Tom’s Easy Guide to Stainless Steel Gun Nails

With so many companies selling nail guns, it can be difficult to know which type of nail can be used in any particular tool. Believe it or not, it used to be worse. Back in the day, every manufacturer tried to make unique nail designs to force customers to buy their brand of nails. So, if you owned a Bostitch nail gun, you had to buy Bostitch nails. It’s better today, but finding the right nail for the right tool can still be a challenge.

First off, don’t worry too much about the brand of tool that you want to feed nails through. The market place has forced most manufacturers to settle on a few common styles. If you have the right style of nail, it will work in your nail gun, no matter the brand. I have grouped the nails in three categories; Strip Nails for Framing, Coil Nails and Trim Nails. Of course, these are all available in Stainless Steel from Builders Stainless and


Strip Nails for Framing

These are 1-1/2” to 3-1/2” full size nails for framing and decking. The nails are assembled in a straight strip to fit the nail gun’s track. The shank diameter can differ but make sure the nail gun will use the length selected. These three types are not interchangeable!


20°-22° Plastic Strip, Full Round Head Nails 


31°-34° Paper Tape, Clipped or Offset Head Nails


33° Paper Tape, Full Round Head Connector Nails (Stubbies)

Coil Nails

Coil nails come in variety of shapes and sizes for different applications. Coil nails are welded to a wire at a 15° angle and shaped in a coil to fit the drum of the nail gun. (Some siding & fencing nails are inserted in a plastic strip coil.) Make sure the gun will accept the chosen nail length. These three types are generally not interchangeable!

Coil Framing and Decking Nails


Coil Roofing Nails


Coil Siding and Fencing Nails

Trim Nails and Brads

These are thinner nails designed for trim carpentry. The correct gauge and angle must be selected. Again, make sure the gun will accept the chosen nail length. These five types are not interchangeable!


15 Ga. 33° Angle (Most brands)


15 Ga. 25° Angle (Bostitch only)


16 Ga. Straight 


16 Ga. Angle


           18 Ga. Straight



This should cover at least 95% of the nail guns out there. If this didn’t include your nail gun, drop us a note at [email protected] and we’ll find an answer for you.


Thank You for reading,



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