Central Pnuematic - 97526 23 Gauge Air Pin Nailer (Rating: 4)

A quick rundown of the Central Pneumatic 97526 23ga pnuematic pin nailer. For starters, this IS a Harbor Freight tool. And like most Harbor Freight stuff, it is lacking many of the more refined features of more expensive tools. But at a price of $22.99 minus a 20% coupon discount, you can walk into your shop with one of these, and a fatter wallet to boot!

Air consumption was reasonable as my little 2 HP 8 gallon compressor (Central Pneumatic 95386 easily able to keep up with the air demand of this nailer. Nail placement was fast, reliable, full and accurate. No jams, no misfires. Simply follow the directions and you are good to go.

I have 2 complaints with this nailer which is why I give it 4 stars. Those complaints are…

#1. No safety guard. You don't need to push the safety in on the workpiece to fire the nailer. Not a huge deal, but can be painful if operated stupidly. I'm not sure the same type safety that is on the brad nailers, finish nailers, or framing nailers is going to function all that well with a pinner, but no biggie. I can cope.

#2. Changing pin sizes. I stored my pinner with 1" pins. When I went to change pins out, I slipped the 5/8" pins in, then tried to change the depth setting. It doesn't work that way. I had to remove the 5/8" pins, reinsert the 1" pins, attach the air, fire a pin, detach the air, remove the 1" pins, set the depth to 5/8", then insert the 5/8" pins… While this was my stupidity, it was not obvious on the tool that the depth should be set prior to inserting the pins, nor is it obvious in the manual. Or if it is, I must have missed it…

Fit and finish on this pin nailer are actually quite good, with the exception of the labeling, which appears to be an afterthought. And while this nailer did not come with any sort of case, at this price point, expecting a case is a bit much.

While this is not exactly a perfect tool, I can see why this pin nailer is frequently seen on the Harbor Freight Gems lists on various web sites.

If you are in need of a good, basic pinner, and can operate safely without the safety lockout, then this is a great way to go.