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Brad Nailer vs Finish Nailer: Which to Choose & Why 2023

Brad Nailer vs Finish Nailer Which to Choose & Why 2022

Brad Nailer vs Finish Nailer: Which to Choose & Why 2023

If you’re in the market for just about any nailer to make your woodworking more accessible, you’ve probably found yourself confused between the different types of nailers available.

Today, we will be comparing brad nailers vs. finish nailers to decrease your confusion and give you a clear view of which nailer to choose. Mainly it comes down to what kind of work you will be doing with this and your experience with nailers.

It will be a beginner’s guide, so we will cover everything to make a clear comparison between the two.

In this post, we will cover: 

brad nailers
finish nailers
Brad Nailer Uses
Finish Nailer Uses
main difference

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SaleBestseller No. 1
WEN 61721 18-Gauge 3/8-Inch to 2-Inch Pneumatic Brad Nailer
  • Shoot 18-gauge brads ranging from 3/8 to 2 inches...
  • Operate at 60 to 115 PSI with the 1/4-inch NPT air...
  • Features a depth adjustment wheel, a nail gauge, a...
  • Hassle-free nose latch makes clearing jammed nails...
  • NOTE: nails and case not included. Pneumatic...
SaleBestseller No. 2
NEU MASTER Electric Brad Nailer, NTC0040 Electric Nail Gun/Staple Gun...
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  • 🔰Safety Design -- The 18 gauge brad nailer is...
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  • 🔰ADJUSTABLE POWER -- This 18 gauge brad nailer...
SaleBestseller No. 3
NEU MASTER Pneumatic Brad Nailer, 2 in 1 Nail Gun Staple Gun Fires 18...
  • 【Pneumatic 2 In 1 Nail/Staple Gun】 NEU MASTER...
  • 【2 IN 1 Nail Gun with Carrying Case】 1000 pcs...
  • 【User Friendly Design】Proper setting of...
  • 【Easy Adapter】Pneumatic brad gun work with...
  • 【Wide Applications】A great ideal for wood...
SaleBestseller No. 4
DEWALT Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch, Pneumatic...
  • Long life maintenance-free motor to keep from...
  • Tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment with detents...
  • Tool-free jam release mechanism for easy nail...
  • Rear exhaust to keep contaminates away from work
  • Drives 18 gauge nails from 5/8 in. to 2 in. length
Bestseller No. 5
Metabo HPT Finish Nailer | 16 Gauge Finish Nails - 1-Inch up to...
1,398 Reviews
Metabo HPT Finish Nailer | 16 Gauge Finish Nails - 1-Inch up to...
  • FASTENERS: 16-gauge finish nails in lengths...
  • AWARD: Rated the Pro Preferred Nailer for 7 years...
  • TRIGGER: Selective actuation switch lets the user...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Only 3.7 lbs and well-balanced for...
  • DEPTH ADJUSTMENT: Tool-free depth of drive...

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brad nailers

It is a pneumatic or cordless nailer that drives 18-gauge nails into wood. These are very popular with average households as they provide a highly relevant experience for casual users.

finish nailers

It is a heavy dutynailerthat can be found in both pneumatic and cordless designs. These shoot thick 15 or 16-gauge nails and can drive nails up to 2 inches long.

Finish nailers (such as these top picks) are better suited and intended for professional, heavier jobs than simple home tasks. But it provides enough versatility to be used in more situations.

Brad Nailer Uses

A nailer can be found useful for most common home repairs and jobs. Using a brad nailer is not a difficult job as they are straightforward to use and therefore quite suitable for new and beginner users.

The nails that a Brad nailer fires are pretty thin and small compared to other professional-grade nailers. That means it’s not very suitable for large, professional projects.

However, its small nail size is very relevant in household jobs such as fixing a chair, making a wooden frame, or making tiny things. The nails are so small that they do not leave marks or traces on the wood once applied.

A nail gun lacks the holding power to join large, heavy pieces of wood permanently, but professionals can use it temporarily to hold down wood while the adhesive dries. That way, they don’t have to use any extra support for the glue.

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Finish Nailer Uses

Unlike Brad nailers, your use case for a finish nailer would be pretty limited. The nailer is usually used and handled by professionals. These nails are thick and can be very long, making them ideal for permanently fastening large, heavy pieces of wood.

You’ll find finish nailers used for making and fixing furniture, joining door frames, making wood framing, and other high-profile woodwork.

Due to the large nails, you should not use them on small projects. The destructive power of a finish nailer will break thin pieces of wood and leave large holes.

Finish nailers are very similar to framing nailers; the only difference is that you cannot change the angle of the nail on a finish nailer.

main difference

So now, we compare the two nailers and pull out the differences. The main differences can be found in nail size, holding power, price, and speed.

  1. Nail size

The size of the nail used in nailers is what primarily decides the purpose and type of the nailer. Nail size is measured by gauge, and the higher the gauge number, the thinner the nail.

A nailer has a magazine that accepts 18 gauge nails. These are relatively thin nails and do not have a pinhead. They can penetrate deep into wood materials and leave a minimal trace.

The magazine on a finish nailer can hold 15 or 16-gauge nails. These are a little thicker than brads and have a tiny pinhead, so they can’t go deep into the wood and leave a small hole that must be filled in later.

Brad Nailer vs Finish Nailer: Which to Choose & Why 2022

2. Holding power

Holding power refers to the strength of a nail and how much weight or pressure it can withstand; Generally, the thicker and more prolonged the nail, the greater the holding power.

Brad’s nails have meager holding power compared to finished nails. They are unsuitable for thick and heavy woods and can be removed quite easily. However, they are sometimes used to hold down wood temporarily.

Because they are longer and thicker, finishing nails have a lot of holding power and can permanently bond and bond to even the heaviest pieces of wood.

3. Price

Prices differ for pneumatic and cordless nailers. Cordless nailers are more expensive.

If you directly compare the nailer to the finish nailer, you will find that a nailer is relatively less expensive than even the cheapest finish nailer. On top of that, finish nails cost more than brad nails.

4. speed

All nailers are designed to replace hammering pins and save you time. Therefore, all of them are pretty fast.

However, in terms of speed, Brad nailers are faster as they can fire more nails in a row thanks to the smaller size of the nails. Brad nailers also tend to have multiple firing modes to increase speed even more.

Which nailer should you buy?

It all comes down to personal preference. To reach a definitive conclusion, you need to figure out what you intend to do with these nailers and make your decision based on that.

If you plan to work primarily on light, small projects, or maybe you’re just a casual guy who enjoys woodworking; you’ll love the versatility and ease of use the Brad Nailer offers. A Brad nailer would be a good choice for beginners.

However, if you have experience in the woodworking industry and have big plans, a finished nailer will meet your expectations.

Even if you’re not a professional, fencing around the house or building a treehouse will require strong holding power, which a finish nailer can comfortably provide.


So, after our extensive brad nailer vs. finish nailer discussion, we hope we’ve given you a solid enough foundation to make your decision. You can always go to your local hardware store to try out nailers and decide which one is for you.

  • Nail size
  • Holding power
  • Price
  • speed
    Which nailer should you buy?

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Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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