What Nails To Use For Framing with a Nail Gun? Pick Right nails

For perfect framing, we have no confusion about using a nailer. We should go for framing nailers. But, if the question is about nails, we have a lot of questions. Framers use different sizes of nails for different purposes. Remember, using the wrong nails may damage your nail gun. Your work may also be postponed. 

Here you get a real problem. In this article, we’ll show you what nails to use for framing with a nail gun. We will assure pros & cons about this. After going through this writing, I believe that you won’t suffer anymore about finding perfect nails for framing with your nail gun. Please, keep scrolling down. 

What nails to use for framing with a nail gun?

Framing is part of any construction project’s rough construction phase weather and elements resistance to a small interior minor project. So, it’s a major obligation to make the right choice.

Framing nails for nail gun:

It is a clear message that the nails have to be strong to resist shear forces for framing. Long nails are very much tough to drive and can split the wood. Nails are short, just don’t do this ridiculous job.

You may know that you need framing nails for your framing nailer. It’s an issue of nail size. Moreover, there are varieties of nail guns too. Let’s talk about both.

What size nails for framing:

In building roofs, large & small walls, sub-flooring, etc. fields, nails are most commonly used. These are serious projects and for this reason, you have to choose the appropriate length of the nail.

The nails of 6d, 8d, 10d, or 16d sizes are most commonly used for framing purposes. So, as you need a big diameter, go for a big “d”. Now the question is what size of nails for where? The straight answers are given below.

6d nails for framing:

It is shorter in length & containing a smaller diameter. This size of nail is suitable for small interior framing projects only. 

These nails are 2 inches long & have 0.12 inches shank. The head diameter of the 6d nail is 17/64 inches.

6d nails have vast purposes. From joining two pieces of flat woods to nailing the floor of the residence, you will need 6d nails. Its small size and diameter reduce the surface damage of wood projects that’s why it is preferable. 

8d nails for framing:

8d nails are found in the marketplace as commons and vinyl-coated sinkers. It depends on preference. At which project larger nails are not applicable or suit best, 8d nails are used.

Its length is 2.5 inches. This size is great for specific framing purposes. Their shank diameter is 0.134 inches and a head diameter  0.281 inches, respectively.

Now, come to the point of its application in real life. For sheathing, 8d nails are very popular. Moreover, for attaching gypsum board with the wood frame, building subfloors, 8d nails are the best choice. 

10d nails for framing:

10d nail length is 3 inches. Usually,  it is found in the marketplace being galvanized. Its diameter is nearly 0.148 inches. Experts love this sizing for framing purposes. 

If you want to frame your rooftop or want to trim wooden doors, then 10d nails are the best choice. By the way, its application is a little more imposed. 

12d nails for framing:

12d nails shank contains a length of 3.25 inches.  Its shank has 0.148 inches in diameter. It is called box nails. It is almost similar to common nails. 

Box nails are good for lite wood projects. Don’t use box nails for structural projects because they are less strong. Their holding capacity is not like common nails.

16d nails for framing:

16d nails are the most widely used nail size for framing works. It is 3.5 inches long. There is a variety of its diameter.

We can classify 16d nails in two ways. 

  • Sinkers 
  • commons

The diameter of the first one is 0.148 inches. On the other hand, the diameter of commons is 0.162 inches.

Now, come to its application. For binding wall plates, you recommend you use 16d nails. There is one more benefit of using 16d nails. They can also easily be fit into the wood.

What size nails for toenailing 2×4:

In straight, you should go for  8d nails. Your framing nail gun, capable of taking 8d nails can do a great job in toe nailing. In this case, you should use 16 penny vinyl-coated common sinkers for nailing 2×4’s together.

For toenailing,  8d vinyl-coated nails are great. You already know that it is called box nails. We also can recommend you 3 inches nail for toenailing. Can you remember 3 inches nail? Yeah, you got it. It’s 10d nails. So, there are options to make your choice. 

8d vinyl-coated nails are recommended because vinyl coating makes them easier to drive than galvanized. It is recommended for outdoor use because of its improved resistance to weather and elements.

What gauge nails for framing:

There is another type of sizing that is called “gauge”. It is denoted by “ga”. It refers to the diameter of the nail. As gauge refers to the nail’s diameter, it represents how thick the nail is. 

There are 15ga, 16ga, 18ga, 21ga, etc. sizes of nails. You can use 15 ga nails for your nail gun for these applications :

  • Door/window trim
  • Casing

If you are looking for substantial holding power, we’ll recommend 15 ga nails for your nail gun. 

You can choose 16 ga nails for these applications:

  • Base moldings
  • Back bands
  • Panel molds
  • Smaller bed moldings

16 ga nails are generally better suited for framing jobs. People recommend using 16ga nails for your framing project. For attaching ¾” wooden boards, you can use 16ga nails. 

What size nail gun for framing 2×4:

A framing nailer can make your work quick & easy. So, for 2×4 framing, a nail gun is a must to save your time. Nowadays, professional carpenters use them for their wooden projects. 

It should be informed that there are different degrees of nailers. For example, you can find a 30-degree framing nailer at your nearby store. The degree of nails means the angle of framing. We can classify it from four different angles.

  • 21 degrees
  • 28 degrees
  • 30 degrees and last of all
  • 34 degrees

There is a collision between 21-degree nailer & 30-degree nailer as they use different sizes of nails. 30-degree paper collated framing nails stay in strips of 34. In the presence of standard magazines, both nailers can only hold one strip. 30-degree is recommended by us.


In the meantime, you have acquired a good amount of knowledge about the correct size of nails that can be suitable for specific framing work. You may get mesmerized seeing varieties of nails during work time & may make a mistake. So, it’s totally up to you. Be careful & serious about handling this machine. 

After reading this article, you are ready enough to make the right choice about your framing nailer. You know now what nails to use for framing with a nail gun. We are almost done. Keep faith in yourself & get back to your job.

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