Most days, I use one of my pneumatic nailers powered by a Makita quiet series compressor for the light framing and trim work that I do. It’s hard to beat this combination for its light weight, durability, consistency, and lack of recoil. But when a jobsite is lacking power, or I’m on a quick punch-out job, or I don’t want to lug a compressor up a set of stairs, battery-powered nail guns shine. I’m not one of those carpenters who have switched over to battery-powered nailers completely (I’ve found them to be too heavy to carry around on a toolbelt all day), but I’ve come to appreciate their versatility, portability, and convenience compared with that of their pneumatic siblings. Recently, I’ve been trying out four 18‑volt-battery-powered offerings from Metabo HPT: a 15-gauge angled nailer, a 16-gauge straight nailer, an 18-gauge brad nailer, and a 23-gauge pin nailer. What follows is an overview of each nail gun, including an explanation of which gauge works the best for the task I am completing.

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