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
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
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.
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,
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.
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
15ga oilfree angle nailer. Others are good but less versatile. Brand is up to
I have the Bostitch and love it.
Even for framing heavy work it's handy. Those long 2.5 nails are like having a
You can tack stuff into place with the very light weight 15 ga and bang them in
with your framer later.
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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