General purpose nail gun.? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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General purpose nail gun.?

I am going to renovate my home very soon.. Looking for the right nail gun and nails to use. I need a general purpose all round nail gun. I searched and found tons of brands and models are available in, and other tool stores. Can anyone recommend a nail gun for around $100 or cheaper that will do all type of jobs?

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post #2 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 09:41 AM
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you're not going to find one that does everything.

I have 4: A framer, roofer, 18 ga. brad and 18 ga staple. What all are you planning on doing? framing, trim, both????

EDIT: All 4 are guns from Harbor Freight

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post #3 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 11:38 AM
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I spent 40 years renovate homes and I totally agree with mdlbldrmatt135 the only exception for me is the addition of a trim gun. You may think abount rental which will help you make your decision

Last edited by tendres; 03-24-2010 at 12:32 PM.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 12:54 PM
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Look I have a 28 degree Frame gun from Harbor Freight on sale $59 built 3 large sheds and a 24x34 shop never had a problem. I have a Husky trim gun and brad nailer set from Home Depot on sale $40 never had a problem. I also have a Harbor freight brad nailer/stapler ($20) and a roofing coil gun ($69) both heavily used and no problems. Nails are interchangeable with other brands I get mine at HD or HF.

Depending on your needs you will need different guns for different jobs but if you shop smart you can get deals.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 05:36 PM
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As most of the posters have suggested a good framing gun will take from a 6d common to a 16d common bright galvi SST and ring. A good finish gun will handle from 1-1/2" to 2-1/2" brights galvis and SST finish nails, a good brad nailer will run 3/8" to 1-1/2" brads and pins. If the gun is rated as 14 gauge it'll handle 16g and maybe 18g nails, not sure about 18g I never used any.

As for what is good and what isn't, much of it is determined by the amount of work the tool is put through. Many of the newer, (framing and finish) guns are sensitive and spend more time in the shop, the older models from Paslode, Bostich and Hilti were like Timex watches, old faithful and the 1911a colt, takes a licking, on time and throw it in the mud and it'll still fire.

I don't think you mentioned what your project is so it's impossible to suggest what to rent. I'm guessing you've never used an air gun before, they can be intimidating to many and will take a bit to get used to by weight and action.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 05:38 PM
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Unless you're studding out walls you can probably get by without a framer. For rehab/renovation work I'd think a 15 ga trim gun, an 18 ga brad nailer and maybe a crown stapler will get you by.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 05:45 PM
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Homedepot has a porter cable framer, brad, and stapler in one package. That will do everything.
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-29-2010, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Colt W. Knight View Post
Homedepot has a porter cable framer, brad, and stapler in one package. That will do everything.
I picked one of these kits up about 8 months ago, when I knew I was going to be putting up a lot of crown molding, baseboard, and a couple of other things. The one I got had a finish nailer, brad nailer, pin nailer, and staple gun, along with the compressor and hose. I was astonished at how usable it all is. I'm not going to say it's great quality, because I don't have anything to compare it to, but the pieces work well and haven't jammed yet. I've gone through about 1000 nails with the finish nailer, nearly that many staples, and several hundred brads without a single problem. For $300, I'd say I got a great deal.

The newer kit with the framer might actually be more useful as an all-purpose kit, but the one I got was exactly what I needed at the time.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-29-2010, 06:33 PM
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First, regardless of the brand, put a few drops of oil in the gun every time that you use it. (Once a day)

Most of the HF nail guns are adequate for the average range of home owner jobs. Think of them as, "I'll get this job done and then I won't need it again."

The bad thing about HF nail guns is that you won't be able to sell the gun after you have finished the job.

It has been said that if you are going to frame walls, get the framing nail gun. If you're not then don't waste your money. I don't do roofing work so I would never buy a roofing (Coil of nails) nail gun.

For woodworking and stuff around the house ~

Brad (18 ga) is good for most woodworking projects.

Finish (16 ga) is good for molding, trim around the house, etc.
Note that a 15 ga (angle) may be useful where clearance is needed. Crown molding is easier with a 15 ga gun than a 16 ga gun. The 16 ga gun will need to be held horizontal and it is a bit more difficult to hit the studs than with an angled 15 ga gun. (I did my crown molding with a 16 ga gun w/o a problem.) The 16 ga gun is perfect for build cabinet carcasses. (From sheet melamine)

The gun that I use probably the most is my 23 ga pin nail gun. This gun makes attaching small molding to woodworking projects simple. AND the nail holes are almost impossible to find.

Finally, if you expect to be doing drawer bottoms that are just glued to the bottom of the drawer sides and upholstery, a gun that shoots staples is useful.

My brands of guns are:
PC for 23 ga and 16 ga, Devilblis for the 18 ga and HF for the 18 ga / 1/4" staple and 1/2" staple. (5 Guns total) I sold my PC framing nail gun after the project for about $50 less than I paid for it. (Cheaper than a HF or renting.) The HF guns are, well, OK. The others are great!

Remember a few drops of oil in the hose connection does wonders for a nail gun. A friend was complaining about jamming and when I asked about if he put the oil in the gun I got one of those "WTF?" looks. I oiled his gun and the jams stopped within a few shots.

There is one other thing about nail guns. I've noticed that putting a project on a rug and then trying to nail in the direction of the rug usually does not sink the nail fully. There is too much resilience in the rug.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-30-2010, 05:01 PM
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I'm another vote for you not being able to find an all in one gun. The fasteners are just too different to reliably drive all of them with one driver...

I am not a professional, but a rather productive hobbyist / DIY-er... And my nailers are all from Harbor Freight. All bought on sale, and all using the 20% off coupons that keep popping up... I have the following...

28 degree framing nailer. (Useful for nailing anything construction wise such as fencing, building a deck, putting up a shed, etc...)
16 ga finish nailer. (I use it a lot for things like case construction etc...)
23 ga brad nailer (My MOST used nailer, good for tacking stuff together while glue sets...)
18 ga nailer / stapler combo (used as a stapler only).
Coil Roofing Nailer. (For me, Sheds, no way am I climbing up on my roof!)

I have been very pleased with the performance of these tools. And total cost for all of them on sale etc.. was under $200.00

No matter what gun you get, make sure that you treat it right. put a couple of drops in through the nipple before hooking it up and using it for the day. That will help your gun last MUCH, MUCH longer...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See

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post #11 of 15 Old 04-19-2017, 02:29 PM
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trim nailer

Does anyone know of any electric (preferably cordless) or strong manual 23-G brad nailers?
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-19-2017, 03:17 PM
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Nail guns are made for specific applications.
A framer is made to shoot framing nails between 2" and 3 1/4" long.
Once a house is framed, you have very little need for a framer.
A 16 gauge trim nailer can drive nails from 1 1/4" to 2 1/2" long and can do all the interior trim on a house. This is a very versatile nailer.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-19-2017, 05:27 PM
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Dang it. Suckered again by someone bringing up a thread from 7 years ago.
Start a new thread if you have questions. Folks will help.
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-19-2017, 08:40 PM
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I have several Harbor Freight nail guns and they all work fine.
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-19-2017, 08:48 PM
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How does a 7 year old post get re-posted and come up as a new post?

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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