A finish gun is at the heart of any trim carpenter’s tool kit. Production carpenters may favor 16-gauge tools because the fasteners are cheaper. But as a custom finish carpenter, I’ve always preferred 15-gauge guns because the thicker nails hold better and are less likely to bend. And because 15-gauge fasteners are collated at an angle, the guns work better in tight spaces. For this article I tried out nine different 15-gauge angle nailers. Some of them have been around for years, but a few are brand new.

Most guns have adequate driving power, but some are better than others. According to Senco, its gun generates 380 inch-pounds of force. And Bostitch says its gun packs a 400-inch-pound wallop. But most companies don’t release this data, and the only test that counts is how well the tool drives nails.

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