Maybe I got a bad one, but I'm getting a Grex. This P-C is a loser

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Review by RalphB posted 04-02-2009 03:10 AM 3604 views 0 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Maybe I got a bad one, but I'm getting a Grex.  This P-C is a loser No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I bought one of these and have been thoroughly disappointed with it. No matter what the air pressure or length of the pin it only sinks them to flush at best. And of course you can’t adjust the depth. If I sand one bit you get a nice shiny (until it rusts later) little 23 gauge nailhead looking at you. I also do not like the fact that it lacks a soft nose. So if you try and hold it a little tight to get the pin sunk as far as possible you get a dent in the wood that is a lot worse than an 18 gauge nail hole to deal with. I have 16 gauge and 18 gauge nailers from P-C and love them – but this one is a lemon as far as I’m concerned. I’ve ordered a Grex and will hope for the best….

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25 posts in 4211 days

34 comments so far

View lew's profile


13176 posts in 4601 days

#1 posted 04-02-2009 03:24 AM

I have this pin nailer, too. I have to agree about the lack of the soft nose. However, mine sinks the pins well below the surface. Maybe you did get a bad one. Have you contacted PC about it?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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John Gray

2370 posts in 4731 days

#2 posted 04-02-2009 03:36 AM

Contact PC yet?

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 4408 days

#3 posted 04-02-2009 04:12 AM

I must say this is surprising to me. Although I don’t yet own one, I’ve done all the preliminary research common to my MO in anticipation of purchasing a unit soon. I had come to the conclusion that this unit was the best overall value by a country mile. So lopsided are the reviews of this unit that I almost abandoned protocol and purchased it prior to any actual project demand, something I almost NEVER do.

Two things I will mention to you that I remember from reading about them.

First I take it that it’s not lack of a pressurized trigger commonly called a “soft nose” that’s bothering you rather it’s PC’s failure to provide this quarter of a penny piece of rubber (a guard boot) for the business end of this machine. I agree, that such a glaring omission was not only shortsighted but just plain dumb however there is some good news is that apparently several guys report that they are using replacement boots from other manufacturers (one of those being CM sold nationwide by Harbor Freight).

The other point that was important IMO was that a couple of folks had reported jams and poor performance only to find out that they were loading the unit improperly. Apparently the lack of a head makes the pin gang clip easy to load backside up which causes these issues. Make certain that you are loading the clips correctly, with the pin gangs facing the right direction and see if in fact that doesn’t solve your problem.

-- JMP

View pitchnsplinters's profile


263 posts in 4284 days

#4 posted 04-02-2009 04:28 AM

Can’t go wrong with the Grex … but a tad pricey.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

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Craftsman on the lake

3467 posts in 4283 days

#5 posted 04-02-2009 04:37 AM

I’ve got their framing nailer, finish nailer, and brad nailer. Each one has worked flawlessly for a few years. And I don’t oil them like I should either. Often and on the job I use a small craftsman compressor that keeps up nicely. Between 80 and 100 lbs of pressure the nails are always below the surface. No nail sets necessary.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4739 days

#6 posted 04-02-2009 05:11 AM

I’m on #2

a long long time ago, they made a nailer that kept nailing, year after year after year.

but that was a long time ago

and it was just a story,

a long time ago

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5160 days

#7 posted 04-02-2009 05:29 AM

Good luck on that I had the same problem with the Grex. My PC actually sets the pins…go figure. Just a crap shoot with any brand these days. One out of five are garbage…Dewalt, PC, Grex, Ridgid all are hittin right at 20% crap.

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4371 days

#8 posted 04-02-2009 01:52 PM

I ahve one that I have used just about every day for the last two years and it’s working fine. You must have a bad one. That’s the risk we take when dealing with inexpensive Chinese made tools.

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View RalphB's profile


25 posts in 4211 days

#9 posted 04-02-2009 04:26 PM

Amazingly quick response from you all! While I guess it would be easy to put the “nails” in upside down I am a careful, read the manual, kind of guy – and it’s a bit difficult to ignore the giant arrows printed on the sides of the nail strips. I would have thought this was just me or a one off problem but I have read a number of negative reviews that mirror mine on sites such as Amazon – so I concluded it’s the product. That’s why I posted a review here to warn fellow woodworkers that there is a problem.

