With the advancement in technology, various cordless and pneumatic pin 18 gauge brad nailers work efficiently and make your DIY tasks easy for you. However, with hundreds of options available in the market, getting your hands on the best ones might get difficult. To narrow down the choices for you, we have gathered all the best 18 gauge brad nailers in this article.Â[acf field=”listschema”] [acf field=”faqschema”]
Best 18 Gauge Brad Nailer – Comparison Table
Nail Length Range
5/8ˮ - 2ˮ
95 - 110 PSI
Metabo HPT 18 gauge Brad Nailer
5/8ˮ - 2ˮ
60 - 110 PSI
5/8ˮ - 2-1/8ˮ
70 - 120 PSI
PORTER-CABLE 20V max18 gauge brad nailer
5/8ˮ - 2ˮ
60 - 100 PSI
DEWALT 20V Max Cordless 18GA Brad Nailer
⅝’’ - 2-⅛’’
70 - 120 PSI
THINKWORK 20V 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer
⅝’’ - 1-¼’’
90 - 110 PSI
Ryobi 3 Piece 18V One+ Airstrike Brad Nailer
5/8ˮ - 2ˮ
60 - 100 PSI
KIMO 20V 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer
¾’’ - 2’’
70 - 100 PSI
CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Brad Nailer
1’’ - 2’’
60 - 110 PSI
NEU MASTER NTC0023 Cordless Brad Nailer
5/8'' to 1-1/4''
70 - 110 PSI
What is 18 Gauge Brad Nailer used for?
The 18 gauge brad nailers are used for shooting a thin nail that ranges in size from 3/8th of an inch to almost 2 inches, depending on the model. One of the biggest benefits of using an 18 gauge brad nailer is that they have a very small head and therefore leave a small hole on the material they’re working on.Â
Additionally, because of this small head, they are less likely to split thinner wood. Not only this, they are the ideal brad nailers to be used for operations like attaching door jambs and casing to windows, etc.Â
Best 18 Gauge Brad Nailers:
Now that you know what an 18 gauge brad nailer is used for if you’d like to get your hands on one and are confused between hundreds of choices available in the market, here is the list of best 18 gauge brad nailers that you can look out for.Â
1. Grex 1850GC
This model by Grex is powered by a fuel cell and AAA batteries. Being the first of its kind, this Grex 1850GB model is around the same size and weight compared to most of the pneumatic brad nailers and delivers comparable power as well. Although most of the brands are now coming up with cordless brad nailers, what makes this model by Grex special is that it works with fuel cells.
This model is very light in weight to carry and quite well-balanced. It offers an excellent sight for accurate placement of nails on the material it is being worked on. The front housing of this gun is very small, which allows it to work well and accurately even in small spaces. According to the company, the brad nailer can fire around 1300 nails per canister.Â
- Can drive 2 inches nails in hardwood.
- Minimal hole size.
- Dual firing options.
- Easy latch and convenient to operate.
- Includes a cut-way on the end of the magazine.Â
- Comes with a swivel connector.
- 95-110 PSI.
- Weighs around 5.5 pounds.
- Around one year of limited warranty.
- It is compact.
- Produces minimal odor.
- Very well balanced and easy to carry.
- The gas canister is small.
- Produces the smallest holes possible.
- Depth and power adjustment are ineffective.
- It can misfire on low fuel.
- Requires a tool to clear the jam.
2. Metabo HPT 18 gauge Brad Nailer
Ideal for furniture building, trim work, and other finish applications, this brad nailer can work with nail sizes ranging from 5/8th inches to 2 inches approximately. It can easily provide you with the finish and precision required by DIY lovers and professionals. Although it is of ergonomic design and lightweight, this brad nailer can easily handle the toughest kinds of jobs.Â
It works with 18 gauge fasteners and offers selective actuation, which allows the users to easily select between the two modes, including sequential or bump. The tool weighs only 2.2 lbs and therefore is super easy to be carried along and work with even for the whole day. It also has to offer a depth adjustment feature that allows the user to easily adjust the depth of drive to get ag a professional finish.Â
- Can drive up to 1650 brad per charge.
- The magazine has a capacity of holding 100 brads.
- Comes with a yellow magazine indicator.
- Straight brad nails.
- 18 gauge fasteners.
- Sideloading magazine type.
- Tool-less depth of drive and jam release.
- Sequential and bump firing mode.
- Multi volt battery.
- Made huge improvements when it comes to the size and weight of the tool.
- It has the power to sink in almost 2 inches long brad nails.
