Table of Contents
- 1 23 Gauge Pin Nailers Comparison
- 2 Recommended Best 23 Gauge Pin Nailer Reviews for 2020
- 2.1 #1. Hitachi Pin Nailer Reviews: NP35A 1-3/8″ 23 Gauge Pin Nailer (our top pick)
- 2.2 #2. Grex Pin Nailer/Nails Reviews: Grex P635 23 Gauge
- 2.3 #3. Bostitch Pin Nailer Review: BOSTITCH HP118K 23Ga
- 2.4 #4. Cadex Pin Nailer Review: V2/21.55 21 Gauge Pinner / Brad Pin Nailer
- 2.5 #5. Senco Fastening Systems 8F0001N 1-3/8″ Headless Pinner
- 2.6 #6. PORTER-CABLE PIN138 23 Gauge 1-3/8-Inch Pin Nailer Reviews
- 2.7 #7. Porter-Cable 23 Gauge Pin Nailer: PORTER-CABLE PIN100
- 3 What is a pin nailer used for?
- 4 Types of Pin Nailers
- 5 Final Verdict
Which one do you think is the most crucial buying factor?
Brand, price, quality or usability?
What if I tell you, all are the decisive factors for buying anything particularly when you want to buy something online.
However, it’s not an easy task to find out the best pin nailer as you have so many offerings from different brands with different quality, price, and usability.
It won’t be a hard task either if you go through this article where I mentioned all the good and bad sides of some of the popular nailers.
Not to mention, I’ve also prepared a comprehensive buying guide before ending this 23 gauge pin nailer reviews.
So, without any further ado, let’s get into the business.
23 Gauge Pin Nailers Comparison
Recommended Best 23 Gauge Pin Nailer Reviews for 2020
For those looking for the best pin nail for the money, we have picked seven models, which we consider the top quality pin nailer you could find out there. We have scrupulously examined them and now are ready to share our thoughts on both their advantages and disadvantages. After all, even the best products have downsides, right?
We will also provide you with more info on what pin nailers are in general and what is their purpose as well as the benefits. Additionally, we also have guidelines for an essential feature of pin nail guns prepared for you. To wrap it all up, we have answered a couple of frequently asked questions.
Here is our recommended list of best pin nailers we found for you on the market today.
#1. Hitachi Pin Nailer Reviews: NP35A 1-3/8″ 23 Gauge Pin Nailer (our top pick)
- Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
- Large fastener capacity for fewer reloads and less downtime
- Magazine automatically adjusts to 5/8 inches, 3/4 inches, 1 inch, 1 3/16 inches and 1 3/8 inches fastener lengths for use on a wide variety of projects
- Dual trigger for safe and accurate placement of fasteners
- Rear exhaust directs oil and debris away from the work surface
Editor’s Choice: Hitachi (Metabo) Micro Pin Nailer NP35A model is the lightest and as well as one of the top affordable/quality pin nailers in the market we will be reviewing today. It is a Pneumatic Pin Nailer. While it has some useful features, it is not the most potent pin nail gun out there. Mainly, the users complained that NP35A doesn’t reliably drive over 1-inch pins. So overall, this model will be a good choice for less demanding projects.
Features and Benefits
Double Trigger System
This very Hitachi NP35A offers a double trigger system. Meaning you have to press the first trigger to make the second trigger (main trigger) working.
This certainly enhances security by minimizing the chance of accidental firing.
However, when you move around with the nailer, don’t press both the trigger subconsciously to prevent any unwanted injuries.
Handy Accessories Included
Hitachi is a well-established brand and they know how to make their customers happy.
No wonder why they send a handy and large plastic case, safety sunglasses, two no mars pins and a 3mm hex bar wrench.
Using the 3mm hex bar wrench, you can easily adjust the depth. Use that wrench to loosen up the two screws at the front of the nailer. After that, move the plate up and down to adjust the pin depth.
Smart Magazine and Reload Indicator
This pin nailer offers a high capacity magazine that automatically adjusts to 5/8, ¾, 1, 1 3/16, and 1 3/8-inch pin length.
So, you don’t have to do it manually.
Besides the handsome magazine this nailer also offers to reload indicator (orange-colored). So, you can easily recognize the low pin quantity. It prevents dry firing.
