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Thread: nailer questions for trim and baseboards

  1. #1

    Default nailer questions for trim and baseboards

    Hello all,

    Why type of nailer would typically be used for putting up trim? A brad nailer? A finish nailer? Is a brad nailer the same as a pin nailer? Is it just a question of the size of the nail/brad they put in and whether of not it has a head (ie brad has a very small or no head, finish nails do)?

    I'm looking at these two (I'm a Ridgid fan) and trying to figure out what differences there would be in range of applications:

    brad nailer

    finish nailer

    EDIT: I am also planning on buying a framing nailer which has a range of 2" - 3 1/2", which I think would be able to do most of the functions of a finish nailer, but not a brad nailer. Correct?
    Last edited by Spokeshaven; 08-14-2008 at 05:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: nailer questions for trim and baseboards

    A pin nailer is used mainly to hold small or delicate pieces of trim in place untill the glue dries.
    I have one, and it's great for it's intended purpose.

    Brad (18gauge), 16, and 15 guage are all finish/trim nailers.
    18 guage is good for trim,and basebords while 15 gauge can tend to split it.
    Unless we are talking about large mouldings, trim, and crown... then 15 gauge would be more appropriate


    If I need better holding power, for instance ... to suck a a piece of trim in a little, I will use my narrow crown stapler.

    A framing nailer is for framing, and installing sheathing.
    It would destroy trim, and if it didn't, it would leave a big ugly hole.

    I have all of the nailers mentioned.
    Last edited by Shawn in Surrey; 08-14-2008 at 06:09 PM.
    Cheers Shawn.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: nailer questions for trim and baseboards

    Hi
    I have been using a brad nailer 18 gauge for trim, crown & baseboards for yrs now & they work very well .
    i use a little bit of poly to cover the little hole it leaves there.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: nailer questions for trim and baseboards

    For baseboards and other light trim eg. door casings, I would suggest getting the 18 gauge brad nailer. It is lightweight, economical to feed, and will certainly get the job done. The small(er) nose on the nailer will help you to place fasteners in corners where a larger nailer (eg. 15 or 16 gauge) would not fit. As well, the relatively small hole is easy to fill/paint.

    A 15 or 16 ga. nailer might be helpful for heavier moldings such as crown moldings along the upper wall/ceiling, but are overkill for baseboards and window/door casings. Also the tool is heavier, which is a consideration with overhead work, and the fasteners are much more expensive than 18 gauge nails. My 15 ga nailer is a Porter Cable that takes "angled" nails, which are not as readily found as the 16 ga. straight nails (like the Ridgid shown in your second link).

    As Shawn notes, a 23 ga. pin nailer is typically used to fasten lightweight moldings to furniture leaving a nearly invisible hole eg. placing crown molding around the top of a carcase to hide the dovetails. A pin nailer is not suitable for trim such as baseboards.

    I have all three types, and if forced to have only one it would be an 18 gauge tool.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: nailer questions for trim and baseboards

    What Shawn said.

    A pinner is also useful for holding outside miter joints on crown or casing while the glue dries.

    If you're only going to get a single nailer, I think the 18-gauge is probably the most flexible. You need to get into fairly wide moldings before it becomes too small, although the 15-gauge is nice for "sucking up" a piece of trim. (I have no stapler.)

  6. #6
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    Bill

    Default Re: nailer questions for trim and baseboards

    My only concern with the above comments is using an 18ga nailer for baseboards is the length of the brad. You possibly could be up to 1" in depth before you hit solid framing and the most common brad nailers are 1-1/4" long.

    Regardless, having a 18ga brad nailer is like having a third hand! Great tool for the money.

    billh

  7. #7
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    Default Re: nailer questions for trim and baseboards

    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    My only concern with the above comments is using an 18ga nailer for baseboards is the length of the brad. You possibly could be up to 1" in depth before you hit solid framing and the most common brad nailers are 1-1/4" long.
    When I first started installing baseboard chez moi, I used the 2" brad nails that came with the PC kit. Now, though, I find that 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" are my most commonly used sizes for baseboard. Still have the 2" if necessary, though.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: nailer questions for trim and baseboards

    In my experience with lots of years of cabinetmaking and finish carpentry, I use the guns as follows:

    15ga - assembling cabinets
    16ga - siding
    18ga - interior finishing
    23ga - holding small pieces until glue sets up.

    If I saw anyone using a 16 or 15 inside a house, I would be surprised. Typically you don't see that on a jobsite. 16ga might be reasonable on a paint grade trim, although overkill. 15 ga inside would blow me away and I would question the individual using it, paint grade or not.

    Also, 2" nails are pretty standard, although shorter ones are often needed. If you add up 3/4 of trim, and 1/2 of drywall, that only leaves 3/4 to penetrate the stud. Which is quite enough.

  9. #9

    Default Re: nailer questions for trim and baseboards

    I must say I am surprised by some of the responses on here.

    If you are using finger jointed 3/8" pine or MDF trim, then an 18g brad will hold it to the wall.

    But, if you are trying to hold a 10' piece of 3/4" oak trim to a wall, nothing other than a 15g will do. Same goes for putting jams up, 15g.

    David.

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