compressor and nailer confusion

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Forum topic by cajun_duck posted 02-27-2012 09:52 PM 1376 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1706 days

02-27-2012 09:52 PM

I will be installing lots of moulding. I mean lots. This will probably take me a few years to do, but I am confused. Is it better to go with a compressor with oil or without? I know with oil is usually quieter, but will leave a little hole in your pocket. So, can somebody please straighten me up on this. And for crown and base mouldings, brad or finish nailer?

13 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


7123 posts in 1999 days

#1 posted 02-27-2012 10:03 PM

Paslode angle finish nailer totally rocks. For those that don’t know it’s a battery operated gun with a fuel cell.
You pay for the convenience and you won’t miss the compressor hose etc.

The emglo AirMate works for the Hitachi framing gun and Senco finish nailer, then I went with Paslode framiing and finish nailer for the convenience. Sometimes you need the compressor for the framing nailer though.

+1 on the paslode. Yeppers.

View cabmaker's profile


1473 posts in 2231 days

#2 posted 02-27-2012 10:08 PM

I know that I would not want to listen to an oiless for that long. If you have that much trim to do, You ll be glad you have a real compressor. For nailers youll probably want a 16ga and a 23 ga. Enjoy it

View cajun_duck's profile


7 posts in 1706 days

#3 posted 02-27-2012 10:33 PM

Next question, tank or pancake?

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3383 days

#4 posted 02-27-2012 10:46 PM

I have trimed 2 homes with a PC oilless pancake and PC 16 and 18 ga. nailers. 23 ga. for really fine end caps w/glue. It is like everything else. Whatda ya wannapay? Don’t get carried away with “I’ve gotta have super excellence”. (Unless you want.)
I’d blow off, and oil my PC nailers each day. They’ve never let me down. “course they are MADE IN AMERICA nailers from Jackson, TN.
I’ll blow down my PC compressor now. Little feller won’t stop. Thank goodness.


View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 02-27-2012 11:03 PM

In general compressors that need oil are considered a longer lasting tool. I have a cordless Dewalt and a angled Paslode that makes things so much easer than guns that use air. I prefer the Dewalt it only needs a battery where the Paslode takes a fuel cell and a battery.

-- Custom furniture

View PKFF's profile


48 posts in 1775 days

#6 posted 02-27-2012 11:05 PM

It really depends on the size and type of wood you are going to use for your molding.

If you are hanging pine-painted or oak Crown Molding, Go with an 18g Brad nailer. The brad heads are small enough you won’t see them very well, but also are strong enough to hold the Molding’s weight. If you go with a 23g “pin nailer”, they are not proven to hold the weight of the crown molding over time. The 23g pin nailer is mainly for small applications and other very small moldings.

The 16g and 15g finish nailers will work and I have used them on jobs before, for heavier oak moldings. They have a broader head which will need to be filled unless you can hide the nail well. If you are using a white crown molding or baseboard, you will most certainly want to fill those holes with caulk or filler because the nail recess holes stick out like a sore thumb.

I have the Paslode Framing nailer, the traditional one. It has never done me wrong. I know a lot of people are turning to the cartridge style one, but I guess it just doesn’t seem necessary to spend the extra cash when it is no big deal lug the pancake PC around. Also, it is nice to not have to worry about the cartridges and batteries..

I have a 20gal 150psi Rolling Craftsman compressor which has ran 2 framers off of it then, a different time 3 roofers,... without any problems.
16g craftsman finish nailer, oiled
18g Rigid brad nailer, not oiled
Rigid crown stapler, not oiled

As long as you keep the nailer cleaned up and oiled if it needs it, then it will work just as good as the day you buy it.

THe rigids are nice a light, and you can’t beat the power of the Paslode. I have had the Craftsman 16g for about 15 years and kept it oiled right and it shoots like a dream.

I do however need to pick up a new PC pancake’r
If you are only going to use the compressor in your shop or garage, get the largest capacity you can afford. If you plan to use it once or twice in the house somewhere you can always get a resevoir tank, or a good length of hose. Nothing is more irritating then having that compressor constantly running so you can’t hear your Rolling Stones on the Radio…. if you are going to be using it around the house often or at other locations, get the pancake. I have both, a rolling one and a pancake because I need the pancake just for molding applications, but if we’re roofing or building, the Larger capacity is needed for those big jobs.

-- "If you put your best effort forward today, you won't have to re-do it tomorrow"

View waho6o9's profile


7123 posts in 1999 days

#7 posted 02-27-2012 11:10 PM

Tank or pancake? Your call.

Make sure you have enough CFM (cubic flow pr minute) to power your nailers. Not enough sucks especially when installs are going well.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2491 days

#8 posted 02-27-2012 11:35 PM

Oiless compressors are noisier, but if you get the Senco 1 gal oiless, you’ll be a happy camper. I use one for installation work and it’s light weight and low noise make it a delight to use.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


15476 posts in 2428 days

#9 posted 02-27-2012 11:48 PM

when doing the crown you can cut triangular blocks and tack them to the wall studs and ceiling joists if your crown is heavy, you can then nail the crown to the blocks. I put up pine and my 18g nailer did the trick no problems. and caulk.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Loren's profile (online now)


8165 posts in 3070 days

#10 posted 02-28-2012 12:13 AM

A nailer with an angled magazine works best for putting
up crown imo. Generally that means going with 15 ga.

Compressor doesn’t matter much but the oil ones are
quieter but still real loud and annoying to be around. If
you tip one over, it may leak oil out. So if going small,
get one with a lower center of gravity – pancake or roll
cage, doesn’t matter much.

View MikeInNOVA's profile


13 posts in 1725 days

#11 posted 02-28-2012 12:17 AM

Forget the compressor and dragging hoses around. For moulding I use the DeWalt 18ga cordless brad nailer for everything but the biggest and heaviest crown. Even then it would probably work fine, but I’ve also got the 16ga finish nailer. I’ve completely redone all the trim and molding in a couple of houses with them and totally love ‘em.

View BilltheDiver's profile


250 posts in 2308 days

#12 posted 02-28-2012 12:57 AM

I have had both oil based and oil less compressors. The one I currently use is oil less with a 20gallon tank. If I were going to replace it tomorrow, there is no doubt I would buy oil based again. I moved my oil less outside the shop and built a roof over it because it is so loud.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View jonmulzer's profile


48 posts in 2088 days

#13 posted 02-28-2012 03:40 AM

The big difference between the two is life expectancy and noise. In general, oil-less compressors have a service life of less than 500 running hours. In general, an oiled compressor has a life expectancy or around 2,000 hours. You might spend 50% more, but it will last 4 times as long. Go with the oiled compressor.

If you get the oil-less, buy a good set of earplugs and lots of hose so you can keep the compressor outside of the house you are putting trim into.

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