Top 5 Best 16 Gauge Finish Nailer Reviews For 2020

Are you a master carpenter? A woodworker maybe? Or maybe even a DIYer?

Whatever wood-related profession you may be in, you must be familiar with the finish nailer. These are one of the most important and useful tool woodworkers nowadays can own.

Back in the day, humble hammers used to be perfect for almost any kind of nailing, but in this day and age, delicate finishes need something much more subtle. This is where the best 16 gauge finish nailer comes in.

Getting the best is no joke, there are maybe thousands of manufacturers producing millions of units claiming all of them are topnotch. But are they?

Well, down below, we have listed the top-rated ones out there, followed by a buying guide. Let’s dive in!

Benefits of 16 Gauge Finish Nailer

It is obvious that thicker nails provide more stability and better support. If you connect two pieces of boards with the assistance of 16-gauge nails, they will help your project to be rigid instead of collapsing, which often happens when you pair them together with specialized glue for wood.

Many nail guns indeed use 16-gauge nails, but the most common one that uses it is the finish nailer. It is mostly used for crown molding and installing boards in which the work-piece is fixed to the drywall.

If you want to keep all your pieces in a fixed place, there is no better option than this finish nailer. Thick 16-gauge nails provide the extra holding power that you need to keep all your pieces together at a certain place.

5 Best 16 Gauge Finish Nailer Reviews

You don’t want to ruin your work at the finishing moment. You must own a 16-gauge finish nailer, and here I am giving reviews on 5 of the bests.

1. DEWALT Finish Nailer(d51257k)

DEWALT Finish Nailer, 16GA, 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch (D51257K)


This nailer is full of features that you mostly see on the expensive models. It has an exhaust, which can be adjusted pretty easily. The exhaust fixed with this finish nailer works like a port that blows the inner air away while functioning. Due to this, the device can get rid of moisture, wood dust, oil, and debris.

Besides, the pneumatic unit that it has is powered by compressed air, which requires 70 to 120 PSI of operating pressure. The loading type that it has is a strip, and the unit length is 11.8 inches, while the height of this unit is 10.6. Its magazine size is 100 nails per magazine, and its angle is straight.

Likewise, the diameter of each of its nails is 16 gauge, and this nailer has no air inlet. Moreover, this nail gun ensures oil-less operation, which helps you to finish your project without ruining it due to stains. Its convenient nail depth adjustment is placed on its tool.

The no-mar tip that this nailer has makes sure the quality of your project is at its professional level. And the front part of the nail gun opens pretty easily. It is a perfect tool for your cabinets and moldings around your doors and house.

Thus, this finish nailer works almost flawlessly on household works. This nail gun is definitely an excellent choice that will not disappoint you while you are working with it. Its most unique feature is its heavy-duty construction.


  • The motor works like oil lube and oil-free unit
  • Loading is easy
  • It hardly gets jammed
  • Long-lasting
  • Great power
  • Good adjustment


  • Creates holes if pressure is not adjusted
  • Hard to notice when you’re out of nails
  • No automatic ceasing after the last nail
  • Poor trigger design

2. Makita Finish Nailer(AF601)

Makita AF601 16 Gauge, 2-1/2" Straight Finish Nailer,


The Makita finish nailer is a combination of tons of features and top-notch performance. This AF601 model has a loading magazine at its rear end, and it takes standard 16 GA nails that have the size of 1″ to 2-1/2″. The big window of the nail lets the user know exactly when he has to reload nails.

Accordingly, both contact arm and trigger are used for controlled firing. It has a reversible belt hook that allows the tool to stay oriented properly. The exhaust port attached to it is multidirectional; hence, you can direct it away from you while you are working on your project.

For the convenience of airflow at your workplace, there is a built-in duster placed in this finish nailer.

Besides, there is a two-mode selector switch for quick control over the operation of nailing. This nail gun provides leading power performance because of the high efficiency of its motor. The nail lock-out mechanism defends the tool and your workplace from dry-fires.

