nail gun for kitchen install

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  #1  
Old 01-22-10, 02:38 PM
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nail gun for kitchen install

So after half a dozen trips down to my neighborhood HD, we finally bought a nice set of solid wood Kraftmaid kitchen cabinets.

After getting an idea of what they charge for installations, I decided that I would install the cabinets myself with a a little help from my regular laborer.

I am looking for a nailer for the trim, if anyone can give me some suggestions I would appreciate it.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 02:41 PM
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I'm sure you know you must use screws to hang the cabinets with. Most any brad or pin nailer will be fine for the small trim.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 02:46 PM
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Cabinets

As already stated, the boxes get installed with screws. Use either an 18 gauge finish nailer or a pin nailer to add the trim.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 03:17 PM
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Any suggestions on the make/model? Maybe a kit/set?
 
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Old 01-22-10, 05:30 PM
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Check at the big box stores. They will usually run a sale on compressor and several guns for less than $300, mostly Porter Cable, which is a good brand. Professionally, I use Bostitch and Senco framers, Bostitch narrow crown stapler, Porter Cable brad nailer, Dewalt airless finish nailer, Senco air type finish nailer. I mix and match for the job and the "deal" mostly.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 04:41 AM
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Before you buy an air compressor and nail gun, it would be a good idea to think about future jobs. What uses will you have for the compressor? What will you use a nail gun for after this job?

If it's a one time deal, renting or borrowing might be the way to go.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 07:28 AM
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Most trim will need a 16 gauge nail gun however an 18 gauge can't be beat for smaller moldings. I got my compressor and 18 gauge gun at Harbor Freight and my 16 gauge through Ebay. I did this because I wanted a brand name but didn't want to pay the price. By the way they are all made in China. The 18 gauge cost $18 dollars. Unless you plan on using a large nail gun and doing a lot of nailing you can get away with a small compressor. I bought the pancake one for $89 dollars but wish I had bought the smaller one. The pancake compressor is heavy to carry around.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 09:34 AM
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Right now I need it for a kitchen and kitchen trim that I am doing but Id rather not get something too specific to this job because Im not going to be doing kitchens every day.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 10:14 AM
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Basically there are 3 types of nail guns for finish work.

A pin nailer [18 gauge] good for small trim, leaves small nail hole. Only comes in short lengths. Don't own one and don't remember for sure but probably nails in the 1/2" - 1.5" range.

Brad nailer - little heavier and more holding power than a pin nailer. Nail sizes - 3/4" - 2.5" Not all guns can handle the longer lenghts.

15 gauge nailer similar to 16 gauge but the nail clip is on an angle making it easier to get to inside corners.

As per the compressor. Nail guns will work decent with a small compressor which will also air up tires. Impact and air hammers require a little more cfm volume. Sanders and paint guns use the most cfm and require a decent size compressor.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 11:12 AM
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I think mark may have forgotten a line in his post.

He typed this..
"15 gauge nailer similar to 16 gauge but the nail clip is on an angle making it easier to get to inside corners."


But I think he may have meant something like...
"Finish nailer...available in straight 16 ga and angled 15 ga. Normally handles up to 2 1/2" nails and is used for larger moldings like base, chair rail and crown. Leaves a larger hole but has more holding power. 15 gauge nailer similar to 16 gauge but the nail clip is on an angle making it easier to get to inside corners."


You may find a Senco kit with 2 or 3 guns for just slightly more than you'd pay for a PorterCable finish nailer alone. I got a 15 ga angled finish, 18 ga brad and stapler kit in a hard case a few yrs ago for $199. It may not be quite as fancy or have all the easy features as some...but it sure gets the job done.

Ahh...I mean look at this...can't beat the price! http://www.coastaltool.com/senco/1y0053n.htm

I do have a PC 2" brad nailer which probably gets used more than anything...but I still pull out the stapler for things like cabinet backs and upholstery/carpet (great for cat perches and scratchers) stuff. And the finish nailer gets used all the time on bigger projects.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 11:39 AM
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OK, I see progress here.

Now what am I going to need besides the screwgun, as far as a nail gun to install these kitchen cabinets and trim/moulding. Do I go with a brad or finish?
 
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Old 01-23-10, 04:12 PM
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Vic, my brain knew what I was saying even if my typing fingers didn't

If you think you'll have little use for a nail gun besides the thin moulding used with cabinetry - a pin nailer should be fine. A finish nailer might be a tad big for cabinet trim but if you plan to install baseboard or crown moulding later - you'll want the bigger 15 or 16 guage nailer.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 05:28 PM
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So are you saying the finish nailer is a better all around tool than the brad nailer? Is it going to work for my cabinet job?

Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Vic, my brain knew what I was saying even if my typing fingers didn't

If you think you'll have little use for a nail gun besides the thin moulding used with cabinetry - a pin nailer should be fine. A finish nailer might be a tad big for cabinet trim but if you plan to install baseboard or crown moulding later - you'll want the bigger 15 or 16 guage nailer.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 05:43 PM
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Wow...zizanio..that's not what he said at all. He said a pin nailer might be best. I think a brad nailer might be a better choice as you have a wider range of lengths and applications.

You should stop by some stores on the weekend..sometimes they have demo's going on. Call and ask if they can demonstrate. We used to do it all the time.

A finish nailer is a bit more versatile..but as has been explained..it depends on the trim and the usage....it will split smaller moldings and is overkill for the usage you asked about. You still haven't said exactly what trim you mean..have you?
 
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Old 01-25-10, 09:48 AM
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I was at the local HD yesterday playing around and was looking at the nailers. I noticed that the difference between the brad 18 gauge and finish 16 guage nails is unnoticeable or very close at best. That said, wouldnt I be better off with the finish nailer for all around use?
 
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Old 01-25-10, 10:29 AM
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Everything you needed to know has been stated. I don't know what you mean about 16 vs 18 ga...there's quite a difference in head size, shank size, and holding power. Also 16 ga will go up to about 2 1/2" where as I think the longest 18 ga I've seen is 2".

The finish nailer will normally shoot through hardwood trim and into framing w/o bending... sometimes the brad nailer with long nails can curl back on you if they hit a knot or hard spot. Or they may not fully seat and are pretty hard to set flush manually since they are so thin. Better to clip them off flush and drive a new nail.

Now..its already been said...finish nailer is better for thicker trim. If you are only talking about the small edge trim to cover gaps at the wall and ceiling...then the brad nailer with 2" max capacity is plenty and a finish nailer is pretty much overkill. You'd probably only need 1 -1 1/4" brads or less. If you plan on installing crown, chair rail, or base in the future...then why not look at some of the 2 or 3 gun kits? You get a lot more "bang for your buck" in kits most times. Even if you buy one with a compressor many times you will find someone to buy the comp and still come out ahead.

As I said before....I don't think you can beat the Senco kit for $180.

You appear to have made up your mind about getting the finish nailer...so just go buy it and return it if it turns out to be too big, awkward, or overkill for your job (which I believe it will).

You still have never said exactly WHAT trim you plan to install. Asking questions without providing requested followup info is kind of a waste of all our time.
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 01-25-10 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 01-25-10, 01:06 PM
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Remember once you buy a tool you will wonder how you ever got along with out it. Get both the 16 gauge and the 18 gauge you will find a use for both of them. Besides as stated you can buy the 18 gauge at Harbor Freight for $18 dollars or less. On sale I've seen them for $9.99
 
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