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Need to purchase a finish nailer (so please - no recommendations for swedish or norwegian units) for a few upcoming trim jobs. Want to get a quality unit so price isn't main concern but don't want to break the bank. Also, a recommendation for a decent smaller compressor would be helpful.

Also, anyone used the battery operated nailers and if so, any merit to them?

Thanks,
Dan
 

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Need to purchase a finish nailer (so please - no recommendations for swedish or norwegian units) for a few upcoming trim jobs. Want to get a quality unit so price isn't main concern but don't want to break the bank. Also, a recommendation for a decent smaller compressor would be helpful.



Also, anyone used the battery operated nailers and if so, any merit to them?



Thanks,

Dan


I love my Bostitch, I run it on a Makita compressor but it's bigger than what you'd need just to run a finish nailer (I also use it to run my hopper). Never used a battery operated one but I would think that you'd get a better quality air nailer + compressor for less $$$.


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The Dewalt 18V 18g nailer's great. I don't own one, but I've used them a lot for basic trim work like base and casing. It's a beautiful thing not having hoses dragging all over the place. Or having the compressor kick in in a quiet house every time you walk by it so it makes you pee yourself a little bit.

That being said, I've got one of the Porter Cable pancake compressors with the PC 18g nailer. Had it for about 10yrs. Used it a ton and have never had any problems. Nice and small combo, lightish, easy to carry. No oiling the compressor either.

Got it for a decent price as a tip from a customer. My buddy and I kept talking about picking up two of these things when we were doing their exterior. At the end of the job, they told us to go grab two and attach the receipts to our invoice!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I love my Bostitch, I run it on a Makita compressor but it's bigger than what you'd need just to run a finish nailer (I also use it to run my hopper). Never used a battery operated one but I would think that you'd get a better quality air nailer + compressor for less $$$.


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Thanks Murphy. The Bostitch gets good reviews. And you are correct about the cordless (hoseless?) nailer being expensive. You definately pay for that ability to be unconnected. Plus, as you shared, the compressor can be used with other tools and for other purposes.
 
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The Dewalt 18V 18g nailer's great. I don't own one, but I've used them a lot for basic trim work like base and casing. It's a beautiful thing not having hoses dragging all over the place. Or having the compressor kick in in a quiet house every time you walk by it so it makes you pee yourself a little bit.

That being said, I've got one of the Porter Cable pancake compressors with the PC 18g nailer. Had it for about 10yrs. Used it a ton and have never had any problems. Nice and small combo, lightish, easy to carry. No oiling the compressor either.

Got it for a decent price as a tip from a customer. My buddy and I kept talking about picking up two of these things when we were doing their exterior. At the end of the job, they told us to go grab two and attach the receipts to our invoice!
Thanks for the feed back on the battery operated nailer Bill. The lithium ion batteries have made using many of these types of units (ex. my Makita drill and driver set) a great experience. I do however, like the idea of having the compressor and nailer being seperate.
 
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Sounds like any of the main brands will give good performance and last pretty well.
 

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I have a rigid set of air nailers. Bought them years ago. The set was a 16g and 18g, which also came with a free cordless screwdriver. Only paid $120 for the set. I haven't had a problem with them yet. I also have a 12v Dewalt cordless nailer. It works good for little jobs. It is bulky and a pain to get in some areas. Unless you are only nailing on the odd trim piece, I would buy the compressor and nailer instead of a cordless.
 

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I've seen all the bigger brands mentioned used by a lot of decent trim guys. I'm sure you'd be happy with any of them. Does seem like most guys are edging towards getting the air versions though.

The nice thing about them is that you'll never show up on a job only to realize that all of your batteries are kaput, and the batteries aren't cheap to replace when they start to not accept a charge.
 

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I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "finish nailer": one that drive full-size finish nails, a brad nailer/pinner, or a 23 ga. pinner. Of those three types, we get far and away the most use out of the latter two.

I don't think you can go far wrong with major brands. We've got Sencos, Bostiches, Hitachis, and Grex guns, from 23 ga pinners to siding and framing guns, and they've all been reliable performers.

I think the most important factor would be local service. For guys in the big cities, that may be no big deal, but out in the boonies, that makes a difference.

I'd definitely go with one of the smaller compressors. We've had one of the PC finish ones for some time now. It's certainly a lot easier to lug around. There are a number of newer models out there, so it might be worth a look at FWW, FHB, or JLC to see some recent comparisons.

