Best Pin Nailer Reviews 2020 – Buying Guide and FAQ For Newbies

If you are like us and do not want to spend endless hours pinning the pieces together manually, then you need a special tool.

It’s none other than the pin nailer.

You will also find it on the market in other names such as pinners or headless pinners.With this handy gadget, you can forego drilling nail holes and using screwdrivers. Just with a single “shot”, you can attach two surfaces together.

All the products use the same kind of pins which come in different sizes. But the problem in finding the best pin nailer is because all of this scream to be the best.

This is why in this wordy piece, we have enumerated the top 10 picks with a definitive buying guide. See for yourself!

What is a Pin Nailer?

Basically, it is a type of finish nailer that uses 23-gauge pins. It is the smallest finish nailers available in the market.

However, they come in various sizes and design features. Each of them contributes to your work.

Pin nailers are versatile pieces of equipment. A Big contributor to their popularity lies in the fact that they can deliver pins exactly where you want them.

Manufacturers, carpenters, and other woodwork specialists use these tools on light pieces of wood. However, that does not mean their uses are limited. Professionals also utilize the tool to glue and clamp larger pieces of wood.

You can also use these tools to bind the finished products together. The pins themselves are thin, and you can barely see them after using them on a surface.

This makes them ideal when you want to attach two surfaces together, but you do not want to show too many visible pins on the surface.

Our 10 Best Pin Nailers Picks:

Now that we have given you an introduction into this item, let us show you the top contenders for you to consider.

1. Hitachi NP35A

The Hitachi NP35A is a well-constructed 23 gauge pin nailer that gives you all the features that it should. Hitachi has based their design on a comfort factor, allowing the tool to fit snuggly into your arms. It is durable, but does not compromise on weight. It weighs at just around 2 pounds or just under 1 kilogram.

We loved the soft nose tip of the NP35A. This means when you place the tool against soft materials, it does not leave behind a mark.

Hitachi recommends using a pin length of 5/8 inches. However, we noticed that even 3/8 inch length pins work well on the tool. That is impressive because the pin nailer just over-delivered on its capabilities. Receiving a pleasant surprise is nice!

It is a remarkably quiet tool. We also noticed that the unit does not cause a sudden jolt. This feature prevents the tool from affecting your hand repeatedly. Due to that, your hands will avoid feeling sore or uncomfortable after long use.

When we were reviewing the tool, we used it on multiple surfaces repeatedly. Typically, that sort of punishment becomes visible in the function of the tool. We did not spot any jams in the apparatus, despite our attempts to find one.

Too often, magazines catch when you are using them. To test out the durability of Hitachi’s mechanisms, we slid the magazine in and out repeatedly. In all our trials, the magazine glided in and out easily.

The nailer will appeal to a large customer base for the price alone. It is affordable which surprised us as it does pack quite a few features for its price.

Overall, you will have yourself a nailer that gives you hundreds of pins to work with while being inexpensive and of high quality.


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and quiet
  • Durable


  • Might not have enough power for hardwood


The HP118K is a spectacular tool that you can use on a variety of wood surfaces. The nails are arranged using glue collation holding the pins together, but this allows them to be ejected out smoothly when the trigger is pulled. The nails of the HP118K are smaller in diameter. This dimension gives you two advantages,

One, you can easily punch through the wood. Two, it does not cause wood splits. When you are working in the workshop, wood splits tend to cause extra work for you, and they can be tedious to fix.

BOSTITCH wants to give you more control over your work. To enable this, you can adjust the pin depth with a simple high and low switch found on the body of the pin nailer. It features a dry fire lockout mechanism preventing you from shooting blanks. The idea behind the feature is to lock the trigger when you run out of nails.

With this 23 gauge pin nailer, you can make precise placement of nails. The nosepiece is especially designed to taper down when you are using the tool, leaving behind minimal marks on the wood. It also provides you with a clear line of sight.

When we were using the product, the rubber grip gave us outstanding grip, while feeling comfortable at the same time.The tool itself is balanced well which means it does not feel weighty in odd areas.

A good exhaust adds a little safety feature into a pin nailer.With BOSTITCH, the rear exhaust is designed to keep debris and dust away from your face.

BOSTITCH claims that they have 19% greater pin capacity than other competitive models. While it is not entirely accurate, it is true that they provide extra pins. To us, extra is always awesome!


  • Dry-fire lockout mechanism
  • Tapered down nosepiece
  • Rear exhaust
  • Adjustable pin depth


  • Slightly expensive than other models


They say that the first impression lasts long. If that is the case, then our first impressions were positive. Is this the best pin nailer for the money? Let us find out.

