Brad Nailer vs. Pin Nailer: Which is Better for Your Needs?

Brad Nailer vs Pin Nailer

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Those final touches that you use to enhance your products are quite vital to their aesthetic and how well it will imprint on people. You can have a perfectly structured project between your hands, but the finishing is just not what you or the buyer would want, and that would simply be a dealbreaker.

Therefore, you have to know the art of finishing your product, and every art has its own tools. Here we will be talking about two of the smallest nailers in the nail gun family; the Pin nailer and the Brad Nailer. Actually, the pin nailer is the smallest nail gun ever.

We will discuss them in detail so that you will know why and where to invest your money, at least, in the beginning.


Short Answer:

If you have already glued your wood pieces and never want to use putty ever again, then a Pin Nailer is your solution.

However, if you’re going for higher holding power with slightly bigger nails, then a Brad Nailer would do very well for you.

Brad Nailer Overview

Brad nailers are very well known finishing nailers. They are widely used by carpenters, DIYers, and craftsmen alike. They are 18 gauge nailers, which can go the depth of 2 or 3 inches.

What are the perfect uses for it? Baseboards, crown moldings, rail fixation, and everything related to post-structural-building work. They have some sort of holding power though not extreme. Still, you don’t need to glue the wood pieces to work on them.


  • Greater holding power
  • More versatile
  • Small holes
  • Smooth work


  • May split delicate wood pieces
  • Nail holes still visible


Pin Nailer Overview

As mentioned before Pin nailers are the smallest nail guns in the family. They do use 23 gauge headless pins that can go 1 or 2 inches into the material. They leave no visible pinholes behind them but hardly have any holding power. Hence, you’re replacing putty with wood glue here.

What are they suitable for? Those last, very delicate decorative details give an aesthetic or ambiance to the piece. That’s what can attract, firsthand, the attention of a buyer.


  • No visible holes
  • Secure bonding
  • Saving material (No split wood)


  • Not very versatile 
  • Not enough holding power

Brad Nailer vs. Pin Nailer – Full Comparison

Brad NailerPin Nailer
Nail Depth2-31-2
Pin HoleSlightly visibleNon-visible
Holding PowerQuite strongVery weak
UsesFinal steps of a projectMinor details
Versatility Can do a lot of workParticular jobs only
TypesPneumatic and ElectricPneumatic and Electric

Now that we have spoken, generally, of all the characteristics and features that can be involved with picking the right finishing gun. We will take you down to the market and show you our best picks and why we have specifically chosen them.


Best Brad Nailer: DeWalt Brad Nailer Kit Overview

If you’re searching for a lightweight well fitted technological Brad nailer that will stay with you a long time and help you with numerous jobs around your house and workshop, then the Dewalt Brad nailer kit is perfect for you.

As it has been the trend for power tools lately to be tool-free, this guy has not strayed. It is absolutely tool-free. However, it is pneumatic, so you have to either own an air compressor or invest in one. Therefore, don’t forget that in addition to the retailing price of $84, you’ll have to add the cost of an air pump as well.


  • Magnesium lightweight body
  • Tool-free jam release
  • Rubber grip for stability
  • Rear exhaust system (quite practical)
  • Low maintenance
  • Tool-free depth adjustment
  • Sequential trigger
  • Adjustable belt hook


  • Some users have reported that it has stopped working after a few months
  • While others have reported that it does not fire nails consistently

Best Pin Nailer: BOSTITCH HP118K Overview

Bostitch has designed this guy in order to grant you, the user, full control. Whether you want to go with the highest power setting, however, you would have a lower lifespan, or if you want to go with a slightly lower power setting with a much longer life span.

Moreover, for $117, it is lightweight, quite manageable, and produces a sleek, smooth finish that can very well be the “cherry on top.”


  • No-slip over-mold grip 
  • Lightweight aluminum housing 
  • Different power settings 
  • Low profile nose piece 
  • Reversible, adjustable belt hook 
  • Rear exhaust 
  • 200 pin magazine capacity 
  • Seven-year warranty


  • The dual trigger safety system can be quite tricky for first-time users 
  • Absence of a no more tip

Final Thoughts

Nail guns are a vast family. There is a nail gun for every job around your house and in your workshop. So choosing the right one for the work that you have ahead of you is essential for its completion.

Finishing nailers are just a part of this family, and investing in both will not harm you. However, at this specific moment, your need for one might overcome your need for the other.

Consequently, heading into the market, you have to know your exact needs and wants and not stray from them. Do not hesitate to take your piece down to the workshop or the market with you in order to be sure that it will suit your future finishing nail gun perfectly.