Pin Nailer vs Finish Nailer

Pin Nailer Vs Finish Nailer: What’s the Difference?

In the carpentry business, one cannot emphasize enough the importance of both of these devices. But when to use a finish nailer and when to use a pin nailer?

Well, in this article, we will be thoroughly discussing that. All the relevant information and details on Pin Nailer vs Finish Nailer will be laid out for you so that you can choose by yourself.

But before we jump into the topic, we should be aware of what is a pin nailer and a finishing nailer.

Pin Nailer

Pin nailers use one of the smallest forms of nails that exist. It works with gauge 23 headless nails, which gives the nails a pin-like structure. Hence, the name of the device is a pin nailer. Many pro carpenters and DIYers get confused about what is a pin nailer used for.

As the name suggests, pin nailers use nails with a small diameter and length (1-inch to 2-inch nails). This means that with a pin nailer, there is no chance of wood splitting or any other form of problems. And, they are exceptional for accurate and fragile carpentries.

Relavent Reading: Check our cordless pin nailer reviews

No products found.

Finish Nailers

A finish nailer is used at the end of your carpentry work. That is, it is used for adding the finishing touches. It uses 15 to 18-gauge nails, which are much thicker than the ones used in a pin nailer.

The nails are thicker and 2 to 2.5-inch in length. The nails from a finish nailer have tremendous holding power. This makes sure that the pieces of wood that you are going to nail together will stick firmly.

No products found.

Pin Nailer Vs Finish Nailer 

We all can agree that wood-crafting is a wonderful art and, creating the perfect craft requires the understanding of all the necessary device and their uses. Different types of nailers have different functions, and you would need to use most of them to achieve the perfection you are looking for.

Both pin nailers and finish nailers have different uses. In this section, we have focused on giving you all the relevant and necessary details so that you can choose which device to use depending on the work at hand.

Pin Nailer Vs Finish NailerFunctionality

Finish nailers are used for completing your work. It provides a good holding power, which ensures the extra stability that you desire in your work. Crowns, moldings, exterior trims, staircases are few names of the work that require a finish nailer.

Besides, a finishing nailer is one of the best tools for heavy-duty work like baseboards, cabinets, etc. When purchasing a finish nailer, we suggest that you go for the angled ones as they can do normal straight nailing as well as nail spots, which are difficult to reach

On the other hand, a pin nailer is used for much more intricate and complex forms of the woodwork. Furthermore, the nailer is an absolute must if you want to ensure that the pieces you have glued together stay together when the glue is drying.

After the glue has dried off, you can easily pick off the nails, and the holes can be covered with wood putty. This results in a perfect form of woodwork.

Nail Size

What is a 23-gauge pin nailer used for? The conventional pin nailer uses the smallest nails in the market, which is 23-gauge in diameter and 1 to 2 inches in length.

This allows the nailer to do works such as trims, decorations, and wood glue, which ensure no splitting of the wood and, also, a putty can easily cover the holes caused by the nails when the work is done. But most of the time there is no need for putty. The hole is so insignificant that a stain or paint job will do the work.

But a finishing nail uses much bigger and thicker nails, 18-gauge nails. These nails provide better support, and, hence, are an exceptional choice during structural and framing works.


A pin nailer is used to make tiny furniture trim, trim pieces, super-thin veneers, etc. All these works need the precision that a pin nailer can easily provide.

Whereas a finishing nailer provides more strength and stability to your woodwork and, hence, are used in the crown molding, making of baseboards or window casings, etc.

Which One to Choose?

Both machines are used in different cases and for different purposes.

When you need to work on the framing or structure of your woodcraft, then we suggest you pick the finish nailer. And, if you plan to stick parts together or make high precision and detailed decorations, trims, etc. the pin nailer is your best friend.


No matter what type of work you are indulging in, it is important that you carry your work in an environment-friendly workplace. Also, make sure that you are equipped with work gloves, aprons, goggles, etc., to avoid any unfortunate mishap.

After our Pin Nailer vs Finish Nailer discussion, if you are someone who works on both structural as well as detailing jobs, we suggest you keep both of them together. This way, you can combine both of their functionalities and be prepared for all situations. Furthermore, this way, the strength, stability, and perfection of your work will be enhanced to the next level.