best one air nailer to buy?

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Forum topic by spamfilterman posted 11-22-2010 05:40 AM 9592 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 2445 days

11-22-2010 05:40 AM

With Christmas coming up, I’m thinking about asking for an air compressor.

What is the one air nailer that is most useful for general woodworking (not roofing or putting up a fence)- brad nailer or finish nailer?
When would you use one over the other?

21 replies so far

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 2478 days

#1 posted 11-22-2010 05:56 AM

For general woodworking, I would think the brad nailer can be quite versatile. It can put up quite a bit of moldings and much smaller uses too.

Although, I do like my finish nailer, but it doesn’t get pulled out much for smaller, woodworking jobs.

--, Making design and application one. †

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2495 posts in 2530 days

#2 posted 11-22-2010 06:04 AM

If you watch for sales at HD you can get three at a time for less that $200.00. I got my PC framing nailer, (haven’t used it yet) and a finish nailer and a brad nailer.

Avoid Harbor Freight, period.

View Viking's profile


878 posts in 2618 days

#3 posted 11-22-2010 06:21 AM

You might get on the email list for CPO Outlets and you can get great deals on refurbished Porter Cable nailers.

We have bought framing nailer, finish nailer, brad nailer, and pin nailer at less than half price and have had no problems with any of them. For wood working suggest finish first, followed by brad nailer, then pin nailer, then framing nailer. You will then “cover the bases”. The nails for all are readily available at the BOX stores but, you can also get some really great deals at CPO also.

I agree with lilredweldingrod on HF nailers and nails. They are crap!

Good luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View wseand's profile


2754 posts in 2465 days

#4 posted 11-22-2010 06:24 AM

Ah decisions decisions. Those combo packs are real nice if you can find them with both. I have a 18 Ga Finish and a 23 Ga Brad I have started using the 23 Ga nailer the most. I save the 18 Ga for when I don’t care or wont see the hole it puts in the piece. I would go with the Brad

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View MichaelA's profile


778 posts in 2311 days

#5 posted 11-22-2010 07:04 AM

Porter cable brad nailer dependable and versatile.

-- The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. "Helen Keller"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3245 days

#6 posted 11-22-2010 01:50 PM

I have a finish, brad and pin nailer. I rarely pull out the finish nailer anymore and, as Bill (wseand) mentioned, use it only when I do not worry about filling in nail holes. I use my pin nailer for furniture and installing trim on a routine basis. If I could only choose one nailer, I would opt for a pin nailer. Mine is a Grex.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View snowdog's profile


1158 posts in 3406 days

#7 posted 11-22-2010 03:03 PM

I have several and the one I hate the most is my Senco framer gun. To many safety features on it, cant bump nail and jams a lot. But almost any nailer is better than no nailer :) Merry Christmas

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2498 days

#8 posted 11-22-2010 04:21 PM

I have a finishing nailer, a brad nailer and a micro pinner. I definitely use the brad nailer the most. In second place is the pinner. When I use the finishing nailer I am finctioning as a carpenter – not a woodworker.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View syenefarmer's profile


429 posts in 2503 days

#9 posted 11-22-2010 04:30 PM

richgreer said; :I have a finishing nailer, a brad nailer and a micro pinner. I definitely use the brad nailer the most. In second place is the pinner. When I use the finishing nailer I am finctioning as a carpenter – not a woodworker.”


View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 2582 days

#10 posted 11-22-2010 06:07 PM

I like my DeWalts. I use the finish nailer the most, but that’s because I do more cabinetry right now than smaller projects.

-- jay,

View Broglea's profile


677 posts in 2514 days

#11 posted 11-22-2010 07:00 PM

I have a brad nailer from Harbor Freight. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take a gamble with this brand, but for $20 it has performed wonderfully. No issues. Its basically the same design as some of the more expensive brands.

I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

View brtech's profile


884 posts in 2346 days

#12 posted 11-22-2010 07:07 PM

I think the 18 ga HF brad nailer is a gem. It probably jams a bit more than one that costs 5X the price, but I’ve done several jobs with it that worked out really fine.

One tip if you go the HF route. They have a dual stapler/brad nailer combo, and a plain brad nailer. You want the latter. The combo anvil is wide, for the staples, and the hole is huge when you set brads. You can often get it for $15.

I haven’t tried the HF pinner yet, but I’m planning on getting one the next time it goes on sale. I’m not sure a finish nailer has a place in my shop.

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3150 days

#13 posted 11-22-2010 08:59 PM

As for a compressors i have been really happy with my Puma, here is a link to the review
I have had great luck with HF airtools

-- Ray

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3008 days

#14 posted 11-22-2010 09:50 PM

I just bought a dewalt battery operated with three batteries 16 gauge angle nailer it is much easier than compreesed air type I also have a compressor with quite a few different guns mostly bostitch/ hitachi have fun .Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View sry's profile


147 posts in 3031 days

#15 posted 11-22-2010 10:08 PM

I also agree with richgreer (although I don’t have a 23ga pin nailer)

I have a 18ga Paslode brad nailer (love it!) and 16ga Paslode angled finish nailer (also love it!). The 18ga is probably 95% woodworking/5% carpentry, and the 16ga is probably exactly the opposite.

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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