I just pulled a teaser post that was live for a brief time, as I wait for more details and official specs. In the meantime, do you even want a cordless pin nailer? Why?
Cordless pin nailers seem to be tricky for most brands to engineer, and I have always assumed it comes down to power and size.
Consider traditional hammers. Whether you’re driving in small or large nails, hammer sizes tend to scale up proportionally. The same doesn’t seem to be true for cordless pin nailers.
Take a look at the image above, of a Ryobi AirStrike pin nailer next to my Hitachi air-powered pin nailer. There’s a substantial size and weight difference here.
Here’s my Hitachi air pin nailer compared to a Maktia 18V model. The Makita is so much larger and heavier, it kind of answers the whole “why doesn’t every brand have a cordless pin nailer?” question.
Here’s another view to get a feel for the size differences.
Some cordless pin nailers are smaller than others – shown here is the Hitachi/Metabo HPT model. When you look at it from different angles, its size becomes more apparent. Even a somewhat compact cordless pin nailer isn’t anywhere close to the size of air-powered version.
And, Milwaukee’s M12 cordless pin nailer has started to ship. With this model, the 12V-class form factor helps to keep things more compact.
The size and weight discrepancy isn’t only found in 23 gauge pin nailers, but most nailer sizes. But as you go up in nail size, air nailers get bigger and heavier, and the differences between cordless and pneumatic tools aren’t as pronounced as with smaller tool sizes.
Different brands utilize various nail-driving mechanisms, but the basic components are the same – you need a motor to convert electrical power into motion, and then a drive mechanism for actually firing the nails. There’s only so much magic that brands can do to minimize the size of everything.
Cordless nailers are great for mobility. I recently used a cordless nailer for driving a couple of hundred 1-1/4″ staples, and the ergonomics were terrible and fatiguing, but I didn’t have to wrestle with a hose in tight spaces.
The goal with cordless pin nailers is to drive 23 gauge pins as well as with air-powered nailers. Cramming such performance into a cordless package will always mean compromises with respect to size, weight, and balance.
It seems that part of the engineering challenge is that pin nailers might share very little with bigger nailers, and so any technological achievements used to design next-generation brad, finish, or framing nailers probably won’t be applicable with a pinner.
So, cordless nailers will never match up to air-powered pin nailers, at least not in the foreseeable future. Even the best new cordless pinner will be larger and heavier than a pneumatic version of comparable power. Still, I AM SO EXCITED to see what’s next.
I won’t be ditching my air pin nailer, just as I still use my other air nailers for tasks where I don’t need the mobility or a cordless tool. But I think this is the size of cordless nailer I’d use most.
For a lot of workshop tasks – mainly minor tacking of small wood pieces during glue-ups – a brad nailer is too big, and it’s a hassle to bring out a compressor and drag a hose around for just minor needs.
C’mon black & yellow – hurry up!
Do you, or would you use a cordless pin nailer? Where? Why?
I’d use one for cabinet stuff on site, and anywhere I needed a quick and discreet nail. It’s the same mentality as any other cordless gun, just a much smaller nail.
I think they are targeted at maintenance crews (not sure how often they use pin nailers), finish carpenters working in homes/offices, and DIYers. As a DIYer my pin nailer and brad nailer are the only reason my compressor still exists. I haven’t switched to battery because of the size difference you mentioned above. Once the M12 goes on sale, I’ll give it a shot.
I hate the noise from the compressor, and the hose getting tangled around objects. I’ve got a Ryobi inflator for tires, M12 for mechanics tools, and nothing else that makes sense to run off the compressor.
Also, if I forget to turn off a cordless tool, it doesn’t wake my wife up in the middle of the night when it refills the tank. Both better for my mental and physical well-being 😉
Exactly, quiet and easy to transport are line items one and two when buying a tool. If I have to string a cord or a hose, it’s a trip hazard and doubles the time that I’ll need to spend setting up and tearing down from a job. For little maintenance tasks like securing a bit of molding? A ten minute job balloons to at least an hour if I have to set up a compressor and tear it down again. Although most pin nailers are ‘loud’ at least for someone right next to you on a phone, they are predicable, unlike a compressor kicking on at running for 90 seconds.
