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Hello folks,

I am about to invest in a nailer or two. My projects are small using 1/4 to 3/4 inch plywood (current project: dollhouse). I have been looking at an 18 ga. brad nailer and a pinner. I am not sure which would work best for the 1/4" walls and roof. I am leaning toward a couple of Bostitch nailers and a Craftsman 6 gal pancake compressor (Lowes). Your guidance will be greatly appreciated.
 

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If there's a Harbor Freight near you, take a look at their tools. I have one of their framing nailers (for a couple of years) and a small brad nailer for about 3 months. They get air from a Lowe's (6 to 8 gallon?) compressor. They both work just fine for me as a part-time casual woodworker.

If you are putting nails in wood as a construction professional, they may not hold up as long as the $$$$ brands. But for my uses they are fine.

Why the framing nailer? I needed one for a specific task, building a wall to make an office in part of the workshop. Looking at options, it was cheaper to buy one from HF than rent one for a week from a big-box store. Since then it has only had a few days of use, and I will probably drop it off at the Habitat for Humanity store by the end of the year.
 
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The Bostich guns are nice because they don't need to be oiled. However, ergonomically my PC 18 gauge is more comfortable than my Bostich brad nailers. I have an Hitachi framing nailer and it has a lot of power. It seems more powerful than the Holzher it replaced. I also have an Hitachi pin nailer. It works well but it has a safety on the trigger and I wound up taping it down so I didn't have to use it. That's never been an issue in the two years I've had it but if someone else has a brand that works well I'd go with theirs. The Bostich narrow crown stapler uses 6mm staples instead of 1/4" and the Bostich brand staples are way more money here so you may want to check that out. I also have a Campbell Hausfeld in 1/4" and it has worked fine and staples are cheap. Medium crown I've only ever used a Bostich so I have nothing else to compare it to.
 

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Doug
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For 1/4 inch ply I usually use staples if I can (for cabinet backs, etc). For a doll house the brads should be fine as a backup to the glue.

I have a California Air Systems quiet compressor, definitely worth the extra $60 over your average compressor. I honestly forget to turn the thing off sometimes it is so quiet. I got mine on a black Friday deal, and signed up for their credit card to get an extra $50 off, fantastic buy. Lowes and HF have their own knock offs of the CAL compressor now, you might be able to score something very similar for less.


I have a Accuset 23 ga pin nailer, and love it to death.

I use the super cheap HF 18 ga pin nailer and the 18 ga nailer/stapler combo. For the $ they can't be beat. Just fire a few test brads into similar wood and adjust the regulator on the compressor.

I CAN'T STAND my HF 16 gage nailer, I only use it if I absolutely have to

I have a Hitachi 15 gage nailer that I use for everything the 18 ga brad nailer can't do. It is an awesome piece of equipment.


https://www.amazon.com/California-A...ateway&sprefix=california+air+,aps,146&sr=8-5
 

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I have and like my Hitachi 18 gauge nailer. Often use it on projects to hold things in place until I can get a few screws in place. For this purpose I often use the 2.5 inch nails, the maximum size. It also uses easy to get Porter Cable nails.

I have an off-brand 23 gauge pin nailer that is useful for holding things in alignment during glue up. I think with really short pins you could use it for miniatrues, but it will not hold things together. A light pull or twist will pull the pieces apart.
 

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Theo
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My nailer of choice for a doll house build.
 

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I have a harbor freight pin nailer that works great for thin material. I also have their 18 ga brad nailer /stapler that works well also. The pin nails don't split the thin stock. I use that on toys I make. I use both of them weekly for the past several years with good result. I can't advise you on the compressor. I have a large stationary air compressor unit. You can never have to much air :)
 

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Hello folks,

I am about to invest in a nailer or two. My projects are small using 1/4 to 3/4 inch plywood (current project: dollhouse). I have been looking at an 18 ga. brad nailer and a pinner. I am not sure which would work best for the 1/4" walls and roof. I am leaning toward a couple of Bostitch nailers and a Craftsman 6 gal pancake compressor (Lowes). Your guidance will be greatly appreciated.
I believe Home Depot had a combination pan cake and two nailers for 100.
Haven't been back to see lately but they may still be there.

