Customer Reviews

138
4.5 out of 5 stars
PORTER-CABLE PIN100 1/2-Inch to 1-Inch 23-Gauge Pin Nailer
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348 of 353 people found the following review helpful
At first I was hesitant to buy the PC PIN100. The reviews were the core of my concern. Does it leave a dent in the work? Will it quickly malfunction? Is the pin visible? Is it a quality tool, or a piece of junk?
I took it out of the carrying case, and the clear plastic wrap, and immediately put 5 drops of the oil that comes in the kit, in the air nozzle. I wanted to ward off any jamming problems.
Upon loading the nails, I noticed that there were multiple arrows printed on the side of the nail strip. That way you would load them in the right direction. If you ignored the arrows, and loaded them upside down, which is possible considering the small size of the pins, the sharp, fine, thin tip would be up, to do battle with the hammer coming down. Certainly, it would veer off to one side, thereby freezing the hammer and pin. In addition that kind of action could score the shaft, and that would lead to other possible misfires. People reporting problems with jams could have done just that.

The top of the pin has a blunt-flat end on it, and the business end is sharp. Since they are so tiny, if you don't notice the arrows on the side, it is easy to load them upside down.
These pins are not serrated, or ring shanked, but rather smooth on the sides. That way they don't receive resistance on the way down. Important considering their fine size.
I was able to take the 3/4" pins, that come with the kit, and drive several into a 3/4" piece of oak, without any problems whatsoever. I first tested it out on a piece of scrap pine. Since I loaded the nailer with oil, it came out of the nose quite readily, which made a slight black mark where the pin went into the wood. Since the pine is very light, it showed. It was worth it, I wanted to break it in properly. After about 20 pins the oil cleared, I then went onto the oak, and it left a pin without any blemish. All in all with all of my testing, the pin nailer never misfired, or even hinted, at a misfire even once. I put it to the test with firing nails, as fast as I could squeeze the trigger, and never a problem or a glitch. You can fire a lot of nails very quickly with this tool.

It doesn't have the safety nose that requires plunging like the rest of the Porter Cable finish nailer line. That way you can get into finely cramped quarters, and get the pin in at your desired angle. What PC did, was put two levers on the handle, one is a safety release, and the other one is the firing trigger. It is well engineered that way, and is easy and intuitive to use.

How about the pin, does it show? On the first test pieces, with 5 drops of break in oil, it showed on the pine. After blowing it out with 20 pins, the oil deposits stopped, and all you saw was the pin hole. Does the pin hole become invisible by wiping water on the wood? I am getting critical here, but yes it does show. I was dreaming of the wood swelling, and making the pin hole completely invisible. That didn't happen in the pine and oak I tested it in. BUT the pin hole is so small, that all but the most critical customers will object to it. I have to admit that it is so tiny, that it couldn't be any smaller without disappearing altogether. Miniscule is the appropriate word here. It makes an 18 gauge finish nail look like a crater in comparison. For light colored wood it is barely visible, and for medium to dark woods it will disappear altogether. So if you are looking to attach really fine work, like 1/4" quarter round mldgs, this is just what the doctor ordered.

I tried to be critical of the impression if any the head would leave in the work. When working with oak, even at the highest pressures, it did not leave a mark. Pine on the other hand, required a gentle touch. If you pressed down on the head while firing, it left a tiny impression. If you laid the head gently onto the surface, and fired, it left no impression whatsoever. Considering that pine is so soft, that you can leave an impression in it with your finger nail, I laid to rest any concerns about dimples in the wood.

The air pressure range prescribed by PC is 60 to 100 PSI. It is advisable to stay within that range, whereas excessive pressures can cause problems. I imagine the firing apparatus is designed to ideally work within those ranges, and subjecting it to excessive pressure is reason for concern. I tweaked my regulator on the wall to 105 pounds, which would give me 100 or less at the gun, and it fired well without any difference in the head impression on the work.

So what does all of this mean? Simply put, I love this tool. It does the job beautifully, appears to do so without any suggestion of malfunctioning. I have the Porter Cable 16 gauge, and the 18 gauge both in the BN 125A and the 200A, and this makes my fourth PC finish level nailer, and not one of them has given me any problems. (They can misfire if you run them dry. I guess that is why PC always includes a squeeze bottle of oil with every nailer.)

