Brad and pin nailer, battery or air?

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Forum topic by controlfreak posted 10-08-2019 02:53 PM 1035 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1802 posts in 616 days

10-08-2019 02:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Starting to look for both of these. I have a pancake air compressor but that involves firing it up and getting the hose out. I thought I would inquire here as to what people here prefer these days. Right now I have a Hitachi framing nailer and finish nailer.

21 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8997 posts in 3592 days

#1 posted 10-08-2019 03:09 PM

I prefer the Paslode framing and finish nailers as its more efficient.

Still have my Hitachi framing nailer but don’t use it and gave away my Senco finishing nailer.
Both good products as well.

View JayT's profile


6419 posts in 3226 days

#2 posted 10-08-2019 03:23 PM

Pros and cons both ways.

For pneumatic, they cost quite a bit less since you already have a compressor and are physically smaller to get the head into tighter areas.

Battery powered, however, are much more portable, especially for quick jobs. They are heavier and bulkier, but you don’t have to deal with being tethered by the hose. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the noisy pancake compressor.

I don’t use power nailers that often, so am perfectly fine with pneumatic (plus, my compressor is much smaller and quieter than a pancake). If I was using them quite a bit, however, I would go battery powered.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Andre's profile


4308 posts in 2821 days

#3 posted 10-08-2019 03:42 PM

I picked up a Ryobi brad nailer when they first came out and was on sale, one of the best decisions I have made!
While I seldom use any nails in most projects I did use it to build out the basement and it earned its place doing the baseboards and moldings.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Axis39's profile


438 posts in 612 days

#4 posted 10-08-2019 04:06 PM

I use everything from [in nailers, to finish nailers to narrow crown staples… Air for me.

But, I do have my first battery operated 18 ga nailer, a Ridgid one. I love it on the jobsite, and will grab it from time to time in the shop.

But, I always have a hose hooked up to my 26 gallon compressor… And a lot of the time, it is full of air.

A few advantages of air tools: they are lighter and the driver area is smaller, allowing you to get into smaller spaces; you can use an air gun to blow dust and grit and chips off of anything; and, a compressor fills up faster than a battery charges (most fo the time, anyway) and I tend to run out of battery when I am grabbing the nailer during a difficult glue up with squeeze out everywhere! LOL

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View MrRon's profile


5994 posts in 4258 days

#5 posted 10-08-2019 04:40 PM

I have all pneumatic nailers, but recently went looking at cordless nailers, specifically an 18 ga gun. I found them to be heavy, bulky and cost a lot more. I don’t use a nail gun all that much, but when I do, I find the hose keeps getting in the way. If the cordless nailer were less expensive, I would go for it, but for now, I’ll stay with my 5 pneumatic guns. BTW, I have a big compressor and also a small California Air Tools compressor that is super quiet.

View pottz's profile


15006 posts in 1999 days

#6 posted 10-08-2019 04:49 PM

since i have a compressor with air lines all through my shop it’s air tools for me which are bostich,ive used theirs for the last 25 years.the cordless are still too bulky for me,but their getting closer.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View HackFabrication's profile


219 posts in 726 days

#7 posted 10-08-2019 07:17 PM

I have 100% Bostitch pneumatic nailers. Everything from pin to framing. Haven’t gotten their roofing nailer yet.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View Rich's profile


6605 posts in 1604 days

#8 posted 10-08-2019 09:26 PM

I just went around and around on this subject. I’m installing a lot of trim on job sites and really need to have my pin nailer available. I looked around at cordless options, but none looked all that great. The cost is high too. I already have my Hitachi that works flawlessly.

Then, what about the times when I’d need a brad nailer? Now we’re talking two cordless nailers that I already own pneumatic versions of.

Ultimately, I found the California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S compressor for $130 on Amazon with Prime shipping. It’s a small, lightweight (29 lbs) hot dog model that is spec’d at 56 dB. That means I can take it into anyone’s home and not scare them off with a screaming pancake model. That, and a lightweight 25 foot air hose and I’m set for using any of my nailers.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View RRBOU's profile


231 posts in 3307 days

#9 posted 10-09-2019 01:41 AM

I use my 28 gauge pin nailer a lot, it is the one from Harbor freight. I drive a pin underpowered in a glue-up the cut It with cutters. This prevents an edge glue-up from slipping. It works flawless. I hardly ever use my nailers, I bought them when I replaced all the trim inside and out on the house. They are all Hitachi. I shot a pile of nails with them and not one hickup. I replaced my porter cable mailers with them. They sucked as we’re always jamming and misfiring. I did not get the framing nailer so can’t talk for or against it. But I would not use an electric as I have not been convinced they have an advantage over air.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View runswithscissors's profile


3128 posts in 3040 days

#10 posted 10-09-2019 03:56 AM

I started with a Ryobi stapler, as I had to do a ceiling with cello tiles, and didn’t want to drag the compressor into the house. I liked it so well that I went and bought the 18 g. brad nailer, and later the 23 g. pin nailer.

I admit they are heavier and bulkier than pneumatic, but for me the trade off is worth it. When a battery runs down (shoots a lot of nails to get there) I always have another charged up. And I don’t have to wait for the compressor to cycle like I used to. So far performance has been very adequate. I rarely fire up the compressor any more.

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

View WoodenDreams's profile


1256 posts in 926 days

#11 posted 10-10-2019 02:47 AM

It’s like a convenience store, you pay extra for use of convenience. If you like the battery, your taking a chance that the tool will be no good to use ten years from now. likely not able to get replacement a battery. My air tools I got in 1976 are still in operation. The only battery tools I have is a drill and a power screw driver. Already had to replace both of them cause I couldn’t get replacement batteries. Both a less than seven years old. Good reason to use electric or air powered tools. I have two electric stapler/brad nailers & my other brad nailers, staplers and pin nailer are air powered.

View SMP's profile


3460 posts in 920 days

#12 posted 10-10-2019 04:51 AM

I’ve only ever owned pneumatic and they are fine, but go with oil-less, because you can get oil on your work if not careful with the oil type. I used a friends Paslode a long time ago and it was pretty expensive to use because the nails are already expensive but you had to also buy cartidges that added to the cost. No experience with jist battery op ones.

View ibewjon's profile


2279 posts in 3808 days

#13 posted 10-10-2019 12:10 PM

Battery life, long term, and availability in the years ahead is what I worry about. I am on my third set of battery tools, fourth if you count replacing my ni cad with nmh batteries. And the new lithium batteries don’t fit old tools. Air will always be here.

View controlfreak's profile


1802 posts in 616 days

#14 posted 10-10-2019 12:46 PM

I think air is the way to go for me. I really like the reviews on the California air especially the noise level.

Next question is what size do I need? I don’t use any automotive tools. I have framing nailer on down to finish and plan on adding brad & pin. Now that I have permanent shop power I don’t have to worry about the load of a compressor so I plan on finding a space for it and adding a reel maybe. There may be times that I will need to move it out (like when my wife goes out of town and I expand my shop). The only unknown is I plan on getting a small spray cup gun in the future but have no idea what size tank is needed. I only see myself using one tool at a time.

View Rich's profile


6605 posts in 1604 days

#15 posted 10-10-2019 01:37 PM

The California Air Tools 1060S I got is adequate for any pneumatic fastener, and at <30lbs>ll take the turbine any day, but everyone has their own preferences.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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