Crown Stapler vs Brad Nailer: A Complete Guide to Choose the Best for Your Project

Follow this article to know the actual comparison of Crown Stapler vs Brad Nailer and Crown Stapler vs Finish Nailer as well to decide the right option.

When shopping for a nailer, it’s essential that you look at your different options first to see what are available and what will be the best match for you.

However, as there are so much to choose from, it will take you a while to make a decision if you don’t start comparing them from each other.

So to help you make your search more efficient, we’ll help you take a look at the crown stapler and brad nailer at the same time. These two are often compared to each other since they’re both versatile options.

Crown Stapler vs Brad Nailer Comparison

Crown staplers are basically the very definition of stapler guns for most people while the same applies to brad nailer and nail guns. So if you’re after a nailing tool that has multiple uses, you might find yourself looking at these two as well.

How do they differ from each other and how do you choose between them? Find the answers in our quick guide below.

What is a Crown Stapler?

Also generally known as the construction stapler, crown staplers are pretty much what everyone knows as staple guns. They’re like nail guns but instead of nails or pins, they dispense two-pronged metal staples to secure two pieces of materials together.

With two points to secure down your materials, it offers a sturdy grip and provides a permanent fastening solution. Crown staples are most commonly used when people need to fasten a different material to wood. This is why it’s a popular tool for upholstering projects.

Top Crown Nailers

But since it uses staples to fasten materials together, its fasteners are definitely more noticeable than nail guns. They also tend to leave relatively large holes when removed so you will need to use some wood putty to smoothen out their traces.

Another drawback to crown staplers is that their legs aren’t very long. So if you need to fasten a thick item into another underneath it, it might not even reach the bottom piece. It also can’t puncture through very hard surfaces.

If you’re wondering if crown staplers are for crown molding, you have to note that it’s not despite what the name might suggest. The term ‘crown’ in its name refers to the design of the type of staple it uses as a fastener. It’s actually the very word that refers to the width of the connecting head of the two prongs of the staple.

Types of Crown Stapler

There are three different types of crown staplers depending on their size, the Narrow, Medium, and Wide crown. Each has their own different purposes, ranging from fine-grained to heavy-duty applications.

Aside from the size of the crown, the types of crown staplers are differentiated based on the thickness of the wire used to make them. All crown sizes can come in these three varieties:

  • Fine wire staples are very thin and are about 20 to 22 gauge thick.
  • Medium wire staples are in the 16 to 19 gauge range.
  • Heavy wire staples are about 15 to 16 gauge in thickness.

Narrow vs Wide Crown Stapler

As mentioned above, the different types of staplers have their own different purposes depending on the length of their crown. As they differ in appearance and performance, it’s easy to see why you shouldn’t interchange them on many occasions.

For example, the narrow crown staples are less noticeable since they do not have a wide crown. This makes them suitable for finishing and trimming. They won’t affect the overall look of moldings, cabinets, fascias, and other fine-grained applications.

Top Narrow Crown Nailer

Wide crown staplers, on the other hand, use fasteners that are more noticeable because of their size. They’re bulky but they offer more holding power, thanks to their width. Because of this, you can use it for heavy-duty tasks like truss building, roofing, fencing, house wrap, and many others.

You can also use it for the same purposes medium crown staplers are used for like subflooring, vinyl siding, upholstery, pallet building, and many more.

Top Wide Crown Nailer

However, consider how your finished product will look when using wide crown staplers before you use it for such applications.

Uses of Crown Stapler

As mentioned above, there are several uses for a crown stapler. It varies from one crown type to another but, ideally, you can do the following with this tool:

  • Upholstery
  • Insulation
  • Roofing
  • Trimming
  • Molding
  • Sheathing
  • Window casings
  • Mattress construction
  • Carpeting

What is a Brad Nailer and Its Uses?

