Recommendation for Pneumatic Air Nail Gun


Old 06-29-20, 01:22 PM
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Recommendation for Pneumatic Air Nail Gun

I'm putting in some new floor molding and quarter round for the first time and would like to get a recommendation for an pneumatic air gun that can accommodate both jobs. I also am not sure about what kind of nails I need and I presume I different sizes for the trim vs quarter round. Will the same gun even work for both?

I already have a husky air compressor.

Preferably it'd be something from Harbor Freight or something affordable since I don't do a lot of work so I don't need anything super high-end.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-29-20, 01:56 PM
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You'd want a 16 gauge or 15 gauge nailer. They will handle both your small trim and bigger trim if needed in the future. I used to own a HF 16 gauge nailer. It was a decent gun but it's next to impossible to get replacement parts when it wears out.

A pin nailer will also work if just used for small stuff.
Old 06-29-20, 04:29 PM
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Preferably it'd be something from Harbor Freight or something affordable
For the thousands time, a tool is not an expense, it's an investment. Buying a cheap HF tool will eventually fail then you will buy a better tool so the low cost option is buying a better tool today!

The only thing good about HF is using their 20% off coupons at a competitor to buy a better tool!
Old 06-29-20, 08:34 PM
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Depends on the size of trim you plan to use it on.

Trim guns have specific names.

15 ga is "usually" an an angled finish nailer. I prefer this type for it's maneuverability. The angled magazine allows you to more easily shoot into tighter corners, and you are less likely to drag the magazine on the wall when putting up things like crown moulding. It leaves a slightly bigger hole than a 16 ga but not that much bigger.

16 ga is "usually" a straight finish nailer. Personally I detest them because I'm used to the compact shape of an angled nailer. I have no use for a straight nailer. Some guys like them. Bully for them. Get whatever you like.

15 and 16 gauge nails are called finish nails. The nails are generally from 1 1/2 - 2 1/2" in length.

18 gauge guns are called brad nailers and they shoot brad nails. Some 18 ga brad nailers shoot up to 2 or 2 1/8" brad nails, depending on the brand. Others might only shoot up to 1 1/4" nails. Most brands will have guns in both ranges. So be sure you look at the range of nails you can use with a particular gun before you buy it. Brad nails are available in lengths from 1/2" - 2 1/8".

You can easily nail up small crown and small baseboard, and casing with a brad nailer, and it leaves a small hole that is easy to fill. For most trim that is <3/4" thick that is being applied over 1/2" drywall, it is my go to gun.

The rule of thumb for trim nails is that they be long enough to penetrate into 1" of framing. (Electrical code requires unprotected wiring to be at least 1 1/4" back, so the 1" rule is a good one) So if your trim is 3/4" thick, and your drywall is 1/2", a 2 1/8" brad nail would go into the stud 7/8"... which is pretty close to 1". But brad nails have small heads and lack the holding power of a 15 or 16 ga finish nail. So if you have a 3/4" thick trim board that maybe is slightly warped and you need the nail to suck it back to the wall tight... a brad nail probably isnt going to do it. If you have large crown moulding that is springy and you need to push up and nail it, and expect it to stay put... a brad nail isnt going to cut it. Those are things you want a bigger gun for.

"Pin nails" refers to 23 gauge headless nails. Also known as wire nails. 23 gauge guns are for very fine finish work... putting mull caps on windows, nailing very small moldings that are also being glued, toenailing crown molding miters, baseboard miters, or small mitered returns on baseboard... things that might split if any other gun was used. Pin nails are useful for "pinning" small parts together as you glue them up. They are nice because the hole they leave is barely visible.

When you say you need to use it on "floor molding", that isn't too descriptive. If you mean base shoe or quarter round, those things would normally be nailed with an 18 gauge brad nailer.

I've got one gun from Harbor Freight... a Banks crown stapler that I am very pleased with. I don't care if it craps out someday and I cant repair it because it literally cost me like $19... and I seldom use it but when I do, it works great. I have other things that I can do with the $100+ that I saved by buying it. Are all my tools from HF? Heck no. But seldom used items? That's what I think it is great for. If it helps me get through one job, it's already paid for itself. If I was a millionaire, yeah I'd have the best of every tool. But I'm not, so I don't. End of story.
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