Brad Nailer vs Crown Stapler – Which One is Better?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 18, 2022
I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Staple guns or nail guns are way too popular in the field of woodworking and craft making. Among various staple guns, brad nailer and crown stapler are noteworthy two pieces that are used widely by carpenters and other craftsmen.

Both these tools do the same job of attaching or stapling wood and plastic pieces together. But yet, each of them offers different specifications, working capabilities, and beneficial features. So, which one will be better to choose between brad nailer vs crown stapler?


Obviously, that depends on the requirements for your job along with your working experience with these two tools. To make things easier, we are here presenting a detailed comparison between them so that you can add the right one to your cart just by reading this article.

What Are Brad Nailers?

You might get confused about the working capability of a brad nailer as it uses brad nails which are comparatively smaller and thinner than other nail guns out there. But don’t go only with the looks because these small nails are surprisingly very tough and pulling them off is more difficult than you think.

They are great for attaching thin wood pieces while making furniture and cabinet fittings. As the nails are thin and the pinhead is of small diameter, minimum damage would occur if you separate two pieces of any material attached by a brad nailer. Mostly, they are used as permanent fasteners for lightweight attachments and applications.

What Are Crown Staplers?

These nail guns are used widely among carpenters for their reliable and powerful performance in construction-based applications. Crown staplers use large and visible nails which can attach both thin and thick wood pieces. These nails are U-shaped and can be used even for different angles.

But there are different types of stapler pins available for crown staplers which are specified according to the variations of material and thickness of the workpiece. They are powerful tools and used for permanent fastening of plywood, regular wood, plastic, and different fabrics.

Comparison Between Brad Nailers and Crown Staplers

Though brad nailers and crown staplers both are nail guns, some specified features make them different from each other. Every feature of these tools is needed for working more accurately and conveniently and that is what makes it so difficult to choose between them.


However, we have covered some of the most significant differences between brad nailers and crown staplers which will clear all the confusion around your head about choosing the perfect one.

1. Working Principle

A brad nailer is usually powered through electricity which uses air compression from a chamber for firing brads. After triggering the brad nailer, the wire of these brads shoots the nails into any material piece and the depth often depends on the wire diameter. Generally, 18-gauge wire and 16-gauge wire are used for regular attaching purposes.

Crown staplers can work by both battery and air compression powered by electricity. After loading the staplers, they are shoot through any material piece by triggering the crown stapler. These staplers are thick and make visible holes which often need putty to hide the damage.

2. Types

Generally, two types of brad nailers are seen commonly in different workshops: the pneumatic nailers and the cordless nailer. The pneumatic brad nailers are more powerful than the other ones and used as a stationary tool while the cordless ones are portable for working on job sites conveniently.

Crown staplers are of three categories that are differentiated according to their size. They are narrow staplers, medium staplers, and wide staplers. The narrow ones are used for trimming materials while the wide staplers are for heavy construction work. You can use the medium ones for wrapping and subflooring wood pieces.

3. Depth of Penetration

Brad nailers use thin and straight nails which are generally 2-3 inches long. When it uses compressed air to penetrate the nails, they go much deeper into your workpiece because of the long nails. So, using nails of small diameter doesn’t create any disruption here.

In the case of crown staplers, the staplers are thicker than the brad nails and create a powerful grip while attaching two workpieces. These staplers have a long crown but shorter legs that penetrate at a short depth into any material. So, you can have a tough attachment compared to brad nails but only suitable for thinner workpieces.

4. Using Purposes

Generally, brad nailers are used for making cabinets, shelves with thick wood blanks, and also in trimming jobs. Besides, they are popular for use in different DIY projects and craftwork. Because the nails are not visible and decorative pieces can be built by them without applying putty and making any damage.

On the other hand, crown staplers are mainly used in those tasks where visible staple holes and the slightest damage to the workpiece is not an issue. People usually use these staplers to attach cushions to chair and sofa sets. As the legs of the staplers are short, they work great on thin materials.

Which One You Should Choose?

If you ask which one is better between brad nailers and crown staplers, I guess there is no specific answer because each of them has some unique features for providing service to different tasks.

Brad nailers are great for attaching workpieces together while making household furniture along with cabinets and other fittings. Carpenters can carry them to job sites to work on small to medium projects that include finishing, trimming, and paneling light weight wood pieces.

Crown staplers are mainly popular for attaching fabric with wood surfaces. They are convenient for using on different curves and angles which is quite tough for other nail guns. If you are into upholstery tasks, using crown staplers is the best option among all other nail guns out there.

Final Words

It is definitely a tough job to choose between brad nailer vs crown stapler as both of them are beneficial for a carpenter or craftsman to work on several projects. But if you are a person doing DIY projects and regular household tasks, go for the one which suits your job.

Also read: trying to buy a brad nailer? Check out our reviews here

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.