What are the Differences between Straight vs Angled Finish Nailers

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We were made to make choices each day. Choices that make us or break us. Whether to have tea or coffee in the morning. Choosing between your favorite ice-cream. Everywhere we turn, we must make choices. Even when it comes to choosing your nail gun, you must make hard choices.

Should you go for the straight nail gun or give it up for the angled-finish nail gun? How do you decide which best works for you? What are the considerations and the benefits between straight vs angled finish nailers? Let’s get on with it, shall we?

straight vs angled finish nailers

Differences between Straight vs Angled Finish Nailers

When it comes to angled vs straight finish nailers, there is a lot to talk about. We can look at it from the most favored nailer in terms of functionality or price. Here we are breaking everything down for you, so that 10 years from now, you will look at either your straight or your angled-finish nail gun with pride.

1. Appearance

You can easily tell the difference between a straight vs angled-finish nailers just by looking at them. The straight finish nailer has a straight nail magazine while the angled-finish nailer has an angled magazine. The alignment of the nail gun’s magazine give it its name. This is one way of telling them apart.

2. Ability to reach into tight spaces

We give this title to the angled finish nail gun for two very good reasons:

  • The angled finish nail gun has an angled nail magazine letting it reach tight spots without any hindrance.
  • The angled finish nail gun had an extended nose that also assist in reaching into tight spaces.

So if you tend to work within tight, constricted areas, the angled finish nail gun is the one for you. The straight finish nailer cannot access tight spots as easily as its counterpart. This is due to the cumbersome straight nail magazine that is almost always in the way, and a shorter nose compared to the angled finish nail gun.

3. Size of nail gun

The straight finish nail gun is capable of firing thinner 16 gauge nails into the woodwork. On the other hand, the angled finish nailers are capable of firing much thicker 15 gauge nails.

This makes the angled nail gun much suited for heavy construction work. They are capable of shooting thicker, stronger nails into tight spots around the construction area. Although the thick angled finish nailer nails bring about strength and stability to your project, they can end up splitting the wood of much smaller, delicate trim.

The straight finish nailer with thinner nails is the nail gun you should use for your trimmings and finishing. Their thinner nails shoot deep into the wood without splitting the wood along its grain.

4. Affordability

Angled finish nail guns are more expensive than the straight finished nail guns. Why is this so? It all comes down to functionality. The angled finish nailers can reach into tight spaces while also shooting thicker nails into the woodwork of much larger problems. Also, the thicker 15 gauge nails used by the angled finish nail gun are more expensive than the thinner 16 gauge nails of the straight finish nailer.

5. Weight

The straight finish nail guns are bulkier, and consequentially heavier than the angled finish nailers. This makes the straight finish nail gun much more cumbersome and tiring to carry around your workplace.

The light, easy to carry angled finish nailer can be used at elevated areas without too much effort on the wielder’s part.

6. Shape of the nail head

The angled finish nailers use nail heads with the shape of the letter ‘D’ while the straight finish nailers use nail heads with the shape of the letter ‘T’. It has been argued that the angled nailer can shoot more secure nails than the straight finish nail guns.

We cannot say for certain but this might have something to do with the shape of the nail head.

7. Acute firing ability

The angled finish nailer shoots much more acute and secure nails as compared to the straight finish nail gun. This is due to the presence of the angled driver in the angled finish nailer. Shooting nails at required angles, for example while laying out trims, is much easily done with the angled finish nailer.

Angle firing, when it comes to the straight finish nail gun, is different. To fire nails at an angle, you will have to tilt the tip of the straight finish nail gun to the estimated required angle. As a result, the nails are not fired at the exact location in which they are needed. The nails could also totally miss their target and become airborne, leading to unwanted accidents.

Top 3 Best Finish Nailer

These are top 3 best finish nailer comparison table which will help you to make the best choice for your woodworking projects easily:

Finish NailerImagePower SourceMagazine Capacity/ShippingEditor's RatingPrice
Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish NailerPneumatic100 Nails
FREE Shipping4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon
NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer 16 Gauge Ergonomic & Lightweight PneumaticPneumatic100 Nails
_4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)See on Amazon
Metabo HPT NT65MA4 Pneumatic Angled Finish Nailer, 15 Gauge, 1-1/4-Inch up to 2-1/2-InchPneumatic100 Nails
FREE Shipping4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)See on Amazon

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The angled finish nail gun is far more superior in versatility as compared to the straight finish nail gun. You only have to heavily invest in the angled finish nail gun, but you will keep reaping the benefits of this nailer for years to come.

Straight finish nailers are more suitable for working with trims and smaller, more delicate pieces of wood. They are cheaper than the angled finish nailers too. Make sure to choose what really works for you.


  1. I’m looking for an angled nailer able to fit inside a 45° corner where the ceiling meets the wall and still have enough angle to reach into the very corner. Does it even exist? I’m installing cedar boards so it only needs to be a thin brad and about 2 inches long. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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