Finish nailer or framing nailer, which one is the most needed? To get the answer to this question, first of all, you need to identify which one is good for what?
After inventing nail guns in the 1950s, it is gradually replacing hammers, and bring motions in the construction projects. There is, therefore, no room for doubt as to their effectiveness. Nevertheless, the evolution of time has led people to create different kinds of nail guns based on their needs and their scale. Nowadays, irrespective of DIYer or skilled woodworkers, everyone demands special tools to carry out their work.
Today, in many different nail guns, we mainly address two of the most common types – the framing and finishing nailer. Since both are very close in terms of their working concept, there may be a misunderstanding arises between people, particularly those who buy them for the first time or are amateurs.
However, I seem to be here to eradicate that confusion in a sort with the light of our discussion on Finish nailer vs. framing nailer. In our article, we'll try to compare with each other to give an idea of their similarities and differences, pros and cons, and also tell you what kind of jobs each one is best suited.
Let’s join with us to enjoy the topics.
Maybe you can understand from its name that the framing nail guns designed to build frames or join large joists for the construction of a home or the remodeling or the addition of a patio. Get a more precise idea; let's find the definition of the framing nailer as below.
What Is A Framing Nailer?
A framing nailer is a tool used to pound framing nails into wood or other similar materials. Usually, it consists of a compressed air chamber, which has a piston that forced the nails to drive into the lumber. Piston gains that energy either from an air compressor in case of pneumatic framing nailer or from a battery or an electric motor or the combination of battery and gas-cartridge if it is cordless.
Based on nail types, again, we can divide the framing nailer into two categories – clipped head and round head.
Clipped head nails are more compact and contain 30% more nails than round head nails. If you need to shoot large volumes of nails without interruption, you can use a clipped head nailer. On the other side, the round head nailer can carry fewer nails but, unlike the clipped head, specific building codes do not prohibit it.
If you need to know more nitty-gritty details like above, please visit our page on framing nailer reviews. It's packed with detailed information, and you're also going to find an appropriate frame nailer for you.
What Are Framing Nailers Used For?
A framing nailer is born to do heavy-duty works, including building deck, constructing house or remodeling, installing hardwood subfloors, wood sheathing, fencing building, wood siding, and major carpentry works. Typically, you can shoot 2 inches to 3-1/2 inches nail with a framing nailer, and you can also use it to fire nails where plaster or concrete works are involved. To get more ideas, you may visit our page on framing nailer reviews and buying guides.
What Are The Best Framing Nailers You May Buy
We show the top 3 best framing nailer with key features to make the best choice for your projects easily.
BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head Framing Nailer
- Two nails in one including two quick-change nosepieces
- Fastener collation and fastener depth control
- Lightweight magnesium housing
- 1050 inch-pound of driving power
DEWALT DCN692B 20V Max XR Brushless Dual Speed Nailer
- 100% fuel-cell free battery powered
- Dual Speed – optimized for fastener lengths
- Dual actuation mode: Sequential and Bump
- LED indicator light to alert Jam/Stall
Pros And Cons Of A Framing Nailer
Benefits of a framing nailer
Drawbacks of a framing nailer
While framing nailers built to perform heavy-duty tasks, finishing nailers will help you to achieve a small range of works or do finishing touch. Yes, indeed! Finish nails born to drive nails into molding, paneling, or trimming work. Please scroll down to get more ideas about this tool.
What Is A Finish Nailer?
Both the framing and the finishing nailer are similar in the internal design and working method. The primary purpose of both nailers is to fire nails for the fastening of lumbers or other materials. The only difference is that one can handle heavy-duty jobs, and the other just accommodate lighter projects. More precisely, the finish nailer designed to drive 15 to 16 gauge nails while you can fire 8 to 12 gauge (0.113 to0.168-inch) nails with a framing nailer.
Unlike framing nailers, we can classify the finish nailers into two categories based on the power source–the pneumatic and the cordless finish nailer. Pneumatic finish nailers are stronger and lighter in weight. If you have an air compressor, a pneumatic finish nailer will be a viable option. Conversely, if you want to enjoy freedom, you might want to have cordless solutions.
Another striking feature of this device is that it could be angled or straight finish nailer according to design. The difference between these two is that the angled finish nailer gives you easy access to the tight corners than the straight one. Therefore, depending on the working condition, you have the freedom to choose your appropriate unit.
What Are Finish Nailer Used For?
Okay! We've got some ideas about what a finish nailer can do. Let's figure them out more explicitly.
The finish nailer is ideal for many forms of woodworking jobs, from repairing and constructing furniture to plywood work, construction of baseboards and crown molding. Generally, you can perform the following tasks with a finish nailer –
- Interior and exterior finish and trim
- Installing crown and shoe moldings
- Cabinet and furniture works
- Window and door casings
- Chair rails, baseboards, and staircases
- On-site and mobile home construction
What Are The Best Finish Nailers You May Buy
We show the top 3 best finish nailer with key features to make the best choice for your projects easily.
