Reply by Loren

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Posted on Brad Nail Gun - Longest Brads use

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10477 posts in 3885 days

#1 posted 12-24-2010 04:04 AM

The 2” 18 ga nails can be useful, but they have a tendency to curve as they go in,
sometimes blowing out the side of the piece – which is hard to fix and a pain besides.

Stick to under 1 3/8” to avoid blowout in 18 ga brads. Even then, I learned as as
pro to put a bit of “english” on the nailer to hedge against blowout. I suspect
all experienced brad gun users do the same, but I’ve never read about it. There’s
definitely a technique to using the guns that you learn from experience.

With so many affordable nailers on the market these days, it’s not hard to have
a 16 or 15 ga. nailer too. The 18 is definitely the most useful for cabinetmaking
and trim work. The 15 ga. and 16 ga. nails come in angled varieties which is useful
for getting into corners. The 15 ga. nails look more like “real” nails. I prefer 15,
but that’s a bit arbitrary – either 15 or 16 will do fine for a bigger cabinet nailer.
Look at the angle of the magazine as it seems to vary from brand to brand.

Also, look in your local phone book to see if there’s a shop that sells air tools and
find out what they keep on hand. The big box stores seldom have all the nail
sizes you would need for cabinetmaking, and certainly not for all brands of gun.

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