Finish nailer from Harbor Freight ?

jimtncNovember 14, 2007

I'm putting up crown molding, and I've got a question about air nailers. Has anyone used or bought the 15 ga air finish nailer from Harbor Freight ($79)?? It shoots 1.25" to 2.5" nails. It's on sale now and I thought for a DIY'er it might be a good buy for once in a while use, like putting up crown molding, etc. Any thoughts?

Also, what would be the minimum sized air tank I would have to have to drive this thing? Thanks all.

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No experience with that tool, but my Harbor Fright experience has been fairly consistent: marginal performance, short useful life.

With any air nailer, tank volume isn't the issue. You need a certain minimum pressure, probably around 80 psi. Nailers generally don't use much air, so almost any pump should be able to keep up with it.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:08AM
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I have the 18g HF brad nailer. I paid $12 for it and have used it many times. It actually works just fine if you keep it oiled properly. For occasional use, it should be just fine.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 12:37PM
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Okay, thanks guys. I think I've decided to go with the Porter Cable 16ga nailer/brad nailer kit at HD for $249 on sale. It's got good reviews.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 1:06PM
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i bought a 3 nailer kit from Lowes, just an off brand, for 299.00. it came with a finish nailer, brad nailer, and framing nailer. works good too. i would not use it for professional work, but for home projects it works great! my little craftsman portable compressor runs everything fine, except occassionally the framing nailer won't fire thru a knot all the way. but then again, i do my best not to nail in a knot anyway.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 2:33PM
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I just got a Dewalt compressor, stapler, and brad nailer for about $240 via ebay, shipping included, new in package with full warranty. A Dewalt finish nailer [also ebay] will run around $70.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 9:28PM
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Thanks for the info, guys. I got a little uncomfortable about Harbor Freight, so I bought Porter Cable 2-nailer kit from HD. Mine came with the 16ga finish nailer, 18ga brad nailer, 150psi compressor, etc. for $249. I thought that was a good I jumped on it.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 7:02AM
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For trim, you only really need 18 gage.

I have 6 different nailers from HF - three of them for 5 years with regular (weekly) use, and they are great. The 18 ga ones cost under $20 each. I will never pay 3x or 4x for the same thing because of a label.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 1:14AM
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ttfweb - were you referring to 16 or 18 gauge 2.5" finishing nails, because my 18ga brad nailer only goes to 1.25", and I'm sure that's not long enough.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 11:10AM
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actually 1.25" is long enough for thin trim. of course it you hav esome thick crown molding, you would use the finish nailer, but using the brad nailer on stuff like quarter round is perfect, and the holes are barely noticeable unpainted. heck, most of the small trim in my house was isntalled using 1.25" trim nails back in the late 70's when the house was built. the baseboards and CM they used 1.5 and 2" finish nails.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 11:21AM
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I had a HF framing nailer, pretty much a piece of junk. It lasted a couple hundred nails. It had several minor leaks and other problems along the way. I ended up replacing it with a milwaukee, missing the aggravation alone is worth the extra cost. I was constantly fixing jams, leaks, etc. The milwaukee runs 100x better. I have a PC 16 ga nailer, I have ran 1000's of nails through. For the most part, I considered HF tools single use only tools. You might get lucky and get a decent one, but I will pay the extra rather than put up with the hassle of working with junk.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 2:13PM
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davidandkasie - that's interesting about the trim nails. I'll keep that in mind when I doing some other things around here. I think the crown I'm gonna get is around 3" or a little less and about .5" thick, so it's not a big thing. I've already checked the corner angles and they're a perfect 90, so I'm set there.

chris8796 - yeah, that's what I thought too about the HF nailer. That's why I went the the PC kit.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 7:18AM
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Harbor Freight's tools are re-conditioned tools. They fix 'em up just enough to work a little bit longer. Mostly junk imo.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 11:26AM
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I have a 2 inch 18 gage nailer and 2.5 inch 16 gage one. They are not reconditioned, and lasted a long time. I have have the 18 gage one for about 4 years with regular use.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 11:58AM
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HF tools are new knockoffs. The company actually waits for a popular tool, buys several, disassembles them, makes their own molds, then uses cheaper metals/component materials to make a tool identical to the original. Very often a name brand part will fit on a HF tool.

Their customer service consists of replacing the tool----they can afford to replace rather than repair due to miniscule production costs---the company has no R&D section, no testing section, ---just shipping amd sales sections.

I consider their products as counterfits----they are legal---barely, since they change the colors and names. I have an extensive array of hand power tools and shop tools---and I do have one HF benchtop drill press----I bought it when I thought cheap tools could be a good deal. Cheap tools are simply cheap tools---the difference between a cheap HF tool and a decent name brand tool are patently obvious when compared.

People complain about American made merchandise being scarce----HF is a good example of why.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 12:37PM
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