Pin Nailer Vs Brad Nailer: Which is Better for You?

Nail guns are excellent tools that save you time. These tools allow you to drive a fastener into materials efficiently, effectively, and easily.

pin nailer vs brad nailer

In the last decade, the cost of air nailers has dramatically decreased. More homeowners are able to have one, or more of these devices in their toolboxes.

There are different types of nail guns. The main difference in the guns is the fasteners they can be used to drive. When you are working on trim, or on delicate projects you will want to consider a gun that can shoot shorter and thinner fasteners.

When you are comparing the pin nailer Vs brad nailer you will consider the fasteners these tools can be used to drive; as well as, the manufacturer recommendations for the tools.

Pin Nailer Vs Brad Nailer

The pin nailer and the brad nailer are both finish guns. Finish guns are designed to use when you are installing trim like crown molding, baseboards, window casings, and such. They can also be used when you are building jewelry boxes, furniture, dollhouses, and delicate craft items.

The Pin Nailer

A pin nailer shoots the smallest and thinnest of all fasteners. They can shoot a 23 gauge pin nailer.

They are perfect for:

  • The most delicate pieces of trim.
  • They are perfect when you are applying a very thin veneer.
  • You can use them when you are trimming furniture, or crafting small and delicate items.
  • Lightweight items

The fasteners, or pins, that these guns apply are very thin, but that does not mean they are not strong. These pins are straight and thin. They have no arch to them. They have no head.

When these pins are shot into materials you rarely need to use putty to fill the holes they leave. These pins are primarily used along with adhesives. You put the adhesive on the back of the item you are installing and then use the pin nailer to hold the item in place until the adhesive dries.

Pin nailers are specialty items and that causes them to be harder to find. The price of the pin nailers is slightly more than brad nailers because fewer companies make the guns, and fewer companies make the pins that they shoot. If you have a pin nailer buying replacement pins may be more difficult because not all hardware stores will carry them.

The Brad Nailer

A brad nailer is a versatile tool that anyone who works with wood will benefit from owning. The brad nailer shoots brads that are as small as 5/8″  and as long as 2″ . These nail guns shoot an 18 gauge brad nailer. This makes them ideal for many different trim applications.

The brads shot through a brad nailer are strong and they do not leave a large hole in the material. They can be used to install window and door casings, baseboards, beadboard, crown molding, decorative trim, veneers, and more.

Brad nailers are used by commercial and professional woodworkers. They are used by homeowners. They are used by people who do woodworking hobbies and crafts. They are excellent for beginners and for experts.

You do not have to apply adhesive to the back of trim boards that are being hung using a brad nailer. You can apply adhesive if you want to, but the brads will hold the board in place without it.

Brad nailers are more common than pin nailers. You will find brad nailers in all stores that carry pneumatic nail guns. You will find the brads that the brad nailer shoots readily available in almost every hardware store.


When comparing the pin nailer vs brad nailer the differences between the tools are great. The pin nailer is primarily used to track items of lightweight trim in place until the glue dries. Brad nailers are designed to be used with just about any trim you are putting up.

If you are a homeowner and you are going to have nail guns then you need to have a brad nailer, and you should have a framing gun also. These two guns will allow you to do the majority of carpentry work that you need to do.


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