This is literally everything I was going to write, except I have the Milwaukee inflator.
If I get this new pin nailer, the only reason I will have a compressor is for the air nozzle, which is 100% necessary. It looks like the right size and I have plenty of unused 1.5Ah batteries to use in it.
I’m guessing you need the air nozzle for clean up? Ryobi makes a great mini blower that will replace your air nozzle. It works great to clean yourself off too.
I’m nearly compressor free now. I have a mini compressor for my pin nailer. The entire kit fits a 5 gallon bucket. Total setup and breakdown in under 10 minutes.
The M12 is a good choice. I bought the M18 and it is unwieldy. I wish I had gone with the M12.
I never bought a compressor, so I went with cordless nailers/pinners, to go with the rest of my cordless tools. I think the only corded tool I have is my sander, and a glue gun I never really use.
My excompatriots had great hopes for the first generation Makita XTP01Z – they were glad that they only bought one to try out. I heard nothing good about it – could not even sink pins consistently in pine – and was told it was a complete failure with oak. Makita soon came out with a second generation model – but I have not heard if it is bettter. We had been heavily invested in the Makita 18V lineup – but our pinners were Grex pneumatic. Since they folks have been swinging over to more Milwaukee M12 and M18 tools – they might be considering the M12 2540-20 as a next try. I doubt that they would swing over to a Ryobi, Hitachi (Metabo HPT) or Grex cordless as these would mean adding another battery platform.
Meanwhile in my home shop (piped for air) – I’m happy with my Grex pneumatic – but more often use a Cadex CPB21.50 – 21ga. pneumatic pinner. I find it to be a happy medium between the holding power of my 18ga brad nailer and anti-split less observable 23ga pinner. Grex is making a cordless 21ga- but I see no reason to buy one for shop use – and it looks really bulky:
From first hand experience, The Makita gen one was plagued by design issues, namely that we’re so accustomed to having to depress the tip of the tool to fire. Their dual action trigger was cumbersome and because the tip wasn’t depressed it meant not enough pressure was applied to the board and the recoil and fire time meant the tool was backing away from the board by the time the nail fired and the result was under driven pins. Hope that makes sense
Their gen 2 is much better and I wrote about purchasing the equivalent 12v, in the forum, which is smaller in size approximating some pneumatic. (Maybe I’ll write a full review comparing gen 1, 2 and the CXT models.)
I have a senco 21 gauge pinner and love it. Definitely a happy medium between brad nailer and pin nailer. It was pricey though.
The Cadex CPB21.50 that I use has worked flawlessly for me – but may not be available any longer. Nail Gun Depot sells the Cadex V2/21.55A for $289 – but it seems a bit bulkier. They also sell the Senco FinishPro 21LXP 21 gauge pinner for $243 , a Grex H850LX for $288, an Omer MG40 for $255. Their (NGD) cheapest 21ga is an Everwin P850 (brand I’m not familiar with) for $179. For comparison, I paid $340 for my Cadex in 2012 – and I think I got my money’s worth out of its use.
Cordless pin nailers are great for craft and hobby uses, as well. Who wants an air compressor in what’s probably an unused bedroom for many people. Or even to deal with the noise and hose in dedicate craft/hobby room or work area for infrequent usage.
For Ryobi, a lot of their things fit well in this area: pin nailer, glue gun, rotary tool, soldering iron, and maybe even throw in the heat gun, low pressure blower, and small fans. Oh, and their small shop vacs, too.
I’ve gone all cordless with nailers/crow staplers, with the exception of my pin nailer. I don’t use it a ton, but I was half planning on getting the M12 if there was ever a good sale. I’m now leaning towards the DeWalt 20v, as most of my woodworking tools are DeWalt, where M12 is more of my automotive/niche type of tools.
