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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
DEWALT 20V MAX* Cordless Brad Nailer, 18GA, Tool Only (DCN680B)
  • 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
SaleBestseller No. 2
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. 4
Arrow ET200BN Heavy Duty Electric Brad Nailer, Professional Nail Gun for Trim, Picture Frames, Crafts, Fencing, Uses Brad Nails in 5/8-Inch, 3/4-Inch, 1-Inch, and 1-1/4-Inch
  • READY FOR ACTION: This electric brad nailer is a must-have...
  • GET THE POWER YOU NEED: Adjustable depth-control knob allows...
  • COMFORT AND SAFETY: The soft comfort grip increases the ease...
  • BUILT TO LAST: Includes carrying case for safe storage and...
  • USE THE RIGHT NAILS: The ET200BN works best with genuine...
Bestseller No. 5
Paslode, Cordless Brad Nailer, 918100, 18 Gauge, Battery and Fuel Cell Powered, No Compressor Needed
  • Easy Access - Provides superior access by reaching directly...
  • Consistent - Drives each nail flush into all trim for...
  • Lightweight - The lightest Cordless Brad Nailer on the...
  • No Downtime - Paslode provides non-stop nailing with fuel...
  • Durable - 7.4-Volt Li-ion battery drives up to 12,000 nails...
Bestseller No. 6
DEWALT 20V MAX Finish Nailer Kit, Angled, 15GA, Battery, Charger & Bag (DCN650D1)
  • This cordless finish nailer is 100% battery power eliminates...
  • Brushless motor 15 gauge finish nailer maximizes runtime and...
  • Micro nose improves line of sight and accuracy of nail...
  • Tool-free selectable trigger for sequential or contact...
  • Tool-free depth adjustment for precise countersinking of...
SaleBestseller No. 7
KIMO 18 Gauge Nail Gun Battery Powered 2 in 1 Cordless Brad Nailer/Electric Stapler, w/20V Battery & Charger, Adjustable Depth, 18 GA Nailer/Staples for Upholstery, Home Improvement and Woodworking
  • 📌【Versatile 2-IN-1 Cordless Nail Gun/Electric...
  • 📌【Rapid Fire with Cordless Nail Gun Design】KIMO...
  • 📌【Safe & User-Friendly Design 】First, with an...
  • 📌【Dual LED Lights & Intelligent Indicator】With...
  • 📌【Adjustable Nail Depth 】 Adjust the depth according...
SaleBestseller No. 8
Metabo HPT Angled Finish Nailer Kit | 15 Gauge | Pneumatic | Accepts Finish Nails 1-1/4-Inch up to 2-1/2-Inch | Integrated Air Duster | 5-Year Warranty | NT65MA4
  • AWARD: Rated the Pro Preferred Nailer for 7 years running...
  • FASTENERS: 15-gauge nails from 1-1/4-in Up to 2-1/2-in In...
  • APPLICATIONS: Ideal for installing crown and base moldings,...
  • TRIGGER: Easily switch from either sequential or contact...
  • DEPTH ADJUSTMENT: Tool-less depth of drive dial adjusts for...
SaleBestseller No. 9
Cordless Brad Nailer, NEU MASTER NTC0023 Rechargeable Nail Gun/Staple Gun for Upholstery, Carpentry and Woodworking Projects, Including 20V Max. 2.0Ah Li-ion Battery and Charger
  • 🔰【Spiral-Drive Technology And Cordless Design】With...
  • 🔰【Up To 1100 Shots Per Full Charge】Powered by NEU...
  • 🔰【2-in-1 Versatile Battery Brad gun/Staple gun】It...
  • 🔰【Flawless Finish And User Friendly】Non-Marring...
  • 🔰【LED Light And Belt Hook】With LED lights and the...
Bestseller No. 10
Makita XNB01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 2" Brad Nailer
  • Drives a range of 18 gauge brad nails from 5/8" to 2",...
  • 2-mode selector switch for sequential or contact nailing...
  • Easy to use "tool-less" depth adjustment dial for a wide...
  • Anti-dry drive mechanism engineered to prevent driving...
  • The battery gauge indicates battery charge level

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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 2023-03-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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