Choosing the right type of nail gun for your project is extremely important for not only for overall efficiency but also your safety. Two of the most common nail gun types are the pin nailer and the brad nailer. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses that are made apparent when utilizing either for different project types.

The best all-purpose nail gun is the Brad Nailer due to its standard nail size and ease of use. If the project you are working on calls for nailing delicate wood that is prone to splitting, then a pin nailer is your best option. Ultimately, the best nail gun to use will depend on the project.

This guide will detail some of the similarities and differences between these nail gun types and help you better determine which is appropriate for your next project. You can use the information in this guide to ensure that you are using the safest and most efficient nail gun for your project.

It is important that you identify the right nail gun for your project before committing to a purchase decision. Using the wrong type of nail gun for a job will not only affect the overall job efficiency but could also pose safety hazards.

Pin Nailer Vs Brad Nailer Cost

The brad nailer is the cheapest option to consider when comparing the two nail gun types. You can typically find a quality brad nailer for around $165. This makes a brad nailer an affordable investment for you avid DIYer or professional craftsmen.

A pin nailer is a little more specialized than a brad nailer, causing it to be more expensive. You can find a quality pin nailer for an average cost of $229. You should consider the extra cost when deciding which of the nail guns is appropriate for your project. You could save money if you find that a brad nailer will get the job done adequately.

You can also save money on both of the nail gun types by shopping online. The table below contains some of the most popular vendors and their prices for both pin and brad nailers. You can use this information to find the best nail gun in your price range.

VendorBrad Nailer CostPin Nailer Cost
Walmart$145$236
Lowes$166$225
Home Depot$155$266
Amazon$157$215
Harbor Freight$164$240

Pin Nailer Vs Brad Nailer Nail Sizes

The Brad Nailer uses small, 18-gauge nails which measure 0.0475 of an inch. They can be purchased in varying lengths from half to two-and-a-half inches. This gauge of the nail is considerably shorter than standard 16-gauge nails that some other nail guns might use.

Pin nailers use skinny, 23-gauge nails that measure between 3/8 inches to 2 inches long. They are headless and do not have the holding power of the 18-gauge nails used in the brad nailer. This makes the nails only appropriate for temporary connection or extremely lightweight nailing.

The type of nail and its gauge are important to consider when planning a project that calls for the use of a nail gun. The size and type of nail that you need determine which nail gun you need.

For a light-duty, delicate job, the Pin Nailer uses the most efficient nail for the job. If you have extremely thick, or heavy wood to nail, then you will need to use a Brad Nailer due to its thicker and longer nails.

The table below contains a comparison of the different nail sizes used by these two nail gun types. You should use this table to ensure that the nail gun you are using utilizes an appropriate nail size for your project.

Nail Gun TypeNail SizeBest Suited For
Brad Nailer18-gaugeHeavy, permanent connections
Pin Nailer23-gaugeLightweight nailing, temporary connections

Pin Nailer Vs Brad Nailer Uses

If you are completing a project of any scale and need efficient and precise results, the Brad Nailer is the best choice. The Brad Nailer is best utilized for simple DIY tasks such as crown molding, cabinet work, or heavy baseboard addition. It is the most versatile of the nail gun types and can be utilized effectively in most projects.

The nails that a brad nailer utilizes are easy to remove and do not produce a large, unsightly hole in your material. This is a great choice for many different types of simple to moderate woodworking that you might be currently undergoing. A Brad Nailer is also appropriate for more heavy-duty jobs that require strong nails to form permanent connections.

A pin nailer is more appropriate for delicate woodworking and smaller pieces of trim. The thinner the material you are working with, the higher the chances that a brad nailer will cause it to split or tear. Because of the small size of the nails used by a pin nailer, there is less of a chance of blemishing the material.

This makes a pin nailer appropriate for thin veneer work or holding wood in place temporarily while the glue dries. A pin nailer is also a good choice if the trim you are nailing is small or thin. If you wish to have a natural finish on your woodworking project, a pin nailer will eliminate the need for any wood filler that will blemish the material.

Picking the right nail gun for your project can help save you money and ensure the safe installation of your wooden components. You should consider using the table below to better identify the different projects where certain nail gun types are appropriate.

Nail Gun TypeRecommended Project Usage
Pin NailerDIY projects, thin baseboard installation, delicate woodworking
Brad NailerThick Wood Installation, Heavy Cabinet Installation, and Repair, General Use

Pin Nailer Vs Brad Nailer Pros And Cons

The list below contains some of the pros and cons of each type of nail gun. You can use this list to help you better determine which type of nail gun is appropriate for your current project. Both of the nail guns listed in this guide have their strengths and weaknesses. You should consider these pros and cons when planning your next project.

Pin Nailer Pros And Cons

Pin Nailers has the advantage over the other types of nail guns in this list when it comes to precise and efficient finishing work. This can help keep the wood you are nailing from splitting apart and does not create large, unsightly holes that you would otherwise need to fill.

The main drawback of the Pin Nailer is the fact that it cannot be used for extremely hard or thick wood. The nails are not long or thick enough to properly attach more heavy-duty wood components together.

This makes them a more specialized option for you to consider when choosing a nail gun for your next project, meaning that the brad nailer will likely be more useful to you long term.

Brad Nailer Pros And Cons

Brad Nailers have a strong advantage over the other types of nail guns if the structure you are using it on is a permanent wooden structure with thicker, heavier wood.

Because of the extra length and thickness of the nails that a Brad Nailer uses in comparison to pin nailers, it makes it appropriate for hard and thicker wood that is more tolerable to weight.

The main drawback of Brad Nailers is the inherent risk of wood splitting during the nailing process. The large size of the nails also adds large hole marks that will need to be filled. This could lead to timely finishing work that could be avoided with the use of smaller nails.

Pin Nailer Vs Brad Nailer Comparison Table

The table below contains a side-by-side comparison of all of the information discussed in this guide.

Nail Gun TypeAvg. PriceNail SizeBest Suited For
Pin Nailer$22923-gaugeLightweight nailing, delicate woodworking
Brad Nailer$16518-gaugeGeneral Use, Heavy Woodworking

Final Thoughts

This guide has provided you with all of the information that you need to figure out which of these main nail gun types is the best for you. Both the Pin Nailer and the Brad Nailer have their own specialized uses and projects that they would be best suited for.

Using the information in this guide, you can better decide which one is the right choice for your project. You can use the comparison tables in this guide to help you see how the different nail gun types stand up to each other side-by-side.

It is important that you choose the right nail gun for your project to ensure the safety of the installation as well as the overall efficiency of the work that must be done. If you use the wrong nail gun, you risk wasting money, or worse completing a project that will not stand the test of time due to an incompatible nail type.

This guide can help you avoid this scenario and offer you a way to make an informed decision when choosing a nail gun to complete your DIY or large-scale project.