I’m glad you led with the comment about the pulled article – I was on the website earlier, saw it, had to go do something before reading, came back and it was gone. I was trying to figure out if something was wrong with my browser settings. 😋
I don’t own any type of pin nailer. I do own a pneumatic 18ga nailer, a T50 stapler, a framing nailer – plus a cordless 16ga nailer.
I must say the cordless 16ga is awesome. If you’re not doing a big project where setting up a pneumatic is a relatively small part of the time involved, the convenience of cordless is revolutionary. If I just need to drive a couple nails, my cordless nailer is instantly ready. That makes the tool itself more useful than its pneumatic counterpart.
I could see adding a pin nailer in the future – and you can be sure I would jump straight to cordless.
I would. I absolutely hate the inconvenience of pneumatics, and would gladly compromise on maneuverability for the sake of convenience/mobility.
That said, if you already have a compressor, pneumatics can’t be beaten for the price. That price difference alone is what I suspect has primarily kept pneumatics alive in the age of the brushless dc motor and li-ion battery. Other points like max power and not being tied into a proprietary (battery) system added to the case for pneumatics, but aren’t strong enough to stand up for pneumatic tools on their own.
On a side note, I bought a battery- powered stapler for my wife for crafting and upholstery projects. For us, the lack of hand fatigue was well worth the price.
Koko The Talking Ape
Pneumatics win on price, compactness, and I’m told, longevity.
They also still win out (even against their corded brethren) for some tasks like production sanding and grinding, and for many heavy duty tasks where they compete in a niche just below hydraulic tools (as in concrete and pavement breaking)
Even though I am a big fan of cordless electric, I’m still glad that air power is still thriving.
I like the fact that there are many ways of getting the job done, each with its particular advantages. It gives you the ability to make a choice that better fits in with your requirements, and a backup if one method fails or falls short of what’s needed.
I own certain tools in multiple power formats just for the enthusiast factor alone, sort of like (a much smaller scale version of) Jay Leno owning cars powered by steam, gas turbine, diesel, gasoline, electric and more.
When you’re excavating a foundation and run into a ledge of schist – no number rotohammers/jackhammers or even hoe rams will do. You just need to bite the bullet – call in the rock drillers and blasting crew. Then you can curse the subsurface survey that had been done prior to construction.
In my garage I have a typical homeowner 12 gallon air compressor with a 50 foot retractable air hose reel mounted right above it, this makes using my air nailers and blow gun seconds a way from connecting and using in a workshop setting and seconds away from disconnecting and having them put away, dragging the hose around isn’t so bad when it can roll itself up.
Cordless nailers shine on the jobsite so you don’t have to drag out a compressor. With that said, the M18 compressor now starts to make that a lot less of a chore if you’re already in the packout lineup.
I completely agree. The M18 is so quiet that it makes a cordless unneeded on my end.
You guys answered the question I was just about to post, I think! I’m very attached to my pneumatics, pin nailer being a chief one of them… but keep looking at that M18 compressor and wondering if it would be a worthwhile addition, then I do technically have long enough hoses to drag around my house from my detached garage… So the M18 is a good complement, in your opinion?
I use the cordless nailers for here and there jobs – for what I do it’s easy to grab them and use them. (I have the brad nailer M18).
An air nailer would be too much work and this is easier than a hammer setup.
Got our first cordless gun 5 years ago doing a punch list on a hotel. It was either get a cart and lug it around (elevator was off limits) with compressor, hose, and nailer or the 18g Ryobi. We have never had any problems with the Ryobi and by now I am sure it’s had 40,000+ nails through it.
If the M12 pinner works well we will probably buy 4 of them. Cabinet shops and trim carpenters need and use about all options of small gauge nailers that are out. The most important part is how long do they last before you toss them or possibly rebuild them. The pin nailers head’s wear fast with most brands.