If you are not new to woodworking tools or power tools world, I bet you know how good Hitachi is as a brand.
This particular pin nailer is not any exception. You won’t have to spend a lot of money to afford this nailer either.
All in all, to me this is one of the best bangs for your bucks.
#2. Grex Pin Nailer/Nails Reviews: Grex P635 23 Gauge
- Powerful motor penetrates fasteners through the hardest materials
- Shoots fasteners up to 1-3/8-inch length easily, even-inch hardwoods
- Patented design eliminates need to adjust for different fastener lengths
- Double trigger safety prevents accidental firing of tool
- Narrow nose reaches tight areas and corners for detailed trim work
And the 2nd tool on our reviews of the top pin nail gun of 2019 is Grex Pin Nailer P635. This is without a doubt one of the most high-performance pneumatic pin nailers you could get. It pierces the hardest materials a pin nail gun could deal with, even hardwoods.
It accepts a massive variety of pins. And it is reliable. But unfortunately, it doesn’t have a pin depth adjustment, which means that you would have to rely on the right pin length choice.
Overall, P635 would perfect for those who are not going to save an air pin nailer and want to get a durable and powerful tool.
Compared to other models reviewed, the magazine capacity of only 100 pins is quite ridiculous. You will have to reload P635 much more frequently.
The magazine of P635 accepts 3/8 to 1 3/8-inch pin nails. The auto-adjusting magazine construction will free you from the need to regulate the fastener for each pin length. The magazine also has a reload indicator.
Dual trigger mechanism
The triggers are positioned close to each other, which, on the one hand, will require you to stretch out your fingers less, and on the other, may make distinguishing between the safety and main trigger a little bit more difficult.
The rear exhaust of P635 is remarkable for its built-in silencer, which reduces the noise level of the tool when removing oil and debris.
The jam release mechanism is similar to the ones of all the pin nail guns we already reviewed. You just need to remove the nosepiece with the provided hex wrench.
P635 is not exactly compact. But it is lightweight for sure! Although the manufacturer could have been more clear on the weight in the product description – it says that P635 weighs 2.21 pounds while the tech specs show 3.9 pounds. Either way, P635 is quite lightweight. This tool measures 11.2 x 12.9 x 3 inches.
P635 comes with a no-mar tip, a 1 3/8-inch headless pinner, carry case, a bottle of tool lubricant, and a set of hex keys.
#3. Bostitch Pin Nailer Review: BOSTITCH HP118K 23Ga
- 1/2 Inch to 1 3/16 Inch 23 Gauge Pin Nailer, Low Profile Nose Piece Tapers for Clear Site
- Adjustable High/Lower Power Switch for Depth Control and Longer Life
- Lightweight and Durable Aluminum Housing
- Includes Nailer, 1/4 inch Air Fitting, Oil, Nail Selection, Carrying Case, and Belt Hook
- 7 Year Limited Warranty
Unlike previous models, BOSTITCH HP118K is more about longer pin nails. It is both quite reliable and functional, so it would be a much better choice if you want to buy a versatile and durable tool.
Although it has a couple of downsides like no no-mar tips in the kit, we think that HP118K is overall better than the previous two reviewed models.
The magazine capacity of HP118K is quite impressive – it holds up to 200 pin nails! As for the automatic adjustability of the magazine, it is not mentioned in the product features, so we can’t say for sure if it is there.
Bostitch 23 GA Pin Nailer model HP118K accepts ½ to 1 3/16-inch 23-gauge pins. The magazine also has no reloaded indicator.
Dual trigger mechanism
The dual trigger safety mechanism is quite common with pin nailers, so it is no surprise that HP118K has it.
Fortunately, HP118K has a rear exhaust to keep oil and debris away from the workpiece. But unfortunately, you won’t be able to retain complete cleanness of the materials as this tool doesn’t have no-mar tips.
BOSTITCH states that HP118K has an adjustable power switch for depth control. It is somewhat unclear whether the same switch controls both or not. Maybe that’s some marketing trick to make HP118K seem different. Nonetheless, this tool has a pin drive depth adjustment.
The jam release mechanism is the same as with the previous models. Too bad that HP118K doesn’t come with a wrench to help you with removing the nosepiece a little bit.
