The Best Pin Nailer

nails best pin nailer on the market

​A high quality, accurate pin nailer brings a world of convenience to your woodworking projects. You'll be able to quickly fasten pieces together, holding them in place until your glue dries. This makes it so that you can move quicker, but also have more precision in the finished product.

The best pin nailer combines power and accuracy, ​whereas a cheap subsitute fires the pin nails everywhere. We've used the worst nailers on the market before, and its not fun - it can ruin a project. That's why we've put together a review of the top pin nail guns on the market. 

​Our Pin Nailer Reviews

Here’s a look at three very capable pin nailers that we found to be some of the best pin nailers we’ve seen on the market. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks, but each can perform your fastening jobs with ease and grace.

​Porter-Cable PIN138 Pin Nailer

Weighing in at 2.2 pounds, the ​Porter-Cable PIN138 Inch Pin Nailer is a handy pin nailer that offers plenty of durability and function. This pin nailer uses 23-gauge headless and slight head pin nails that range from 5/8 to 1-3/8 inches in length. It also comes with 2000 pin nails to get you started.


When using this pin nailer, you’ll appreciate the automatic adjustment feature that allows you to switch pin nail size with the need for a tool. There is also a low-nail indicator and dry-fire lock-out safety system for added safety. It has a rear exhaust system to prevent moisture from penetrating your wood surface and can be clipped to a tool belt with the reversible clip.

Other features of the Porter Cable pin nailer include a maintenance-free, oil-free motor and the ability to sink 1-3/8-inch pin nails into hardwoods. It also comes with a carrying case for added convenience.

​Essential Product Specs:

  • ​Cordless
  • ​23 gauge
  • ​5/8 inch to 1 3/8 inch
  • ​130 Micro Pin Nail Capacity
  • ​60-100 PSI
  • plus
    ​3 lbs
  • plus
    ​3 year warranty

The only drawback that we can see with this pin nailer is the short length of the pin nails. You may have some issues installing crown molding with it because of the pin length provided, yet this pin nailer has plenty of power and can penetrate MDF with ease. It also comes with a three-year limited warranty.

​Makita AF353 Pin Nailer

The ​Makita AF353 Pin Nailer is dedicated to driving headless pins that have a length that is 5/8 to 1-3/8 inches. It is sized for 23-gauge nail pins and features a compact 2-pound weight. It uses two-finger operation for controlled use of the device.

Safety options on this pin nailer model include a nail lockout and indicator window to alert when reloading is necessary. It is designed with a reversible belt-hook for easy carrying and a rear exhaust port to keep your wood project moisture-free. A built-in air duster cleans your work surface as you drive the pin nails into it.


Additional features of this Makita pin nailer include two removable no-mar tips and a carrying case. It also is constructed of aluminum for strength and durability. It also comes with a three-year warranty for added coverage.

​Essential Product Specs:

  • ​Pneumatic
  • ​23 gauge
  • ​5/8 inch to 1 3/8 inch
  • ​130 Micro Pin Nail Capacity
  • ​65-100 PSI
  • plus
    ​2 lbs
  • plus
    ​3 year warranty

We only noticed one drawback with this very capable pin nailer. It does not allow you to use slight head pins, which provides some limitations. But, if your application requires headless pins, you’ll find this pin nailer can meet your expectations.

​Recon PIN138R Pin Nailer

Developed for use with both headless and slight head pins, the ​ReconPIN138R Pin Nailer can utilize 23-gauge pin dimensions in 5/8 to 1-3/8 inch lengths. It features a maintenance-free, oil-free motor and has plenty of power to drive pins into oak.


A rear exhaust system eliminates moisture, and a dry-fire lock-out offers additional safety. This pin nailer is designed with a narrow nose that allows you to get into tight corners without fighting the angle. Pins are loaded at the side, and the micro pin capacity is 130 units. A reversible belt clip holds the pin nailer in place, and a dual trigger allows for managed control of the tool. A reload indicator light lets you know when you need to add more pins.

