Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not firing nails [fixed]

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Your Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not firing nails? Find out what to do below..

Once in a while, you will encounter some problems when using your nail gun.

The good thing is that some of these problems are easy to troubleshoot and fix –sometimes you’ll fix you nailer in minutes.

In this article, I will take you through some simple steps on troubleshooting your Dewalt brad nailer.

Let us dive in right away.

Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not firing nails and other issues – how to troubleshoot

We will take a look at both the cordless and pneumatic Dewalt brad nailers.

Let us start with a nailer that won’t get started at all.

Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer won’t work at all

Picture this: you are installing your new molding.

After having trimmed it to fit, you pick up your nailer only for it not to turn on. It’s quite disappointing, right?

Now, for the most part, this is common with the cordless Dewalt brad nailer.

Here’s what you need to know:

The battery is typically the culprit.

What to do

Remove the battery, wait for 3 seconds, and then reinsert it…this could reset any battery/electronics-related issue

But if this does not work, then, either your battery is pretty low on charge or it’s damaged.

Here you should try to charge your battery fully then see if it’ll work.

If your 20v Dewalt brad nailer still does not work, you can try another battery just to confirm whether yours is damaged or not.

Further troubleshooting

What if you have tried all these steps but still your 18 gauge Dewalt nailer is not turning on at all.

Well, this might imply that there are dirty/ damaged terminals, a bent contact trip, or other damaged internal electronics.

But unless you are a professional electronics engineer, I don’t recommend you to open the nailer-take it to an authorized service center to be serviced by an expert.


Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not firing nails

First understand that It is designed not to fire the last few nails- when it has about 5-8 nails remaining..that way it won’t dry fire and mar the surface (recall it should only be used on finish materials).

In fact, this is usually the cause of it not firing- and it is not a big deal as you simply add another sleeve though it means you need more nails in there even when you only need one/two more to finish the job.

In a nutshell, this nailer has a low brad lockout function and will not fire if brads are low.

Dont forget there’s a yellow indicator (on the left side of the gun that lets you know you’re getting low).


Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer works fine but does not fire nails (what else to check)

There are a number of reasons that could cause this as you’ll see below:

  • Magazine is empty.
  • Nailer is jammed.
  • Damaged pusher string.
  • Damaged driver blade.

Now, how can you fix these issues?

Well, to start with, you will want to check and confirm whether your magazine has run out of nails.

If so, reload your magazine.

Next, check to see if it’s jammed and clear the jam, if so, as previously explained.

Now, if all these do not work, then you could be looking at either a damaged driver blade or a bad pusher string.

Sadly, there’s no shortcut here- you need to replace the parts.

Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not sinking nails

As you will see from the image below, there are a number of reasons that may cause this.

Keep in mind that you will see the recommended fixes to each of the problems on the right hand.

Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not sinking nails

Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer jammed

If you note that your Dewalt 18 gauge nailer is frequently jamming, then, there are a couple of reasons that may be causing this and you should fix them immediately.

Here are the most common reasons..


Reasons for frequent jamming of Dewalt brad nailers

  • Using the wrong size of nails.
  • Using the wrong angle fasteners.
  • Debris in the nosepiece or magazine.
  • A worn out or damaged pusher spring.
  • Damaged or worn-out driver blade.

So, how do you fix such errors in your Dewalt brad nailer?

First and foremost, you will want to make sure that you are using the right size of nails for your gun.

Remember that the recommended nail sizes for the cordless Dewalt brad nailer are 18 gauge nails ranging between ⅝” and 2⅛” in length.

On the other hand, the pneumatic Dewalt brad nailer is meant to handle nails ranging between ⅝” and 2”.

If your nail size is okay, then you will want to make sure that you are not using angled nails.

Now, Dewalt brad nailers are straight nailers so using angled nails is likely to lead to jams.

If you are using the correct angle nails, then the next thing you will want to check is whether debris is stuck in the nosepiece or magazine.

Don’t forget that this nailer fires 18-gauge nails which are quite thin.

For that reason, even small debris could result in jams.

If all of the above are not the cause of your jamming, then either your driver blade or pusher springs are damaged.

Here you will want to open up your brad nailer to verify which of the two parts is damaged and replace as necessary.


More Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer problems and fixes

How to clear jammed Dewalt cordless brad nailer

Follow the following steps to remove the jammed nail and be sure to keep the nailer pointed away from you (and from everyone that may be close to you).

  • First remove the battery and engage the trigger lock to off.
  • Now press the magazine latch and remove any loaded nails.
  • Lift the jam clear latch and pull up so as to open the nosepiece door.
  • Now you will see your jammed nail. Simply remove it -use pliers, if necessary.
  • If the driver blade is in the down position, cycle the stall release lever. When doing so, use enough force to fully slide it to the other end of the slot in the housings.
  • Next, you will close the nosepiece door and engage the latch pin under the two arms of the nosepiece. Push the latch until it locks into place.
  • You can now reinsert the battery pack.
  • Finally, reinsert the nails into the magazine and you are good to go.

How to clear jammed nails in 18 gauge Dewalt pneumatic nail gun

Again make sure that the nail gun is pointed away from you and away from anybody who is close to you.

Then follow these steps:

  • Disconnect the nailer from the air supply.
  • Release the magazine release.
  • Push down the jam clearing latch and pull up to open the front door.
  • Remove the jammed nail – use pliers, where necessary.
  • If the driver blade is in the down position, insert a screwdriver into the nosepiece and push the driver blade back into position.
  • Close the front door.
  • Lift the latch to secure the door to the nosepiece.
  • Reinsert the nails into the magazine and release the magazine release.
  • Finally, reattach the air supply – you are good to go.

Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer maintenance tips

  1. Always keep the Dewalt brad nailer away from direct sunlight. That’s because excessive heat can hurt the bumpers and other rubber parts.
  2. Always make sure to clean your nailer after use. This is because the dirt and debris from nailing if uncleaned will build up and eventually lead to clogging of inner and delicate parts.
  3. For the cordless Dewalt brad nailer, always make sure to use the recommended battery. Also, make sure to always use the recommended charger when charging your battery.
  4. Specific to the pneumatic version, always make sure to use clean, dry and regulated air. This is because condensation from the air compressor can lead to rusting of the nailer’s internal parts.
  5. Always regulate the air pressure. Never exceed 120 psi and do not use compressors rated over 175 psi.
  6. Once every few days, tighten the bolts and screws in your nailer. This is because they do loosen as a result of the vibration generated from nailing.

Troubleshooting Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer – final thoughts

If your nailer is still under warranty, there’s no need to mess with it.

The best option is liaising with your local Dewalt dealer and see if you will get a replacement.

P.S: Always go for official replacement parts from Dewalt to be sure of the safety and durability of your nail gun.

TAGS: Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer not firing nails


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