An air nailer that shoots virtually invisible fasteners. This is what pin nailers are, and I like them a lot. Pin nailers were launched onto the professional power tool market five or six years ago, and a growing number of contractors, cabinetmakers and do-it-yourselfers are discovering their value. I count all this as good news, and one particular pin nailer remains king of the castle in a field of pretty good models.
Pin nailers get their name from the small, headless, 23-gauge fasteners they drive. About the same diameter as a medium-size sewing needle, pins are so tiny that they join wood almost invisibly. Place the tip of the tool onto the wood surface, pull the trigger, then listen for the small “thunk”. That’s the sound of a pin getting driven home. The best models are even capable of driving 2-inch long pins all the way into wood as hard as oak or maple. The GREX 650L is my current favourite, but it works substantially better than its rivals. All-metal internal construction, enough power to shoot fasteners all the way into the hardest woods, and an interlock system that stops the tool from firing if it runs out of pins.
A pin nailer probably isn’t the first air tool you should buy, but I consider it the most useful second one. If you are building things with wood and have compressed air at your fingertips, a pin nailer is something that you’ll appreciate more often than you think.