Framing Nailer vs Brad Nailer (Differences and Comparison)

Nailers or nail guns save us a lot of time and energy in constructing. Knowing the differences between various nailers is very important. For example, framing nailers has a different purpose compared to brad nailers.

Framing Nailer vs Brad Nailer

Framing Nailer vs Brad Nailer

Framing nailers are for framing works. It is known for working in heavy construction like framing houses, building decks constructing rooms, etc. Its primary purpose is to build stable projects.

On the other hand, Brad nailers are for trimming and finishing. It is for lightweight projects like replacing thin decking on a dresser or installing quarter rounds on the floor.

Various nail guns have multiple functions to perform. Working on a home decor project or other constructions, you need to know about nailer variation.

Nail Size

The framing nailer uses the lowest gauge nails. Generally, the nails in the framing nailer are 11 to 8 gauge. Framing nails are one of the largest nails used in building projects.

Brad nailer uses the highest gauge nails. Most of the brad nailers use 18-gauge nails. Brad nails are the smallest and thinnest nails of all. Brad nailer can also use 16 gauge nails for thicker woods.


Framing nailers are for framing works like framing walls, framing houses, putting together decks, and other stable constructions. It is for heavy construction and long-lasting results.

Brad nailers are perfect for trimming and also used for finishing. It is good for a lightweight project like fixing floors or backing decks. But they are not strong enough for joining materials.


A framing nailer is an angled nailer. There are different angled framing nailers in markets. According to angles, there are many nailers, e.g., 21 degrees, 30 degrees, 34 degrees, 45 degrees, etc. The angle feature can help you to put the nail in the perfect fit.

Brad nailer is a straight nailer. There is no angle set up in a brad nail gun. So, you can put your nail in every angle you want. 


As you have learned above, framing nails are large. Therefore, it leaves a large hole that you have to fill up when you put a framing nail. Otherwise, it will ruin the decor or your work.

But, brad nails are small in size, so you don’t need to fill up the holes made by brad nails. So, you will not notice the tiny holes.


Sizes of nails, the capacity of nails in a nailer, and the weight of each nail put affect in weight of a nailer. In general, a compact framing nailer can be almost 2.7 kg, and a full-size model can be up to 2.7 kg.

Brad nailers are comparatively lighter than Framing ones. Still, they can be almost 1 kg to 2.27 kg in weight. Pneumatic brad nailers are around 1 kg, and the battery ones are up to 2.27 kg.


You can only use a framing nailer in heavy projects. This is because heavy works like framing houses need lots of time and energy. But a framing nailer saves both your energy and time.

But, for your simple home projects, you can use your brad nailer tool. You can even put 16 gauge nails in it. Sixteen gauge nails are perfect for all small home DIY kinds of stuff. 

Framing Nailers are more Expensive than Brad Nailers

Pricing can be a variant for different manufacturers of the same product. But in a general sense, Framing nail guns are more expensive than Brad ones. The price can vary from time to time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use a brad nailer for framing?

No, you can not use a brad nailer for framing works. Brad nailer works with smaller nails. Those nails are not vital to work in stud woods. That’s why it is not recommended for brad nailer to do the framing.

What should I buy, a framing nailer or a brad nailer?

It depends on what kind of work you need to do. For example, if you want to do heavy and strong constructions like framing walls, you will need a framing nailer.

But, if you want to do light works or small home decorating projects, a brad nail gun would be perfect for you. So, depending on your needs, you have to buy your nailer.

What is brad nailer good for?

Brad nailer is suitable for trimming, replacing the thin dresser backing, installing quarter round flooring, shoe molding, decorative casing, kitchen crowns, light decorating for windows and doors, thin woodcuts, and many more.

Is it necessary to buy a framing nailer?

No, it is not necessary to buy framing nailers, especially for short projects. Framing nails are large so that you can put your nails with a hammer also. But if you have to work on a more extended project, you should buy a framing nailer.


It is not a competition about which nailer is the best. Various nailers have their purpose of achieving. Depending on your demands and needs, you have to choose the perfect nailer to get your job done.

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