Finish Nailer vs Framing Nailer

You may know the name Finish Nailer, but you probably don’t know how it works. They’re the finishing nailer that lets you save time and money on your home DIY projects. If you’re working on a big, wood-framed deck, it could be difficult and expensive to secure each nail. Instead, just use a finish nailer to quickly nail the deck frame. It will save you time and money.

I’m a huge fan of the Framing Nailer, and I would like to share with you my top 8 reasons why. I use the Framing Nailer at my work, at home, and even in my car. And it’s the perfect tool for anyone looking for an easier way to hang pictures or hang a picture frame.

In today’s article, we’re going to walk through the differences between a finishing nailer and a framing nailer. While they look very similar, there are significant differences that you need to know about. Not only will knowing which type of nailer you have in your shop help you determine if it’s time to replace your existing one, but it’ll also help you choose the right material to use when you decide to make your own custom nailer.

Overview of Finish Nailer

finish nailerA finish nailer is a powerful tool that uses a hammer to drive nails into wood. It is usually equipped with a drill and a power supply, which allow it to be used for a variety of purposes.

A finisher is a small electric or pneumatic tool that has a small bit of steel or tungsten attached to the end of a long steel or titanium rod. Finishers are used for driving finishing nails or screws into wood or metal surfaces. They are useful in tight, awkward, or hard-to-reach places. A finish nailer comes with an assortment of different-sized bits. You simply change the bit as needed, and use the same handle to drive the bit into the workpiece.

In the case of finishing furniture, it’s used to apply nail trim around windows, doors, and other furniture parts.


  • Thick and strong nails, making it suitable for permanent joinery.
  • You can effortlessly complete cabinet and furniture building projects.
  • Versatile that it can be used for a wide range of surfaces and materials including plywood, MDF, etc.
  • The nails of finish nailers don’t have a head. Thus, you will not see any holes in a wood piece.
  • Provides superior strength.
  • Installing decorative trims becomes easier with a finish nailer.
  • Efficient in completing light-duty work.
  • Controlling the finishing nailer is straightforward for its lightweight feature.
  • It includes long stripes, reducing frequent nail loading.
  • Easy to carry around the workplace


  • Although the holes of the finish nailer are small, still they need to be filled using putty.
  • Removing nails from the finish nailer is a challenging task.
  • Unsuitable for delicate trims and thin wood pieces

Overview of Framing Nailer

A framing nailer is a small power tool with a metal nail-like end, designed to drive into a wooden board and hold it in place while you hammer the wooden stakes or other fasteners into it. It comes with a gun-like mechanism with a trigger that uses compressed air to fire the nail into the wood. These nailers can be powered by an electric motor or even a compressor. In some cases, they may even use compressed air as a power source.

Framing nailers are extremely useful when you’re building a fence, a deck, or anything else where you need to temporarily secure a number of boards together until you can use bigger and stronger nails or screws.


  • Framing nailer doesn’t deliver bent or crooked nails. So, you will have a clean surface.
  • The performance of framing nailers is faster. It helps you cut down working hours with its efficient and fast performance.
  • For its fast work, it helps you handle multiple jobs at a time.
  • Made of durable materials that withstand rain, sudden falls, etc.
  • Several varieties and styles of framing nailers are available in the market to fit your needs.
  • The drum loader of a framing nailer can store hundreds of nails
  • Improves your accuracy and efficiency.
  • Help you complete your job faster.
  • Enhances the quality of the workmanship.


  • This tool produces a noise level that may annoy you.
  • Proper balance is necessary to get an efficient outcome.
  • Precautions are mandatory to avoid unwanted accidents or injury

Differences between finish nailer vs framing nailer

Both are useful, but they have different applications. The choice is simple: Just keep in mind that a finish nailer is designed for driving thinned-out material, while a framing nailer is designed for driving thicker material. Here is the most significant features comparison:


When choosing between two products, you need to consider their performance and what they do for you. The first thing you need to decide is whether you’re looking for a finish nailer or a framing nailer.

Finish nailers are typically used for wallboard and drywall installations. They can also be used for exterior applications, but for this, you need a framing nailer instead.

Finishing nails are generally much longer and harder than framing nails. They are designed to penetrate the wallboard and are usually used to secure insulation material and create a solid connection with the studs.

Framing nails are shorter and more flexible than finishing nails and can be used to secure boards to other boards or to hold insulation against a wall. They can also be used to secure drywall, plaster, or lath to framing members.

Framing nails are typically longer and harder than finishing nails and can be used to secure boards to other boards or to hold insulation against a wall. They can also be used to secure drywall, plaster, or lath to framing members.


Finish nailers are used to add a decorative nail finish to wooden floorboards and walls. The usage of a finish nailer is pretty simple. You just place the nail into the hole in the middle of the nail plate and twist the handle.

You can also use finish nailers to fasten items like picture frames, door hinges, window sashes, and window trims.

Framing nailers are used for assembling boards, frame components, and trim pieces. They typically have a square or rectangular hole, which is slightly larger than the head of the nail. You simply place the nail into this hole and twist the handle. This tool is also great for making small and large holes in wood.

The main difference between these two tools is that finish nailers are typically much lighter than framing nailers. They don’t require as much force to operate, so it’s easy to use a finish nailer. In addition, finish nailers usually have a smaller set of tools, such as a screwdriver or hammer, which makes them easier to use.

If you’re looking for a lightweight tool that doesn’t need a lot of force, finish nailers are the way to go.


