What Kind Of Nail Gun For Trim? Brad Nailer Vs. Finish Nailer

What kind of nail gun for trim? When it comes to the question, most people usually mention the two most famous devices on the market: finishing nailers and brad nailers.

Nail guns come in various forms and usages that can confuse you when choosing one of them for trimming. This is because each kind of nail gun has its advantages and disadvantages, so you need to clearly understand each product’s strengths and limitations.

There are many kinds of nail guns suitable for different purposes, and in the following article, we will summarize and review some best products so that you can choose the right option.

What Kind Of Nail Gun For Trim?

As you know, nail guns come in various types and forms. We will show you two typical kinds of nail guns for trim work with their pros and cons. Let’s check them out and choose the one that can meet your needs. 

Finishing Nailers

If you are looking for a nail gun that is best suitable for those who want to decorate their house and some similar works, the finishing nailers will be the best choice. Finishing nailers are short and lightweight, shooting the nails from 15 to 16 gauge (1” to 2½”).

what kind of nail gun for trim

These nails do not include heads to mix with the wood surface for a finer and aesthetic look. However, these headless nails also make it more challenging for you to remove later. 

A finish nailer is used for the angles in your house, the molds in the windows, or the doors, chairs, or other furniture around your house. It is completed with an advanced construction with air compression and wireless trimming.  


  • Use dual technology sealed: some engines can work as both oil-free and oil lube units.
  • Smart features: the hooks in the belt and the depth of the nail can be adjustable, clear jam, and exhaust air 360 degrees.
  • Bigger nails that are more durable and stronger
  • More versatile and handy for a wide range of tasks like building furniture, repairing baseboards, and attaching or molding.
  • Can reach small corners


  • Can split or crack thin trims or small board
  • Bigger nails create larger holes for you to fill in. You will need to add carpenter’s putty to cover the nail holes after the installation

For the finishing nailers for trim, this DEWALT D51257K Finishing Nailer is among the best options that you should consider.

What Kind Of Nail Gun For Trim?

Brad Nailers

A brad nailer has exterior construction and operation like a nail gun, but instead of shooting nails, it shoots brads. Most people do not know what brad nail is? It is also a kind of nail but thinner, about 18-gauge and 0.0475 inches when it comes to the cross-section.

What Kind Of Nail Gun For Trim?

Thanks to the thin construction, it is perfect for delicate, light woodworking tasks. Since using a regular nail gun can crack or break your trimming, your best bet is a brad nailer.

The brad nailer is compatible with 18-gauge nails. It is thinner and more lightweight than the finish nailer, enabling it to drive nails into wood pieces that a finish nailer can crack. 

These nailers do not come with angles like the finishing and framing nailers. So this brad nailer is usually applied for smaller wood areas and some works that require higher precision. 


  • With a combination of 2 functions, brad guns do not need compressors or hoses for more convenience
  • Use for small, delicate places that require higher precision
  • The nail of 18 gauges does not crack the trimming
  • Small nail hole so that you do not need to fill in putty
  • Adjustable power to fit different trimming project


  • The small nail cannot use for the large board, moldings, and thick sheets of wood
  • Not ideal for reaching small corners and narrow spaces 

About this kind of nail gun, we recommend this NEU MASTER NTC0040 Electric Nail Gun for its affordability and reliable performance.

What Kind Of Nail Gun For Trim


Frequently Asked Questions

Although we made a thorough review about the right type of nail gun for trim in the article, most users might still have some questions. Check them out to know more about these two gun types!

Can I Use Brad Nails For The Finish Nailer?

It is a mistake to use an 18-gauge nail for the nailers compatible with 15-gauge or 16-gauge nails. 

If you add brad nails in your finishing nailer, it can cause jams and break your nail gun. Even worse, metal pieces from the nail gun can fly into your face.

What Type Of Nail Gun That Can I Use For Hardwood Floor?

We highly recommend using a finishing nailer that shoots 15-gauge nails to install your hardwood floor. It’ll do a decent job with this type of surface while leaving no nail traces, thanks to the headless nails. 

On the other hand, since brad nailers are thinner and use smaller nails, they cannot go through hardwood flooring.


After reading this article, we’re sure you will find the best answer to the question “What kind of nail gun for trim?”. 

Each type of nailer mentioned above is compatible with different nail sizes, making them ideal for different trim tasks. Simply put, finish nailers aim for heavier duty and thicker wood sheets, while brad nailers excel in more fragile and finer trim work.

For some small places that require higher precision, you should use a brad nailer, and for larger and harder surfaces, you can use finishing nailers for trimming.

Reference source: Brad Nailer Vs Finish Nailer – Discover The Difference

Leave a Comment