I am in the market for an air nailer to work on a few projects. What is
the difference between a finish nailer and a brad nailer? Why would I
choose either? Sorry if this is an easy question, but I just want some
input before I go buy one.
What are some good moderly priced nailers?
Thanks for any help you can provide
There's been a few recent threads on this, and you might want to search back
a bit and read the threads for more detail. Basically a brad nailer shoots
18ga. nails up to 2" long. Thin nails with minimal holding power, they're
good for light moulding or holding things together until the glue dries. One
advantage is a relatively small hole
15ga and 16ga nailers are considered finish nailers. They both shoot nails
up to 2.5", and that extra length comes in handy for hanging crown, jambs,
casings, and heavier moulding. The 16ga nailers have a horizontal magazine
and the 15ga nailers have an angled magazine (with a few exceptions) making
it easier to reach into tight spots. The 15ga nail, being a bit sturdier
than the 16ga makes it more of an all-around gun. A good combination would
be an 18ga 2" brad nailer and a 15ga finish nailer.
You can choose from cheap no name Asian imports as sold by Harbor Freight
and others. Sometimes they work well, sometimes not. You're usually better
off with a mid-range brand such as Porter Cable, DeWalt, Bostich, Hitachi,
Agreed. I've got a $15 Harbor Freight 18ga brad nailer, and it's
usable. I have the Porter Cable 15ga angled finish nailer, and it's a
This combination leaves wanting for nothing (I have a framing nailer
And these projects would be?.....
18 ga. - brad nailer
16 ga. - finish nailer, typically straight magazine
15 ga. - finish nailer, typically angled magazine
Narrow crown - stapler
You might want to Google this newsgroup for 'finish nailer' and see
prior discussions. It would be easier to answer if you could give
examples of your projects.
You would typically choose a 16 ga. finish nailer as a good balance
between nail size and price (both the nailer and the nails).
I favor the Porter-Cable nailers, though you did not specify what a
moderate price would be. The prices range from $14 for an 18 ga. unit
at Harbor Freight to $389 for a Maxx 16 ga. unit.
Brad nailers get some flack about limited holding power and that is true up
to a point. They actually do a pretty good job of holding on when you are
working with lighter weight trim and moulding, or holding items in place
while glue dries. In fact, brads can be a pain to remove if you make an
error - but they will pull throught at the head end or break. If you are
getting into heavy duty base mouldings or items where the nails could come
under stress, go for the finish nailer. Otherwise go with the brad nailer.
Brads are cheaper too.
What ever you decide to get, before you buy, check out ebay. Check the
prices that they are going for, and then start bidding on what you want.
I have aquired at least half of my tools this way for a lot less than
I would have paided retail or mailorder.
I picked up an 18 ga. and a 16 ga. nailers for about $70-$75 each in two
auctions from pawn shops including shipping. Both were essentially
brand new with all accessories. I see them on there all the time. Just
be patient and bid what you want to pay and be prepared to be sniped a
couple of times. Eventually you will get what you want.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.