Your Complete Guide to Cordless Finish Nailers


This text appeared within the Summer season 2022 subject of This Previous Home Journal. Click on right here to learn to subscribe. Verify again quickly to see the video for this story.

End Nailers Have Particular Functions

End nailers are perfect for trimming home windows and doorways, hanging crown molding, or fastening delicate woodworking items. However the actuality is that one nailer can’t deal with all of it. Giant nailers will break up small items of trim, whereas small pin nailers received’t have the holding energy to maintain a molding in place. Because of this, many DIYers and professionals maintain a number of sorts (and sizes) of end nailers available.

Whether or not you’re putting in crown molding, baseboards, stair treads, or window trim, a end nailer will enhance the standard and velocity of your work.

Not solely do these instruments shoot nails sooner than anybody can hammer, however in addition they propel the nails at such a excessive velocity that they sink in earlier than the wooden has an opportunity to maneuver. When you begin utilizing a end nailer, there’s no going again to a hammer.

Till just lately, nailers needed to be tethered to a compressor hose (or fitted with a fuel canister), which powered the piston that drove within the nails. Now, thanks to higher batteries, the newest cordless nailers have the facility and firing charge to match their compressor-dependent predecessors.

And whereas they’re not as gentle or nimble as pneumatic nailers, the grab-and-go portability of cordless fashions greater than makes up for it. For extra particulars, learn on

Forms of Cordless End Nailers

15-Gauge End Nailer

Finish Nailers

Courtesy Metabo

BEST FOR: Heavy trim as much as 5/4 inch thick

Nathan says: “The highly effective pistons in these nailers can sink 2½-inch nails into hardwood; use them to securely set up baseboards, giant crown molding, and door and window casings.

Their nails’ comparatively giant heads and shank measurement be sure that joints will keep tight. Its near-twin, in each measurement and value, is the 16-gauge end nailer, which comes with both a straight or angled journal (the latter turns out to be useful when working in tight areas); 15-gauge nailers have angled magazines solely.”

Metabo HPT Angled End Nailer Equipment (NT1865DMAS)

  • Weight: 7.5 kilos
  • Nail lengths: 1 1/4 to 2½ inches
  • Battery: 18 volt, 3 amp-hour, lithium-ion
  • Journal capability: 100 nails
  • Nails per cost: 1,100
  • Value: $237;

18-Gauge Brad Nailer

Finish Nailers

Courtesy DeWALT

BEST FOR: Big selection of trim thicknesses, 1/4 inch to 1 inch

Nathan says: “These nailers hit the candy spot between the large 15- and 16-gauge nailers and featherweight pin nailers. That is the scale to make use of for fastening quarter spherical, baseboard cap, wainscot, small crown, chair rails, and most different trim. Their nails don’t go away a big gap; one swipe of filler hides them for good. They’re solely accessible with straight magazines, nevertheless.”

DeWalt 20V Max XR Brad Nailer Equipment (DCN680D1)

  • Weight: 6.3 kilos
  • Nail lengths: 5/8 to 2 1/8 inches
  • Battery: 120 volt, 2 amp-hour lithium-ion
  • Journal capability: 110 nails
  • Nails per cost: 850
  • Value: $299;

23-Gauge Pin Nailer

Finish Nailers

Courtesy Ryobi

BEST FOR: 1/2-inch trim or thinner that shall be glued

Nathan says: “This sort of nailer can shoot a wire nail simply 0.023 inch large into strong wooden; these nails go away behind holes so tiny that you may cover them below a coat of paint. They’re good for attaching molding returns, or skinny trim on cupboards, bookcases, or small tasks. As a result of pin nails don’t have heads, their holding energy is proscribed; use them to maintain freshly glued items in place whereas the adhesive units. They’re no match for some dense hardwoods.”

