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Forum topic by jpw1995 posted 12-27-2007 10:47 PM 2330 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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376 posts in 4260 days

12-27-2007 10:47 PM

Well I forgot the mention in the What did Santa Bring thread that I received a new Porter-Cable pancake compressor for Christmas. You know the one.
Porter Cable Pancake Compressor
I actually guessed it correctly before I ever unwrapped it. My fiance wasn’t happy about that. Anyway, this is the first air compressor I’ve ever had, therefore, I have no air tools to run with it. This was not the kit that came with a half dozen different brad nailers, so I’ll be purchasing my own. What I’d like to have are some opinions on any air tools that you guys and guys might own or use regularly. The Grex pin nailers seem to be fantastic, but they are very pricey. The other obvious choices for nailers are Porter Cable, Dewalt, Senco and Bostich. I think Delta makes them now as well, but I’ve never heard anything about how well they work. Let me know what you guys think.

-- JP, Louisville, KY

13 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4363 days

#1 posted 12-28-2007 01:16 AM

I’ve got a bunch of Harbor freight brad nailers. and for 29.00 you can’t go bad. I use staplers, nailers, air wrenches for car. etc.

I’ve even used air wrenches to put in lag bolts when putting in shelving.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Abe Low's profile

Abe Low

111 posts in 3808 days

#2 posted 12-28-2007 01:38 AM

Nailers are all pretty simple. Most of the time it only takes replacing an O-ring to repair an air leak. Have a talk with yourself and determine how often you are going to use each particular size. I have found the 18 gauge nailers to be my most often used. Also the micropinner (23 ga) is handy. I have a Grex 18 ga, Porter Cable 23 & 16 ga, Senco framing nailer, Paslode corrugated fastener, HF brad & stapler and one no-name I bought 20 yrs ago as a closeout. It was the no-name that failed after 15 years. Rather than going by brand name I’d opt for features such as an adjustable countersink and wide range of length.

-- Abe Low, Fine furniture, Sacramento, CA

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3843 days

#3 posted 12-28-2007 01:53 AM

i agree with karson the cheapies will probably do you well i consider them throw aways if they quit working right ive been a hardcore senco owner forever . 2 yrs ago a bunch of my nailers were stolen and i replaced them with the newer model senco . im not happy with them at all ive started buying hitachi and so far im pleased . my nailers get used daily sometimes non stop so i dont buy the harbor frieght nailors . if you buy a two inch nailer id recommend an angle nailer as you can get into tighter places and also toenail better and that is just my personal opinion

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 3957 days

#4 posted 12-28-2007 02:23 AM

I have to say that I am enjoying my air tools. From filling the tires, to spraying paint, to driving nails, I would not want to be without my pneumatic tools.

You could start with an 18 gauge combo from Grizzly.

It will drive nails and staples. Hawgnutz has one and likes it. I have one too. It’s been working fine for me. I also have an inexpensvie 23 gauge pinner that I find to be very handy. In fact, when/if this one ever breaks, I’ll be going right out to buy a better one.

If you don’t think you’ll have a need to use staples, you could just buy an 18 gauge brad nailer, which will handle much of your needs. The one I’ve linked to here is only $25, which won’t set you back too far.

Hope that helps. We had a discussion on this topic previously that might be helpful to you, if you haven’t already seen it.

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

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3953 days

#5 posted 12-28-2007 04:48 AM

Blowgun. I use mine for everything from blowin’ the dust off the tools and projects, to sweepin the floors and shelves. Flys and bees really have a hard time navigating with one of these around. It’s also good for dedusting yourself and the dog too. Keeps the missus happy.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4277 days

#6 posted 12-28-2007 05:01 AM

I got a craftsman stapler/nailer combo for christmas and it will not drive staples into particle board. So I’m going to add these to my do not buy list.

View CoolDavion's profile


434 posts in 3787 days

#7 posted 12-28-2007 06:25 AM

I’m looking to get a brad nailer myself. I have a compressor I got a couple years ago when my wife’s aunt and uncle moved from OH to FL. Have n’t done much with it except inflate tires and using the blow gun like Dadoo

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4132 days

#8 posted 12-28-2007 06:50 AM

All my air tools come from either Harbor Frieght or Grizzly. They all work fine.

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

View gizmodyne's profile


1776 posts in 4052 days

#9 posted 12-28-2007 07:19 AM

If you do cabinetwork get a staple gun (narrow crown). The holding power is great. I have also used it for working with lattice. I have a porter cable, no problems. I also love my bostich finish nailer.

I have a craftsman brad nailer and my only complaint is that it only shoots up to 1 3/8”.

Never had a jam with any of them.

Make sure you are super careful with any of them. Safety glasses and ear protection are a must.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4124 days

#10 posted 12-28-2007 08:01 PM

I received the PC pancake compressor last year, with the PC nail guns as well (the kit). They seem to work well, but I have not used them much yet. I have been using a few HF specials my dad has, and they work ok as well. They are older, so obviously not the same as a new gun, but continue working.

I would say the others are right about taking a look at the features you want, and then finding the gun with them. Maybe you need to drive bigger (or smaller) nails than most folks, so that might influence your choice to a different gun.

Do not forget the other things you can do with the compressor as well. Blow off dust, use a spray gun for painting (one of my next items to try), air up your car and bike tires, etc. Let us know what you get.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4269 days

#11 posted 12-28-2007 08:18 PM

I have the 18 gauge Bostich BT200 and love it. It is oil free and shoots up to 2 inch brads. Very glad I bought it.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3920 days

#12 posted 12-28-2007 08:49 PM

I have the exact same compressor..just a year older. I love air tools..I have a finish nailer, a brad nailer, a narrow crown stapler, an upholstery stapler, a full round head framing gun… all Porter-Cable, and I will be purchasing a Nickle NS2340. The Nickle shoots headless 23 GA pins and 23 GA slight headed brads. I also use the compressor to fire my Critter spray gun and it works great for that as well. I am thinking of buying a bigger compressor, so I can use air sanders and impact wrenches, and full size spray equipment…but I will keep the pancake for portability.


View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4209 days

#13 posted 12-29-2007 02:57 AM

I bought a bostich pancake compressor with a finish nailer combo, the compressor quit after using it once. Blew the guts right out of it. Got new parts and rebuilt it. It lasted about 6 months and just the other day it went bang, ping, pop and quit. I’d send it back but I’ve got to much money in it. I’m tossing it and going to HF, I can probably find a better compressor there. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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