15ga vs 16ga nailers - differences or advantages to either?

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Forum topic by WhoMe posted 02-14-2012 10:39 PM 6548 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1564 posts in 3269 days

02-14-2012 10:39 PM

I am starting to look for a 15ga or 16ga nailers.
I am currently using a 18ga nailer for various things like jigs, crown moulding and other light duty nailing. BUT, often when using it for crown moulding, I get the occasional problem of a nail either snaking up before entering the moulding/wall or the nail will curve back if I am not exactly straight on. Also, I am looking to the future where I may need a heavier duty nailer for some things.

So, Anyone out there know any real differences or advantages to either one?
the two things that I want/like are it to be oil less and to have an angled magazine. I know some manufacturers make oil less units but I think the angled magazine is limited to the 15ga units.

Any insight or info would be really helpful.


-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

5 replies so far

View Bill1225's profile


125 posts in 2425 days

#1 posted 02-14-2012 10:57 PM

I have had good luck with hatachi guns but not the lowe’s ones, the made in japan guns they are not much more expensive
I hang a lot of crown moulding so i prefer the 15ga not because of the nail size but the ability of being able to place nails alot closer to the corners and edges , you can do it with a straight 16ga but a lot of time you cant get the same pressure on the tip and end up with loose crown and have to go back with a nail set and the 15ga tend to shoot straighter with less pop outs

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3338 days

#2 posted 02-14-2012 11:51 PM

I have 18 gauge PC for light work and up to 1.25 in nails I think. Good for tacking things together.

15ga is better to me for crown work or a slightly heavier application where either the nail head won’t be seen or will be filled. My Bostitch 15 ga. is oiless and has a angled mag and will shoot up to a 2.5 inch nail. Handier for shop built furniture where sometimes you are shooting through thicker ply into a 2x brace and so forth.

Beyond that I have a Paslode framing nailer, but it is for heavy duty stuff and I mostly use that on outdoor projects where galvanised nails are needed.

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2632 days

#3 posted 02-15-2012 12:29 AM

I swear by my senco 15 ga nailer. I have used hitachi, paslode, and another i can not think of now and would trade them all for my senco. The 15 ga is a real nail where the 16 ga is stamped metal and has a tendency to curl out and follow the grain. If you are looking for an everyday trim gun I would go with the 15 ga and keep the 18 ga around for shooting close to corners.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3673 days

#4 posted 02-15-2012 12:46 AM

15 ga. nails come collated in a steeper angle. 16 Ga. are
more commonly found collated straight. There are
some formats of angled 16 ga. nail but they may be less

15 Ga. also have oval heads that look almost round like a
traditional nail heal.

I use 15 ga. I have a Hitachi Nt65 and a Senco finishpro 35
consumer grade nailer. The Hitachi is more refined and lighter.
The Senco is a little more powerful and heavier. I would
recommend the Hitachi over the Senco, but the Finishpro
series are low-end Senco so not representative of the real
pro-level Senco nailers.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2602 days

#5 posted 02-15-2012 02:19 AM

Since you have an 18 ga nailer already I’d go for the 15 ga. 18 and 16 are pretty close size-wise.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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