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Old 06-03-2014, 05:58 PM   #1
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Nailes & gauges


I have some outside projects that might make it worth buying a finish nail gun. I will be nailing PT. yellow pine & later some miratec & MDF inside the house. Theres a big difference in gun cost between the 16 gauge finish nailers & the 18 gauge finish nail models. Since Im just a residential home owner & the use would be limited to around the house projects, I don't want to overspend for the 16 gauge when the 18 gauge would work as well. My projects with the finish nails are for nailing up some light porch framing rails as a stop for the aluminum screen frames on the porch.

Inside the house the projects are light materials for fireplace mantel & to finish hanging some MDF crown moulding & baseboard trim. Is there a real difference in the 16 Vs 18 gauge with these projects. I assume the only difference is that 16 gauge is a thicker nail & a little more stronger.

Im thinking of getting the Hitachi 18 Ga. finish nail gun. It shoots 5/8" to 2" long nails or brads. Thanks for the advice.

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Old 06-03-2014, 06:13 PM   #2
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Any trim being nailed into pressure treated need to be hot double dipped galvanized or stainless steel.
Nail gun galvanized nails are electro plated and will corrode off within a year.

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Old 06-03-2014, 07:09 PM   #3
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joe is correct, standard galvy gun nails for finish guns rust very quickly . i only use stainless steel nails when doing exterior work, yes you will pay more for them but they will last as long as the wood will. 18 gauge is far too light for exterior work unless your doing small moldings around windows or deck post details, there is too much seasonal movement in the wood for 18 gauge nails to properly hold so i recommend using 15 gauge or 16 gauge with glue

for the handrail dont even consider using a finish nailer, its not strong enough, use deck screws or a framing gun. in most regions deck hand rails have to be able to withstand roughly 260 lbs of lateral force

for interior use a 18 gauge nailer is perfectly fine for small moldings and crown, if your hanging a door or building a custom closet use 16 gauge for the added holding power
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information about the nails. I do know galvanized need to be used. I assumed galvanized were available for a nail gun. But Im still in need of understanding if there is a large difference between 16 & 18 gauge. Hope someone can let me know. Thanks.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:21 PM   #5
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Yes, there is a large difference between 16 and 18 gauge as several posters have explained. Ron
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:34 PM   #6
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Thanks. Im trying to learn the limits of these nails. Also I see nails marked on the boxes-Electro Galvanized and some that say electro plated. I know the electro plated ones are not to be used on PT lumber. But what about the electro galvanized. I assume those are the right nails for the PT lumber. Thanks
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:48 AM   #7
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18 gauge are basically a small wire headless nail and have very little holding power they are really only used for trim and decretive moldings which are under no pressure. A 15 or 16 gauge uses an actual nail with a head. And when you buy nails they will say approved for pressure treated. I don't think I have ever seen 18 gauge with this warning.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:17 AM   #8
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i think senco makes 18 gauge nails that are approved for pressure treated, if they are there will be a big logo that says ACQ approved on the box
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
18 gauge are basically a small wire headless nail and have very little holding power they are really only used for trim and decretive moldings which are under no pressure. A 15 or 16 gauge uses an actual nail with a head. And when you buy nails they will say approved for pressure treated. I don't think I have ever seen 18 gauge with this warning.
Thanks. Exactly the information I was looking for!

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