Framing Nailer Vs Brad Nailer – Here’s The Differences

The framing nailers and brad nailers are members of one family but their applications are different. Each of them performs a specialized task while comparing framing nailer vs brad nailer we can explain that we use framing nailers in the initial stage of a project whereas brad nailers play its role for small scale finishing work.

In the recent past, the hammer was commonly used to drive nails in woodworking. The use of a hammer consumed a lot of time and energy for the completion of a job. But now with the invention of nail guns, we can now complete woodworking jobs easily and with utmost efficiency in the shortest possible time.

The form and shape of both the tools are almost similar but their usages are different in woodworking. The similarities in shape sometimes mislead the people that both the tools perform the same function.

We use a framing nailer, a heavy-duty tool for the construction of houses, frames, and structures whereas brad nailers are meant for light work of finishing such as attaching pieces of trim, etc. Let us now review the details about framing nailer vs brad nailer which will give you a clear idea about their differences and usages.

Framing Nailer VS Brad Nailer

1-Framing Nailer:

A framing nailer is a powerful tool in the family of nail guns. Nail guns and especially framing nailers have changed the trend of using a hammer for fixing the nails into the wood. Every woodworker wishes to have this tool as it proves really helpful in woodworking. A framing nailer, a heavy-duty, and special tool for large scale projects such as the construction of houses, etc. Framing nailers shoot the nails of 1 ¼ to 3 ½ inches.

A framing nailer performs in the first stage of a project when we build structures and frames of the houses where strength matters. There are two subcategories of framing nailer one is clipped head and the other is the round head. Clipped head nailers hold more nails then round ones. The head of clipped head nails are clipped off and are “D” shaped while the round head nails have a full round head. Roundhead nails are common nails that we all have used at times. You guys must be thinking about what gauge nail for framing nailer used, so the answer is the framing nailer drives nails of 8 to 11.5 gauge.  You can also check best framing nailer.



  • Good for large scale projects
  • Framing houses
  • Wood fencing


  • Pneumatic framing nailer
  • Cordless framing nailer

 Pneumatic Framing Nailer: 
A pneumatic framing nailer is the most common type of framing nailer that is powered by an air compressor. The nail gun is connected to an air compressor through a hose. This is not portable as you need to carry hose along with you. If you don’t have an air compressor, you won’t be able to work with this nail gun. You can also check list of best pneumatic framing nailer.

 Cordless Framing Nailer: 
A cordless framing nailer is the second type of framing nailer. The perks of having cordless framing nailers are that you need not an air compressor to work with it. There is no need of hoses for cordless framing nailers as you only need a battery or fuel cell and sometimes both for its operation. This type of framing nailer is portable and gives freedom to users from hoses and air compressors.

Framing Nailer you can buy
Paslode 905600:
Paslode 905600 is a heavy-duty tool of Paslode company. Its heavy-duty feature does not mean that this tool is heavyweight, it weighs only 7.2lbs and can drive the nails of 2 – 3.25 inches into the lumber easily.

 2-minute quick charge: 
Paslode 905600 comes with a 7-volt lithium-ion battery that can charge fully in 1.5 hours. It can shoot up to 9000 nails when fully charged. This tool has a significant feature of a 2-minute quick charge which allows the user to shoot up to 200 nails after a 2-minute quick charge. This Paslode 905600 works with the combination of battery and fuel cell.

 Low temperature: 
Most of the farming nailers do not perform well or fail to perform in chilly weather. But this Paslode 905600 nail gun for framing performs really good in chilly weather where the temperature is even low as 14 F. However this tool is a bit pricey. You can also check best cordless framing nailer.

  • High Powered Works good at low temperature.
  • Lightweight
  • Good battery timing
  • No anti-dry fire mechanism
  • Need to change fuel cell after 1200 nails
  • No tool-less jam clearance

2-Brad Nailer:

Brad nailer is a member of the nailers family. They use small size and short length nails with small heads. Usually, brad nailer uses 18 gauge nails called brads. It is worth mentioning, the higher the number of the gauge is, the thinner the nail is. For example, if we have 16 gauge nails it is thicker than 18 gauge brad nails. Similarly, if we have nails of 19 gauge it is thinner than 18 gauge brad nails.