Ryobi ONE+ AirStrike Pin Nailer Equipment (P318)

  • Weight: 5.5 kilos
  • Nail lengths: ½ to 13/8 inches
  • Battery: 18 volt, 2 amp-hour, lithium-ion
  • Journal capability: 120 nails
  • Nails per cost: 3,500
  • Value: $159;

Ideas for Safely Utilizing a End Nailer

Finish Nailers, Nathan Gilbert

Bob O’Connor

Nailers fireplace with such velocity and energy, they must be handled with respect. Be certain to comply with these fundamental security precautions each time you decide one up:

  • Take away the battery while you alter the device or repair a jam. This prevents unintentional firings.
  • Hold arms away from the realm being nailed, or anyplace a nail might exit unexpectedly.
  • Maintain the nailer perpendicular to the work. Nails can ricochet off the wooden for those who angle the nailer or try and toenail with it.
  • Earlier than pulling the set off, place the nailer’s nostril firmly in opposition to the floor. That approach, the nail is extra more likely to sink to the right depth, with the nailhead just under the wooden floor.

Earlier than you start, ensure that…

  • The battery is totally charged.
  • The journal is crammed with nails of the proper size.
  • You’re carrying security glasses and listening to safety (as proven above).

How one can Hold Nails from Blowing Out

To make sure that a end nail goes straight by means of the wooden and doesn’t exit out one facet, align the nailer’s journal perpendicular to the path of the wooden grain (left).

Why this method works: End nails come glued collectively in lengthy strips, very similar to staples, with their sharp chisel ideas all in a line. If the sting of that tip is parallel with the path of the wooden grain, the nail might be deflected (proper).

But when the tip’s edge runs throughout the grain, the nail is extra more likely to take a straight path because it cuts by means of the wooden fibers.

The Distinction is the Measurement of the Nails

There are a number of various kinds of end nailers, every categorized by the scale of the fastener they fireplace. The fastener sizes are available in gauges, and the decrease the gauge quantity, the bigger or thicker the fastener.

  • 15-Gauge nails are giant and supply loads of holding energy. They’re extraordinarily efficient for operating base molding or hanging crown molding, however they do go away bigger holes within the moldings.
  • 16-Gauge nails are nonetheless giant and supply loads of holding energy, however they’re a bit extra versatile than 15-gauge. These nails are nice for trimming doorways and different basic carpentry duties.
  • 18-Gauge nails are smaller and thinner, they usually have smaller heads than 15- or 16-gauge nails. This makes them helpful for fastening small moldings or nailing the facet of a molding to a window or door jamb.
  • 23-Gauge nailers, or pin nailers, fireplace small headless pins. Whereas they don’t supply a lot holding energy, they’re useful for delicate moldings, woodworking items, or mitered returns on window aprons and moldings. They’re usually used with glue.

What Measurement Nail?

End nails needs to be lengthy sufficient to penetrate the framing by no less than 3/4 inch; 1 inch is preferable.

For instance, for those who’re fastening 3/4-inch-thick baseboard over 1/2-inch drywall, choose nails which are 2 or 21/2 inches lengthy. Longer nails do have extra holding energy, however they’re extra more likely to nick wires or pipes inside a wall, or to run astray.

A nail’s gauge has comparable trade-offs. The bigger the gauge, the larger the top and the thicker the shaft. Nails with a bigger gauge have higher holding power and are much less more likely to bend than ones with a smaller gauge.

Nonetheless, bigger heads and thicker shafts enhance the prospect of splitting wooden, they usually go away behind greater holes, which take extra filler to cover.

Energy Supply

There are two nailer sorts: pneumatic and battery-powered. Whereas each sorts will deal with the identical duties, some distinct benefits and drawbacks exist.

Pneumatic nailers are usually lighter and cheaper to buy. Nonetheless, they require a further compressor and an air hose to fireside nails. In addition they require a bit extra upkeep than a battery-powered mannequin.

Battery-powered end nailers are dearer and heavier than pneumatic nailers. Nonetheless, they don’t require the person to lug an air compressor round, and there isn’t a hose to journey over or maintain the person tethered in place.


In relation to putting in trim round home windows, doorways, baseboards, crown molding, assembling cupboard components, or putting in stair treads and risers, as you’ll be able to see, one nail gun doesn’t match all. The most typical and available sorts are 15 gauge, 16 gauge, 18 gauge, and 23 gauge. The distinction between them is the gauge nail that they shoot. Nathan explains the best way to choose a end nailer and its normal options.

Discover most of those end nailers at The House Depot.


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