Metabo HPT NT65MA4 Pneumatic Angled Finish Nailer
- Integrated air duster gives a clean start by clearing dust and debris from the work surface
- Tool-less, easy to remove nose for quick nail extraction in case of jam
- Change between the sequential or contact nailing mode with a simple flip of a switch
- Improved control and a professional finish with a tool-less depth of drive dial
NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer
- Lightweight and durable aluminum body
- Ergonomic comfort grip handle
- The quick jam release lets you quickly clear jams without taking the nailer apart
- An excellent device for Sequential firing and tool-free depth adjust to allow you to customize for any project
- Suitable for professional contractors and do-it-yourselfers alike
Best for Money
BOSTITCH N62FNK-2 Angled Finish Nailer
- Made in the USA
- 1- 1/4 inch to 2- 1/2 inch 15 gauge oil free angled finish nailer
- Tool-free removable and angled magazine
- Adjustable depth control and bypass nail pusher
- Durable and lightweight magnesium housing
- Includes 4 profile tips along with sample fasteners
Pros And Cons Of A Finish Nailer
Benefits Of A Finish Nailer
Drawbacks of a finish nailer
What Is The Difference Between A Finish Nailer And Framing Nailer?
Though you will get a details idea on the difference between a finish and framing nailer, I like to recap them once more in segment wise for your further assistance. I hope you will enjoy it.
1. Category Of Nails/Nails Size
Nail size is an essential aspect of any woodworking task. Nails that are too large or fat are challenging to drive and maybe split the board. On the other side, nails that are too thin and small may not serve the purpose.
However, today, we’re not here to explain the size of the nails only. Instead, we’ll try to establish a relationship between a nail gun and pins. If you consider the size of the nails in terms of the device capability, you may find that the framing nailers are mostly suitable for handling 2 to 3-1/2 inches, 8d to 16d nails. If you need to join 2-by-4 frames or boards, you need to use 16d 3-1/2 inches of 8 gauge nails. While, if you need to attach peeling strips, sheathing, subfloors, and other materials for which you do not need large nails, you can use 8d 2 inches 11-1/2 gauge nails smoothly. And in both cases, the framing nailers come in handy.
Again, if you need to drive nails to thin and more delicate materials, then you need to go for smaller nails like 1 inch to 2-1/2 inches. And the finish nailer allows you to drive 14 to 16 gauge or 2d to 8d nails without any issues.
2. Durability And Bond Strength
Usually, we use framing nails to tie or connect two boards or wooden frames to build our homes or other large structures. And, if we don't use the right size and strength of the nails, you can easily imagine what a tragedy is going to happen. Therefore, to drive the right size of nails, you must need appropriate tools, and framing nailers are built to take care of heavy-duty tasks.
On the other side, finish nailers designed to drive thin and small nails to prepare furniture or other finishing work where there is no need for high strength. And, compared to nailer framing, the nailer finish has less longevity and vitality.
You've already got a detailed picture of the functionality of both nailers. It is actually the main criteria based on what the nailer divided into two categories–framing and finishing. So, it's best to do any heavy-duty work with a framing nailer. On the other hand, the finish nailer will give you a more delicate performance in finishing tasks.
4. Stage Of The Project
When we break the home construction plan into two phases – starting and finishing, then in the first stage, we need to do the framing and other large-scale work where we need strength and durability. For this first half of our work, we need the best quality framing nailer to do our job more precisely and quickly.
In the second or final part of the construction, we usually do finishing works such as fixing crowns or base molding, making stair rails, fixing windows and doors, where we need to use a good finish nailer.
The price of the framing nailer or finish nailer depends entirely on the design, the style, and the materials used to make it. Usually, framing nailers are more expensive than finish nailer, but sometimes you may found that the price of finish nailer overpowers the cost of framing nailer. It depends, in reality, on better quality, a more comprehensive range of work, and, ultimately, who made it.
Comparison Between Framing Nailer Vs Finish Nailer At A Glance:
1 inch to 2 ½ inches
2 inches to 3 ½ inches
14 to 16 Gauge
11 ½ to 8 Gauge (0.113 to 0.168-inches)
2d to 8d
7d to 16d
Air or Battery Powered
Durability and Strength
Depends on Manufacturer
Depends on Manufacturer
Light Works like installing cabinets, assembling furniture, trim, molding, and cabinetry
Heavy construction, Fencing, Framing House, Building decks, Wooden siding and more
Can You Use A Finish Nailer For Framing?
I hope you already got the answer to the above queries. Both the nailer created to serve some specific purpose, and they have apparent differences. So, you cannot use or replace the work with one another.
If you use finish nailer to fastening 2-by-4s trusses, it may cause severe disasters one day. Nonetheless, if you use a framing nailer to do crown molding, it may split the mold.
Therefore, choosing the right tool is not a tough job. If you are a professional constructor and need to do both heavy-duty and light works frequently, then you have to collect both the version of the nailer.
If you do any particular job, either framing or finishing, then you may go for one specific type instead of choosing both.
Nevertheless, all types of woodworking are interlinked. When you start building a home or a project, you will also need to add some cherry on the cake to complete it. Therefore, both the framing nailers and the finishing nailers have equal importance on the job site.
Please do your 'R and D' correctly. It is essential to find an apt model that meets the criteria of your work as well as match with the environment. And then you'll invest your hard-earned money to get it there.
Best of luck with your next projects and happy nailing!