Review: Porter Cable Pin Nailer

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Review by Peter Oxley posted 02-01-2008 06:45 PM 9213 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Review: Porter Cable Pin Nailer No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them
Features (from Porter Cable Website):
  • Uses 23 Ga. micro pin nails similar to Senco® models
  • Drives nails from 1/2” to 1” long
  • Tool automatically adjusts for different fastener lengths. Easier loading and less problems with pins out of spec
  • Bottom load magazine holds 170 pin micro nails
  • Dual trigger feature
  • Nail reload indicator
  • Rubber comfort grip on tool handle
  • Rear exhaust port channels air and tool oil/condensation away from user
  • Standard Equipment: Nailer, box of 2,000 ¾” pin nails, ¼” air fitting with dust cover, oil, wrench, carrying case, and operating manual

First impressions:
For those who have used Porter Cable brad guns, you will find this nailer somewhat familiar. I really like Porter-Cable’s magazine latch at the back of their guns. It really makes loading and unloading easy. Unlike other PC guns, this one is turned upside down for loading.

  • I don’t like the dual trigger, and I don’t think it’s a very effective safety. There is no mechanism that requires the gun to be pressed against the workpiece in order to fire. A safety trigger is pulled with the middle finger, and then the primary trigger is pulled with the index finger. It’s difficult to hold on to the nailer with the last two fingers, so I found that I just held down the safety trigger, which keeps the nailer “armed” all the time.
  • I was also really bothered by the following quote from the owner’s manual: “The tool driving mechanism may cycle when tool is connected to the air supply.” This means that the air must be connected when loading the fasteners, which seems dangerous to me. It also seems to contradict another instruction: “Disconnect tool from air supply hose before … moving tool to another location, or handing the tool to another person.” Which would mean that when the tool is reconnected, it could fire, unless it were unloaded, reconnected, and then reloaded.
  • It does what it’s supposed to do. I drove several ¾” pins into the face and side grain in White Oak and it sunk each pin to just past flush.
  • The nailer is quiet and uses very little air – I drove over 100 pins and my pancake air compressor only kicked on twice.
  • I actually like that the tip does not have to be pressed against the workpiece – this allows you to leave the pins proud, if you need to.
  • The nailer automatically adjusts to pin length, which makes loading a no-brainer.
  • I like the rear-exhaust. No matter which way I turn the adjustable exaust sheild on my other guns, I always seem to get a face-full of air!

Secondary Impressions:
I like this little nailer, and it will get a lot of use for attaching small trim and for holding difficult glue-ups. I will have to train myself to let go of the safety trigger when I’m not actually prepared to fire a fastener. I know there are better nailers on the market, and some that drive longer pins. For my requirements, this gun will do what I need it to do. The price was reasonable, and the performance meets my expectations. I was disapointed to find that even though the Home Depots in my area sell this nailer, they do not carry the pins for it .

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View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4644 days

11 comments so far

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 4658 days

#1 posted 02-01-2008 07:04 PM

Nice review. I agree from your review that anyone owning the PC pin nailer will have to consciously work on tool handling process to avoid accidently triggering the nailer.


View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4835 days

#2 posted 02-02-2008 10:32 AM

Peter you nailed that review. I have the PC pin nailer and have grown to depend on it quite a bit – being careful with the safety IS good advice. Thanks for the review.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 4489 days

#3 posted 06-03-2008 12:43 AM

Thanks for the great review. I’ve been wondering which nailer to put on my list. I’ve seen the little Grex nailer and it looks pretty good and has received good reviews, but not having used a nailer, can use all the info I can get.


-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5083 days

#4 posted 06-03-2008 01:06 AM

I like my PC. I had two sencos but they did not hold up to every day use and my Grex just won’t sink the pins. The PC did the job for me.

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4857 days

#5 posted 06-03-2008 01:44 AM

I’ve got one. For what it does and the price it cost it is a great deal.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4649 days

#6 posted 06-03-2008 02:17 AM

ive had one of these 23 ga. pinners about 4 yrs and i have no problem with it . ive always been a senco owner but not anymore im done with them . this gun has never fired when plugging it in and i dont always have it plugged in when i load it . i wish my 18 ga. pinners also had the trigger saftys as well

great review peter

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4591 days

#7 posted 06-03-2008 04:16 AM

Thanks for the review. I have been looking at one of these and was unsure about the PC or the Grex. This probably moves me in the direction of the PC nailer.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Hunterastin's profile


52 posts in 4060 days

#8 posted 04-24-2010 04:58 AM

i have this same little nailer and i love this thing, i got it by putting a belt on a friends lawnmower, it was brand new in the box. its not a tool i use all the time but when i need it, its great the only real problem i have found is that the nails seem expensive for it, but since i dont use it that often that doesnt matter to much.

View kitsrball's profile


7 posts in 4341 days

#9 posted 06-01-2011 03:19 AM

A Home Depot update: They DO sell the PC pins in 3/4” and a variety pack. I’m looking forward to using this nailer. I’ve often needed a pin nailer for small/thin material or just to tac something down. Now I have one.
Also, PC is switching their design slightly and my Home Depot was marking down the old model. I got $50 off with an additional 10% for being military. Starting price was $119. Loved it!!

-- Kit, Arizona

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4644 days

#10 posted 06-04-2011 04:59 PM

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I still love this little nailer, and it gets a good amount of use.

kitsrball is right, Home Depot is now carrying the pins for this. Different stores seem to have different selections of pins, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find what you need.

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View wee3's profile


76 posts in 3041 days

#11 posted 03-28-2012 01:04 AM

Good review,i had been wondering about pin 138,so now i know ,PC .

-- BiLL @wee3

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