How to Choose a Finish Nailer

As you can see, there are many nail guns that are not suitable for all applications. These nailers cover a wide range of tasks. There may be overlap in some cases, but you won’t get the results that you desire if one is not the best option.

They shoot different gauge nails, which is what makes them different. There are four types that are most commonly available: 15 gauge, 16-gauge, 18-gauge, and 23-gauge. The smaller the hole, the thinner the nail.

Do you really need them all? If you only have one, which one should you choose?

What are 15-Gauge Nailers used for?

A 15-gauge nailer shoots a thick nail that is between 1-1/4″ and 2-1/2 inches long. The heavier head gives them a lot of holding power.

These nailers can be used to nail large interior and exterior cabling, such as installing prehung doors, stair treads and risers, crown, or nailing into studs (not in the jamb), or any other job that requires good holding power and that can be painted or stained.

The hole is larger than the other options. These nailers come in both cordless and pneumatic versions.

What is the cost of 15-Gauge nails?

Versatile 16-Gauge Nailer

The 16 gauge nailers can shoot nails that are slightly thinner than the 15 gauge, and have a smaller head. These nailers can shoot nails up to 3/4″ long, depending on the brand. These guns are very durable and can be used for general purposes.

They are used by carpenters for many tasks, including baseboard, crown, and interior trim. They can be used to make stair risers. Pre-hung doors are not recommended for this gun by most carpenters. The 16-gauge is the best choice if you do a lot of trimming and don’t need multiple guns. These nailers come in both cordless and pneumatic configurations.

What is the cost of 16-gauge nailers?

What are the uses of a Brad Nailer?

18-gauge brad nailers can shoot thin nails between 3/8″ and 2 inches depending on the model. Because they have a small head, they leave a smaller hole and are less likely to split thin wood.

Because they are less likely to break the connections, they make a great nailer for attaching casing and jambs to windows and doors. You can use them for stop moldings, base shoe, cove moldings and other woodworking projects. The 18-gauge brad nailer will be useful if you do some woodworking and trim work. These nailers come in both cordless and pneumatic configurations.

What is the cost of Brad nailers?

What is a 23-Gauge Pin Nailer, and How Does It Work?

The 23-gauge pinner is last but not least. They are also available in both cordless and pneumatic versions. This gun should not be used for mitered returns, attaching thin moldings to wood, or any other tasks.

They fire small-headed pins or headless pins and are often used with glue to act as temporary clamps. They are also great for attaching beads or thin stops. They won’t split wood, and they leave a very small hole that needs to be filled with little or no filling. They are available in both cordless and pneumatic configurations.

What is the cost of pin nails?

Cordless vs. Pneumatic

All of these nailers can be purchased in either a cordless or pneumatic configuration, as I have already mentioned. The tried-and-true pneumatic uses compressed gas to push a driverpin that sets the nail. The cordless nailers can be powered by either a gas cartridge and a battery, or just one battery.

How do pneumatic nailers work?

The lightest, most reliable, and fastest pneumatic nail guns have been around for a while.

The nailer is powered by compressed air, which is delivered through a hose to a compressor. They are popular with finish carpenters due to their light weight and maneuverability. They are easy to maintain and can be repaired without the need for service.

How do cordless nailers work?

As carpenters sought more convenience, cordless gas nailers were developed from pneumatics. These nailers have been around for many years, and the technology has improved over time. The nailers use a rechargeable battery with a fuel cartridge. This creates a small explosion in a combustion chamber that pushes the driver pin forward and sets the nail. Although these nailers can be fired quickly, they are light and reliable.

These require higher upkeep and maintenance costs. The propane-like smell that each shot emits can put off some carpenters. These nailers are extremely long-lasting and easy to use.

Cordless nailers are powered by a single battery. This means that there is no need to replace the gas cartridge. These nailers have a driver mechanism that is different from the previous two. There’s compressed air or gas in the head, and a piston to drive the pin down.

They can be heavier depending on the gauge nailer. However, they are fast and powerful. They don’t require any maintenance, but they must be serviced if they stop working. These nailers have a long life expectancy, but the price is often the weight or balance, depending on the brand. These nailers can be trusted and are convenient.


Pneumatic combo kits can be purchased that include a compressor, one, two or three nailers, depending on the brand and configuration. They cost $200-$400. These kits are great if you’re just starting out.

You can buy each nailer as a tool or as a complete kit that includes a charger and a battery if you already have a platform. Prices can vary depending on the brand.

About the Author


Darius Matsumoto

Hi, i am Darius. Woodworking is my another hobby for the last five years. I love to write woodworking project and also ideas.

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