- Jam clearance is super easy.
- There is no firing delay.
- Can go up to shooting 1650 brads per charge.
- There is no dry fire lockout.
- Excessive use of plastic.
3. Bostitch BTFP12233
The small nose design makes this brad nailer a remarkable and unique tool. This tool by Bostitch uses smart technology for easy placement of nails, which is why they have designed the nose to be smaller compared to other brad nailer brands. It can drive 18 gauge nails of lengths ranging from 5/8 inches to 2-1/8 inches. Because of the small nose, the nailer can fix in smaller spaces and place the nails precisely.
Operating this brad nailer does not require oil to be used, which lessens the risk of getting oil stains on the material used. Additionally, it offers a jam release mechanism that allows getting rid of any jams without the use of any additional tools. This tool comes with various accessories, including a carrying case, Â¼ inch air fitting, rear air exhaust, etc.
- Dual firing mode including contact and sequential.
- 70 to 120 PSI operating pressure.
- Fastener length ranges from 5/8 inches to 2-1/8 inches.
- Straight magazine.
- Plastic body material.
- Air powered.
- Seven-year warranty.
- Requires low maintenance.
- Light in weight.
- It comes with a trigger locking system that keeps the tool safe while it is not in use.
- Swivel air fittings allow flexible movability.
- Oil-free operation eliminates the risk of oil stains.
- There is no indicator to find out how many nails are remaining.
- You need to open the magazine to check the number of nails.
- It comes with a straight magazine design that creates difficulty in being used in tight spots.
4. PORTER-CABLE 20V max18 gauge brad nailer
With 100% battery power and no need for a compressor, this brad nailer is a great and convenient choice. It comes with a motor that is specifically designed to provide consistent firing power and that in various materials and that too in different climates. The porter cable nailer is designed in such a way that it is super light in weight and can be carried easily for longer periods.Â
It has an optimal center of gravity which results in reducing fatigue while you work with this tool. The fastener lengths vary from 5/8 inches to 2 inches, and the magazine has a capacity of almost 100 brad nails. It offers several tool-free adjustments, including depth adjustment window, stall release lever, jam release, depth adjustment wheel, etc.Â
- 18 gauge nail diameter.
- Magazine capacity of 100 nails.
- Side magazine loading.
- Multifunctional dual light LEDs.
- Multiple tool-free settings.
- Two no-mar pads.
- Sequential firing mode.
- The kit comes with a 1.5Ah battery.
- Low maintenance.
- No oil is required.
- It drives brad to a consistent depth.
- Has a trigger lock feature.
- No fuel gauge on battery.
- The flashlight is located behind the nozzle, which makes you physically check the number of nails like in pneumatic guns.
5. DEWALT 20V Max Cordless 18GA Brad Nailer
Being as powerful as a pneumatic nailer and providing you better mobility by freeing you from taking air compressors while you work, this brad nailer by Dewalt is a go-to option. One of the most prominent features of the Dewalt tool is the innovative flywheel design which comes with a brushless motor.
This brushless motor is getting all the hype because it spins at a high RPM, and through the rotation, this motor stores energy. This energy is then transferred to the blade that is used to fire the brad nails when you press the trigger. Being of the best brad nailer for trim, the magazine present in this tool can store up to 100 nails and is also an ideal tool for various other like operations, molding, paneling, window and door casing, etc.
- Cordless and battery-powered tool.
- Tool-free jam clearance.
- Tool-free depth adjustment.
- Multifunctional LED lights.
- 5/8 to 2-1/8 fastener lengths.
- 1200 nail firing capacity per battery charge.
- 5.3 lbs weight.
- Three years limited warranty.
- Tool-free jam release/clearance.
- Very easy to use.
- There is no chance of a ramp-up delay.
- Requires low maintenance.
- The LED light works great even in low light visibility.
- Sequential and bump firing modes.
- It has a body made of plastic.
- The carry is not good enough to protect the tool.
- Heavier and bigger than the pneumatic ones.
- The depth dial indicator is hard to understand and read.
6. THINKWORK 20V 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer – best 18 gauge brad nailer for trimming
A brad nailer with an appealing design and fast firing mode, THINKWORK 20V is a cordless nail gun with great features. The 2-in-1 power tool can shoot 1-5/8 inches brad nails, and the light-duty staple facilitates 2 inches nails. It offers two firing modes, including single and continuous. You can easily switch between the two modes according to your needs.
