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I recently had the chance to try out nine different 15-gauge finish nailers. The big advantage of this size gun, which for years was made only by Senco and Bostich, is the nails. Before the introduction of 15-gauge nails, carpenters had to choose between nailing by hand or using lighter 16-gauge fasteners, which often bent when they were driven in hardwood and had small heads that were easy to pull through softwood. The heavier 15-gauge fasteners are popular because they're similar to handdriven finish nails — they're stiff enough to go through hardwood, and the heads are big enough to hold in softwood. The nails are also collated at an angle, so the nailers have magazines that slant up