Ed, I'm not an expert on air nailers but I'll give you my two cents. Brads are generally a smaller gage nail (thinner, shorter) than finish nails. They are used for lighter duty purposes (tacking, light assembly, etc.) than finish nails. There is some crossover as to what they can handle so depending on what your Dad is into a brad nailer may do the job. I bought an Airy 18gage brad nailer a couple of years ago. It takes anything from 5/8" long to 1 9/16". For what I do (DIY cabinets, finish carpentry) it works fine. Naturally for the heavier duty of a finish nailer the nailer itself will be a little heftier.....and so will the price. I hope this helps. Good Luck.