Author Topic: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?  (Read 1491 times)

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Offline smorgasbord

  • Posts: 118
23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« on: September 18, 2022, 01:12 PM »
I have a 18-gauge brad nailer that I've been pretty happy with, but the holes it leaves are sometimes too big. I've done a lot of trim around the house (still have more to go), and am thinking about getting a 23-gauge pin nailer. DeWalt makes one that does up to 2" long nails (think nailing through the trim, then ⅝" of drywall to get to the stud), but am wondering about the holding power of those headless nails. Any thoughts out there? Should I just keep the 18-gauge and wax-color matching or try out the 23-gauge pin for applications closer to eye-level?

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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1527
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2022, 01:49 PM »
I have a 23 gage.  Not working for several years with no plans to repair it.

My experience is that anything longer than an inch has the nail following the grain with no telling where it will exit (even into your finger which was well out of the trajectory.

I used it for my picture framing business but the nails did not reliably travel where planned. I ended up buying about 100 micro drill bits and pre-drilled and used a brad push setter. More reliable. 

I still have the brad push setter.  I couldn’t tind the micro drill bits the last time I looked.  They are only necessary for hardwoods.  For soft woods I could push the brads all the way.

Note with the 23 gage gun, the push bar was a horizontal piece and I had to fill those dents anyway. So the 18 gage made more sense.

Before buying the 23 gage check to see the size and depth of dent it makes in the surface.

Offline SDWW2019

  • Posts: 88
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2022, 02:29 PM »
Simple answer = no (do not use a 23g pin nail for standard residential trim).

Depending on materials and what you are attaching, continue to smartly use the 18g. From my experience, 23g pin nail is great to hold thin material while glue sets up, building jigs, or for wood to wood attachment using thin material (e.g., picture frames, thin decorative trim, attaching thin solid wood edge banding, etc.). A 23g pin nail does not have the strength for what you are proposing.

As for reliability and use. In regards to 18g and 23g nailers, I use ones from GREX. They work flawlessly when matched with a proper compressor and proper placement when nailing (e.g., no issues with blow out of nail/pin). 

Hopefully my 2-cents helps.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2022, 03:34 PM »
They are great for some things. Will hold very small trim pieces that don't have any tension. And work well in conjunction with glue. I really like having a pinner and use it often But for 23ga will not hold anything bigger by itself.


Seth

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 436
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2022, 03:44 PM »
The standard brad size for UK trim is 16ga with a flat, disappearing rectangular head - with the most common size being 38mm (an inch and a half). Material such as baseboards or other trim fixed on with these (even into soft drywall) gives a very solid fixing which really has to be levered to get it off, but it's also standard practise over here to use a few blobs of grab adhesive or silicone as an additional supplement. It's then usually the responsibility of the painter to fill the tiny holes and sand flat before painting, although I usually do this myself using 2-pack filler which sets in 15 minutes. The same product is also available over here in a huge range of colour shades which exactly match a large variety of timber types and are virtually invisible. I also believe (rightly or wrongly) that any misdirection or inaccuracy in the nail placement is often down to accidental user error, or it not being shot into the material fast enough and therefore deflecting, but that's just my opinion based on maybe 10,000 nail shots per year without incident. My personal weapon of choice is a Paslode IM65A gas nailer. Wonderful machine.

I'd also echo the comments of other contributors, and suggest you stay with your 18ga.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 03:55 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1527
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2022, 03:46 PM »
For those not familiar with a brad pusher, this video will help.  I would ignore the practice of cutting your own brads.  I keep small brads in stock in various sizes, and especially very small ones about 1/2” long. 

My favorite application is to use it for aligning trim to be glued.  I push in about half way the small brads in the glue area of the stock.  I use end nippers to cut off the head of the brad leaving about 1/8” proud of the surface.  That little bit will be very sharp.  I then apply the glue and then press the molding in place.  Once you press the molding onto the sharp protruding end, it will not slide out of position.  I use enough to assure accurate placement of the molding.  Once pressed in place I use masking tape to hold it in place while the glue dries.  No holes to putty.  I use this method frequently, especially if the piece does not get painted.  For most painted pieces, I will fill the holes made with my 18 gage nailer.  But for stained pieces, I don’t want any holes at all.

The brad pusher and end nippers solve that problem.


Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 206
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2022, 08:04 AM »
I picked up a 21 GA nailer that has been become my de facto choice for most tasks. It shoots both headless fasteners and brads.  Much less noticeable hole than an 18 GA even when shooting brads. I still use a 23 GA as well, but usually on outside miters of moldings, (typically with glue), and as mentioned earlier for holding glued items together and creating jigs. I’ll second the Grex pinners, I have one that will shoot up to 2” pins.  My 21 GA is made by Cadex, and works just as well as the Grex. The 21 GA fasteners can occasionally deflect, but much more rarely than the 23 GA pins. I can’t even remember the last time I had one of them exit the side of the wood.
Clint

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1843
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2022, 06:44 PM »
Same as thudchkr, I use a 21ga combo nailer, though I have never shot headed nails with it. I generally use it for bigger things and where glue is involved. I also use it as a temporary tacker on things that I know I am going to take back apart. The pieces will pull apart easier, without damage, and the nails themselves will pull out too. I find that 23ga pins don't pull out of the substrate very well. I have a special pair of pliers that are designed to pull nails. They pull the 21ga very well, not so much with the 23ga, they break when pulled.
I do have an 18ga too, but don't use it nearly as often. I don't even own anything bigger than that.
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Offline fraz

  • Posts: 36
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2022, 08:32 PM »
As mentioned, the 18ga is the ticket for residential trim.  I have a great little Hitachi 23ga pin nailer and it's only used for light-duty trim.  Only thing I used it for in residential stuff was framing some valances to hide the blind mechanism above windows.  Was great for that because it was paint ready right away.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4293
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2022, 08:58 AM »
My experience is that anything longer than an inch has the nail following the grain with no telling where it will exit (even into your finger which was well out of the trajectory).

Concur, but I'd add the word "anticipated" before "trajectory".  Don't ask how I know...   [mad]
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline smorgasbord

  • Posts: 118
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2022, 02:26 AM »
Thanks all, seems unanimous - you saved me some money and trouble.

Offline smorgasbord

  • Posts: 118
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2022, 01:23 PM »
OK, so what about splitting the difference and adding a 21-gauge nailer to by 18-gauge?
Like this one from Senco: https://www.senco.com/senco-tool/2-21-gauge-pinner/

Quote
The 21-gauge offers more holding power than a 23-gauge tool and leaves a smaller hole than an 18-gauge brad nailer, creating the perfect middle ground between the two.

Grex makes one, Cadex also. Anyone else?

Offline Peter Kelly

  • Posts: 140
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2022, 12:52 PM »
Omer has a few different 21 gauge models. https://www.chicagostaplewarehouse.com/collections/omer

I've got 16 and 18 gauge Omer brad nailers, like them a lot.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1843
Re: 23-gauge Pin Nailers?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2022, 06:10 PM »
@smorgasbord The one I have is Cadex. It came in a Systainer, just like the Festool equipment. The insert is not as good though. It looks similar, but it doesn't hold onto the hex keys as well as it should. There are grooves for the supplied tools, but they just sit there, no snap it place, so they will move. There is a space inside for a box of nails, but none come with the tool.
I have used mine for nearly 3 years, in a commercial shop, and it has been fine. I just recently had to get a new box of 1 3/16" pins, meaning that it has shot more than 10k nails
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation
MFT clamps set
Installers set
Centrotech organizer set