Brad Nailer vs. Pin Nailer: Which One Should You Use?

DIY home renovation projects can be fun, but using the right power tools can make all the difference between a successful and frustrating venture. If you are in the market for a nailer, you may have come across a Brad Nailer and a Pin Nailer. Both of them are great for different purposes, but which one should you choose for your next project?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Brad Nailers and Pin Nailers, their differences, strengths, weaknesses, and how to know which one is right for the job.

What is the Difference?

Both Brad Nailers and Pin Nailers are designed to insert small nails into delicate wood material without causing damage or splitting. However, their distinctions lie in the size of the nails they use. A Brad Nailer uses 18-gauge nails that are up to 2-inches long, while a pin nailer uses 23-gauge nails that are up to 1-3/8 inches long.

Brad Nailers are ideal when it comes to attaching large trims and moldings, baseboards, and casing to your cabinets or walls. On the other hand, Pin Nailer is ideal for fastening very thin, delicate trims and moldings such as veneers, crowns, and other embellishments.

When it comes to versatility, Brad Nailers take the crown. They possess a larger magazine capacity and shoot nails that provide a stronger hold. Brad Nailers are also known to work efficiently even in tight spaces. They offer a range of options when it comes to nail size, which makes them versatile and a great all-purpose tool that can help you tackle multiple projects.

Pin Nailers, on the other hand, are mostly used for delicate projects and are not as versatile as Brad Nailers. Though Pin Nailers may not offer significant hold strength, however, their small size nails can be hidden without putty, thereby adding value to the aesthetic of your wall units or cabinets.

When it comes to finishing projects, both Brad Nailers and Pin Nailers are excellent tools to use. A Brad Nailer can drive headless nails that can be filled and painted over so that they become invisible. Pin Nailers, on the other hand, use tiny headless nails that can be safely sanded, and puttied to be unnoticeable.

But, while Brad Nailers have a harder impact, Pin Nailers are almost silent, leaving minimal marks on the materials they are used on. However, it is essential to know that a Pin Nailer may not be the right tool for thicker pieces of wood as they won’t have the strength to hold them down.


The tool you will need depends on the project you are working on. Brad Nailers or Pin Nailers are both great tools, but you must know what to use them for. Brad Nailers are heavier and more powerful while Pin Nailers come in handy when tackling delicate wood materials. If you have a DIY project where you’ll be working with thicker materials or working in tight spaces, a Brad Nailer is your go-to tool. If you have a delicate project, a Pin Nailer is an excellent choice.

Nonetheless, both Brad Nailers and Pin Nailers complement each other when you need to fine-tune the finishing touches of a project. Make the right choice, and you’ll love how your DIY will turn out.

Ronald Cantrell

My name is Ronald and I'm a passionate home tools blogger who loves to help people find the perfect tools for their homes. I'm constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest products so people can make informed decisions when it comes to their DIY projects. In my spare time, I like to tinker around with projects of my own and put my knowledge of tools to the test.

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