Brad Nailer vs. Finish Nailer- Everything You Should Know

Do you have to do some upgrades around your home? If yes, do you know some of the tools you will need?

You are most likely to shop for either brad nailer or finish nailer. And what if you don’t have enough cash and you only want to buy just one?

Which one should you first go for? It poses a challenge, right?

In this article, we are going to highlight some of the differences between brad and finish nailer.

Hopefully, at the end of the article, you will then have a straight decision on which to buy first.

What Is A Brad Nailer?

A brad nailer is a handy tool that operates on power to shoot nails called brads into the material. Brad nails are usually thin, small, and come either headless or having a narrow head protruding on one side.

These types of nails are used purposefully for finishing.

There are varieties of brad nailers. You can get pneumatic or electric one. The pneumatic one works using compressed air to shoot brad nails into material forcefully.

Some Applications of The Brad Nailer

You can complete some tasks, both big and small using a brad nailer. This tool has been found applicable in many cases and for many people.

For the rest of us who are still thinking what a brad nailer can be used for, this section is a better moment for finding out some task that can be completed by this handy tool. You will get that this tool is applicable both for personal or professional intention.

Below, find some of the things and places where you can rarely miss a brad nailer whether in a skilled application or imagination.

Home Development Projects

You can’t doubt how the brad nailer can be of importance during home developmental projects. Whether you will be replacing your crown molding or just securing pieces of trim, the brad nailer will assume the most important part over other tools.

Professional Woodworkers

Brad nailers are applied by many professional woodworkers when holding things together. To make up things like cabinets, chairs and other furniture, professionals apply brad nailer alongside other adhesives.


Crafts are another fun thing that can be made possible by use of brad nailer. Therefore, you can use the brad nailer to accomplish and set crafts around your office, home or even classroom.

Using this tool, you can go without much of struggling pin, together with picture frames made of wood or fix the damaged one.

Construction Sites

You will rarely miss a brad nailer at any construction site. Why? Because it has some uses there. There is much need to secure parts and other structures of the building during construction, and this is where a brad nailer becomes a useful tool.

What Is A Finish Nailer?

finish nailer is a specific type of nail gun that can be used to achieve carpentry finish work efficiently and quickly without much of struggle. Like any other nailer, it is also a powerful tool.

There are many models of finish nailers that can be found on the market. There are many different manufacturers of these tools, and you can get them either corded or cordless.

Also like any other nail gun, these finish nailers are specifically designed to work with specific type and size of nails. The nails come in strips that can be loaded into the gun.

Within it, is a hammer that drives the nails using powered force. This makes it a handy tool that can be used to install any trim from boards or crown molding.

Each make and model of a finish nailer comes with different features and attributes. However, most of them come with a depth setting button.

The angle and size of operation differ from each model, and the user should choose the one that meets his/her needs.

Power option also varies where the corded one works on electricity and their brother, the cordless one, work on batteries.

Read also Pin Nailer: Top 5 Picks and Reviews for 2020

Some Applications of Finish Nailer

Cabinetry makers apply a finish nailer to achieve wood fastening easily and quickly. Indeed, it is well suited for jobs that require a little bit of more accuracy.

However, this tool can be applied or be useful when trimming, paneling, little crowing or interior molding. It is also applicable for building furniture that needs securing of wood pieces.

The Differences

Brad nailers and finish nailers might look similar, yet they have some differences. For some folks, the differences might be crucial, but for others, both tools have no difference as they are seen if both can be used to achieve the same task.

But if you have been wrapping a hand around your head thinking about their differences, you will have your share in this section.

I know for those doing small errands that do either require precision; they will get these differences quite confusing. But at the end, you will have a stand when thinking about with one to choose.

Hopefully, the below difference comparison will make you have a stand which tool you should go for. We will focus on what is crucial and the only ones that are making differences.

Right, let us move on.

They Differ In The Nail Size They Use

The size of the nail is the first difference you will notice about these two handy tools. Finish nailers take 16–gauge nails while its brother, the brad nailer, works with 18-gauge nailer commonly referred as brads hence its name.

However, you can get some finish nailers that can shoot 15-gauge nails. One thing you have to know is that, with the gauge number, the higher it is, the thinner the nail will be. What does that imply?

If you need thinner nails, then choose ones with a higher gauge number.

The thickness of the nail plays a vital role in defining the range of applications. You can’t apply thick nails where the thinner nails were to be used. You can end up damaging the product.

However, the thinner the nail, the less strong and less dense the material it can penetrate through.

Furthermore, the thin nails have smaller heads and imply that they will leave behind small holes in the material. And the smaller the resulting hole, the less noticeable it will be. Thus you will not have much to do, to make your work look beautiful.

They Differ In Pricing

There are also slight differences in the pricing of these two handy tools though so big. What makes their price to vary are the differences in their reliability, size of nails, type of materials, functionality or power.

Whether if the tool is pneumatic or electric assumes a major part in determining its price. In most cases, you will find pneumatic tools costing cheaply than electric ones. This has also some impact when it comes to brad and finishes nailers.

It will cost you much when acquiring the electric brad or finish nailers. Though, they will be cost-efficient in the long run as they don’t need to be maintained more frequently.

Yes, you will have little worries about regular oil level checkups.

On the other hand, it will not cost higher than electric one when acquiring pneumatic tools. Though, it will be expensive in the long run due to maintenance costs.

So it is evident that price should not be the wisest thing you can factor in as a comparison between this two items. Each tool will have a place in your home development project.

I believe that choosing either one based on the price is not the wisest move if you have wider applications.

Response To Some of The Commonly Asked Questions

Is this article raising some inquiries? I understand, and we don’t leave you there. In below section, find some questions and responses. You might also be having such issues.

I have big wood; can I use the brad or finish nailer?

Finish nailer can be the best in case of a larger, more bulky wood trim that requires more holding strength.

It is only because that they can shoot 15 or 16 gauge finish nails. These nails are larger to most of the brad nailers

What can nail size be used with my brad nailer?

This heavily relies on some things such as head size, the angle of shooting and so many.

Can an 18-gauge brad nailer be all around pleasant to do smaller trims?

It relies on the type of work you intend to use it for even if it is small. However, it ought to be as it covers the broadest range of applications.

Wrapping Up

Literally and from this article, you are required to have both of brad and finish nailer mainly if you are going to work on trims and molds. But what if you can’t afford both of them?

At that point, go for a brad nailer as it can handle most of the finish works.

However, if there will be more of trimmings, crowning, and molding, go with the finish nailer.

Thank you for reading this article.

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