According to some user reviews, this tool is exceptionally prone to jamming, although it seems that those are some individual cases rather than a product defect.
Regarding dimensions, HP118K is neither too big nor compact. It measures 11 x 12 x 3 inches and weighs 4.6 pounds.
The accessory kit of HP118K is quite lovely. It includes the tool itself, ¼-inch air fitting, ½, ¾, and 1-inch pins (500 each), tool lubricant, and carry case.
#4. Cadex Pin Nailer Review: V2/21.55 21 Gauge Pinner / Brad Pin Nailer
- Comes with deluxe SYSTAINER cae
- Built in blow gun, anti dry fire
- Rear exhaust, swivel coupler
- Contact Safety (cannot fire unless pressure on nose)
- Uses 21 Ga pins & brads from 1/2" - 2-3/16" (12-55mm)
The Cadex 21 Gauge nailer is designed for professionals who want to provide the best in the field. Superior construction along with incredible features to fasten the nail delivers excellent service with ease and comfort.
Features and Benefits
Comfortable Use through Lightweight Construction
The nailer kit comes with a well-balanced construction. Also, it implies a reasonably lighter weight. The user-friendly design delivers proper handling. It ensures continuous operation with ease of use.
Deters Dry Firing along with Nail Lockout
A frequent dry firing reduces the precision of the placement. To avoid this problem, it includes a superb nail lockout facility. The facility doesn’t allow the last nail to be shot from the chamber. You need to reload for firing.
Further Customization with 360° Exhaust
You can make sufficient adjustments for the air hose location through the rear exhaust which can rotate about 360°. If the hose gets into the in-sight lines, then you can easily keep it away by adjusting the rear exhaust.
Magazine Window Provides Visual Recognition
The magazine tends to become empty over repetition. You can check out the current amount of nails through the window at the chamber. The window offers you a perfect visualization to estimate the reload. You will know when to reload over large-scale nailing.
Plenty of features make this unit a pretty good option to work on harder surfaces. You will get this device at a reasonable price which will meet your expectations with the best possible performance.
#5. Senco Fastening Systems 8F0001N 1-3/8″ Headless Pinner
- This product is easy to use
- This product is highly durable
- Manufactured in China
This Senco nailer kit offers industrial-strength imparts intricate finishing and sensitive trimming projects. The pins can fasten even the smallest pin with utmost care and safety to ensure the ultimate destination.
Features and Benefits
Powerful Driving Encroaches Harder Surfaces
The headless pinner offers incredibly powerful placement of nails. Again, it can drive through typical hard surfaces with ease. Along with mighty force, you can make nail placement even for the hardest surfaces available at your house.
Automated Adjustment for Different Fasteners
One of the excellent features of this unit is the magazine adjustment. And the best part is automatic to fit different fasteners. With the automated fitting, it encourages the best possible placement with every fastener you use.
Comfortable Operation with Ergonomic Handle
There comes one ergonomic handle on the top of the frame. The frame is attached with industrial strength. Through the handle, you can carry the machine for all the day with utmost ease and comfort.
Easier Accessibility through Ultra-Narrow Nose
Along with an ultra-narrow nose tip, you can make a more sensitive placement. The narrow tip also enables you to reach tight areas. Therefore, you can get easier access to difficult-to-reach places.
Prevents Dry Firing with Last Nail Lockout
Dry firing is indeed harmful to the precision of the placement. To avoid this phenomenon, it includes the last nail lockout facility. With the facility, the last nail remains in the chamber which won’t fire before reloading.
Combining some of the best features, it can give you the perfect decorative outlook. To provide an almost invisible hole at the hardest surface, you can rely on this ergonomic nailer kit.
#6. PORTER-CABLE PIN138 23 Gauge 1-3/8-Inch Pin Nailer Reviews
- Uses 23-gauge headless and slight head pin nails from 5/8-Inch to 1-3/8-Inch length
- Long life maintenance free motor to keep from staining the work surface
- Includes: nailer, 2000 pin nails of 3/4-Inch, 1/4-Inch plug with cap, wrench, and carrying case
- Consistent power and penetration to sink 1-3/8-Inch nail sub-flush into oak
- Tool automatically adjusts for different fastener lengths for easier loading
Regarding pin length, PIN138 is as versatile as Hitachi NP35A, but unlike the latter, it has no problems with driving pins. PORTER-CABLE has done a pretty good job of designing one of the best pin nail guns in its price range.
