Angled vs. Straight Finish Nailers: Which is Right for You?

Angled vs. Straight Finish Nailers

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When it comes to finishing your piece, you have to know precisely what kind of power tool will be needed for each job. You might need a pin nailer for some jobs; others might require a crown stapler or even a brad nailer. However, today will be speaking of finishing nailers.

Finishing nailers are used for the final steps of the building process, and those final steps could involve some hanging and attaching. Hence, you have to make sure that you have placed your nails perfectly and permanently.

Consequently, you have to own the right finishing nailer. The difference between an angled and a straight finish nailer is quite apparent. If you need to get into an angled situation, then it is the first, and if your piece is quite straight, no complications, then the latter will suit you well enough.

Angled vs. Straight Finish Nailers – Short Answer:

If your work has a lot of nooks, corners, and right angles that you need to nail down to the core, then an Angled Finish Nailer would be best for you.

On the other hand, if you work mostly revolves around straight pieces that are easy to nail down, then keep your normal Straight Finish Nailer.

Angled Finish Nailer Overview

An angled finish nailer is precisely what its name alludes to. The magazine of this finish nailer is angled so that it doesn’t get in the way. This allows you to tilt the finish nailer in your hand in order to get into the corner and place the nail down correctly.

Angled finish nailers can take up to 16 gauge nails; hence they have much stronger upholding power. Plus, those 16 gauge nails are thicker than the standard nails that are used by the straight finishing nailer in order to add more sturdiness and stability to it.

The usual angle-scale that angled finishing nailers can possess goes from 21 to 34° most of the time.

Pros

  • Perfectly placed nails
  • Stronger upholding power
  • Can get into nooks and corners
  • Smaller device
  • Longnose

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Expensive nails
  • Rare nails

Straight Finish Nailer Overview

Now, this is your normal everyday finish nailer; it takes 15 gauge nails; which is good upholding power yet not as good as the angled finishing nailer. As long as your pieces are straight forward, it can place the nail down perfectly. Anything other than a 90° will jeopardize the final product. 

If you try to tilt to your hand to get into a corner, then the nail is going to be misplaced, or it’s not going to hit the target at all.

Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Cheaper nails
  • Available nails
  • Less visible nails/nail holes

Cons

  • 90° angles only
  • Less versatile 
  • Less upholding power

Full Comparison

 Straight Finish NailerAngled Finish Nailer
UsesStraight piecesnooks and corners
Magazine OrientationStraightAngled
Price Relatively cheapRelatively expensive
Size LargeSmall
WeightHeavyLight
Security Snug and secure nailsNot so much

Best Straight Finish Nailer: DeWalt Finish Nailer

After scouring the internet and the markets for the best straight finishing nailer, this one has emerged, hands-down, the winner. It’s absolutely tool-free, lightweight, quite sturdy, and enjoys an anti-slip over-mold grip.

It can work with oil or without it giving you, the user, some much-needed freedom. Every little detail in this device has been designed in order to boost your comfort and familiarity with the device. All of this comes with a price tag of $174.

Pros

  • Magnesium lightweight body
  • Tool-free jam release
  • Rubber grip for stability
  • Rear exhaust system (quite practical)
  • Low maintenance
  • Tool-free depth adjustment
  • Sequential trigger
  • Adjustable belt hook

Cons

  • Some users have reported that it has stopped working after a few months
  • While others have reported that he does not fire nails consistently

Best Angled Finish Nailer: Hitachi NT65MA4 15-Gauge Angled

Finish Nailer

Hitachi, or Metabo, as it’s currently called, is one of the most formidable brands in the world of power tools, and this product is a clear reason why. Hitachi has paid attention to every little detail regarding this device. It’s lightweight, has a great angle, and enjoys 99.9% of the options that are typically spread out between other tools of the same category. 

Even the only two defects, if you can even call them that, are easily fixable. There have not been any reports of this device breaking down or disappointing the users in any way.

Pros

  • 34° angle
  • Tool-free jam release 
  • Tool-free depth adjustment 
  • Lightweight at 4.2 pounds 
  • Rubber grip 
  • Both sequential and bump modes
  • 360° adjustable exhaust
  • Integrated air duster 
  • Aluminum housing 
  • 100 nail magazine capacity 
  • No-mar tip

Cons

  • No belt hook
  • No dry-fire lockout system


Final Thoughts

A Finishing nailer is an essential tool to have in your workshop. It is used for a tremendous number of jobs, and choosing between an angled or a straight finishing nailer is a vital decision as a lot of future work, and a lot of money depends on it.

When going down to the market, you have to always know the usual pattern of your work. Because if your pieces are mostly straight and you do not need to get into any nooks and corners, then you shouldn’t waste your money on an angled finishing nailer that won’t be used that much anyway.

However, if you need more sturdiness and more versatility, then spend the extra buck and go for the angled nailer.

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