Brad Nailers

Brad nailers shoot 18-gauge finish nails called brads. The guns typically accept brads from V8 in. to about 1V2 in. long, although some will accept brads as short as % in. and as long as 2 in. A few models will also drive narrow crown staples. (See chart, page 44.) Generally used to attach thinner materials such as cabinet backs or thin trim moldings, brads are less likely than finish nails to split wood. A brad nailer also has a smaller nose than a finish nailer and will fit more easily into tight spaces and complex molding profiles.

eatures to consider

Rubber nose tip. A rubber nose tip keeps wood from being marred by the gun's nose.


Although weight is not a problem with brad guns, finish nailers over 5 lbs. can get tiresome to handle.

Nail Magazine Angle

The nail magazine on some finish nailers is angled back toward the gun's handle. This makes it easier to get your nailer into corners and tight spots.

Safety System

Most guns have a retractable nosepiece that must be depressed against the workpiece before the trigger can fire. Some guns have double triggers instead, both of which must be pulled to fire the gun.

Bump Firing

This feature is useful for production work because it lets you nail by simply pressing the safety tip against the workpiece while holding the trigger down. You don't have to release the trigger after every shot.

Rubber Nose Tip

A rubber nose tip prevents the gun's nose from marring the wood. (See photo, below right.) Though rubber tips aren't available for some models, they're standard or optional for others.

Quick-Release Nosepiece

Nails sometimes jam in the nose mechanism. When this happens. a quick-release nosepiece is useful for clearing jams quickly. (See photo, above right.)

Drive-Depth Adjustment

A few guns sport a dial near the tip that lets you adjust the amount of countersink, or set, of the nail without changing the air-line pressure.

Quick-release nosepiece. A draw-catch release allows quick access to the firing compartment for clearing jams.

options worth having

Swivel fitting. A swivel air-line fitting connected to your gun will eliminate twisted hoses and give you greater maneuverability in tight spots.

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