Fine Points of Pin Nailers

Tips on avoiding jams and increasing counter-sink depth. October 26, 2005

Iím looking for opinions on 23 gauge pin nailers. I have looked at Fasco, Omer, Porter Cable, and Senco. The use for the tool is crown molding, casing, and other small trim.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
I have the Senco 23 gauge pin nailer and it works fine. The longest pin it will fire is 1". I think they have a 21gauge that shoots a 1-3/8" pin.

From contributor B:
I have the Omer and have no complaints. It replaced an Accuset, which I believe wore out before its time. There is another pinner that starts with a 'G' and has an 'x' in it, too. As I talked to sales and repair people about these guns they said that the PC is designed to be disposable. It costs more to fix it than to buy another one. Omer has a great reputation and is more production oriented. Also, get the Omer pins. They are clearly superior, and they do make a difference.

From contributor C:
I have the Grex 23 gauge. It has been a great gun for cabinet door assembly and crossnailing mitered corners on site. It has been in shop about 1-1/2 years, and done about 2500 doors with zero problems.

From contributor E:
I would say Omer all the way. We use both the 23 gauge, 21gauge, and the 18 gauge.

From contributor F:
Do the Grex and Omer have adjustable depth? I have a Senco and it does not.

From contributor B:
I don't think the Omer has an adjustable depth. It puts the pins just below the surface, even in hard maple.

From contributor G:
I use the Omer and shoot 1-1/8 pins. I ground a touch off the tip to get a little more depth.

From contributor H:
Grex works well for me. They do 1-3/16 nails and they are bright green and that is cool! Iíve never had a misfire and nails are 10000 for $15.

From contributor I:
After reading a similar thread to this one, I purchased the Senco version of this pinner which came bundled with a very handy mini compressor for $199 list which I got for $175 delivered from Amazon. It's a great combination with the compressor weighing under 20 lbs and only making about as much noise as a wall air conditioner. I've been very happy with both.

From contributor J:
After using a friends PC pinner for a short time I decided to invest in the Omer myself. It does seem to sink nails better than the PC especially in hard Maple. The only adjustment for depth is your air supply. It takes the max (which I believe is 90 psi) to sink in maple, but you can use less in softer woods.

From contributor K:
Years ago before all these brands were around, the company I worked for sold the pinner by Joseph Kihlberg. It was a very dependable gun and very pricey at the time. Iím throwing that name out there to give a more complete list on the pin guns available.

From contributor L:
I have the Senco and have had no problems so far. I do have a question about the v-shaped arrow on the pins. Does the arrow point the way the pin shoots, with the arrow first going into the wood? Why does it matter which end of a headless pins goes into the wood first? I think the pins are Grex.

From contributor M:
To contributor L: Driving the pins from a chisel point end can cause the driver to glance off the pin and wedge itself in the gun tip, requiring a disassembly to unjam it. I had this problem with my Accuset. The Senco people told me they knew about this problem and sent me some new parts and free brads. The brads they sent me were new right out of the machine and had arrows painted on them to show the proper way to load them. The drive end had been machined flat to give a better striking surface for the drive pin. I now take all my leftovers and flatten one end on a worn out belt on the edge sander.

From contributor L:
To contributor M: So do I. Do you load the gun with the arrow pointing towards the handle of the gun or pointing towards the wood it will be driven into?

From contributor M:

The arrow points to the wood!

From contributor F:
I did some checking with Grex and Omer. Grex said that the pinner will set their pin about 1/16 below the surface. Omer said that they can actually make you a special longer driver so you can get the pin 1/8 below the surface. Does anyone have the special drive in their gun?

From contributor L:
Iím curious as to why thereís a preference. Whatís the difference if the pin is 1/16'' or an 1/8'' below the surface?

From contributor F:
The only reason is for insurance. I would like the comfort of not having to worry if those tiny little pins are going to trash a 35 dollar belt. 1/16 is more often than not enough, but 1/8 would be great. I should say that I used to use my pinner for our cabinet door operation, but the Senco that I got sets them just below the surface not even close to a 1/16. Insurance - nothing more, nothing less.

From contributor F:
I called Senco, and their pinner is not manufactured to countersink the pin. However they referred me to a company called Motion Devices and they are developing a replacement driver for the 23 gauge pinner that will countersink the pin.

From contributor A:
I have the Senco gun and I can vouch that it doesn't sink the pin. I ground off a little bit of the tip of the gun and it sinks them now.