Can You Frame With A Brad Nailer? [A-Z Explanations]

Framing is, in most cases, not a very lightweight job that may require a heavy-duty tool. Yet, heavy constructional work like window framing, doorway shaping, etc., can be easily done with a brad nailer. Now the hesitation arises about whether you can frame with a brad nailer or not.

A brad nailer is best used for lightweight work such as framing, molding, and paneling. It could be possible with these tools owing to sharp edges and mere pinhole openings. Yet the brad nailer didn’t require tiny divots created by itself. So, using them for framing means the work becomes more facile.

Although framing with brad nailer is a good combination, there are some little things one needs to be conscious of. So, here I attached them to break the conflicts. 

Reasons Why You Frame With A Brad Nailer

Framing with a brad nailer becomes handy for many reasons. Andrew says that brad nailer is often good to choose from since they make a skinny hole in the work surface. Besides this, below are some more advantages of using brad nailer for framing:

  • Ensure Precise & Accurate Finish

Brad nails will provide a precise and accurate finish while framing any plywood. No matter what type of wooden project one has to cover, brad nails are always a good option for a clear finish. However, as those nails seem very thin, they can easily make a small hole, even on very skinny hardboards.

  • Prevent Wood Splitting 

Another benefit of using a brad nailer is it will cure the wood from damage. It is a prevalent issue while you’re working on heavy-duty wooden projects, including,

  • Built a frame for windows, 
  •  Creating a foundation of the doorways,
  • Attaching or nailing the picture frames,
  • Crown molding,
  • Making cabinets, etc.

In addition to that, brad nailers are typically used for wood crafting. They will also cover the place with a thinner piece of wood where it is needed most to prevent splits.

  • Can Be A Better Supporter

A Brad nailer is a better option as a temporary hook. You can use it to hold things mortally. Again, the nailing pins or nails can easily be removed by this tool when it is not necessary. For this, brad nails are crucial since they allow you to remove the pins from the frames when needed. 

  • Make Tiny Holes Without Necessity Of Refilling Them With Putty

When making a frame, you may need to create tiny holes inside the large wooden pieces. Those holes may be disgusting to see due to the extended width. Sometimes it may need to be filled with putty.

In that case, a brad nailer is an excellent way to choose from refilling those tiny holes without putty. Since this kind of tool has a sharp opening, it won’t spoil the wooden pieces. 

6 Simple Steps To Use A Brad Nailer For Framing

A portable brad nailer comes in two forms: pneumatic air compressions and electric-powered mode. Framing with an electric brad nail is easier to connect. Meanwhile, the pneumatic tool is also very effective for this same purpose. Here are some ways to do it by driving an electric brad nailer properly to make a solid frame.

Step 1: Prepare The Nail Gun 

Start the work by preparing the nail gun. First, check the gun hose to ensure it will connect to the machine properly. Also, do the below process to prepare the gun for framing: 

  •  Wrap the connector with Teflon tape;
  •  Lubricate the nailers if necessary;
  • Load the nailer.

Step 2: Plan The Framing Project 

Planned the framing project after preparing the nailer. Planning means you must decide how many wooden particles will be necessary to build a proper frame. After that, make a diagram to set up the frames adequately. For instance, sketch a diagram to set them up easily if you decide to make window frames. 

Step 3: Choose A Right Size Nail

An appropriate nail is a key to a clean framing job. When transforming bare land into a full-frame housing project, choosing the right size is essential. Remember that getting a sturdy frame is challenging without the correct size nails

Gauge SizeNail SizeShank Length Head Diameter 
152d1″ inches3/16″ inches
143d11/4″ inches13/64″ inches
124d11/2″ inches¼” inches
912d31/4″ inches5/16 “inches
620d4″ inches13/32″ inches
912d5/16″ inches31/14 inches
530d41/2″ inches7/16 inches

Step 4: Hold The Nail Gun & Place It In Position 

Now, set up plywood one after one. Hold the nail gun and place it in position. Make sure that the tool rests on the surface of the wood. Try to place it at least 90⁰ angles. Next, pull the trigger, and Brad’s nail sinks it into the wood.

Step 5: Put The Screws By The Help Of A Brad Nailer

Put the screws with the help of a brad nailer. Keep it continuing until the project is finished. While adjusting the screws with the nailer, avoid putting it too close to the wooden board rim. This practice damages the board, which can’t be repaired easily. 

Step 6: Finish The Work 

Remember that a brad nailer is worthy when the base size is accurate. In general, if you purchase the most OK nail, it will do the job more accurately. So if the nails are used for building up baseboards, try to use a smaller one. For framing a wall, one should deduct 10 mm off the width. 

Again, the sole plate and the side’s width must be 400 mm in 16″ inches. The window framing and doorway framing may need to be crafted differently. First, however, be sure to nail the foundation of the frames with clarity. Then finish it by checking all the joints are attached to each strongly. 

Mistakes You Should Avoid While Framing With A Brad Nailer

“Nail guns become very popular for their safe use and understandably growing, proper handling,” by Tim Feldman. They can ruin the projects for a few mistakes if they’re very safe to use. Before choosing them to frame, be alert to some silly mistakes.

