Dewalt 18 gauge Brad nailer not firing nails: Troubleshoot Now!

Check if the air compressor produces enough pressure and if the brad nailer’s nose is correctly positioned. If the Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer is still not firing nails, the problem may lie with the driver blade or piston ring, and it may need to be serviced or repaired by a professional technician.

Brad nailers have become increasingly popular among diyers and professionals for finishing work as they are incredibly precise and fast. However, it can be frustrating when the brad nailer stops firing nails. In this article, we will cover the reasons why the dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer may not fire nails and how to troubleshoot the issue.

We will also offer practical solutions that may help you get back to work quickly without having to resort to calling a professional. By the end of this article, you will be able to identify common problems with the dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer and fix them yourself in most cases.

The Dewalt 18 Gauge Brad Nailer Firing Mechanism

dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not firing nails

The dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer is an excellent tool for every woodworker, trim carpenter, and diy enthusiast alike. However, despite its efficiency, it is not impervious to malfunctions. If you are encountering issues with your dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not firing nails, then it’s crucial to diagnose the problem correctly.

One of the common issues that arise in this type of nailer is its firing mechanism. Understanding how it works is crucial, which is why we will provide you with a detailed explanation of the firing mechanism of dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer.

How does The Firing Mechanism Work?

Compressed air enters and moves the forward piston when the trigger valve is pulled. The forward piston enables the cylinder valve to open, which allows pressure to enter the cylinder. This pressure will force the driver blade forward, driving the nail into the workpiece.

Similarly, when the trigger is released, the rear piston functions, which releases the compressed air from the cylinder. It will then allow the spring to move the front piston back into its original position, which releases any residual pressure.

Here are some common reasons why the firing mechanism can malfunction:

  • Jammed nail: When the firing mechanism becomes jammed, it may be due to the nail feeding mechanism malfunctioning or nails not feeding correctly. This can also lead to other issues, like the driver blade not retracting, causing a double fire.
  • Low spring tension: If the magazine spring and the follower are not working correctly, there might be low tension, and nail feeding might malfunction. This can also lead to nail jams.
  • Trigger valve issues: Trigger valve problems can be anything from dirt inside the trigger valve causing it to malfunction or the valve not opening when triggered.
  • Improper maintenance: Poor maintenance can cause the firing mechanism to malfunction over time. Dirt buildup, worn-out parts, or not lubricating the necessary parts can all lead to firing problems.

A Dewalt 18 gauge Brad nailer is an effective tool that can last for years if correctly used and maintained. Knowing how the firing mechanism works can help fix any issue that might arise during its operation. If you encounter a problem with the firing mechanism, such as nail jams, low spring tension, trigger valve issues, or poor maintenance, you can now diagnose the possible cause and fix the problem.

Why The Dewalt 18 Gauge Brad Nailer Not Firing Nails?

The Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer is an indispensable tool for any carpenter, and it’s frustrating when the nailer fails to fire nails. There are several reasons why this problem occurs, and in this blog post, we’ll explain some common causes and how to address them.

  • Faulty parts
  • Air pressure issues
  • Jammed nailer
  • Worn-out driver
  • Carbon build-up

Let’s discuss each of these points in more detail.

Fixing The Dewalt 18 Gauge Brad Nailer Firing Issue

The dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer is an extremely valuable tool for carpenters, woodworkers, and diy enthusiasts. However, even with the best equipment, things can occasionally go wrong. One of the most frustrating issues with the Dewalt 18 gauge Brad nailer is not firing nails.

If you experience this issue with your nailer, don’t worry; you can try a few different fixes.

Steps To Fix The Nailer Firing Issue

Fixing the dewalt 18 gauge Brad nailer firing issue is not as demanding as it may seem. Here are some steps to troubleshoot your nailer’s firing problem.

Step 1- Check The Air Compressor Pressure

One of the most common reasons why a Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer may not fire nails is a lack of air compressor pressure. Ensure the air compressor has the proper pressure output required for the nailer to work at an optimal level.

Find out the proper cfm (cubic feet per minute) and psi (pounds per square inch) specifications for your model by either checking the manual that comes with it or checking online with the manufacturer’s website.

Step 2- Check The Magazine

A Brad nailer’s magazine is responsible for storing and loading the nails. If it’s loaded incorrectly, it can result in the nailer not firing nails. Examine the magazine and ensure the nails are loaded in the appropriate direction and manner.