You can easily extract the nail and clear the nose conveniently as it is tool-less. Also, the housing bumpers give protection to the working place and the tool. Even in a confined area, you do nailing at ease because of its narrow nose design. On the other hand, the grip is made soft to ensure the comfort of the operator.

Lastly, it is very much ideal for baseboard, trim work, and installing crown molding. Moreover, it performs just fine while you are using it for flooring and some other woodworking.


  • Compact size
  • Only 3.8 lbs
  • For regular professional use
  • High durability
  • Less weight
  • Convenient on tool storage


  • Keeps shooting even with zero nail
  • Often shoots 2 nails at the same time
  • Nails pile up sometimes

3. Pneumatic Finish Nailer(Numax)

NuMax SFN64 Pneumatic 16-Gauge 2-1/2" Straight Finish Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Nail Gun with Tool-Free Depth Adjust and No Mar Tip


This finish nailer is a great working tool for projects like cabinet backing, baseboards, crown and shoe molding, window casing, chair rail molding, furniture trim, and decorative trim. Construction of the device includes a stapler, and like most of the other nailers, it is also powered by compressed air. Also, its magazine can switch in between different fastener types without making any adjustments.

In this regard, to start working with it, all you need to do is open up the magazine and load that fastener. The finish nails, which are 16 gauge, are basically loaded to the right side of the finish nailer. Thus, there is an indicator at the place where you reload; you can see if the nail gun needs to be loaded again.

Besides, there is a finger depth-adjustment that lets the user regulate nail depth. That makes the function of the stapler fast and easier through rotating a wheel, which stays close to the trigger. Stapler and the body of this finish nailer are designed in such a way that it is very much lightweight, and you can use it for long shifts.

Apart from that, a comfort grip handle is introduced for reducing fatigue in it, which also maximizes the accuracy and control of the placement of the fastener.

Furthermore, the finisher nailer has an adjustable exhaust that can be rotated at 360 degrees, and it lets the user direct the air away from debris and his face. Similarly, adjustment tools, along with air tools, are also included in it. Hence, this nail gun will undoubtedly increase the productivity of your work.


  • Quick reloading
  • No damage to work surfaces
  • Lightweight
  • Well-built jam removal door
  • Seals don’t leak


  • Sometimes nails don’t go deep enough
  • The rubber cover is a bit thick
  • Sometimes nail doesn’t fire

4. Valu-Air Finish Nailer(T64C)

Valu-Air T64C 16 Gauge Finish Nailer 7/8-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch


If you are willing to get something very good for heavy-duty works, you should get yourself the Valu-Air T64C finish nailer. It works very efficiently, even if the task is hard and takes much time. This nailer uses 16-gauge nails.

When the workload is very high, it works very well and better than most of the other finish nailers. It can also assure you decorative trim for your furniture. This nailer is made of aluminum; hence, it is very much durable and heat-resistant.

Likewise, these features basically what makes this tool so good for heavy-duty. As its weight is not that much, you can use it for a long time without getting tired. Besides, like other nailers, it has an exhaust deflector that can be manually adjusted, and the tool can be rotated at 360 degrees.

The device also has pre-lubricated oil, which makes the nail gun even better. On this account, the nailing technique gets easier and smooth, which helps you to get done with your job faster than ever. However, the range of this nail is about 7/8 to 2.6 inches, and the pressure generated is 70 to 110 PSI.

This finish nailer has two wrenches that you can use for making appropriate adjustments to the depth of the nail. While making the purchase, you will get two strips of nails and a carrying case. If you want, you can carry all of your accessories in the carrying case along with the nailer.


  • Not so heavy
  • Lasts long
  • Great for heavy-duty
  • Well built
  • Jams hardly


  • Sometimes the nail is not flush
  • Piston gets rusty
  • Often double fires

5. Hyperdrive Finish Nailer

Ridgid HyperDrive 16 Gauge 18v Brushless 2-1/2 In. Straight Finish Nailer


RIDGID had introduced this straight finish nailer. On just a single 4.0mAh battery, it has the competency of driving as much as 1,450 nails. Its motors provide its user with more runtime and the longevity of the motors. This finish nailer is constructed with magnesium.

