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Thread: 16 vs 18 gauge nailer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    fargo ND
    Posts
    79

    16 vs 18 gauge nailer?

    i have and have been using for quite some time an 18 gauge nailer/stapler that staples just great. it also nails just like a nailer/stapler does which leaves a large staple sized mark. i would like to buy a nailer that is only a nailer (in hopes it wont leave a mark) and leave my combo to just be a stapler.

    should i get a 16 gauge nailer or continue with 18 gauge? my primary use is with 3/4" birch ply and occasional 1/2" ply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Courtenay BC Canada
    Posts
    2,277
    Dave, I dont know what your using it for, if your a furniture guy.. I would first look at a 23 ga pinner..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Texas Hill Country, USA
    Posts
    1,948
    I use both a 16 ga. and an 18 ga. nailer almost every day. The 16 ga. is for 3/4" ply and the 18 ga. is for 1/2" ply. If you use the 16 ga. on 1/2" ply, you will find that it will often split a piece of the wood off if you are not right in the center of the wood. I would just get both guns and keep your current "stapler." It is worth it for me. YMMV

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    fargo ND
    Posts
    79
    thanks. what length nail do you use for the 3/4" ply? i have been using 2" 18 gauge with the 3/4" and 1.25" for the 1/2". i have enough trouble with 18 gauge on the 1/2" so i hear what you are saying (easy to pop the nail out the side)

    this is for cases that live in/get bumped around in trucks in all weather. boses are usually painted with truck bed liner and have metal corners. they get scratched, bruised and sometimes wet.

    the joints hold really well but i am getting tired of chasing hundreds of staple marks with filler when i use nails. i am hoping a dedicated nailer will solve this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    666
    Dave,

    I also own a Bostitch combo 18 gauge nailer/stapler and I had the same problem. I felt it left too big of a nail hole in fine work. I own a Bostitch 23 gauge pinner but I stil wanted to purchase a dedicated 18 gauge brad nailer. A couple of days ago I noticed one of our fellow Creekers posted a great deal on Amazon.com. On Amazon, there is a factory reconditioned 18 gauge Bostitch brad nailer that usually sells for 99.99 and of the time of this post it is on sale for $33.23 and free shipping. It was too good to pass up as I ordered one a couple of days ago and it should arrive on Monday. You might want to take a look, I know from experience Amazon has a bad habit of shifting prices back to the regular price without warning.

    Factory-Reconditioned Bostitch U/BT200K 18 gauge brad nailer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    37,924
    16 gage "nailers" are pretty much the same as your 18 gage gun...they are both brad guns that shoot tee-toped wire brads. The only reason your current gun leaves such a large mark is that the plunger required to shoot both brads and staples is as wide as the staples. 16 gage units are more often used for trim work in homes where you need the holding power of the larger fastener. They are less popular for woodworking due to the larger hole.

    Honestly, I use my pinner a lot. And I only use my 18 gage brad guns or 15 gage angle gun for carcass assembly where I want the speed of "clamping" they bring to the job and only when they will be completely hidden. I use the pinner for that clamping purpose when installing face frames on built-ins where the frames go on in-situ after the cabinet boxes are installed without them. The pins pretty much disappear and the glue does the work.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    fargo ND
    Posts
    79
    i think i'll try and get an 18 gauge nailer then, that does seem to work well now minus the gouge. i'm happy with the overall clamping and strength with 18 gauge. honestly i'm pretty new to the air nailer part of life; i was shown the light about a year ago and it radically changed the way i go about constructing. a friend of mine showed me his nailer, how to use it and i was hooked.

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