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Pin Nailer vs Brad Nailer- Key Differences explained by experts

Pin Nailer vs Brad Nailer differences

As you are looking for the topic Pin Nailer vs Brad Nailer, our research team spent two days to write the differences between these two essential nail guns.

Carpenters may use many kinds of tools to finish their carpentry works- like base and casing, board and batten, trim, wainscoting or beadboard of any kind – there is a vast lineage of tools that make the project so much more relaxed and finner.

Most of the woodworkers use pin nailer and a brad nailer to complete their project with the best finish, appealing look.  All of these works need the appropriate “nailer gun”, which depend on the project.

But how do you know, which is the best one?  Sometimes you would have to utilise pin nailer or sometimes you would have to use a brad nailer, so please understand about pin nailer vs brad nailer.

Pin Nailer vs Brad Nailer: Key differences

Difference between Pin Nailer and Brad Nailer

In this research article, we discussed these tools, their types, unique features as well as benefits and Cons. We are recommending you to read our latest top 5 best 23 gauge pin nailer reviews and top 5 best 18 gauge brad nailer reviews.

What is a pin nailer?

What is a Pin Nailer?

Pin nailer is the littlest of finish nailer available applying very thin 23-gauge pin. It has come in a market with a variety of brands and range in sizes from 2″ to 3/8″. It’s a headless pin nailer with small size come off in the slightest visible hole. Although it’s small in size can penetrate any hardwood and with respective ease.

Though the pin doesn’t have an arch, it can hold the material with tensile strength and cohesive force. Pin nailer is usually used by the manufacturer to hold on to lightweight substances and even clothes as well. The headless characteristic of the pin nailer let on it to get covered with the elements and give you the beautiful finish.

Pin nailers finish a surface and are perfect joint together, but it doesn’t have a head. It is quietly straight and thin. When you plug this in, you may scarcely see the opening in a solid object, so you no need to putty but it also hardly holds anything.

Most of the pin nailers would only take a pin that is 1-inch long, but it is also likely to have some chit model that you may utilize with 2 and up to 3/8 inch long pin.

Best Pin Nailer Comparison Chart 2019

Hitachi NP35A 1-3/8″ 23 Gauge Pin Nailer
  • Hitachi NP35A
  • Power source
  • Magazine Capacity
  • Operating Pressure
    65-100 psi
Porter Cable Pin Nailer Review: PORTER-CABLE PIN100
  • Power source
  • Magazine Capacity
  • Operating Pressure
    60-100 psi
Bostitch Pin Nailer Review: BOSTITCH HP118K 23Ga
  • Power source
  • Magazine Capacity
  • Operating Pressure
    70-120 psi
PORTER CABLE PIN138 23 Gauge 1-3/8-Inch Pin Nailer
  • Power source
  • Magazine Capacity
  • Operating Pressure
    60-100 psi
Grex Pin Nailer/Nails Reviews: Grex P635 23 Gauge
  • Grex P635 23 Gauge
  • Power source
  • Magazine Capacity
  • Operating Pressure
    60-100 psi
Senco Fastening Systems 8F0001N 1-3/8
  • Senco 8F0001N
  • Power source
  • Magazine Capacity
  • Operating Pressure
    70-120 psi
Cadex V2/21.55 21 Gauge Pinner / Brad Pin Nailer
  • Cadex V2/21.55
  • Power source
  • Magazine Capacity
  • Operating Pressure
    70-100 psi

What is a brad nailer?

What is a Brad Nailer?The brad nailer is a ubiquitous finish nailer gun as well as is one of the typical carpentry tools. Brad nailer comes from a woodworker’s name who called Brad.

It’s available utilizing 18-gauge nailer which is the tinier than a regular nailer but has a superb holding power when using it in the proper applications.

There are several varieties of brands of brad nailer in the market and range in sizes generally between 2″ and 5/8″. With a brad nailer which has an excellent flat arch on the polished product, it’s also used to hold hardwood together with an excellent gauge value and added power as well to give an appealing look.

Brad nailer is a versatile woodworking tool both beginner and professional. You can use different sizes pin as 2″ to 5/8″ for beadboard, base, and casing, decorating and finishing on the cabinet.

The woodworkers love it very much because it never leaves a big hole in the surface of the workpiece. Overall, the brad nailer is most useful than the pin nailer, and you can use it for most of the cabinetry finishing, trim work, and crown molding.

