18 Gauge Brad vs 16 Gauge Finish

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Old 01-06-17, 05:44 AM
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18 Gauge Brad vs 16 Gauge Finish

Is it necessary to use a 16 gauge finish nail for trim (base and casing) or will an 18 gauge brad work? In my very limited experience I have always used a brad (it's what I have) and have not had any problems. However, everyone I talk to that has more experience always says to use a 16 gauge finish nailer. Is it worth the investment?

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Old 01-06-17, 05:50 AM
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Brad's have almost no head so less holding power.
 
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Old 01-06-17, 06:16 AM
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Anything that is 3/4" thick and being fastened through drywall will usually benefit from the larger diameter/longer nail with a head. You can sometimes get by with a 2" long brad nail but it often takes very little effort to pull them out. So if the material is a little bowed and you need to push it back tight to the wall, the bigger nail will hold while the smaller brad may not. (Such as crown moulding and thick baseboard.) You definitely would not use brad nails to fasten door jambs into a rough opening. And it's typical to use a larger nail to fasten the outside perimeter of door casing, while using a brad nailer on the inside perimeter.
 
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Old 01-06-17, 08:14 AM
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it's typical to use a larger nail to fasten the outside perimeter of door casing, while using a brad nailer on the inside perimeter
This is exactly what I do, as my thought is if I can go directly through the piece I want to hold and into structure (wood), a brad is fine. If I have to go through a piece of sheetrock first before getting to the structure, then I go finish nail.
 
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