Can you use 18 gauge nails in a 15-gauge nailer?

You can’t use 18-gauge nails in a 15-gauge nailer because 15 gauge nails are bigger in size than the 18 gauge nails. So the trigger of the 15 gauge nails can only apply force perfectly to 15 gauge nails.

It won’t shoot the nails perfectly if you try to attach 18-gauge nails to a 15-gauge nailer. The nails can also bend, and the thing you want to attach to the floor or wall will not attach perfectly. The nailer can also get broken.

What happens if you use 18 gauge nails in a 15-gauge nailer?

When using 18-gauge nails in a 15 gauge nailer, you will face multiple problems. The problems are described below.

The nail gun can make an error

The first thing that the nail gun will face when you put an 18-gauge nail in a 15-gauge nailer is that it will make an error. The error is that the 15-gauge nails are actually bigger than the 18-gauge nails.

As a result, if you shoot a 15-gauge nail and an 18-gauge nail, you will see that the 18-gauge nail covers a smaller area than the 15-gauge nail. When you put an 18 gauge nail in a 15 gauge nailer, the nail gun will start shooting 2 nails to fix the error.

The item you want to attach with the nailer won’t attach perfectly

The nailer is mainly used to attach something to the wall or cardboard. As a result, you will need bigger nails to use the nailer on a thicker area. That’s why the 15-gauge nails are thicker than the 18-gauge nails.

If you want to attach something with 18 gauge nails instead of 15 gauge nails, it won’t attach perfectly. After a couple of days, you will see the item is detached from the attaching area.

The nailer can become a jammed or broken tool

The 15-gauge nailer is designed to use 15-gauge nails. It usually doesn’t allow you to attach different types of nails if it is not structured in that way. So when you try to accommodate 18 gauge nails in a 15 gauge nailer, the nailer can get jammed.

The reason is that the size of the 15 nails is bigger than the size of the 18 gauge nails. So the nailer won’t shoot the nails as efficiently as possible. You will see the nailer is shooting here and there, and no straight lines are maintained by it.

In the worst circumstances, the nailer gets broken.

The nails will start to bend

The structure of the 15-gauge nailer allows you to put only 15-gauge nails in it for any nailing purpose. The nailer provides enough force that it can be resisted only by the 15 gauge nails.

The nails are also designed in such a way to resist the force that the nailer applies when you are attaching something to a floor or wood. However, as the 18 gauge nails are much thinner, they cannot resist the force of the nailer.

So they start bending when you try to attach them to a wall or wood with these nails.

Make sure you get the right nail gun all the time. We have a guide for the best 15 gauge finish nailer. Check them out.


Still got some questions? Check the section below.

Is a 15-gauge nail bigger than an 18-gauge?

Yes, the 15-gauge nail is bigger than the 18-gauge. The reason is that the higher the number the gauge has, the less thin it is. As a result, it can cover a smaller area. That’s why the 15-gauge nails are bigger than the 18-gauge nails.

Can nail guns use different lengths of nails?

Usually, a nail gun can use only one type of nail. It is because the trigger of the nail gun can apply force to one type of nail or almost the same type of nail. However, these days, a more modern type of nail gun appears on the market to use multiple types of nails.

Can a 15-gauge nailer use 16-gauge nails?

Usually, a nail gun trigger can apply force to only one type of nail. That’s why you can generally use 16-gauge nails on a 15-gauge nailer. However, the size of 16-gauge nails and 15-gauge nails is almost the same. So if you use a bigger nailer, you may use 16-gauge nails.


Nailers are widely used these days to connect portraits to the wall or carpets to the floor. On the other hand, different nailers are made for a certain kind of nail. If you have a 15-gauge nailer and wish to use 18-gauge nails, you’ll need to know, “Can you use 18 gauge nails in a 15-gauge nailer?”

No, you won’t be able to do it. The 15 gauge nails are larger than the 18 gauge nails in size. So, the 15-gauge nail trigger can only precisely deliver force to nails with a 15-gauge gauge.

If you attempt to use an 18-gauge nailer with a 15-gauge nailer, the nails will not shoot precisely. Because the nails might flex, the item you intend to connect to the floor or wall will not be properly attached. It’s also possible for the nailer to break.

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