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Brad nailer - kind and size?

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Forum topic by JeffP posted 10-03-2015 11:48 PM 933 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JeffP

573 posts in 851 days


10-03-2015 11:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve decided I would like to get a brad nailer. My use of it would be mostly for tacking things together while glue dries and maybe sometimes as a temporary way to attach a template etc.

Wondering what the crowd here suggests as best “gauge” for a WW to get for such uses. I seriously doubt I will be “into it” enough to get two or three sizes. Would like to get a size that will work well for the uses above. If a few smallish brads won’t get the job done, I’ll sink in a lag bolt. ;)

Never owned one before. Are there any features that I should be looking for? Are they all pretty much the same? Is this something where an HF-special makes sense? Or are they prone to getting jammed and such…to where a quality tool will be much more friendly?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.


17 replies so far

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2850 posts in 2691 days


#1 posted 10-04-2015 12:00 AM

I use a Bostitch 18 ga brad nailer. It shoot nails from 5/8 to 2 inches.

I also have a HF model combo that shoots 1/4 inch crown staples or 18 ga brail nails. But I quit using it several years ago for nails because the “hammer” leaves a dent the width of the staple when driving nails.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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GeneralDisorder

45 posts in 800 days


#2 posted 10-04-2015 12:07 AM

I second the Bostich. I originally got it when my Senco was down. It was reasonably priced and has been trouble free in a professional use sitution

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markf

28 posts in 443 days


#3 posted 10-04-2015 12:34 AM

I 3rd the Bostitch

View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 682 days


#4 posted 10-04-2015 01:14 AM

Maybe a pin nailer would be a better choice

-- I meant to do that!

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Ghidrah

667 posts in 682 days


#5 posted 10-04-2015 01:14 AM

Maybe a pin nailer would be a better choice

-- I meant to do that!

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1974 days


#6 posted 10-04-2015 01:24 AM

I have both the Stanley 18 ga. and the 16 ga. They tend to sit…

Then I have two HF nailers that are 18 ga. nails and the brads – one is set up for nails, one for brads. And I also have a HF pin nailer. All three cost less together than the 18 ga. Stanley Bostitch. They are all over four years old. And I use them all the time since they tend to be slightly smaller, easier to handle, and I don’t have the “dent” problem on any of them unless I am shooting white pine or aromatic cedar. The pin nailer especially is a very good nailer. Leaves no marks, and the pin nails, (23 gauge I believe), almost disappear.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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JeffP

573 posts in 851 days


#7 posted 10-04-2015 01:31 AM

I’m not familiar with the intricacies of the different kinds…hence the thread.

I gather a “pin” nailer uses nails with even less of a head than a “brad”?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1974 days


#8 posted 10-04-2015 01:34 AM

Pretty much. If you look closely at the 23 gauge nail, one end is tapered like a chisel, and the other end is flat cut, but no head at all. All the larger gauges have heads.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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jonah

687 posts in 2758 days


#9 posted 10-04-2015 02:41 AM

Costco has a deal for 3 nailers for ~$80. The set comes with a 15ga finish nailer, an 18ga brad nailer, and a 23ga pin nailer. I’ve had the set for a couple of months and I have no complaints so far. You could easily spend twice the price for a name brand brad nailer.

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BurlyBob

3646 posts in 1725 days


#10 posted 10-04-2015 04:43 AM

Several years a go I bought a Porter cable compressor and brad nailer. I’ve found it incredibly useful and handles virtually all my needs. I will definitely up grade the compressor when this one dies. It’s quite noisy and is meant for only lite duty, like nailing. It fits my needs though at the moment.

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JeffP

573 posts in 851 days


#11 posted 10-04-2015 11:26 AM

I know from this discussion that with a pin nailer, the pin disappears below the surface and leaves a very small hole.

I understand that the brad of a brad nailer has a small head on it…does that make it stop at the surface, or does the nailer force the head below the surface so that you could then fill the hole and make it disappear? (or would you have to use a nail set or something to drive it deeper to make a hole?)

In any event, based on what I’ve learned so far, I’m starting to understand why there is more than one size. I think the posters who suggested I go with a pin nailer for my intended uses were right. Seems to be the right tool for my intended uses.

The finish nailer “seems” like it would be the right one for being the only means of attachment for things like moldings and other decorative rather than structural things when finishing a house.

Not sure if a brad nailer is attempting to hit a sweet spot between those uses? Maybe just barely adequate for some places where you would be better off with a finish nailer, and leaving a larger hole to fill for pin nailer uses? Or are there some uses I haven’t thought of where pin nailer is insufficient and finish nailer is TOO much?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Pezking7p's profile

Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1111 days


#12 posted 10-04-2015 11:53 AM

I have a hitachi 18 ga. It’s been awesome. I would think anything smaller would struggle to apply much holding force to anything.

One thing to note about “dents” left by nailers. They have an adjustable stop above the hammer that stops the hammer travel. Set it so that the nail is sunk but no mark is left. If you hold the nailer off level, the hammer will leave a mark on one side where you have the gun tilted.

-- -Dan

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JeffP

573 posts in 851 days


#13 posted 10-04-2015 12:03 PM

Thanks Dan…I was kind of wondering about this myself.

Perhaps that is the key difference between a pin nailer and a brad nailer? Maybe pin nailer is ONLY the better choice when there is no plan of having that as the only thing holding the piece on long-term.

Then perhaps the pin nailer is best for situations where it is “holding while the glue dries” or holding a template to the work while you route to that with a bearing bit.

I would welcome some more examples of good uses for a brad nailer…where a pin nailer would not have enough hold.

Would also welcome explanations of any downside to using a brad nailer in cases where a pin nailer would get the job done.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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Sawdust4Blood

392 posts in 2481 days


#14 posted 10-04-2015 12:38 PM

Have both a 23 gauge pinner made by Cadex (also shoots 23 gauge slight head brads) and a 18 gauge brad nailer from HF. Both have their uses.

The 23 gauge pinner is the go-to for pinning decorative trim and moldings on pieces especially if it’s going to receive a natural finish. The 23 gauge pins not only hide better but there’s less chance that they will split small moldings.

Obviously the 18 gauge brads hold stronger and are better suited to holding larger trim/moldings. If it’s something that will end up painted, or if you’re doing something like creating a faux frame over wall (needing to shoot through the drywall), these are a much better choice.

So it really depends on the kinds of pieces that you needing to tack as to which will better suit your needs.

-- Greg, Severn MD

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RogerM

758 posts in 1859 days


#15 posted 10-04-2015 06:34 PM

4th on the 18 Ga. Bausch

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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