Help deciding on nail gun (16, 18, straight, angled)

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Old 11-09-08, 05:35 AM
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Help deciding on nail gun (16, 18, straight, angled)

I want to buy a Dewalt cordless nail gun. But I don't know which model I need. Aside from the bird houses and stupid stuff, I mostly want to use it to put down trim and molding. I am wanting to redo our home with nice molding/trim. Any opinions on which type to get. 16 gauge, 18 gauge, brad, straight or angled? Any thoughts appreciated.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 07:22 AM
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If I was buying a gun to use in the shop or at home it would be an air gun. You can get it cheaper and their are more options available. I have always been partial to Senco products. I have their framer, 1/2" crown stapler, 1/4" crown stapler, 15 gauge finish gun and the cordless finish gun. I have never had any problems with the nails or staples holding in whatever the material. Angled guns allow you to get into tighter spots than straight. I do not have much experience with the Dewalt cordless guns. I do know the Paslode cordless gun is very good, I've never seen it not sink a nail all the way. I got the Senco cordless because I did not want buy different nails but I have mixed feelings about its performance.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 10:26 AM
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Paslode guns are great but expensive and IMO are best used regularly. The have both a battery and a CO2 cartridge that it operates on. I'd be concerned that the gas would leak down if it sat a long time unused - but I don't know that to be a fact.

The corded electric brad guns have never impressed me - often they lack the power to completely set the nail. I would expect a battery powered gun would be similiar.

I agree with Bill that an air nail gun is the best choice - least ways if you have air
 
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Old 11-09-08, 10:40 AM
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I'm losing faith...you didn't really mean CO2 did ya? I think its more a mixture of Propane and Butane isn't it?

Just a little Sunday morning messin with ya.
btw...they do have shelf life....and thats probably before they are used.

Wish I could find the old discussion, but anyway..I too vote for a air powered gun for general use at home. The kits can be had cheap, esp this time of year. I also like the Senco, I found a 3 gun kit with an angled 15 Ga finish nailer for about $179 a few years ago, IIRC.

Hoses and connectors are relatively inexpensive, you'll be buying gas and/or batteries forever with a cordless. The cordless also require more maintenance I understand.

I saw the Dewalts at a demo a long time back, seems like they had to come up to speed to drive the nail, so there was kind of a delay?
 
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Old 11-09-08, 10:45 AM
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Ya, I think your right ......... but I got soooo much info packed into such a little brain
 
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Old 11-09-08, 10:59 AM
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Yeah, for not much more than the cost of one cordless gun, you can get a kit with two or three pneumatic ones and an air compressor.

The compressor will have all kinds of usefulness to you beyond driving nails.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 11:15 AM
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Nail Guns

I have Porter Cable air finish nailers, 16 & 18 gauge. I also have a Paslode cordless 16 gauge straight finish nailer. I use the Paslode 90 % of the time. I leave the gas cylinder in the nailer when stored with no leaking problems. If buying again, I would go with an angled nailer, rather than straight.

The compressor in the air nailer kit comes in handy when I need to inflate my truck tires.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 02:36 PM
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I have the Dewalt airless nailer and wouldn't be without it, but I do it for a living. I also have brad nailers, senco finish nailer, narrow crown stapler, several framers, and they all have their jobs. I couldn't justify the $400 for the Dewalt for a shop environment where you have access to an air supply. I use mine like on the third floor of houses doing trim where I don't want to drag a compressor or be tied up with 100 feet of hose tripping everyone in sight. Great gun however!!
 
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Old 11-09-08, 02:44 PM
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chandler....
Is there a spinup or delay when using the Dewalt? Or was I thinking of something else? I just remember that when you pushed the nose down the motor started, then you pulled the trigger a bit after.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 04:54 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts guys. I was wondering if someone would elaborate on which size to get. 16 gauge, 18 gauge, or brad? Not sure which would be needed. Mostly using it for putting down trim/molding. Some minor furniture perhaps. Got a few shelf projects I want to do in garage/workshop/closets. Any thoughts on which size nails would be best? Thanks for any input.
 
