Brad nails, finishing nails?

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  #1  
Old 08-09-06, 10:04 AM
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Brad nails, finishing nails?

I purchased a new Dewalt brad nailer with 4 gal compressor.

I've tested it and love how it works. No kick and I can put together several projects with ease.

So after I'm done with the little things I wanted to know what else I could do with a brad. Google tells me what a brad is but it doesn't go into details about what they are 'officially' used for. Are they only good for baseboards and light wood fastening?

Mine does not say it'll take finishing nails. How are they different?

What else can I use a brad for? Would it be of use putting up a new wood shed? The max size brad I can use is 2" so it doesn't seem to be suited for that. Can I use it to nail down a roof?

My next projects seem well suited for a brad (door frames) but other than that I'm going to run out of use for this machine. Can someone point out what brads are well suited for? Are they a sub for any nail job 2" and under?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-09-06, 11:56 AM
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Brads are essentially smaller finish nails - brads or finish nails from an automatic nailer differ slightly from the hand-driven varieties in that they do not have any "head". An automatic nailer is generally designed (or adjusted) to "set" the head slightly, so the nail hole can be filled. A hand-driven brad or finish nail will require use of a nail-set to accomplish the same.

Brads have very little holding strength - they are good for locating something perpendicular to the shank of the brad (finishing nails have slightly more holding power). Without a head, neither is very good at holding something parallel to the shank. Moulding and trim are good candidates, also thin panels that have been glued and are nailed just to keep them from moving around while the glue sets. Hope this helps.
 
  #3  
Old 08-09-06, 12:36 PM
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Thanks UBob. I noticed the lack of a head.


So I guess holding up roof shingles wouldn't work with brads
 
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Old 08-09-06, 01:36 PM
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Neither brad nails or finish nails are any good for nailing shingles. Asphalt shingles need a roofing nail, they have a big head and come in various lenghts.
 
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Old 08-09-06, 04:37 PM
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I know you are excited about your brad nailer, but each job will require its own tool. Brads are usually limited to 1 5/8" or so, while finish nailers to up to about 2 1/2" and the shank is larger, so more holding power. Of course there are always the narrow crown staplers which really hold. Jump from there to your coil siding nailer, or coil roofing nailer, and then to the framer. Fastener size and shank (ring shank, smooth, etc) are important factors to consider with each job.
Now, go shopping!!
 
  #6  
Old 08-09-06, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler
Now, go shopping!!






Larry if you will give me your account # I'll gladly go shopping and add to my array of tools
 
  #7  
Old 08-10-06, 05:59 AM
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There is always money for tools, isn't there? The problem most of us face is explaining to our wives why we bought tools with money she would have otherwise wasted on things like food, rent, utilities...

Larry did just what was needed - gave Badmana the excuse he needed to buy more tools... "but Honey, the man on the forum said I NEEDED this tool, to properly do the job - and shelter my family, blah, blah, blah"

But if he is handing out account numbers...
 
  #8  
Old 08-10-06, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ubob
There is always money for tools, isn't there? The problem most of us face is explaining to our wives why we bought tools with money she would have otherwise wasted on things like food, rent, utilities...

Larry did just what was needed - gave Badmana the excuse he needed to buy more tools... "but Honey, the man on the forum said I NEEDED this tool, to properly do the job - and shelter my family, blah, blah, blah"

But if he is handing out account numbers...

LOL. Yeah, I basically used the excuse that having lots of baseboards to do required my new compressor/nailer kit. I also happen to have passed a display model with a nice discount and convinced the wife it was a REALLY GOOD ONCE IN A LIFE TIME DEAL.


I've seen a craftman frame nailer that I'd love to get my paws on. Of course the $400 (CAN) price tag is pretty steep when all it replaces is a hammer
 
  #9  
Old 08-10-06, 08:31 AM
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Too bad the US/CAN exchange rate is just about 1-for-1 now, or you could have quoted the lower US price to your wife. Last time I checked (June) $400 CAN equaled $400 US.

I'll have to remember that "Once-in-a-lifetime deal" line, to use on my wife. Just pretend you are the US military - then $400 for a hammer seems about right!
 
  #10  
Old 08-10-06, 09:44 AM
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IMO a serious DIYer needs 3 pneumatic nailers. A brad nailer for small tack jobs, small trim pieces etc., A finish nailer for serious trim work and a framing nailer for construction.
 
  #11  
Old 08-10-06, 11:46 AM
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Actually as a pro I never have use for a brad/pin nailer. My Paslode Impulse finish nailer will shoot from 1" to 2 1/2" and I just never come across anything that needs smaller then that. If it did I would be inclined to just glue it like with small returns on trim. Also you wont see me with any loud compressor and hoses to pull around. Once you get used to the cordless nailers you wont want to go back. Soooo much eaiser to not have to lug that stuff around especially up on a ladder etc. It actually says "finish brads" on the box for my finish nailer. The distinction between them is a little grey but I would tend to agree that "brads" should be headless but then I would probably call them "pins" lol
 
  #12  
Old 08-10-06, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BuiLDPro68
Actually as a pro I never have use for a brad/pin nailer. My Paslode Impulse finish nailer will shoot from 1" to 2 1/2" and I just never come across anything that needs smaller then that. If it did I would be inclined to just glue it like with small returns on trim. Also you wont see me with any loud compressor and hoses to pull around. Once you get used to the cordless nailers you wont want to go back. Soooo much eaiser to not have to lug that stuff around especially up on a ladder etc. It actually says "finish brads" on the box for my finish nailer. The distinction between them is a little grey but I would tend to agree that "brads" should be headless but then I would probably call them "pins" lol

I didn't quite know the difference. I did a lot of research and knew the Dewalt unit was rather loud but worth it for the price I managed to get it for. With 50' of tube I'll be able to do a lot of work around the house without having to move the compressor.

