What Size Nail Gun for Shiplap | Completely Explained

What Size Nail Gun for Shiplap

Installing shiplap is a popular way to add dimension and character to a room. Shiplap is a type of wood paneling that has a slight overlap, giving it a rustic look. Using a nail gun is one of the most effective and efficient ways to install the shiplap. 

To do the job properly, you need to use the right size nail gun. So, what size nail gun for shiplap? An 18 gauge nailer is usually recommended when installing the shiplap. 

It will ensure that the nails are firmly in place and will hold up over time. Read on to learn more about the different types of nail guns, what models to choose, how they work, etc., which will help you make the best decision for your needs.

What Size Nail Gun for Shiplap? Details Guide

nail shiplap

The use of the correct size nail gun for shiplap cannot be overemphasized. Using a smaller or larger gauge nail gun can lead to problems such as nails that are not securely in place, panels that are uneven, and even damage to the wall. 

It is crucial to use the correct size nail gun in order to avoid these issues and have a beautiful finished product. On the market, there are several different types of nail guns, each with its own uses and size specifications. 

If you are having difficulty determining which one is right for your needs, this article will assist you. Professionals recommend using an 18 gauge nail gun with 1 3/4″ to 2 1/4″ brad nail size for shiplap board installation. 

By doing so, you will ensure that the nails are firmly in place, and you will also reduce the risk of wood splitting.

Different Types of Nail Guns

pin nailer

Knowing the various types of nail guns available on the market will assist you in making an informed decision when purchasing one. Here is a quick overview of the most common types:

1. Brad Nailer

Brad nailer is one of the most popular types of nail guns because they are versatile and can be used for a variety of applications. You can use it to install trim in home depot, crown molding, cabinetry, and faux shiplap wall. 

The brad nails are smaller in size (18 gauge) and have a small head. In general, 18 gauge brad nail is available in lengths ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 1/2 inches. In comparison to other types of nailers, brad nailers do not require putty to cover up the nail hole.

2. Finish Nailer

Another very popular tool is the finish nailer, which is used to install trim, molding, cabinets, and other finished woodwork DIY projects. Finish nail gun drive larger nails (15 to 18 gauge) and have a bigger head than brad nails. 

As the name suggests, these nailers are used to achieve a smooth, finished look. In contrast to brad nailer, finish nailer require putty to cover up the nail holes.

3. Framing Nail Gun

Framing nail guns are designed for heavy-duty use and are often used by construction workers and carpenters. They drive thicker nails and have a large heads. 

It is used in framing houses, fencing, roof sheathing, building decks, sub-flooring, and other structures. Framing nailers are not typically used for installing vertical shiplap.

4. Roofing Nailer

Roofing nailers are used to fastening roofing materials, such as shingles and tar paper. They are used primarily for driving ¾-inch to 1¾-inches size nails.

5. Palm Nailer

Palm nailers are small and lightweight and are designed to be used with one hand. They are perfect for tight spaces and can be used to install trim, molding, cabinetry, and other small projects.

6. Siding Nailer

Siding nailers are designed specifically for installing siding. They use special nails that are designed to pierce the siding without causing damage.

Different Categories of Nail Guns

plaster walls

There are also different categories of nail guns that you need to be aware of. It will be helpful to you when you make a purchase decision. The categories are as follows:

1. Pneumatic Nailer

The pneumatic nailer is the most popular type of nail gun and uses compressed air to drive nails. Generally, it is the most powerful type of nail gun and may be used for a variety of purposes. 

It is necessary to use an air compressor in order to use this type of nail gun. In order to drive the nail, the nail gun pulls air from the compressor, compresses it, and releases it.

2. Electric Nailer

An electric nailer is another type of nail gun. It uses electricity to drive the nails. While it is less powerful than a pneumatic nailer, it does not require an air compressor. 

Electrical energy is supplied by a power source, while a powerful motor creates a driving force that helps to sink the nails into the material.

3. Corded Nailer

According to the name, a corded nailer is connected to an electrical outlet via a cord. The cord acts as a power source for the nailer as it connects to the outlet.

4. Cordless Nailer

A cordless nailer is powered by a battery. It does not require an electrical outlet or a cord to be connected to it. This type of nail gun is perfect for use in tight spaces where there is no available power source.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Nail Gun

liquid nails

As a result of understanding the different types of nail guns, you can determine which type of nail gun is ideal for what purpose. However, the selection is not over yet. 

You need to take into consideration some factors when purchasing a good nail gun. This way, you will ensure that you are making a wise investment. Below are some factors to consider when buying a nail gun.

1. Purpose

The first factor you need to consider is the purpose of the nail gun. What type of project will you be using it for? If you are a homeowner, you may only need a brad nailer or a palm nailer. 

However, if you are a contractor, you may need a framing nailer or roofing nailer. Be sure that you understand the purpose of the nail gun before making a purchase.

