Which is better: angled or straight finish nailer?

Any type of finish nailer is renowned for attaching finishing materials precisely. But, there are some dedicated finish nailers like angled finish nailer & straight finish nailer.  People have misconceptions about their specific use. Besides, there is a myth that all the finish nailers can perform all the projects nicely. Today, our intention is to show a detailed comparison of angled vs straight finish nailer.

Different finished projects may require nails of a certain size or different specifications. And that’s why it will be easy to make a difference by yourself after going through this article. Along with this, we’ll represent the review of the top one pick of each kind of finish nailer. However, this simply elaborated article will help even a newbie to understand the facts easily. So, we should start our detailed discussion.

Why do nail guns have different angles?

Before knowing the reason for providing different angles, you should know what the angle represents. The angle of a framing nail gun expresses the nail collation. Both stick & coil collation framing nailers have an individual nail angle. Different angles provide benefits to the toughest corner while nailing. 

The increased nail angle offers more access to the complicated corner. There are some projects that should be done by a 15-degree framing nailer snugly. But, the more dedicated tasks require more nail angles for example a 21-degree framing nailer or a 30-degree framing nailer. 

What is an Angled Finish Nailer? 

Straightforwardly, the angled finish nailer is a form of the finish nailer which uses angled finish nails. Usually, this nailer uses gauge nails & shows its performance in a tough space nicely. Its optimum nail size is 15 gauge. There are two types of angled finish nailers. “DA” & “FN” style. Their difference is in nail angle. “DA” uses around 34-degree angled finish nails. On the other hand, “NA” uses around 25-degree finish nails. You will find 21 Vs 30 Degree nailer comparison here.

What is a Straight Finish Nailer? 

The nailer used to fire nails on straight surfaces is known as a straight finish nailer. Like an angled finish nailer, it’s not capable of working in a tight space. A straight finish nailer is good with basic construction & framing projects. However, this nailer uses thinner nails: & the nail head seems invisible. Most of the straight finish nailers can’t accept nails below 16-gauge. 

Comparison Chart – Finish Nailer Angled vs Straight 

Angled Finish NailerStraight Finish Nailer
1. Angled finish nailer uses varieties of nails. In general, it uses 15 gauge nails.1. Straight finish nailer uses 16 gauge nails. It never accepts nails below this size. 
2. Its shape looks like the “T” of the English alphabet.2. Its shape looks like the “D” of the English alphabet.
3. This nailer is suitable for critical spaces.3. This nailer is suitable for exposed surfaces.
4. Angled finish nailer looks angled against its main body.4. Straight finish nailer looks straight positioned to its main body.
5. According to the weight status, it’s not much heavier.5. According to the weight status, it’s slightly bulky.

Key Differences – Angled vs Straight Finish Nailer

Here we are representing some key differences between angled vs straight finish nailer.

Shape and Fit

The angled nailer is “T” shaped which fits for installing crown molding. It is appropriate to put nails in the corner location. On the other hand, the straight finish nailer can hardly access the tight spaces. It’s “D” shaped & has a limitation on use. 

Nail Capacity

The angled finish nailer is capable of holding larger & high-gauge nails. Usually, they use 15 gauge nails which is good with heavier construction projects. Elsewhere, the straight finish nailer can’t take nails lower than 16 gauge. 

Portability

The manufacturer uses less material to construct an angled finish nailer. As a result, it comes with a lightweight & offers convenience for transporting. On the other hand, the straight finish nailer is slightly heavy. Therefore, it’s tough to hold for a long time as well as carrying.

Cost

An angled nailer is more versatile than a straight finish nailer. It’s much more powerful & offers more convenience to the users. So, it is expensive. But, a straight finish nailer provides less power & convenience. So, it’s cheaper than the angled one. 

Nail availability

The nails for the angled finish nailer are hard to find. As it’s used for limited purposes, so rarely found. But, the nails for the straight finish nailer isn’t a rare item. 

Nose size

An angled nailer has a long nose which is convenient for reaching in the critical spaces. On the other hand, a straight nailer has a small nose which helps to cover a vast area.

Best angled finish nailer – Ryobi Angled Finish Nailer

Ryobi angled finish nailer eliminates the necessity of a compressor. New technology is used here called “AirStrike Technology” which offers cordless convenience. In the absence of the air compressor & for being cordless, you can carry it without any hassle. The cordless version provides better output while working on a heavier construction project.

Ryobi angled finish nailer is only 6.8 pounds in weight which doesn’t bring fatigue to the muscle in long time usage. Besides, this model is devoid of bulky hoses or expensive gas cartridges. For this reason, the user can use it after unboxing without set-up hassle. With a handy grip & good weight balance, the users can put nails in tight spaces smoothly. 