Ensure the magazine is tight and secure so the nails do not move around.

Step 3- Check The Driver Blade

The driver blade is the part of the nailer that pushes nails forward when you depress the trigger. Check the blade’s condition and ensure it is not damaged or broken in any way. If it is damaged, replace the driver blade to solve the issue.

Step 4- Check The Trigger Valve

The trigger valve activates the nailer and drives nails forward. It is possible that the trigger valve is faulty or is clogged with dirt or debris, preventing it from functioning properly. If this is the case, you may need to replace the trigger valve or clean it out with air.

Detailed Breakdown Of The Parts That Can Be Faulty And Cause This Issue

Parts in your nailer can become damaged or worn over time and as a result, cause malfunctions that prevent the nailer from working correctly. Regarding faulty parts, the most likely culprits are the trigger, magazine assembly, safety, or cylinder assembly.

Causes Of Air Pressure Issues

Another common problem that causes nailers to malfunction is an air pressure issue.

  • Incorrect air pressure setting: Ensure your nailer is set to the right pressure level.
  • Leaks: Leaks can cause the nailer to lose pressure and prevent it from firing nails. Check for leaks in the hoses, fittings, and compressors.
  • Clogged air filter: A clogged air filter reduces the airflow and causes low pressure. Try cleaning or replacing the air filter.

Fixes Low Air Pressure:

If you’re experiencing low air pressure with your Dewalt 18 gauge Brad nailer, start by checking the air supply. If the air supply is correct, check the nailer’s components, such as the regulator, air filter, and valve. You might need to clean or replace these parts.

How To Diagnose A Jammed Nailer?

Jammed nailers are another common issue that can prevent your nailer from firing.

  • Faulty driver: This can cause the nailer to fail to push out the nails, and they end up jammed.
  • Jams in the magazine: This is often caused by misaligned nails.

Fixess And Prevent Future Jamming Issues:

To remove jams from your dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Disconnect the nailer from the air hose and remove any remaining nails from the magazine.
  • Use a screwdriver to pry the jammed nails from the driver area gently.
  • After removing the jammed nails, examine the magazine for misalignments or debris that might cause future jams.

How To Diagnose A Worn-Out Driver?

If you suspect that your driver is worn out, you can quickly tell by the following signs:

  • The nailer is starting to misfire.
  • Nails are not firing.
  • The driver might have visible wear on the surface.

Replacing The Driver, If Necessary

If you’ve established that your driver is worn out, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to replace the driver carefully. Make sure that you have the correct tool and replacement parts.

how does Carbon Build-Up Affect The Nailer?

Carbon build-up can cause many problems with a nailer, including failure to fire nails, overheating, and jams. This occurs when dust, lubricants, and other debris accumulate in the gun’s inner parts.

Ways To Clean The Nailer To Avoid Such Build-Up

To avoid carbon build-up, you’ll need to clean the nailer regularly using a wire brush, a soft cloth, or a cleaning solution recommended by the manufacturer. Use compressed air to remove any dirt, debris, or dust that could cause jams and malfunctions.

How To Perform Repairs On Different Parts Of The Nailer?

dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not firing nails

If the above steps do not fix the nailer’s firing issue, it may require a more detailed repair. Here is a guide on performing repairs on different parts of the nailer.

step 1- Removing The Magazine

Begin by removing the magazine from the nailer. This can be done by depressing the magazine latch and pulling the magazine out of the nailer. It’s important to note that some models may have a different mechanism to remove the magazine, so refer to your user manual if necessary.

Step 2- Removing The Driver Blade

Next, remove the driver blade from the nailer by unscrewing the screws that hold it in place with a screwdriver. Once the screws are removed, carefully remove the old blade from the nailer. Take note of how the driver blade sits in the nailer, so you can reinstall it correctly.

Step 3- Installing The New Driver Blade

Insert the new driver blade, ensuring the locking mechanism is in place and aligned with the rest of the nailer. Reattach the screws that hold the driver blade in place and tighten them securely.

Step 4- Replacing The Trigger Valve

Begin by removing the nailer’s housing to access the trigger valve near the trigger. Unscrew the valve from the nailer using a screwdriver. Once removed, install the new valve and secure it by tightening the screws.

