I'm somewhat curious about framing nailer angles & framing nails. I see that they come in a variety of angles, and the nails that they fire tend to be different as well. I've also heard that despite this, there isn't much difference between framing nailers aside from how close you can fit the gun into a frame due to the angle of the magazine. I've also observed that there are several nail types, each with a different nail-nail attachment method (Such as paper, or plastic connectors between them). From my observations, I think that the paper stays with the nail when it is shot, and prevents water intrusion into the wood target, whereas the plastic just fragments on launch and impact.

What are the differences between framing nailer angles, and their magazine nail types, and what different applications are they used for? When should one type be used over the other?


21 Degree nailers are the most common. They fire full head nails held together with a plastic strip.

34 degree nailers can use full or clipped head nails. The strips are held together with paper. Clipped head nails are not allowed for framing in many jurisdictions.

28 degree nailers are pretty much a Bostitch only size. The nails are held together with wire, and require somewhat more space than the other two types.

Please note that framing nailers are not approved for attaching structural brackets, such as hurricane clips and joist hangers. The nails are not thick enough. For those, you need either a specific Metal Fastener gun, such as the Paslode Positive Placement nailer, a palm nailer, or with a hammer.

Which you use is really just personal preference. There is no "sealing" done by any of the nails - framing structure is not supposed to be exposed to weather.

  • Mostly agree, though this tends to be regional. In Eastern Canada, 21 degree plastic collated nails were hard to find (full head nails aren't required). In California, it's nothing but. Dec 1 '17 at 22:41

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