I looked up the specs and mine does not say it will shoot finishing nails. I've used so far 2" brads and I had hoped they were good for something after I'm done my baseboards.


But now that I have a decent compressor I'll be able to, one day, get a finishing nailer. I'm planning on doing a deck and a workshop/garage/garden shed thing. I'm good with a hammer but a framing nailer would be nice to have (I'm also a gadget freak).
 
  #13  
Old 08-10-06, 04:16 PM
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I'd have to say that in my finish carpentry, I use my 18 guage Senco 25XP 2" brad nailer more often than my 15 guage angled finish nailer. I prefer to nail window and door casing with brad nails (1 1/4" and 2") and thin 3/8" baseboard as well. I nail my window extension jambs together with brad nails and when the jambs are nailed to the rough opening, I prefer 2" brad nails. Baseshoe also works best with brad nails, IMO.

However when the item being nailed will have to hold weight... (such as large crown moulding) or if it wants to pull away from the wall (as casing does sometimes)... or if you are shooting on thick 3/4" base or casing over 1/2" or 5/8" drywall, then you need to use the larger gun along with larger guage, longer length finish nails.

There really aren't many uses for a brad nailer outside of finish work. You can use a brad to hold work pieces together while they are being glued, but as mentioned, the brad nail doesn't have much strength on its own, and without a head, the trim will pull off the nail pretty easily.

I prefer to use the brad nailer on every occasion possible because I prefer the smaller, less obtrusive nail holes. I'm a finish carpenter who putties my own nail holes. If someone else fills them, I suppose the tendency is that you don't really care about the size of the hole or the number of fasteners!
 
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Old 08-10-06, 05:12 PM
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As I have posted before, buy the tool, totally destroy the box by fire, rub dirt on the tools exterior to remove the shine and toss it in a tool box with other tools.
That way you can always say, "Naaa, I've had that one for years."
But you have to pay cash for them so there is no paper trail.
There is no cure, and there aren't support groups, except for the forums.
We understand.
 
  #15  
Old 08-10-06, 07:58 PM
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ROFL!!!

No, send the unwanted tool boxes to me. I like 'em! PM me for my mailing address.

Oh, I forgot to mention one other use for brad nailers and 2" nails... extracting blood from your fingers! Don't ask me how I know this.
 
  #16  
Old 08-11-06, 05:00 AM
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[Quote = XSleeper]Oh, I forgot to mention one other use for brad nailers and 2" nails... extracting blood from your fingers! Don't ask me how I know this. [/Quote]

I haven't used my brad nailer for that task - yet. However, I have whole shop full of other tools that have that feature. I can also attest to the capability of a framing nailer to securely fasten your boot to a subfloor - those ring-shanks really hold!
 
  #17  
Old 08-11-06, 09:31 AM
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I had a 2 1/2" finish nail do a 180 degree turn and slide right under my finger nail once. Can't say I every nailed myself to the deck though lol.
 
  #18  
Old 08-11-06, 09:38 AM
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OUCH!!!

The 2" brad I was referring to went in the bottom of my thumb and out the top- right through the knuckle bone. Like buildpro68 said, it turned.

It sure does remind you to keep your hands back for a few years!
 
  #19  
Old 08-11-06, 11:39 AM
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Using a Paslode framing nailer, puting down subfloor over joists... You can depress the tip, then pull the trigger, OR hold the trigger and bump the tip. The second way is faster when you are driving a bunch of nails in a row, but if you happen to bump your boot, it will fire a nail right through it - fortunately for me, it was just the sole of the boot, not my foot! I had to take my boot off to reach a prybar, not sure how long I would have been there if it had hit my foot.
 
  #20  
Old 08-11-06, 12:33 PM
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good thing you weren't on a crew. never would have heard the end of that one lol
 
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Old 08-11-06, 01:08 PM
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I can hear it now...."Hey, Bob, did ya sleep up here last night?" "Wife mad at ya?", "Hungry?"
 
  #22  
Old 08-11-06, 03:49 PM
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or how about.. "need anymore toe nails there Bob?"
 
  #23  
Old 09-03-06, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler
Of course there are always the narrow crown staplers which really hold.
So I can use my 1/4" n.c. stapler and 5000 staples I bought for my bathroom underlayment for other things? (3/4" long)??

What, for instance? I'd like to use up some of those 4900 staples I have left over...
 
  #24  
Old 09-04-06, 05:13 AM
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Not possible to list everything a 3/4" staple can be used for, but basically anything that a short brad would be used for when the larger hole the staple makes isn't a concern.
 
  #25  
Old 09-05-06, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by badmana
I've seen a craftman frame nailer that I'd love to get my paws on. Of course the $400 (CAN) price tag is pretty steep when all it replaces is a hammer
And smashed fingers.

And bent nails.

And dimpled work.
 
  #26  
Old 09-15-06, 05:51 PM
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Question Brad Nailer for 3/4 Cedar Trim

I figured I would post this question here instead of starting a new thread. Is it possible to use 18 Ga. 2" galv. brad nails to install 1x4 cedar for exterior window trim? I was told it should be okay but after reading some of the posts in this forum I am thinking they might not have the holding power. I own a brad nailer, not a finishing nailer(at least not yet). Thanks in advance.
 
  #27  
Old 09-15-06, 06:12 PM
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I think there is a bit of confusion when it comes between brad and finish nails. Often times I think they are synonymous. As in this case I think 18ga 2" "brads" are about perfect. Like in a lot of things in the building trade, terminology is no substitute for a little common sense.
 
  #28  
Old 09-16-06, 11:08 AM
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Thumbs up

Thanks for your reply, I will spring for a finishing nailer another time.
 
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