Do I need a brad/finish nailer ?

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Forum topic by Carloz posted 04-28-2017 02:46 AM 1216 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1147 posts in 1508 days

04-28-2017 02:46 AM

I never had one mainly because I do not want to hoard too much bulky stuff. The only time I wanted it was when replacing a piece of baseboard when the springy wall would not let me to use a hammer.
How often do you use it for woodworking and could you live without it ?

14 replies so far

View Rrrandy's profile


212 posts in 1396 days

#1 posted 04-28-2017 04:14 AM

Years ago after I finished the crown molding in our house I hung the nailer up on the wall and never used it again. On the other hand I do use my pin nailer.

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

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1819 posts in 1505 days

#2 posted 04-28-2017 04:27 AM



-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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13522 posts in 3297 days

#3 posted 04-28-2017 04:35 AM

Rule of thumb, if you need it you won’t have to ask and if you have to ask then you don’t need it.

-- Rick M,

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1147 posts in 1508 days

#4 posted 04-28-2017 10:45 AM

Thanks for the good advices. So the mailer stays in the store till I need to install cown molding :-)

View MrRon's profile


5955 posts in 4160 days

#5 posted 04-28-2017 07:53 PM

For the kind of work I do, a brad nailer is indispensable. I have a pin nailer, finish nailer and a framing nailer. I bought them when I needed them, but the brad nailer is the only one that sees constant use. I also have a palm nailer that has never been used in 15 years. I tend to be a tool pack rat, but I see it as a good thing; you never know when you might need that tool. For that reason, I always buy the best tools I can afford as I know I can depend on them when the time comes.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile


3879 posts in 2131 days

#6 posted 04-28-2017 09:08 PM

For $30 you can purchase a “Wen” brand. Similar to a Harbor Freight but with a better finish.

-- Desert_Woodworker

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 3782 days

#7 posted 04-28-2017 09:35 PM

You can get the Harbor Freight one real cheap when its on sale and/or with coupon. I find the nailer pretty darn good if you use good nails. The Harbor Freight nails suck big time though. I have the 23 gage pin and 18 gage brad nailer.

I use them both fairly often, mostly for trim work in my house or utility stuff such as jigs, shelfing etc.

View bigblockyeti's profile


6837 posts in 2638 days

#8 posted 04-28-2017 10:26 PM

You didn’t mention what kind of projects are you typically taking on? I’ll second what Rick said, if you have to ask, you probably don’t need it.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View pintodeluxe's profile


6231 posts in 3730 days

#9 posted 04-28-2017 10:34 PM

I have quite a few from pin nailers all the way up to framing nailers.
The pin nailer is nice, but I consider it a luxury.

If I could only have one general purpose shop / trim nailer, it would be an 18 gauge brad nailer with a 2” nail capacity. That will hang most any kind of trim, and is invaluable in the shop for making jigs.

I have tried many, many brands and I am particularly fond of Porter Cable’s current 18 gauge offering.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1665 days

#10 posted 04-28-2017 11:03 PM

I have a 16, an 18, and a 23 gauge. That pin nailer is really good to have, and I use the 18 gauge a lot too. I think somebody makes a 23 gauge pin nailer that will take normal headless pins and pins with a small head. That would be good to have.

Do I have to have air nailers. no, but they sure do come in handy. They aren’t that expensive.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4148 days

#11 posted 04-28-2017 11:26 PM

I use the 18ga brad nailer on a lot of my projects. After all the nails just hold the work pieces in place until the glue dries.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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1766 posts in 1893 days

#12 posted 04-29-2017 02:37 AM

I rather go for the money of a nailer than hit my fingers driving finish nails by hand

View runswithscissors's profile


3119 posts in 2942 days

#13 posted 04-29-2017 03:26 AM

I needed to install some ceiling in my basement, and decided to use a stapler. I saw Ryobi’s cordless (18 volt) brad shooter in the Depot, and was intrigued because it meant I wouldn’t have to haul the compressor down stairs. I liked it so well that I went back and got the 18 gauge brad nailer as well.

They shoot the fasteners with plenty of force, and a fully charged battery will drive a lot of them. The downsides are (1) they cycle a bit slowly, as the built-in compressor has to build up pressure. I’d say it’s one second or a bit more. You can hear them cycling. (2) they are quite heavy. I decided that it was compensated for by not having to drag the hose around, and that I could live with the weight.

I agree that nailers are nice when you are trying to fasten into something bouncy. And I have been known to miss a finishing nail and leave a ding in a molding. You do have to watch grain orientation, especially when nailing close to an edge, as the nails can take a wrong turn and shoot out the side of the wood.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View tomsteve's profile


1091 posts in 2136 days

#14 posted 04-29-2017 12:32 PM

Do I need a brad/finish nailer ?

I don’t need opposing thumbs, but dam to they make life easier!

“How often do you use it for woodworking….”
I have brad and finish nailer and a NC stapler. would love to add a pin nailer.
I use either one of the 3 on just about every project

”.....and could you live without it ?”
see opposing thumbs comment

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