Re: Brad nailer / Finishing nailer

Brad nailers shoot small diameter and or gauge wire like brads. Finish nailers shoot larger diameter and or gauge nails. Brad guns are physically smaller than finish nail guns. I have both. I use the brad nails for thin pieces of wood that fall in the 5/8" and thinner category and the finish nailer for everything else. While you can get brads that are almost as long as the finish nails, they are more likely bend to deflect in harder woods. I do not shoot brads over 1" long.

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I have limited experience here so others may offer more, but the brad nailer is of 18 gauge area and is good for the crown molding and trim job you have. I also use a brad nailer for assembly of small projects but only for alignment and setting until glue dries.
A finish nailer is around 15 gauge and is for heavier duty chores where you want the nail itself to do the holding. While it to can be used with glue, the heavier nailer is large enough to suffice on it's own in most cases. As to using a finish nailer for trim and crown molding, I'll leave you to others who may use them for such chores.
Don

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A pin nailer is 23 gauge which is a very thin nail. Guns shoot up to 1" long pins. It is good for thin mouldings and cross nailing outside corners. 20 gauge is .03" in diameter. 23 obviously is smaller.
Brad nailers are 18 gauge which is .041" in diameter. You can find guns that shoot nails to 2" in length, but I stick to 1 1/4" or shorter because of problems of the nail deflecting along the grain line. I use it for mouldings that are 3/4" or less in thickness or nailing door casing to the jamb.
Finish nailers are 15 or 16 gauge. 16 gauge is .055" in diameter with 15 gauge at .072". Guns shoot these nails in lengths to 2 1/2". This is good for general nailing like base, crown, door casing to the wall, etc. The 16 gauge has more of a tendency to deflect with the grain than the 15 gauge. However, the 15 gauge is generally associated with an angle nailer. The nailer can get in tighter spots, but the gun and nails are more expensive.
If you get a finish nailer and try to nail corners or near ends of boards, you likely to get splitting. If you try to nail base with a brad nailer, you won't have nearly as much holding power. IMHO, for trim work or cabinet work, both nailers are essential. If you have to choose one, get a 16 gauge nailer.
Senco is considered by most to be the among the best nailers available. Also, there is a brad nailer from Max USA corp. that is supposed to be the Cadillac at $360. They have other nailers also http://www.maxusacorp.com /. See latest American Woodworker for a comparison of brad nailers. I have Porter Cable nailers and they have worked very well for me with almost no problems. And, I use them every day.
Also, check out http://www.toolsofthetrade.net/articles/showarticle.asp?articleID 84&position=8&type=article&partID=1 for a comparison of finish nailers. It was in 2000, but it still may be applicable.
Preston

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On 21 Jul 2003 05:02:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aldogroup.com (D.Martin) wrote:

I'm a little late here, but...
Brad nailers are good for projects where the wood is thin...and there is a large chance that you might split the wood. They are generally used for small craft work and for other things like putting up molding, etc. They come in lengths up to 2 1/8", I think.
Finish nailers can do the same thing as the brad nailers...except they're just a little bit thicker...so you have a better chance of splitting the wood. And the heads are a little bit bigger than the heads of a brad.
If you are building things like cigar boxes, jewelry boxes, etc. you'll want a brad nailer. If yer puttin' up a lot of molding, working with 1x stock, etc. you could use either. Even putting up paneling is borderline...because of the longer brads that they now sell. But I think most folks would use a finish nailer for paneling...or a crown stapler in some cases.
I've just started out doing finish projects...so I got the Senco combo...with the Pro 15 brad nailer. I only has a 1 gal. tank...but it keeps ahead of me with no problem. And you can easily carry it anywhere. I think it weighs about 40 lbs...if that.
Go to Senco's site. They have a lot of info there that is worth reading. They also have a 'Fastener Guide'...that lists pretty much all the different manufacturer's guns, whether they're angle or straight guns, what type nail heads are available, etc.
Good luck.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
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You *REALLY* need to stop watching Norm.
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nailer/compressor combo for last Christmas. It's weird, but I have made a lot of sawdust since then, and have purchased glue on a few occasions, but realized with your post that I have never even opened the box of the PC nailer/comp. And come to think of it, I don't watch Norm much anymore. I guess you guys are an influence! Good or bad, who knows!
Digger
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On Tue, 29 Jul 2003 13:43:15 -0500, "Digger" <DW> wrote:

You start usin' the nailer and you'll get spoiled! lol
Have a nice week...
Trent
Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
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Yeah, who needs box joints and dovetails when you can just slather everything in glue and use a few brads to hold it together.
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PM6564 wrote: [snip]

    mahalo,     jo4hn
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You guys are making me feel bad! First you tell me I'm missing the brass ring by not using nail and staples, and NOW spackle! I suppose next you're gonna tell me I gotta top all my projects off with poly. And until now I thought I was learning about woodworking.
Oh yeah, does all this mean that my thoughts on taking a break from buying power tools and hunting for a nice hand plane or two is just as stupid?
Digger
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wrote:

Yer right...I should. I drool all over myself when I see some of the 'basic' power tools he has.
I was even too cheap to buy a jointer...so I set up my router to do the job.
I saw one of his shows the other day...where he actually used a HAMMER in the shop. So then I looked up the show on the Excite TV listings...and it was a REALLY old show. lol
When I think of all the times I used a pair of needle nose to hold a brad in place.......
Have a nice week...
Trent
Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
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