Finish Nailer Vs Framing Nailer – Comparison Guide 2023

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In this article, we will be sharing with you all Finish Nailer Vs Framing Nailer Comparison. There has been a lot of confusion about finish nailer and a framing nailer and hence, making a comprehensive guide on a comparison of the two was mandatory at this point. Also, newbies can get confused with which type of nail gun should be used for what kind of job. So, if you too want more clarity on finish nail and framing nailer which one is best, then keep reading further!

So, before we begin, One major difference between a finish nailer and a framing nailer is the size of nails these nail guns use. A framing nailer can shoot bigger nails of size varying from  0.113-inches to 0.162-inches. On the other hand, a finish nailer uses nails of size 14 to 16-gauge nails. Given below is a complete detailed comparison guide of finish nailer Vs framing nailer.

Finish Nailer Vs Framing Nailer - Comparison Guide 2022

Finish Nailer Vs Framing Nailer – Comparison

Finish NailerFinish Nailer

Nail Length: 1-2.5 inches

Nail Gauge: 14 to 16 gauge

Useful with Heavy-duty Nailing: No

Can Handle Thick Material: No

Cordless or Pneumatic: Both options Available

Offers fine finishing: Yes

Ideal for: Enhancing Work


  • Installation of decorative trims
  • With Baseboards
  • Crown moldings and Paneling
  • Small furniture building, DIY projects
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Framing NailerFraming Nailer

Nail Length: 1.25-3.5 inches

Nail Gauge: 11.5 to 8 gauge

Useful with Heavy-duty Nailing: Yes

Can Handle Thick Material: Yes

Cordless or Pneumatic: Both options Available

Offers fine finishing: No

Ideal for: Attaching Jobs


  • Construction and house building.
  • Roof Sheathing and Fencing.
  • Heavy duty carpentry projects like building decks
  • Projects involving Plaster
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What is a Finish Nailer?

As you might have already guessed it, this nailer is useful for the purpose of finishing. A finish nailer helps you in paneling and installing trims as well as in crown molding jobs. It is a great and very helpful tool that can be used in shooting nails and completing projects that require final finishing.

Certainly they do not make the best heavy duty project tools and they do not come under bulk work tools too. However, in case of finishing nail guns, you can very well use the small sized i.e., 15 to 16-gauge nails.

Drawbacks of a Finish Nailer – 

  • Although finish nailer is sort of a multipurpose tool, other tools that are specially designed for a particular job offer more accurate results.
  • You cannot expect the type of holding power from this nailer as you would from a framing nailer.
  • Even though the sizes of nails for brad nailer and finish nailer are somewhat similar, a finish nailer will leave more noticeable holes. 

What is a Framing Nailer?

A Framing nailer is also known as the ‘pick up truck’ or ‘tank’ of nailers. This is the type of nailer you would use for heavy duty projects. The nails used by this nailer can be different in terms of thickness, length, and material. You can get framing nailers that are powered by either air or electricity and known as- Pnuematic or electric, respectively.

A framing nailer basically is meant to provide support between two boards. You can use a framing nailer to build decks and other add-on furniture in  your house without getting into the trouble of lifting a hammer. You can make furniture as well as other wood work with a nice precision and ease.

Drawbacks of a Framing Nailer – 

  • Framing nailers are used for offering support between boards and use nails or larger size. Thus, you cannot use them for light duty projects.
  • Framing nailers will leave noticeable holes due to their large size. This can ruin the finishing and thus aesthetics of the project you are using this nailer on.

Finish Nailer Vs Framing Nailer – Which one to get

Now that you know what a finish nailer and framing nailer is, here is a comparison of the two in terms of their durability, uses and price. This comparison will help you get a clear idea of the difference between the two and which one would be suitable for you.

If you ask us, we would recommend you to get a finish nailer. The reason for this is obvious. A finish nailer brings along more versatility and can be used for both outdoor as well as indoor projects. However, there is more to it. Both, the framing nail gun and finish nail gun come with their own sets of pros and cons.

A framing nailer can be very helpful with heavy duty projects and thick materials, as they use bigger nails. These can thus be helpful with frames, planks, boards, molding, etc.

  • Durability 

The longevity of a tool is one of the most crucial things to take into consideration while buying one. Of course you would not want to buy a tool that does not even last long. We will talk about the durability feature of both these tools here.

Finish Nailer – A finishing nailer is meant for finishing purposes. It is not exactly ideal for strong and tough projects. Hence, you cannot expect a supreme durability from this one. However, according to its performance and compatibility, it is highly durable.

Framing Nailer – Framing nailer, as you might have understood by now, is made especially for heavy duty projects. This automatically makes it more durable than many other nail guns.

In comparison with a finish nailer, a framing nailer is a lot durable. 

  • Uses – Both finish nailer and framing nailer are used for purposes specific to these tools. So if you are wondering which tool to buy framing nail gun or finishing nail gun, this entirely depend on you and the work you need this tool for. See the uses of these tools below to get a clear idea.

Finish Nailer – A finish nail gun, as its name suggests, is ideal for finishing and light works like cabinet and furniture design work, molding, DIY projects, cradling and so on.

Framing Nailer – A framing nailer is suitable for heavy duty projects like construction of houses and buildings, attaching planks, boards, decks, beams and so on.

In conclusion, if you want a nail gun for light projects, then a finishing nail gun would be the best choice. And if you are looking for a nail gun for heavy duty projects, then go ahead with a framing nailer.  

  • Price – Price is one of the most crucial things to keep in mind while buying anything. Since these two are completely different tools, the price of it depends on the company product you are buying. You can get very cheap as well as very expensive nail guns of both of these types. When we are comparing the price of these two nailers, there is not a huge difference between the two.


When to use a finish Nailer for framing?

A framing nailer can be used for heavy duty projects like building decks, etc. A finish nailer is more suitable to use for DIY projects or light duty works.

Which is better electric or pneumatic framing Nailer?

Both electric and pnuematic nailers have their own sets of flaws and pros. An electric framing nailer offers less firing power and shoots small nails.

Can a framing Nailer be used for crown molding?

No. Framing nailers use large nails for supporting between boards and are not suitable for light duty projects. Crown molding, as you might know is a light duty work and thus you cannot use a framing nailer for crown molding.

What are the different types of nail guns?

You will find a variety of nail guns in the market like – brad nailers, fencing nailer, flooring nailers, finish nailers, framing nailers, roofing nailers, palm nailers, siding nailer, and pin nailers.

Final Verdict

That was it all about finish nailer vs framing nailer. To summarize it all, given below is a description of these two nail guns –

  • Finish Nailer – is ideal for light duty projects like home improvement, small wood works, cabinets, building furniture, window paneling, installing decorative trims and so on.
  • Framing Nailer – is suitable for heavy duty projects like fencing, building decks, construction of houses and similar other.

I hope you have all found the above article of use. In case of any questions or queries feel free to ask us in the comment section below. We will be glad to help you out.

Also, if you want us to cover any more such comparisons between two tools, same tool of two different companies, and so on, make sure you drop your suggestions below. We hear you!

Stay tuned with us for more such informative articles!


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