Best Brad Nailer Comparison Chart 2019


BOSTITCH BTFP12233 Brad Nailer Reviews
DEWALT DC608K: (best electric/cordless 18 Gauge Brad Nail Gun)
PORTER CABLE 18 Gauge Brad Nailer Review: PORTER CABLE PCC790LA
DEWALT DC608 Brad Nailer Reviews
  • DEWALT Bare-Tool DC608B
  • Power source
    Electric Cordless
  • Magazine Capacity
  • Gauge
SENCO FinishPro 18 Gauge Brad Nailer

Difference between 18 gauge and 23 gauge nailers

18 gauge vs 23 gauge, among two of these nailers, 23 gauge is called pin nailers, and 18 gauge called brad nailers.  Both belong to the day to day carpentry woodworking tools. These nailers are almost look alike, but there are some silent differences in features between these nailers.

Some of those features taken up below.

Type of nail
A 23-gauge nailer’s pin is headless. That’s why after inserting in a wood piece, it scarcely sees an opening in a solid object and gives a smooth finish. Where 18-gauge brad nailer has a large flat head, for this reason, the risk of brittle is so less. It also provides an appealing look.

Gauge range of nailer
A 23-gauge nailer’s pin ranges within a size from 2″ to 3/8″, but it has much more holding power. It can join the materials with more precision. Where brad nailers range within a size from 2″ to 5/8″ with a joint hardwood with surprising gauge value.

Strength of nail
Though 23-gauge pin little in size it has the cohesive force and gauge value which is typical for lesser weight materials such as cloth, softwood, hardwood, plywood, etc.

On the other hands, brad nailers are bigger than pin nailer along with high cohesive power as well as don’t need any putty or adhesive to keep the substances together.

Pin Nailer unique features and benefits

At this point of the discussion, let’s have an insight of the sole advantages of a pin nailer-

Secure Nailer Holes
The 23-gauge is a headless nailer that use slim, small nailer pin which enough to make stable that it does not take off any noticeable nailer holes.

If we are outlining to apply stain, varnish or paint on the workpiece, we will not use for any putting, and so on, on the other hand, we can save both time and cash.

Little in Size, Stronger in Bonding
The little size of the nailer pin has the merits of not pull apart the workpiece. Although 18 gauge brad nailer won’t break the wood down at the time of working with the regular range size piece.

It’s not always right if you apply it on tiny furniture trim, on the contrary, you would never be worried about outlining the workpiece with the work of pin nailer.

Easy Opening
The 23-gauge pin nailer will be the standard tool at the time of working with a fragile trim piece that leads to opening easily. This tiny pin will rarely crack any workpiece it does not matter how small and feeble; it would be as well as so this type of nailer is all time the better choice at the time of working on thin veneers to set up little trim on the furniture.

Pin Nailer Drawbacks

Not a Smooth Service for a Long Time
For a long time, the headless pin can’t give a smooth service to hold up anything day after day without using glue or adhesive. The holding power becomes less because of the decay of the nailer pin.

Not A Great Fit for All Trim Pieces
23-gauge nailer is very useful for a 7/8×3/8 trim piece, not others. Sometime it can’t shoot the pin straight, so you have to alternate tools.

Brad Nailer exclusive features and benefits

A Massive Holding Power
The 18-gauge brad nailer plugs will furnish a respectable load that contains the holding power. Also, it may not be an enormous amount get from 15-gauge nailer and other more substantial tools.

But the number is more than a pin nailer might provide. The incident that you may also utilize a brad nailer to nail baseboard would be sufficient to display that it enhances the holding power significantly.

Versatility in Use
The brad nailer is the powerful tools that you can use in almost any project. You may always have works that will need you to draw out the brad nailer whether you are making the house improvement like building cabinets or crown molding. Also, this is dissimilar to pin nailer that it is only useful when getting a handle on small or thin substances.

A Smooth Carpentry
Also best for base-boarding, The woodworkers shall get brad nailer to reach their expected smooth carpentry. It may also be beneficial for base boarding. This is a reason it may provide about as more holding power that you have from utilizing the 15 and 16-gauge nailers.

Brad Nailer Drawbacks

Smaller Distance Hole
Although, the holes which the brad nailer will dispense, is not as big as what you have since used the 15 or 16 gauge nailer it is obvious. If you paint it or have in mind to stain the workpiece, you need to fill the hole to complete the project.

A Mild Chance of Cracks in the Wood
The 18-gauge nailers and others that are bigger than this can end up crack these perilous woods.

Types of Pin Nailers

Primarily two types of Pin Nailers are available in the market. Let’s know the types.

