Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailer: 2 Essential Differences


What You Need To Know About Nailers

Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailer

The main difference between Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailer is the power; Finish Nailer is more powerful than Brad Nailer.

This article will explain the differences between a finish nailer and a brad nailer and how each can benefit you in various projects. The three key differences are Size, Driven power, and Magazine angle.

If you’re unsure about which to buy, read on to learn more! You’ll be surprised how quickly they can become essential tools for your next project.

Brad nailers are the most common and widely used type of nailer today, but a finish nailer has more uses and is usually more versatile.

Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailer

The Brad Nailer Vs. Finish Nailer differences are often subtle, but it’s still important to know the difference if you’re planning to use them for different projects.

Generally speaking, a finish nailer is more potent than a brad gun, so it’s best to use a finish nailer for projects involving wood trim and other lightweight materials.

However, you should note that the brad nailer is a better choice for projects involving a more substantial surface or finish, such as a window frame or door jamb.

Brad’s nails leave a small hole in the wood that is too small to notice. For this reason, they’re best used on lightweight materials like plywood but will leave a gap in thicker wood.

Finish nailers also leave bigger holes, up to 0.072 inches in diameter, which may require filling with putty. By comparison, brad nails leave tiny, 0.0475-inch-wide holes.


While comparing the size of a Brad nailer to a Finish nailer, it’s essential to remember that the two are pretty different.

Brad nails, about 18 gauge, have less holding power than their counterparts and leave less visible holes.

The smaller nail hole, however, is less appealing to some craftspeople and projects, so it is important to weigh their pros and cons before making a decision.

Brad’s nails are less likely to crack the wood, while finish nails are typically thicker and can rip or damage the wood.

The two are similar, but one has a specific job. Finish nailers are better for securing hardwood floors and other materials, while brad nailers are better for securing thin moldings.

For the most part, though, both types of nailers will give you a variety of uses. Brad nailers are often more versatile than finish nailers, but they have advantages.

The best tool for your next project will depend on what you need to do.

Driven Power

While similar in function, they differ in their overall driving power and gauge. Brad nailers require more pressure to drive through wood, whereas finish nailers lay flat against the lumber.

While both nailers can drive nails into thick materials, finish nailers are generally recommended for larger projects and are easier to use. See the Source’s handy guide below for more information on nail gun safety.

The finish nailer is a larger, more powerful power tool for attaching finishing materials. The larger nail can drive through thicker materials, such as MDF and certain plywoods.

Its design makes it easier to reach tight corners and challenge spaces. Like the brad nailer, the finish nailer is larger and bulkier than the former. Its capacity also makes it easier to load nails without having to stop and start working.

Magazine Angle

One of the significant differences between a Brad Nailer and a Finish Nailed is the magazine’s angle. A finish nailer’s magazine angle is about 21 degrees.

An angled magazine will make it easier to reach tight spaces and work on crown molding. A finish nailer’s magazine angle is also more convenient for frequent use because it requires less loading.

Ultimately, you’ll save money in the long run by using a finish nailer with a higher angle.

Best Brad Nailers And Finish Nailers On Amazon

Best Brad Nailers

BOSTITCH Brad Nailer Kit, 18GA, Smart Point, Pneumatic (BTFP12233)
  • Smart Point Technology: The electric brad nailer features easy nail placement as a result of a smaller nose compared to current BOSTITCH nailers and no need to compress the contact trip to actuate the tool
  • 18 gauge brad nailer drives 18 GA brad nails from 5/8-inch to 2-1/8-inch length
  • Oil-free operation reduces the risk of oil stains
  • Tool-free jam release mechanism for easy nail removal
  • Dial-A-Depth control for precise countersinking of brad nails
DEWALT DCN680B 20V MAX* XR® 18 GA Cordless Brad Nailer (Tool Only)
  • 100% battery power of the cordless brand nailer eliminates need for compressor, hose or costly gas cartridges
  • Brushless motor of 18 gauge brad nailer maximizes runtime and durability
  • Micro nose of the battery brad nailer improves line of sight and accuracy of nail placement (Compared to DEWALT DC608)
  • Tool-free depth adjustment for precise countersinking of nails
  • Tool-free jam release to quickly and easily clear nail jams
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 fitting
  • Features a depth adjustment wheel, a nail gauge, a rotatable exhaust, and a quick release 106-nail capacity magazine
  • Hassle-free nose latch makes clearing jammed nails quick and easy
  • NOTE: nails and case not included. Pneumatic nailer, need air compressor to drive

Best Finish Nailers

DEWALT 20V MAX* Finish Nailer, Angled, 16GA, Tool Only (DCN660B)
  • This cordless finish nailer that is 100% battery powered eliminates need for a compressor, hose or costly gas cartridges
  • Brushless motor of the 16 gauge finish nailer maximizes runtime and durability
  • Tool-free selectable trigger for sequential or contact actuation modes
  • Tool-free depth adjustment for precise countersinking of nails
  • Tool-free jam release to quickly and easily clear nail jams
Metabo HPT Finish Nailer | 16 Gauge Finish Nails - 1-Inch up to 2-1/2-Inch | Integrated Air Duster | 5-Year Warranty | NT65M2S
  • FASTENERS: 16-gauge finish nails in lengths ranging from 1-in up to 2-1/2-in
  • AWARD: Rated the Pro Preferred Nailer for 7 years running (2014 - 2020) by Builder and Developer Magazine
  • TRIGGER: Selective actuation switch lets the user easily select bump fire or sequential fire modes
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Only 3.7 lbs and well-balanced for minimal fatigue and increased maneuverability
  • DEPTH ADJUSTMENT: Tool-free depth of drive adjustment helps to provide a professional finish when fastening into varying materials
Senco 4G0001N FinishPro 42XP 15 Gauge 1-1/4" To 2-1/2" Finish Nailer
  • Anti-lube design eliminates the hassle of maintenance
  • Magnesium-coated design resists scratches
  • Smooth finish makes it easy to paint
  • Rugged internal engine offers lasting durability
  • Great tool for professional finish carpenters

Last update on 2024-07-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API