Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Huntington Beach, California
I can not tell you what to do. I can relay my experience.
I bought a compressor and it came with an 18 gauge or brad nailer. I love it. The 18 gauge can not do everything so:
To do some framing work I bought a framing gun.
To do some door jamb trim I bought a 16 gauge gun.
To do some raised panel rattle prevention I bought a pin or 23 gauge gun.
But I needed some long ¼ inch staples so I bought a HF 18 gauge ¼ staple gun at HF.
But I needed to do some ½ inch wide staples so I bought two on sale at HF. One with 3/8 long and one with 1/2 long staples.
Then the neighborhood kids wanted to fill their bicycle tires, basket balls and soccer balls. Their parents wanted to fill their tires, etc. So I bought long hoses to reach everything. Oh, but you need the needle to fill all the balls so I bought. . . . And so it goes.
I was doing something with the 18 gauge in an awkward position and the gun bounced, multiple firing and not burying the nail so I bought a discontinued Hitachi (Now Metabo.) from Lowes. It is a single fire and bump-firing can be locked out. I sold the old one on Craig's List.
I was having some work done on the house and I traded the framing gun for a discount of more than I paid for it to the contractor.
In woodworking I use the brad or 18 gauge more than the others. I use the 23 gauge Pin gun probably almost as much. Both guns are used, to quote Norm, "Just to hold it place until the glue sets." :)
A few bits of advice on use.
Oil. Oil today. Oil tomorrow. OIL OIL OIL OIL. Every time that you use the gun, 3 to 5 drops of oil in the air inlet. This keeps the gun from jamming. If you are using the gun heavily, oil every 3 or 4 hours. There is all kinds of oil out there. But use an oil labeled as "Air Tool Oil". Sta Lube makes some and comes in pint(?) bottles about $6 at Harbor Freight. A pint should last you for many years even with heavy use. I bought some glue concertina bottles from Woodcraft for injecting glue into crevasses but used one with air tool oil. Three to five drops is very easy.
For all the guns except the Pin nailer, it doesn't matter where the nails come from as long as they are clean and not too long. The 23 gauge Pin nails must be good hard steel. Buy a brand name. The Pin nails from HF are too soft and tend to follow the grain. I have had HF Pin nails from HF turn 180° and come back out at me in Red Oak. These pins are usually available at woodworking stores, sometimes at HD or Lowes.
With the Pin nails, I rarely use anything longer than 5/8. Sometimes ¾ but never longer. If you think about it, you're not trying to frame a house with a pin nailer.
In furniture 1/32" is a Grand Canyon