When you are choosing a finish nailer or a framing nailer, durability is perhaps the most important factor to consider. A finish nailer is one that has a sharpened steel point on the end and is used to drive finish nails into wood or similar surfaces. A framing nailer has a blunted steel point and is used to drive framing nails, which are slightly larger than finish nails and are used to attach 2x4s, 2x6s, and other similar construction board material.

Finish nailers are designed to be very durable, and they can easily last a lifetime while framing nailers should last at least 5-years. Finishing nailers will also typically have a much longer cord, so you don’t have to worry about tripping and losing them. Finish nailers also tend to have a very smooth operation, which makes them less likely to bind or stall out.

Framing nailers, on the other hand, usually have a little more “give” in them, so they are easier to control and stalling is less of an issue. Framing nailers also have a slightly higher rate of penetration, which means they go into the wood a bit deeper. This is advantageous if you are doing a lot of woodworking since it allows you to drive more nails into the same amount of wood.

Handle type

You should also pay attention to the type of handle (if any) that comes with your finish nailing device.

Most finish nailers have a simple three-pronged claw-type handle, while framing nailers often come with a more ergonomic design, such as a pistol-grip handle. This is particularly important if you are using the device frequently for extended periods of time. A finish nailing device with a claw-type handle is easy to grab and maneuver, but may be uncomfortable after a period of time.

A framing nailing device with a pistol-grip handle is much more comfortable to use for long periods of time, but it can be difficult to manipulate when you first get it. So try out both types and see which one you feel most comfortable using.


A finish nailer has a high-speed steel bit attached to the end of the handle. It strikes the head of the nail, and then the force of the blow drives the nail into the wood. This is useful for driving nails into thin plywood or veneer, or for driving small decorative brads.

A framing nailer has a long steel bit that extends past the handle, with a small diameter steel collar at the end. When it’s struck, the bit rotates, and the collar drives the head of the nail. This is useful for framing interior walls, or for larger brads and fastenings.


A finish nailer will always be more accurate than a framing nailer. This is because finish nailers have a smaller diameter and are designed specifically for driving finishing nails. Framing nailers have a larger diameter and are used for driving studs or wooden stakes into the wall. Finish nailers can be found in two different styles: corded and cordless. Corded models have a cord that goes around the handle, while cordless versions use an internal battery.

Framing nailers are less accurate than finish nailers, but they do drive nails with enough force to hold a 2×4 upright. So, if you are using a framing nailer to attach 2x4s to the side of your house, you won’t have a problem. But if you are trying to use a framing nailer to drive a stake into the ground and make it look nice and straight, you’ll be disappointed.

Cost Comparison

Finish nailers and framing nailers’ prices can be different depending on their work.

Usually, framing nailers are pricier than finishing nailers. However, the price will be low if you want to use the framing nailer as a pellet gun.

While finishing nailers are less pricey. This tool will cost you less than other finish or framing nail guns.

Side-by-side comparison between finish nailer vs framing nailer

Finish Nailer Framing Nailer
A finish nailer is designed for ease of use. A framing nailer is designed for durability.
The finish nailer is the best hammer for trimming nails. A framing nailer is best for finishing a rough cut.
The finish nailer is made for smaller nails. The framing nailer has a larger head and a longer shaft.
A finish nailer is made for softer materials. The framing nailer’s head is more rounded than the finish nailer’s head.
The “finish nailer” has a hex-shaped shank which makes it easy to remove nails without damaging the surface. The “framing nailer” shank is slightly curved and designed to make it tough to remove the nail without damaging the surface.
The “finish nailer” also has a curved head which allows it to be used on odd angles and difficult corners. The “framing nailer” usually has a flat head and is only useful for driving straight into studs or other perpendicular surfaces.
If you’re going to be nailing something to the wall, use a finishing nailer. If you’re going to be nailing a lot of boards together, go for the framing nailer.
If you need to attach the boards to one another, then you should go for a finish nailer. If you need to fasten insulation material or drywall to a stud, then you’ll need a framing nailer.
A framing nailer is more expensive. A framing nailer is less expensive.

Finish Nailer vs Framing – What to Choose for My Next Project?

So, which one to choose between the two?

We recommend you to buy a finish nailer over framing nailer for the below reasons,

  • Large-board holding power
  • Multi-purpose finish nailer
  • Small and durable nails.

Finish nailers are a versatile tool that delivers efficient and accurate outcomes in indoor and outdoor projects.

On the other hand, you should buy the framing nailer instead of a finish nailer when,

  • Building decks
  • Working on larger construction projects frequently
  • Since finish nailers are easy to use, they are mostly suitable for beginners
  • If your budget is tight.

Does your job need both light- and heavy-duty nailing tasks? Consider buying the type of tool you will be working on most and rent the required one periodically.

If you are still unsure which one to choose between finish nailer and framing nailer, visit a woodworking shop and consult a professional. Describe your job to them and get personalized feedback. Hopefully, you will be able to make a precise choice.

Final Words

Which do you prefer? Depends. If it’s a quick job and you won’t be working on the project again, go with the Finish Nailer. However, if this is a project you’ll be working on for a long time go with the Framing Nailer.

Framing nailers are usually better for finishing carpentry jobs. They’re typically less expensive than finishing nailers and tend to hold more nails in their magazine. Their magazine is also designed to fit into smaller spaces. As a result, they’re usually the best choice for interior framing.

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