15g vs 16g Finish Nailer: Which One Do You Need?

The finish nailer is the most versatile type of nailer. This nailer is great for woods that are thick in width.

A finish nailer does not work well with delicate or thin trim wood pieces.

The best thing about the finish nailer is it has strong holding power. If you are attaching heavy and large wood pieces such as wide crown molding, baseboards or cabinetry, finish nailer is the best choice for you.

If you do not use a finish nailer then, the wood pieces will pull away from the wall. This happens because when you install the crown molding or the baseboards, you attach it directly to the drywall.

The drywall is not a very sound material to anchor to, using any other nailer except finish nailer will make it detach with time.

The finish nailer gives stronger attachment, and this happens especially when you hit the studs a few times for good measure. The nails used in finish nailer have a large diameter.

Therefore, it holds the wood piece more strongly than another type of nailer. If you want your wood to stay in the right place then, select the right finish nailer for you.

Once the finish nailer was rare and expensive, but now the prices have come down and widely used among the DIY carpenters.

15-gauge finish nailer

This is for grabbing nails 3 or 4 inches thick. This is an excellent choice for jobs like nailing stair treads or doorjambs. The 15 gauge finish nailers have a large piston, and because of the extra bulk, this has angled magazine hence, you can reach the narrow spots.

Best 15 Gauge Finish Nailers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer with Air Duster
  • Integrated air duster can be used to clear away dust and debris from the work surface in preparation for nailing or gluing
  • Tool less, easy to clear nose for quick nail extraction should a nail jam during use
  • Selective actuation switch allows for either sequential or contact nailing with a simple flip of the switch no tools or parts required
  • Tool less depth of drive dial adjusts for flush fastening into varying materials for improved control and a professional finish
  • 360 degree fully adjustable exhaust portal directs air exhaust away from the user or work piece
Bestseller No. 2
Makita AF635 15 Gauge, 2-1/2" Angled Finish Nailer, 34⁰,
  • Powerful motor drives 15 gauge "DA" style angled finish nails from 1-1/4" to 2-1/2"
  • Magnesium body, aluminum MAGAZINE and cylinder deliver strength and durability
  • "Tool-less" depth adjustment for more precise flush and Countersink nailing
  • Nail lock-out mechanism protects tool and work surface from dry-fires
  • Built-in air duster provides convenient air flow to clear work surface

16-gauge finish nailer

Like the 15 gauge nailers, most of the 16 gauge nailers shoot nails that are 2 to ½ inches long. This is suitable for thick trim. The carpenters love 16 gauge finish nailer more than 15 gauge.

Best 16 Gauge Finish Nailers

DEWALT DC618K XRP 18-Volt Cordless 1-1/4 Inch - 2-1/2 Inch 16 Gauge 20 Degree Angled Finish Nailer Kit
  • Engine design allows the tool to work as fast as the end user with consistent nail penetration into both soft and hard joints
  • Sequential operating mode allows for precision placement and the bump operating mode provides the user with production speed.
  • Easy access to the nosepiece for the removal of jammed nails without the use of screwdrivers or tool wrenches
  • Contact Trip Lock-Off allows trigger to be disabled when not in use. 20-degree angled magazine (up to 120 nail capacity) and will accept DEWALT and most other 20-degree angled finish nails
  • Integrated LED lights for long life and durability; Top cap is impact resistant and easy to remove for troubleshooting
DEWALT DCN660B 20V 16 Gauge 20° Finish Nailer
  • Integrated LED lights
  • Bump operating mode
  • 20-degree finish nailer
  • Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18

15g vs 16g finish nailer: Comparison

While choosing a finish nailer, one of the significant factors is the gauge or size of the nail it fires. Most of the carpenters carry 15g, 16g, 18g and 23g nailers along with them. However, if you are a homeowner, then you surely want to buy one. One of the toughest decisions is to choose between a 15g and 16g finish nailer. Let’s get to know which finish nailer is used for what purpose then, you would be able to select the right one for you.

The gauge of the finish nail is the measure of the diameter of the nail. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the nail is and the lower the number, the thicker the nail is.

The 15g and 16g finish nailer are the real anchors of this nailer trim. With the help of these two tools, you can fire nails up to 2 to ½ inches long, and this is the most useful for DIY carpentry. These two also have a bit overlap when it comes to application. These two are mostly used for installing the door, chair rail, baseboard, window casing, door frames, crown molding and lots more. The advantage of the 15g nail is they collate at an angle. This allows the nose of the finish nailer to reach into narrow spaces.

But, there is nothing that can beat the 16g nailer. You must be wondering why it is. Well, you can use the 16g nailer for any project whether small or big. The best thing about the 16g finish nailer is, it is smaller and lighter. This is because the 16g nails are smaller than 15g in diameter.

Learn More About Crown Stapler vs Brad Nailer

A lot of the DIY carpenters believe that you can find a large variety of straight and angled magazine 16g finish nailer. However, many believe 15g gives you more holding power as the nails used in this nailer is larger in size. But, the most popular finish nailer among the people who purchase one tool for occasional use or DIY is, the 16 gauge nailers.

Final Words

Now, you already have an idea about the uses of finish nailer. In most cases, the occasional carpenters either use the wrong finish nailer or spend their money on two nailers.

This is why it is better to have a clearer idea of the product you are purchasing. In most of the household uses, we need the 16g nailer.

But, if you already have one and planning to buy another one, then 15g is a must for you. No matter which one you buy, make sure you buy the one that suits your needs.

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Jerry Jhonson

Jerry Johnson is a tech & tool geek who loves to talk, discuss and review different tools used for our day to day life. All the tools reviews and guides described in this site are completely from his personal experience and own observations.

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