If it has any issue, you can replace the faulty part within just ten minutes. For assuring optimum outcome, power adjustment regulates its power, and it is devoid of tools. The magazine is transparent, which lets you have a clear view of your nail supply.

In this finish nailer, it is also easier to clear the jams in it. This device is powered by 18-Volt and a straight one. It is a cordless tool that has the potential of a pneumatic nailer. Also, its setup is very fast and simple without any hose, compressor, and gas cartridge.

Previously, most of the finish nailers had a gas cartridge, but over time, the idea got changed, and the professionals came up with something that does not require a gas cartridge. Now the carpenters are utilizing a fusion of gas-powered, pneumatic, and battery-powered finish nailers.

Accordingly, right after they started to do that, they came up with ideas of introducing cordless ones; that is when the idea of building the aforementioned finish nailer was generated.

At the same time, this device is devoid of a lot of orthodox functionalities and possesses some new and improved ones, which can really help us to work on some sophisticated projects.


  • Less weight
  • Good longevity
  • Easy maintenance
  • Prevents misfire
  • Convenient to use


  • Too loud
  • Takes long to load
  • Inconsistent
  • Bigger size

 What to Look for Before Buying

Not sure about what to look for when getting these nailers?

Well, that depends on various factors, but we won’t go through them all. What we are going to do is break down the most essential things which you should be on the lookout for before making your purchase.

  • Types of Gauge

Get some ideas about different types of gauge as the variations in gauges to have an impact on the angle of the nailer’s magazine; the greater the angle, the easier it is for the nailer to squish into tiny spaces.

  • Size and Weight

These are hands down one of the essential things that you should be on the lookout for before making your valuable purchase. Why is that? These factors are going to determine how easy to use the tool will be.

Note this; tools that are easier to use are more convenient to have around. Moral of the story, get the one that you find comfortable while using and holding.

  • Nail Length

Also, consider the length of the nails that you will be using in your project. The range of most of the nailers is somewhat 1-2.5 inches long, which is enough for almost all the projects.

  • Power Source

Finish nailers can be powered by air, battery, or some other sources. Likewise, there are both advantages and disadvantages to each of those sources; hence, you have to decide which one is the right one for you and your work.

  • Extras

On the other hand, there are a few features that are not so necessary to have in your nailer, yet they serve well. For example, a tool-less depth of drive adjustment can make your device a bit more versatile. Air duster is a small tool but serves a great purpose as it keeps your working surface free of debris and dust.

You can also use it to clean the place after you are done working. Moreover, the multidirectional exhaust can help you to get rid of air blowing on you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding 16-gauge finish nailers:

  1. Are thicker nails better than thinner ones?

You will get more support and stability while working with thicker nails. Nonetheless, it depends on the project you are working on. If it requires thin nails, you should definitely get some thin ones.

  1. Why is exhaust port necessary?

This port may not seem to be that important, but once you get a device with this port, you will never be able to work without a tool that does not have one. It is because this port saves you from getting hit by blowing air.

  1. Which power source is the best?

As mentioned above, a finish nailer can be powered by air, battery, and some other sources. It mostly depends on you, what you can take and are comfortable with.

  1. Does the nail gun need lubricating oil?

Not all the finish nailers have pre-lubricated oil in their nail gun. If you put some in it, it can really make the gun sleeker and your work smoother.

  1. Do finish nailers cease automatically?

Carpenters mostly want this option while the nailer runs out of nails. That’s because most of the devices do not have this option, and after there is no nail left, they keep on running without actually doing any proper work.

If you do not own a device that has this option, go for a magazine that is transparent and lets you have a clear look on the nails.


You will get a lot of finish nailers while making purchases. I hope you find the device that really fits your work from the best 16 gauge finish nailers mentioned in this article.

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