Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer | Key Differences

With the wide range of Nailers that are available today; it can be quite confusing for beginners who are thinking of owning one or more.

Most carpenters or artisans will have many different nail guns, all of which serve different purposes and without which some tasks would not be achieved.

Nailers are specific, and there is no universal type. They come in a variety of types, brands, and model, with each specifically made for the unique purpose.

In this article, we look at the two mainstream nailers; the Brad and Pin nailer. We will highlight some key differences between them.

Well, let’s start.

What is Pin Nailers?

Pin nailers are great devices that are now being used in construction under one of the most important, and the most looked for products in general. The pin nailer is almost similar to brad nailer, except that it is used for headless pins that are hard to see by human eyes.

This superb equipment operates on the principle of air pressure, which is used to push headless nails or pins into the material to hold it against the wall. Since they use headless pins, they leave no larger marks, which is the case with the brad nailer.

Some Applications of Pin Nailers

The principal application of these nailers is to support material along the wall, for different purposes ranging from decoration to division. They are also used where a temporary closure is needed to cover something or to be removed easily in the future.

To use a pin nailer is smooth and effortless. You will only be required to mark the points that need to be nailed. You will then attach your nailer to the air compressor and shoot the pin while holding the gun.

Here, you have to do it keenly not to go beyond the end of the trim.

Well, after learning about pin nailer and some of its applications, let us also learn something about their counterpart; the brad nailer.

What are Brad Nailers?

The brad nailer is one of the typical tools that you can find with any carpenter. Its name originates from one historical woodworker known by those days as Brad.

In most cases, it comes with 18 gauge nailer which is relatively smaller than regular nailers. The 18 gauge nailer has an excellent push power and gives a great push of the nail.

Brad nailers come in different types and brands out there, you can get them ranging from 2 inches going up to 5/8 inches.

Some Applications of Brad Nailer

Brad nailers are convenient tools that can benefit any woodworking enthusiasts regardless of whether he/she is a beginner or an expert.

It will be handy for any individual partaking in woodworking and for example, wants to install the wood without screws or pre-drilling. In this case, brad nailer becomes the most suitable for the task.

As they come in different ranges and sizes from two inches to 5/8 inches, they are very suitable to drive brad nails through wood, wall or cabinet for various purposes such as decoration or finishing.

This tool will never leave a big hole through that material same to pin nailer.

In the below section, learn about some of the differences between brad nailer and a pin nailer.

What are Some of Their Differences?

These tools are made specifically for different purposes. One works with headless pins and the other works on brad nails. What does that imply?

It implies that they have significant noticeable differences.

Below are some of them;

Way of Operation

Pin nailers operate efficiently than brad nailers who work with a greater cohesiveness and consistent force. This makes it suitable for hardwood and not just plywood.

Pin nailer works suitably on boards and pre-polished materials.


Brad nailers are usually larger than pin nailers which are considered the smallest of gun nailers. You can get up to 18-gauge pin nailer and up 23-gauge brad nailer.

Sizes of the Mark they Make

Pin nailer makes a tiny mark that can be filled just by doing some bit of finishing while the brad nailer leaves behind a huge mark that can’t be filled with simple finishing.

Holding Power

You will get massive holding power from 18-gauge braid nailer compared to 15-gauge pin nailer.

Commonly Asked Questions

In this section, we take a look at some of the questions we received repeatedly from our readers.

Between Brad and Pin Mailer which is more versatile?

When versatility is compared between these two tools, the brad nailer wins it.

Can I use the pin nailer for heavy tasks?

The brad nailer is suitable heavy duty task because of its power. For pin nailers, it is only ideal for the light work. It can’t be used to nail through hardwoods.

Can pin nailer and brad nailer be used as a finish gun?

If you have been thinking of substituting the pin nailer or brad nailer as finish gun, be sure to go with a brad nailer. You will use it almost entirely in all of your finish/trim tasks.

Wrapping Up

Regardless of whether you will choose a pin nailer or a brad nailer, if you land on the best brand, you will get served with no problem. These two tools are essential, and they can help you attach pin or brads with high precision.

They are quite handy tools that can be used for temporary attachment, and they can still serve as a replacement to clamps.

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