Stainless Steel Brad Nails vs Finish Nails

Stainless Steel Brad Nails vs Finish Nails

During this pandemic and the lockdown which followed there have been many people who have decided to use this time to get into some DIY. It is for this reason that we are going to have a focus today on one area of DIY which you may find confusing and that is nails. Not all nails are made the same, despite how they may look and today we are going to focus on the two most commonly used nails which are stainless steel brad nails and finish nails. These two nail types come in both coils and individually and here is a little bit more about them, so that you can make the right choice. 

What Are Brad Nails?

Stainless steel brad nails, or ‘brads’, are made using 18-gauge steel wire, the size of the gauge is what indicates the thickness of the nail, with higher gauge numbers indicating thinner nails. In this case, we have a thin nail with a very small diameter. The benefit of having such a thin nail is that it doesn’t split the wood when it is installed and that makes it the perfect option to be used on delicate materials. Thin cuts of lumber or fiberboard, for example, plywood too, are thin woods that are ideal for brad nail use. Another benefit of this nail is that because of the small diameter, they are almost sightless after they have been installed. 

What Are Finish Nails?

Finish nails are made of 15-16 gauge steel wire which gives them a thickness that brad nails don’t have. In contrast to the brad nail, the finish nail is thicker in diameter and it can be used on much harder materials, very often we see these nails used in cabinets for example. The finished nail will leave a visible mark on the material which is why you will have to add some filler or a nail cap once you have finished the job, to ensure that there is no unsightly view of the nail head. 

One Versus The Other 

The real key difference between these two nails is the thickness and the result of that thickness and diameter on the material. This is important to learn because if you try to use a finish nail on a thin piece of plywood, the result is likely that you will crack the wood upon installation, which of the curse is something which we don’t need. The brad nail is used on more decorative pieces or to hold things in place, the finish nail on the other hand is required for heavier materials and solid objects where it will be relied upon solely to keep a piece of furniture or carpentry together. 

Understand what the project is that you are about to embark upon and only then can you select which are going to be the right nails for the job between a finish nail and a stainless steel brad nail.