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Thread: Finish Nailers for Light to Medium Use

  1. #1

    Default Finish Nailers for Light to Medium Use

    I'm looking to purchase a finish nailer that will nail everything from "thin" shoe molding and door stop to "thick" 1 x 6 door jambs and door trim. The nailers I'm looking at say they are good for 3/4" - 2 1/2" nails. I'm worried that they might blow right through the thinner trims. Also, there are straight nailers, angle nailers, and palm nailers. It's all so confusing and trying to get technical support from Dewalt or Porter Cable is next to impossible!

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member finnegan's Avatar
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    I have a Porter Cable finish nailer that shoots 3/4 - 2 1/2 inch nales. No problems. I forget the model number, but it is a pretty popular model.

  3. #3

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    I'd get a brad nailer. You can eke out enough holding power in a door frame by shooting a couple brads in place of a finish nail, but you can't use a finish nailer on light trim; it can blow through.

    I have a Porter Cable that shoots up to 2" brads. Like it a lot.

    You might also look into a narrow crown stapler. The downside is that it leaves a longer hole than brads. But they hold a lot better than brads. In fact, they hold (reputedly) better than comparably sized nails which makes them a good choice for nailing underlayments to subfloors. I used a Bostitch 150x or something. Liked it fine.

    FYI, angled and straight nailers are common only in beefier finish or framing nailers - not for brad nailers. The angle is supposed to make it easier to get into tight places.

    -p
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by finnegan
    I have a Porter Cable finish nailer that shoots 3/4 - 2 1/2 inch nales. No problems. I forget the model number, but it is a pretty popular model.
    That's the exact model I'm considering buying. Can you use it for shoe molding and other thin moldings without blowing through it?

  5. #5
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    I went through the same decision process a couple of years ago. Wound up buying 16ga & 18ga finish nailers, plus a 23ga pin nailer. I use the pin nailer a lot more than I thought I would. I like Porter Cable & DeWalt, don't think much of Bostich, based on a narrow-crown stapler that hasn't worked worth a d*mn since day 1. You can often find good deals on reconditioned tools like these on Amazon. Borrowed an Accuset 18ga nailer a while back and liked it a lot, but they don't seem to be around any more.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey
    I went through the same decision process a couple of years ago. Wound up buying 16ga & 18ga finish nailers, plus a 23ga pin nailer.
    The reconditioned P.C. 16 gauge is about $100, so even if it is too strong for light finish stuff, I'll have enough dough left over for a brad nailer.

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