What Nail Gun is Best to Use for Paneling?

Although many of us seem to assume that nail guns are just general tools that can be used for any kind of nailing project, that isn’t the case. In fact, there are different types of nail guns for different types of projects, including framing nail guns, flooring nail guns, roofing nailers, finish guns, etc. But what nail gun to use for paneling – that’s the question!

Generally, you’ll find that brad nailer is ideal for nailing paneling. It’s light and easy to manage, and therefore perfect for jobs of this nature. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at why it is so important to use a nail gun that has been specifically made for the project that you are undertaking and what you should specifically look for in a paneling nailer.


What nail gun works best on paneling?

Specifically, a paneling nail gun, also known as a brad nailer, is a tool that has been designed to be lighter and easier to handle than others. This is in order to help you finish off lighter projects, such as paneling. Paneling nails are not usually as big nor as long as nails that are needed to penetrate thicker and more robust pieces of material. 

Therefore, instead of risking shooting any random or standardized nails into your paneling, it makes sense to take the lighter option with a brad nailer.

Why is it essential to have the right nail gun for your paneling project? 

Paneling is a great option in helping you change the decor in nearly any kind of room, and very recently has become an increasingly popular choice. It’s fairly low cost, easy to work with, and really can transform the look of any room.

Thankfully, there are tools available to make the job go a lot quicker and a lot more efficiently, including the paneling nail gun (as detailed above).

Therefore, when doing your paneling, you will need a gun that you are able to control easily, and maneuver with different placements of the panels. It will also secure your paneling with the right nails without damaging the material in the process.

Of course, should you then need a nailer to do a more difficult job, for which you will need different kinds of nails, then a paneling gun will no longer be suitable. Take a look at our guide to the different types of nail guns if you’re unsure.

What to look for in a paneling nail gun

As mentioned, for paneling, you will ideally need a brad gauge nail gun, or a brad nailer. In some cases, it is also called a stapler or a tacker. Generally speaking, brad nailers are used to shoot 18 gauge nails which are generally between ⅝ and 2 inches long. These are the ideal measurements for paneling nails as they are the perfect width and length to secure the paneling without ruining the look or causing damage.

Thankfully, there are, of course, plenty of brad nail guns available to choose from, from various models and makes, to suit any kind of use (be it professional or occasional) and budget. 

Other things to consider in your paneling nail gun

There are a few things that you should look for when choosing your perfect paneling nail gun, other than its basic type or style.

Long battery life

Since panels can pretty much be installed in any length of wall, a long battery life may not always seem as though it is essential. However, it is always good to have a tool on which you can rely to last with you throughout the length of the job. 

Go cordless

Of course, you will undoubtedly be looking at a cordless nail gun for freedom of movement. Cords can easily get in the way and prevent you from completing the job in a time-efficient way. The best cordless nail guns, providing they’re brad nailers, are great for paneling tasks.

Nail capacity

Stopping to recharge and reload nails can be a pain. It takes time, patience and can prevent us from moving forward. With that in mind, it is best to look for a nail gun that is capable of holding a good amount of nails – your own needs may vary.


Although paneling nail guns are generally made lighter, that does not mean that they all weigh the same. Ideally, you would need to hold the nail gun before purchasing it, or at least check the weight, to ensure that it is one that you will be able to comfortably and safely hold in your hand for the length of the job. 


With the number of different nail guns available, finding the right one for your job can seem like a nightmare. However, when you take the time to look at what the different nail guns are used for, and specifically what jobs you will need it for, you will easily be able to find the right one for you. Look at nail sizes – for example, the difference between 16 gauge and 18 gauge nailers matters a lot!

Paneling nail guns, or brad nailers, tend to be some of the most commonly bought across the US. You’ll find them in all kinds of DIY and hardware stores, and what’s more, they’re easy to find online, too. Take a look at specific models and makes and see what other buyers have to say, too, before you buy.