Brad nailers are very useful when one does not want to use wood putty, as its brads leave so small holes that sometimes need no wood putty to cover the hole. Due to this property, we utilize brad nailers for giving finishing touches to a project like attaching trim or molding on a cabinet.

Brad nailers look like nail guns but can not shoot nails like other nailers. For example, you want to fix a piece of trim then it will fulfill your need, in its place if you use a nailer with regular size nail the thin piece of trim will either develop crack or split. The brad nailers are not good for heavy-duty work because brad can not hold heavy material. They can not shoot nails in hard material such as plywood etc. However, they are handy and useful for finishing work.


  • Baseboard installation
  • Crown molding
  • Craft
  • Paneling
  • Trim work
  • Trim carpentry


  • Pneumatic framing nailer
  • Cordless framing nailer

 Pneumatic brad nailer: 
The first type of brad nail gun is a pneumatic brad nailer. As we all know pneumatic means operated through air pressure. So brad nail gun operated through air pressure is called a pneumatic brad nailer. We need an air compressor to operate a pneumatic brad gun. Air compressor is not the only thing you have to deal with but also have to play with hoses, for using a pneumatic brad nailer.

 Cordless brad nailer: 
The second type of brad nailer is a cordless brad nailer. As the world is progressing, newly built things with the latest technologies are preferred. A lot of people may not like wired tools so to meet the expectations of these people cordless brad nailers were introduced. For a cordless brad nail gun neither you need an air compressor nor to deal with hoses for its operation. All you need is a battery or fuel cell and sometimes both.

Comparison Chart  & Key Differences

FeaturesFraming NailerBrad Nailer
Nail Length1.25 to 3.5 inches0.375 to 2 inches
Nail Gauge8 to 11.5 gauge18 gauge
Heavy-duty JobsYesNo
Decorative WorkNoYes
Pneumatic or CordlessBoth AvailableBoth Available
UsesGreat for heavy duty projects like construction of the houses.Good for small scale projects like trim carpentry, paneling etc


 Nail size: 
The first difference between framing nailer and brad nailer is their nail size. The nails for brad nailers are different from nails for framing nailers. The framing nailer uses nails of longer length and size while the brad nailer uses thin nails.

The reason why framing nailer uses longer nails as it performs heavy-duty and large scale work while brad nailer shoots thin and small size nails because as it works in small scale jobs like adding trim to wood. Typically most of the brad nailers shoot 18 gauge nails which are thinner than the nails of framing nailers. It provides nice holding power but still less than framing nailers.

 Nail Holes: 
We can see the holes left by the nails of the framing nailer with naked eyes. You need to add wood putty to hide them. While brad nailer nails leave small holes which sometimes are hardly visible and even a small amount of wood putty can hide them.

We use large size and high powered nails for the construction of houses, structures, etc because the big size structures withstand wind storms, earthquakes, etc. So we need a high powered and heavy-duty tool for fixing large size and strong nails. To cater to the requirement the manufacturers produce framing nailers to perform these heavy-duty jobs.
While brad nailers perform delicate work at a small scale. The finishing of woodwork jobs needs the use of brads where framing nailers can not work. For example, attaching trim is done through the use of brad nailers.

Both framing nailers and brad nailers have different applications. The framing nailer performs excellently in large scale projects like construction of houses, building fences, etc. while the brad nailer works efficiently in small scale projects like adding trim in woodworking. We can not use framing nailer in place of brad nailer and brad nailer in place of framing nailer because both of them have distinct jobs.

 When are they used: 
If we divide the project into two stages i.e. initial and final stage, the framing nailgun performs in the initial stage, when we have to construct frames and structures of houses. While brad nailer works with good results for adding trim to wood etc.


Final Words:

We expect after reading framing nailer vs brad nailer now you are well aware of both the tools. They are basically different tools, each one has very different uses and one can not be used in place of others.

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