Brad vs Finish Nailer

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  #1  
Old 01-23-04, 10:40 AM
smiholer
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Brad vs Finish Nailer

I am ready to get a smaller pnuematic fastener, but not sure exactly what will suit my needs the best... brads or finish nails. First of all, am I right to assume the brads and nails require different guns?

I have been doing 'research' on the web through manufacture, dealer/store, and opinion sights. I have about $130 available, and have my eyes on Senco's 'FinishPro 18', but am not sure if it is what I need.

I'm just an around the house DIY'er. Upcoming projects include installing hardwood base trim, completely re-trimming bedrooms (floor and door trim, window sills, etc.), small furniture repair, kitchen cabinet making and installation, etc, etc, etc.

Any advice as to what tool I need, and maybe some specific models to take a look at would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any help!
 
  #2  
Old 01-23-04, 11:33 AM
M
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If you can only get one - get the finish nailer. A brad nailer will probably do for trim work, but everything else you listed requires a heavier gage and longer nail. Not to throw you off track, but you may want to consider a 2 inch 18 gage stapler. They are more versatile, in my opinion, though they do make one hell of dent in trim
 
  #3  
Old 01-23-04, 04:53 PM
smiholer
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Thanks for the help.

My only reply to your suggestion about a staple gun is that for my immediate needs, the smallest evidence of of nails is crucial. I will first be tackling our bedroom, where I am replacing every bit of wood... trim, molding, window sills, everything in the closet, and likly small crown molding. The next job will be 100' of craftsman style oak molding.

I agree that a smaller brad nailer may need be adequate for future jobs, but I fear that a finish nailer (and likly a stapler) may be too much considering the need for a clean and neat finished product.

What would a 16 quage finish nailer be like for my immediate needs? Thanks again.
 
  #4  
Old 01-23-04, 07:37 PM
Tom_J
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Smiholer,

I actually got involved in a discussion like this in the "Woodworking" section.

My suggestion would be to stick with a good, 18-gauge brad nailer. Based on your first thread, a finish nailer is going to be too much gun for some of your smaller projects. They're, surprisingly, much larger, hence, unwieldly, for those tight spots you'll find.

The Senco would be a fine choice. First, because it goes as small as 5/8". (You'll thank yourself later!) Second, because it will shoot brads up to 2" which are plenty long enough for, darned near, any trim project you have in mind. Third, because it's a quality tool.

Small note: Any hole you punch in trim is going to have to be filled. The smaller the hole...you get the picture.

Tom
 
  #5  
Old 01-26-04, 07:52 AM
M
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OK

A brad gun is definitely the way to go with all that trim work. If you still want versatility, you can get a combination brad/staple gun, but make sure it meets your requirements for fastner length.
Good luck.
 
  #6  
Old 01-26-04, 08:19 AM
jd442
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Finish nailer

I have a similar question, I am looking into installing 3 to 4 inch crown molding in all of the rooms of my house. What kind of nail gun would I need to shoot at least a 3 inch or more finish nail into the crown molding to secure it properly?

Thanks for the help!!
JD
 
  #7  
Old 01-26-04, 07:09 PM
Tom_J
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jd,

My P-C DA250A will go as long as 2 1/2" and I can't, offhand, envision you needing a fastener longer than that for your project.

Remember that you're looking to grab the studs which can be done low on the moulding (high, as well, if you want to hit the ceiling joists).

It sounds like you're thinking that you have to take the fastener through the center of the moulding, hence, the 3"+ nail. You don't.

I've seen projects done on TV with 5", and larger, crown mouldings that were attached with "standard-issue" finishing nailers.

P.S. You have a big project on your hands so buy a quality tool but remember, too, that, you're not hanging car engines off the stuff. Mark, and hit, your studs and it's not going anywhere!

Tom
 
  #8  
Old 01-27-04, 07:56 AM
jd442
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Fininsh Nailer

Tom or Anyone else,

What are the uses for Finish, Brad and Stapler air tools. I looked at the Porter Cable air nailers. Some of the Finish nailers go to 2.5 inches, some Brad nailers go to 2 inches and some staplers go to 2 inches. Since all of the tools have a fastener in the 2 inch range how do you know which one to choose. What are the general guidelines people use on choosing the right tool. What are the Finish nailers used for? What are the Brad nailers mainly used for? What are the Staplers mainly used for?
 
  #9  
Old 01-27-04, 08:43 AM
graham01
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And another on the same topic - has anyone used the Porter Cable brad nailer in cordless mode? How does that work for you?

Graham
 
  #10  
Old 01-29-04, 10:40 AM
Tom_J
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jd,

Sorry about not getting back sooner.

Typically, staplers and brad nailers would be used on cabinetry and furniture whereas a finish nailer would be used on baseboard and crown mouldings and the like.

Now, some folks might use a brad nailer on mouldings while others prefer to use finish nailers on cabinetry.

The heck of it is that we never discover when we've made something too strong, only when we didn't make it strong enough. From that perspective, it's a little more difficult to say which gun is best for what.

In your specific application, I would opt for a good finish nailer like the Senco or Porter-Cable. A finish nailer wouldn't be my usual recommendation to someone except that you've been quite clear on what you intend to use the nailer for. I would normally recommend a brad nailer as a "first" gun and the finish nailer down the road.

I've used staplers but don't own one, so I'm probably not the best person to ask whether, or not, to purchase one. I can tell you that proponents of the tool wouldn't be without one, but I'll leave that to one of them.

graham,

I'm afraid I've no experience with cordless ("hoseless"? ) model nailers. I will tell you that over half of my power hand tools are P-C and I've been never been disappointed with the operation or performance of any of them.

Tom
 
  #11  
Old 01-29-04, 06:09 PM
graham01
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Thanks Tom. Yes PC is usually good and the cordless would sure be handy sometimes.

Graham
 
  #12  
Old 01-29-04, 07:29 PM
smiholer
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Well thank you all for the discussions and help. I have had a few days to look around, and am ready to buy a brad nailer this weekend. There are a few that interest me the most. All are 18 gauge, and all highly recommended (amazon, eopinions, etc.). Each has a few different features (more $ of course), and some come with a "starter kit" with nails. I mainly want a high quality tool that will get occasional use, but be worked hard when it does. I like the cheaper PorterCable for the price, but the spendier Senco seems more versitile and powerful for bigger future jobs.

Do any of you have any experince with these models or brands.

-PorteraCable BN200A ($95), shoots 2"
-Senco FinishPro 18 ($120), shoots 2"
-Senco FinishPro 25XP ($140), shoots 2 1/4"

Thanks again.
 
  #13  
Old 02-01-04, 05:03 PM
Tom_J
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Smiholer,

I'm a Porter-Cable fan but, of the three you present, I'd go with the Senco XP.

First, I don't mind spending the money (as my wife will attest to).

Second, the XP will shoot 5/8" brads as opposed to the P-C's 3/4" brads. (I've mentioned this in other threads.)

Last, you'll be buying a quality tool that should serve you very well.

Tom
 
 

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