However, an 18V battery comes with the package. According to the users, it can drive about 750 to 800 nails at a time. The magazine can hold 105 finish nails which are average for doing constriction cornering tasks. As this nailer uses 15 gauge finish nails, it’s easy to find from the nearby stores. In addition, it can fire nails from 1 inch to 2-½ inches that offers versatility.

Specification 

  • Battery: 18V
  • Nail Gauge: 15 Gauge Finish Nails
  • Magazine Capacity: 105 Finish Nails
  • Nail Length: 1 in. to 2-1/2 in.
  • Nails per Charge: 750 around
  • Fastener Collation: Glue Strip
  • Tool Weight: 6.8 lbs.

Pros

  • Cordless models offer convenience in portability.
  • Weight balance is good enough.
  • No need for a noisy compressor. 
  • Offers a faster setup.
  • The nail firing rate is satisfactory.

Cons 

  • Nail capacity could be a bit more.
  • The price is slightly high.
  • Have some trouble with the trigger usage

When to Use an Angled Finish Nailer

You need to trim but your hand can’t reach in a straight way- this circumstance requires you to use an Angled finish nailer. When you need to put nails on the baseboard, angled nailers can do your work easily & precisely. So, nailing in the tighter spaces is the absolute moment for using an Angled finish nailer.

Some other angled finish nailers

Let’s get introduced to another two popular angled finish nailers of the market among users.

DEWALT Angled Finish Nailer

This angled finish nailer runs on the battery with the help of a brushless motor. The selectable trigger system with easy nail jam clearing technology offers convenience to the users. 

Paslode angled finish nailer 

Delivering 12,000 nails per charge using a 7V Lithium-ion battery is the main attraction of this nailer. Besides, its precise nail placement system, lightweight and cordless design attract the users.

Best straight finish nailer- NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic finish nailer

NuMax finish nailer offers nailing in both exterior & interior finish projects nicely. Decorative trims are especially good with this nailer. For implementing multipurpose projects, it has a sequential firing mode to fire continuously. Besides, its tool-free nail depth adjustment feature is adorable for customizing any kind of trimming task.

This nailer has a quick jam release mechanism by which removing nails is easy. Besides, the company is offering a no-mar safety pad to save the machine as well as the nailing surface from damage. However, the magazine of this nailer is capable of holding 100 nails. The magazine receives 16 gauge glue collated straight finish nails which range from 1 inch to 2-½ inches. 

With a durable aluminum body & ergonomic comfort grip, this nailer is a dealbreaker. The special-built grip reduces the risk of slipping. In real-life use, you need not think about its durability. Along with these, the weight balance is appreciable. A 360-degree adjustable air exhaust allows the user to keep the air away from the face.

Specification 

  • Manufacturer: NuMax
  • Item Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 3.25 x 11.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Material: Aluminum 
  • Power Source: Air-powered
  • Magazine capacity: 100 nails
  • Used nails: 16 gauge straight finish nail

Pros

  • Sequential firing mode for non-stop nailing.
  • Nail depth adjustment for accuracy.
  • Good build quality with excellent grip.
  • Versatile for different trimming projects.
  • 360-degree adjustable air exhaust for convenience.

Cons 

  • Nail capacity isn’t appreciable.
  • Hard to access the critical angles.
  • Can’t backup intensely as the battery is absent.

When to Use a Straight Finish Nailer

When the topic is about any kind of exterior or interior trim work, a straight finish nailer is needed. It uses thinner-headed nails which keeps the nail-head invisible. This nailer can’t access the tough corners as angled nailers. So, it’s the right time to use a straight finish nailer when the finishing project isn’t about accessing the tough corners.

FAQ

This segment will help you to know some frequently asked questions on angled vs straight finish nailer.

Which is better: straight or angled finish nailer?

Both of the nailers have their own purpose. An angled finish nailer is suitable for reaching tough corners. On the other hand, a straight finish nailer is good with versatile trim projects. If we talk about nail capacity, portability & other criteria, then an angled finish nailer wins.

Should I get an angled finish nailer?

For installing crown moldings & trimming work on baseboards, an angled finish nailer is ideal. These tasks require firing the finish nails in the critical spaces. An angled nailer is constructed to access the places nicely. So, you should get an angled finish nailer.

What is the most common degree nail gun?

30-degree & 34-degree framing nailers are the most common degree nail guns. These nailers provide you the most radical benefit in tough corners. The mentioned two nailers are the most common nailers found on construction sites.

Conclusion

Throughout the whole article, we have tried to discuss angled vs straight finish nailer. We think it’s time to make a judgment. Our observation tells that an angled nailer is offering something great in features & applications. By the way, a straight finish nailer also has versatile applications & dedicated purposes. So, the standard of the comparison depends on the facts.

In this article, we have upheld basic differences between an angled nailer & a straight finish nailer. Along with this, our effort was to make a reasonable selection of each product. After researching, we have picked the top two items for each kind of finish nailer. Our elaborated specifications of the two nailers must help you to pick the appropriate one for you. 

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