23 Ga Pin Nailer

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  • 23 Ga Pin Nailer

    In ever growing appetite for tools, I am thinking a 23 gauge pin nailer will be a good tool to have around.

    Is that true or is it just another case of "wanting" than "needing"? What is the experience of the experienced people here. And if so what is a good brand? Any "good" or "bad" experience with the "Banks" brand nailer sold at Harbor Freight? I see prices ranging from low $20s to almost $300 !!

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by nicer20; 07-26-2022, 10:28 AM.

  • #2
    I have a Ryobi cordless pinner and cordless 18 gauge Ryobi as well as air powered nail guns in 18 and 16 gauge. I probably use the 18 gauge the most to hold things - typically plywood back panels - while the glue sets. I've used the pinner to hold small bits of mitered molding along the inside edge of raised panel doors. Those pieces are next to impossible to clamp; pinners do that job well. Pinners are also handy when making jigs or patterns, or to hold patterns to a workpiece when double-sided tape isn't good enough. I can't think of any other jobs I've used my pinner on. 1/2 to 1 inch lengths are what I typically use in my pinner. Why did I go with Ryobi? Simply because I already have Ryobi batteries. I didn't compare other brands. I find I use my cordless Ryobi units far more than either of my (older) Senco or Ridgid brand air compressor powered tools.

    No idea about the Banks brand. Prior HF nailers generally had good reputations - they usually were part of the "HF Gems" list versus the "HF junk" list.

    What I would look for in any nailer:
    1. Can the exhaust port be rotated/moved so you can aim it away from your face no matter where you're using the tool? Rear exhausts (by the hose instead of at the head of the gun) are even nicer but are far more rare. This is especially important on air compressor powered nailers as the exhaust will include an oil mist.

    2. What is needed to clear jams: does the nailer have a quick-release cover, or do you need an Allen wrench or other tool, etc. Tool-free is really nice. One of my cordless nailers needs an Allen wrench and tightening those screws past "snug" would lead to jams. It was a hassle until I tried a dry lubricant on the hammer and guide area. That cured the jam issue.

    3. Most air powered nailers need a bit of oil dribbled into the air port prior to each use. Cordless nailers don't need this oil. I've found though a light oil shot into the base of the piston mechanism helps a ton - helping to seal the rubber o-ring. One of my Ryobi cordless nailers seemed weak until I did this. A dry lubricant on the hammer mechanism (the metal strap driven by the piston that in turn drives the nail) makes a ton of difference.

    mpc

    Comment


    • #3
      mpc Thank you for the pointers.

      Yes I too, have the Ryobi 18Ga battery powered nailer and it has been super useful. In fact that is the first Ryobi cordless tool I acquired last year that put me into their system.

      I am also looking at the pin nailer (23 Ga) for all the similar reasons you mention such as small glue ups and jigs. What I have heard is that, these 23 Ga pin nails are also very small and don't damage the carbide edges on table saws and router bits if accidently cut through. Now that is not necessarily an excuse for being sloppy but I guess a possibility always exists especially in shop made jigs.

      BTW didn't know Ryobi also has a cordless pin nailer. Got to check that out.

      Back to my Ryobi cordless brad nailer (18 Ga) I will try to use the dry lube you mention. I guess I will have to open the tip and access the mechanism through the nail jam clearing area. Am I right?

      Now, for applying a drop of oil for sealing the rubber O-ring, where do I access that? Any pointers will be appreciated.

      Thanks once again - I keep learning a lot from your very insightful responses.

      Comment


      • LCHIEN
        LCHIEN commented
        Editing a comment
        I've cut through a few 18 ga brads (not always on purpose) and they don't seem to cause an issue.
        Most air tools you should either use an oiler in the air (which I don't because I have an oilless compressor and want to keep the air stream clean) or you put a couple of drops of tool oil into the air inlet nozzle of the tool every time you use it which is what I do.
        A clean air stream keeps the hoses clean and also when you use it to blow clear surfaces you don't get oil on your work and if you use it for paint you won't get oil in the paint!
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 07-26-2022, 06:53 PM.

      • mpc
        mpc commented
        Editing a comment
        On my nailer, squirting a tiny bit of oil into the head area was enough to lubricate the piston/o-ring area. Holding the tool with the nail outlet pointing straight up, I just shot the lubricant downwards in the gaps around the hammer mechanism. I didn't have to disassemble anything.

        mpc

    • #4
      I don't know about the newer ones, but the old purple Central Pnuematic 23 ga pin nailers were awesome. Did what they needed it to do, mine will likely outlast me, and it just works, no jams, no hiccups etc... The changed them some years back to silver / red, but still hear good things about them...
      Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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      • #5
        I have an older Harbor Freight Central Pneumatic 23 ga. pin nailer and a supply of 1" and 1/2" long pin strips.
        Yeah at $20 or so they can be useful if you need such an item.
        They are obviously not good for strong structural stuff, but they are quite handy for small crafty items... small boxes, I used them for small picture and CD sized display stands/easels.
        Their big advantage is that they don't tear up stuff and the pins being headless are covered and hidden completely by a coat of paint or simply not noticeable. They don't have a lot of holding power, I tend to use them with a dab of wood glue to hold everything together as the glue sets.

        For me I have the following pneumatic fastening tools:
        23 ga. pin nailer
        two 18 ga brad nailers x 2" that get the lions share of nailing
        a 15 ga nailer
        a 1/2" wide crown stapler
        a 1/4" narrow crown stapler

        My experience with pneumatic nailers - I've owned several HF models, generics, Craftsman, Stanley Bostich and after some time they go bad, usually internal plastic parts go bad and you can't get replacements anymore. So I just tend to buy cheap ones now.