I tend to agree with everyone else. There are indeed compromises in tool dimensions, but those compromises are well worth it. What maybe a slight drawback in size removes a lot of other burdensome characteristics like the hose and the compressor. Compared to using cordless, it’s like being tied to a literal boat anchor. Like many others, there’s little to no reason to own the air compressor anymore. The tool performance is negligible compared to the top end cordless tools, the cost of ownership will absolutely level out if you run a lot of compressed air. I’m talking about maintenance and other consumables, like hoses, fittings, oils, etc. depending on the complexity of your air system at home. That’s not to mention how wildly inefficient pneumatics are either, where you salvage maybe 10% usable energy; the other 90% being lost as heat.
Why did you pull the initial post?
Aside from not having all the details; Isn’t that what a teaser post is all about?
Even teasers need to be guaranteed-accurate, and I need a second public source or official details for that.
Understood! Thanks for the clarification
Koko The Talking Ape
Cool. I thought maybe you’d broken an embargo accidentally.
As it happens, I chatted with two DeWalt reps at a Home Depot about that tool earlier today. They said they had no idea of the release date.
Koko The Talking Ape
I also mentioned offhand that the M12 pinner also looks pretty tempting… 😀
I have that pneumatic hitachi pinner down in the shop and love it. However, in my craft room upstairs, I plan on getting the M12 pinner.
I’ve said this before in other threads on the topic – going cordless means I’ll actually use the pin nailer, and that means it’s always loaded and ready to go in my shop. As a hobbyist, having the ability to quickly pin something in place is really handy, but the process of get out nailer, get compressor up to pressure, deal with annoying volume for a bit, then get to shoot a couple of nails in was not one that led to me using the nailer frequently.
Now I just have to stop to think if I’ve got the size of nails I want loaded, and that’s an easy check.
The important caveat for me is that the Milwaukee M12 nailer looks like a really nice size, and the Robyi can be unwieldy for fine work. At some point an M12 version may hit my wishlist.
No waiting for a compressor to fill up to shoot one pin to fix something. Also, no carrying the compressor, finding an outlet, disturbing everyone, and did I mention carrying all of that crap?
I ditched my hose and compressors. I use Hitachi cordless framing, 16ga and 23ga and a Makita arrow stapler (3/8”). I’m in and out faster and quieter.
If you are a trim carpenter doing 8-10 hours of mouldings or a wood worker in a shop, cordless has more cons than pros, probably.
If you are framing, I find the framing gun to only be suitable for punch list jobs.
Since I’m on the go, my compressors were small. The cordless guns sink everything, consistently, every shot. A small compressor cannot keep up nor come close to matching that performance.
I’m also away from outlets often, I could just go on about how much of a happy camper I am with cordless.
The m12 is easily the best pinner on the market. Prefinished MDF crown, hard maple crown, the full spectrum. Just make sure your depths are set accordingly and it’ll leave the same tiny pin hole. Actually have had great success with the Ryobi but you cannot argue how clean of a shot the m12 leaves.
I used to own the ryobi 18v pin nailer before i upgraded to the m12, and i have also used a pneumatic ridgid pin nailer. Its not a tool i use on a daily basis, but i do use it often enough that it warrants a place in my fine carpentry tool box. I use it mostly to install prefinished trim pieces, such as crown moulding and scribe moulding. I preffer dealing with the added weight and size of a cordless model much more than having to lug around an air compressor and hose. I do realize that there are certain situations that require a smaller form factor, but in my case, the m12 is just small enough to work for me in 99% of cases. As a matter of fact, all my other nailers are cordless. The only pneumatic one i own is a freeman concrete nailer, and i use it with my m18 compressor and a flexilla hose, so its still a cordless setup. Again, not for everyday use, but relatively often. As long as im working in the field. I doubt i will ever go back to using pneumatic nailers other than that one.