One of the best features of this top-rated high gauge brad nailer is its advanced lithium-ion technology. Thanks to the fast charging, the 2Ah lithium-ion battery takes only 45 minutes for a complete charge. You can quickly fire up to 700 brad nails on a single charge. There is a rotating gear on the top to adjust the nailing force.
The deepest nail can reach 50mm, whereas the fastest can reach up to 100 nails per minute. For additional convenience, the manufacturer has added a safety push type nail head to eject the nail. When you turn on the switch, the bright flashlights on both sides will light up to help you take accurate shots in dark corners.
Another handy feature is the side hook that allows you to hand the Power tool on the waist when climbing. To help you keep an eye on the nails, there is a status indicator added. Other essential features include a hex wrench, writing handbag, user manual, and limited manufacturer warranty.
- Power Source Battery Powered
- Tool Weight 9.44 lbs
- Manufacturing Material Plastic & Metal
- 100 nails per minute
- Lightweight and durable construction
- 700 nails per charge
- Dual firing mode
- Portable hook
- Convenient Power adjustment button
- No tool jam clearance
7. Ryobi 3 Piece 18V One+ Airstrike Brad Nailer
If you are looking for a brad nailer that is user-friendly along with being cordless, the Ryobi airstrike brad nailer is definitely for you. For ease of use, it comes with various beneficial options for the users. It has a belt clip that is feasible for changing the sides so that left-handed people can work efficiently using this tool. There is a knob present on the back that allows pressure adjustment.
The handle is rubber cased so that it can easily help during operation. What makes this gun special is the fact that it is user-friendly and offers efficiency and versatility all together. It can easily fire almost 1000 nails per charge which may not be a big number, but it can easily get your job done. Additionally, it has to offer both contact and trigger actuation and can fire 60 nails per minute when set to the former.Â
- Drive 18 gauge nails.
- Air pressure adjustment knob.
- LED lighting.
- Belt clip.
- Contact actuated mode and single sequential mode.
- P117 charger.
- Compact battery.
- It is very user-friendly.
- Can work up to shooting almost 1000 nails per charge.
- Fires nails ranging in size from 5/8 inches to 2 inches.
- On contact actuation, it can drive up to 60 nails per minute.
- It is quite heavy (almost 9 pounds)
- Shoots only brads and not staples.
8. KIMO 20V 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer
Offering value to your money and versatility, this tool by Kimo can work both as a nailer and stapler. It works with 18 gauge nailers ranging in size from Â¾ inches and 2 inches, and due to such a range, you can easily use it for a variety of applications. It offers adjustable drive length and can work on both trigger and contact actuation.Â
This brad nailer features a 20V battery and comes with a 1400 nail life. However, this brad nailer is a bit heavy to carry, weighing around 9 lbs, but looking at the multiple features it offers, you can ignore this factor. Bonus, no cords, no limits since the cordless design eliminates all the needs of hoses, air compressors, gas cartridges, etc.Â
- 2 in 1 operation including nailer and staple gun.
- Suitable for firing 18 gauge nails.Â
- Nails can range from sizes Â¾ inches to 2 inches.
- Fast switch between rapid and single fire.
- Sequential and contact actuation.
- 90 nails per minute.
- Light in weight.
- 1400 nail life.
- The range of fastener lengths is good.
- It can work as both a nailer and stapler.
- Long battery life.
- LED lights for error indication.
- Compact in size.
- Jams easily.
- It is complicated to clear the jam.
- Heavyweight around 9 lbs.
9. CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Brad Nailer
If you are looking for an 18 gauge brad nailer to be used for basic operations, this can be your go-to option. The Craftsman V20 cordless brad nailer is recognized for the simplicity it has to offer because even amateurs can easily use it. Additionally, it features tool-free settings that make it even more convenient and easy to use.
The design is fully cordless, so the need to use an air compressor, hose or gas cartridges is eliminated. It provides consistent firing no matter the climate conditions and what material is being used to work it on. Not only this, it provides optimal balance due to the optimal center of gravity and is easy to carry.Â
- 18 gauge brad nails.
- Finish nailer
- Fully cordless design.
- Consistent firing power.
- Tool-free depth settings.
- Tool-free jam release
- Over-molded handle.
- Belt hook for storage.
- Adjustable depth setting.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Tool-free settings.
- It has short battery life.
- It can only fire up to 420 nails per charge that is relatively low as compared to other brands.
- Under heavy use, this tool can overheat.
10. NEU MASTER NTC0023 Cordless Brad NailerÂ
Being user-friendly, this tool comes with a straightforward design that makes it super easy to be used. It also has to offer a non-marring rubber tip that is essential for preventing dents in the wood while you are driving nails on it. Not only this, it comes with a belt clip along with an on-board illumination feature as well.
