Angled Nail Gun – Everything You Need to Know

Angled Nail GunAngled or straight, each nail guns are made for different purposes. People sometimes get confused between using an angled and straight nail gun.

Today, I’ll discuss an angled nail gun and help you to clear your mind about it.

What Is an Angled Nail Gun?

The word “Angle” here refers to the magazine instead of the gun. That means in an angled nail gun the magazine angles back toward your hand.

In a straight nail gun, the magazine fire nails into the wood at a 90-degree angle and stay perpendicular to your work surface.

Angled magazine shortens the nail gun size and makes it more versatile to use. Mainly framing and finishing nail guns come with angled magazines and different angle indicates different applications.

Angled Nail Gun – Some Basics You Should Know First

Straight Nail Gun

Before you get to know about angled nailers you should know about straight nailers first so that it gets easy for you to understand.

A straight nailer stays parallel to the ground and it is L shaped, with the nail chamber extending from the gun. Straight nail guns use comparably thinner nails and because of that nail head isn’t as visible.

It’s hard for a straight nail gun to get into tighter spots, the plain work surface is more preferable for a straight nail gun. A straight nail gun is mostly used for basic framing and building projects.

A straight nail gun isn’t precise and agile like an angled nail gun.

The Good Things About Straight Nail Guns

  • Great for basic and straightforward buildings and framing.
  • Nailing holes are smaller for a straight nail gun, so its’ easy to hide a nailing hole.
  • Straight nail guns are cheaper than angled nail guns.

The Bad Things About Straight Nail Guns

  • They are bulkier than angled nail guns.
  • Straight nail guns don’t fit into tighter spots.

Angled Nail Gun

In an angled nail gun, the nail magazine can hold more nails than a straight nail gun and the nails are a little larger and tougher. They are specifically designed to fit into tight spots.

Note: The steeper the angle, the more space you can save.

The Good Things About Angled Nail Guns

  • They are ideal for crown molding, cabinet making.
  • Easier to install trim/baseboards around doors, corners, and walls.
  • More effective nailing.
  • Perfect for tighter spots.

The Bad Things About Angled Nail Guns

  • Harder to find on the market.
  • More expensive than straight nail guns.

Angled Framing Nail Guns

Framing nail guns come in a wide range of types and collations i.e. clipped head, plastic strip, wire coil, etc. The angle in a framing nail gun refers to the nail collation.

Nails are driven straight or perpendicularly on your work surface. You should know that framing nail gun angle/degree may depend on your geological location of your working area.

Now, I’m going to discuss different angles of framing nail guns.

15-Degree Framing Nail Guns

Framing nail guns are either stick-type or wire collated type. 15-degree nail guns are wire collated. Here, wire collated means that the nails are held together by thin wire strips and slanted at a 15-degree angle.

The nails in a 15-degree framing nail gun are full-round-head shaped which is preferred shape for building code.

The main benefits of a 15-degree framing nail gun are –

  • Can access floor joist
  • Preferred for wall studs
  • Tight corners in framing applications
  • Can hold 200-300 nails per magazine
  • Less reloading time extends work progress
  • Less affected by moisture, as is the case with paper collation.

The downside of a framing nail gun is that it is heavier than other framing nail guns. The higher number of nails can put extra weight for you to work larger projects, especially when working overhead.

21-Degree Nail Guns

These types of nail guns vary between 20 – 22-degree, depending on the manufacturer. 21-degree framing nail guns also use full-round-head nails like 15-degree models.

The nails in a 21-degree nail gun are held by a plastic strip, as opposed to the wire coil. They can hold 60-70 nails per magazine and the increased angle allows it to reach tighter spots than a 15-degree nail gun.

The plastic strips break apart when firing nails, so always wear safety glasses first.

28-Degree Framing Nail Guns

These nail guns are collated by wire strips and use clipped head nails. The nails of a 28-degree framing nail gun are “nested” together, so their nails overlap somewhere.

