Bradders vs. Pinners: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Brett McCutcheon on Sep 21, 2022 9:05:27 AM

Bradders vs. Pinners What’s the Difference-1

In the world of nail guns, two of the most easily confused tools are the pin nailer and the brad nailer. Both power tools offer enough similarity in their applications that many professionals and amateurs use them interchangeably, but both are also different enough that knowing which is best for what use becomes important.

BECK's selection of both brad and pin nailer tools and combination bradder/pinner nailers is no exception. Both types of precisely crafted nail guns from BECK are designed to provide high-quality professional finishing work for diverse wood projects. However, it's up to you as a contractor to know when you should use which gun and when either a bradder or pinner would be ideal. Let's get down to the details about their similarities and crucial differences.

Bradders & Pinners: The Essentials

There are enough similarities and differences between brad nailers and pin nailers for a basic quick-reference rundown to be necessary, so here it goes:

Both types of nail guns are specifically designed for fine woodworking projects that involve thinner, more delicate pieces. However, a pin gun's headless nails are so fine that they work only as temporary reinforcements to delicately finished wood projects while some sort of glue or cementing agent hardens. However, they don't leave any visible marks on wood, and you don't need to go back over these spots with wood filler before varnishing.

Brad nailers also deliver very small, thin nails to wood, but they can be used for permanent holding power on larger pieces because the nails themselves have heads and are slightly larger.

Those are the basics, now here are some further details.

Pin Nailers

Pin nailers such as BECK's TrimFast Model 110A are the most delicate of all nail gun power tools. The tiny headless nails they deliver can be delivered to even the thinnest, finest wood pieces without splitting the grain because individual nails are only 23 gauge and headless (meaning that they disappear into the wood they're injected into).

This headless quality also means that pin nailers can't be used to affix anything permanently. They must be applied along with an adhesive of some kind, usually as temporary affixers while an adhesive hardens.

The wonderful thing about pin nailers is that they offer assembly support for extremely fine wood trim projects that you don't want to risk splitting open. You can also work with these nailers without worrying about going back over your work with wood filler to cover up the nail heads before painting, varnishing, or staining.

Brad Nailers

Brad nailers are a more versatile tool than pin nailers. They deliver slightly larger 18-gauge nails WITH heads, meaning that you can absolutely use them for permanent holding power for finished fine wood projects. On the other hand, their nails are still small enough for really fine wood projects without much risk of grain splitting.

Brad nailers, such as BECK's F1A MB-25A, can also be used to hold heavier wood pieces such as crown molding, shoe molding, window castings, and not-too-thick baseboard in place without necessarily having to resort to a finishing nailer and its 15 gauge nails.

You can use brad nailers for nearly everything that a pin nailer can be used for but with more holding power and only a slightly higher risk of wood splitting on fine trim. However, with brad nails, you will have to go back and cover the visible nail heads with wood filler, meaning a bit more work before staining or painting.

Bradders and Pinners: Pros and Cons

The question of whether a bradder or pinner is better is easy to answer. Overall, brad guns offer nearly the same capabilities as pin nailers while also being capable of slightly more and delivering permanent holding power for thicker wood pieces. This makes them a superior overall choice.

Pin nailers however are still better for very fine work in which you don't want to use wood filler before finishing up. If you're going to glue trim or other fine woodwork in place anyhow, a pin nailer will save you time while letting you affix pieces rapidly.

Which Nail Gun to Choose

Fortunately, you also have the option of going for nail guns that offer both bradding and pinning nail options. BECK's range of brad, pin, and other finishing nail guns includes models that are both bradders and pinners, letting you use a single tool for multiple types of work with minimal fuss. Tools such as the F23A A64-35PB, F23A-A64-50PB, and other models in the BECK line of bradders and pinners offer true dual-purpose power. Click below to see your options!

Discover BECK's Selection of Bradders & Pinners

Topics: Nailers, Building Furniture, bradders, wood, fastening system, pinners

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