The M12 pin nailer is great. It fully sets pins in hardwood and they practically disappear. It’s not going to bring together a joint, but it works really well to hold things in place for the glue to dry. With it and my 18 ga cordless brad nailer, my noisy compressor is now out of my wood shop and relegated to the garage, especially since I discovered that my Festool dust extractor can also function as a blower. As far as I’m concerned, cordless is the only way to go.
I’m happy with my Hitachi 18v pin nailer. No hauling the compressor to the workpiece, and once in awhile, I drop it in a tote for location work. It does tend to muck the last 10 brads in a round, but that’s a negligible cost at my scale. I’ve never outpaced the charger cycle, and I don’t find the weight cumbersome.
I posted in that deleted thread I guess . Along what I put there. While I don’t own a pin nailer and don’t use one – I do have an 18Ga.
I don’t see the need for a cordless nailer. If I was a cabinet or trim installer going site to site I might consider it but again – maybe not.
A cordless roofing and framer makes about the most sense of all – if only for the remote ness. Those are often the heaviest pneumatics so the added battery.
I mean on a roof moving the hsoe – having enough hose – etc. I could see a need for the battery setup. Framer – out in the back of – frame up a 10 x 12 shed – might even do it one one battery.
below that. I don’t see the need.
Good God. These are among the greatest inventions ever. Air compressors are like disco music and with certain rare exceptions, should be laid to a well deserved, merciless rest. Battery tech is the today and future.
I know right? There’s cons thought. I’m not going to tell a framer, nor a full time trim carpenter nor a factory to 💯 throw out their kit just yet. An upholstery stapler can empty it’s payload in a wink. Cordless ain’t ever going to be there.
I was really interested in getting the Milwaukee one, until I realized pins don’t have heads, and 23 gage is way to small for any of the stuff I do.
Like many, I use all cordless nailers on the job site for framing to trim work, in my shop I use mostly the air nailers, mainly just brad and pin. I have the compressor ready to go in the shop, so it’s not a big deal to lug it around. It on the job site, that’s just too much work to setup.
I’ve been using the Milwaukee M12 pin nailer for a couple of months now and it’s great. Its just a lot quicker then setting up the pneumatic alternative.
There is a post on Instagram from toolsbydesign with a teaser about a Dewalt 20v cordless 23g pin nailer to be released in the future.
He actually had a post back in March when it first leaked. He did a follow up post recently because it showed up on Home Depot Canada’s website. He’s got some good sources, and he is rarely off target.
Just like that the little birdies are starting to chirp. Rumor has it the Dewalt 20V 23ga pin nailer release is imminent. I just saw pictures that look pretty convincing. Rumor is Home Depot Canada accidentally posted it to their site and quickly took it down. Something like this happened before the brushless 6 1/2″ circular saw came out too. Could be a false lead, could be a real leak, time will tell. Just passing along what I saw.
Also, a Dewalt 12V 5 3/8″ Circular Saw is currently live (and out of stock) on Lowes website. Looks like Stu was right about his prediction of more 12V tools coming out.
DeWalt is just goofy about product releases. I bought that new 20v 6 1/2″ saw you referenced before they even announced it, same with their new mowers. They are kind of the opposite of Milwaukee or Bosch. Milwaukee and Bosch officially announce a tool and it is not available for 18 months. DeWalt tools show up, then they announce them.
But, I will say this. It is real. And that HD Canada page is still cached, just google DCN623D1, or it’s linked above in the comments.
I got the Milwaukee because I got tired of waiting for Dewalt. Seems to be a running theme these days. It’s an amazing nailer and already saved me dozens of times from dragging out the compressor and hose for some minor pin nailing.
