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Nail Guns - Oil/Oilless, Narrow Tip questions

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Forum topic by rossn posted 02-13-2020 10:45 PM 689 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rossn

42 posts in 425 days


02-13-2020 10:45 PM

I’m buying a 16-gauge pneumatic nail gun for interior trim on my remodel.

I know 18-gauge brads are used sometimes in woodworking, but do 16 gauge nail guns see much use in woodworking?

I’m considering either a Hitachi model or a Ridgid model. The Hitachi seems to be built better, but is not oil less. The Ridgid is oil less and has a much narrower no-mar tip.

Is oil less practically needed in an 18ga nail gun?

Is the very narrow tip particularly more useful than a normal tip with an 18ga nail gun?

Thanks for sharing.


27 replies so far

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JackDuren

750 posts in 1591 days


#1 posted 02-13-2020 11:36 PM

Are Hitachi and Ridgid the only ones you’ll consider?

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rossn

42 posts in 425 days


#2 posted 02-13-2020 11:53 PM

I’d consider others if they are well reviewed, there was reason to do so, and they were under $150.

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CWWoodworking

609 posts in 810 days


#3 posted 02-14-2020 12:02 AM

I’d get a battery one.

Ask yourself if you will use anything longer than 2”. If not, just use 18g.

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rossn

42 posts in 425 days


#4 posted 02-14-2020 12:04 AM

This will be used a few times a year, most likely, so don’t want to invest in a battery one. I will use longer than 2”

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CWWoodworking

609 posts in 810 days


#5 posted 02-14-2020 12:15 AM

Do you have a battery powered drill? After owning the battery one, I will never go back. Sander is also battery. Ok, off my battery soapbox.

Since you will be using longer than 2”, you will have to get the 16g. Builders in my neck of the woods trim with 16, I trimmed my house with 18 and didn’t have any trouble.

If it only gets used a couple times a year, oil/oil less doesn’t matter. I would guess either brand will do the trick.

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Kelly

2673 posts in 3576 days


#6 posted 02-14-2020 12:20 AM

I have everything from framing and siding nailers down to a pin nailer. I use the sixteen when doing larger projects. For example, I just swapped some old vinyl lattice for cedar fencing and the sixteen was a far better solution than the eighteen, though it would have done the job.

If I was only buying one for a wood shop, it would be a toss up between pin or a eighteen.

Since you’ll be using longer than two inches, 16 it is.

On the matter of 120 VAC vs battery, I have both in the way of drills. I use the batteries nearly every time I go in the shop, but the rarely used larger impacts, angles, mud stirers and so on are like my electric chain saw – they never run out of power [in and around the shop] and the VERY expensive batteries never need replacement.

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JackDuren

750 posts in 1591 days


#7 posted 02-14-2020 01:00 AM

Reason I ask is I only use Senco. The older ones are the better guns. 2+ I use a 15 guage..

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rossn

42 posts in 425 days


#8 posted 02-14-2020 04:30 AM

Hello All,

Thanks for the input! Now… can anyone speak to my questions ?? :)

I had heard good things about the sencos, though I had not looked that closely. To your point, likely the older ones are the good ones. All this plastic crap these days! I couldn’t find much of end user reviews for the current 16 ga model.

I am electing for the 16 ga, as I have most of a house to trim out, and understand the hole size due to head is much smaller than the 15 ga, but holding strength much better than the 18ga. I would probably also go for a 18ga at some point… one thing at a time. I also understand the 16 ga fasteners cost a fair bit less. I don’t know the legitimacy of it, but did read a few comments about fastener strength improvement over the years, and therefore how newer 16 ga nails maybe be closer to on-par with older 15 ga nails.

Battery would be nice, but at what cost. Makita is about 200% of a pneumatic nailer, and as I understand, there is still room for improvement in the world of battery nailers.

Can anyone speak to the need for oil-less nailers and tip size?

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mel52

1245 posts in 896 days


#9 posted 02-14-2020 06:39 AM

Read my review on the new Ridgid oil-less nailer. It may help a little. Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

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rossn

42 posts in 425 days


#10 posted 02-14-2020 09:45 AM

Thanks, Mel – nice review, and definitely applicable to my situation! Sounds like a great nailer. Definitely attracted to the lifetime warranty.

Was the PC Oil-free? What is your take on the 20-30 year longevity of the nailer, given it has so many plastic parts? It is probably a tool I’ll use a few times a year, and therefore it’s not like I’m going to wear through a nailer such as a tradesman would.

To Anyone: Does oil-free really matter, or is it more marketing an hype than anything?