BTW – the Woodcraft store where I bought it is confronting the P-C rep this week with my problem.

For me, I’m looking forward to spending the extra $100 for Grex and (hopefully) getting a pinner that works correctly. If I can’t get my money back on the P-C, I’ll eBay it or donate it to the Habitat for Humanity store.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4803 days

#10 posted 04-02-2009 07:24 PM

A way around the denting problem is to put some painters tape where you are going to shoot the pin. I am going to get the Grex or the Nikle. The Nikle was rated #1 by FWW for it’s ability to shoot not only 23GA pins but slight head brads as well. I also own several PC guns (brad, finish, narrow crown stapler, upholstery stapler, round head framer) and have never had any problems with them.


View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4431 days

#11 posted 04-02-2009 07:49 PM

most nailers can be adjusted!! So it sounds likesomething’s wrong, as I have quite a few nailers and they all are fine .Are you sure your getting enough pressure to the gun check the pressure on your air outlet valve and try increasing it,as it sounds like my compressor goes when I forget to switch it on and just use what’s in the tank.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4867 days

#12 posted 04-02-2009 09:14 PM

Did you oil It?


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View RalphB's profile


25 posts in 4211 days

#13 posted 04-02-2009 10:54 PM

YES TO ALL OF THE QUESTIONS ABOUT FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS! I oil every use, I keep the air pressure up, I use quality pins (P-C and Grex only), I hold the pinner firmly against the material, etc. This machine has problems, many others elsewhere have reported identical behaviour. I will post info after hearing from the P-C rep…...

Thanks for the tip on the tape, I’ll have to try it.

View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 4408 days

#14 posted 04-03-2009 04:14 PM


Although I know how frustrating it can be to run into “a lemon”, I think it’s important to be fair when you assess these things. You said ” I have read a number of negative reviews that mirror mine on sites such as Amazon ” but what I see on Amazon is 67 reviews, only nine of which are three stars or less with the overwhelming (remember I used that exact word) majority (45) giving the unit a 5 star rating.

I’m not suggesting that you are in any way at fault. I offered only suggestions that I had read from others not having ANY experience with this unit whatsoever. What I AM SAYING is that it is most likely to be a problem with the individual unit as demonstrated by the vastly lopsided number of delighted owners that bothered to post.

Again, just an observation; IMO for these reviews to be of real value, they need to be as objective as possible. We’ve all had “bad” experiences and that’s really not the issue. What I wish to avoid by reading reviews is BAD products.

Amazon - PC PIN100 page

-- JMP

View RalphB's profile


25 posts in 4211 days

#15 posted 04-03-2009 04:55 PM

If I have a defective product I assume “bad luck” and try to get it fixed or replaced. If I see that others have the same problem I feel that’s potentially a bad product or design. I guess we disagree. I think products that ship with a fair number of defective units are bad products. I do not accept the premise that decent design, but poor quality, is a good product. 9 negative reviews out of 67 is a horrible record in my book. (And there are sites other than Amazon) If you think 45 out of 67 is acceptable quality/customer satisfaction – that’s your decision. (I don’t call that “overwhelming”. ) When I look at reviews on sites like Amazon or I look at the distribution of ratings, not just the overall number. So, if I see an inverted bell curve of mostly high or low (love-hate) ratings I am concerned. Obviously the words matter, (just read some of the negative reviews on the Apple App store – you’ll scratch your head), to me a degree of consistency in negative reviews is an indicator – not the only point to consider, but one not to be ignored.

What got my attention was that a number of reviewers had exactly the same problems I have – I’d call that a trend. In addition, having 2 other P-C nailers that I am satisfied with made me especially disappointed at a brand that I had come to trust.

In contrast to the P-C, try to find credible, negative reviews of the Grex products. Although I’m sure some exist, I haven’t seen them. Most individual and publication reviewers I’ve seen rave about these products.

Power tools don’t have a warranty service network like cars where one can get them fixed quickly with a convenient trip to the neighborhood dealer. Exercising tool warranties is often slow, frustrating and many times costs you money for shipping. I personally do not want to use the warranty with a brand new product.

My only goal is to try and warn fellow woodworkers to be cautious and watchful about this product. I endeavor to be truthful. The title of the review said “Maybe I got a bad one…”

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