David
 

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There are a lot of things that would be almost impossible to nail the conventional way and for that reason, a nail gun is a must. A pin nailer may go through your 1/4" shingle unless you turn the air down quite a bit. For most everyday jobs a cheap HF gun will do the job. I have a 16 gauge as well as the 23 gauge pin nailer from HF. Both to me are worth their weight in gold. I have used mine for at least 5 years and they owe me nothing. I also have a PC 16 gauge that I use when a heavier gauge is needed such as installing molding. Whatever brand you get check out the nails or pins at HF they cost much less there.
 

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Note: the Hitachi is now a Metabo product. Same gun just a name change. I have a Hitachi framing nailer that works just fine. Buy whatever feels right in your hand. Many of the nailers are made by the same companies under various names. My personal opinion on Craftsman (and I have a few is that they are good home shop tools but not designed for everyday use for a production environment, but that's just me. I don't depend on the small pins or nails as the only connector of projects. I use them more to hold things in place while the glue dries. With small wood (dollhouse) the 23 gauge is less likely to split the wood and the hole is almost invisible. The HF things I have bought don't seem to hold up as long as other brands so I buy them selectively. The newer brands they now sell seem to be an improved product. The choice of tools seems to be in the personal choice category. I try to stick with brands that stand behind their products, such as Whiteside router bits, Timberwolf bandsaw blades and etc. Although they cost a bit more they last for years.
 

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There are a lot of things that would be almost impossible to nail the conventional way and for that reason, a nail gun is a must.
A must? No. Nice to have? Yes. They have been making doll houses for who know how long, and didn't use a nail gun for most of them. I've got two nail guns. However, if you don't count the one my older son has had since it was new and I never got a chance to even try, I have one nail gun, that I have had for a year or two. I suppose one of these days I should unbox it, and see if it works.

When I was in 4th grade shop class, we made a porch style bird "house", without a nail gun. That got me in the habit of knowing I could do things without one. Actually, I'm not sure if they were even selling them then. That would have been around 1950.
 

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I have many nailers, but after reading a few articles on best (pinners) with least wood punch, the Hitachi is the best rated. So I have that for 23g, I use a Ridgid as a 18g brad, and a PC for 14g framing (man that thing can kick). I have a HF that I use only as a stapler, but it is a 18g brad/stapler combined. And for staples it is good, for brads it is HORRIBLE as it jams on every 20th or so brad.
 

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A must? No. Nice to have? Yes. They have been making doll houses for who know how long, and didn't use a nail gun for most of them. .
Agreed, other than our disabled fellows (like myself) it is a must, with 2 shattered wrists, I can no longer swing a 2 ounce peen hammer.
But for any normal person, no they are a luxury. I have a 2 story doll house I keep putting off. She is only 1 now, so I have time.

But dollhouses have been made as far back as ancient Egyptians. So a good 2,000 years not sure they had air compressors back then.
 

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A must? No. Nice to have? Yes. They have been making doll houses for who know how long, and didn't use a nail gun for most of them.
Hammering framing nails all day can cause issues with the elbow and wrist on that hand so a nailer can be a prevention against chronic stress on those body parts which in the long run makes them a very cheap investment. As for the smaller guns they allow you to hold a part with one hand and nail with the other which you can't do if you aren't able to start a nail first. In lots of cases hammering one nail loosens others that are already in. Once a nail pulls loose it never holds as well again and nailers don't tend to be as prone to do that.

Please also keep in mind that the OP didn't ask whether he should buy some nailers, he asked for recommendations. I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about using a hammer.
 

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Depends, if you have a good air compressor. Then the added cost of batteries may not be on the table. If money not a concern, and weight, then yeah a cordless may be the answer. Could depend as well on how long you plan on using it, air will last all day and into the next. The battery (a single one) will last a couple of hours. So make sure you consider cost of at least 1 extra battery. Perhaps rather than ratings on a nailer, look at what batteries you currently use, that will limit your choices real quick.
 

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I have a PC 18 ga 1 1/4" nailer, a Grizzly 18 ga nailer – 2 inches and a Grizzly 18 ga nailer stapler combo as well as a HF 23 ga pinner. I have a PC pancake compressor which is adequate for my needs. All of the nail guns have worked fine for me, but when you look at 23 ga pinners, check to see if they have a safety. The HF does not and I recall that some of the other lower-priced pinners I looked at did not either. I do not have a battery-powered nailer or pinner, but they may be a good option for you to consider. The battery would add some weight to the unit but you would avoid wrestling with the air hose.
 
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