It comes with the weight of the product as soon as we held it in our hands. Porter-Cable has manufactured the PIN138 with a lightweight aluminum body, making it easy to use for long periods.

The tool works like a miracle on cabinets and furniture. We could use it during both the building and repairing processes. That allowed us to work with different projects. We could comfortably apply it in creation projects as well as in mending works.

Its motor is a thing of beauty. We noticed it included a dual-stacking arrangement for its ring system. The purpose of this design is to reduce any internal friction, resulting in a longer life for the tool.

An additional benefit of the improved motor is that it prevents oil contamination on your work surface. You will not have any unnecessary stains that you would have to clean up later. That in itself is a messy process.

The PIN138 is applicable for clamping and fastening work. We could use it really well on decorative moldings, panel doors, mantle pieces, and lightwood. You can adjust the depth settings easily and find consistency when driving the nails into the surface.

It features small headless pins. These pins, when used, do not cause splits on the wood.Additionally, you will find the pins drive well into the wood.Once they are inside the wood, they can hardly be noticed at all.

The machine provides two triggers, andthe main purpose of this mechanism is to prevent accidental firing. You hold down one trigger to engage the tool. Using the other trigger, you can fire when you are ready.


  • Dual trigger mechanism
  • Versatile
  • Sturdy Aluminum body


  • Minor instances of pins not punching through the surface

4. Makita XTP02Z

Makita XTP02Z

There is something about using a pin nailer that gives you precision and many features. This is what you will get with Makita’s XTP02Z.

It is versatile, giving you the option to work with 6 types of pin. You can work with pins with lengths of ¾ inches, 5/8 inches, 1 inch, 11/16 inches, 1 3/16 inches, and finally, 1 3/8 inches.

Using any of the 6 pin lengths, you get up to 120 pins to work with. That’s pretty nifty if you have a big project and you don’t want to stop for a magazine change.

Makita is slightly heavier than the other contenders that we have been using. It weighs at around 4.7 pounds, or approximately 2.1 kilograms. While this may not sound heavy, we began to feel the weight after long periods of use.

The XTP02Z is a redesign over previous Makita models. This is because they have included a revamped firing mechanism that lowers recoil. This, in turn, reduces the impact you receive on your hands. With the weight of it slightly high, we can see why Makita chose to have this feature.

The recoil serves another purpose apart from adding comfort. It reduces the force required to drive pin nails.

While we are on the subject of comfort, the grip is made of soft rubber increasing friction and decreasing finger strain. It allows you to hold it firmly and avoid awkward angles.

The nailer incorporates anti-dry lockout feature that prevents you from shooting blanks avoiding damage to work space. Furthermore, its cordless feature lets you work without the need for an air compressor. You also receive a built-in LED light that illuminates the work surface making it easier for you to make precise shots.

Battery does not have to be a concern anymore. With a 3-stage LED indicator, you will know precise battery levels of the pin nailer.

Finally, since the model can be battery-operated, there is always the concern about battery heat. Thankfully, the tool comes with a special Star Protection Computer Controls technology. This protects the tool from overheating or overloading.


  • Incredible features such as LED lights, overload protection
  • Soft rubberized grip for comfort
  • Can use up to 120 nails
  • Works with different pins


  • Slightly heavier than other models
  • Minor instances of pin jamming

5. Arrow Fastener PT23G

Arrow Fastener

Unlike a lot of their models, Arrow Fastener has chosen to go pneumatic with the PT23G. A pneumatic pin nailer is one that uses compressed air or gas to shoot its nails. It adds a bit more power when the pins puncture the surface.The flipside is the gas discharge which could blast into your face.

Let us see how the unit handles this problem.

We will start with the basics. The PT23G is ideal for DIY projects, trim works, and crafts. We feel that it is more of a beginner’s tool that is best suited for casual work.

You can see this in its design. It is lightweight and compact making it less intimidating to new users.

It includes an over-molded grip to give you firm grip and less friction. The magazine loading feature is simple, and anyone can get the hang of it in no time.

Remember the gas discharge we were talking about? To prevent the gas from blowing up into your face, the PT23G includes a specially designed exhaust. This exhaust drives any spent air away from your face.

The nailer features a safety trigger allowing you to avoid jams and accidental fires. However, PT23G’s biggest advantage is its price. It is relatively cheaper than other models on our list.


  • Perfect for casual or new users
  • Easy to use and comfortable
  • Affordable


  • Safety catch tends to get in the way sometimes
  • Occasional jams



It is not easy to find the best micro pin nailer, especially with so many options. But the very same options give you a better purchasing power.Let’s take the PIN100 by Porter-Cable.

