What is a Brad Nailer

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For centuries, man put nails into wood with a hammer or even a rock. But with more and more technological advancements, there is no need to do that task this way any longer. That is where nail guns come into play. There are many types of nail guns. One of them that many people are confused about is the brad nailer.

So if you are a little unsure what a brad nailer is, we are going to dive deep into this tool. Hopefully, we can give you all the knowledge you need to understand it and its uses. So without further ado, let’s get right to it!

Basics of the Brad Nailer

The brad nailer variety of nail guns is made to handle the finer details needed for specific woodworking projects. Instead of using traditional nails, this gun shoots a type of nail known as a brad. These nails are smaller gauges (typically being crafted in 18 gauge). That means they are super thin and very delicate.

Because of this, pounding a brad in with a traditional hammer can be quite tricky. And this is where a brad nailer shines. These tools can utilize just the right amount of force to drive the brad perfectly into the thin wood of your project. On top of that, the size of these nails allows for easy cover-up of any mistakes.

Basically, if you are looking to do some renovations in your home, items like cabinets and drawers can benefit from using a brad nailer. This is because it will lend you a cleaner finish.

What is it Used For?

We have talked about a few uses of brads, but to better understand the tool, you have to get a good grasp of what they can do. Because 18 gauge brads are so thin, they do less damage to thinner wood and more delicate projects.

Here are a few other projects that are perfect for a brad nailer:

Baseboards – If you are getting ready to replace your baseboards, you will want to have a smooth attachment to them all. The smaller gauge of the brads used by the nailer is perfect for this project. Along with this, you won’t have to worry about any mistakes because they are easily covered up with a bit of putty.

Crown Molding – When you think of the baseboards that follow along the top of your wall, these are actually called crown molding. Just like the baseboards, these are easily attached using a brad nailer.

Small Home Renovations – We mentioned renovating drawers and cabinets, but a brad nailer can handle so much more than that. For instance, if you are looking to put together small wooden furniture, then the brad nailer is perfect for you.

Carpenter brad using nail gun to Crown Moulding on kitchen cabinets framing trim,

Nail Sizes

When it comes to the nails used by the brad nailer, there are two different gauges of nails. When you go to the store, you will find either 18 or 21 gauges. Each of these two styles of brads has its own uses.

For the 18 gauge, you will get a stronger nail, making it suitable for projects where you are attaching two pieces of wood together. On the other hand, the 21 gauge is very thin and is really only good to use when finishing fine details or attaching decorative pieces to wooden furniture.

The other consideration for sizes of brads is the thickness of the material you are working with. You want to look for a brad that is 3x the width when it comes to its length. This will guarantee that the nail can get through the wood to attach it to whatever you are attaching it to.

Gauges- What are They?

So we keep talking about gauges, but maybe you are not sure what exactly we are talking about. So it’s time to learn a little about this measurement. Gauge is the thickness of the nail. The larger the number, the smaller the nail. This measurement can also be translated to how much strength it will take to put the nail into materials. The smaller the gauge, the easier it will be to drive it into the wood.

Different Types of Brad Nailers

Now that you have a basic understanding of a brad nailer, we need to talk about the two different types you can choose between – airpower and electric. Air-powered or pneumatic are attached to a compressor and powered by that air. These tend to be lighter but a little less portable because of the compressor and the hoses needed to run them.

The electric models transform electrical energy into kinetic energy to get the force to insert the nails into the wood. These models are often more expensive. They are easier to transport, though, as they are almost all cordless.

Final Thoughts

We have given you a wide breadth of knowledge that, when all combined, gives you a basic idea of what a brad nailer is. Understanding all the components and what the tool can be used for makes it easier to understand the device, and we hope we have helped with just that.

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