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Both have a bit of overlap, but you are likely here to understand where the differences lie. Ether can be incredibly useful, provided you understand the context. So, which one should you be interested in?
Below is a brief look at both tools, as well as a contrast of various areas.
The brad nailer gets its name from the straight fasteners that it uses, which are called brads. It’s effectively a powerful nail gun, built in various lengths and multiple gauges, depending on the depth that you are looking for.
The gauge tends to be almost the sole determiner of the brad nailer’s power, meaning that the wider ones hold much better than their narrower counterparts.
A construction project can make use of a variety of materials. Take upholstery, for example. Depending on what you’re working on, there can be soft, fabric-based areas, as well as hard, wooden areas.
The best philosophy uses the two-to-one ratio. In other words, you want the fastener to be twice as long as the material it’s intended to go through.
Some people call this one a construction stapler, but you may know it as a staple gun. As the name would imply, it’s meant to drive staples into materials for attachment purposes. Various tasks including molding, insulation, roofing, and upholstery may necessitate the use of a crown stapler.
The staple, which you likely expect, is a piece of metal bearing one flat area and two prongs. Staple thickness can vary, just like the gauge of the brad nailer. Therefore, the crown, which is the visible flat area at the top can be narrow, medium, or wide.
You want wider staples for heavier duty jobs that require more holding power, while the narrower ones are for more flexible requirements.
Note that the differences alluded to here are not exhaustive. Nevertheless, they are some of the most prominent and most important for you to remember since they guide you in deciding which one to use on a particular project.
Staples Vs. Nails
Why not start with the low-hanging fruit? Brad nailers use nails, while staplers use staples. This means that their former only has a single point of contact, while the latter has two. That may not seem like a big distinction at first glance, but based on the application in question and the kind of holding power that is needed for a project, you begin to realize that this makes a huge difference.
So, you may have given the crown stapler a win for the number of contact points it has. However, you may want to consider the kind of penetration depth you get with each. Think of a nail and a staple, whether in the traditional or industrial sense.
In almost any context, you are going to find that the nail goes much deeper than the staple does, and that’s the case here.
A brad nailer accommodates nails of up to three inches on average. Crown staplers never use anything that long, rarely even managing to hit an inch in depth.
While this does not render a crown stapler obsolete, it does mean that as materials begin to get thicker, nails start to become the better option. in some cases, you don’t even have a choice, as the use of staples would just cause everything to fall apart.
The holding power of a brad nailer and crown stapler differ, but it would be hard to say that one is objectively better than the other. So, take the brad nailer, for example. It uses nails, which means that you get a greater penetrative depth.
So, if you are doing a trim and molding project and you need two pieces of wood joined, then a brad nailer may be more appropriate.
However, the fact that the nails can go deep doesn’t translate to being able to hold everything that would fall within the parameters of their depth well. Consider attaching a piece of fabric to a piece of wood in an upholstery project.
The nail would certainly go through the two, but the single point of contact that is often supported by a small head is not going to cut it and may leave your project looking incredibly shabby.
In this case, the crown stapler would be way more appropriate, thanks to the elongated flat top and multiple points of contact providing a more stable hold. Generally, thinner materials respond better to a crown stapler.
Both tools are suitable for applications that require materials to be fastened together. In fact, there are trim applications that can accommodate either tool. Be that as it may, some jobs are simply better done by one or the other.
First, you may want to consider the amount of holding power is needed. While they lack depth, staples tend to hold stronger than brads. Therefore, if there isn’t too much thickness, and you need greater power, the crown stapler is your go-to.
You may also want to think about the kind of structural integrity needed. Again, if there is a high weight load or amount of force, the brad nailer is not going to cut it. Only wide staples can do the trick.
The finish is another crucial consideration. A brad nailer tends to leave a much cleaner finish than a crown stapler does, so it may be the better choice where a more appealing visual is needed.
Finally, the thickness may be the deciding factor in your project. Maybe you need two thick, hard materials to be attached. In such cases, only a nail can help you.
It’s not hard to see that both a brad nailer and a crown stapler can be incredibly useful tools. Based on the information provided, it may be best to not think about which one you should get. There best course of action is to get your hands on both, choosing the more appropriate one based on the immediate work you need to carry out.