Pin Nailer Vs Brad Nailer- A Brief Discussion About The Ideal Nailers

Pin Nailer Vs Brad Nailer: A Brief Discussion About The Ideal Nailers

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Carpenters have access to a huge lineage of tools, which make their job easier and finer. Many tools among these have a very fine line of distinction between them, which is really very confusing.

Some people really don’t get the distinction between a brad nailer and a pin nailer. Some even get confused about which product to choose among the list of pin nailers or the brad nailers available in the market.

Both of these tools are great and handy for beginner woodworking projects.So let’s dive into the difference of the two nailers i.e. Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer


Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer
– What’s the Difference?

Pin nailers, as well as the brad nailers both, belong to the woodworking tools for the carpenters. These nailers even look alike, but there are enough distinguishing features among these nailers as well. Some of those are discussed below.

The Nail Type in Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer

A pin nailer uses headless pins, so small that they are literally camouflaged by cloth, paint or veneer and don’t object the beauty of a piece. The nails in this nailer are glued to one another and as previously mentioned are headless.

Nails used in a brad nailer justify its name and use brad nails, even these nails are lightly glued together. But differing from pin nailer the nails of a brad nailer have a head and are thus visible whenever used in a project.

The Nail Size in Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer

Pin Nailer

Pin Nailer

Pin nailers come with 23 gauge nails 1” in length, well even longer nails can be used in Pin Nailers with a length of about 2.5” in length.

Brad nails are very versatile unlike just two sizes as in the case of a pin nailer, the nails, in this case, are 18 gauges with 5/8” nails size and with a maximum accommodation size of nails being 2” nails.

Material Type in Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer

Pin nailer is generally used in projects where the material to be nailed is really soft, and you need a really good finish. Pin nailers allow you to get that perfect finish, where you need these nails to get camouflaged with a piece of cloth or varnish.

Whereas the brad nailer are headed and do not provide that perfect finish to your projects. They are visible if used for craftsmanship. Brad nails are firmer and hold on to the material with more strength than pin nails.

Gauge Range in Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer

23 gauge nails are used in the case of a pin nailer, and can actually accommodate any kind of pin nail gauge.

They can be bought with small or head or simply headless nails.

18 gauge nails are used in the case of a brad nailer and are therefore bigger than the pin nails.

This makes work reliable in case of a thicker wood or hardwood work rather than just plywood and cloth in case of a pin nailer.

Strength in Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer

Pin nailers have a high gauge value and a weak cohesive force being small in size and thus are only ideal for light materials such as soft wood and cloth, these nails bend when used for nailing hardwood.

Brad Nailer is much stronger than the pin nailers and does not need any kind of adhesive or putty to keep the material together.

The lower gauge value of brad nailer along with the high cohesive force holds the material together with added strength.

Price in Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer

Pin nailers are a bit expensive than the brad nailers, as they are rarer as compared to a brad nailer which is readily available and costs around $70 that are 30 bucks less than an average $100 for a pin nailer.

Popularity in Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer

The popularity of these nailers is dependent on their price and strength and brad nailer wins the battle in both of these categories.

Versatility in Pin Nailer vs. Brad Nailer

Pin nailers are less versatile than the brad nailers, as they don’t have a wide range of size sector in case of nails.

General Overview:
Brad Nailers vs. Pin Nailers

The Brad Nailer is a very common finish nail gun and is one of ideal finishing guns.Brad nailer uses brad nails, these nails are actually made of lots of thin nails glued together and they have a flat head, making it look as if the top of these nails have been bent.

With a higher gauge value and added strength, these brad nailer nails can be used to nail together hardwood as well.These headed nails do lack in giving you the ideal finish but doesn’t fall apart as well.

The pin nailer is a 23 gauge nailer, with small nails and is a very delicate nail gun with low cohesive force. Pin nailer is generally used by craftsmen to hold on to lightweight material and even cloth.