Pneumatic Pin Nailers(Air Powered)

Pin nailers that are run by compressed air and get delivered by an air compressor termed as pneumatic pin nailers. Two following factors come along with if you purchase one such nailer. Firstly, they require a higher amount of pressure and energy. Secondly, you need to buy an air compressor first.

Electric Pin Nailers

Electric pin nailers are more likely to be operated by batteries. Therefore, they have higher price tags and more comfort in use. Also, if you think about the efficiency, they take less energy to produce long-term work output.

Top 2 Pin Nailer model

Primarily there a couple of types of pin nailers. Here are a few models from each of the categories-

The Hitachi NP35A pin nailer is the best choice for the hobbyist or professional woodworker. This nailer is to embed little pins into the moulding beautifully, trim work, paneling as well as whatever others beautiful woodwork you might have.

Porter-Cable PIN138
The Porte-Cable PIN138 is a typical pin nailer for both professionals and beginner woodworkers looking for a reliable finish nailer but without pay out a lot of cash. It accommodates both slight-head pin and headless ones.

Types of Brad Nailer

Electric and pneumatic nailers are two types of brad nailers-

Pneumatic Brad Nailer

Pneumatic brad nailers use compressed air buttoned up a lightweight sock that leads the compressor and powers the nailer. The pneumatic brad nailer is the best choice among skilled, professional contractors because they grant fast and continues work.

Pneumatic brad nailer has different operating methods and sizes, both of which would be thought-out when select one. This nailer consists of a gun, cartridge, air hose, and batteries.

Best Pneumatic Brad Nailer: Hitachi NT50AE2
The Hitachi NT50AE2 is an outstanding choice as a pneumatic brad nailer. It has a high capacity magazine, a lightweight body, and multiple firing options, it’s an excellent companion for nailing wood jobs.

Electric Brad Nailer

The electric brad nailer is slightly more expensive than the pneumatic brad nailers due to extra battery life.

Best Electric Brad Nailer: PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA
The PORTER-CABLE PCC790LA is an outstanding fully featured electric tool with battery and charger that ensure uninterruptible working.

Brad Nailer vs Pin Nailer: Functions

Brad nailer is a little less functioning. But along with lesser gauge value and greater cohesive force and greater consistent force, making it typical to add frames made of with hardwood, not just plywood.

This type nailers hold on to a substance with much strength as like as powerful glue, and top of the nailer can be bent if needed.

Pin nailers, on the other hand, is for more delicate carpentry works such as base and casing, board and batten, bead board or wainscoting, trim of many kinds, and so on. The 23-gauge pin nailer gun is excellent for pre-polished substances because you no need to putty.

You can find an 18-gauge nailer especially if you want anything to hold tightly against a frame or wall, the 23 is archless and doesn’t seem to have that clasp.

Pin nailer and Brad nailer overview

Frequently Asked Questions on Pin Nailer vs Brad Nailer

frequently asked questions about the different nailer
As we went through some of the technical discussions about pin nailers and brad nailers, it’s time to have a look at some of the most asked questions. These are the questions about it-

Question #1: Among Pin and Brad nailers, which one is the smaller one?
Answer: Pin nailers are smaller than brad nailers regarding delicacy in the finish. In fact, this is the smallest one of the entire nail gun family.

Question #2: What types of nails does brad and pin nailers shoot?
Answer: Brad nailers usually shoot 18 gauge nails, which are slightly larger than the ones for pin nailers. Pin nailers, on the other hand, fire 23 gauge nails.

Question #3: How much holding power do these two nailers hold?
Answer: When it comes to pinning nailers, they almost contain a holding power of zero value. And for the quality of both professional and amateur level. Brad nails n the other hand, have a fair bit of holding power.

Question #4: How much variety in use I get from each of these nails?
Answer: In the comparison of these two, brad nailers come with better versatility. You can make proper use of it in even a 15 or 16 gauge gun. Pin nailers are with quite less variation in use.

If you are a new nail gun user, read out how to use a brad nailer.

In Conclusion

We talked about the differences between pin nailer and brad nailer so that each of the two handy nailers would make the decision uncomplicated for you. For professional artistry, you have to keep both types of the nailer in the bag.

Recommended reading: Brad Nailer vs Finish Nailer.

However, if you want to keep only one with you, select that one which you use most of the time and also fits right in within your budget.

Do you think, we have talked about all the fundamental differences between Pin Nailer vs Brad Nailer? Let our research team know your valuable thoughts by commenting here.