​Essential Product Specs:

  • ​Pneumatic
  • ​23 gauge
  • ​5/8 inch to 1 3/8 inch
  • ​130 Micro Pin Nail Capacity
  • ​60-100 PSI
  • plus
    ​4.7 lbs
  • plus
    ​1 year warranty

The main drawback of this pin nailer is the short one-year warranty it comes with. But, it is designed to be a rugged pin nailer so the need to use the warranty may not be there. A carrying case completes the package.

​Our Pick for the Best Pin Nailer

When choosing the best pin nailer for your workshop, we recommend the ​​Porter-Cable PIN138 Inch Pin Nailer. This pin nailer comes with plenty of features at a moderate price tag. While you’d do well with any of these pin nailers, the Porter Cable model is our top pick because it offers a variety of applications as well as durability. It is the perfect pick to add to your toolbox.

nails best pin nailer on the market

What Features to Consider in Your Pin Nailer

As you begin your search for the best pin nailer, there are some factors you need to keep in mind. You need to think about how you will use your pin nailer and what type of applications it should be best suited towards. This will allow you to select a model that is tailored to your needs and provide you with a tool that you’ll use frequently.

Related: Brad Nailer vs Pin Nailer: Which is Best and When to Use Each

Pin Nail Length​

One of the most important features of your pin nailer is the size of pin it can drive. This will determine the type of projects you are able to complete. Longer pin nails will be able to penetrate hardwoods like oak while a short pin can be used for trim work or softer woods like pine.  

We prefer the option of being able to go deeper with our pin nails. In general, having that flexibility is better.

Most pin nailers cap out at around 1", meaning that you are restricted to using pin nails that have a length (or depth) of 1 inch. Some of the models in our review go deeper, and we even have one brand that goes as deep as 2".

​If you think you'll be needing to consistently use nails that are longer than 1", you could also consider picking up a good brad nailer. Brad nails are thicker, and have some drawbacks, but most models that we reviewed have nail lengths that exceed 2". 

PSI

Pneumatic pin nailers are attached to an air compressor, and this is where they draw their power to fire the pin nail into the material. And, PSI (pounds per square inch) is the measure of how powerful the air is fired. In other words, the higher the PSI, the more powerful the nail gun.

​Most brands provide a PSI range for their pin nailers, which allows you to adjust how much power you use. This range is key, as you'll want to adjust it depending on the material you are using the pins in.

Thicker materials require a higher PSI to push the nail into, whereas thiner, softer materials use a lower PSI>

Consider what you'll be using your pain nailer for. In general, the wider the PSI range of your nailer, the more versatile it is.

Weight

You also want a pin nailer that is lightweight. Because this is a handheld tool, you’ll spend a good majority of your time holding the device, and a lightweight model will help eliminate exhaustion as you work.

Many models are constructed of lightweight aluminum with a rubberized grip for added durability and ergonomics.

Nail Capacity

The beauty of this type of nail gun is that you can work fast. The downside of that is that you'll go through pin nails quickly. So you're not having to reload your nail gun every minute, pay attention of the capacity of nails that it can hold.

We find that a minimum of 100 nails is a good starting point, but the more the better. All of the pin nailers on our review can hold at least 130 at at time.

Safety Features

A dry-fire lockout system is a must for pin nailers. This prevents the pin nailer from firing when there are no pin nails loaded, so it doesn’t create strike marks that could mar your wood piece.

Some nailers also offer you an indicator to let you know when you are getting low on pins. This is a helpful feature that can help you keep track of when you need to reload.

Warranty

Finding a pin nailer that meets all the requirements you need and also offers a warranty is ​a plus. Not to say that these things break a lot, but due to the mechanics of how they are built, its nice to have a warranty to back them up. 

A warranty of at least three years is recommended to ensure you have the support you need should you have any issues with your pin nailer down the road.

Additional Features

Looking for options such as an oil-free motor, carrying case, and narrow nose can also provide you with a multifunctional pin nailer that will excel in a range of fastening applications.

An oil-free motor will eliminate the need to perform any maintenance on the nail pin throughout your ownership, while a narrow nose will allow you to get into tight areas with ease.

A carrying case is also a nice option to have to store your pin nailer and keep it free from damage.

​Check out our Other Buying Guides:

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