Which Nail Gun Do I Need to Buy?

– Hey, I'm Caleb with
"You Can Make This Too." Finish nailers can be really
great to have in the shop, but there's a lot of options. So in this video I'm
gonna talk about gauges, pneumatic versus battery, and some tips on how to
use 'em that I picked up. First, let's talk gauges. Gauges you probably are gonna run into are 15, 16, 18, and 23. 16 gauge, 18 gauge, 23 gauge. 15 and 16 are your finish nailers, 18 is also called your brad, and the 23 is called a pin nailer. So if someone says brad 18 and 23, finish is probably a 15 or a 16. Difference between 15 and 16 is diameter. 15 is a little thicker, but also I don't have a 15, but 16s will have lots of brad. 16s will have a straight
magazine and straight nails, whereas the 15 will be angled. And the sizes go backwards. 15 is the largest, 23 is the smallest because these are wire nails. They're actually made from wire that's cut and then they smush a head onto it. So the gauge or diameter
comes from the wire gauge that they're cut from and
wire gauges go backwards 'cause of how wire is made.

They start with the big
wire and then they pass them through dies and each die
you know compresses it, makes it a little bit smaller, or stretches it rather. Though they start with a zero wire, then pull it through the
first die, gauge one, second die, gauge three, and as you go through more dies, you get smaller and then
they'd call that the gauge. And then later on they
actually then measured what all those gauges
was and made standards. But anyway, what gauge do
you wanna use for what? Well a 15 and 16 are what
you're most likely gonna be using for trim and finish work.

So, if you're doing finish carpentry, so baseboard, casing,
crown molding, chair rails, all that kind of stuff. These are the nails ideal for that. And again, the 15 is angled and the 16 is. And next is the 18 gauge, the brad nailer. Most times that you're driving trim, you're looking at 5/8
to 3/4 of an inch thick. But that larger nail is probably gonna split material that's thinner than that. So that's when we step up to the brad. So that's great for material
that's a 1/2 inch in thickness or less, again that smaller nail means it's less likely to split. And it also means it leaves a smaller hole that's easier to hide. That's why most people in woodworking when they're using a nailer to just attach small pieces
or hold things together until glue sets, they go to a brad nailer.

'Cause it does have a head
so it has some holding power. But it's really small so you won't have as obvious of a repair
after you putty over it, then apply finish, or paint, or whatever. And then lastly, we have
the 23 gauge pin nailer which shoots tiny nails. Often they are headless,
but you can also get semi-headed nails which
have a very tiny head. And this is just for very light-duty work. They have a little bit of sheer strength, very little pull resistance. But the nice thing about a pin nailer is the nails are so small, you can often get away without even having to fill the heads. – So for example, when I recently did 100 beer flight boxes, and I needed something to
hold those boxes together while the epoxy set, and you know, I didn't have 400 clamps to use, I was able to just use a
couple pin nails in each joint to hold the box together
while the epoxy set.

Or if you're doing very
small ornamental pieces on furniture, building
doll houses, you know, that kind of stuff where you're gonna be backing it up with glue, pin nailers are fantastic. 'Cause again, you won't have
to worry about covering up, filling a bunch of nail head spots. And the other thing to
be aware of with gauge is the thickness correlates to the lengths available a little bit. Obviously, the smaller nails will only come in shorter sizes. The brad nailers are
normally shoot 1/2 inch to one inch nails. This range you'll see when you go to the finish nailers at 16. Normally they're available
from one inch to 2.5 inches. And in the brad nailers, 18 gauge, you're looking at 5/8 to two inches.

So you can get the longest
fastener out of the trim nailers. Of course if you're woodworking, you're probably needing a 2.5 inch nail for the kind of stuff we do. But when you're shooting a 3/4 inch trim then through half inch drywall then trying to get into a
stud or header or footer, you know obviously the extra length helps. A good rule of thumb is
whatever thickness the material you're shooting through is, you want a fastener at
least twice that length. Which is why the brad nailer
tends to be what you see in the wood shop a lot. 'cause a lot of times we're
dealing with 3/4 or less material than that 3/4 inch material. You know, we can get
a inch and a half nail to go through it without a problem. And if you're just trying to
hold it on while glue sets even a one inch is fine. And then when we're dealing with you know, 1/2 inch material or less, those one inch nails or
going down to 5/8 is perfect. There's plenty enough range. You're probably not gonna need
more than a two inch nail.

The biggest I keep on hand is one and 3/4. And I seldom bust that out. Okay next up we're gonna talk
battery versus pneumatic. Pneumatics have been around a lot longer. We moved into portable pneumatics. Paslode I think was one of the first either using CO2 cartridges
or butane cartridges. But now battery technology's
taken off enough that battery nailers are available. Everything from pin nailers all the way up to framing nailers even. Of course, I have a rigid
battery-operated brad nailer. Okay getting into the details, I'm gonna talk pneumatic first. These tend to be a little less expensive than the battery options.