It is excellent for an extensive range of pin gun tasks and doesn’t have any significant downsides. Sure, it won’t drive pins as well as high-end models, but it does a pretty good job for its price tag.
PIN138’s magazine holds up to 130 pin nails, which is quite low compared to other models we reviewed. If you are working on larger projects, you may need to reload more frequently compared to more capacious models.
This tool accepts 5/8 to 1 3/8-inch pin nails. The magazine automatically adjusts for different pin sizes. Lastly, the magazine has a load indicator, which will alert you when the tool begins to run out of nails.
Dual trigger mechanism
Yes, the dual-trigger mechanism is still here with all its upsides as well as inconveniences.
PIN138 has a rear exhaust mechanism to drive oil and debris away from the material you are working on.
This model boasts quite convenient depth controls, which will allow you to drive nails of varying length into different materials precisely.
The jam release mechanism is still the same – you have to remove the nosepiece. Fortunately, PIN138 comes with a wrench to help you with it.
PIN138 is the most compact model we reviewed today! It is quite lightweight as well, although not as light as Hitachi NP35A. PIN138 measures 9.5 x 2 x 7.5 inches and weighs 3 pounds.
Apart from the nailer itself, PIN138’s kit includes 2000 ¾-inch pin nails, ¼-inch plug with cap, a wrench, no-mar tip, and carrying case.
#7. Porter-Cable 23 Gauge Pin Nailer: PORTER-CABLE PIN100
- The product is Pin Nailer Kit
- Easy to use
- The product is manufactured in China
- Uses 23 ga. micro pin nails from 1/2-inch to 1-inch long similar to Senco models
- Tool automatically adjusts for different fastener lengths for esier loading
PORTER-CABLE PIN100 is the 7th pin nail gun in our pin nailer review and buyers guide of 2019. It is also a Pneumatic. Regarding driving pins, it is less versatile than NP35A. On the other hand, it doesn’t have issues with firing the supported pin sizes.
PIN100 has some considerable downsides. Firstly, the manufacturer didn’t put a depth adjustment mechanism on this tool.
Additionally, it seems that PIN100 doesn’t have a rear exhaust mechanism. But maybe, PORTER-CABLE just didn’t bother to put this data in their product description?
Another sad downside is that this model doesn’t come with no-mar tips. So if the integrity of the materials is essential for you, PIN100 is not the best choice.
All in all, PIN100 will be a good pick if you do not need a very versatile tool and do not need depth adjustment that much. Otherwise, you should probably look for something more functional and flexible.
PIN100 accepts ½ to 1-inch long pin nails. Not as great of variety, but you can be sure that the tool will reliably drive any nail that the magazine can take. By the way, the magazine holds up to 170 pin nails!
PIN100 has a low nail indicator as well to remind you about reloading the magazine.
Dual trigger mechanism
The dual trigger feature has also made its way onto PIN100. It is no different than with NP35A, so you already know what’s right and bad about it.
Again, you would have to remove the nosepiece to unjam the tool. Sadly, the tool doesn’t come with a wrench.
As it seems from the product description, PIN100 is more compact than NP35A but weighs more. PIN100 measures 10.4 x 2.9 x 12.9 inches and weighs 4.2 pounds.
PIN100 comes with a carry case, oil, and a set of pins. It would be great if PORTER-CABLE also puts some no-mar tips!
What is a pin nailer used for?
The best part of a pin nail gun is we can use it for clamping when the glue drys. For trim returns and outside corners, we can use this nailer to install a little crown or baseboard if we cross the nail and use construction adhesive. Making furniture, we also use this great tool.
The tool is excellent for gluing/nailing in different pieces. It is a must-have tool for homeowners, but we think it seems to come in handy on just about all the jobs at a few points.
In the matter of their application, pin nailers are much more specific than brad and finish nailers. Although brad nailer/finish nailers each differ in the nail size, they are suitable for a much more comprehensive variety of tasks than pin nailers.
