What are 18 gauge nails used for? Here is where to use them

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So, what are 18 gauge nails used for?

Of course, there are tens if not hundreds of different nail types out there – and these different types of nails are all suited for different kinds of jobs

Now, I will discuss 18 gauge nail uses in this article.

Let us kick off by first knowing what an 18 gauge nail is(for the sake of beginners)…


What is 18 gauge nail?

18 gauge nails, commonly known as brads, are a type of nails that are designed for thin wood nailing.

Now, these nails have small heads and that is why they leave small nail holes making them a great tool for most interior design projects.

In terms of their length, brads generally come in lengths of ½ to 2 ½ inches.

Just to add, brads are thinner than finish nails hence they have weaker holding power than finish nails.


What are 18 gauge nails used for?

So, what are 18 gauge nails good for?

As mentioned above, 18-gauge nails are specifically designed for thin wood applications – that is jobs where thicker nails would lead to splitting of the wood.

That said, 18 gauge nails have quite a wide range of uses –from DIY projects, cabinet installation, trim works, antique furniture renovation, and more.

It is worth noting that due to their thinness, all their applications are in projects that do not require high load capacity.

Below we will look at these uses in deeper detail and some more.


What are 18 gauge brad nails used for?

Cabinet woodwork assembly

Some of the crucial structures that you may want to have in your house include cabinets- They will keep your house tidy and organized as you will be able to store your stuff in one place.

Now, when making these cabinets, you can use 18 gauge nails in holding your boards together.


Display and shop fitting

If you own a shop, you will probably want to display some of your merchandise- and we all know that there is no other better way than using displays.

Here is the truth: If you opt for wooden displays, you will likely require 18-gauge nails for your wood fitting.

Picture/mirror frames mounting

Picture/mirror frames are quite thin and, therefore, require small nails to hold them together.

For that reason, short 18 gauge nails can be perfect for this work.


Pet cages and enclosures

If you’re a pet enthusiast, once in a while you will want your pet to stay in an enclosure- for example when you have guests around.

Now, if you’re constructing these enclosures, 18-gauge nails should serve your needs excellently.


Most Small DIY projects

Overall, 18 gauge nails are the best option if you love small DIY projects (think of projects like creating jewelry storage boxes, small wooden planters, and more).


Toy manufacture

18 gauge nails are also used to attach various wooden parts by folks who manufacture wooden toys like trains, trucks, bicycles, tractors, toy chairs, and even doll houses.


Well, because not only are these toys made of thin wood but they also need to be durable so a nail that is stronger nail than the weaker 21 and 23 gauge nails- and no nail is better here than 18 ga nails.


Presentation boxes

If you are the king that likes using custom-made wooden presentation boxes to package presents, then you need to have 18-ga nails around too.


Antique furniture restoration

You probably have a family heirloom in the form of furniture or some other vintage furniture that you may have gotten from your relatives/friends.

As you might be aware, antique furniture is fragile and will easily split if nail thick nails into them.

Which is where 18 gauge nails come in- these nails are very handy when you want to repair or upgrade your antique furniture.



18-gauge nails are fine to use on thin sheets of wood as they will not split it.

As such, these are the nails you should go for door and wall paneling (they’re very popular among interior designers).


Trellis work

Thanks again to their thin nature -which prevents them from splitting thin sheets of wood- 18 gauge nails are appropriate for your trellis work (may it be in the garden or for decorative purposes).



If you are into skirting work, you will also want to have 18-gauge nails nearby.

The main reason is they won’t leave unsightly nail holes so you don’t need to do any filling work.



If you want to install panels in your sauna, you need 2” stainless steel 18-gauge nails for your work.

I have to mention that they won’t leave black streaks or deteriorate like other nails.

In addition, they ensure a strong hold.


Tongue and groove flooring

When it comes to T&G flooring, the tongues can easily break off unless special care is taken.

For this reason, you will again need 18 gauge nails for the job- and it is good that they will also ensure a strong hold on your boards.


Making crates/packaging cases

If the project you have in mind is making small wooden crates (they type not made for carrying weight), then you will want to buy 18 gauge nails.

Even so, it is important to note that heavier boxes will probably require stronger nails.

Now that I have answered your main question -What are 18 gauge nails used for?- comprehensively, let’s look at a few other related questions…


How thick are 18 gauge nails?

18 gauge nails have a general thickness of 0.0475 inches.

What you should bear in mind is that this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer – in fact, the typical range is 0.0468 to 0.049 inches.


What can I use an 18 gauge nailer for?

Obviously, the nailer that is used to fire 18-ga nails is an 18 gauge nailer so if you have understood the previous sections, you can guess what its most common woodworking applications  are.

To put it in simple language, you will have countless uses for your 18 gauge nailer especially if you’re a DIY aficionado from home renovations (including thin trim and  casing), building wooden cabinets, making dressers, etc.

Don’t forget that this nailer is often used in holding things in place (while gluing and/or as you put screws in).


What are 18 gauge nails used for – Recap

Because of their features- 18 gauge nails/brads are thin nails that range from ½ to 2 ½ inches in length and with a general thickness of 0.0475 inches- 18ga nails are most ideal for nailing thin wood that would otherwise split if thicker nails are used.

Shop 18-gauge brad nails now


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