Brad Nailer Or Finish Nailer For Hardwood Floor? – Which one to pick?

A brad nailer has some limitations to claim it as a versatile nailer. But, a finish nailer is good enough for several woodworking projects and that’s why it’s highly versatile. People sometimes get misguided to buy a brad nailer as it can cover little hardwood floors. So, a brad nailer or finish nailer for hardwood floor?

Due to its advantages, you should use a finish nailer for the hardwood floors. A finish nailer has extreme holding capacity. Most importantly, your hardwood floor gets a beautiful finish by using the power of a finish nailer.

However, a finish nailer creates bigger holes and consumes more power. But, at the end of the day, it brings the ultimate finish to the hardwood floor. So, what’s the point of making a delay to invest some extra money on a finish nailer?

Brad nailer or finish nailer for hardwood floor?

Are you confused about finalizing between the brad nailer and finish nailer for the hardwood floor? Let’s check prime comparisons between them.

Brad NailerFinish Nailer
Designed to shoot 18-gauge nails.Shoots 16,15 and even 14-gauge nails.
Mostly used for delicate finishing touches.Mostly used in the finish carpentry project.
In case of holding power, brad nailer loses.Finish nailer has immense holding capacity.
The hole size created by a brad nailer is 0.0475 inches. That’s why they are useful for lightweight boards and moldings.A finish nailer creates approximately 0.0720 inches of the hole. That’s why it’s good for applying to plywood and baseboards.
Brad nailers come at a slightly low price. It’s almost 10 and 20 percent cheaper than the finish nailer from the same manufacturer.Finish nailers are expensive in comparison to a brad nailer.

Which one should you use  -Brad nailer or Finish nailer for hardwood floor?

Brad nailer or finish nailer for a hardwood floor? From the discussion below, you can determine the accurate nailer for hardwood floor projects.

Which one offers more holding power?

Finish nailers offer more holding power than the brad nailer. Brad nailer uses 18-gauge brad nails of thin size. On the flip side, most finish nailers use the brads of 16-gauge and 15-gauge. Due to their larger size, they are suitable for holding for a long time.

NuMax SFN64 16 Gauge Finish Nailer

Which one damages floors?

Finish nailer damages your floor more than a brad nailer. As a brad nailer uses nails of small size, its damaging diameter isn’t large enough. Only a 0.0475 inches hole is created by the nails of a brad nailer. But, the nail size of a finish nailer is slightly big.

For this reason, they create bigger holes than the brad nails. Approximately, 0.0720 inches of the hole is created by the finish nails. So, if you think about reducing the damage, a brad nailer should be the right pick.

Brad or finish nailer- which one increases the aestheticism of the hardwood floor?

To increase aestheticism in any nailing project, it’s required to use small-sized nails. Brad nails come with a small diameter and so, it’s aesthetic for your hardwood floor project. More elaborately, they don’t appear with a bigger head and anyone will rarely find nails on the floor.

But, finish nailers are useful for hardwood floors in many more ways. That’s why if you can compromise this minor factor, you’re good to go.

Are brad nailers worthy for hardwood floors according to their price range?

Yes, a brad nailer is slightly less expensive than a finish nailer. So, you may have decided to purchase a brad nailer. But, a finish nailer can bring the ultimate perfection to your hardwood floor project. Its build quality, magazine angle, and a few different features keep it ahead. 

Which nailer requires more power- brad or finish nailer?

Brad nailers shoot smaller nails than the finish nailer. Therefore, they use less power than the finish nailer. Brad nailer can easily drive nails throughout the wood because of its small diameter. If you practically drive both brad and finish nails on the same surface, the finish nails will take more time.

Also, they consume more power. However, power isn’t a problem most often for pneumatic or cordless nailers. All it matters is the perfection of the final output.

Which nailer has extra ease of use?

Manufacturers try to ensure comfort to every model to their best. But, using a brad nailer is much more comfortable in the case of hardwood floors than a finish nailer. However, finish nailers are slightly heavier in comparison to the brad nailer. Dewalt’s 18-gauge brad nailer is weighted only 5 pounds.

The same brand’s 16-gauge finish nailer has one more extra pound. So, for holding a nailer long time, you should pick a brad nailer. Brad nailers are okay for small hardwood floor projects. But, we recommend a finish nailer for better results.

That means you should always pick finish nailer for hardwood floors. We have a guide to make your picking easier. You can check that out. Guide link: Best finish nailer for your hardwood floors.

We also have a comparison post between brad nailer VS finish nailer for all types of works. You can check it out as well.

Can you use a brad nailer for hardwood floors?

Both brad nailer and finish nailer have different fields of application. Their nail size, magazine angle, and many more things aren’t similar. A pneumatic flooring nailer or stapler is ideal for hardwood floors. But, a finish nailer is recommended for hardwood floors to get better output.

Though finish nailers create slightly larger damaging holes, it has a great holding capacity. That’s why you should prefer finish nails as well as a finish nailer for hardwood floors over a brad nailer.


Now make your decision- brad nailer or finish nailer for hardwood floor? A brad nailer is good enough to cover small hardwood floors. If you’re thinking about covering a vast area, then a brad nailer isn’t the right pick. A brad nailer may seem less costly and okay to move on, but your project won’t be well-furnished.

Hardwood floors require joining many wood pieces together. Unless you use nails of extreme holding capacity, the flooring quality will be below grade. Who else wants to get a low-quality hardwood floor after nailing throughout the whole day?

Another important thing is the power of the nailer. A finish nailer is more powerful because it needs to drive nails using more diameter. Due to the adhesive quality of finish nails, finish nailers are manufactured to be powerful. The last word is- go for a finish nailer and get done with your hardwood floors.

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