Nail Guns

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Forum topic by woodworkingdrew posted 12-03-2014 07:53 AM 1178 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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190 posts in 1605 days

12-03-2014 07:53 AM

I was wondering if someone could tell me the various gauge nail guns available and what you would typically use each gauge for. I currently have a framing nailer, a 15 gauge nailer, and a 18 inch brad nailer.

-- Andrew, California

11 replies so far

View rantingrich's profile


372 posts in 1342 days

#1 posted 12-03-2014 01:15 PM

Well I can tell you this, since I always thought my table saw was the one that was gunna get me, while trimming out a replacement window, got a 18 gauge 2.5 long nail straight through my very important middle finger. Also I could not pull my glove off to see the injury, as the nail was straight through the finger and the glove.

I didn’t think it went through the bone but here is the proof..

-- Rich

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2293 days

#2 posted 12-03-2014 01:24 PM

As stated above, there is a 15 gauge trim gun (heavier material like baseboard). I have a 16 gauge for window and door trim. An 18 gauge is for things like doorstop or base cove or quarter round trim. I also have a 21 gauge headless pin nailer for very fine trim or picture frames.

You do have to be careful where you put your hand – if a nail hits a knot or another fastener it will bend right back around and could go into your flesh. If you get any blowout in the wood from an errant nail it’s best to just snip it off below the surface of the wood and fill the hole – easier than trying to pull it back out.

My 16 and 18 gauge are Porter Cable and I like them fine. My framing gun and stapler is Bostich and the pin gun is Ridgid. I’ve read here that Harbor Freight makes some good guns as well. for the nineteen bucks or so that they cost it’s worth a try.

View rantingrich's profile


372 posts in 1342 days

#3 posted 12-03-2014 01:24 PM

By the way, my finger was NOT in the way. The nail came right out of the wood and was in a half circle through my finger. I figure it hit something in the trim board and curled out. BUT I do keep my fingers father away from the business end of this contraption

-- Rich

View John's profile


244 posts in 1578 days

#4 posted 12-03-2014 01:41 PM

^ He’s got it right.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View lndfilwiz's profile


104 posts in 1597 days

#5 posted 12-03-2014 02:13 PM

16 ga. and 18 ga. Ryobi nailers. Use them all the time. I also have a Ryobi power stabler. I also have pneumatic HF 21ยบ Nail gun and brad nailer.

-- Smile, it makes people wander what you are up to.

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2022 days

#6 posted 12-03-2014 02:56 PM

I have an 18 Gauge HF brad nailer. Does a good job, but will leave and nasty looking indent if you have the pressure to high. Also have PC 15 gauge that has a better head that doesn’t leave that nasty indent.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3957 days

#7 posted 12-03-2014 03:51 PM

16, 18, 23, and various staplers.


View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1421 days

#8 posted 12-03-2014 05:04 PM

16 and 18 gauge Bostich. I have had them for decades. I have several so I do not have to swap nail sizes during a project.

I finally had to rebuild one last month for $15 in parts.

I can honestly say I have gotten more than my money’s worth out of them.

P.S. It only takes once for a nail to go stray to learn to keep your hands and fingers clear!

-- Brad, Texas,

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2931 days

#9 posted 12-03-2014 05:44 PM

I used to go through a lot of brads, finish nails (15ga, i think), and wood filler when I first started out. Now it pains me to shoot a nail in anything I care about besides DIY house stuff like moulding.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1333 days

#10 posted 12-03-2014 07:27 PM

I really like the Grex 23g pin nailer. It will do most trim work and barely leaves a hole. I also use it when I’m gluing thin pieces of wood like for jigs instead of clamps while glue sets. It is reliable and never seems to misfire or get stuck. RantingRich I feel your pain. I was shooting some 18g brads and one of them decided to do the not go in straight and shoot out the side. I only got a nick but it opened my eyes to safety. I now make sure my hands are well clear of the length of the brad! Ouch! At least you didn’t end up like this:

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View JADobson's profile


1034 posts in 2107 days

#11 posted 12-03-2014 07:35 PM

Or like this:

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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