Same here, got tired of waiting for dewalt and picked up the m12 pinner. Not sure why dewalt is sleeping on this, they are always 5 years ahead of milwaukee releases.. I have almost every 20v cordless gun 18g ,16g, 21°, 30°, roofer, and metal connector, and I still have the ryobi 18v pinner and pneumatic ridgid pinner & brad nailers kit( $80 depot) still never used the ridgid pinner. Ryobi wouldn’t sink on occasion. I just saw the dewalt pin nailer pop up here right now and screenshot it ,I guess I’m selling my m12!! I can’t stand cords compressors & hoses. My gen1 ridgid 18v miter rocks. Dewalt dropped the ball with the single bevel miter 20v.
I prefer air tools in my workshop; there is no question a pneumatic pinner is better for industrial or production-line use like assembling furniture in a factory. But the moment we’re talking about working in a home or any sort of “field location” where I have to bring a compressor, hoses, etc, then I love being able to ditch the hassles of the compressor.
Just has how the Dewalt 18ga cordless brad nailer has replaced my Bostitch pneumatic one, I’m sure I won’t have any worries about leaving pneumatic behind on this one either.
Pneumatic for me. My need for a pinner is infrequent at best, so the $24 pinner I picked up HF is good enough and has served me well. Dragging out my 5-gallon compressor and air hose is a bit of a hassle, but it’s also not that big of a deal. If I was invested in the M12 platform and needed a pinner more frequently, I’d consider stepping up to the cordless option. For now, I’m sticking with “old school” methods.
I have both cordless and pneumatic tools. I like cordless for small jobs or when the hose will be in the way.
But for all day use nothing beats the ergonomics and weight of the pneumatic. Use a quality hose like Flexzilla.
The cordless also tend to jam more often and can’t hold 2 sticks of nails unless they are modified.
With that said, when available, I will get the M12 Pin Nailer. Purely for the convenience.
Everyone complaining about obnoxiously loud air compressors really needs to try a Makita MAC700 or a California Air Tools.
I install cabinets and it’s pre-painted trim.
It leaves a tiny hole that’s easily filled with wax or color-matched caulk.
Purchased the cordless Ryobi (after reading terrible reviews on the Makita,and neutral reviews on the Metabo-HPT).
After 2 years it did a good job,steep angles sometimes leave proud pins.
In February I bought the m12,having a dial depth is fantastic.
Also more compact/maneuverable with slim battery …this and the multidriver are the only tools that get used with compact 1.5-3 ahr batteries.
We moved out of my FIL’s house (we were renting) and among the tiny percentage of tools he owned before we moved in was very old black & decker pin nailer and I had gotten so used to it that it’s absence is SORELY sorely missed. I’ve got my eye on that M12 because I’m trying to stay within a battery ecosystem. The B&D had horrible battery life (maybe 15 pins to a battery) and was stymied by the thinnest of masonite but the convenience was STAGGERING.
Little more insight into DeWalt’s new 20v 23ga pinner – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ0gLU1UV6o
Heck yes, thank you for that Big Richard!
Now one thing that’s interesting is that the original specs claimed a 2 inch capacity, but this video mentions 1.5″ into white oak. Does that mean it’s limited to 1.5″ pins max? Or can it shoot longer pins, just not necessarily full depth into oak?
I recall that as well. On the tool itself, the label lists the applicable fastener lengths of 5/8″ – 1 1/2″. So my guess is that 1 1/2″ is the maximum the magazine can accommodate, but cannot confirm. A bit of a bummer, but that’s on par with other cordless pinners like the M12 and Makita’s.
Either way I’m excited to give it a try.
I also recall hearing that. The label on the tool itself lists the size range of 5/8″ – 1 1/2″, so it sounds like the magazine may only physically be able to handle up to 1 1/2″. It is a bit of a bummer, but it is on par with the other cordless pinners above.
Either way I’m excited to try it and compare it to some of the others available.
Sale listing is up on ToolNut:
And you’re correct that the magazine appears to say 5/8- 1 1/2″, so it looks like that 1.5″ is indeed the max capacity.
Hopefully these will hit shelves soon.