HOLY CRAP- Why pay $100+

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Review by StumpyNubs posted 02-01-2011 03:07 AM 8966 views 5 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch
HOLY CRAP- Why pay $100+ No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Gotta say I never had much luck with the Harbor Freight (central pnuematic) brad nailer. But after trying out the micro pin nailer, I may just give the brad nailer another shot.

This is a great buy- one of MANY diamonds in the rough at Harbor Freight. Here’s the details..

First of all, I was surprised that it was not made of plastic. The body is all is cast metal like the more expensive ones, and it feels good and heavy in the hand. Not that this is a vital feature, but it distracts you from the $25 price tag which may lead you to believe that this is a piece of crap. But crap it is not! In fact I have yet to get a single missfire!

I bought this cheap little beauty last week and have been VERY satisfied. Granted, I took the advise of others who have used this and passed on the cheap Harbor Freight brads. It’s said that these contain too much lead and will foul up the nailer. So I bought the most expensive nails I could find- Woodcraft had a box of Grex 1” brads for $14. I almost puked when I paid for them, but since the box contains 10,000 brads I figure it’ll last a loooooooooong time. Anyway, I’ve shot a lot of these little headless nails and not a single one has failed to go right into the wood, leaving almost no mark at all in the finished surface. I feel like I’m cheating when I’m doing glueups.

If you don’t have a micro nailer you’re missing out. They shoot tiny headless neails that don’t split even thin wood and the mark left behind in so small you can hardly see it. Great for trim work, cabinets, whatever. I always wanted one, and this HF version made the purchase inexpensive enough to keep my wife’s yapper shut. Who could ask for more!

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420 posts in 4984 days

#1 posted 02-01-2011 03:24 AM

yep I bought one just a bit ago too and I love it.. I bought the bostich pins…though I need to find some 1/2 inch pins too..

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

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1426 posts in 4755 days

#2 posted 02-01-2011 03:26 AM

I may just have to give this a try also, I’ve been meaning to buy one and at that price how could you lose. I guess if you can’t find an American made tool anymore (no offense to our none American friends), actually you cant find many none Chinese tools let alone “Made In The USA” why buy the expensive China tool when you can get a similar tool for 1/4 the price. Its kinda funny that the pins are almost as much as the gun, lets just see what last longer the box of pins or the gun!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

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1176 posts in 5419 days

#3 posted 02-01-2011 03:30 AM

I love mine! Not HF but WAY less expensive than the Grex!
It is an AirLocker brand, I believe I paid $69.00. Comes with a complete rebuild kit although at the rate I use it it will most likely be a long time before I have to use it!
It is nice to know that there are reliable brands that are budget conscious!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

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5869 posts in 4573 days

#4 posted 02-01-2011 04:15 AM

I have that pinner. It doesn’t shoot the longest pins, but for any pin I am willing to use, this works GREAT! I have beat the tar out of mine, and gotten my $15.00 worth!

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51274 posts in 4477 days

#5 posted 02-01-2011 04:23 AM

I’ve wanted a pinner ever since I saw the Cadex CPB 23.50 Shoots 5/8 to 2” head & headless pins…

Grex finally went up to 2’ but lust headless pinner…

The price was kinda high but as it started to come dome problems with it jamming big time were reported in the reviews & the customer service was horrible…

I was hoping by now it would have been corrected….

I’ll have to check this out, Thanks….

-- Rick

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77 posts in 4389 days

#6 posted 02-01-2011 04:37 AM

I bought one a couple of weeks ago (less than $20 with coupon). How can you go wrong… A box of Bostich pins was the same price. The name brand makers oughta be embarrassed at their prices.

-- Gene T

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23348 posts in 5017 days

#7 posted 02-01-2011 06:16 AM

Thanks for the tip. I have found HF to be a good resource. If things that are not made in America are available at varying price levels, why pay a big box $100 when HF sells at $25? If we are talking about going dirt cheap at an American Job’s expense, that is a different matter, but sems like this is the diference between paying 100% markup vs, 1000% markup (also known asa windfall profit!!).

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Mike Gager

665 posts in 4608 days

#8 posted 02-01-2011 08:30 AM

yup i have one of these as well as their brad nailer/stapler, 1/2” stapler, 16 gauge finish nailer, and 28° framing nailer. all have performed flawlessly. best thing is i got ALL of these for less then the price of a grex pin nailer!

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1721 posts in 4229 days

#9 posted 02-01-2011 10:09 AM

I picked up a really nice set of nailers from Canadian Tire on a great sale price of $99.99 last fall. Got three tools that run from the brad nailer/stapler to a heavy duty job that handles up to three inch nails. Three year warantee too.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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5 posts in 4013 days

#10 posted 02-01-2011 10:28 AM

Hello all.I am just getting back into woodworking after 50 years.That nailer seems just like what i need.I havent ever been to Harbor freight.Guess I will need to go and check it out.Thanks Jim for the information.

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1139 posts in 4955 days

#11 posted 02-01-2011 01:44 PM

Just a quick tip. I found this on the web somewhere so I can’t take credit for it.

I bought one of the cheap 18 gauge brad nailers from HF. Out of the box, it didn’t do such a good job. It missfired (jammed) once in a while and didn’t consistently recess the heads below the wood surface. I mean, it left 1/2” to 3/4” of a 1 3/16” brad above the surface!

Acting on advice from the web, I removed the top of the air cylinder with an Allen wrench, used the supplied oil to put a consistent film of oil around the cylinder at the top of the piston and reassembled. Not one problem since! I put 2-3 drops of oil in the air inlet before each use and I use the cheap HF brads.

I think they ship these things dry or with a very slight oiling. By the time they get to our hands they are too dry to form a good seal between the cylinder and the piston.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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7854 posts in 4142 days

#12 posted 02-01-2011 03:11 PM

Cessna- That’s true. Sometimes you get a dud at Harbor Freight, perhaps more often than with the good name brand stuff. But since the return policy is perhaps the best in the industry it is worth taking a chance.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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7854 posts in 4142 days

#13 posted 02-01-2011 03:13 PM

EEngineer- Great tip- I’ll try it out and maybe resurrect my HF brad nailer. The pine nailer only goes up to 1” so I miss the Brad Nailer quite a bit. I guess in a perfect worly we’d just hand cut dovetails to join everything, or use tiny rosewood pegs…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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1215 posts in 4686 days

#14 posted 02-01-2011 05:33 PM

Thanks for this great review. I have that nailer. My problem has been that the pins sit proud of the wood and if I press the pinner a bit harder the tip leaves a mark on my wood. I will buy a better brand of pins and try Engineers tip as well.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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7854 posts in 4142 days

#15 posted 02-01-2011 05:38 PM

Vicki- It’s VITAL to use good nails in all guns. The cheap ones will not work. This is one area in which you can’t cheap out.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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