What makes this tool special is the shooting efficiency that it has to offer. This is because it can easily shoot around 1100 nails in one charge. However, the fastener length can go up to only Â¼ inches which makes it limited for certain jobs; therefore, if you are going to work on such lengths, then this tool can prove to be a good option for you.
- Shoots up to 1100 nails per charge.
- 2 in 1 brad nailer and a staple gun.
- Lithium-ion battery.
- Flawless finish.
- User friendly.
- LED light for illuminating the work area.
- Includes a belt hook.
- Spiral drive technology.
- Can shoot both brads and staples.
- It is very user-friendly.
- Easy to put to work.
- Doesn’t offer versatility in terms of fasteners.
- Fastener length goes up to only Â¼ inches.
- Doesn’t drive-in.
- It can cause a delay between shots.
- Minimal power.
11. Makita AF506 Brad Nailer- best 18 gauge brad nailer for casing
Makita tools are known for their easy to use features and high quality manufacturing. This AF506N is an improved version of AF505N with some new and handy features. This pneumatic brad nailer can drive 18 gauge brad nails from 5/8 inches to 2 inches into both soft and hard wood applications. Thanks to the easy loading side magazine, you can add up to 100 nails. There is tool jam clearance, but the mechanism is operated by an innovative front mounted lever for convenient access.
The depth control knob of the power tool is located in front of the trigger to provide convenient and precise control over the brad nail depth penetration. I loved the ultra narrow nose design that allowed me to deal with the hard to reach areas. Additionally, the removable no-mar nose helps to protect the work surface from marring.
One of the prominent differences between AF505N and AF506N is the operating pressure of 70-120 psi which is slightly higher than the previous model. The best thing about high operation pressure is that it ensures the nails will fully penetrate the work piece. However, the downside is that it will reduce the service life of the electric brad nailer. There is a built-in air duster that wasn’t able with Makita AF505N that allows for cleaning the work surface with convenient airflow.
Makita AF506N has multi directional exhaust port to keep the power tool cool and prevent heat buildup. To prevent dry fire, the manufacturer has added a nail view window. As expected from a high quality 18 gauge brad nailer, the easy to use tool free depth adjustment dial makes the tool an ideal choice for a wide range of finish applications.
Its premium quality rubberized anti-slip soft grip provides a high level of comfort and keeps a secure hold for excellent control over the nailer. Makita is offering three years limited manufacturer warranty with 30 day money-back guarantee. The nailer package includes air fitting, two no-mar nose tips, nailer oil, a hard tool carrying case, and safety glasses.
- Power Source Electric Corded
- Tool Weight 2.86 lbs
- Manufacturing Material Plastic & Aluminum
- Operating Air Pressure 70-120 PSI
- Tool-free jam clearing mechanism
- Built-in air duster for quick and easy cleaning
- Tool-free depth adjustment
- Multi-directional 360 degree ratable exhaust
- Anti-slip rubber molded grip
- Lack of dry fire lockout
12. Milwauke M18 FUEL Brad Nailer- best 18 gauge brad nailer for crown molding
A battery powered brad nailer with exceptional performance, this Milwauke M18 is an improved version of the Gen 1 brad nailer. Weighing 6 pounds with a well balanced design, it allows to consistently driving nails to the proper depth in both hard and soft woods while leaving clean nail holes perfectly matching the head of the nail. The combination of POWERSTATE brushless motor and REDLINK PLUS intelligence offers with unmatched fire rate with zero ramp-up time.
This 18 gauge cordless brad nailer can drive 5/8 inches and 2-1/8 inches. The side loading magazine has the ability to hold 110 brad nailers. The indicator light keeps you informed about the firing modes. The continuous solid green light indicates you are on single sequential mode, and flashing green refers to the contact actuation mode. Equipped with Red Lithium 2.0 compact battery, Milwauke M18 FUEL Brad Nailer can drive 1500 nails per charge. Additionally, there are two firing modes, including sequential and contact actuation modes.
There is a dry lock feature added to prevent dry fires and scratching the surface. Thanks to the dial in depth adjustment, you can easily adjust the nail depth according to your needs. One of the most appealing features of this best 18 gauge brad nailer is its comfortable ergonomic handle which helps to keep the tool in place and helps to reduce fatigue.