One piece of advice that someone gave me years back was to get galvanized or stainless fasteners if you'll ever be doing exterior work. They may be more expensive, but it's less hassle than trying to keep two sets of fasteners on hand.
 
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Gough makes a good point regarding the difference between brads and finish nailers. I've often heard of finish nailers, but I've never actually seen anyone using one. I'm pretty sure all the local tool suppliers only actually carry brad nailers and brad nails.

I've also never really known the difference between the two until just now. This site appears to give a decent description of the two and has some very basic reviews of some of the popular brands.

http://www.thesawguy.com/brad-nailer-vs-finish-nailer/
 

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We worked on a major remodel last fall where the GC had reset ALL the baseboards and door frames on the entire second floor of a house. (He had changed the finish floors from carpet to hardwood and rather than adding a layer of 1/4" underlayment ply, he lowered all the door frames. SMH) To add insult to injury, everything was re-nailed with full-sized finish nails...way overkill. Just on the basis on how long it took to deal with all those moosey nail holes, I'm glad that project was T&M.
 

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I've got all sorts of brands in all sorts of sizes.

For general baseboard and what not, I like to use a Paslode 16g straight (pneumatic). Nails are cheap and it has the bump fire trigger, which I'm a huge fan of.

For little casing, I use an 18g Hitachi. The magazine on my first one blew apart, but it seems that they have changed it now. I still bought another one.

For outside and large trim (and doors), I use the Hitachi 15g angled. This is actually my favorite gun to use because you can select single fire or bump and it has this nifty blower built in, which is handier than you might expect. It's overkill for most trim, though.

For the wee-tiny stuff and things that are glued, I use a micro pinner from harbor freight. For some strange reason, it is well made and gets excellent reviews. It only does up to one inch pins, though. I use it on cabinet trim, returns, outside corners and anywhere else that I want to stick together until glue sets up. You rarely have to even fill the tiny holes if you are painting and they are near invisible in stain grade stuff. I highly recommend you pick up one of these...they are dirt cheap and work very well.
 

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Little trim projects I run a pasloge. If I run air it is senco with a small Roland compressor. Like the compressor because it is super quite. It will do super small texture patch. The down side it has only one hose connection. But I can work around that. It might have just a gallon tank on it.
The small PC only has one hose connection as well. I installed a Tee and added a second.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Pretty much all I would want the gun for is reattaching baseboards. So I guess a brad nailer is what I would be interested in getting.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "finish nailer": one that drive full-size finish nails, a brad nailer/pinner, or a 23 ga. pinner. Of those three types, we get far and away the most use out of the latter two.

I don't think you can go far wrong with major brands. We've got Sencos, Bostiches, Hitachis, and Grex guns, from 23 ga pinners to siding and framing guns, and they've all been reliable performers.

I think the most important factor would be local service. For guys in the big cities, that may be no big deal, but out in the boonies, that makes a difference.

I'd definitely go with one of the smaller compressors. We've had one of the PC finish ones for some time now. It's certainly a lot easier to lug around. There are a number of newer models out there, so it might be worth a look at FWW, FHB, or JLC to see some recent comparisons.


One piece of advice that someone gave me years back was to get galvanized or stainless fasteners if you'll ever be doing exterior work. They may be more expensive, but it's less hassle than trying to keep two sets of fasteners on hand.
Guess I was thinking along the lines of a brad nailer. Going to be using this pretty much mainly for baseboard trim and window/door trim installations. For that purpose, I think a 16 guage brad nailer would be a good choice over an 18 gauge. Thoughts?

Did some checking around at big O and found a 6 gal. Porter Cable pancake compressor for $99 (150PSI). Also had a little Senco 1 gal. (120PSI) for $199 and although I know it would handle the brad nailers I am looking at, not sure that it would be big enough and give me enough flexability to possibly use it for other things.

Porter Cable also had a deal with that 6 gal. compressor and three nailers for $199; a 16 guage, 18 guage, and stapler. Not too keen on that package since the Porter Cable 16 guage brad nailer that I was looking was around $120 by itself. Guess i would need to check model numbers first tom see if they were offerring the same units that are sold as stand alones or if these are a set of cheaper models just built for this package deal.

Any ideas on suggested compressor sizes would also be appreciated.
 
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