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What Kind Of Nailer For Trim

When To Use A Framing Nailer For Fencing


A framing gun carries the day for fencing work if youre fastening boards or wood planks to wooden posts.

This includes projects involving building privacy fences, picket fences, pet fences, post/rail fences, etc.

Side Note: In general, youll require a framing mailer that shoots 2 to 31/2 length nails for this job.

How Do Pneumatic Nailers Work

Pneumatic nail guns are the lightest, fastest, and, until recently, the most reliable.

Theyre powered by compressed air that is delivered to the nailer through a hose from a compressor. Finish carpenters like them because of their weight and maneuverability theyre not as bulky as cordless nailers and are typically well-balanced. They require some maintenance and can be refurbished without sending in for service.

Or 16 Gauge For Baseboards

The reason why this size of nail is the right one starts with the thin nature of the baseboard itself. The bigger the nail, the deeper the impression it makes into the material. With baseboards being so thin, you want a nail that is thin, so that it does not create a noticeable indention. Yet, it is long enough to firmly attach itself to the wall.

Both 15G and 16G nail guns can drive nails up to 2 1/2 inches . The main difference is the diameter of the nail and the angled base of the 15G nailer that helps you to reach corners easily.

There are different types of nail guns such as roofing and framing nailers that can drive big nails. This means that you will have more fill work to do after the nails are applied. Plus, you increase the chance of splitting the baseboards when driving the nails.A 15 or 16-gauge nail is basically perfect for the job. This is because it is large and long enough to attach the baseboard, yet thin enough to be barely noticeable. Although with any nail you will have some fill work to do when making the baseboards look neat. There is considerably less work when you use this size of nail.

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Can You Use Brad Nails In A Finish Nailer

You are asking can you use 18 gauge nails in a 16 gauge nailer or a 15 gauge nail gun?Dont do it.

The brad nails are 18-gauge nails which have a diameter of 0.0475 inches . Your finish nailer is designed to use either 16-gauge or 15-gauge .

I have seen people do this by mistake and caught their error only after noticing that the nail gun was shooting 2 nails per shot. If you load the smaller diameter brad nail in a finish nailer, it will result in jams and it will break your nail gun. In the worst case, you will get injured by the flying metal shrapnel.

What Is A Finish Nail

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The finish nail is made of 15- or 16-gauge steel wire, so they are a bit thicker than brad nails. The added thickness of a finish nail creates a stronger hold than with a brad nail. These are best for thicker materials when nailing heavy-duty baseboard trim or molding.

Finish Nails
15- to 16-gauge diameter for thick pieces of wood 18-gauge nails for thinner and more delicate pieces of wood
Length of nails range from one to 3.5 inches Length of nails range from one-half to 2.5 inches
Heavy gauge has better holding power Thinner nails mean less wood splitting and smaller holes
Can be used indoors and outdoors on trim, baseboards, molding, and more Used in decorative trim, baseboards, molding, and other thin pieces of wood

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Selecting The Perfect Gauge Number:

A baseboard stands on the surface of your interior wall that hides the area between your floor and the wall. It also beautifies your overall home and protects your wall from being damaged by any furniture.

Now lets talk about gauge number. You must keep in mind that the bigger gauge number denotes to the thinner nails. The more value it shows, the lesser diameter the nail has.

Finish Nailers generally use bigger nails. They range from 15 to 16 gauges. On the other hand, nailers that range from 18 to 23 gauges are more likely to use for finer finishes.

As youre working on a baseboard, its recommended for you to use a thinner nail which will leave a small or acute hole that can be easily covered with any wood filler.

As weve discussed earlier, using nails that are way thicker than the average may even split up your baseboard as they are not used to consume much pressure.

But if you use small diameter nail, youll definitely notice smoother finish on your baseboards because of their size.

We usually stain our baseboards right away after trimming. The color on your baseboard should match your interior wall and smaller nails help you in this regard.

As they leave smaller holes, it takes you less amount of filler to put after the trimming process and also reduces the chance of occurring damage on your baseboards.

What Is A Brad Nail

A brad nail, or brad, is a nail made of 18-gauge steel wire. The diameter is smaller than other nails, which makes them perfect for baseboard trim. Not only are they thinner and smaller, they also have a smaller head. This will help prevent your wood from splitting and will not be seen in most spots.

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What Kind Of Nail Gun Do I Need For Trim

15-gauge nails are most often used for installing thick trim. 18-gauge and higher-gauge nail guns are best used for fine detail work, furniture repair and thin trim work. The nail gun angle refers to the nail collation angle, meaning the angle that the nails are collected and stored in the nail guns magazine.

Finish nails, or finishing nails, are generally made of 15- or 16-gauge steel wire, making them slightly thicker in diameter than brad nails. The added thickness means that finishing nails create a stronger hold than brads. Versatile nails with 15- or 16-gauge diameter designed for thicker cuts of wood.

