I'm new at this woodworking. Whatis a brad is it like a staple? I thought the answers to the brad vs finish nailer was a great help. I'm getting ready to do my first project a kicked up version of a picnic table. Man tools are expensive and I'm hooked (I hope my wife understands).
In air nailer space, a brad is just a thinner (and maybe shorter) finish nail: 18 ga. vs. either 15 or 16 ga. Both are straight, with no taper, a bit of a chopped-off head, sometimes a chisel point and sometimes no point. Like a finish nail, a brad is set below the surface of the workpiece into which it is shot (don't need a nail set punch), so little (if anything) shows and, if necessary, small hole can be filled with putty or paint.
A staple is a staple: two legs and a crown. While you can set your stapler to shoot the crown into the workpiece surface, it will still show. Staples have a bit more holding power (on account of the two legs) but are not used where they will show. When nailing into or near the edge of materials, particularly harder materials, staples have a greater tendency to split or emerge (because of the two legs).
Neither air nailer brads nor air nailer finish nails really look like their non-air-nailer counterparts; a 4d finish nail is usually thinner in shank diameter (guage) than an 8d finish nail, but all 15 ga. finish nails have the same diameter. This is less important than you might think, since the guage of hammer-driven nails is there to take the pounding of the hammer without bending (most of the time), while air-driven nails are whacked in so fast they don't usually bend. Likewise, hammer-driven finish nails (and brads, for that matter) tend to have pencil points rather than chisel points (or no points), but once again the difference doesn't matter because the speed of driving eliminates the need for pencil points. Only framing nailer nails look like their hammer-driven counterpart.
There is a class of hammer-driven wire brads that have heads. They have no air-driven counterpart.
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