What is a Finish Nailer – Features and How to Use

What is a finish nailer

Finish nailers are also known as finish nail guns which are set up for finishing the jobs with aesthetics. They are set up for molding the wooden projects or nailing small trim boards without any problems. A finish nailer is used for nailing the finish nails to hammer through trim boards and in to hardwoods, softwood or plywood.

Features of a Finish Nailer

  • Finish nails use a wide variety of nails which ranges from 15 to 18 gauges. They feature either angled or straight magazines. This means that the user can hold them at either a 20 degree angle or in the nailing direction easily.
  • Finish nailers can also easily accommodate smaller pins which are also known as brad nails.
  • Finish nails come in form of strips which usually comprise of 50 to 100 pieces.
  • Finish nailers, like other cordless and pneumatic nail guns also come with a safety nose fitted in. This very feature of the finish nailer helps prevent any accidents which may occur due to nail firing by mistake. Before engaging the gun, this nose must be depressed. Some finish nailers also come with useful features like anti-marrying tip made of rubber. This rubber tip is designed for slipping over the nose of finish nailer so that any damages to soft wood, moldings and trim can be prevented.
  • A finish nailer makes use of lighter and shorter gauge nails. It can easily accommodate 1 to 2 ½ inches nails with 15 to 18 gauges.
  • Finish nailers are used for various projects. You can use them for several trim works, paneling, baseboards, interior moldings and smaller crowns. Moreover, a finishing nailer is extensively used for building cabinets and furniture.
  • As compared to other nailing guns in market, finish nailer comes with an invincible holding power. This is why, many users like to use this tool for putting large pieces of wood together. This tool is also ideal for putting together heavy trims.
  • A finish nailer leaves small imprint behind in form of small holes. But these holes can easily be filled with wood filler. You can apply wood filler before applying any finish or paint on the surface. So, you do not have to worry about finish nail imprints as there is not much filling needed to be done.

How to Use Finish Nailer

It is not a rocket science to learn how to use a finish nailer neither it is a walk in the park. But just like other power tools, it is important to understand that how to use finish nailer perfectly so that you can do your tasks perfectly. By remembering few tips mentioned below, you can learn how to use a finish nailer: it does not matter whether you are a newbie or an expert.

1. Completely prevent a nail blow out: The very first step is to completely avoid a nail blow out. Nail blow out is usually the first rookie mistake which many newbie usually make. Most of the time, this issue occurs due to lopsided angling of molding, trim or the nailing gun itself.

Let’s put is simple here that when the nail comes out in a wrong direction, it is called nail blow out. So, to avoid it, you must start with placing the finish nail tip exactly in the centre where you want to drive your nail. Then cautiously align your nailer in the direction where you want your nail to go by making sure that the position of the tip of the nail doesn’t displace.

2. Deal with a nail jam:Remember, almost all kinds of nailing guns at some point experience nail jams. So, when it comes to finish nailers, you must know that how you can address this problem. All finish nailers feature a latch which is so easy to open.

All you have to do is to unlatch the front of the gun and remove any jamming nails. But for safety reasons, you must always remove battery from your cordless finish nailer to take out the jamming nails.

#Tip for picking right nailer: When compared to other kinds of nailers like brad nailers, finish nailers offer much more versatility in usage. But you should always analyze your surface first before using any specific kind of nailer.


A finish nailer is one of the best nailing tools which can finish your work in the finest way. This tool is ideal for crown molding, cabinetry and baseboards. It has strong holding power which makes it one of the favorite tools for finishing house hold tasks. This is a perfect tool for your tool kit as it leaves very little holes while nailing which can easily be covered with wood filler without announcing existence of any marks on the wood ever.

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