Last Updated on January 9, 2021 by Robert L. Perkins
Looking for a way to nail things together delicately? If that’s so – then you’ll want to use the best pin nailer.
To get the right nailer, you’ll have to know certain things first, though. Especially if you want something that stands from the crowd and delivers more than the rest – then you’ll have to make an extra effort.
But don’t worry. It is always possible to get an excellent product as long as you know what to look for and why. Luckily for you, we know everything there’s to know about these nailers and more.
If you’re looking for a 23 gauge or 21 gauge pin nailer to attach pieces of wood together, then you’ll want to take a look at everything we have here.
Best Pin Nailer – Comparison
6 Best Pin Nailer Reviews
Now that you’re decently familiar with how a pin nailer differs from other types, let’s now head into our reviews. Here, you’ll learn all about 6 of the highest-quality pinners out there. Take a look!
1. BOSTITCH HP118K 23 Gauge Pin Nailer
- Adjustable Power Switch
- Lightweight and Durable
- Comfort and Convenience Design
- compact body is easy to maneuver
It uses nails of several sizes, going from 1/2-inches up to 1-3/16-inches for many different purposes. And it can handle up to 200 nails per magazine, making it extra practical – reducing reloading times.
You will also get a low-profile nose piece that allows smooth operation and an effective nailing down of things when needed.
And with the 70 to 120 PSI of total pneumatic power, every nail shot from the nailer will be effectively placed in the wood.
Despite its power, it leaves no space for ugly results. It inserts nails neatly and safely. You won’t have to worry about any mess or damaged piece of wood. And the air exhaust will not blow on your face, so you can work comfortably at all times.
This gets even better with the light and well-made construction. Boasting aluminum housing at only 2.5 pounds of weight, you can handle it with ease and work your way through the most difficult of projects. Add the ergonomic over-molded grip, and it becomes a piece of cake to use.
As for adjustments, you’ll receive a power switch to control depth. This high/low power switch allows straightforward results, making it a piece of cake to adjust to your needs.
2. Grex P650 Headless Pin Nailer
- Double trigger safety Lock
- Integrated wrench storage
- Narrow nose design with silencer
If you need to pin down 23-gauge nails, you’ll be happy to know that it can handle anything from 3/8-inches up to 2-inches long nails without problems.
But it is not only the capacity to handle so many nail sizes, but also an adjustment-free process. You can just load different pins on the machine, and it will adjust automatically thanks to a unique patented design.
That makes it one of the most practical models you can get – even more so when you add that it weighs a mere 2.68 pounds. And that’s light enough to handle like a feather, so nailing things down on the job becomes super easy.
Apart from all that, you get a rear exhaust with a silencer, helping to work comfortably and with little annoyances. And with the Posit-Lock system, this tool will never jam.
Sure enough, the tool also comes with a double-trigger safety. It is not easy to misfire or eventually fire by mistake.
And lastly, you get a fastener indicator that will let you know when it is time to reload fasteners on the magazine. This magazine, by the way, can handle several nails at the same time – so you’ll have enough for an entire operation if needed.
Pairing up everything together will give you an extra convenient and well-made nailing gun overall. So, you’ll be more than satisfied if it is what you’re looking for.
3. Grex P635 23 Gauge Headless Pinner
- Powerful motor
- fastener lengths with Patented design
- Double trigger safety
- Narrow nose reaches tight areas and corners
This happens thanks to a potent motor that gets nails even through the toughest woods, or through the most delicate ones if needed.
The real advantage comes from its ability to hold nails of 3/8-inches up to 1-3/8-inches in length. That will be enough to work in most woods. Yet, the capacity to work with any pin directly without adjustments adds up to its overall convenience.
You may also add the ability to tell you when it is necessary to pour more fasteners into the magazine. Along with a cut-off angled design, you will get quick-access storage for all your nails.
To add even more to its practicality, it weighs only 2.21 pounds. That’s low enough to handle the tool like a piece of paper. Making it work exactly how you need will be super easy, especially with the narrow nose so you can use this nailer in corners and tight areas with ease.
As for safety, you will meet a double-trigger system. Firing up this tool by mistake will not be easy, even more so if you decide to do precision nailing.
Finally, it is entirely made of aluminum on its housing, a hardened steel driver and nose piece, plus aluminum internal parts. Pair it all with the rest of its features, and you’ll get one of the best nailers out there.
4. Makita TP03Z 12V Max CXT Cordless Pin Nailer
- Improved accuracy with Contact trigger
- Built-in L.E.D. light
- Rubber bumpers surface from damage
- Ergonomic and Compact design
Coming from Makita immediately lets you know this is not a nailer to overlook. Needing no hose to work, it delivers excellent versatility in the work area. Whether you went into difficult places to nail things down in the most inconvenient area – this is the nailer to go for.
