Finish Nailer vs Framing Nailer: The Differences That Matter

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Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by John Patterson

In this Finish Nailer vs. Framing Nailer differences article, we described the functions, work stage, and pricing with FAQs.

The days of using hammers have gone, and in place of that, nail guns have taken place! Using nail guns is easy to operate, and these powerful tools have raised productivity in many cases. You can apply these to wood, concrete, and even metal surfaces.

Finish Nailer vs Framing Nailer

Nail guns will save a lot of time of yours. But choosing the right one is necessary because the wrong one can hamper your project. So you have to have some idea over nail guns. People get confused over framing nailer vs finish nailer. So here I am introducing you to these two types of nail guns.

What is a framing nailer?

Framing Nail Gun

In large woodworks or projects, heavy-duty framing nailers are used hugely.

Large works may include building decks, framing houses, basement recreation rooms, or constructing houses.

Framing nailers are mainly used for fence building, framing, wood siding, and significant carpentry work.

Framing nailers come in two types: clipped head and round head.

When any project needs a high volume of work, it’s better to go with a clipped-headed nailer as it holds more nails.

On the other hand, a round-headed nailer has fewer nails. Again building codes don’t restrict its use to any small nail-based works.

What is a finish nailer?

Finishing Nail Gun


You can use the finishing nailer for lighter projects. That also means it’s better to go with a finishing nailer in’ finishing’ jobs.

You should avoid using the wrong power tools it works because it will be costly to make the project the right one.

If you are planning for trim work, paneling, smaller crowns, and interior moldings – I think the finishing nailer is the best choice.

A finishing nailer is also the best option to use in building furniture and cabinet objects.

The finishing nailer has shorter and lighter gauge nails than framing nailers, which are also shorter in length.

These can accommodate 14 to 16 nail gauges.

The 4 Differences that Matter

framing nailer vs finish nailer


The functions of finishing nailers and framing nailers are different. Framing nailers are specific for large projects or work like beam joining, frames, fencing, and more extensive works.

In between clipped head and round head nailers, a clipped head is preferable as it has more nails.

A finishing nailer used in baseboard, molding, paneling, etc. There is a safety nose that depresses before engaging the trigger.

Finish Nailer Usage

A Finish Nail gun

If you use framing nailers in small works, then it can cause damage to the pieces, and again, finishing nailers on large pieces needs much energy as well as wastes time also.

Framing Nailer Usage

A Framing Nailer

The work stage

Already you know that heavy-duty framing nailers are very useful in large projects. But when?

These are usually used at the very beginning of the project and allow easy joining frames or beams. The larger nails make the work more comfortable for a framing nailer.

On the other hand, you can apply finishing nail guns at the end of the work for aesthetic purposes.

Because these are good enough for decorating jobs which you do at last, attaching small decorating, small crowns, baseboards, and interior moldings are some of the works fit for a finishing nailer.

Nail size Differences

nail size chart


Framing and finishing nailer: one of the significant differences in nail size. One usually uses heavy-duty framing nailers in big projects, so its nail size is more significant than a finishing nailer.

It is maybe 3 ½ inches long. A gauge of the nails is also higher in framing nailers for large frameworks.

The finish nailer’s nail size ranges from 1 to 2 ½ inches long. The gauge is between 14 to 16. Choosing the wrong one can slow down the work. The size comparison of these two helps you to select the right one for your project.


Finish and Framing Nailer Price

The price of heavy-duty framing and finish nail gun mainly depends on which kind of work these will do. The cost of framing a nailer is higher than the finishing nail gun. In the framing nailer case, if you want to use it as a pellet gun, then the price will be much lower.

And for the finishing nail gun case, you will need to spend less. Framing would cost you the most when using a framing nailer.

While working on furniture with a nailer, that finishing nail gun will cost you less than any other framing or finish nail gun.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1: Do you need single or double plates for framing nailer for framing a 16″ or more thick wall?

Answer #1: The bottom should have a single, and from the top, use a double plate for framing your wall.

#2: When should you install a baseboard for new construction?

Answer #2: It depends on the type of floor. If you use carpet, install the baseboard and then lay the carpet. For hardwood, lay the floor first, leave a space between the floor and the wall, then install the baseboard.

#3: What size of finish nail should you use?

Answer #3: 2 inches to 2 ½ inches are 18 gauge is better. Again it depends on the nail gun and equipment.

#4: For replacing wooden porch railings what type of nailer is recommended?

Answer #4: Finishing nailers with long nails will be best. The nail is maybe 3 inches.

#5: What nailer should you use for trimming around windows and doors?

Answer #5: Use a heavy-duty finish nail gun with a 16-gauge nail. The holes because of trimming you can fill with spackling and painting.

Final Words

You should know the differences between finishing and framing nailer if you want to work with it.

The primary framing nailer vs. finish nailer differences is here. So now you can choose which nailer is perfect for your work or project.

As it is a significant decision to select nails, considering the work size, price, and usage, you will be the beneficiary.

So don’t get confused over framing the nailer finish nail gun and choose the best option for your work.

About the author

John Patterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.