Troubleshooting Guide: Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Not Firing

In the world of carpentry and construction, a reliable nail gun is an invaluable tool. Among the top contenders is the Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer, known for its performance and precision. However, like any tool, it can encounter issues, and one common frustration is when it refuses to fire. In this comprehensive troubleshooting guide, we’ll unravel the mysteries behind a non-firing Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer and equip you with the knowledge to get it back in action.

Understanding Your Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer

Before we delve into the troubleshooting, let’s get acquainted with the Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer.

Key Features of the Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer

  • 18-Gauge Nails: This nailer is designed to accommodate 18-gauge brad nails, making it perfect for precision work such as trim, molding, and fine carpentry.

  • Oil-Free Operation: One standout feature is the oil-free operation, which minimizes the need for regular maintenance.

  • Adjustable Depth Control: The nailer allows you to control the depth of your nail drive, ensuring a clean finish on different materials.

  • Sequential Firing: You can choose between sequential and contact firing modes for versatility in your tasks.

  • Jam Release Mechanism: The nailer is equipped with a tool-free jam release mechanism for quick and easy nail removal.

Troubleshooting a Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Not Firing

1. Check Air Supply

Before diving into the nailer itself, confirm that your air supply is adequate. Ensure the compressor is operating correctly, and there are no kinks or obstructions in the air hose.

2. Inspect the Air Pressure

Check the air pressure settings on your compressor. The Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer typically requires an operating pressure between 70 and 120 PSI (pounds per square inch). Make sure it falls within this range.

3. Nail Magazine Inspection

Open the nail magazine and inspect it for any jammed nails or foreign objects. A single misaligned or stuck nail can disrupt the firing process.

4. Examine the Depth Adjustment

Ensure that the depth adjustment is properly set. If it’s too shallow, the nail may not penetrate the material effectively. If it’s too deep, the nailer may become obstructed.

5. Lubrication

Even though the Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer is designed for oil-free operation, a lack of lubrication can still impede performance. A drop or two of pneumatic tool oil can help maintain smooth operation.

6. Investigate the Trigger Mechanism

Inspect the trigger and contact trip for any damage or obstructions. A damaged trigger mechanism may prevent the nailer from firing.

7. Safety Mechanisms

The nailer has built-in safety mechanisms that may prevent firing if not engaged correctly. Ensure you’re pressing the safety tip firmly against the work surface before pulling the trigger.

8. Double-Check the Nails

Make sure you’re using the correct type and length of 18-gauge brad nails that the nailer is designed for. Using the wrong nails can lead to misfires.

9. Reassemble and Test

After troubleshooting, reassemble the nailer and test it with a few nails. Pay close attention to how it functions and whether it’s firing correctly.


The Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer is a reliable and versatile tool, but even the best tools may encounter issues from time to time. By following this troubleshooting guide, you can quickly identify and resolve the problem of a non-firing nailer. With the right knowledge and a few simple steps, you’ll have your Bostitch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer back in action, helping you tackle your carpentry projects with ease and precision.

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