Moreover, some workers even consider pin nailers to have little to no use and prefer bigger tools to them. Well, those who do not need the features of pin nailers would obviously find them useless. But many workers and we think that pin nailers are beautiful instruments.
Difference between Pin Nailer to other nailers
So what’s so different between pin nailers and bigger instruments? The main and the only substantial difference is the nail size. The 23 gauge nails are super thin and thus leave almost no holes in the material, eliminating the need to putty them.
Another factor hugely contributing to the absence of holes is that pin nails typically do not have nail heads. But this also means that it is nearly impossible to carefully remove the nail from the material without damaging both if you have driven it deep.
The lightness and thinness of 23 gauge nails imply that they are not useful with thicker, denser, and denser workpieces. You may find that they cannot hold the majority of materials in place.
Overall, pin guns would be ideal for the most delicate and thin trim pieces, little furniture trim, super-thin veneers, and other similar materials. Besides, these nailers could be used to temporarily hold a workpiece in place while the glue, which will be the primary thing keeping the material, dries out. This is what we meant that pin nailers are much more specific than brad or finish nailers! Read How to Drive a Nail Without Splitting the Wood.
Now, let’s begin and see what those five best pin nailers are!
Types of Pin Nailers
There are two types of pin nailers – pneumatic and electric. With the latter, the majority of the tools you can find are cordless and operate on a battery. In this regard, these nailers are identical to brad and finish nailers, which can also be either air- or battery-powered.
Each type has its specifications as well as upsides and downsides. Let’s now examine them one by one.
Pneumatic (air-powered) Pin nailer
Pneumatic pin nailers operate on compressed air, which is delivered by an air compressor. This means two things – firstly, your compressor needs to provide the tool with enough pressure and capacity; secondly, you need to have an air compressor in the first place.
A good thing about air tools is that the runtime will depend on the air compressor, so you could pretty much get the pin gun working for as long as you need it to.
Air tools are cheaper but cost much more in the long run because they require more maintenance, which may be more related to the compressor and not the tool. Knowing that you would need to take care of not only the tool itself but the air compressor as well is quite crucial in determining your budget.
Besides, if your air compressor operates on electricity, you won’t be able to work on job sites with no power. Let’s now see what the pros and cons of air pin nailers are:
Electric Pin Nailer
The electric cordless pin nailer operates on batteries. It means that as long as you have a battery charger, you will be able to work anywhere you need.
The electric pin nailer is more powerful and thus less compact. They have higher price tags, which are compensated by the less need of maintenance in the long run.
There is one downside regarding the batteries. Though there are quite a lot of models with Li-Ion batteries, some tools feature NiCad batteries, which lose capacity due to the memory effect if not drained and then fully recharged regularly.
How to choose the top affordable pin nailer?
Now rises the next question – how do you know which model is the top quality pin nailer?
To answer this question, you will need to know three things – your needs, budget, and the features of pin nail guns you need. While the first two are upon you, we can help with the features by examining what’s important and what you should look for.
We have already researched and examined the differences between the two main types of these nailers. If you need a portable, powerful tool, and you don’t care about its compactness or the price tag, an electric cordless pin nailer would be an ideal choice.
Otherwise, if your requirements are the other way around, e.g., you need a cheaper and more compact instrument and want to get or already have an air compressor, go for a pneumatic pin nailer. Just don’t forget about the higher maintenance costs!
With air-powered pin nail guns, the necessity of connecting the tool to the air compressor can become inconvenient during work. The hose can get under your feet and tangle. A swivel tube will provide you with additional comfort and will allow you to move more freely on the worksite.
While some pin nailers accept 5/8 to 1 3/8-inch pin nails, others work with 1/2 to 1 3/16-inch nails. Thereby, you will need to find out which size of nails you need your pin nail gun to support.
This will be critical in two cases – you either want to use specific sizes of nails on your workpiece or already have pin nails from an older device (or maybe they are just lying around) and want to use them. So make sure that the pin nail sizes supported by the tool are the ones you need.
An adjustable nail drive will allow you to gain control of how thick you drive the pin nails. This will surely depend on the thickness of the material you are working on as well as your goals. Additionally, you would probably need to adjust the depth if you switch to longer or shorter nails, even if the material and your task remain the same.
This may or may not be vital for you. If you are specifically looking for a tool requiring less frequent reloading, a tool with a large magazine would be perfect.
