Troubleshooting an 18G Brad Nailer: When the Hammer Won't Reset

Nailguns have become indispensable tools for contractors, construction workers, and DIY enthusiasts. Their speed and precision make them essential for a wide range of projects. However, when you encounter issues with your nailgun, it can bring work to a halt. In this article, we’ll explore a common problem that many users face – the 18G brad nailer hammer won’t reset. We’ll delve into the technical details of this issue and provide solutions to keep your projects on track.

Understanding the 18G Brad Nailer

Before we dive into troubleshooting, let’s get familiar with the 18G brad nailer. This versatile tool is designed for precision, making it ideal for tasks like installing trim, moldings, and delicate woodworking. It uses 18-gauge brad nails, which are narrower than typical nails, reducing the risk of splitting wood and leaving minimal visible marks.

The brad nailer operates by using a hammer-like mechanism to drive the nail into the material. When you press the trigger, the hammer strikes the nail, securing it in place. However, if you encounter the issue of the hammer not resetting, it can lead to frustration and delays.

Common Causes of the Hammer Reset Issue

1. Jammed Nails

One of the most frequent causes of the hammer not resetting is jammed nails. When nails become misaligned or stuck in the magazine, the hammer mechanism can’t function properly. This issue can be easily identified by the nailgun making a clicking sound without firing.

Solution: To resolve this problem, first disconnect the nailgun from the air supply. Open the magazine and remove any jammed nails. Ensure the nails are properly aligned before reassembling the magazine.

2. Insufficient Air Pressure

The hammer in an 18G brad nailer relies on compressed air to reset quickly and fire nails effectively. When the air pressure is insufficient, the hammer may struggle to reset, leading to misfires.

Solution: Check your air compressor to ensure it’s set to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure for your nailgun. Make sure there are no leaks in the air hose and that the compressor can maintain a consistent pressure level.

3. Worn or Damaged Parts

Over time, the internal components of the nailgun can wear out or become damaged. This can include the hammer, driver blade, or o-rings.

Solution: Carefully disassemble your nailgun and inspect the internal parts. Replace any damaged or worn components with genuine replacement parts. Regular maintenance can prevent this issue from occurring.

4. Incorrect Nail Size

Using the wrong size or type of brad nails can also lead to hammer reset problems. The nailgun is calibrated to work with 18-gauge brad nails, and using anything different can cause issues.

Solution: Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate nail size and type. Make sure you’re using the right nails for your nailgun.

Preventive Maintenance

To avoid future issues with your 18G brad nailer, consider implementing some preventive maintenance measures:

  • Regular Cleaning: Keep your nailgun clean and free of debris to prevent jams and damage.
  • Lubrication: Apply a suitable lubricant to the moving parts to ensure smooth operation.
  • Proper Storage: Store your nailgun in a dry and clean environment, away from extreme temperatures.


Troubleshooting a non-resetting hammer on your 18G brad nailer doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By understanding the common causes and following the solutions provided in this article, you can keep your nailgun in optimal working condition. Regular maintenance and attention to detail will ensure your projects progress smoothly, without unnecessary interruptions.

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