Straight Vs Angled Finish Nailer (Know the Difference and Uses)

Straight Vs Angled Finish Nailer

In the last 25 years, carpenters and woodworkers have seen a lot of changes in the tools that help them do their jobs. The advancement of nail guns is one of the tools that have undergone dramatic changes.

25 years ago the majority of carpenters and woodworkers were still using a handheld hammer to drive nails into position. Nail guns had been invented, but they were costly, and most people could not afford to own one.

Today the nail guns are more affordable, and they are also more advanced. There are many different guns available, and each of the guns has a strength that makes it best for specific types of work.

We asked our expert carpenters which is better a straight finish nailer or an angled finish nailer?if they would prefer to use a straight or angled finish nailer.  They gave us the following information.

Straight Vs Angled Finish Nailer

We need to exam the two nail guns and see what their strengths are before we can make the determination of which gun is the best.

The straight finish nailer differs from the angled finish nailer because of the alignment of their magazine. On the straight nail gun, the magazine is straight. On the angled gun the magazine is at an angle.

Straight Finish Nailer


The straight gun is capable of nailing thinner nails. These benefits people doing finish work like hanging trim or detailed carpentry. The smaller gauge nail is driven deep into the wood without causing damages like splitting to the wood. The smaller nail can be driven into thin woods.

These guns cost less than the angled versions. This is because the thinner nails for the gun cost less to produce and the straight magazine guns have been on the market for a longer period of time.


  • This tool is heavier than the other version so you do not want to have to carry it when you are nailing boards over your head.
  • If you are doing remodeling work and have to nail the nails in areas that provide you very little working room this gun is larger and harder to maneuver.
  • The thinner nails may not have the ability to hold the boards you nail in position as well as the thicker nails the other tool can drive.

Angled Finish Nailer


  • The angled gun can be used to drive thicker nails so when you are doing framework or heavier construction work you want this tool. This tool can fasten thicker boards like 2×4?s together with more strength than the thinner nails would have.
  • This tool can drive nails in tighter areas due to the longer nose. If you are working in a place that has little room for movement then this gun will allow you to place the nail where you need it. The longer nose and the angle of the magazine make this the perfect gun when you are doing remodeling projects.
  • This tool is lighter and has less bulk than the straight versions. Reducing the weight of the tool means that you do not get as tired as quickly, and you do not have the same amount of hand strain that you would have had carrying the heavier tool. This tool is better when you are working in elevated places or when you have to hold the nailer over your head in order to work.


  • The nails driven by this tool will often cause the board to split or pieces of the board to break away. The nails are thick and the pneumatic tool drives them in with a lot of force which can cause thinner boards to break. If you are doing finish work you want your nail gun to be able to secure the boards without damaging them.
  • These nail guns cost more than the straight nail guns do.
  • You may not be able to find the angled nail gun as easily as the straight version. There are fewer manufacturers that produce the angled version of this tool.

Final Thought

When considering whether to buy a straight or an angled nail gun you must consider what type of work you will be doing with the tool. You must also consider where you will be working. And last but not least you must consider how much you are willing to pay for the item.

Some people say that the shape of the heads on the nails driven by the different tools makes one nail hold more securely than the other. The angled gun shoots a nail that has a head shaped like a D. The straight gun shoots a nail with a head shaped like a T.

The shape of the head of the nail may add to the strength, and this may simply be a preference issue. Either way, both of these guns types are beneficial and faster than using a hammer.


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