Pin Nailer Uses
As rather specific tools, these nailers have both advantages and disadvantages. While the nailers probably won’t be able to hold the majority of materials in place and will struggle with piercing stronger pieces, they have some undeniable benefits that can turn out to be the ones you need.
Works with the most delicate materials
Thanks to their thinness, 23-gauge nails can be driven into the most sensitive materials without even slightly damaging them. Where the thick 18- or 16-gauge nails would merely utterly destroy your workpiece, a pin nail gun would shine and show what it has indeed got.
Almost invisible holes
23-gauge pin nails are so thin that they leave little to no holes in the material. Plus, those nails mostly have no nail heads, which additionally enforces the hole-less effect of 23-gauge nails.
No need to putty the nail holes
This benefit is directly related to the size and the head-less design of pin nails. Compared to finish nails, which often leave awful holes in the material, and brads, which are an entirely bit better in that matter, pin nails mostly won’t require you to putty the nail hole.
This will be great if you want to save your time and materials. Additionally, if you are after the looks of the material, the tidier appearance of the pin nail holes will surely help you.
Can be used to fix a workpiece temporarily
While pin nails probably won’t work as permanent fixers even with light materials, they could do a pretty good job of holding two pieces of equipment in place while the glue between them dries out.
Just drive the nails as thick as necessary for you to be able to remove them then quickly and without damaging the material and wait until the glue dries!
Pin Nailer Safety
If you are a residential carpenter or a professional guy, a nail gun is a must-have tool for the different types of construction work like framing and roofing. But if you are not an expert and only a weekend hobbyist with very little experience using a nailer, I think before using any nail gun you should read the full user manual. Don’t forget to use protective gear like safety glasses, ear protection, work gloves; and study safe work practices for nailers.
Sometimes the best solution may be even simpler and more reliable: consider using a hammer instead of a nail gun. According to the CDC nail guns are one of the leading causes of injury especially among the residential carpenters and every year approximate 37,000 people visit the emergency room. For more safety tips visit NailGunSafety: the facts.
How to use a Pin Nailer? (Expert Explained)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Question #1: So is there a point in getting a pin nailer?
Answer: If you have a piece of material that you know will break down if you try to use even a brad nailer, you should get a pin nailer. Having it would be a much better option than trying to accurately pierce a workpiece without damaging it with a more prominent tool, which poses higher risks of fracturing the material. All in all, if you know that you need the features of pin nailers, you should buy one.
Question #2: Do pin nailers have multiple trigger options like a bump or sequential?
Answer: No, these nailers mostly do not have those features.
Question #3: What’s the difference between pin nailers and brad/finish nailers?
Answer: Brad and finish nailers are more alike than pin nailers and brad/finish instruments. Pin nailers typically do not have multiple trigger modes, unlike Brad and finish nailers.
Another noteworthy difference is that pin nailers have a higher magazine capacity, which is the result of the less thick nails. Not to mention more than 23-gauge nails.
As for other features, they will depend on the specific models and will differ from one unit to another. Read Brad Nailer vs Finish Nailer: What’s the best in 2020?
Question #4: Can a brad nailer replace a pin nailer?
Answer: Not if the material is so delicate that even 18 gauge brads damage it. Apart from the damage, brads have nail heads while pin nails do not, which means that you won’t be able to replicate the functions of a pin nailer fully. Here are the differences between Pin nailer and brad nailer.
Pin nailers designed for quite particular purposes, yet it doesn’t mean that they cannot be useful for you. Although some operators have not discovered a use for the features of pin nailers, it doesn’t say that you will not.
If you wanna work with the most sensitive materials, a good 23 GA Pin Nailer will be irreplaceable.
If you are looking for the quality and affordable pin nailer, you should have all the data you need to make the right decision after you are done reading this material. We have presented you with the purpose and the benefits of pin nailers.
You already know what features are essential and what you need to consider. Besides, you have seen five great tools, which should at least give you some perspective on what you can find out there.
If you find the best pin nailer after reading our 23 gauge pin nailer reviews, do not hesitate and get it! Otherwise, if you haven’t discovered the perfect tool, you will have to continue to look further. Just remember the points you need to account for, and you will surely find what you are looking for!