air nailer advice for trim work

I may be redoing all the trim in my house (baseboards, around the doors, and some new crown molding). Need to know 2 things:
a) what size nail to use. I've heard 15ga,16g, and 18g, and what type of nail? b) what brand of air nailer to go with? I have HD/Lowes brands to choose from; Porter-Cable, Bostitch, Hitachi, and Senco, or I can go with Paslode system and not use my air compressor
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A 15 ga and an 18 ga will be about your best bet. Run 2 1/2" nails in the 15ga for the majority of your work. The 18 ga nailer will likely be running 1 1/4" nails. Look to the nail packaging to determine the compatability, I usually buy my nails where I get my guns serviced and those folks can recommend which nails run the best in which manufacturer's guns.
I wouldn't recommend that you buy into the airless nailers. 1) initial expence because you need two guns. 2) You already own an air compressor. 3) a group of other reasons I think they are a pain in the a** but wouldn't mind using one in certain work situations. 4) Probably easier resale of the pneumatic guns if you wanted to get rid of them later, not to mention there are plenty on the used market if you wanted to buy used (all my guns were purchased used).
Any of the manufacturer's you mentioned make fine pneumatic nailers for what you're doing, differences won't appear till you put some real wear and tear on the tools like a contractor would. Most of my experience is with Senco and PC with Senco being my favorite for finish work.

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Just to echo the above post, I have all three sizes. I never use the 16 gauge. It's either the 15 gauge or the 18 gauge. (Or the framing nailer)
I actually have several nailers. "It was an auction, Honey, and this was too cheap to pass up." I have Craftsman, Paslode, Porter Cable and Senco. All of them, (including the Craftsman) have performed well. (Light duty, home usage)
However (!), sometimes it gets a bit tricky remembering which angle they use and generic nails are always quite a bit cheaper that name-brand.
I would suggest, working backwards, to check the place you're going to buy the nails and find out which sizes they carry (in bulk). (Those tiny Porter Cable packages are cute, but they're damn expensive, too).
It's my impression, completely unsubstantiated, that the 16 gauge Craftsman is an odd duck. It's my impression, from attending many auctions of manufacturing concerns, that Senco is a very popular brand in those circles.
If I was out on a job site, I'd probably have one of those Paslode airless nailers, but around the house, (including work in the back yard), I've never been in a situation where my small (Porter Cable pancake) compressor and my (Paslode brand) framing nailer couldn't be used. Rolling up a heavy duty extension cord isn't THAT big a deal.
James...
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A neighbor of mine brought home a combination kit with brad nailer, finish nailer, hose, fasteners and a small Porter Cable pancake compressor for $300 a couple of weeks ago, from one of the home center stores. I thought that was a pretty good deal.
He decided to spend the money, even though I, and another neighbor had offered him the use of our air tools for the job (crown, trim and baseboards). He figured there's almst always a good use for a portable air compressor.
Patriarch
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15ga oilfree angle nailer. Others are good but less versatile. Brand is up to you. I have the Bostitch and love it. Even for framing heavy work it's handy. Those long 2.5 nails are like having a third hand. You can tack stuff into place with the very light weight 15 ga and bang them in with your framer later.
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I have a 15ga. angle nailer for the crown moulding, 18ga brad nailer (1-1/4") for the baseboards and a narrow-ga. stapler for door trim. I have two friends who have the 16ga. finish nailer. Everything is PC except the stapler which is Spotnails.

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