View Full Version : Pin nailer--what length nails?

Rob Blaustein
04-28-2009, 9:08 AM
I'm planning to get a 23-gauge pin nailer but am faced with a bewildering choice of nail lengths to get. For the nailer I'm looking at the range is 1/2 to 1 3/8 inches in increments of 1/16 inch. I'll probably get some headless and some slight-headed ones. For the typical uses of these nailers--crown, delicate trim, etc--what are useful lengths? I was hoping to get no more than two or three lengths. Are the really short ones like 1/2" all that useful? And do you ever use 1 3/8" or do you just figure that if you need something that long you're better off with an 18-gauge brad nailer instead?

Ron Bontz
04-28-2009, 9:19 AM
The longest pin nail I shoot is 1". They are handy little gizmos. I go to 18 gauge then. Best of luck.:)

Paul Ryan
04-28-2009, 9:20 AM

When I bought my nailer I bought 4 sizes, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/4. That was about 3 years ago. I have just recently bought a new box of 3/4" but the others have hardly been used. I use the 3/4" for everything. Ever so often I might use a 1"but the 3/4 are the most usefull if you ask me. The reason is most things I nail to are a least 3/4 think.

Karl Brogger
04-28-2009, 9:49 AM
I've got 3/4" & 1", the only other size I'd like to have is 5/8" for pinning doors together and panels in.

Greg Deakins
04-28-2009, 10:55 AM
I used up to two inch for stitch nailing a comercial project with metal studs while the silicone set up (i know there are better ways but I digress) the half inch works well for returning trim into the wall, you just hold the little return on the end and fire. presto. Because it really isnt providing much bonding, but mainly holding, I would use the 3/4 or 1" in most applications other than those specific ones mentioned.

glenn bradley
04-28-2009, 11:42 AM
I use a 21ga. pinner. I stock 1/2", 7/8", 1", 1-14" and 1-3/8". All were acquired as needed but since they come in boxes of "a-bunch" I have a stock of various lengths. I generally try to use the longest pin that makes sense.

John Callahan
04-28-2009, 12:20 PM
Used 3/4" and 1" mostly but the 1 3/8" got used for prestained crown on bookcases and cabinets .......... much smaller holes to fill.

Brett Nelson
04-28-2009, 12:49 PM
Well, unlike some other fasteners, the pin nails are very cheap and there are tons in each box. Just remember that they aren't really fasteners in the traditional sense. I only use them in situations where I'm waiting for glue to dry. The pin nails really offer very little holding power without the glue.

Get a box of 1/2", 3/4", 1", and 1 3/8". It'll cost you about $25 and you won't run out for a long time. But you might end up like me to a certain extent. Just trimmed out my new home and got a pin nailer 1/2 way through the project. My brad and finish nailers each see about 1/2 the use that they once did. I use glue and pin nails for just about everything now.

BTW, safety first. It is REALLY easy to shoot someone with a pin nailer accidentally. Much easier than a traditional nail gun with a safety mechanism on the tip. Not a big issue in a shop when you're alone, but when hanging trim in a house full of people, most of those guns will allow you to rattle off a few pins out into space and if the music is loud you won't even know your doing it. I guess the moral of the story is like in hunters safety, keep your finger away from the trigger and off the safety if you don't intend to shoot a nail.

Rob Blaustein
04-28-2009, 3:28 PM
Thanks for all the advice.
Brett--I didn't see the sort of prices you mentioned, but maybe it's because I was looking only at name brands. In a review I read, Gary Katz suggested sticking to the name brands since he said quality can fall off quickly with some of the lesser known imports. The ones I was looking at (Cadex, Bostitch, Grex) were all around $9-13 for a box of around 3000-4000 fasteners. So it can add up fast if I want some headless and some with slight heads.

Fred Hargis
04-28-2009, 3:33 PM
I had the same question,a dn didn't want to buy a whole box of every size, so i opted for this: http://www.amazon.com/P6-MP-3-Gauge-Multi-Pack-Headless/dp/B0012BV21W

Rob Blaustein
04-28-2009, 4:04 PM
I had the same question,a dn didn't want to buy a whole box of every size, so i opted for this: http://www.amazon.com/P6-MP-3-Gauge-Multi-Pack-Headless/dp/B0012BV21W

Brilliant idea. If only I saw this a few minutes ago before buying the ones I did... Wonder if I can change my order.

Steve Rozmiarek
04-28-2009, 7:33 PM
Rob, sounds like I'm too late, but if not, the guy that I by my Grex stuff from sells an assortment pack. It's actually suprising that you would use some of those wierd lengths, but I fing that I do. I have despretly needed 7/8", and 13/16". The short, 1/2" or 3/8" are great for a suprising amount of stuff as well.

www.thefastenercompany.com (http://www.thefastenercompany.com)

Jim Becker
04-28-2009, 11:14 PM
I use 1/2" pins all the time for "jigging". I also use the 1 3/8" pins for face frame work on built-ins where the face frame goes on after the carcasses are "up".

Rob Blaustein
04-29-2009, 12:29 AM
Do any of you use the "slight headed" pins? The nailer I bought can use both headless and the slight headed ones.