Most building codes do not permit clipped head nails, so you must consider this before buying.

30 – 34-Degree Framing Nail Guns

These types of framing nail guns are more versatile than other nail guns. 30-degree models are a step up compared to 21-degree framing nail guns.

But, 30-degree framing nail guns are much lighter in weight so you can carry them for longer periods. Their increased angle gives them access to tighter spots that no other nail guns can reach.

30 – 34-degree nail guns nail clips are tightened together using paper instead of plastic and as a result, more nails can be attached. They use full head nails, which is preferred for building codes.

Using paper strips for nails provides larger magazines to a 30-degree framing nail gun.

Angled Finishing Nail Gun

Between an angled finishing nail gun and a straight finishing nail gun, there is a lot to talk about.

I’ve seen people asking that what is the difference between angled and straight finish nailers and I’ll discuss it now. This will help you to get an overview of which finishing nailer you are going to need.

Finishing nailers were made for finish carpentry work. It is used for –

  • Fastening trim molding to doors and windows.
  • Crown molding.
  • Baseboards.
  • Assembling kitchen cabinets.
  • Attaching wainscoting.

Finishing nail guns come in different sizes and angles. The answer might not be obvious on whether you need an angled finish nail gun or straight finish nail gun. This depends on your working situation and area.

Differences Between Angled and Straight Finish Nail Guns

Let’s look at the differences between angled and straight finish nail guns.

The appearance of the nail guns

If you look at a finishing nail gun, you will be able to tell whether it’s angled or straight. The angled finishing nail gun has an angled magazine and straight finishing nail gun got a straight magazine.

Nail size

An angled finish nail gun can fire much thicker 15-gauge nails into the wood where straight finish nail guns can fire 16-gauge nails.

Angled nail guns allow shooting stronger and thicker nails to your tight spots which makes them suitable for heavy construction sites.

If you are into basic framing and trimming, then you should use straight finish nail guns or you can end up splitting your woodwork for using angled finish nail guns.

Reaching tight spots

Straight finish nail guns cannot access to tighter spots as angled nail guns.

Angled nail guns are specially made for reaching tighter spots. Their angled magazine and extended nose allow them to fit in tighter spots without any hindrance.

Angled magazine in an angled finish nail gun also leads to more acute and secure nail shooting.

If you want to do angle firing with a straight nail gun then you have to tilt the tip of the gun to the required angle. Now, if the nails are not shot at the required angle, it can become airborne and occur accidents.

Cost efficiency

Angled nail guns are expensive than straight nail guns. The 15-gauge nails used in an angled finish nail gun are more expensive than thinner 16-gauge nails used in a straight nail gun.

Weight of the gun

Straight finish nail guns are bulkier and heavier than angled nail guns. Carrying a straight finish nail gun can be tiring for you.

Angled finish nail guns are light and easy to carry. They are used in elevated areas without putting too much effort.

Nailhead shape

Angled finish nail guns have nailhead shaped like the letter ‘D’ and straight finish nail guns have their nail head shaped like the letter ‘T’.

These are pretty much the basic differences between angled and straight finish nail guns. Read them carefully and relate yourself to which type is perfect for you.

FAQ Related To Angled Nail Gun

What Is an Angled Nail Gun?

When the nail gun magazine in nail gun angles back towards your hand, it is called an angled nail gun.

In a straight nail gun, the nail gun magazine is fixed perpendicularly to your work surface.

What Is the Best Angled Nail Gun?

Many manufacturers are producing angled nail guns every year.

Hitachi NT65MA4, Freeman PFN1564, Bostitch N62FNK-2, these are the three best angled nail guns available on the market now

My Final Words

Before choosing a nail gun always consider your geological location and working surface. Otherwise, you will not be able to finish your nailing properly.

Read my instructions attentively, it will help you to decide whether you need a straight nail gun or an angled nail gun.

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