What's the difference between a finish nailer and a brad nailer? I'd like to find a nailer that I can use for small furniture projects and trimwork around the house. Any input would be helpful. I see there are many different types and I'm not sure where to start. Thanks.
Trim nailers are usually about 16 gauge. They'll typically shoot nails ranging from somewhere around 1" to 2-1/2" long. There are angled finish nailers and straight finish nailers. Either one will work fine, and it is a matter of preference. A trim nailer is what is needed to install base, casing, crown, chair rail, and general trimming around a house.
Brad nailers are usually about 18 gauge, which is thinner than a trim gun nail. Brad nailers are great for smaller trim applications that involve nailing wood to other wood...Small mouldings, cabinetry, drawers, etc. My brad nailer shoots brads 5/8" to 1-1/4" I think. I use it a lot more, but I do a lot of woodworking. It is also nice for installing base shoe, as the thinner brad is less likely to split the wood.
If I could only have one gun, it would be a finish nailer, not a brad nailer.
You can find some great deals. Last year I bought a Ridgid combo kit at Home Depot for $118. It included a brad nailer, a trim nailer, and a 9.6volt driver. That's two guns for the price of one, and a free driver to boot. Honestly, both nailers have performed flawlessly under a lot of use. I am really happy with them. I had Bostitch guns before, and they were more of a problem than an asset. I've had good luck with Senco and Paslode guns. Not a fan of the Porter Cable nailers, although I generally like their tools.