right PSI means the operating pressure of a nail gun. Most air tools’ PSI range between 70 to 90 PSI. The required air pressure for a brad nailer is 60 to 100 PSI. To shoot nails precisely, the right air pressure is mandatory for a nailer.

How to prevent jam in an 18 gauge brad nailer?

Now, you’ll know how to prevent jams in an 18 gauge brad nailer.

  • if you have a pneumatic nailer and it’s not cordless, ensure you have a stable power outlet. An unstable power outlet leads the nailer to jam easily.
  • Never run your nailer for a long time without providing it rest. Due to heavy use, the nails will get jammed easily. Give some rest to the nailer after completing a busy session.
  • Lack of adequate oil is one of the prime reasons behind nail jamming. You need to oil your nailer regularly to prevent the jamming issue. The air cylinder in the nose demands applying oil to function properly. Before starting nailing, apply a few drops of nailer oil for better output.
  • Using the wrong type of fastener is another prime reason for nail jamming. To prevent this problem, you need to use the right-sized fastener for your nail gun.
  • The coil of a nailer helps to fire nails properly. If it’s not in the right shape, it’ll misfire as well as jam nails. Before starting over with a new coil, try to reform the coil.


Let’s look into some common questions related to the 18 gauge brad nailer.

Can you use 18 gauge Brad nails for baseboards?

Finish nailers are best for attaching baseboards. If you don’t have a finish nailer, then go for a brad nailer. Brad nails come in a smaller and thinner shape. That’s why they are ideal for delicate pieces of trim. Brad nails have less holding power and so, it’s not recommended over finish nails.

What is an 18 gauge brad nailer good for?

An 18 gauge brad nailer can be used for installing casing and base trim around 3/8 inches thick. Carpenters often use a brad nailer to attach casing to window and door jambs. Installing trim baseboards, crown moldings and craft projects are also good with a brad nailer.

Is an 18 gauge brad nailer good for a baseboard?

Yes, an 18 gauge brad nailer can cope with a baseboard nicely. The ideal nail length for baseboard installation is up to 2.5” long. Any 18 gauge brad nailer can shoot nails of the required size. This type of nailer shoots small and thin nails which is suitable for baseboard projects.


So, reaching the endpoint, you must know how to use 18 gauge brad nailer. You need to load 18 gauge brad nails first to the magazine. Then, place the magazine in its place and position the nailer. Lastly, you need to use the depth adjustment feature to countersink nails precisely.

Before using a nailer, you need to check the validity of the power outlet. If you don’t suit yourself with the safety equipment, you may face unwanted incidents. Also, use protective kits like a no-mar pad for the betterment of both the nailer and surface.

However, you may face certain nail jamming issues during work. Even if it’s a high-end nailer, nails will jam after a certain time. Oil the machine properly and don’t run it for a long time. Always load the magazine with right-sized nails to avoid this kind of situation.

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