We think for big projects, the PIN100 is incredible. It has the capacity to hold up to 170 pins, far higher than many on this list. You can work with ½ inch pins to 1-inch nails, so you do have a bit of leeway to choose the pin for your project.

Once you have made your pin choice, the tool automatically adjusts to fastener lengths. This allows you to load pins faster and not worry about out-of-spec pins.

For safety, the dual trigger can be found in this nailer as well. For comfort, the grip is rubberized. Additionally, the device features a rear exhaust to drive gas away from your face.

When you reach the end of pin capacity, the nailer features a cool feature. It gives you an indication to reload your pins.Overall, this little wonder is lightweight, weighing at just 2 pounds, or less than 1 kilogram.


  • Lightweight
  • Allows you to load up to 170 pins
  • Pin shortage indicator


  • Not ideal for hardwoods
  • Price point might be slightly high for some

7. Freeman PP123


For anyone working heavily on assembling everyday objects or using pins on lightwood, the Freeman PP123 is the tool for you.

The itemsupports pin lengths from 15/32 inches to 1 inch, giving you a few options to work with. Now, despite the fact it is ideal for crafts and DIY projects, the PP123 still packs a punch. You can hit nails into many hardwood types, thushaving the opportunity to work with furniture and other wooden objects.

It features an ergonomic body ideal for long use. This is further enhanced by its rubber grip. We found the design reduced fatigue and discomfort after long use. It also allows you to make precise pin placements,

Giving you comfort is not the only design feature Freeman has provided you. The pin nailer is designed with an anodized aluminum magazine. This ensures durability over long periods.

The pin nailer gives you up to 100 pin capacity to work with. While this may not seem a lot, we think it is quite sufficient for small projects.

When we were using this tool, we discovered that you do not have to jam the tip down too hard. The nail may be tiny, but it produces little recoil. You require minimal pressure to hold it up against a surface.

We tried 10 continuous shots holding the gun down firmly. We noticed no jams and certainly no misfires.


  • Compact and comfortable to use
  • Reduces recoil considerably
  • Durability
  • Ergonomic body


  • Mainly for DIY projects
  • Non-marking tip

8. Recon PIN138R


One of the truly great features of the Recon PIN138R is that you can use both headless and slight head pins. With the capability to use pin lengths from 5/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches, you are looking at a versatile use of this pin nailer.

The motor is powerful allowing you to punch pins into woods as thick as oak. It is also an oil-free mechanism providing less maintenance to work with.The exhaust mechanism (rear facing) removes moisture and turns the escaped gas away from your face.

Further features of this product include the dry-fire lockout function.This prevents you from pulling the trigger when the nailer runs out of pins.

We loved its pin capacity, at 130 pins, you have quite a bit of pins to use.

For added precision, we found out that the nailer uses reversible belt clip. This allows the nailer to stay in place. Dual trigger feature gives you more control over your shots.

You also receive a pin reload indicator. This indicates the moment you have to change the pins in the nailer.

Though a little weighty than other models, it comes with a firm grip and a beautiful design. Recon has managed to balance the weight along with the pin nailer keeping it steady when utilized.

With its power, you can easily use the nailer for small and big projects. This makes it ideal for beginners and contractors/professionals who seek to use a pin nailing machine regularly.


  • Incredible power
  • Dry-fire lockout feature
  • Pin reload indicator


  • Slightly heavy
  • On rare occasions, dual trigger tends to jam

9. Grex P650L


Building our list with pin nailers that come with safety features, you have the Grex P650L. It comes with the anti-fire lockout feature we have seen in quite a few models on this list.

This became useful when we were working on essential and delicate jobs such as crown molding. A feature not found on the other items on this list in the Posit-Lock nose cover. It is a high durable and tolerant feature that prevents jams on while using.

Its double trigger mechanism provides more control over your work. The silencer keeps the tool quite when you are using it.

At the rear, you will find our old friend – the exhaust. It keeps dust and gas from smacking into your face when you least expect it.

The pin nailer has a narrow nose allowing you to sight down the length of it. This gives you the opportunity to make accurate shots. It also fits through small gaps for hard-to-reach area. For working on projects through creative ways, we could count on this tool to do the job.

You can use a range of fastenersfrom ½ inches to 2 inches. There is a greater degree of adaptability to the nailer.

The tool has been designed to provide more convenience to users. Its easy loading feature makes quick work out of loading pins. The indicator on the side monitors the levels of the pins. Once they drop down below a certain number, you are given an indication.


