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Framing Nailer vs Finish Nailer: Pros, Cons & Comparison Chart

framing nailer vs finish nailer
Written by Willie Osgood
Last Update: May 8, 2023

Both the framing and finishing nailer are types of nail guns similar to the way convertibles and pick-up trucks are types of a car. Both tools carry out the same jobs, but users often don’t see them as interchangeable. So, the question is, what is the stack difference that exists between both tools?

Framing Nailer Vs Finish Nailer

Framing Nailer Vs Finish Nailer

What Is a Framing Nailer?

Let’s take the framing nailer as a pick-up truck, which is designed to carry out more complex tasks. If you are working on a project like framing a well, creating an addition, or adding to a deck, then the use of a framing nailer will be recommended. The tool comes to view in terms of length, thicknesses, nailhead, and other considerable factors that can suit a given task.  Furthermore, there are generic framing nails that can be used for all kinds of project work.

Framing Nailer: Pros & Cons


Farming nailers are built for connecting big boards with little or no issue. The tool allows you to build add-ons and decks without using a framing hammer. There are two categories of framing nailer, these are;

  • The electrical framing nailer
  • The pneumatic framing nailer

The framing nailer powered by electric has little firing power and is used to shoot out shorter and smaller nails. This makes it easy to use when constructing home furniture or other forms of projects.


The framing nailer tool makes use of larger nailers to give enough support when fixing boards. The gun is not suitable when working on light duty projects like crown moldings. If you have such tasks at hand, then the use of a different nailer will be recommended.

Additionally, the framing nailer creates visible nail holes. To conceal those areas, you will need wood putty or wood plugs.  But when working on heavy-duty projects like constructing a deck, visible nails won’t be a challenge.

What is a Finishing Nailer?

Let’s take a look at the finishing nailer as a sporty convertible car. It is used for fashionable projects like fixing a trim to windows and doors, assembling cabinets for kitchen or fixing wainscoting. The nails used are designed in different sizes with a small head. The tool drives down nails into woods and allow just a little space for wood putty. If properly used, the tool does leave signs of their existence.

Finish Nailer: Pros & Cons


Irrespective of the project at hand, using a finish nailer can be convenient. Aside from being invisible, the tool is merely accompanied by a risk of splitting or cracking a workpiece. This feature is a considerable future if you intend to use a thin piece.

Different from the brad nailer, which is another form of nail gun that is used to shoot nails that are thinner than the finish nails. The finishing nailer tool can be used in furniture making since it provides sufficient holding power that can help keep the wood in place.


The finish nailer tool is known as the most versatile nailer. Although the tool has some drawbacks when compared to other nailers. For example, the finish nailer can be used to fasten large boards, but it cannot provide enough supports like that of the framing nailer when compared.

Differences Between Framing & Finish Nailers

Does it count if you use a framing nailer to fix a window? If you do, then it will result in the formation of nail heads and large visible holes on the surface of the wood. On the other hand, if a finishing nailer is used to construct a wall frame, there are higher chances of the wall collapsing before hanging it.

Comparison Chart

Framing Nailer Finish Nailer
Nails used 11 ½ to 8 Gauge (0.113 to 0.168”) 14-16 Gauge
Nail Length 1 ¼” to 3 ½” 1″ to 2 ½”
  •  Assembling and Homebuilding
  • Roof and facing Sheathing
  • Heavy-duty projects like construction of decks
  • Plaster works


  • Install ornamental trims
  • Baseboards
  • Crown paneling moldings
  • Small furniture construction and DIY projects

Both tools are available in cordless power version and power air model pneumatic


Chainsaws are not meant for dowels. And if you intend to demolish a garage, you can’t use a jigsaw. It is essential to use the right tool for the right job. Of the different varieties of nail guns, framing nailers are designed for dirty and tough jobs, similar to the functions of a pick-up truck. On the other hand, finishing nailers are explicitly used for jobs that require perfect finishing, similar to the appearance of a convertible car.


Q. Can a finish nailer be used for framing?

Ans: Framing nailers are used mainly for all forms of heavy-duty projects like connecting board and beams, framing buildings, making decks, and attaching planks. Finishing nailer, on the other hand –is used for lighter works like furniture, cabinets, doors molding and window molding.

Q. What is a 15 gauge finish nailer used for?

Ans: 15-gauge finish nailer is used on the trim and most thick baseball. The tool is a perfect choice for highly demanding jobs, like nailing stair treads and doorjambs. The nailer is created with a large piston, and due to its extra bulk, it has an angled magazine that allows users to access tight spots.

Q. What type of nail gun to use for framing?

Ans: Framing nailers are used mainly for heavy-duty jobs. The tool is ideal for massive construction projects. The framing nailer can operate with nails that are 3-1/2 inches.

About the author

Willie Osgood

An Avid Metalworker

Willie doesn’t really consider himself an artist, rather a craftsman involved in practical trades. Yet, most of his projects require him to make interesting and fine objects. Being the eldest son of a carpenter, his background is 100 percent rooted in crafting. He found the art of blacksmithing quite appealing since his teenage years… that fire, the sound of swinging hammers, and those long and shiny blades that came out as a finished product. Soon he literally became obsessed with metal – the way it moved, worked, and changed when heated or cooled.

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