The reversible belt hook offers great balance during use. Another notable improvement is the addition of three interchangeable contact tips, including small, wing, and general purpose tips. Using bright LED light, you can precisely fire brad nails during the late night working hours.
- Power Source Battery Powered
- Tool Weight 6.6 lbs
- Manufacturing Material Plastic & Metal
- 1500 nails per charge
- LED work light
- Dry-fire lockout function
- Sequential and contact actuation modes
- Adjustable belt hook
- 2 hours battery run time
- No battery and charger are included in the package
13. Senco 430101N SLP20XP- best 18 gauge brad nailer for baseboard
One of the best 18 gauge brad nailers for woodworking, finishing, paneling, cabinet making, and casing application, Senco 430101N features a Never-Lube design for providing virtually maintenance free operation. Operating at an Air Pressure of 70 to 120 PSI, the pneumatic 18 gauge brad nailer has a sequential actuation trigger type. The powerful tool can fire brad nails with 5/8 inches to 1-5/8 inches in length.
Thanks to the lightweight of only 2.3 lbs, you can easily maneuver and handle the tool in small places. It features an E-Z jam clearance function to quickly remove the jammed nails in a breeze. Featuring an easy side loading magazine, the brad nailer can hold up to 110 nails. It has an ergonomic handle that not reduces fatigue during prolonged usage but also prevents slipping when dealing with narrow spots.
Offering superior precision with an exceptional driving force, the brad nailer fires both slight and medium headed brad accurately. To be honest, I was impressed with the ultra quiet operation of the power tool. The superior power makes Senco brad nailer suitable for use on plastics, hardwood, and particleboard.
The only downside of the brad nailer is that it lacks depth adjustment, which means you have to adjust the brad nail manually. There are no additional accessories included in the package. I didn’t like the wide nose design because I wasn’t able to drive nails in narrow places. Other notable features include a hard carrying case and five year manufacturer warranty.
- Power Source Air Powered
- Tool Weight 2.3 lbs
- Manufacturing Material Magnesium & Plastic
- Operating Pressure 70 to 120 PSI
- Never-Lube® design
- Ultra quiet operation
- Easy maneuvering and handling
- Convenient side loading magazine
- 5 years warranty
- No depth adjustment
14. Campbell Hausfeld CHN10299AV- best 18 gauge brad nailer for Paneling
Finishing projects are always sensitive, and you can’t rely on an ordinary power tool. This Campbell Hausfeld air powered 18 gauge brad will make finishing tasks effortless with its superb nailing performance. Starting with the adjustable depth control, you can quickly set the required depth with an easy to use the knob. Quick jam release always works to reduce downtime by removing jammed brad nailers in no time.
Equipped with a quick, clear nose design, the Campbell brad nailer has non marrying tip to prevent dents and marks on the work surface. I hate mess on the work surface, and it was the handy adjustable exhaust that allowed setting the direction of spent air and clearing the surface for accurate nailing. Unfortunately, there is no dry lock feature, and you have to keep an eye on the nails before the magazine gets empty.
You can add up to 100 brad nails of 18 gauges in the convenient side loading magazine. The combination of lightweight and the compact design works best in hard to reach areas. The absence of LED light is one thing I missed during late night hours. Overall the grip was comfortable enough to reduce fatigue feelings when I was finishing the project after long working sessions.
A hard carrying case helps to keep tools arranged and safe from external damages. Although you can’t use the tool for commercial use but overall, the firing power of this pneumatic 18 gauge brad nailer is exceptional. This makes it a perfect tool for hard surfaces and plastic material. The manufacturer is offering a one-year limited warranty for this power tool. The package comes with 2 inches brad nailers (1000pcs), nailer oil, 2 Allen wrenches, a carrying case, and ¼ inches industrial plug.
- Power Source Air Powered
- Tool Weight 6.1 lbs
- Manufacturing Material Plastic & Metal
- Operating Pressure 90 PSI
- Adjustable depth control
- Quick-clear nose
- Non-marring tip
- An adjustable exhaust
- High-impact carrying case for convenient storage
- No dry lock function
Here is what you have to look for when you buy an 18 gauge brad nailer:
1. Pneumatic v/s Cordless:
You may need an 18 gauge cordless brad nailer for some architectural work, especially for trimming purposes, door and window casing, etc. The cordless brad nailers are more convenient when you have to work on small projects.Â
The pneumatic brad nailers are suitable for working in a workshop kind of a setting. However, cordless brad nailers are a bit costly as compared to the pneumatic ones, but if it comes in your budget, they can easily be hassle-free.