Beside this, Should I get a 16 or 18 gauge nailer?

A 16-gauge nailer is capable of firing thicker nails when compared to an 18-gauge nailer. So, it is better suited for jobs that require higher stability and better holding strength. And, when paired with glue, your work is pretty much indestructible. These factors make it great for heavy-duty and structural work.

Likewise, What kind of nails do you use for trim?

Finish Nailer: Primarily for shooting 16-gauge or 15-gauge nails. They use a finish nailhead, easily identified by being stored at an angle on the nailer.

Also, Do you need nail gun for trim?

Is there a big difference between 16 gauge and 18 gauge?

What Do You Use A Brad Nailer For

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18-gauge brad nailers shoot a thin nail between 3/8 to 2 depending on the model. They leave a smaller hole thanks to their small head and so are less likely to split thinner wood.

Theyre the ideal nailer for attaching casing to window and door jambs because theyre less likely to blow out the connections. Stop moldings, Base shoe, cove moldingssmaller profiles are a good use here, as well as some chair rails, and a variety of woodworking projects. If you do some trim work and a fair amount of woodworking, the 18-gauge brad nailer is the one to have. These nailers are available in pneumatic and cordless configurations.

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Numax Sfn64 Pneumatic 16

The NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16 Gauge Finish Nailer gives that artistic touch that your trim projects need. This exceptional tool has the most durable materials and was put against strict guidelines to ensure maximum quality. For professionals or DIY enthusiasts, this pneumatic gun makes the project a joy to complete.

As a pneumatic gun, this finish nailer from NuMax offers you sublime durability and a lightweight design thanks to its aluminum body. Whether its your home or workstation, you can carry it with you anywhere. Additionally, the ergonomic grip handle adds to your comfort.

Moreover, the features include a no-mar tip, which helps you avoid dents and dings. Besides, this sublime pneumatic finish nailer also addresses the issue of nail jamming, which is the cause of headaches for many. The quick jam release of this tool eliminates any possibility of nail jamming.

Besides, the nailer has a variety of usages, such as interior or exterior finish and trim. Compared to other popular brands such as Makita, Senco, Hitachi, etc., this nailer is just as efficient given its price. It has an outstanding value coupled with top-tier customer service, making it a popular choice among many.

However, there is no low-nail indicator in this tool. This often causes misfiring issues. Also, this pneumatic gun is not suitable for professional applications as advertised.



  • Misfiring issues.

Your Comments Are Welcome

Linda Adkins on July 18, 2019:

What kind of nailer and what size nails should be used to install 2×4 shelving that will eventually hold a brick collection? No, I’m not kidding. The shelves will fill a space of about 3 feet between the studs of an outbuilding. Thanks so much for your help.

Tim Nichol from Me to You on February 06, 2019:

Not sure what a pin nailer is. A brad nailer is a lighter duty nailer, intended for upholstery and such.

For thinner plywood or panelling and baseboard, use a finishing nailer, and nails that are about 3 times as long as the total thickness of the plywood and baseboard.

In other words, the nails should penetrate the 2×4’s by about an inch or so.

SLT on January 28, 2019:

What is the difference between a Pin nailer, Brad nailer, and a Finish nailer? Which is preferable to attach baseboard, and also plywood to 2×4 not covered by sheetrock?

connie on December 08, 2018:

i have weak hands and need a lite nailer for some moulding and real wood paneling and other crafts like picture frames and such like hanging stuff on the wall mostly little stuff is there one tool for me that’s electric with a cord or do I need to buy more than one thanks for your site good read.

Tim Nichol from Me to You on November 30, 2018:

Oh man… Nature can be so cruel sometimes..I feel for you.

I’m assuming you’ve made sure the studs are all completely dried out and free of mold residue.

You should use smaller nails for the trim.

NC on November 23, 2018:

Best of luck 🙂

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Tack Trim For Marking

To eliminate measuring errors, I like to hold trim in place to mark the length. When the piece is too long to hold alone, I tack one end to the wall with a brad nail. Then I mark, yank the trim off the wall and remove the brad. That gives me an accurate cutting mark and only one extra nail hole to fill later.

Dangers Of Underestimating Or Overestimating Nail Size

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If you use nails that are too long, you run the risk of accidentally piercing through the baseboard and drywall into some wires or pipes. Use your common sense when selecting the nails, and youll avoid majorly overdoing it in the nail size department.

On the other hand, if you use nails that are too short, they wont bite deep enough into the drywall or studs to which you are nailing the baseboards. In that scenario, the baseboards wouldnt be secure enough. They might stay in place for a while, but with regular wear and tear and the natural shifting and flexing of the walls, they would slowly work free. You would begin to notice cracks along the baseboards as they detached themselves from the wall. So its best, before you begin the project, to be absolutely sure youre using the right nail size for baseboards in your home.

