Finish Nailer Vs Framing Nailer

The word finish implies finishing projects and the word framing implies the framing projects – yes, the finishing nailers are used to give finishing touch to the objects and the framing nailers are used to build frames or join large joists for the construction work.

So, it is clear that the finishing nailers are used to do light-duty tasks like driving nails into molding, paneling, or trimming work and the framing nailers are used to do the heavy-duty tasks like for the construction or remodeling of the home.

Both the nailers are very similar in design and working mechanisms which arises confusion among people. In this article, I will discuss the important features, types, benefits and drawbacks, and application of both the nailers so that the confusion is eradicated and you can make the right decision to buy the right product for your project.

Finish Nailer Vs Framing Nailer

Finish Nailer

A finish nailer can be defined as a power-tool that is used to shoot nails to do finishing projects like paneling, installing trims, and moldings. Smaller nails, generally 15 gauge and 16 gauge nails are used with finishing nailers because if you use bigger nails these will leave bigger holes behind making the look of the project odd.

Application of a Finishing Nailer

Though you already have got some ideas about the application of a finishing nailer I would like to discuss it in more detail and a precise way. Here are some common examples of the applications of finishing nailers:

Finish Nailer
  • If you need to do some exterior and interior finish and trim work finishing nailer is the right tool to do the job
  • To construct cabinets, window and door casings  finishing nailer is used
  • To give the final touch to the furniture finishing nailer is the favorite tool to the carpenters
  • To build chair rails, baseboards, and staircases finishing nailers are used.
  • To install the crown and shoe molding finishing nailer is used.
  • To do the ornamental work on wood finishing nailers are a great tool to use.
  • For the on-site and mobile home construction, finishing nailer is widely used.

Benefits of a Finishing Nailer

  • To give the finishing touch to the baseboard, mold, or cabinet thinner and shorter nails are the perfect nails and the finishing nailers are designed to drive thinner and shorter nails.
  • For ornamental work, perfect finishing is very important. If there remain big holes that can be perceived easily by eyes then the work does not look good. Headless nails are good to meet this purpose.
  • The finishing nailers are not so heavy and you can control it easily. Since it is lightweight you can transport it easily from one place to another.
  • It features long strips that reduce the necessity of reloading the nails frequently.

Drawbacks Of a Finishing Nailer

  • Though the holes left by the finish nails are tiny they still needed to fill with putty.
  • If you need to remove the nails from wood then you will find it a very difficult job.

Types of Finishing Nailers

Based on the source of power finishing nailers can be classified into two categories –

Pneumatic Finishing Nailers

Pneumatic finishing nailers work with the power of air compressors. It is more powerful than the cordless finishing nailer.

Cordless Finishing Nailers

Cordless finishing nailer uses battery-power. These are not as powerful as the previous type but these are easily portable than the pneumatic finishing nailers.

Based on the design finishing nailers can be classified into the following two categories –

Straight Finishing Nailers

The magazine of a straight finishing nailer is kept in a straight position and that is the reason it is named as a straight finish nailer. It is heavier than the angled finishing nailers and needs a spacious working place to work with.

Angled Finishing Nailers

It is called an angled finishing nailer as its magazine is angled and narrow. To work in a tight space angled finishing nailers are perfect.

Framing Nailer

A framing nailer can be defined as a power-tool that is used to shoot nails to do framing work like building a deck, constructing a house or remodeling, etc. Generally, 2 to 3-1/2 inches nails are used in framing nailers.

Finishing Nailer

Application of a Framing Nailer

Framing nailers are used for installing wood sheathing, fencing building, wood siding, hardwood subfloors, constructing houses or remodeling, building decks, and other major carpentry work.

Types of Framing Nailers

Depending on the types of nails the framing nailers can be divided into two categories – one is clipped headed framing nailer and the other is round-headed framing nailer.

The clipped-headed nails are compact and can contain 30% more nails than the round-headed nails. But some building codes prohibit the clipped headed nails where there is no prohibition for round-headed nails.

Benefits of a Framing Nailer

  • You can do versatile tasks with one nailer
  • The framing nailers are powerful enough to complete large projects
  • You can do the nailing job precisely with a framing nailer
  • It is comfortable to use as the user does not need to carry a fidget around the nails.
  • These are faster, durable, and cost-effective nailers.

Drawbacks Of A Framing Nailer

  • If the nail size is smaller, particularly less than 2 inch you cannot drive those nails with a framing nailer
  • If the materials you are working with are thin and delicate using the framing nailer will be difficult

Final Thought

The main difference between the finishing and the framing nailer is in the type of job they are designed to do. Based on the type of job, you have to choose the nailer. If you have started a project where you have to do both jobs of framing and finishing then you need to buy both nailers.

Many people ask that if they can do the job of framing with a finish nailer. The answer is – no because more holding power is needed for framing which cannot be provided by smaller nailers used in the finishing nailers. So, you cannot do the job of one nailer with another.

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