It handles nails of different sizes going from 5/8-inches up to 1-3/16-inches. You’ll have enough to pick from depending on your needs.
Yet, it is the capacity to hold 120 pins that make it so useful. Especially if you’re a heavy woodworker, you’ll find this capacity super helpful.
But the real advantage of this tool is the 12V CXT Lithium-Ion battery system. You can make it work for several hours without problems, firing up to 1,250 pins in total on a single charge.
Apart from that, you get a practical tool-less depth adjustment for either flush or countersink results. You will also get an Anti-Dry mechanism, which reduces misfiring and blanks.
To finish, it is super comfy to use, boasts an LED light for illumination in the work area, and comes with rubber bumpers to prevent damage in surfaces.
Overall, this cordless pin nailer takes practicality to a whole new level. And it still manages to perform decently well.
5. Cadex 21 Gauge Pinner With Systainer Case
- Kit with deluxe SYSTAINER case
- Rear exhaust Swivel coupler
- Light weight & well balanced Fine precision nose
- Contact Safety
This model, in contrast with most pin nailers, uses 21-gauge pins. That makes it a little different, yet more versatile due to its capacity to hold a little larger fasteners.
But it is not only the thickness of the nails it can hold but also the length. You can add nails from 1/2-inch up to 2-3/16-inches – so you can make it work with some of the smallest and largest pins out there.
And sure enough, it boasts a large magazine that supports up to 120 fasteners at the same time. That’s enough to get entire projects done in a single load.
There’s a lot more about this model to like, though. You will also get a light design at only 3.2 pounds, ideal for handling and working in awkward places. Then you’ll get a built-in blow gun feature for effectiveness, and a safety Anti-Dry Fire, which prevents any firing when there’s no nail inside.
The Contact Safety feature is something else to love, as it won’t let the gun activate unless there’s pressure on the nose. And with the rear exhaust along with the swivel coupler, you can add extra safety and tons of convenience.
To make it an even better product overall, you can consider the Systainer case, super helpful to bring your nailer around.
In short, the Cadex V2/21.55 delivers every feature and component you need for a fantastic experience. There’s nothing not to love about it.
6. Freeman PSSCP Pneumatic Concrete Nailer
- ergonomic handle
- 360-degree adjustable exhaust
- Quality and Durability
- Tough and Dependable
It works with pins of many different sizes, starting at 3/4-inches up to 3-inches in total length. That’s enough to work with almost any type of nail you can find.
What really stands out is the total power it offers. As a concrete tool, you can expect it to push nails harshly through most materials – so you can attach practically anything to concrete. And still, it manages to be decently fast and saves you tons of time.
This also means it is super durable and reliable with the cast-aluminum build. You will get several years of use without having to make an extra effort. And it will work for almost any situation thanks to its light design, weighing less than 6 pounds in total.
To make it even easier to handle, you will get a blow-molded case, so transportation becomes a piece of cake. But it really is the ergonomic grip that makes it so amazing. You won’t have to worry about exhaustion while using, even in the most challenging projects.
Moreover, you will still enjoy an adjustable exhaust, an air filter, and an anti-dust cap. This will provide practical operation and a cleanlier experience.
There’s nothing about this model to hate – despite not coming with a magazine – its power makes it up for everything.
Difference Between a Pin Nailer and Other Nailers
When someone says nailer, they’re referring to the tool that shoots or drives nails through wood. And there are several types to consider.
You will find the brad nailer, the finish nailer, and the pin nailer. All of them look similar, but they’re pretty different.
A brad nailer, for example, usually works with 18-gauge nails. Then, a finish nailer uses 16 or 15 gauge nails. And lastly, a pin nailer uses 21 or 23 gauge nails.
But wait! What does each type of nailer work for?
Well, a finish nailer will help you piece together thick and hard pieces of wood. If you want to build furniture or cabinets and things like that, you will probably need a finish nailer.
But if you just need to piece things together without necessarily making anything, then a brad nailer will be your best bet. It works well with softwoods, as it doesn’t leave much of a mark.
Lastly, a pin nailer helps for the thinnest and most delicate pieces, ideal for small jobs. It can be a perfect choice for attaching things together temporarily, producing decorations, and piecing things without leaving a mark.
Things to Consider before Buying a Pin Nailer
Reading our reviews will give you an idea of what you should go for. But it won’t be enough if you want the best 23 gauge nailer. That’s why you also have the following section with critical info to go over. It will teach you everything there’s to know about pin nailers, so you can buy the ideal one:
Corded or Cordless?