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

609 posts in 810 days


#11 posted 02-14-2020 11:17 AM

I have a 18g ridgid(somewhere collecting dust). It worked as a nailer should. It was cleaner finish than my older Dewalt, but not as clean as my battery Dewalt. It’s the best I’ve used.

When I was building my house, my pancake air compressor went out. So I could have spent 200$ on a new one or 200$ on the battery nailer. It was a pretty easy decision.

Ok, NOW I’m off my soapbox. :)

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

455 posts in 233 days


#12 posted 02-14-2020 12:03 PM

I went with Hitachi after a carpenter on a jobsite spoke very highly of them. I now have the 16g 18g and a framing gun. Will probably pick up a pin nailer soon and possibly a stapler. I don’t use them very hard but I have no complaints. Not sure how big of a nail the battery ones shoot and they are convenient but batteries don’t last forever either.

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JackDuren

750 posts in 1591 days


#13 posted 02-14-2020 01:45 PM

Nobody I know or knew in the trim business and I worked with many used a 16 or 18guage trim gun. All were 15 guage. Maybe the 18 on scribe but not on wall trim or stair treads unless it was PB and used a framing gun…

I have owned 16 guage paslodes. I only used these for quick remodels,bathrooms,etc. Usual so I didn’t have to pull a compressor for just a few pieces…

I can only speak for the professional. Mine were purchased as a professional not for hobbyist…

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Kelly

2673 posts in 3576 days


#14 posted 02-14-2020 04:29 PM

Well, Jack, now you know a former professional who used 18’s and even pins.

I always used as small as I could for the obvious reason – filling the hole left by the brad or nail gets easier as the size gets smaller.

It’s one thing when you have to go 3/8” through a 1/2” piece of trim and 1/2” rock, but another adding trim to a cabinet. Especially when you can glue.

People often forget even “dry wood” has moisture. A nail or brad sitting in a piece of wood for just a few months is several times harder to remove than a freshly shot one.

Years back, an article described the amount of pull it took to remove a framing nail from different pieces of wood over a period of years.

Just making numbers up for an example, a ten penny shot into a piece of oak could be pulled out immediately after pounding it in using about 75# of pull pressure. After a month, that went to about 100#. Six months in, it was a couple hundred and three years in it was as high as 700#s. These facts make obvious the reason so many heads pop off nails being removed from pallets and other things.

Wood trim with a 7% moisture content would degrade the nail enough to increase the friction significantly in just one year.

Of course, there is the matter of moisture gain and loss in things like OSB and MDO and such. I look around my shop and because the concrete guy who laid the walkway [before I was around] ran it right up to the bottom of the wannabe T-111, a couple nails are sticking out 1/4”, suggesting I need to pull up the concrete saw, channel the cement and install drains between them and the shop.

That may not have happened with ring shank nails, and might have happened slower in solid wood, but we know how it is with 2x wood decks that swell and shrink.

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Kelly

2673 posts in 3576 days


#15 posted 02-14-2020 04:58 PM

I haven’t used any nailers that are bad, yet.

My Max siding (coil) nailer ran around $400.00 It survived an idiot associate, who borrowed it and ran oversized nails through it all day long. It did jam several times. Of course, it was the nailers fault and not his, because of the larger nails he ran (it folded all the heads).

I have a 16 gauge Paslode I picked up in like new condition for $100.00 at a swapmeet about fifteen years back. It’s still going strong.

I have a PC framer and a 18 gauge and fifteen in, they are fine and well.

I did have to have something repaired on the PC 18 gauge a few years back. A friend’s 18 PC had a problem that was an easy fix too. As such, the Ridged 18 has proven more reliable than the PC, but I wont be throwing the PC away anytime soon.

I’ve used a several older Senco’s. Many with inoperable safeties, which was real common years back (many disabled them on purpose). I don’t know about newer models, but the ones I used got dropped on concrete from benches and went right on ticking.

As to Hitachi, I haven’t used anything but their drills and routers. From that and statements from others, I think they run with the big dogs, so are one of the big dogs.

I don’t remember the brand of my spendy little pin nailer, but it looks like HF and Walmartian Central copied the colors. It, boxes in, has NEVER jammed.

In the end, though they may not be super dependable, even a HF nailer would seem a good jumping off point for those who’ve never owned one. At least to the extent of allowing them to see why they can put down the hammer for an air or battery nailer.

Of course, there is the potential a bad nailer could sour someone on nailers, if it jammed too many times.

__
SIDE NOTES:

(1) My under $100.00 pancake runs every nailer I have, though the siding nailer does cause it to labor.

(2) To alter how long nails go through tough woods, switch the tail of the nailer around ninety degrees. Said another way, if long nails are veering off track, shoot from another angle and you may get better results.

(3) Oil is cheap.

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