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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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Bestseller 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 in length
  • Operate at 60 to 115 PSI with the 1/4-inch NPT air inlet...
  • Features a depth adjustment wheel, a nail gauge, a rotatable...
  • Hassle-free nose latch makes clearing jammed nails quick and...
  • NOTE: nails and case not included. Pneumatic nailer, need...
Bestseller No. 2
Electric Brad Nailer, NEU MASTER NTC0040 Electric Nail Gun/Staple Gun for Upholstery, Carpentry and Woodworking Projects, 1/4'' Narrow Crown Staples 200pcs and Nails 800pcs Included
  • 🔰CONVENIENCE --The electric nail gun/staple gun doesn't...
  • 🔰WIDE APPLICATION -- The nailer/stapler is ideal for...
  • 🔰Safety Design -- The 18 gauge brad nailer is designed...
  • 🔰FRIENDLY USE -- The upholstery staple gun is equipped...
  • 🔰ADJUSTABLE POWER -- This 18 gauge brad nailer is...
Bestseller No. 3
PHALANX Cordless Brad Nailer 20 V, 18 Gauge 2-in-1 Nail Gun/Staple Gun Battery Powered, Finish Nailer with 2.0 Battery and Charger, 1200 Nails &600 Staples for Upholstery, Carpentry and Woodworking
  • ❇️【Advanced drive system/powerful...
  • ❇️【Extra-long battery & 2000 shots】20V MAX. 2000mAh...
  • ❇️【Fully Pull-Out Channel】PHALANX staple gun can...
  • ❇️【Safety Nose Pad & Avoid Jam】 Only the safety nose...
SaleBestseller No. 4
Pneumatic Brad Nailer, NEU MASTER 2 in 1 Nail Gun Staple Gun Fires 18 Gauge 2 Inch Brad Nails and Crown 1-5/8 inch Staples with Carrying Case and Safety Glasses
  • 【Pneumatic 2 In 1 Nail/Staple Gun】 NEU MASTER pneumatic...
  • 【2 IN 1 Nail Gun with Carrying Case】 1000 pcs 18GA free...
  • 【User Friendly Design】Proper setting of nails/staples....
  • 【Easy Adapter】Pneumatic brad gun work with pressure...
  • 【Wide Applications】A great ideal for wood working,...
Bestseller No. 5
DEWALT Brad Nailer, Drives 18GA Finish Nails 5/8 in. to 2 in., Tool-Free Jam Release (DWFP12231)
  • Long life maintenance-free motor to keep from staining the...
  • Tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment with detents for proper...
  • Tool-free jam release mechanism for easy nail removal
  • Rear exhaust to keep contaminates away from work
  • Drives 18 gauge nails from 5/8 in. to 2 in. length
SaleBestseller No. 6
Metabo HPT Brad Nailer Kit | Pro Preferred Brand of Pneumatic Nailers | 18 Gauge | Accepts 5/8 to 2-Inch Brad Nails | Ideal for Trim Work, Furniture Building & Other Finish Applications | NT50AE2
  • BRAD NAILER: Accepts 5/8" up to 2" 18-gauge brad nails
  • FASTENERS: Accepts 5/8 In. to 2 In. 18-gauge fasteners
  • TRIGGER: Selective actuation switch lets the user easily...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Only 2.2 lbs, for easy all day use
  • DEPTH ADJUSTMENT: Depth of drive dial allows the user to...
SaleBestseller No. 7
Hoteche 18GA 2-in-1 Electric Brad Nailer/Stapler 19/32-Inch to 1-1/4 Inch Staple Gun Power Adjustable Nail Gun with 2000Pcs Brad Nails& Staples for Home Upholstery and Woodworking
  • 【12A Powerhouse】Unleash your creative potential with the...
  • 【Effortless Fastening】Experience efficient and...
  • 【Ample Capacity】The magazine holds up to 100 nails,...
  • 【Precision Control】Adjust the power settings to match...
  • 【Abundant Accessories】With an amazing 2000pcs of staples...
SaleBestseller No. 8
DEWALT 20V MAX* Cordless Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA (DCN680D1)
  • 100% battery power of the cordless brand nailer eliminates...
  • Brushless motor of 18 gauge brad nailer maximizes runtime...
  • Micro nose of the battery brad nailer improves line of sight...
  • Tool-free depth adjustment for precise countersinking of...
  • Tool-free jam release to quickly and easily clear nail jams
Bestseller No. 9
RYOBI 18V ONE+ AirStrike 18GA Brad Nailer Kit (Bulk Packaged) P321K
  • This item is bulk packaged and will arrive in a generic...
  • Battery and charger style may vary
  • 18 gauge brad nailer
  • Convenient adjustment dial regulates air pressure speed for...
  • Tool-free jam release for easy access to clear nails
Bestseller No. 10
NuMax SBR50 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2" Brad Nailer Ergonomic and Lightweight Straight Brad Gun with Reload Indicator for Moulding, Baseboard, Trim, Doors, and Handrails
  • Nailed It: This pneumatic 2" brad nailer has a durable...
  • Pro Design: This brad nailer is ideal for decorative trim,...
  • The Right Tool for the Job: We're committed to providing...
  • Quality and Durability: We manufacture tools with the most...
  • Tough and Dependable: We make an array of durable...

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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 2023-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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