Brad Nailer vs Finish Nailer – 2023 Comparison

For every accurate and precise nailing task, we look on towards brad nailers and finish nailers. Choosing the correct one in between them is pretty complicated as both of them are almost identical to each other.

It’s essential for you to understand the similarities and differences between a brad nailer and a finish nailer. In this way, you will be able to choose the correct one according to your project.

We are here concluding the fundamental differences between the functioning of brad nailer and finish nailer. Both Brad nailer and finish nailer are independent of each other in functioning and characteristics.

Keep your focus on what project you are going to perform practically with the use of these nailers so that you can select the best input method for the best output.

Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailer – What’s the Difference?

Let’s discuss the critical differences between a brad nailer and a finish nailer to maximize the knowledge related to woodworking tools.

Brad Nailer

Brad nailersBrad nailers look similar to the nail gun but do not operate in a similar way. They do not shoot nails; instead, they shoot brads that look like very thin nails, generally with the size of 18 gauge. They are minimal in size and are finely made to attach soft trimming without breaking them.

You will not need to have any kind of hardening paste or putty to cover different holes you have made with the nailer.

The heads of the brad nailer are so small that they will not leave any marks behind. Brad nailer provides a hole size of almost 0.0475 inches which is relatively minor and is not visible enough to look awkward. These brad nailers are not so perfect in dealing with heavy subjects powerfully, but they can deal with delicate molding very efficiently.

If you are wondering what these tiny nails actually do, don’t worry. Here I will be explaining their efficient performance. It was evident that if you use big and thick nails on delicate trimmings, then they would most probably break the trimmings.

In such a case, brad nailer would be your savior. They help you in dealing with fragile pieces of trim delicately and carefully without harming your project. It can also be used to cut thin plywood planks and smaller baseboards for up to half inches.

Finish Nailer

Finish Nailer

Compared to a brad nailer, the finish nailerfinish nailer is more efficient and versatile in functioning. Finish nailers, as the name suggests, are used at the time of finishing the project. When observed in comparison with brad nailers, finish nailers use 15 or 16 gauge nails which give strong and strengthened holding power to thick materials.

Furthermore, with finish nailers, you may have to put the putty for hardening paste on the hole to cover it where you have used the nailer. The finish nailer gives a hole size of approximately 0.0720 inches which is large enough that it will need some putty to cover itself.

Additionally, a finish nailer can quickly and reliably hold larger and heavier payloads and work best with challenging and larger projects. At the same time, they are not at all suitable for thin trimmings that are very soft and flexible wood.

Finish nailers basically lie in between heavy nail guns and brad nailers. So you can assume that for what purpose they are most suitable. The complex projects for which finish nailers are adequate are constructing furniture, fixing, and setting large and wide baseboards or plywood planks. They are versatile in functioning and can easily reach up to the corners of the subject.

Similarities Between Brad Nailer And Finish Nailer

After focusing mainly on the differences between a brad nailer and a finish nailer we are here summarising some of the similarities present in between them. Both of these nailing tools are used for specific and precise functioning and are not made for general purposes.

Moreover, they both are handy tools and convenient in usage without any complications. Both brad nailer and finish nailer do not use larger nails and are less potent than other woodworking tools.


Can I use a brad nailer for baseboards?

Yes, it can be used for baseboards but make sure to go with either an 18-gauge brad nailer or a 16-gauge brad nailer. For cutting up to half inches thick planks, the 18 gauge brad nailer is perfect. Whereas, for thicker baseboards, which are above half-inch a 16 gauge brad nailer is ideal for accurate trimmings.

What do you use a brad nailer for?

Brad nailers are perfect nailers for minor projects related to woodwork. You can say that it is the mini model of a standard nailer. Basically, the purpose of using a brad nailer is to trim wood during woodworking projects and join moldings with each other with some handy and compact tool.

Brad nailer or finish nailer for hardwood floors?

For installing hardwood flooring, we have a different option of flooring nailer. This flooring nailer is specifically designed for hardwood floors and is bound to do that. It can’t be used for any other purpose, that’s why many of the woodworkers do not prefer spending money on this product.

Final Thoughts

Brad nailers and finish nailers are versatile tools that are handy in operations and convenient to use. Both of them contain many similarities, but there are some key differences present between them. These fundamental differences make them unique and different from each other, which gives us a hint about their use.

While keeping in mind the ease of the readers, we summed up the key differences among them in the article and also added a paragraph on similarities. Read this information before going into practice with these handy tools to ensure you are using the correct one according to the project.

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