What Are The Differences Between Finish Nailer vs Framing Nailer?

If you are not a woodworking expert then you will probably be wondering what are the differences between finish nailer vs framing nailer? Or if you are just a man who occasionally repairs home with a traditional hammer then you should reconsider. No longer the days use hammer and nails to perform the work in carpentry, construction, furniture and other projects. Although simple and economical, traditional hammers may cause a lot of effort and time-consuming. So, it’s time to switch to nailers, which is more accurate, more convenient, faster as well as safer. These power tools are highly effective and productive in almost all projects. You can use them in the timber, concrete, even metal surfaces.

Nail guns will help you save a lot of time, but only if you choose the right type of nail gun for your job, otherwise it will hinder your project. However, when discovering the types of nail guns, many people are confused between the finish nailer vs framing nailer. When comparing the finish nailer vs framing nailer, then people are not sure which is suitable for their work. So I am here to introduce these two types of nail guns to you. Let’s find out:

finish nailer vs framing nailer

Differences between Finish nailer vs Framing nailer

Type of work

Framing nailers are specialized in the use of larger projects due to the ability to create strong bonds. Some particular jobs are attaching frames, beams, structures, fencing and also various other large jobs. They use two nail types of clipped head and round head, the clipped head is more used because it attaches deeper and contains more nails.

Finish nailers are appropriate to smaller projects such as paneling, furniture, molding, and cabinets. They have a safety nose that depresses before they trigger a joining. Finish nails with narrower heads are very difficult to detect, so it is suitable for finishing works professionally.

Utilizing a framing nailer on light work makes it easy to crack the pieces because of its large force. In contrast, using a finish nailer on smaller projects does not have enough power, which wastes time and effort.

Top 3 Best Framing Nailer

These are top 3 best framing nailer comparison table making the best choice for your projects easily:

Framing NailerImagePower SourceMagazine CapacityShippingEditor's RatingPrice
BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing NailerCordless-Electric60 NailsFREE Shipping4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon
Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer, 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Plastic Collated Full Head NailsPneumatic64 NailsFREE Shipping4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)See on Amazon
NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer Ergonomic & Lightweight PneumaticPneumatic55 Nails_4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon
Top 3 Best Finish Nailer

These are top 3 best finish nailer comparison table making the best choice for your projects easily:

Finish NailerImagePower SourceMagazine Capacity/ShippingEditor's RatingPrice
Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish NailerPneumatic100 Nails
FREE Shipping4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon
NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer 16 Gauge Ergonomic & Lightweight PneumaticPneumatic100 Nails
_4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)See on Amazon
Metabo HPT NT65MA4 Pneumatic Angled Finish Nailer, 15 Gauge, 1-1/4-Inch up to 2-1/2-InchPneumatic100 Nails
FREE Shipping4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)See on Amazon

Stage of the project

A large project usually has two stages: initial-stage and end-stage. The initial-stage often performs rough parts such as joining of frames and beams. These jobs require stronger force and larger 3 ½ inch nails that work well with framing nailers.

Whereas the end-stage is mainly done in the finer parts, the work has the aesthetic purpose. These specific tasks include decorating, cladding, window paneling, baseboards, interior and crown moldings. And certainly at this time, you will need to use a finish nailer rather than a framing nailer.

Bond Strength

Framing nailers are used in heavy construction works, undertaken to hold large frames stable, so framing nails must have greater binding forces than finish nailers. Even framing nails create the largest bond strength than other types of nail guns.

While finish nailers are applied in the finishing work without requiring large holding forces, its bond strength is lower than framing nailers. However, it requires sophistication and aesthetics.

Nail Size

The type of their work is also partly determined by the size of nails. Framing nailer is used for heavy-duty work in big projects so its nail will certainly be longer and stronger than the nail of finish nailer. The nail size is about 2 inches to 3 ½ inches long. A gauge of their nails is also lower than the finish nailer’s ones. A gauge of nails is a measure of its diameter. The higher number the thinner nails, the lower number the thicker nails.

On the other hand, finish nailer is used for lighter projects, so the nail size is smaller and the gauge is higher than the framing nailer. The nails of 15 and 16 gauge are common numbers for trimming the smaller projects. The nail size of the finish nailer ranges from 1 to 2 ½ inches long. The nail size comparison of two these nail gun types will help to reduce the effort, time and damage to your project.

So what kind of nails are used for each type of project? Please find out here.


Normally, the price of framing nailer is higher than finish nailer. The average price of framing nailer is $120 or more, and for finish nailer, it costs about $70 or more. The price is relative because it depends on many factors such as brand, features and product line.

It is also not surprising if you come across a finish nailer that costs more than a framing nailer. The finish nailer with a higher price will have better quality, wider work range. If you only work with furniture, a finish nailer will be a budget choice.


Obviously, framing nails have longer durability because they play an important role in a large project. It is responsible for holding the pillar parts firmly, otherwise you will have to make a new home every year.

Finish nails are less durable than framing nails because there is no problem with finishing works. If so, the repair is also completed quickly and easily.

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Now that you understand the difference between finish nailer vs framing nailer. So you can choose the type of nail gun that suits your project. The key to choosing nailers is to consider the nature of work, the project stage, the nail size, and the budget. For heavy-duty works in the early stages of large projects, you should choose framing nailers. As for the finishing works on smaller projects, a finish nailer is the best choice.

Choosing the right nailer not only saves time, energy, labor safety but also ensures the quality and progress of your project. If you like this article, please like and share with your friends. If you have any questions please comment below, we will reply as soon as possible.

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