  • Posit-Lock gives you high durability
  • Narrow nose to reach small gaps
  • Easy magazine loading
  • Pin levels indicator


  • Needscaution while using on hard materials
  • Angled driving can be slightly tricky


Air Locker

The Air Locker’s strengths lie in its simplicity. This minimalism allows it to be incredibly lightweight. At just 1.46 pounds, or close to 0.6 kilograms, this is the lightest pin nailer on this list.

So light in fact, that it gave us more control, more precious and a lot less discomfort. We hardly felt it in our hands sometimes!

You can use pins from ½ inches to 1 3/8 inches giving you room to work with. The pins shot produces holes that are barely visible to the eye. We think this makes an excellent companion for fine furniture where you do not want marks destroying its surface.

That’s not all. The magazine capacity is huge. In fact, it has the best magazine capacity that can hold a whopping 200 needles. You can practically use it for a very long period indeed!

We found the safety lever a bonus. This simple mechanism prevents accidental firing of the pin nailer. Simply switch it on, and you will not be able to use the trigger until you are ready.

Its narrow nose gives you the ability to reach small gaps and hard-to-reach areas. The exhaust is adjustable so you can move gas and oil dispersal away from your face. The no-mar tip prevents you from leaving marks on surfaces, perfect while working on soft materials.

You will have the fastener indicator to inform when you have to reload the pins. This is important as we tend to lose track of the pins, especially since we get 200 pins to work with!


  • Lightest pin nailer on the list
  • 200 pin capacity
  • Pin level indicator to warn you
  • Adjustable exhaust


  • Not very suitable for hard surfaces
  • Mainly made for crafts, repairs and DIY projects

Key Factors to Consider Before Buying

There are a lot of essential criteria to consider when purchasing the best 23 gauge pin nailer. We have narrowed them down below.

1. Length of the Fastener

There is no point in getting a pin nailer that cannot adjust to pin lengths, especially if you are working with multiple pin lengths. Typically, most models accept pins from ½ inch to at least 1 inch. This is useful for most of your work.

However, if you could find a tool that can use a 3/8 inch nail and also work with nails up to 2 inches, you have found the best tool.

2. Magazine

One of the things you will be doing frequently is reloading pins. However, this should not be done too often. So if you are working on big projects, you might want to consider a pin nailer that can hold at least 100 nails.

This will give you the comfort of working with enough pins before having to recharge.

3. Exhaust


Remember what we said about safety? You need to get yourself a product that either gives you the freedom to adjust its rear exhaust or is pointed away from you. This way, you will not be hit by a blast of air or oil.

4. More Control

Most probably, you will be working with a lot of different kinds of materials. These give you different thickness or density. In those situations, you need to have a pin nailer that will give you the feature to change its depth settings.

If not the depth, some allow you to control the PSI settings.

Either way, a little more control will give you a little more satisfaction when working.

5. Durability

You do not want to use a product that eventually breaks down after a few months. When we think of using a nailer, we think about a tool that can last for years.

We have seen others using a single unit for more than 5 years with few problems. That is the type of pin nailer we are looking for.

Pin Nailer vs. Crown Stapler 

You might have heard people using these two terms. Now you may ask yourself; is there any difference between the two?

Well, there is.

One of the most noticeable features is in the pins used. More precisely, in the pinheads. A pin nailer uses pins without a head. On the other hand, a staple has a larger head.

A pin nailer does not leave marks or big holes while a crown stapler leaves behind larger holes. It is more versatile and gives you complete control over your work. Professionals for detailed woodwork typically use a crown stapler. They are used on woodworks that typically have many parts to work with.

For home use, trims, furniture, crafts, repairs, and DIY projects we recommend using the nailer. Its ability to leave no marks means you can work with it more efficiently. A stapler is for projects that require more finesse.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How thin is the pin nail?

The thickness of a 23-gauge pin is about the same as that of a sewing needle.

2. How many pins will I require for my work?

This depends on the work you are doing. We recommend getting one with at least 100 pins. However, your work decides the pin quantity.

3. Do I need a dual trigger mechanism?

If you are new to using the pin nailer, we would highly recommend using one with a dual trigger mechanism.

5. What size of nails should I use for trim?

We recommend using nails that will punch at least ½ inches into the material. Again, this depends on your project.

6. Is pin nailer the same as a brad nailer?

No, there are slight differences between the two.

Final Verdict

Now that we have shared our reviews on the best 23 gauge pin nailer, we hope that you will have an easier time finding the best one for the money that is ideal for you.

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