Nail guns are tools that are now commonly being used to drive nails into wood in place of hammers. The first nail guns that became commercially available in the 1950S pneumatically actuated; that is, they were driven by compressed air. However, these days, nail guns can be powder or electrically actuated.
There are so many benefits that accrue from using nail guns instead of hammers. One such benefit is that work time is considerably reduced to less than half of the usual time. Being that only one shot is required to nail using guns, chances of a headache that results from repeated hammering is reduced.
In spite of the numerous benefits of using nail guns, there is still a persistent problem of safety. Serious accidents have been reported from the use of nail guns and some resulted in deaths. In view of this, there is the need for us to consider the firing mechanism of nail guns and how it relates to safety.
Nail guns fire in either of these two ways: dual contact firing or sequential firing. Dual contact fired nail guns will fire when the trigger is held down and the nosing is pressed against the work, while sequential fired nails guns would need the trigger released each time before the nail is fired. This makes them safer.
There are different types of nailers but we shall limit our discussion to just brad nailers, finish nailers and pin nailers. That said, we shall now proceed to make a comparison of brad nailer vs. finish nailer vs. pin nailer.
We compare three Products below:
- WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer
- NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer 16 Gauge
- Hitachi NP35A 1-3/8″ 23-Gauge Pin Nailer
Compare what is it? Brad nailer Vs Finish nailer Vs Pin nailer
Brad nailers are designed for use on 18 gauge nails (5/8” -2”) brad nails. The magazine of brad nailers are not angled in order to make them effective for driving small fine wired nails. They are especially suited for high precision work such as upholstery. They are also used for small wood projects.
Finish nailers are designed are designed to handle 15 to 16 gauge nails. In addition finish nailers have their magazines angled and are more suited for larger wood projects such as large crown molding. They are used when a larger wood trim is required.
Pin nailers are used to driving 23 gauge pins (3/8” to 2”) into very hard woods. They are designed to drive needle-like nails without leaving any visible nail hole. It is probably because of this that they are commonly called micro-pinners or even headless pinners.
Compare how does it work? Brad nailer vs finish nailer vs pin nailer.
The WEN 61720 brad nailer is a pneumatic nailer that is driven by compressed air. The compressed air is generated by a distinct gas powered air compressor. It has a ¼ inch air inlet fitting that draws in air from the atmosphere during the forward stroke of the piston. During the downward stroke the, compressed air is used to propel the gun.
One excellent finish nailer is the NuMax 16 gauge finish nailer. Just like most finish nailers, it is air powered. It has ¼” NPT fitting that is suitable for most air hoses. It follows the same principle of other pneumatic nailers. It uses a sequential firing mechanism which we have explained earlier.
The Hitachi NP35A 23 gauge pin nailer is an air pin nailer which is also driven by compressed air. This should not be surprising since pneumatic nail guns are much lighter than, say electric nail guns.
Compare features Brad nailer vs Finish nailer vs Pin nailer.
Some of the features of the WEN 6170 brad nailers include a directional exhaust, a depth adjustment wheel, and a contact trip. It also features a transparent nail gauge as well as a jam clearing quick release. In addition, it operates at 60 to 100 PSI and fires nails from 1” to 2” long.
The NuMax 16 gauge finish comes with features such a 360deg adjustable exhaust. It also has a depth adjustment mechanism, a quick jam release, and a no-mar safety contact. In addition, it features an anti-dust cap as well as a high capacity magazine (100 nails).
Hitachi NP35A pin nailers come with some very exciting features. For instance, the magazine is designed to automatically adjust to 5/8”, 1”, 1-3/16”, and 1-3/8” pin lengths. It also comes with dual triggers as well as a rear exhaust. In addition, it has a visual reload indicator and a large housing shield.
Compare benefits/what to expect Brad nailer vs Finish nailer vs Pin nailers.
Weighing only 3 pounds, the WEN 6170 brad nailer is just as light as one may have desired. The contract trip also ensures that the gun does not fire except it has been placed directly on the work. Most importantly, it allows users to choose how deep the nails are driven by turning the adjustment wheel.
NuMax 16 gauge finish nailers are equipped with a special anti-dust cap which keeps the internal parts of the machine clean at all times. They are also designed with a sequential firing mechanism which has earlier stated is much safer. The product is furnished with a quick jam release to remove jam easily.
The Hitachi NP35A nailer is known for leaving an almost invisible nail hole. This particular product comes with a special plastic case for storage. It also comes with safety glasses, no mar tips as well as a 3mm hex bar wrench.
Compare reviews and complaints Brad nailer vs Finish nailer vs Pin nailer
- Pros: One user reported that the product worked great for tacking wood together when gluing while others said that the product doesn’t misfire.
- Cons: In spite of the favorable reviews which the product received, one user was quick to point out that it left a sizeable gauge in wood and was not suitable for any detail work.
- Pros: According to one reviewer, the NuMax 16 gauge nailer worked perfectly okay with pallet wood. Another user also stated the nailer was great for installing baseboard and crown molding
- Cons: One customer who expressed dissatisfaction with the product stated that it could not be used for countersinking in red oak even at full adjustment and maximum pressure.
- Pros: A seemingly excited buyer who bought the Hitachi NP35A finish nailer stated that it is very comfortable to hold. He also said that the soft nose tip did not leave any mark on the soft wood.
- Cons: One reviewer complained bitterly that the product jammed regularly even with different kinds of nails while another person pointed out that the manual had lots of errors in it.
It is very difficult to say which one of the three products we have reviewed is the best. This is because while one may be suited for a particular application, it may be performing badly in a different one. The most important thing is buying the one that suits your needs.