Last Updated on January 10, 2024 by Web Operator
Best Nail Gun for Quarter Round: Top Picks for Precision Work
Whether you are a DIY enthusiast, a carpenter, or a homeowner looking to get some renovations underway, a nail gun is a useful tool for installing quarter-round molding.
After all, you don’t want to be there all day with a hammer and nail!
However, not any old nail gun will do.
In order to do the best job possible you’ll need a reliable and high-quality nail gun for such precision work.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best nail guns that will do just that! In this article, we’ll go over:
- The basics of quarter-round installation
- The different types of nail guns for quarter-round.
Let’s get into it!
Basics of Quarter-Round Installation
Quarter-round molding plays an essential role in enhancing interior aesthetics.
Quarter-round molding is traditionally used to create a seamless transition between baseboard and floor, which is perfect for covering up gaps and imperfections.
The molding can also be used on windows, door frames, countertops, and staircases. If you’re the crafty sort, quarter-round molding could even be used to create picture frames or set pieces for interior design. The opportunities are endless!
Precision is essential when it comes to quarter-round installation. Obviously, you don’t want to do a shoddy job of it. After all, the point is to cover up imperfections – not to create more!
Additionally, you need to be careful where you put your nails. The nails must be in the center of the molding and between one to two feet apart to ensure that the molding does not crack or split.
Just using a hammer and nails for such a precise job is tedious at best and risks much frustration.
Luckily some nail guns are specifically designed for quarter-round molding and will save you a lot of hassle while creating precise and consistent outcomes.
Types of Nail Guns for Quarter Round
There are three main types of nail guns when it comes to quarter-round molding: the Brad nail gun, the finish nail gun, and the pin nail gun. All have their advantages and disadvantages!
Brad nail gun
Brad nailers lie within the Goldilocks zone between more robust finish nail guns and the finer pin nail guns. This generally makes them the best bet for getting to that quarter-round molding.
Brad nailers are 18 gauge and shoot nails anywhere between 5/8 inches to 2 inches. This makes for a lot of versatility in usage, making them the sort of number 8 wire of nailers.
Meanwhile, the smaller size of headless nails used is unlikely to split the mold or leave many noticeable marks behind.
However, if they do leave a mark, it can always be remedied with the help of a little putty!
Because Brad nailers shoot smaller nails, they don’t need as much force as Finish nailers. Therefore, they have a more lightweight (yet sturdy and user-friendly) design.
Their ergonomic design allows them to be used with one hand and allows you to be very precise with your placement. All you have to do is line them up flush to the wall and fire away!
While you won’t be using Brad nailers to penetrate through many hard and thick materials, they are a solid option for quarter-round molding.
Finish nail gun
As the name suggests, finisher nailers are used for finishings. They shoot 15 and 16-gauge nails that are thicker, stronger, and longer (between 1 to 2.5 inches long) than the 18-gauge nails Brad guns shoot.
While the name might indicate that finisher nailers would be well suited for quarter-round molding, the size of the nails makes them ill-suited for small delicate materials that are liable to split.
That said, they can still be well-suited for larger trims such as crown molding.
Pin nail gun
The pin nailer is unsurprisingly the smallest at 23 gauge and shoots tiny headless nails. This makes them perfect for delicate work, but because the nails are so small, they are not as sturdy.
While you won’t need to worry so much about splitting the mold, the nails might not be quite strong enough to hold it in place.
Instead, pin nailers are typically used in conjunction with glue and for the purposes of alignment.
Bostitch BTFP12233 Smart Point 18-GA Brad Nailer Kit
The Bostitch BTFP12233 is a pneumatic nailer that fires 18 gauge nails. Pneumatic nailers tend to be lighter and more ergonomic but are less powerful than their corded and electric cousins.
This is because instead of running on electricity and batteries it uses an air compressor.
However, fear not: their relative lack of power is not an issue when it comes to the lighter work of quarter-round molding.
The Bostitch BTFP12233 has been praised for its ergonomic design, which allows it to fit into tight spots and reliably high performance.
Meanwhile, its single and bump firing modes allow you to switch between precision or rapid fire your 100 brads (per magazine) at will.
The nailer does have some downsides. Its adjustable depth settings meter is small, making it difficult to see and adjust. Additionally, the air compressor hose awkwardly sticks out which can prove to be a minor inconvenience.
In terms of price, it is currently on sale for $99 (usually $149) and comes with a 7-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Metabo HPT NT50AE2M 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer
The Metabo HPT NT50AE2M is also a pneumatic 18-gauge nailer with a 100 nails magazine capacity.
Like the Bostitch BTFP12233, it also has a single and bump mode.
The main difference to its Bostitch competitor is its ease of adjustability; the Metabo HPT NT50AE2M has an adjustable exhaust port and adjustable hose, allowing you to angle them out of your way.
It also has a reload indicator to warn you when you’re about to run out of nails!
The Metabo HPT NT50AE2M is on sale at the time of writing at $49 (down from $99) and comes with a five-year warranty.
PORTER-CABLE 20V 18GA Brad Nailer Kit PCC790LA
The PORTER-CABLE 20V 18GA has been described by one reviewer as the “best electric nail gun for quarter round”. High praise, I know – but not necessarily unfounded.
The 18-gauge cordless design makes for a powerful nailer able to get through most hardwoods. This is backed up by a strong, long-lasting 20V lithium battery and an easily changeable depth adjustment window.
While the PORTER-CABLE 20V 18GA has been praised for its ease of use, it is slightly on the heavier side coming at 9 pounds. Additionally, the price is a bit dear at $242 with a three-year warranty.
However, if you’re looking for a nail gun that can do the job of quarter-round molding (plus some more intensive jobs), this is a pretty good bet.
Metabo-HPT NT1850DF Cordless Nail Gun
The Metabo-HPT NT1850DF is a cordless finisher nailer. I know I said that Brad is best for installing quarter-round molding – but if your quarter-round is a little on the thicker side, this will certainly do the job!
The nailer comes equipped with an 18 V lithium battery which sees you through around 1,500 nails (100/magazine) per charge (thanks to its brushless motor technology). It also has variable speed, an LED light, and adjustable depth settings.
Despite being cordless, its design is similar to pneumatic nailers, just without the air hose. This makes for a very powerful ergonomic nailer which can fit easily into tight spots.
The price is perhaps the biggest downside for the Metabo-HPT NT1850DF, coming in at $346. But it does come with a lifetime warranty so you won’t need to purchase another one any time soon.
Wen 61721 18-Gauge Pneumatic Brad Nailer
The major advantage of the Wen 61721 is its price. At only $28, this nailer is a decent option for those just wanting to get the job done for as little cost as possible.
However, this means that it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of its competitors (for instance, no bump firing mode, adjustable components, or LED light).
The Wen 61721 is a pneumatic 18-gauge nailer with a magazine capacity of 106. The nailer has been known to jam occasionally, but the tool-free jam release (as in all other nailers) can easily remedy the situation.
The nailer is also super light at only 2.7 pounds, making it easy and comfortable to use all day long.
At the end of the day, most nail guns will get the job done!
But some are better at it than others. The delicate and precise nature of quarter-round installation lends itself to brad nail guns which have smaller nails less likely to split the wood.
Meanwhile, the ergonomic nature and generally lower price point of pneumatic nailers make them a great option.
Whatever nail gun you end up with, one thing’s for sure: you’re better off than you would be with just a hammer and nail!