The first thing you’ll have to consider is whether you want a corded or a cordless pin nailer.
You’ll see that the difference goes mainly on how they’re made. While one demands a cord or hose to connect with a compressor, the other produces all its power from a battery.
Here’s more about each:
This is the perfect model for long jobs. If you want to produce a cabinet or piece of furniture from nothing, then you’ll need something that can stand several hours of continuous work. That’s when a corded model enters into work.
But it is not only how much time it can handle, but also how reliable and consistent it is. The compression of a corded nailer is way better and consistent than cordless – so that’s a huge advantage to consider.
And sure enough, you won’t have to worry about battery life. As long as the compressor is working, you’ll be ready to keep nailing.
In contrast, cordless models focus on versatility over anything else. You can use one of these practically anywhere, and it won’t be much of a problem.
Even if you have to get into awkward places to nail things down, a cordless model will allow you to do so.
Apart from that, you can use them everywhere you go. You won’t have to rely on an outlet or a similar source of power. Just a pair of charged batteries will be enough to make a cordless model work for hours.
To pick the ideal model, you should focus on what fits better with your demands. If you’re a heavy woodworker who’s often creating new stuff, then you probably need something reliable like a corded model.
But if you’re more of an inactive worker who only needs a few nails here and there, every now and then, go for a cordless model instead.
Choose accordingly, and you won’t be disappointed.
Pounds per Square Inch (PSI)
Another vital factor to think about is PSI (pounds per square inch). And it measures how much power a nail gun can handle.
The more PSI a pinner has, the stronger it will work, and the deeper it will send nails. That’s why we recommend the ideal PSI, depending on the materials you’re working with, the project you want to finish, and your desired results.
We usually recommend sticking to low PSI if you’re working on laminate or softwoods. But if you’re working on something hard like maple, then go for the highest PSI measure you can.
Be careful, though; the PSI only shows on corded models, so don’t believe if a cordless machine offers any.
Once you go over PSI measurement, you’ll have to think about the different types of nail sizes that the tool can handle. Here, you’ll find that nailers can work with pins as small as 3/8-inches and as large as 2-inches in total.
However, most models usually fit only 5/8-inches nails and 1-3/16-inches in size. We recommend going for the wider range if you can. The more nails the pinner can work with, the better it will be.
Especially if you’re working on several projects at the same time, you’ll want a nail gun that helps to use different nail lengths accordingly.
Some models even offer the chance to use several nail sizes at the same time. That means you can pour nails of all kinds inside the magazine, and the machine will fire them all without problems. If you want an utterly practical nailer, then that would be a fantastic feature to have.
So, you know what size of nails the tool can handle. Now, how many can it work with?
Most pin nailers offer enough space for up to 100 nails in the magazine. That will be enough to get almost any project ready in a single nailing operation.
But sometimes, that’s not enough. Some models can handle up to 200 nails. That would be ideal in a high-production environment.
But overall, staying between 100 and 150 nails per magazine is an excellent idea. You won’t have to reload too many, and you won’t reload too often. That would be your best choice.
While having tons of nails of different sizes inside is always helpful, nothing offers as much convenience as having a depth-adjusting system.
This is not pretty common but tends to help enormously. You can decide whether you want “flush” nailing. That means pushing nails through wood entirely, so only the cap remains out.
Or you can decide if you prefer “countersink.” That means getting the nail down, but not entirely – so you can decide later.
This also helps to work with different nail lengths when the right ones empty out. And it will improve your overall capacity when working with different types of woods.
What’s sure is that a depth adjustment feature can come pretty handy, so don’t dismiss it.
Ergonomics and Weight
While many people tend to overlook this, it is actually critical if you want to get the most out of a pin nailer.
An ergonomic design that allows comfortable handling, as well as a decently light build, will ensure that you can use the gun with ease.
We usually recommended rubberized handles with ergonomic shapes. As for weight, anything below 3 pounds will be light enough to work on any situation. Some models may go up to 5 pounds, so they won’t be easy to handle.
Choose something easy to use, and you will save some exhaustion and discomfort.
While learning the basics of pin nailers will give you a boost in confidence, it will not be enough to pick the right model. Before doing so, learn more about the safety features you may require:
Full Sequence Trigger
This function refers to a set of steps to fire a nail gun. If you don’t follow these steps before driving a nail in the wood, the machine won’t shoot.
That’s an excellent way to prevent the tool from misfiring or shooting by mistake. Remember, though, this will make the pinner way slower than usual.
Dry-Fire or Auto-Dry
Similarly to the full-sequence trigger, this one prevents nail guns from firing. But instead of avoiding a misfire, they prevent the nailer from shooting when there aren’t nails inside.
