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Forum topic by TomFran posted 10-23-2007 09:18 PM 2534 views 0 times favorited 78 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


10-23-2007 09:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: air nailers brad finish pin staplers bostich porter cable ridgid hitachi grizzly

Hello Friends,

I would like some opinions on air nailers. I have been pretty slow getting into this, but it seems today that most woodworkers wouldn’t be without them.

First of all:

  • Which type of nailers would you buy first to outfit your shop for general woodworking. I realize that it depends on what you’re going to be doing, but I’m sure there will be a general consensus on this question from most woodworkers.
  1. finish nailer
  2. brad nailer
  3. crown stapler
  4. pin nailers

Secondly:

  • Which brand of air nailers do you find to be modestly priced and generally reliable.
  1. Bostich
  2. Ridgid
  3. Grizzly
  4. Hitachi
  5. Porter Cable

Any comments would be appreciated on helping me get educated on this topic. Thanks in advance!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28


78 replies so far

View Aubster's profile

Aubster

131 posts in 2687 days


#1 posted 10-23-2007 09:31 PM

Well, I can tell you that my first nailer was a Bostich brad nailer. It works great for the things I build and it uses up to 2” long nails. I like brads because they make very small holes and are very easy to cover up. also they are very easy to cut or pull out if you get a nail that doesn’t go all the way in. (happens when you pull the trigger before the air compressor is charged)

-- A man who moves mountains starts one stone at a time.

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#2 posted 10-23-2007 09:38 PM

Thanks Aubster. I suspect that many are going to suggest an 18 gauge brad nailer as the first to buy.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2756 days


#3 posted 10-23-2007 09:49 PM

An Air compressor and nail gun was one of those things that I wondered how I lived with out it once I had one.

15 gauge Senco….

http://www.amazon.com/SENCO-FP-42XP-Finish-Nailer/dp/B00008NFQ7/ref=sr_1_5/102-7449947-7697720?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1193168896&sr=1-5

In addition, I have a craftsman 18 guage stapler, 18 guage Senco, PC 23 guage pinner and a Bostich Framing nailer. Have a large PC compressor and a small Senco compressor.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2973 days


#4 posted 10-23-2007 09:54 PM

2” brad nailer will cover 90% of everything

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#5 posted 10-23-2007 09:55 PM

Thanks Wayne. So, I guess you started out with a finish nailer first.

Another question I have is: In what ways are they useful / necessary for woodwork?

I know they would be great if you were installing molding in your house, but where do they come in handy for general woodworking?

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Mark Mazzo's profile

Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 2571 days


#6 posted 10-23-2007 09:56 PM

Tom,

I have two air nailers in the shop.

1) a Porter Cable 16Ga. finish nailer – mostly used for trim work in the house, etc.
2) a Grizzly 18 Ga. Brad nailer – mostly used for shop jigs, etc.

The PC nailer is a great tool and it works flawlessly and i have had no issues with it. The Grizzly I bought very inexpensively and did not know what to expect however, it has served me well. No issues except that the one I have does not have a rubber protector on the tip to protect the work.

I do not really use these for furniture work but, having said that I would sometime like to get a 23 Ga. pin nailer for those times that I want to apply small trim on a piece and do not want to see (or fill) nail holes.

For most basic nailing I would think that an 18Ga. brad nailer would suffice.

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at http://thecraftsmanspath.com

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#7 posted 10-23-2007 09:57 PM

Thanks a lot Dennis. Another vote for the brad nailer.

Do you think that a crown stapler would be useful? I was thinking about making a bunch of bird feeders for Christmas presents, and I thought that a air powered stapler might be pretty handy.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#8 posted 10-23-2007 10:00 PM

Mark,

Thanks for your input. Those pin nailers got a pretty good write up in Fine Woodworking magazine recently. It does seem like they would be nice to have sometimes for holding things together while the glue dried.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2756 days


#9 posted 10-23-2007 10:01 PM

Actually, I first got a craftsman combo kit with a brad nailer. Then added the stapler. I’ve upgraded compressors and guns since then. You can probably find a combo kit that has 15 gauge gun, 18 gauge gun and a compressor.

I just like the 15 gauge for putting stuff together.

Probably should think about what your dong most often and go from there…. Base board and molding – Brad Nailer, Furnature assembly – Finish nailer, Fence and Framing – Framing Nailer, Detailed moulding work – Pin Nailer, etc.

Do you already have a compressor?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View brunob's profile

brunob

2275 posts in 2828 days


#10 posted 10-23-2007 10:02 PM

I vote for the brad nailer. I have two, a Grizzly and a Bostich. I prefere the Grizzly – not sure why.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Fingersleft's profile

Fingersleft

71 posts in 2555 days


#11 posted 10-23-2007 10:05 PM

I also started with a 18 gauge Bostich. Now I also own a 16 gauge Porter Cable. I like them both. But if I had to replace the Bostich, I’d probably buy another PC, primarily due to the way it loads from the top. I use them very sparingly for furniture work, in as much as I like to use conventional joinery and really dislike nail holes, filled or otherwise. However, I do use them (again sparingly) when they will be hidden by moldings.

As Aubster indicated, the nailer should be carefully matched up with max. pressure restictions and the kind of wood you’re using, or else you will end up with a nail that doesn’t go in all the way. Also, they’re a bit tricky in plywood, as they tend to “migrate” at sometimes odd angles as they hit the plywood layers. Like anything else, it takes practice. Just remember, keep you hands well out of trhe way. Nails tend to go in odd directions at times and if your not careful, all the blood and gore is tough to sand out.

-- Bob

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#12 posted 10-23-2007 10:06 PM

Wayne,

Yes, I have a decent compressor. I would have thought that the finish nailer would be more for base board molding and the brad nailer would be more for furniture assembly.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#13 posted 10-23-2007 10:07 PM

Thanks Bruce,

Another vote for the brad nailer and one vote for Grizzly. I have several Grizzly tools and have been pretty satisfied with them too.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2756 days


#14 posted 10-23-2007 10:11 PM

Finish nailer shoots a bigger nail….. I guess it depends on what type of assembly your doing on furniture. I’ll let one of the guys who shoots baseboard for a living speak if a Brad nailer or finish nailer is better for trim work. The brad nailer worked well for the DIY stuff I was doing.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2653 days


#15 posted 10-23-2007 10:14 PM

Bob,

Thanks a lot for your input.

That’s a great consideration that you mentioned – SAFETY. Like so many things we do as woodworkers, you really have to have your mind engaged fully when you start certain procedures.

I remember working on a construction site where they used a big framing nailer. I was scared to death of that thing and never ever wanted to use it. Just about everybody I’ve talked to who uses these things on a regular basis in the trades has their stories to tell. I don’t want to have any stories like that.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

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