A brad nailer is a type of nail gun that uses brad nails or brads. It uses the smallest type of nail available and is actually one of the most versatile nailers out there. Since brad nails are small, short, thin (16 to 18 gauge), and with a small pinhead, it’s perfect for a wide array of applications.

Brad nailers are perfect for jobs that you don’t want to use putty with. Brads’ pinheads can get invisible in the right spots so they’re suitable for the following purposes:

  • Attaching lightweight trimmings
  • Cabinetry
  • Molding
  • Other finishing tasks

Note, however, that brad nailers are not for heavy-duty fastening and for temporary use. Due to their small size and short length, they won’t be able to hold thick pieces together. Their small pinhead will also prevent you from removing them without damaging your work, so don’t use them as a temporary fastener.

Wide and Narrow Crown Stapler vs Brad Nailer: Side by Side

How do you choose between a crown stapler and a brad nailer? Let’s look first at its similarities:

  • Both can be used to attach trimmings and for some finishing tasks in the case of the crown stapler.
  • Both have a decent amount of hold, depending on the materials used.
  • Both are not for temporary fastening.
  • Both can’t be used to hold two large boards or thick materials together.
  • Both tools have similar safety risks so similar precautions are advised.

As for the differences, here are the most glaring ones:

  • Brad nailers use fasteners that are not very noticeable.
  • Crown staplers are more commonly used to hold different materials together.
  • You don’t need to bother with fastener sizes with a brad nailer because it only uses one.
  • You will need to decide on the size of the crown stapler you’ll get as it’s available in different varieties.

As these lists will tell you, crown staplers and brad nailers are very different from each other. So while they seem similar at first glance, that’s not really the case once you get to know them better. So it’s best if you just get both if you plan to take on different tasks anyway.

What is a Finish Nailer and Its Uses?

Like brad nailers, finish nailers are for finishing applications. However, they use longer and thicker fasteners so they can handle bulkier wood trims. With a 15 to 16 gauge body, they can offer better hold.

Unlike brad nailers, however, the fasteners finish nailers use have larger pinheads. So you’ll most likely need to use putty to cover them up. You also can’t use them on smaller trims as they can split and damage them.

Generally, brad and finish nailers have similar uses. The main difference, however, is the materials each one is for. Also, finish nailers have better hold strength, so it can also be useful for small craft projects and other applications.

Crown Stapler vs Finish Nailer

If you’re torn between a crown stapler and a finish nailer instead, here are the similarities of the two tools that might really put you in a pinch:

  • When using a medium crown, both tools can provide ample hold and prove to be very versatile.
  • The fasteners used in both tools will require some concealing method when used for finishing.
  • Both are easy to use.
  • Both can be powered by either an air compressor or some batteries.

To help you weigh your options better, here are the points where these two tools differ:

  • Crown staplers are not recommended for finishing applications.
  • Finish nailers can’t always handle soft materials due to their size.
  • You don’t need to decide on the size of the finish nailer you’ll get as it’s only available in one. Crown staplers, on the other hand, are available in three sizes.
  • Crown staples can’t be concealed using putty or filling in most cases. This is why you can’t use them on some trimming and finishing jobs.

Like with the brad nailer, it’s understandable that you’ll find yourself torn between the two at first glance.

However, once their differences and similarities are laid out, it’s easy to see that each one will suit specific needs. So at the end of the day, the best match for you will be the one that suits your project’s requirements.


With the data provided above, it’s easier to see that the match shouldn’t be between crown stapler vs brad nailer. It should be brad nailers vs finish nailers as these two nail gun types share more things in common.

If you’re torn between crown staplers and brad nailers, however, it would be best to get them both. If you can’t choose between finish nailers and brad nailers, on the other hand, look at your materials more carefully. Only they can tell you which one would be the best choice for you.

Jerry Jhonson

Jerry Johnson is a tech & tool geek who loves to talk, discuss and review different tools used for our day to day life. All the tools reviews and guides described in this site are completely from his personal experience and own observations.

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