As a general rule, baseboard nails shouldnt be any longer than 2 inches. The ideal length is between 1.5 inches and 2 inches.

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Choosing The Right Gauge Number

1st step to selecting baseboard trim is to choose the correct gauge number. Now lets discuss the ideal size of the gauge number.

Keep in mind that the more gauge number means thinner nails. That means more value shows the less diameter. Usually, the nailers size ranges from 15 to 16 gauge.

On the other hand, nailers from 18 to 23 are more likely to use for better finishes.

However, if you are using a small diameter nail, you should get a smooth finish. As thinner nails leave a small hole, it also takes less filler after the trimming process. However, you also need to remember that a small diameter nail can not hold high pressure.

What Type Of Nail Gun That Can I Use For Hardwood Floor

We highly recommend using a finishing nailer that shoots 15-gauge nails to install your hardwood floor. Itll do a decent job with this type of surface while leaving no nail traces, thanks to the headless nails.

On the other hand, since brad nailers are thinner and use smaller nails, they cannot go through hardwood flooring.

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How Do Cordless Nailers Work

Cordless gas nailers evolved from pneumatics as carpenters looked for more convenience. Theyve been around for a long time, so the technology has become more reliable over the years. These nailers run on a rechargeable battery and fuel cartridge that creates a small explosion inside a combustion chamber which pushes the driver pin and sets the nail. These nailers are lightweight and reliable, though they cant be fired rapidly like pneumatics.

They require more maintenance and upkeep cost. Some carpenters are put-off by the propane-like smell that is emitted with each shot. Runtime on these nailers is excellent and because theres no air hose or compressor to haul around they are convenient.

Shop Cordless Finish Nailers

The latest cordless nailer technology relies solely on a battery, so theres no gas cartridge to change out. With these nailers the driver mechanism is different than the other two styles theres compressed air or gas housed in the head and a piston that drives the pin down.

Depending upon the gauge nailer, they can be heavier than the gas and pneumatic options but they are very fast and plenty powerful. They require no maintenance though when they are down, they need to be sent in for service. Though runtime is good with these nailers, the trade-off is the weight and sometimes balance of the tool depending upon the brand. These nailers are reliable and convenient.

Best Nail Gun For Trim

Which Gauge Finish Nailers Should You Own?

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When it comes to trims, proportions, and details are just about everything. Inferior nail injection of nails will produce poor finishing results. For this reason, you need the best nail gun for trim that can offer optimum pressure and performance with the right features included.

If you are working on thick trims, you will need more power, and you might want to try out NuMax 16 gauge finish nailer. In thin and delicate trims, WEN 61721 and BOSTITCH 18 gauge brad nailer are also great options. Again, if you prefer a cordless option, you can go for NEU MASTER cordless brad nailer.

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Choosing The Perfect Length & Size:

Now, what size brad nails should you use for your baseboards? Well, its highly recommended for you to use a nail that is not longer than 2 inches. A 1 ½ inch nail can be a perfect size to use on any baseboards.

If youre still concerned about breaking or splitting your baseboard, you can pre-drill the holes before finishing. Besides, the hole should be a bit smaller in size than your nails.

Subsequently, youll get a smoother finish and dont have to put much wood filler on the holes. You should also dry the area right away after filling.

The strength of a nail will mostly depend on its length and diameter. If you want a strong supporting throughout the holes, you should choose a nail that is perfect in length.

However, when it comes to strengthening the nail placement, it will mostly depend on the diameter of that nail. Because, the thicker your nail, the more wood fibers it will use to hold all the materials.

What Size Nails Do You Use For Door Trim


Mouldings can be fastened using brad nails or a power nailer but you should never use nails that are more than 2 inches. Unless you know exactly where your homes electrical wires run you might be in for a shocking experience. 1 ½ inch nails are the perfect size for installing baseboards with a brad power nailer.

One may also ask, what gauge finish nails for trim? Nailers that shoot the biggest trim nails15 and 16 gaugeare usually called finish nailers. Midsize 18-gauge nailers are called brad nailers. The smallest nailer, the 23-gauge, is usually called a pinner or micro pinner. This is the gun I usually grab for nailing large 3/4-in. -thick baseboard and trim.

One may also ask, can you use 18 gauge nails for baseboards?

Both are commonly used for installing baseboard, chair rail, door and window casing, crown molding, and door frames. One advantage to 15-gauge nails is that they are collated at an angle, which allows the nose of the nailer to reach into tighter spaces. Brad nailers use smaller 18gauge nails up to 2 inches long.

What is the best gauge nail for trim?

If you don’t do enough trim work to justify the expense of two nailers, a 16-gauge nail gun is a good choice. The 16-gauge nails are a bit skinnier and not quite as strong as 15-gauge nails. But they’re less likely to split thin pieces of wood.

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