  • Avoid To Put The Nailer Too Much Close

Working with any nail gun is very convenient and facile. But if you put the nailer too close to the wooden board rim, it may split or damage the frames. So try to keep it at least a minimal distance so that both the nail gun and board stay at a right angle.

  • Forget To Reload The Chip

Most nail guns have a typical clip that needs to be reloaded. This practice is crucial every time before you start the work of trimming or framing. So, check the clip when your work is going fine. 

  • Don’t Hit The Bent Brad With Hammer 

 It is a common mistake for anyone trying to fix the bent brad with a hammer. The reason behind this, hitting the bent brad may bend the tool even more. Despite hitting the nails, remove the nails entirely from their core. 

  • Don’t Hold The Machine With Force 

While doing the work, ensure not to hold the machine with force. Ease the grip over it when pressing the triggers. Forcing the trigger may damage the notch and impact badly on the entire project.

Instead, hold the machine lightly and allow it to usually enter the wood or wall. On the other hand, applying that much pressure will depend on the weight. 

  • Safety Wear

Brad nailers are a safe tool for finishing or framing nailers. It’s because those nails are much smaller. However, brad nailer can’t cause injury at all. Yet it is better to take some safety precautions when nailing the frames. 

Specifically, wear a safety glass, and keep all loose clothing away from the floor. Wear earplugs or hearing protection if it is confined to a loud air compressor. You can avoid wearing hearing gadgets for electric-powered tools since they don’t make sounds. 

Related questions: 

Which Is The Perfect Size Of A Brad Nailer For Framing?

The 18 inches brad nailer is the perfect size for framing. Depending on the model, it can shoot a thin nail between ⅜” to 2″ inches. Again, these sizes are also suitable for creating tiny holes inside the walls due to the little head. 

The small head of the nailer is also vital to prevent splitting the thinner wood. An 18″ brad nailer is also ideal for attaching a case to windows and door jams. But, again, they are likely to blow out of the connection. Brad nailers are helpful for light framing works too.

Which Is The Best Option For Framing: Brad Nailer Or Framing Nailer Or Finish Nailer?

In comparison, among brad nailers, framing nailers, or finish nailers for framing, one must rely on versatile tools like brad nailers. Brad nailers are the best choice for framing projects since these kinds of nailers use 18 fragile gauge nails.

Also, their construction design is handy for any structural framing projects. In addition, they can secure the bonding more strongly. Besides this, one must be aware of using the correct nail length. Without this, finishing and framing nailers are also good alternatives for ending the framing task earlier.

Can You Use 18 Gauge Nails For Framing?

You can use 18 gauge nails for framing due to their capability of the fastest decoration. In addition, this kind of gauge has the extremely thinnest parts for doing any lightweight project. From decorative molding, paneling, casing, trim works, and wood framing, 18 inches nails are a perfect tool for a homeowner to own. 

Another best thing about these gauges is that they have perfect dimensions and thickness to provide an intricate finish. It has a nail length of about 0.5 to 2.5 inches with 0.0475 thickness. So it’s convenient to work.

What Is The Best Brand of Nail Gun For Framing?

When it comes to the best pick of nail guns, you will get a wide range of available options. Among them, the Bostitch framing nailer is the best among all. Second, a Metabo framing nailer is also good to buy to achieve a professional finish. 

Thirdly, Dewalt 20V Max DCN692M1 also owned the best-ranked position for this job and has good positive reviews from its customer feedback. Besides this, you can also grab Metabo HPT for those who like cordless devices.

Is There Any Risk Of Framing With A Brad Nailer?

There is no risk to framing with a brand nailer if it is not a high-profile task. An 18″ brad nail is generally used for house framing where strength is essential. Framing job becomes handier when using box nails with thinner gauge shanks around ⅙”, best to bind the non-structural like trim, shingles, and sidings. 

Again, a brad nailer is also very beneficial for framing since it won’t damage the wood. The worst things that may happen during the work, like wood splits, uneven finish, and loose joints, are also absent. 

Final verdict:

When working on home improvement projects, it’s natural to become confused about choosing suitable nail guns. Fortunately, my guidance helps decide whether you can frame with brad nailers or not. 

Brad nailers are often well-chosen for lightweight works, including window framing, doorways, and other projects. But, again, they’re also helpful for flooring, house cabinets, shelving, and other indoor projects. Making a hole inside the medium-density fiber is also a good option. So think before you go and finish the work with a clear conception. 


()Home. (2017, January 11). YouTube. Retrieved August 10, 2022, from

() Miles, H. (2021, July 12). What Size Nails for Framing: Common & Box Nail Size Guide. Home Inspection Insider. Retrieved August 6, 2022, from

Miles, H. (2021, July 12). What Size Nails for Framing: Common & Box Nail Size Guide. Home Inspection Insider. Retrieved August 6, 2022, from

Masud Rana

This is Masud Rana. I run this blog. My Tools Guide is a blog where I share product reviews of different tools. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

Recent Posts