Q: Tell Me About Nail Guns

My very talented housekeeper has replaced the crummy baseboards in a couple of my rooms with nice maple molding. She used a borrowed cordless nail gun that apparently did (barely) the job, with a few of the nails needing additional manual settings. But it mostly did a good job.
We liked it so much that I've purchased an additional 180 feet of baseboard, which happens to be red oak as the maple pattern wasn't easily obtainable right now from the merchant.
She complained that the nail gun in question was quite heavy and tiring to use. Plus, it was borrowed.
I'm never one to turn down an opportunity to purchase a new tool. Can anyone suggest what I need to consider? She was just given a small and inexpensive air compressor, which seems to run for quite a while to build up pressure. So I'm willing to purchase a pneumatic gun, but don't know if that's the best choice - if there's such a thing as a best choice - for this application. I've never owned a compressor and have absolutely no famliarity with air equipment, but have no objection to air tools if they are appropriate here.
Advice and guidance welcome.
Art
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On 9/28/2011 2:50 PM, Arthur Shapiro wrote:

Quite an investment _only_ for one purpose--not to try to discourage anybody from more toys, but... :)
A pancake compressor is sufficient for nailguns but will be of limited use for other purposes hence for average homeowner use likely something like the 5-8 gal oilless compressors from the box stores are the likely alternate.
I'm partial to the Bostitch nailers but Senco and many others are good as well. Even the HF can be ok for small-volume users.
If she didn't like the weight, for higher $$ one can get Mg frames and hence lighter guns but that comes w/ the price tag...
Quite likely the gun and/or pressure could have been adjusted to have set the nails previously more better (to use the vernacular :) ). I've never had the Bostitch fail even w/ oak trim in very old yellow pine once adjusted...
--
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I second the Bostitch choice. Have 3 Bostitch Ridge Runner roofing nailers, and 1 Bostitch brad nailer. Bought a Senco finish nailer, but they're not what they used to be. Ended up returning it & buying a Bostitch finish nailer.
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wrote:

I believe it was a Bostich - a pretty healthy-sized unit. I"m at work right now and don't know the model.

Those kits are quite pricey but look great.
I see some very nice comments on the PorterCable air guns, such as BN138 or the older BN125 (don't yet know the difference) and they're quite inexpensive, especially reconditioned. As we already have the compressor, crummy as it might be, this might be a nice way to go. I understand that these guns are appropriate for even the smallest compressors; if I want to run a sandblaster or the like it's another story.
Art
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snipped-for-privacy@unisys.com (Arthur Shapiro) wrote in wrote:

Harbor Freight's Central Pneumatic guns are reputed to be a good deal. Parts support might be a problem. You might even have a HF store locally.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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On 9/28/2011 8:24 PM, Jim Yanik wrote:

I'm taking a day off tomorrow, and will probably drive up to HF about 15v miles from here. But there's a almost-unused Porter-Cable CFFN250N kit (compressor + brad nailer + finish nailer) on the local Craigslist for $125. (It's $300 on Amazon.) Tempting!
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On 9/29/2011 12:26 AM, Art Shapiro wrote:

As others have said, the good ones are very good and the cheap ones are what you pay for. That said, I bought an el-cheapo set of 3 (brad, staple, finish) from Menard's and they have performed well for me. I've mostly used the finishing nailer to build many utility shelf units in a new house. I think I paid about $80 for the 3, no compressor, which I already had, anyway. I don't know if you have Menard's in your neck of the woods but I did find one in their latest on-line flyer for $99 with a small compressor and 3 nailers. BUT, I think I'd probably check out Porter Cable on Craiglist as long as it doesn't cost and arm and leg to ship it.
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On 9/28/2011 9:26 PM, Art Shapiro wrote:

OK, folks, need a "ha ha" or a "too bad":
I drove up to Harbor Freight (the Porter Cable on the local Craigslist was snatched up rapidly, as you might imagine from that price). Bought the gun and a bunch of other stuff, of course. Spent $65.
Came home, and as I was unloading the car up walks the postman. He hands me the latest Harbor Freight flyer with a coupon for 15% off $65.
Couldn't I at least get the stuff into the garage before seeing the bleedin' flyer???
Art
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Art Shapiro wrote:

Tough. Take ALL the stuff back to HF for a refund. Then buy it all over with the coupon.
I hate to admit it, but I've done exactly that. Of course if was for a $12.95 item that was sold the next day for $4.95...
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wrote:

If you get a Harbor Fright gun buy the better one. I have 2 18ga nailers from them. The cheap red one is pure crap. The purple one that costs about $10 more is OK for occasional use. I ran it off of a regular BevCo 20# Co2 tank when I was finishing my kitchen and shot hundreds of 18 ga nails without using an appreciable amount of gas..
BTW I don't see either of them in the current catalog but I would still stay away from their cheapest tool, no matter what it was.
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On Sep 29, 12:02am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

How about their rulers, are they shorter than most other rulers<G>.
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Jim Yanik wrote:

Their pneumatic guns COME with spare parts. And an oiler.
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Sounds like you have a keeper for housekeeper Pneumatic is the way to go. Personally, I have Porter Cable nailers, but for a one time job, I'd probably get a Harbor Freight job as they are quite cheap.
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I also have a 16ga. and an 18ga. Porter Cable finish nailer. They have both been very good tools. For a one-time use, I would probably try an HF, though. My HF framing nailer sucks eggs but the smaller stuff seems to be OK.

With a nailer?
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I've had them not sink nails completely and double-fire (my Senco siding nailer loves to double-tap) but I don't recall ever having a bent nail. If it doesn't sink it, the nail might as well be bent, though. It's not going in without bending (just pull it out before you make it harder).
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Arthur Shapiro wrote:

You can't go wrong with the Harbor Freight Brad Nailer and stapler for $20.00.* http://www.harborfreight.com/18-gauge-2-in-1-nailerstapler-68019.html
It will shoot a brad up to 2", which should be more than sufficient for molding. HF also has a brad nailer only - no stapler - for one dollar less, but the staple capability is swell for attaching things that are somewhat porous to nails, such as carpeting for a cat scratching post.
The aforementioned nailer needs 70-110psi, which virtually any compressor can handle. It also requires 1/2 cu ft per minute of air.
Likewise, the HF pancake compressor
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-gallon-100-psi-oilless-pancake-air-compressor-95275.html
at $60 seems like it can keep up with the nailer.
The brads and staples are about $10 per million. I have two sizes of brads, 1.25" and 2" and two sizes of staples, 0.5" and 1.25". This variety handles everything I've needed.
Once you get a brad nailer, you'll wonder how you reached this level in life without one.
I've just about forgotten how to use a hammer.
----------- * I think the practical difference between a "brad" and a "nail" is that a "brad" is thinner and less strong structurally. This is more than acceptable for molding. Further, the hole created by the automatically countersunk brad is much smaller than that of a regular finishing nail. HF brads and staples are either coated with some kind of sticky-business or have minuscule spines - they are not as easy to pull out as a finishing nail.
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On Wed, 28 Sep 2011 19:50:21 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@unisys.com (Arthur Shapiro) wrote:

So you're going to spend several hundred bucks just to install 180 ft. of moulding? You got to be very lazy to not be willing to hammer in around 100 finishing nails. Hell, hire some homeless person to use the hammer if you're that goddamn lazy....
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