Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
A staple gun that also shoots brads is a major convenience when working with a variety of different materials. Sometimes loading the staple gun can be confusing, especially when switching to brad nails. If you are having a hard time switching out your staples for brads, you've come to the right place. We've compiled this handy how-to article just for you.
To load brad nails into your staple gun, follow these steps:
- Turn the gun upside down and locate the rear of the stapler and the spring tab.
- Release the spring tab and slide the loading arm out of the staple gun.
- Remove any staples that may remain in the chamber and place them in their appropriate container.
- Load the brads into the brad housing channel; the brad channel should be indicated with an image.
- Slide the loading arm back into place until it catches on the spring tab.
These instructions should work to help you load most staple guns capable of using brads. Keep in mind that brad size capabilities vary according to the staple gun model. Keep reading to learn which brads to buy for your gun, and instructions on loading different staple gun brands.
What Size Brad Nails for Arrow Staple Gun?
Arrow T50 Elite
The T50 Elite can accommodate several different size brads. Its ability to use 5/8-inch, 3/4-inch, and 1-inch T50 brads makes it an excellent option for various projects and crafts.
Arrow T50 R.E.D.
The T50 R.E.D. can accept 18-gauge brads in a variety of lengths. This gun works with all 5/8-inch, 3/4-inch, and 1-inch brads in the T50 line.
Arrow PowerShot 5700
The PowerShot 5700 only works with two sizes of brad nail—the PowerShot 9/16-inch and 5/8-inch brads. While it has a little less flexibility than some of the other models, it is still an excellent option for smaller projects and DIY tasks.
The T50HS will only accept either 9/16-inch brad nails or 5/8-inch T50 brad nails. This is a comfortable, easy-to-use tool that works well for a variety of small projects.
The T50PBN only accepts 5/8-inch T50 brads, so this gun's options are slightly more limited. It will still make short work of most projects and is a great tool to keep around.
The T50AC is a great corded electric stapler option. It accepts both 9/16-inch and 5/8-inch T50 brad nails and has a ton of bells and whistles that make it a pleasure to work with.
Does Arrow T50 use brad nails?
The standard Arrow T50 stapler does not accept brad nails; it can only fire staples. The T5o Elite previously discussed is the upgraded version of this gun, which can accept multiple sizes of brad nails.
This is a handy tool to have, but the T50 is not an all-in-one tool like many of the others previously discussed here.
Is a Brad Nailer the Same as a Staple Gun?
No, a brad nailer is not the same as a staple gun. You can only use brad nailers with brad nails; staples cannot be fired from these tools. Most brad nailers can accommodate a wide range of brad sizes, so having a tool devoted to brads isn't a bad idea either.
NEU Master Brad Nailer
This brad nailer uses brads between 5/8-inch and 1/2-inch.
How to Load Brad Nails into a DeWalt Staple Gun
Inserting brads into a DeWalt staple gun isn't much different than doing so with the Arrow brand. DeWalt's staple gun causes more confusion because it does not provide clear instructions or labels.
This video provides quick and easy to follow directions on how to load brads into the staple gun, but if you prefer to read, here's the summary:
- Turn the staple gun upside down and remove the loading arm and staples from the chamber.
- Place the clip of brad nails against the rear wall of the empty chamber.
- Replace the loading arm.
How to Load Brad Nails into a PowerShot Staple Gun
Loading brads into the Arrow PowerShot staple gun is very simple once you know where they go. This short video covers loading brads and staples into this model and a brief step-by-step list:
- Turn the staple gun upside down and remove the loading arm and staples.
- Install the clip of brad nails into the chamber; the staple gun will indicate which side you should load brands into.
- Replace the loading arm.
How to Load Brad Nails into a Stanley Staple Gun
Stanley staple guns are loaded in a manner similar to the other brands. It can be confusing at first, but once you figure it out, it seems almost obvious. This video will show you how to load your brads into the Stanley TR250, or you can read this summary:
- Remove loading arm and staples, then lay the stapler down. The stapler will indicate which side you should load brads into; this side should be facing down.
- Load the brad clip by inserting it into the chamber, laying it into the bottom side of the chamber.
- Replace the loading arm.
Brad Nails vs. Staples
Brad nails are far less visible than traditional nails or staples; therefore, they work better for finishing touches.
These are preferred for fastening molding and trim or small projects for which traditional nails are too large. Staples are a more secure fastener than brads due to their double-prong, but they are much more obvious.
Are Dedicated Nailers Worth It?
It depends; if you alternate between staples and brads often during projects, investing in a brad nailer may be worth it to save you some time and hassle. If you don't have to switch often, and doing so doesn't bother you, then you will probably be happy with a staple and brad gun.
DeWalt Cordless Brad Nailer Kit
This DeWalt dedicated nailer is a great tool to add to your collection.
Brad Nailer vs. Finish Nailer
Finishing nails tend to be slightly thicker than brads, creating a stronger hold. Since finishing nailers are thicker, they are also slightly more noticeable on a finished project. Choose based on whether durability or appearance is more vital to the outcome of your project.
Metabo Finish Nailer Kit
This finish nailer is great for projects that need high durability.
Manual Vs. Electric Staple and Brad Guns
Manual staple and brad guns are great for small or short projects, but they require more effort than electric models. The effort required with manual models can quickly become exhausting and can make your hands sore.
Electric models are highly recommended for anyone who struggles with arthritis or other hand-related medical conditions.
Locked and Loaded
Now that you know how to load brads into your staple gun and the differences between models, you're ready to get to work.
Remember to wear safety equipment whenever you are working with tools and to remain safe and aware of your surroundings. Have fun working on your latest project!
Since you're working with brad nails, you may find this article useful: How Big Are Brad Nails And How Deep Do They Go?
For more advice on using brad nails take a look at this article: Can You Use A Brad Nailer For Baseboards?"