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Old 11-10-08, 03:21 AM
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GG, the Dewalt has no delay at all or maybe only a second. In fact it will contact trip as fast as you can hit the wood with the tip if you set it to do so. I remember my old Senco SFN40 had a delay, but that was because it used a spring compression/trip mechanism rather than a true head compressor.
Dan, I hate to say it, but you really need a good finish nailer that will handle 2 1/2" nails in 15 gauge, as well as an 18 gauge brad nailer that will handle up to 1 5/8"brads. The reason for this is when doing, say, base, you are driving through solid material through sheetrock then into your framing, so a longer nail is needed. But when you switch to shoe molding or the inside of door/window case, you need a smaller, shorter nail that won't split out the smaller wood but give good holding power. Also, the brad nailer will help holding furiture pieces together while your glue dries without the long, large diameter finish nail. Hope this helps.
 
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Old 11-10-08, 06:57 AM
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Thanks for the info. You confirm what I was already fearing. They sure are pricey, but I can see where it would be hard to find a one size fits all nail gun.
 
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Old 11-10-08, 10:24 AM
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It sounds as if most of your projects might be small. If so, I think you'll find an 18 ga. brad nailer to be more suited to the job. The smaller nail is less likely to split the product being nailed, leaves a smaller hole, still has good holding power- especially if you are simply "tacking" something together that has been glued. The 18 ga shoots up to a 2" nail, so it can even be used to shoot some of your thinner baseboard and casing profiles on, provided the nail will penetrate into at least 1" of framing.

Usually you'll know what the 18 ga won't work for... it will be apparent when it doesn't have the holding power. If you can only buy one, I'd suggest the 18 ga, and purchase a variety of nail lengths with it. 1 1/4, 1 5/8, 2".

If you plan to nail anything 1 1/2" thick, you'll definitely need a 15 or 16 ga finish gun. (I prefer angled guns)
 
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Old 11-10-08, 12:21 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts. I have got some helpful info here and I thank you. I just ordered the Dewalt 55140 air compressor, 2" 18 ga brad nail gun, and 15 ga 34 degree finishing nail gun. Seems that this combination will be most useful. I also got a 50' Goodyear yellow 3/8" hose and a Campbell Hausfeld compressor accessory pack with tire inflator, adapters, etc... The total for the compressor, brad nail gun, finish nail gun, and accessories was the price of just one of the cordless nailers. Feeling good about things. This is all I have thought about for days. While the cordless nail guns are sexy, the cost is a bit much. Especially when it became clear that there is no one nail gun that would meet all my needs. I got the 2" 18 ga brad nailer and the compressor in a kit for $169. Too good to pass up. And once I get my shop built, I can get a more powerful compressor and delegate this small one for jobs requiring more portability. Thanks for help guys. I would have made a mistake without your help.

Any thoughts on the suitability of using 2" 18 ga brad nails to put 1/4 round down with? That will be my first job. Tried reading online but can't get a clear answer about brad nail, 5/8" or 1.5" or 2", then the 15 ga finishing nails come in so many sizes. Just not sure which size nail goes with what task. Hoping to find out before I start shooting nails in my house. But at least now I will be SHOOTING nails, rather than pounding
 
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Old 11-10-08, 12:41 PM
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Depending on the size of the 1/4 round, 2" would be overkill. 1/4 round gets nailed to the base, not all the way to the stud. I've used 1 1/4" (and even 1" at the ends) on shoe molding with no problems, I'm sure it would be the same for 1/4 round.

Long nails for the base is appropriate, as was said, yer going through a lot of stuff to reach the stud.

Do a little practice on scraps before you go to it on the real job. Informative and fun! BANG BANG BANG!
 
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Old 11-10-08, 04:16 PM
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The 2" brads should be fine. The neat thing about a nail gun isn't the absence of hammering in the nail - it's the fact you don't have to set them
 
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