        .
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 07-26-2022, 06:08 PM.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

        Comment


        • dbhost

          dbhost
          commented
          Editing a comment
          It takes a while, but exactly what you said Loring. For my uses I have had Bostitch, and Craftsman and the HF ones seem to last as long and work just as well. No need to spend extra...

      • #6
        I have the Ryobi Pin nailer too, and use it on occasion. I use it to tack things together after gluing up, or to hold them in place when using multiple pieces - specifically in situations where I need 3 or 4 hands. Then when everything is in place, I use a bigger nailer or screws.

        I have been surprised at its usefulness.
        Hank Lee

        Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

        Comment


        • capncarl
          capncarl commented
          Editing a comment
          “I have been surprised by its usefulness”
          That’s a nice way of describing it!

        • capncarl
          capncarl commented
          Editing a comment
          “I have been surprised by its usefulness”
          That’s a nice way of describing it!

      • #7
        So, Nicer20 , did you get your pin nailer?

        Which one?
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

        Comment


        • #8
          Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post
          So, Nicer20 , did you get your pin nailer?

          Which one?
          No not yet. Based on the responses I am planning on trying out the Harbor Freight one. I was planning to swing by the store on my visit to a friend - it is the nearest for me. Some unforeseen roll of events - his mother passed away and our visit got postponed.

          I also had other things on my plate (actually In the midst of a bathroom vanity renovation right now) so just driving ~40/45 mins. each way for the nail gun got pushed down on my list too.

          Hopefully sometime soon.

          Thanks,

          Nicer

          PS - Bathroom renovation will be earning quite some credits from the SWMBO !

          Comment


          • #9
            Originally posted by nicer20 View Post

            No not yet. Based on the responses I am planning on trying out the Harbor Freight one. I was planning to swing by the store on my visit to a friend - it is the nearest for me. Some unforeseen roll of events - his mother passed away and our visit got postponed.

            I also had other things on my plate (actually In the midst of a bathroom vanity renovation right now) so just driving ~40/45 mins. each way for the nail gun got pushed down on my list too.

            Hopefully sometime soon.

            Thanks,

            Nicer

            PS - Bathroom renovation will be earning quite some credits from the SWMBO !
            I have more pins than I can use in a lifetime. PM me your mailing address and I can send you a couple of strips of 1/2" and 1" pins so you don't have to drop a bunch of money on pins right away.

            Loring in Katy, TX USA
            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

            Comment


            • nicer20
              nicer20 commented
              Editing a comment
              That is so nice of you. Thank you so much !!

          • #10
            As much as I hate to admit it, of the HF pneumatic nailers I have purchased and those that friends have purchased, the HF nailers seem to be as good as if not better than simular nailers sold under other brand names. They all seem to be make in China.

            Comment


            • #11
              Originally posted by capncarl View Post
              As much as I hate to admit it, of the HF pneumatic nailers I have purchased and those that friends have purchased, the HF nailers seem to be as good as if not better than simular nailers sold under other brand names. They all seem to be make in China.
              Maybe its that they are no worse.
              All my name brands failed with no available repair parts after a few years.
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

              Comment


              • capncarl
                capncarl commented
                Editing a comment
                Agree. I have been disappointed by the lack of longevity of ALL of my pneumatic nailers regardless of the brand or price. It’s always some silly plastic piece that fails and is no longer available.

              • nicer20
                nicer20 commented
                Editing a comment
                I have experienced the same problem in so many things around the house. I try to fix things as much possible to avoid sending things to landfill (and partly also because I like to tinker with things). But in most cases it is some stupid plastic piece that could have been designed more durable.

                I have now started suspecting that the manufacturers intentionally do not want the things to last long :-(

            • #12
              Planned obsolescence. A term conjured up by big large manufacturers to help them harvest more low hanging cash from their customers. Instead of building something of real quality they engineer it where ir just barely squeaks by the warranty before it fails. They don’t have to spend a lot of research money on all of the components, just a few that will fail and make the piece of equipment worthless… ie the plastic seal on a nail gun. The rest of the machine can look like a real nice heavy duty heirloom quality tool, but they know you will buy another replacement soon. I think the design fail point in electric tools, corded or battery, is the little dob of almost tar like grease that they smear on the reduction gears. They know that within a determined time it will sling off and the gears will slowly self destruct. Usually in 2-3 years, about the time you have forgotten how much money you spent and how much time and research you put into buying the best tool available. Yep, it’s a plan!

              Comment


              • nicer20
                nicer20 commented
                Editing a comment
                Very true !!

                I remember a few years ago I fixed my high end Philips DVD player. It used to misbehave in opening and closing tray function. I traced the problem to its power supply and found a bad power supply filter capacitor. It was on the brink of blowing out & hence the marginal operation.

                When I replaced it, I was shocked that for a 12V rail, they used a capacitor that was only rated for 16V. As an electronics design engineer I was trained to always use capacitors rated for at least twice the operational voltage. No wonder it kept getting stressed and drove it to failure.

                After a $0.25 expense for the retail cost of the capacitor (rated @40V) I now have DVD player working back for years since. The extra cost for a properly rated capacitor for the manufacturer at their volumes would have been only a couple of pennies more. For these couple pennies pinched I wonder how many pieces had been filling up e-Waste.

                I wonder when as design engineers we gave up the pride of designing things that lasts as our legacy. Sad state.
                Last edited by nicer20; 08-05-2022, 07:14 PM.
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