However, you need a compressor. So if you don't have a compressor that could be an added expense, though you can often get combination kits that have a little
small pancake compressor and two or three different nailers. 'Course with that compressor
that means you're tethered. You have a hose. So you gotta be pulling a hose around. And it kinda limits you
depending on how portable your compressor is and
where you have electricity. But they tend to be lighter, and they tend to shoot a lot faster. So if I have to shoot a lot of nails, that's the one time when
I pull out my pneumatic instead of using my battery these days. And as far as maintenance goes one thing you have to remember is you need to oil these
every day when you use them. Okay now jumping over to the battery. First thing you probably
notice is this is a lot bigger. This is the brad nailer. Here is a pneumatic brad nailer. This is significantly heavier and larger. But one of the things
I get is portability. I don't have a tether. I'm not tied to anything.

And also anywhere that
I have live batteries or charged batteries I can use this. I don't have to worry about
being able to set a compressor, plug it in, keep it charged, et cetera. 'Course there's some argument to be said for keeping air tanks. But, yeah the batteries
are gonna run a lot longer than little air tanks will. Also these tend to be oil-less, but on the downside they
are a little slower. So there's not much maintenance, like I said, they're oil-less. But the way, at least, mine works, I think there's some new tech out there, but these tend to shoot a lot slower. Normally for the kind of things I'm doing it isn't a problem and
it doesn't slow me down waiting on this to reset the hammer.

Also this gun is a little louder than the pneumatic when it fires, but because we don't have the compressor that also means they don't
have a compressor kicking on. So overall when you're
dealing with a compressor cycling the pneumatic
tends to be a lot louder, or if you have a loud compressor, which I mean most of us do, I think. All right, getting into tips a little bit. If you use a pneumatic I
wanna talk about hoses. This is a PVC hose, and you'll notice it's quite rigid. I mean, and it tends to kind of wanna stay in place then kind of return. It's not very flexible. These are pretty inexpensive. This is the 3/8 internal
diameter, I think.

So this is a common size you normally see. If you're gonna go PVC I recommend getting the
really thin 1/4 inch stuff. It handles the pressures that you're gonna run
these guns at just fine. And it's lighter and more mobile. Oftentimes they're coiled. But if you want a longer hose or just a heavier duty hose, get the hybrid instead
of the poly you see. I always get the hybrid hoses because I mean, they just, they move. They drag around a lot easier. There's every time I have
to use a hose like this I end up knocking something
over or pulling something over. And then you're fighting the whole hose because you're not just having to pull it, you're having to pull any kinks out of it.

And then you know, whoever happened to stick their foot inside of it or beside it you've gotta pull them
over to get your nailer where you're trying to get to. So get hybrid hoses or
get the really thin hoses. Not these. Just don't get these. Okay, the next tip has to do with how we shoot the nails. So the way nails are held
in is just by friction from splitting the wood fibers. So they go in and split the wood fibers. Then it just depends on the wood fibers holding, squeezing them in place. So there's pretty go sheer resistance. But there's very little resistance to pieces being pulled off. So I like, and, but you're tendency is it seems right to just shoot straight.

So boom, boom, boom. A better way that I picked
up from my friend, Chris, a glimpse inside is to
shoot them at angles and oppose them, alternating. And what we did is just
created the dove-tail shape. And what this does is instead of just being
held in place by friction, now we're actually
creating a mechanical joint by having this opposing geometry. Because in order to pull this piece off this nail needs to move that way. But the nail on the other
side is opposing it. So if you shoot all your
nails that way as you go, then your stuff's gonna hold
on a lot tighter and stronger. Earlier I mentioned that
these are actually wire, and then they're pinched off, and then all glued together. So when this, what the cutter does is it
clips the wire this way. So you'll notice these have a wedge, and there's a point in the middle, then they slope off to the left and right. And they smush the back to make a head. But this wedge is important. Because when we put the nails in our gun our wedge is on the left
side and right side.

So I'm sure you've all, if you've used a trim nailer before, you've had blow-out. Well the way to prevent that is to keep in mind the way the wedge goes. So you'll, if I wanna shoot a nail. Well a better example would be this way. I'm always gonna shoot
it in this orientation because this is the way that nail's going so that wedge is either
gonna push my nail this way or that way. If I shoot it like this now my nails are like this and that wedge, if it's gonna dive, it's gonna dive this way or that way. And that's how I'm gonna get blow-out. So if you're always shooting perpendicular to what you wanna go into then you're never gonna have a blow-out. 'Cause if this bends
it's still just gonna go where I want it to. – [Child] Oh! Cool. – And there you go. You can see even when I was
really close to the edge, as long as I had the gun perpendicular then it still shot straight through.

But when I was close to the edge, even just a slight cant, and nails hit some grain, and blew out the sides. So always make sure you go perpendicular. And there you go. That's an overview of trim nailers. I hope this was helpful. Little dude said he hadn't
been in a video in a while, and he wanted to, so. You having fun? Yeah, okay, good. Well I hope you were inspired, learned something, or
at least entertained.

Until next time, make
time to make something. – Daddy, can I be in, daddy? – What? – I wanna make something. – Okay, we can make something soon. You wanna make your stool? Yeah, all right we'll
make your stool soon. You ready to get down? – I wanna paint my stool. – Oh that's right! We were gonna paint it. Yeah, we can do that soon..

As found on YouTube

Related Posts