Nail Gun Size Chart and Types of Nails for All Kinds of Jobs

Construction workers have conventionally replaced hammers with nail guns due to their fast installation of nails. The most standard available types are 15 gauge, 16 gauge, 18 gauge, and 23 gauge nails. The higher the number, the thinner the nail and the smaller the hole. They were created to drive nails into a piece of wood or object (skip straight to the nail gun size charts).

Nail Gun Size Chart and Types of Nails for All Kinds of Jobs
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Nail guns differ from each other in how they are powered for example the pneumatic nail gun uses compressed gas to create force pressure to drive in fasteners but the pneumatic tool is connected to the air compressor with a hose which users find hindering unlike the combustion nail guns are not tethered with a hose but have containers with flammable gas.

For household repairs and small jobs, the cheap electric nail gun and a battery-powered nailer are highly recommended. Other types of nail guns include palm nailers, roofing nail guns, flooring nail guns, framing nail guns, finishing nail guns, and many others.

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Nail Gun Gauge Chart

It’s imperative to know the nail gun gauge chart before the purchase of the nail guns also thinner nails have a huge gauge number.

As stated by the nail gauge chart there consists six different types of nailers and nail gauge sizes that use various kinds of nail sizes and nail types for nailing purposes. They are;

  • Pin Nailer – the pin nail guns are specially used for trimming and the gauge nail preferred is the 21 gauge gun
  • Roofing Nailer – is best for roofing projects that deal with woodwork and uses three kinds of nail guns 10, 11, and 12 gauge.
  • Brad Nailer – it’s one of the most popular nail guns, and newbies can operate it since it’s not heavy and only works with the 18-gauge nail.
  • Flooring Nailer – its usage is both with nails and a stapler. The gauge nail gun used are 15, 16, 18, or 20.
  • Finish Nailer – For indoor home projects like nailing a bookshelf use a finish nail gun. The gauge nail used is the 15-gauge nail gun and the 16-gauge nail gun that work on door casings and crown molding.

Types of Nails

The right type of nail is paramount to fit the nail gun that one requires. A nail is divided into three parts; the shaft, a nail head, and nail designs.

Furthermore, they also come in various shapes and sizes like shorter nails, larger nails, thicker nails, fatter nails, and many more. For nail heads, we have round head nails and clipped nail heads which are more common types.

Each nail is made with its own purpose here are some of the examples of nail designs common nails, box nails, brad nails, flooring nails, roofing nails, siding nails, pin nails, finish nails, trim nails, framing nails, and many others.

Learn more about different nail gun sizes and types (video)

Which Nail Gun Do I Need to Buy? by YouCanMakeThisToo

Discover Nail Gun Size Chart and Guide

SizeLength in inches and centimetersGauge Number per lbs and kilograms
2d1 inches 2.54 centimeters15840 pounds 381.01 kilograms
3d1 ¼ inches 3.17 centimeters14540 pounds 244.9 kilograms
4d1 ½ inches 3.81 centimeters12 ½   290 pounds 131.5 kilograms
5d1 ¾ inches 4.44 centimeters12 ½ 250 pounds 113.3 kilograms
6d2 inches 5.08 centimeters11 ½ 160 pounds 72.57 kilograms
7d2 ¼ inches 5.71 centimeters11 ½ 150 pounds 68.03 kilograms
8d2 ½  inches 6.35 centimeters10 ¼ 100 pounds 45.35 kilograms
9d2 ¾ inches 6.98 centimeters10 ¼ 90 pounds 40.82 kilograms
10d3 inches 7.62 centimeters965 pounds 29.48 kilograms
12d3 ¼ inches 8.25 centimeters960 pounds 27.21 kilograms
16d3 ½ inches 8.89 centimeters845 pounds 20.41 kilograms
20d4 inches 10.16 centimeters630 pounds 13.60 kilograms
30d4 ½ inches 11.43 centimeters520 pounds 9.07 kilograms
40d5 inches 12.7 centimeters416 pounds 7.25 kilograms
50d5 ½ inches 13.97 centimeters312 pounds 5.44 kilograms 
60d6 inches 15.24 centimeters210 pounds 4.53 kilograms

Most Common Nail Gun Sizes

CommonLength in inches and centimetersDiameter in inches  and centimetersGauge
16d3 ½ inches 8.89 centimeters0.162 inches 0.411 centimeters8
12d3 ¼  inches 8.25 centimeters0.148  inches 0.376 centimeters9
10d3  inches 7.62 centimeters0.148  inches 0.376 centimeters 9
8d2 ½  inches 6.35 centimeters0.131  inches 0.333 centimeters10 ¼ 
6d2  inches 5.08 centimeters0.113  inches 0.287 centimeters11 ½ 
16d3 ½ inches 8.89 centimeters0.135  inches 0.343 centimeters10
12d3 ¼  inches 8.25 centimeters0.128  inches 0.325 centimeters10 ½ 
10d3  inches 7.62 centimeters0.128  inches 0.325 centimeters10 ½ 
8d2 ½  inches 6.35 centimeters0.113  inches 0.287 centimeters11 ½ 
6d2  inches 5.08 centimeters0.099  inches 0.251 centimeters12 ½ 

How to Choose the Right Nail Gun Size

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Before purchasing a nail gun for any individual whose either a professional or a dyer. It’s essential to note how the products work and which one best suits your needs.

Nail guns are available in different sizes and shapes therefore a lot of knowledge is required in order to pick the best tool for the task needed. Essentially accuracy and speed are the two most important reasons to purchase a nail gun.

Professionals involved in heavy-duty jobs need a wider variety of nail guns to perform larger projects. Unlike Dyer’s who are recommended to use a brad nailer since they perform smaller projects and have a rechargeable battery.

The Best Nail Gun Size for you

Before a purchase, major points are a power source, nail gun weight, nail type, and nail gauge. The 18-gauge brad nailer is used to fix moldings while the 15 and 16-gauge finish nailers are used for fixing general trim works.

When loading the nail gun, coil nailers are preferred since they hold coils of nails rather than strips of nails and are mostly used by roofers. After the nail gun is loaded connection to a source of power can be an electric nailer, an air hose, or cordless nailers.

Practicing on a piece of wood makes you learn how the type of nailer chosen works. In case the nail gun jams when performing framing jobs or heavy-duty work it’s imperative to remove the cordless nail gun from the source of power and remove it from the nail magazine so that use either pliers or your fingers to extract the jammed nail.

What is the most versatile nail gun size?

The best nail gun for multiple nailing purposes is Metabo HPT NR90AES1. It is light and has great depth measurements, making it easy for you to penetrate the nails with or without gloves. This nail gun gives you maximum visibility at the nose, guaranteed toenailing, and almost zero recoils. It also takes up to 3-1/2″ x 0.148″ and has a tool-free mode adjustment.

Understanding Nail Gun Sizes and Nail Gauge explained (video)

Understanding Nail Sizes And Basic Types by Major Rex

Can any nail gun use any size of nails?

Yes, different nail guns can be used with different nail lengths. 


Foot and hand injuries are among the most common nail gun injuries. Individuals who perform DIY projects often flip through manual instructions which can be disastrous when handling the power tools.

Familiarizing yourself with the tools is vital for safety precautions. Protective guards like earplugs and safety glasses are prime since all kinds of nail guns can be dangerous.

In summary, a nail gun gauge chart gives a glimpse of the nailers available, for trimming and molding need thinner nails but roofing and fencing require sturdier types. Unlike manual hammers, different nail guns just do it much quicker and more productively.

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