Are nail gun nails interchangeable?

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There are several varieties of nail gun available in the UK. This includes 1st and 2nd fix guns. As well as those that run on battery, gas, corded electric, and compressed air.

In most cases, if you are using a like for like gun, the nails are interchangeable. For example, 1st fix Paslode nails will work fine in a first fix DeWalt nail gun.

are nail gun nails interchangeable

Similarly, if you are using a 2nd fix gun that takes angled nails, most brands are also interchangeable. With that said, it is important to remember that 2nd fix guns usually come in two varieties. The first will take angled brads, and the second will take straight brads. Obviously straight brads will not work in an angled nailer and vice versa.

Other things, such as the gauge and size of nails, can influence whether they are interchangeable with other brands.

Therefore, the most important thing to check when choosing nails, is the angle of the nails and the gauge.

Gauge can range between 15 and 23 depending on the type of nail gun you are using. The angle of the nails, will usually be either straight, or between 21-34 degrees.

Interchangeable nails in cordless first fix guns

In most cases, the nails used in cordless first fix gun are interchangeable. For example, I personally own a DeWalt framing gun, and this will easily take DeWalt nails, Paslode nails, and I am currently using Fischer nails.

These are all fine and in fact, Fischer claim to be compatible with most makes of gas and battery nailers. These include:

  • Paslode
  • Dewalt
  • Makita
  • Hikoki 
  • Hitachi
  • Dynamik
  • Etc

In the past, I have also owned a Paslode and whilst I mostly used Paslode nails, I did also use cheaper off brand nail occasionally, as they were more affordable, and they were completely fine.

When my Paslode needed replacing, one of my first thoughts, was whether I could reuse leftover nails. After some research, I learned I could still use them in the DeWalt I was planning to buy.

If you are interested you can read my full DeWalt DCN692 nail gun review by clicking here.

Obviously, before you buy any nails, you need to double check they definitely fit your gun. The main thing to look out for is the angle. Most commonly this will be 30-34 degrees and many guns will take nails in this range.

However, it is also worth noting that 21 – and 28-degree nails also exist. Although, these are usually designed for first fix guns that run on compressed air.

If in any doubt you should double check with the supplier you are buying from. Also, most nail guns will have details printed on the tool that will specify what nails are compatible.

Interchangeable nails in cordless second fix guns

When it comes to second fix guns, there are a couple of things to consider. Firstly you will need to know the gauge and secondly you will need to know the angle.

The most common gauge for the brads that these guns take is 16 and 18. When it comes to the angle, there is just two main choices angled or straight.

16-gauge brads are most common in cordless second fix guns. These are slightly bigger than the 18-gauge brads and will provide a better fixing for things like skirting boards and architrave.

18-guage brads are better for lighter work such as panelling and decorative jobs. The nails are thinner and have a smaller head. This allows them to be hidden more easily. However, they are not as strong as 16-gauge nails. Therefore, they won’t be as good for heavier work.

In general, you shouldn’t try to use 18-gauge brads in 16-gauge guns and vice versa. This could cause problems and cause your nail gun to jam.

Providing you know the gauge of the nails you need, and whether they are straight or angled, most nails will be compatible with other brands that take the same size nails.

Interchangeable nails in compressed air or electric guns

When it comes to guns with compressed air or corded electric, they tend to take different nails. In some cases, they may be interchangeable with their cordless counterparts. However, there are lots of different types of nails available.

Again most of these guns will be interchangeable with like for like tools. However, just like cordless nail guns there is some variation, and you will need to double check before you buy nails.

Conclusion

Nail gun nails will usually be interchangeable with like for like guns. Firstly you need to determine whether the nails you need are first of second fix. Following this, you should check the gauge and size of the nails.

Then finally, if you are using a second fix gun, you just need to make sure you choose either angled or straight. Obviously, if the angle isn’t right, they wont work in your nail gun.