2. Types of Brad Nailers:
There are several types of brad nailers available in the market; however, choosing one completely depends on what suits you better and what tasks you have to perform. The different types of brad nailers are:
- Pneumatic brad nailers need a continuous supply of compressed air through air compressors.
- Electric brad nailers that require power from an electric motor.
- Battery-powered brad nailers that are convenient to use but can be limited to certain operations.Â
3. Nail sizes:
While almost all the brad nailers are 18 gauge, they are designed to work with nail sizes ranging from 5/8 inches up to 2 inches. The 18 gauge nail is not big and can bend when inserted into hardwood; therefore, they are mostly used along the opening edge of a door or window casing.
The loading system varies depending on brad nailer models. Some of the models use magnetic strips to hold the brads in position while they are being loaded in the magazine. Other models use cartridge systems to avoid spills and make loading simpler. However, magnetic strip loading is more popular and rated better among users because of its simplicity.
5. Depth adjustments:
You should always look for depth adjustment in a brad nailer because the good depth adjustment feature increases the usefulness of a brad nailer. Additionally, tool-free depth adjustment can turn out to be way simpler and easier for you; therefore, always look for a tool that has to offer this feature.
6. Angle Adjustments:
Different kinds of projects will require you to shoot nails at different angles. Therefore when you are selecting a brad nailer, make sure that you know what projects you are going to work on and the angle requirements so that you can easily compare it with the angle adjustments that the tool has to offer.
7. Adjustable Belt Hook:
An adjustable belt hook allows the users to place the brad nailer on their side while they are working on their venture. Most of the brands offer this feature in their kits because of the simplicity and ease it has to offer. This is because it keeps the user’s hands-free while they are working on their project. To ease out your trimming or molding task, you make sure there is an adjustable belt hook present in the tool you are going to buy.Â
Progressive brad nailers are expensive compared to regular ones. If you are professional, getting your hands on a progressive brad nailer can be a good option.
9. 16 VS 18 GAUGE NAILER- Choosing the right Power tool
Should I go with an 18 gauge brad nailer, or will a 16 gauge brad nailer is the right tool? That’s where most people don’t know which tool is best for their needs. An understanding of these two types of brad nailers will help you to make the right choice.
What does Gauge mean?
In simple words, the gauge refers to the number of nails in one inch when they are lined up side by side. Nails that fit eighteen in one inch are thinner compared to the ones that only have sixteen per inch.
Remember the simple rule; a lower gauge number means a thicker nail.
Right fastener plays a vital role in a successful project and when it comes to wood working, choosing the appropriate nail thickness is critical to achieving quality results.
16 Gauge Nailers
A 16 gauge finish nail comes with a 0.0625-inch thick shank and is usually supplied in 1 to 31/2-inch lengths. The type of nailer is thicker, so it can hold better than 18 gauge brads. You can use the nailer to fasten thick, dense pieces of wood.
Here are common uses of 16 gauge brad nails for both construction and installation.
- Crown and base moldings
- Chair rails
- Stair cases
- Exterior trim
A 16 gauge finish nail has versatile nature, but there are some noticeable drawbacks too. The aggressive power of the tool makes you liable on more delicate work surfaces.
The nail is thick, and it can split things such as small moldings. Another disadvantage of a 16 gauge nail is that it needs significant force to get through thick, dense wood or MDF (medium density fiberboard). Such power adds to the tendency to split thinner wood.
The head of 16 gauges is larger than 18 gauge brad, and it can leave a bigger hole that needs to sand.
- Penetrate thick wood and MDF
- Good holding power
- 1-3½ inch length is easily available
- Creates big holes in work surface
- Spits thin wood
18 gauge nailers
The 18 gauge brad nails have 0.0475 inches thick and commonly comes in ½ to 2½ inch lengths. A brad or pin excels with softer and more fragile pins such as
- Decorative molding
- Trim work
- Paneling and veneer
If you are into more intricate finishing work, the 18 gauge nailer is made for you. Another benefit of this brad nailer is that it has a small head, and it leaves a less prominent nail hole than a 16 gauge finish nail. You don’t often need to fill or sand the holes.
However, there are certain limitations with this nailer. It uses less power to prevent splitting or to harm the surface. The dark side is that it doesn’t penetrate thick wood pieces of MDF.
The thinner shank lacks holding power compared to 16 gauge nails.
- Less filling and sanding needed for nail hole
- Gentle on fine and delicate surfaces
- ½-2½ inch lengths are easily available
- Doesn’t penetrate MDF properly
- Less length than 16 gauges