The headless feature of the pin nailer allows it to get camouflaged with the material and give you the perfect finish.

When to Use a Brad Nailer or a Pin Nailer?

Pin nailers find really less usage as compared to their strong counterpart-the brad nailer, well some people do use it for tiny and fragile household DIY artwork. These kinds of work include putting white crown molding on cabinets, toe skins or finish ends on cabinets or maybe attaching the cloth to a wooden frame.

brad nailer

brad nailer

Even brad nailer is a tiny nailer but with greater cohesive force and lesser gauge value, making it ideal to attach frames made of hard wood and not just plywood, this nailer holds on to materials with much strength.

Top Picks: The Best Brad Nailers & Pin Nailers

Well until now you must be through with the type of nailer you require for your work, here comes another confusing and later clarifying aspect of this discussion

Top Brad Nailers?


This is a Tool-less depth adjustment nailer, with a Non-marring rubber nose and bumpers. A special feature on this Makita brad nailer is the extra-narrow nose and it’s a nail gun which is quick and simple.

Makita AF505N Brad Nailer via Amazon

Makita AF505N Brad Nailer via Amazon

A convenient nailer with a multi-directional exhaust, it comes with a magazine capacity of 100.It does not fatigue your hands or arms and doesn’t even take up too much space on the tool wall.


This brad nailer is an extremely easy to use, with a comfy rubber grip. The light weight of this nail gun i.e. 2.48lb makes that even simpler. This nailer comes with a jam clearing mechanism, a rear exhaust, and a belt hook.

SENCO FinishPro® 18MG, 2-1/8" 18-Gauge Brad Nailer  via Amazon

SENCO FinishPro® 18MG, 2-1/8" 18-Gauge Brad Nailer via Amazon

Newcomers will surely like this product as selecting the perfect nail is a tough job and as this nail gun fits up to 2 1/8” nails when most brad nailers only fit up to 2” nails giving it an edge above others. It has a Magazine capacity: 110.


This is a planer which comes with case, no-mar tips, sample fasteners, and a manual. It is actually the narrowest among the list of brad nailers and comes with a pin point precision. It is quite handy too.

BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Smart Point 18GA Brad Nailer via Amazon

BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Smart Point 18GA Brad Nailer via Amazon

It is a lightweight and compact tool, with a rubber grip which makes holding the nail gun such a comfortable experience. Magazine capacity: 100 and oil free operation makes this product even more popular.

Top Pin Nailers?


Hitachi is one of the best nail gun brands in the world; it is a 23-gauge pin nailer with a large holding capacity, with a dual trigger and a rear exhaust. 5/8” – 1-3/8” are its fastener lengths, Weighing 2lbs and has a Nail Size: 5/8” – 1 3/8”.

Hitachi NP35A 1-3/8" 23-Gauge Pin Nailer via Amazon

Hitachi NP35A 1-3/8" 23-Gauge Pin Nailer via Amazon

This model is compact and lightweight while also compatible. The soft nose tip leaves no mark on the wood. And side loading pins makes for easy adjustments.


It is a bit expensive model; in the list of nailers but the features of this brad nailer is justified. This model has a lockout mechanism, and can easily drive fasteners up to 2 inches in length, eliminates the need for adjustments and has a powerful motor.

Grex P650L 23-Gauge 2-Inch Headless Pinner with Lock-Out via Amazon

Grex P650L 23-Gauge 2-Inch Headless Pinner with Lock-Out via Amazon

With Nail Size: 1/2” – 2”, it is a perfectly lightweight assembly and can be used for picture frame assembly, paneling, and even furniture.P650L does a little bit of everything and has the 23-gauge capacity with 13 different fastener lengths to choose from.


While concluding we can say that, get to know your task before choosing a nailer. As the nailer you choose has to be ideal for your work, a pin nailer will not be reliable for projects on the hardwood, the same way as a brad nailer lacks the finish of a plain nailer when used for decorative purposes.

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