A nailer is an instrument used by many people, be it professionals, DIYers, semi or non-professionals; this tool helps to drive nails through wood and other materials. It is the most common power tool. When it comes to nailers, there are different types available, but the best we believe are Brad nailers and finish nailers. Because of how similar these nailers are in appearance, it can be challenging to choose the best one. We have compared Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailers and written an in-depth article to help you choose the right one.
We prefer the brad nailer because it works well with thin wood, and after the work is done, there is no need to do wood putty. Although finish nailers are more versatile, they do not work that great on delicate wood so, the use of either nailer depends on the task/ work that you need it for. If your work is a delicate wood or thin trim, then a brad nail will do the job and vice versa. Thus knowing the task that needs to be performed is the most significant criterion for selecting between the two.
Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailers: Comparison Chart
|Specification||Brad Nailer||Finish Nailers|
|Use||Brad nailer is used for performing delicate work and on trims, stops, and tiny moldings||A finish nailer is used on trims, baseboards, doors, and other non- delicate things.|
|Type||Thin 18-gauge nail||16 and 15-gauge nails|
|Size of hole||Approx. 0.047inch||Approx. 0.072ich|
Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailers: Differences
A nail gauge has the following sizes 15, 16, and 18, this means that the nailer with a higher gauge number will require a thinner nail, and the nailer with a low gauge number will require a thicker nail. The brad nailer uses an 18gauge nail while the finish nailer uses a 15/16 gauge nail; this means that the brad nailer works better for delicate work while the finish nailer can work well for challenging work.
A Brad nailer can attach thin trims and works excellent with lightweight boards, casing, and moldings. A finish nailer is used for carpentry work like finishing furniture, and it works excellent on plywood, MDF baseboards, staircase, and other materials.
Brad nailers are less flexible, whereas finish nailers are flexible and can be used for multiple tasks.
Brad nailers are smaller than finish nailers.
Brad nailers only come in refined design but finish nailers come in angled and straight design. The angled design works excellently in tight spaces.
Brad nailers thoroughly blend into the wood while finish nailers do not blend as much.
Brad nailers are cheaper while finish nailers are expensive.
8. Wood Putty
Wood putty, commonly known as plastic wood, is a substance that is used to perfect imperfections. Brad nailers do not cause breakage, and using wood putty is not required, whereas finish nailers can result in breakage.
Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailers: Similarities
Both these nailers have similar brands like PORTER-CABLE, DEWALT, Hitachi, Freeman, NuMax, Bostitch, etc.
2. Angle Adjustment
This is a vital feature. An angle adjustment will allow us to drive the nails deeper and has long-lasting effects both Brad nailers and finish nailers has this feature.
Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailers: Features
Features Of Brad Nailer
- Depth Adjustment: This is the most critical function of a brad nailer. With this function, you can adjust settings of a sink, countersink and flush nailing. This means that based on the wood type, you have the option to drive nails deep or shallow. A brad nailer has an 18-gauge brad nail that ranges from 5/8 to 2 inches. Some tools require a unique tool for depth adjustment, while other tools have it already.
- Design: Brads are designed to drive a tiny nail with high precision within confined spaces. So they are designed to have a small nose piece to work well in confined spaces.
- Tip Style: this feature ensures that the denting and damage to the work surface is minimized. A non-marring nose tip ensures that no mark is made on the wood surface.
- Fastener Length: This is the maximum and minimum length. Brad nailers drive 18-gauge nails ranging from 5/8 to 2 inches in length.
- Belt Hook: the purpose of this is that the belt hook is to be clipped on your brad nailer, which is clipped to your belt. This feature is convenient as it allows you to use your nailer without the extra pressure of holding it all the time.
- Warranty: when it comes to tools, warranty is essential, and brad nailers can have up to seven years or warranty.
- Cost: investing in a brad nailer is advised since it is cheap and is useful for a variety of tasks.
Features Of Finish Nailers
- Fire Lock Out: This is a safety feature; it ensures that the nailer is not fired when empty this prevents accidents and misfiring. In some models, there is a low nail indicator.
- Depth Adjustment: This is the essential function. With this function, you can adjust settings sink, countersink, and flush nailing. This means that based on the wood type, you have the option to drive nails deep or shallow, a finish nailer has the 15/16 gauge, and the nailer ranges from 2-1/2inch. This adjustment allows driving nails at the desired depth.
- Design: finish nailers come with the straight and angled design. This means that when you are working in tight spaces, the angled design will help to get the work done with ease.
- Cost: this tool is expensive since it is multi-functioning and works great for a hard task.
- Accessories: additional accessories such as oil, carrying case, hex, etc. are available, helping maintain the nails.
- Warranty: all finish nailers come with a warranty for an extended period, different brands offer different services.
- Capacity: this is a high capacity tool.
Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailers: Overview
Overview Of Brad Nailers
Bard nailers are thin small diameter nails. They have the less holding capacity they gauge wire is 18inches; this tool is used for light work like woodwork trimming, stop, and hanging panels. A brad nailer, unlike other tools it shoots brads. These are thin nails. The nail size is small, thus making this tool good to do detailed tasks. Using this tool avoids the issue of breakage or tearing, and it hardly results in split molding. When you use this tool to attach trims and moldings, there is no need to use wood putty.
If your doing tasks where wood splitting or visibility is the issue or if you need to do delicate nailing, then you should opt to use brad nailers. These nails range from 5/8inches to 2 ½ inches. This tool is excellent for doing lightweight tasks, minor household repair, finishing touches, etc. Brad nailers also work to hold two pieces of wood together and various finishing carpentry work.
The most common uses of brand nailers are:
- Trim work
- Finishing touches
Overview Of Finish Nailers
Like the name, finish nailers are used to perform finish tasks on projects, finish nailers use 15-16 inch gauge nails. The length of the nails is around 1-2.5 inches. Finish nailers are used for specific situations. They are used to put up trims and moldings. This nailer is stronger than brad nailers.
Finish nailers are versatile tools. They have high capacity and strong holding power. This nailer features a straight or angular structure. The angular structure is preferred when working in tight spaces. Since these nails are significant, they can leave small holes; however, they can be covered with wood putty.
The most common uses of finish nailer are:
- Attach heavy wood
- Wide crown molding
- Large baseboards
- Fixing plywood
- Building furniture
- Hard and softwood
1. Can brad nails be used for trim work?
Yes, brad nails can be used for lightweight trims.
2. Can I use a finish nailer for the hardwood floor?
Yes, a 15-gauge finish nailer works great on the hardwood floor.
3. Which nailer should I use for crown molding?
Molds are usually lightweight; hence a brad nailer can be used; however, when it comes to wide crown molding, it can be heavier, so here finish nailer would work better.
The selection of the tool highly depends on the work that you are doing. Both brad nailers and finish nailers are great when they are used for the right tasks.
Both these are powerful tools with specific functions. A brad nailer has less capacity. It is a small nail of 18-gauge that works great for lightweight, delicate tasks while a finish nailer has more capacity. The nail used is of 15/16 gauge, and they work great for hard jobs and tight spaces.
Keep in mind your task. If it’s a small delicate task, then go for brad nailers. If it’s a large project, then a finish nailer is the one for you. Both these also come with tool kits, so that is also an option for you!!