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18 or 23 gauge nailer?

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Forum topic by dionk posted 01-24-2012 07:15 PM 8627 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dionk

3 posts in 1776 days


01-24-2012 07:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: nailer 18 gauge 23 gauge air nailer hitachi pinner brad nailer finish nailer 15 gauge

Hello everyone,

This is my first post on here and I’m sort of new to the woodworking scene. (at least doing things on my own!!) I am currently replacing all the trim in my whole house with 5” and 3” pre-primed mdf. For this job I bought a Hitachi 15 gauge angled finish nailer which works great. The one problem I discovered is that there is some very small trim ( approx. 7/8” wide and 3/8” thick) around the windows that needs to be fastened to the PVC window frame. The house is an older one and the dimensions for the wall and the new windows were slightly different and required this extra trim as a filler to bring the window frame flush with the wall. In my first room I put this trim up the old fashioned way with a hammer and small nails. For the remaining rooms I am looking to buy either a Hitachi 18 ga. brad nailer or a 23 ga. pinner. To make sure the PVC window frame doesn’t get cracked and the trim doesn’t split, which would be my best option?

-- Dion - Small Town Alberta, Canada "I don't kill flies but I like to mess with their minds. I hold them above globes. They freak out and yell, 'Whoa, I'm way too high!' -Bruce Baum


26 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile (online now)

ShaneA

6471 posts in 2060 days


#1 posted 01-24-2012 07:20 PM

I see the 18 as maybe more useful in terms of most trim jobs. However, 23g seems appropriate for a 7/8×3/8 trim piece. So I say get both. HF sells em pretty cheap, and I have heard good things about thier nailers.

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HorizontalMike

7143 posts in 2375 days


#2 posted 01-24-2012 07:21 PM

Harbor Freight has 23g Pinners for $24.99 and I got mine with a 20% OFF coupon for just $19.99 plus tax. I have only lightly used it thus far, but it appears that this “Pinner” is one of those rare bargains for HF.

BTW, I paid $100 for my 18g Ridgid at the HD.
My 2-cents…

http://www.harborfreight.com/23-gauge-air-pin-nailer-68022.html

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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kizerpea

774 posts in 1829 days


#3 posted 01-24-2012 07:23 PM

18 ga for sure….easy to find 18ga brads, most stores have them. thats what i have, a porter cable. shoots from 1/2 to 2 1/4 brads but they don’t tell u that.

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

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RogerM

759 posts in 1861 days


#4 posted 01-24-2012 07:26 PM

dionk, I have both gauges and they each have their place. The pinner works great for pinning joints and small pieces and rarely splits the wood but is somewhat limited by their length. The max length of the porter cable pinner is one inch. I have an 18 gauge brad nailer (Bostich) that shoots brads up to 2 inches. I use this brad nailer almost exclusively for installing interior molding. The remaining holes are small and easy to fill and it has the length to attach almost all interior molding. For your narrow application as stated the pin nailer may be your best option to minimize splitting.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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crank49

3981 posts in 2432 days


#5 posted 01-24-2012 08:41 PM

I have a mix of brand name and HF generic name brad and pin nailers. Quality and function seems to be about the same for all. Get the tool that you can most easily get nails/brads/pins for. I like my HF framing nailer just as well as my Porter Cable 16ga brad nailer or 23ga pinner.

For what it’s worth, I mostly only use the pinner to hold parts together that have been glued. The headless pins wont hold much on their own. They also just about never split anything either.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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Chipy

374 posts in 2055 days


#6 posted 01-24-2012 08:54 PM

I have 3 guns 16 18 and 23 and use all of them! Horizontalmike don’t buy HF 23 G nails I had a lot of problems with them! The gun is fine but it won’t shoot those nails straight.I bought some 23 G nails from Home Depot(Bostic) and they worked fine.

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HorizontalMike

7143 posts in 2375 days


#7 posted 01-24-2012 09:25 PM

Thanks Chipy, I’ll make a note of that. HD is much closer to home as well.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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BentheViking

1763 posts in 2025 days


#8 posted 01-24-2012 09:28 PM

Can’t say enough good things about a decent feeling pin nailer for less than $25. The fact that it works well is just icing

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2705 days


#9 posted 01-25-2012 12:10 AM

Grex has a 23 ga pinner that shoots 2” pins. The problem I see with pinners is they have no head so small pieces of trim can pull away from the pin, especially softwood mouldings.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7143 posts in 2375 days


#10 posted 01-25-2012 12:30 AM

Ron, of course it goes without saying that cross angling each pin will help with retention. Being a relative noob’ to these pinners, just why would you need a 23g pinner to shoot 2in pins?

Nearly everything that I am working with that needs a 23g pin is 3/4in stock that maybe has a 1/4—3/8in piece pinned to it. Just wondering…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2405 posts in 2387 days


#11 posted 01-25-2012 12:42 AM

This guy is in Alberta, no HF here…
I have both, but you will find an 18 guage will do what you need for the trim, especially if you need it to hold tight against a wall or frame, the 23 is headless and doesn’t seem to have that grip.

Home Depot, Porter Cable, Rigid, they all work, your choice. Kijiji also has some good deals sometimes online.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2705 days


#12 posted 01-25-2012 12:50 AM

just why would you need a 23g pinner to shoot 2in pins? Mr. Horizontal Mike,

I just noted that Grex has 2” long pins. I don’t know what they would be used for either.

View ShaneA's profile (online now)

ShaneA

6471 posts in 2060 days


#13 posted 01-25-2012 12:53 AM

Somwhat amazing that a 23g pin could travel 2” in hardwood. I can see a need for 1 1/4” but probably not 2”.

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graywolf

63 posts in 2155 days


#14 posted 01-25-2012 02:12 AM

You need to stick with the 18 gauge pin nailer for your application and use say 5/8” nail. the 23 gauge nail gun is great for pre-finished materails because you don’t have to putty as much. The 1 1/2” to 2” 23 gauge pins are used for installing pre-finished trim on cabinets. I use them on my jobs daily. The Grex gun I use will shoot 3/8” to 2” pins and it is a life saver. Good Luck on your purchase.
Regards, Richard

-- Richard, North Carolina, http://graywolfwoodworks.wordpress.com/

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dionk

3 posts in 1776 days


#15 posted 01-25-2012 02:37 AM

So if I go with the 18 gauge and a 5/8” nail there won’t be any danger of cracking the PVC casing on the window?

-- Dion - Small Town Alberta, Canada "I don't kill flies but I like to mess with their minds. I hold them above globes. They freak out and yell, 'Whoa, I'm way too high!' -Bruce Baum

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