I am planning to get a nail-gun for doing woodworking. But I am not
sure which type to get. I would like to ask a couple questions to
learn more before buying one:
- What's the difference between finish-nailers and brad-nailers.
I assume finish-nailers are good for finishing work, and may
be good for woodworking. But finish-nailers look must bulky
than brad-nailers. They look like something for heavy duty
work. Does this mean that brad-nailers are more suitable
for woodworking than finish-nailers?
- I would like to do these types of woodworking:
o Bed frame
o Dining table
o Outdoor furnitures and flower boxes
What's the best "first" nail-gun for these types of
woodworking? Will it be a brad-nailer, a pinner, or a
Thanks in advance for any info and comments.
I have both a finish nailer and a brad nailer. In all honesty, I don't use
these much for "woodworking". I use them to install chair rail, crown
molding, etc. I don't know that I have ever used my finish nailer on a
woodworking project...but that's me. I have used my brad
nailer...especially when I install molding on my projects. So, IMHO, I
would start with a brad nailer if I was going to use it on the projects you
A great "woodworking" use for nailers, in my eyes, is quick jig
assembly. Cut the parts, wham, wham, wham! Use the jig! <G>
Otherwise, I'm with you. I use them more for finish carpentry than
The finish nailer is the heavier nailer out of the two. it drives larger
nails (most often clipped head) and uis useful for outdoor furniture and
flower boxes and some cabinet work and general household construction. A
brad nailer is useful for tacking smaller moldings, pinning jigs and joints
to hold them while the glue sets up.
You will likely find, over time, that you need both!
Amazon.com has a good deal on at present where you get a free brad nailer if
you buy a Senco Finish Nailer.
For a review of the Senco 41XP Finish nailer, have a look here:
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Brads are thinner and usually shorter than finish nails. I u se brads for
tacking thing while the glue sets. I may put a brad or two to hold two
pieces together and then screw then for real holding power. They work ats a
"third hand" at time to hold stuff.
Nailers are better suited for crown moldings or actual assembly of projects.
Faster than scews, they have a place. I don't have one yet and have lived
without it so far.
I do have a crown stapler though. I bought it for a particular reason and
now that I have it, I do use it. Stronger than brads. More visible than
nails or brads, but good holding power from the crown. I u se them where
they are not visible, like tacking the back of a bookcase in place.
Depends on how you like to build things. I use the brads as described
above, but I prefer screws, or dowels to hold things together. Maybe that
makes me some sort of snob. Maybe it is because I don't have the nail gun.
For a birdhouse, nails are fine, for a table, IMO, I like other methods.
In any case, they are handy tools, but furniture was built for centuries
before the pneumatic gun was invented. For flower boxes, I'd go with a
nailer first. For a dining table, I'd go with screws.
Thanks for the info and advice on nailers.
Seem like I should start with a brads nailer for the purpose of
holding thing together (I work alone and I really like to use it as a
I doubt I will use a finish nailer because I plan to use other ways
for fastening (such as screws and dowels and biscuits).
Thanks again for all the good advices and comments that I have
If you decide on a brad nailer, be sure to get one that will
shoot 2" brads. I got the 1.25" Porter Cable because it was
$40.00 cheaper--bad move. The nailer works great on most everything
I do but occaisionally wish I had the extra length--bigger IS better!!
Yes, I have ordered a Senco combo kit that comes with a brad nailer
that can shoot 2" brads max. This means I get this covered. Thanks for
the info that confirms my choice is alright.
Now, I just need to look for a finish nailer that uses the least air
(because the air compressor that I have ordered only has 1-gal
air-tank), and I am all done.
Unless you're going to be popping off finish nails at a really fast
rate, like one right ater the other...don't worry about trying to find
a low consumption gun. None of the finish nailers will use so much
air that you will overtax even a small compressor.
Unless you are a pro doing finish work in construction, your air
consumption won't be very much with even a large finish nailer like
the angled PC, Senco or similar. Just make sure your compressor has
enough PSI to run the gun.
This is great news to me. This means I will have an easier time in
selecting a finish nailer than in selecting an air compressor (it is a
Senco small and ultra quiet air compressor with a 1-gal air tank).
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