The force of the air pressure may eventually cause damage to whatever there’s in front of the nose. So, having a dry-fire or auto-dry system that prevents it from shooting when there are no nails inside is super helpful.
Finally, consider indicator lights. Things that will tell you when you’re low on nails and when the battery of the cordless gun is emptying, or just when it is on or off – all those will be helpful to prevent accidents or at least use the tool with confidence.
Apart from safety features, there are other things you can consider to set-up your nailing game to the max. Here are some features that you will find super helpful:
Remember, these tools are not only somewhat awkward to handle at all times, but also have some fragile parts. So, having a carrying case that protects and helps to carry around is something not to dismiss.
If you’re working with small projects that demand a nailer that goes into difficult places, a narrow-nose model is your best bet. You won’t have any problem getting into the trickiest of situations to nail things down.
A swiveling tube allows you to move the nailer around without having to get stuck or tied with things. Instead, it will help you swivel, move, and prevent any discomfort when trying to nail things down.
Types of Pin Nailers
Apart from knowing the different factors to think about when buying, you will also need to know the different types. Here are the two most common kinds of nailers to consider:
As its name says, it works with pneumatic power. That means it works using air-pressure or compressed air to shoot nails.
It is a highly effective way to push nails through almost any material, especially wood and thin metal. With enough pressure, you can push the longest of pins through the hardest of woods without problems.
One advantage of pneumatic tools is that you won’t have any problem working for long hours. As long as the air compressor stays on, you will have the chance to keep nailing.
Apart from that, pneumatic nailers tend to be cheap at first. Despite having a higher cost, after some time, they’re still pretty practical and demand little to no fees in front.
Besides, you can always pick the right compression force depending on your needs. If the gun doesn’t nail things down completely, you can always increase the total PSI (pressure per square inch) for extra potency.
For the negatives, you will find that pneumatic models don’t work without a compressor. That can be inconvenient in places where there’s no electricity around or much space to work with.
Also, compressors tend to demand a lot of maintenance. While the gun itself won’t present many issues, the compressor will – and that can make the whole nailer less attractive.
Electric Pin Nailer
This is a more practical model because you can work freely. That means you can make it work almost anywhere, even if there’s no electricity around or enough work area to stand – as it works with batteries.
The pressure comes directly from the machine, which ensures extra convenience. And still, it holds decent power despite not having the same compressor power.
But of course, the power won’t be as much as a compressor can offer. And not having a compressor also means it needs a larger build to create the pressure from inside.
Another downside is that they’re expensive at first, but they demand little to no maintenance afterward. Unless one of the batteries dies, then you’ll have to buy new ones – and they can be costly as well.
Lastly, you will have a limited time to work. Batteries drain out of charge, so you will probably have between a few minutes to an hour or two of total power according to the battery’s capacity.
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve gone through this entire article, but you still have some doubts to cover. Well, don’t worry. This next section with questions and answers may help you out:
Q: What’s a pin nailer suitable for?
A: You may still be somewhat confused about what pin nailers do. Well, it’s easy. They’re ideal for working with delicate materials, making less visible connections/nails, preventing the use of putty, and fixing things temporarily.
Q: Is it possible to use a pin nailer in different modes?
A: No, pin nailers don’t have different modes like brad or finish nailers do.
Q: Can I replace a pin nailer with a brad or finish nailer?
A: It depends. For super delicate materials that demand a softer hand, you won’t be able to use a brad or finish nailer. But in case a neat result is not needed, and the material can handle the thicker nail, then you can use them if needed.
Q: How should I use a pin nailer?
A: To use them, you will need to read the instructions manual of the manufacturer. Depending on the safety features and overall design, all nailers work differently, so they’re used somewhat differently, as well.
Q: Will a pin nailer help me build furniture?
A: Yes, but it depends. These tools are better for small jobs, like fixing things or attaching thin materials. Building entire furniture pieces with a pin nailer may not be as secure as using a finish or brad nailer.
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So, What Should You Buy
As you see, there are tons of different factors to consider when choosing a pin nailer. So it won’t be easy in the slightest. Luckily for you, we’re here to help.
We can say that the BOSTITCH HP118K Pin Nailer is the ideal option if you want something complete. It is decently well-made, powerful, and practical. In short, it doesn’t have many downsides – and it is still affordable.
But the Bostitch is a pneumatic model. If you want a cordless nailer, then go for the Makita TP03Z 12V Max CXT Cordless Pin Nailer. It will be your perfect choice for the extra convenience and ease of use. And it is decently cheap as well.
The best pin nailer is the one that best matches your demands. Take that into account when buying and you will get the ideal model for sure.