2. Power

Power is another important factor to consider. If you are using it for heavy-duty projects, you will need a more powerful nail gun. In contrast, you may not need a powerful nail gun if you are using it for light-duty projects. 

Consider the power of the nail gun when making your purchase. In general, you will require a corded pneumatic nail gun for heavy-duty projects. If you are working on a light-duty project, you might want to consider a cordless nail gun. 

Be sure to weigh your options before making a purchase, as both types have advantages and limitations. For example, cordless nail guns are more portable but may lose power if the battery is low. 

On the other hand, corded nail guns are powerful but require an outlet to be used. You should therefore consider your needs before making a purchase.

3. Weight

Another important consideration is the weight of the nail gun. If you are going to be using it for extended periods of time, you will want a lightweight nail gun. This will help to reduce fatigue and make the project easier overall. 

However, if you are only using it for short-term projects, a heavier nail gun might not be an issue. Consider the weight of the nail gun when making your purchase. 

It is generally true that corded pneumatic nail guns are the lightest, while cordless nail guns are the heaviest due to their batteries.

4. Ease of Use

When purchasing a nail gun, it is also essential to consider its ease of use. Some nail guns are easier to use than others. Consider the features of the nail gun and how easy it is to operate before making a purchase. 

If you are a beginner, you might want to consider a nail gun that is easy to use. This will help you to avoid any frustration and make the project easier overall.

5. Depth Control

Depth control is another important consideration when purchasing a nail gun. This feature allows you to adjust the depth of the nails, which is especially important when nailing into delicate materials. 

If you are a beginner, you will want to consider a nail gun with depth control. In this way, you will be able to avoid making any mistakes and ensure that your nails are not too deep.

6. Magazine Capacity

A nail gun’s magazine capacity is another important factor to consider. This is the number of nails that the nail gun can hold at one time. 

If you are using the nail gun for extended periods of time, you will want a nail gun with a high magazine capacity. 

This will help to reduce the number of times you have to reload the gun. So, consider the magazine’s capacity before making a purchase.

7. Jam Release

Jammed nails are a common issue with nail guns. If the nail gun jams, you will need to take it apart and clear the jam. This can be a frustrating process, especially if you are not familiar with how to do it. 

Therefore, you should consider using a nail gun that has a jam release mechanism. This will help to make the process easier if the gun jams.

8. Dry-Fire Protection

Dry-fire protection is a feature that helps to prevent the nail gun from firing when there is no nail in the chamber. This feature is important because it helps to prevent damage to the gun. Before you purchase a nail gun, consider one that offers dry-fire protection.

9. Trigger Lock

Trigger locks are another important feature to consider when purchasing a nail gun. This feature helps to keep the trigger locked in place, which prevents the gun from firing accidentally. If you are using the nail gun around children or pets, you will want to consider a model with a trigger lock. This will help to keep them safe.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Nail Gun


If you have just purchased a new nail gun, there are a few things that you should do to take care of it. First, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. This will help you to understand how to operate the nail gun safely and correctly.

Second, be sure to keep the gun clean. This will help to ensure that it works properly and lasts longer. Use a soft cloth to clean the gun and remove any dirt or debris.

Third, be sure to keep the gun lubricated. This will help to prevent it from jamming. Use a light oil to lubricate the gun, and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Fourth, be sure to store the gun in a safe place when not in use. Do not leave it lying around where children or pets can access it.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your nail gun lasts longer and works properly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

There are a few questions that are commonly asked about nail guns. Here are a few of the most common questions and their answers. This will help you to better understand nail guns and make an informed purchase.

1. Do You Need to Fill Nail Holes In the Shiplap?

Yes, you will need to fill the holes created by the nails in the shiplap. Filling these holes is an important step in the installation process and helps to ensure a smooth finish. You can use wood filler or spackle to fill the holes.

2. Is It Necessary to Caulk Around the Shiplap?

Caulking around the shiplap is necessary to create a waterproof seal and protect them from moisture. You can use a caulk gun to apply the caulk.

3. What Are the Causes of Nail Gun Jams?

Nail gun jams can be caused by a number of things, such as nails that are the wrong size or nails that are bent. You can also cause a jam by trying to drive a nail into a hard surface. The lack of adequate oiling can also cause a nail gun to jam.

4. What Are Some Common Causes of Damage to a Nail Gun?

Some common causes of damage to a nail gun are dry-firing, using the wrong nails, and using the gun on inappropriate surfaces. If you are not careful, you can easily damage the gun.


Nail guns are a great tool to have around the house, but it is important to choose the right one for the job. Make sure to consider the factors mentioned in this blog before making a purchase. 

We hope that you have found the answer to your question regarding what size nail gun for shiplap. With the right nail gun and size, your shiplap installation will go much more smoothly.

What Size Nail Gun for Shiplap | Completely Explained

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