Brad Nailer Blowout: Causes, Prevention, and Solutions

Brad nailers are indispensable tools for contractors, construction workers, and DIY enthusiasts, making fastening trim, molding, and delicate materials a breeze. However, like any tool, they come with their share of challenges, and one common issue is the dreaded "blowout." In this article, we’ll delve into the causes of brad nailer blowout, offer effective prevention strategies, and provide solutions to ensure your projects go off without a hitch.

Understanding Brad Nailer Blowout

What is Blowout?

Brad nailer blowout, often referred to as "nail blowout" or "nail pop," occurs when a brad nail exits the material it’s intended to fasten, damaging the surface and potentially affecting the overall integrity of the project.

The Causes

Several factors can contribute to brad nailer blowout:

  • Excessive Air Pressure: When using a pneumatic brad nailer, high air pressure can cause the nail to be driven too forcefully, pushing it through the material and creating a blowout.

  • Incorrect Angle: Improperly positioning the brad nailer at an angle can lead to misalignment, causing the nail to emerge from the material.

  • Hardwood vs. Softwood: Different woods have varying densities. In softer woods, brad nails are more likely to blow out because they encounter less resistance.

  • Nail Size: Choosing the wrong nail size, particularly longer nails, can increase the risk of blowout.

Prevention Strategies

Now, let’s explore effective strategies to prevent brad nailer blowout and achieve a professional finish.

1. Adjust Air Pressure

For pneumatic brad nailers, ensure that the air pressure is appropriately adjusted. Consult the tool’s user manual or manufacturer recommendations for the ideal pressure settings.

2. Proper Angle and Position

Hold the brad nailer perpendicular to the material’s surface, maintaining a 90-degree angle. Position the tool precisely to prevent misfires and blowout.

3. Test on Scrap Material

Before working on your main project, practice on a piece of scrap material to fine-tune your technique. This trial run allows you to become comfortable with the nailer and adjust your settings accordingly.

4. Choose the Right Nail Size

Select the appropriate nail size for the specific material and project. Longer nails are more likely to cause blowout, especially in softer woods.

Solutions for Brad Nailer Blowout

Despite taking preventive measures, blowout can still occur. Here are solutions to address the issue when it happens:

1. Wood Filler

For minor blowout, wood filler can be a quick and effective solution. Fill the damaged area, sand it smooth, and refinish the surface to conceal the blemish.

2. Replace the Nail

In cases of significant blowout, consider removing the damaged nail and replacing it with a new one. Ensure the new nail is the appropriate size and length.

3. Predrill Holes

For extremely delicate or high-end trim work, predrilling holes for brad nails can be a foolproof method to prevent blowout. Use a drill bit slightly smaller than the nail diameter.


Brad nailer blowout is a common challenge that anyone working with these tools may encounter. By understanding the causes, implementing prevention strategies, and knowing how to address blowout when it occurs, you can maintain the quality and integrity of your woodworking and construction projects.

With these insights and solutions in your toolbox, you can tackle your projects with confidence, knowing that brad nailer blowout won’t be a roadblock to your success.

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