If you're doing simple upgrades around the house, you're most likely shopping for either a brad nailer or finish nailer. So, which one is right for you? To the untrained eye, these tools would appear to be the same, but in reality, each has a different purpose.
Brad Nailers, The Precision Workers
A brad nailer such as the MAX NF255FA pictured above, is designed to run 18-gauge, fine-wire brad nails. These small nails are very hard to drive manually, which makes a brad nailer essential to any major home renovation project where brads are needed.
On top of that, brad nails are almost invisible once they've been driven into wood. In fact, there's a good chance you won't need carpenter's putty to conceal a brad nail that has been driven into trim. The downside is that these fasteners lack the holding strength for larger, heavier projects, such as large crown molding or baseboards.
Finish Nailers, The Heavier Holders
For larger, more bulky wood trim, you will need to use a finish nailer. Finish nail guns will run 15- or 16-gauge finish nails which are slightly larger than a brad nail, giving them increased holding strength. For example, the Bostitch BTFP71917 Smart Point Finish Nailer (shown above) is a 16-gauge finish nailer.
When using a finishing nail gun, you'll almost certainly need to cover nail openings with putty due to the larger fastener diameter. Furthermore, if you try to use a finish nailer on a small piece of trim, there's an increased probability for wood splitting and the formation of imperfections.
Go For Both?
Ideally, you'll want to have both tools handy for projects, especially if you are regularly working with trim and molding. If you have to choose between buying one or the other, your best bet is to start with a brad nailer, as it can handle most light trim work and will require less touch-up after installation.
If you are installing shelving, a mantle or the like, you'll want to go with the higher strength finish nailer. If you only plan to get a finish nailer, keep in mind that it has the potential to split thin wood and might require touch-ups on small trim and lighter duty projects.
While a finish nailer can tackle many of the same projects as a brad nailer, and then some, the brad nailer is best overall on small trim work.
Choose Your Power Source
Once you've determined whether a brad or finish nailer best suits your needs, consider whether a cordless or air-powered nail gun will be the most efficient choice for you.
For the around-the-house DIY'er, a battery powered brad or finish nail gun is best, as it doesn't require an air compressor and can be used in hard-to-reach places. The cordless Senco Fusion brad nailer (above) drives 18-gauge brad nails with lithium-ion battery power.
For a contractor or individual that has regular use for either tool, consider an air-powered or pneumatic nailer, as they typically offer better long-term reliability than their battery-powered siblings—and don't require recharging.
Shop Nail Gun Depot:
We're not familiar with the tool you've listed here, as well as the 18 gauge "F" nail. It could be related to a variety of things, such as angle, head size, diameter, or even something else.
If you could send us the brand, model and SKU of the tool you purchased, as well as the specific fastener requirements as listed in its owner's manual, we can try to better troubleshoot your issue.
Please feel free to contact [email protected] direct, or reply below.
r needing to be replaced. My son bought me a 3 gal 100 psi comp. What size brad
length/crown/gage would u recommend?
Based on traditional shadow box fencing, your project requires a much larger nail/nailer than a brad can offer.
You'll most likely want a fencing nailer, as can be seen here: http://www.nailgundepot.com/siding-and-fencing-nailers-4325-products.html.
I'd recommend the Freeman PCN65; a high quality tool at a very efficient price point.
For a tool like the PCN65, you'll need 15 degree wire coil siding/fencing nails. Size really depends on the thickness of board you plan to use.
Please let us know if there's anything we can help with.
Glad to hear you've found some tools that work well for you!
What is the thickness of the wood you are looking to attach?
Depending on the wood being attached, and what it's being attached to, you may need something more industrious than a finish nailer.
As of right now, there is not a tool that we offer, capable of firing both 15 and 18 gauge nails. To the best of our knowledge, no such tool currently exists.
I am getting into wood working and just moved into a new house. I am wanting to build a 12x16 workshop and a 12 x 8 storage shed. I recently bought a Bostitch 6-Gallon Portable Electric Pancake Air Compressor with 3 Tools Included. I also bought a framing nailer. Will this setup meet all of my needs for the shed and storage build? For example, Can I use the finish nailer to attach the siding?
Then I am also thinking about doing shingles or a metal roof., So I assume I would need a roofing gun?
I have never used any type of nail gun before and am really lost as to the meaning of the angle of each gun. If someone could explain what tools I need to do which job, that'd be extremely helpful!
Thanks for any advice!
This is what I purchased: http://www.bostitch.com/products/tools/construction-tools/combo-kits/3toolcompressor-combo-kit/btfp3kit
It's probably easiest to first break each project down, to then determine which tool will be most suitable for the job:
For siding, most framing nailers can be used for this type of application. You should not use a finish nailer for siding, as the nails are much too small for this type of job.
For roofing shingles, we would recommend a coil roofing nailer for installation.
The kit you've mentioned is best suited for projects in finish and trim woodworking, such as installing door casing, decorative molding, wood furniture assembly or similar.
Typically, framing nailers will be differentiated by nail collation (how the nails are connected together), whereas finish and trim nailers are identified by gauge - and angle - in some instances. Marrying the correct tool to the job is most important; you can almost always find the correct fasteners for each tool after the fact.
Here's a link to our Fastener Finder, which may help: http://www.nailgundepot.com/fastener-finder.asp
Assuming your 18 gauge brad nailer's specs match the specs of the 18 gauge nail you are looking to use, the answer is yes, different brands will work the same. It doesn't matter whether you're using a Senco, SureFit or any other brand of nail.
It really depends on how thick your shelves are, as well as the material they are made of. If you can send some additional information, we'll pair you with the right tool.
We carry a few tools that can run 1/2" 18 gauge brad nails. Grex makes a nice brad nailer, as does Cadex and Omer.
Here's a link to our selection of 18 gauge brad nailers: https://www.nailgundepot.com/nailers/finish-nailers/18-gauge-brad-nailers
We do not carry anything like that currently. Even our 15 gauge concrete/steel trim nailer is limited to 2" pins. It may exist somewhere, but we're not familiar with that particular tool.
This is a one time job that encompasses about 3000 square feet.
What is the best battery powered nailer to attach the T&G to the battens for this one time job?
I have thinking I'd need a Brad nailer but no reading your web site, Im wondering if i should be thinking of getting a Brad nailer.
The T&G is 3/8" and the Pine Battens are dried 3/4"
What tool and guage of Brad would you recommend?
I have only ever picked up and used a Brad tool once, many years ago in a class room setting, so am a real green-horn.
I'd much appreciate your suggestions
With thanks and ....Merry Christmas & Happy, prosperous New Year to you all from NZ.
Thanks for your question. We don't recommend a standard 18-gauge brad nailer for T&G (tongue & groove) flooring. Instead, we recommend the Powernail 50F flooring nailer. It runs 18-gauge flooring l-cleats. This tool will set the nails into the tongue at a 45-degree angle. Best wishes and Happy New Year to you as well!