Step 5- Cleaning The Trigger Valve

As mentioned before, dirt or debris in the trigger valve may cause the nailer not to fire. If this is the issue, use compressed air to blow out any accumulated dirt or debris in the valve. Once cleaned out, reattach the valve back on the nailer.

The dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer firing issue can be frustrating but fixable. With a little troubleshooting, you should be able to fix the problem on your own. However, seeking help from a professional or manufacturer is always recommended if you can’t resolve the issue.

Tips To Avoid Dewalt 18 Gauge Brad Nailer Firing Issue

A dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer is an essential tool for any woodworking project, but at times, the brad nailer may refuse to fire nails, which eventually affects the work efficiency. To prevent this problem from occurring, follow these maintenance tips and keep your tool in top condition.

Maintenance Tips To Prevent Nailer Firing Issues

Regular maintenance and upkeep of your dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer can prevent firing issues.

  • Lubricate your nailer regularly: Regularly apply oil to your nailer for smoother functioning. This helps reduce friction and wear and tear of the nailer’s parts.
  • Clean the nailer: Keeping the nailer clean and free from debris ensures that the nailer doesn’t malfunction. Regular cleaning allows you to check for any wear and tear, which could cause a malfunction.
  • Keep the nailer dry: To ensure optimal functioning, the nailer should always be kept dry. Moisture buildup leads to rust and results in the nailer’s malfunctioning.
  • Replace worn-out parts: Always check for any parts on your nailer that have excessive wear and tear. Replace the worn-out parts as soon as possible to maintain the nailer’s optimal functioning.
  • Use quality nails: Using quality nails helps prevent nail jams and other related issues.

If you have time must read this blog: Is Poplar Good For Cutting Boards? Pros And Cons Discussed

Tips to Maintain Air Pressure And Keep The Nailer Clean

Here are some useful tips on maintaining proper air pressure, which ultimately leads to keeping the nailer clean and free from debris:

  • Always use the recommended air pressure: Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer has a recommended air pressure range, which is indicated in the manual. Always use the recommended air pressure to prevent damage to the nailer.
  • Check the air compressor filter: Regularly clean the filter to ensure it’s not clogged with debris. This prevents debris from entering the nailer’s system and causing a malfunction.
  • Store the nailer properly: Always in a clean and dry place to prevent debris from settling on the nailer.

Keeping your dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer clean and free from debris, using quality nails, and maintaining proper air pressure can prevent firing issues. With these maintenance tips, you’ll be able to use your nailer for years.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):

Why Is My Dewalt 18 Gauge Brad Nailer Not Firing Nails?

This could be caused by a few things including low air pressure, a jammed driver blade, a broken piston o-ring or worn out trigger valve.

How Do I Fix My Dewalt 18 Gauge Brad Nailer?

Start by checking the air pressure and ensure the compressor is functioning properly. If that doesn’t work, inspect the driver blade, piston o-ring, trigger valve, and magazine for any issues.

How Do I Maintain My Dewalt 18 Gauge Brad Nailer?

Regularly clean and lubricate the tool, check air pressure, empty the magazine after use, and inspect internal parts for wear and damage.

What Type Of Nails Should I Use In My Dewalt 18 Gauge Brad Nailer?

This tool is designed to use 18 gauge brad nails, which are often used for trim work, baseboards and crown molding.

Can I Use My Dewalt 18 Gauge Brad Nailer For Other Projects?

Yes, this tool is versatile and often used for cabinetry, furniture building, and other woodworking projects that require precision nailing.


To sum up, the Dewalt 18 gauge Brad nailer not firing nails can be a frustrating experience, but with the right troubleshooting techniques, you can avoid costly repairs or replacements. We have looked at some of the most common reasons why this problem occurs, including the condition of the air compressor, damaged driver, and jammed nail magazine.

Following our step-by-step guide on fixing the problem can increase your nailer’s lifespan and save time and money. As with all power tools, it is essential to prioritize your safety when handling the Dewalt 18 gauge Brad nailer.

By regularly inspecting and maintaining your nailer, you can ensure optimal performance and safety on every job. So, the next time you find yourself dealing with a non-firing nailer, remember to stay calm, remain patient, and follow our simple troubleshooting tips for the best results.

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