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Which to get? Need advice

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  • Which to get? Need advice

    I am thinking of purchasing a pin nailer. Most likely pneumatic since the price difference of an air power and a battery/co2 is WAY too much IMO. Not worth the difference in price. So my question is do I get a 18 gauge or a 16 gauge? Most of my woodworking is cabinets and furniture. I realize an argument can be made for both but if you could only buy one which would it be? Also, Bostitch or Hitachi or which name brand would you go with?

  • #2
    Re: Which to get? Need advice

    Like you said, an argument can be made for either. I have heard from several finish carpenters that if they had to choose 1 nail gun overall - it would be a 16. That said, I don't even own a 16 (I have a 15 and 2 18s although a 16 is on the list).

    It all depends on what you'll be using them for. A 16 gauge is more structural weight or force. An 18 is slightly thinner and can hold less. The 16 will make a larger hole than the 18 but most likely if it's visible you'll putty either. All that being said, if I only got one, I'd go for the 16 - I think you'd find it more useful.

    Also, technically they are brad nailers, a pin nailer shoots headless nails (pins) and is almost always 23 gauge (I rarely have a use for mine).


    • #3
      Re: Which to get? Need advice

      I have the old Porter-cable finish nailer, and it is 16 gage, I think it shoots 1" to 2 1/2"
      I also have a old Porter-cable pin nailer 1/2" to 1" 23 gage,
      I have not used any thing else, in the finish nailer range

      I have not had any problems with mine and like them, and would suggest them to any one looking, with out trying other brands I can not say there the best or the worst, I have not had problems or druthers, on either one, (there were a few times I think the angled body could have been a help in reaching in some place, but not enough of a problem to me to go buy one, Porter-cables angled unit is a 15 gage pin or finish nail,

      one of mine I bought new and one (the small one I bought off of Ebay for $10.00,

      as far as brand goes, go with some one who can service it or a dealer that you can get a kit for it if needed, easily,

      years ago I bought some off brand nailer's, (excellent nailer, lasted me 30 years) but should have bought Senco, Bostitch, or another name brand nailer, as the company went out of business a few years after I bought the nailer, and any repair was up to me to make and make fit parts)

      my guess is tho on the smaller and the import type nailer's that are mostly being sold now, my guess is there figured more to be a throw away item, unless one does go all out for the major brands,

      I have never had much Hitachi tools as there are very few who have ever sold them around here,
      Bostitch I have a framing nailer I bought to replace the nailer that died, and a roofing nailer, and a stapler, by them, (I dislike there triggers greatly, on most of there air tools there is no feel in it, or if the nose is down or not, again I have not had the opportunity to try others makes to see IF I like them better, my SIL has a Senco framing nailer, and it was down or out of nails one day, and he borrowed my Bostitch, he liked his Senco better)
      on the trigger I do not remember the lack of feel on the trigger with the little porter-cable units (but again mine are the older style that was made before they were bought out by B&D,

      OF the two brands you stated I would most likely go with the Bostitch units, if it was me, not that I think one is better but I have a few Bostitch dealers for service if needed,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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      • #4
        Re: Which to get? Need advice

        Which size nailer depends on what you are going to do with it. For physically attaching trim and cabinet parts, probably an 18 ga brad nailer. (16 ga finish nails are a little heavy for furniture/cabinet work in my opinion).

        As for brand, I have neither of the brands you mention so have no experience with them (I have Porter-Cable brad nailers and pin nailers). But with the choices mentioned, would probably go with Bostich.


        • #5
          Re: Which to get? Need advice

          I have two Ridgid finish nailers (16 ga, I believe) which were both acquired as part of "Combo" clearance purchases. They are great for crown molding, baseboard, and other "room" trim work.

          But for doing the trim work on my library and other built-in furniture projects, I much prefer the 18 ga brad nailer, which is also a Ridgid. That I bought purposely for the lighter gage "brad" and IMO, it just seems more fitting for furniture applications, like trim. Overall though, I prefer not to use any metal fasteners, but the the "brad" serves it's purpose where other methods aren't nearly as expeditious.

          While I have never had a jam or any other problem with the Ridgid nailers, I cannot honestly compare them to any other brand. Certainly the brands mentioned so far by the previous posters are very popular and I've never read of any problems with any of them. My experience with the Ridgid brand of power tools, their 3-year warranty, and Limited Lifetime Service Agreement (with proper registration) was part of my decision.

          I hope this helps,



          • #6
            Re: Which to get? Need advice

            For furniture building it's usually a case of holding two pieces together "while the glue dries". For that purpose an 18ga brad nailer or even a 23ga pin nailer will be sufficient. For projects like door and window casing a 16ga or even 15ga nailer would be the best choice.
            I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.