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The Ins & Outs Of Angles Of Collation In Framing Nailers

The Ins & Outs Of Angles Of Collation In Framing Nailers

Framing nail guns come in a wide range of types and collations. The last thing you want is to pick the wrong tool for the job. Here are some basics on the difference of nailer collation angles to help you out.

First off, the angle degree refers to the nail collation, not the slant that the nail is driven. Nails are driven straight or perpendicularly into a surface. The second thing you should know is that the framing nailer degree you need may depend on the geographic location of your project. I will discuss further at the end of this article.

15-Degree Framing Nailers:
All 15-degree framing nailers are wire-coil collated. This means that their nails are held together by two thin wire strips and slanted at a 15-degree angle. The nails have a fully round head, and the collation is circular. In most cases (but not all), the full-round-head nail that these nailers drive is the preferred head shape for building code. Wire collation is less affected by moisture, so it is ideal in wet climates in comparison to paper collated nails.

21-Degree Framing Nailers:
This type of framing nailer magazine angle, depending on manufacturer, usually varies between 20-22-degrees. That three-degree variance allows the user some minor leeway in angle choice. Same as the 15-degree coil nailers, the 21-degree framing nailer drives a full-round head nail. The difference is the collation type, with nails held together by plastic strip as opposed to wire coil. The plastic strip holding the nails together breaks when fired, so beware of flying plastic and wear your safety goggles. And as your mom might say, clean up your mess! There will be some debris, and no one likes a messy jobsite.

28-Degree Framing Nailers
28-Degree framing nailers are wire strip collated. Nails come in either full-round offset head or clipped head. The nails are more closely nested on this degree of nailer (meaning the heads overlap somewhere), creating a more compact tool.

ToolBarn Tip: Some building codes do not allow clipped or offset head type nails.  Always check before buying.

30-34 Degree Framing Nailers:
These nailers offer the largest angle of degree and provide greatest access to tight angles encountered in framing. Nails are available in either full-round offset head or clipped head. Collation for these angled nailers is paper strip, with most designed to hold two strips of nails. Paper strip means less mess than plastic collation, but they are more prone to failure if exposed to moisture.

An Important Final Note:

In construction, some areas of the country may require a specific framing nail collation or nail head type to pass building code. In places that see more dramatic weather activity (hurricanes, for example), the codes often call for a full-round head nail. Always check with local building regulations to determine the nail type you need before buying.

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