16 or 18 gauge finish nailer?

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Forum topic by noone posted 04-07-2012 05:26 PM 8082 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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559 posts in 1693 days

04-07-2012 05:26 PM

I’m thinking about gluing and nailing a face frame to a carcass so that the carcass will not pull my face frame out of square for my inset doors. Previously, my carcass was 1/16 off square and when I pocket screwed it on, it pulled the face frame out of square.

What gauge finish nailer, 16 or 18? This is a paint grade project, and I’m wondering what would be the most general purpose nailer useful in other applications as well.


9 replies so far

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2391 days

#1 posted 04-07-2012 06:12 PM

I have a 16 ga that also shoots 18ga staples that I really like.
I find it much more useful than the 18 ga nailer.
But, I also have a 23ga pinner. If I didn’t have that I’d want an 18ga too.
The 16 ga is a little too big for small trim and such.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 04-07-2012 06:20 PM


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559 posts in 1693 days

#3 posted 04-07-2012 07:26 PM

What about just using my 18 gauge brad nailer for this?

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#4 posted 04-07-2012 07:35 PM

Yes. That is what I would use for nailing face frames. A little
glue is ok too. I would glue and use a 1” nail.

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5839 posts in 3005 days

#5 posted 04-07-2012 07:46 PM

16 gauge is thicker nails but more expensive on the nails, so depending on whether you do havy stuff or mostly furniture making I would say if you do both get the 16 gauge if mostly furniture get the 18.I have a new dewalt 16 gauge angled nailer battery nailer comes at a cost with three batteries the nails cost twice as much as the straight non angled ones makes no sense to me but they do so beware of costs implications.Kindest regards Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View jusfine's profile


2405 posts in 2346 days

#6 posted 04-07-2012 07:59 PM

18 guage is most versatile.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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1054 posts in 3034 days

#7 posted 04-08-2012 01:16 AM

I have an 18 gauge HF brad nailer. I also bought brad sizes up to 2”. I have even used 18 gauge 2” on fairly heavy assemblies and it works damned well. I don’t have (so I can’t use) anything else so far.

For those who eschew HF tools, just take the brad nailer and, before using, take the piston cap off and oil the cylinder walls well. I think the oil dries out on that long trip from China :) I go this tip from the web and it cured misfires that I initially had with the product.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View RogerM's profile


747 posts in 1819 days

#8 posted 04-08-2012 01:21 AM

Noone -

If you have a router table a very effective method for resolving your face frme to carcass issue can be found at the Sommerfield’s Own website: I have this set and it changed the entire approach I had towards making cabinets.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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559 posts in 1693 days

#9 posted 04-08-2012 11:32 AM

Thanks for the replies. I ended up pocket screwing the face frame on and I made sure the face frame was constructed as dead square as could be before screwing it on. Everything stayed square after screwing it in. I used my Bostitch 18 gauge brad nailer, which I already owned to glue and nail the 1/4 inch back into the rabbets.

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