This is a keeper. I bought the other size pin nails as well. They come in 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", and 1 inch. It comes with the 3/4", so I picked up the other sizes.
I am looking forward to using the PC PIN100 in doing the fine work. You can spend a lot of time, and get a large project to really look fine, but the small details can make the difference of looking like artwork, or a signature of a less skilled practitioner. This tool will make you an artist, on the detail work. Highly recommended.
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93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
On commercially made frame and panel doors you will notice two tiny little holes (that have been filled) on the back side of each joint. Even old dogs like me can learn a new trick once and awhile, and this struck me as a brilliant way of NOT being forced to wait for glue to set during the assembly process of frame and panel doors. My last project had 82 frame and panel doors and finished panels, and even gluing up two at a time in one set of clamps, I ran out of clamps pretty quick and then had to wait at least an hour prior to the assembly of more. My current project has 56 framed panels in 3/4" thick Western Red Cedar, Pine and Iroko so I decided to try a new way of assembly rather than play the waiting game. My PC pinner was purchased for just this purpose and I'm happy to report that this technique works like a charm and the glue joints remain tight while the glue sets AND the pin holes are truly "pin holes". On my current project the back-side of the panels is not visible so therefore I don't need to fill these holes, but on "good two side" projects these holes will not be an issue to fill.
The longer the panel sits in clamps the better chance the glue has to "grab". To facilitate this I used two sets of clamps. I glued and assembled one panel in the first set of clamps, fired 5/8" pins into the joints and let that sit while I assembled a second panel in the second set of clamps. The clamps pull the joint together and the 5/8" long pins perfectly "pin" the tenon in the joint and hold the frame together once released from the clamps. Once the third panel was assembled I went back and removed the first panel from the clamps and set it aside to allow the glue to completely set, by the time I got back to the first panel the glue had just enough time to grab and the joint didn't budge. Just remember that they are 23 gauge pins and are there only to hold things together until the glue does it's job, so you can't be reefing on the joints until the glue has been completely set. In this alternating method I assembled all 56 panels in less than a day, totally cool! I estimated it would have taken the better part of a week to have done the same in the "traditional" way with only clamps.
The PC pinner performed flawlessly even without "PC brand" pins and regardless of the material (Western Red Cedar is like hard butter and Iroko is just as hard and stringy as Elm) the pins were set perfectly each and every time at 100 psi. For everyone who has used nail guns, you do have a tendency to push down prior to firing a nail to push back the safety arm. This pinner has a trigger safety on it that you pull back with your finger, so there is no requirement to push down, just set the nose on the surface and pull the trigger. There is a bit of bounce back but I found that even on Western Red Cedar I could avoid a large "nose dint" by using care in how I held the gun against the surface of the material. I can see how this gun would be very easy to jamb as the pins have no head. The pins have an arrow on them indicating which way they get inserted in the gun for good reason. The ram is tiny and must be machined to very tight tolerances (which contributes greatly to the high cost of such a small and specialized tool), I would imagine that if the ram gets distorted or damaged in any way this gun will be problematic from there ever-after. So handle and use this tool with care, if ever there was a nail gun to put the prescribed drop of oil in prior to use this is it. I'm sure I will find a million other uses for this gun over time, but for now I'm very pleased that it worked like a charm for the purpose I bought if for. You've got to love it when a new tool pays for itself on the first job!
One other piece of advice, this is NOT the gun for you if you are looking for a "nail gun". This is a "pinner" and should ONLY be used for that purpose. It can fire pins between 1/2" and 1" in length ONLY, most nail guns can fire nails from 3/4" to 2 1/2" in length. For general nailing buy a gun that fires 18 or 15 gauge nails, they are relatively cheap, much more durable and the nails are cheaper. Made in Taiwan yes, but made to very high standards so I have nothing disparaging to say on that front. Highly recommended.
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87 of 93 people found the following review helpful
By accident, I managed to have an opportunity to compare both this abd the Senco pin nailer in close combat. Actually, the accident was one too many jams with the Senco when I was in an irritable mood, which became the occasion for returning the one and buying the Porter-Cable. The second time through, I knew I had done the right thing.

The project at hand required a lot of crawling around and under, and using several different lengths of pins. The PIN100 never jammed. In retrospect the only small irritations occurred before I got used to the trigger safety. Which insisted on doing what it was supposed to do - keeping me from pinning myself. This is a very light-weight, easy to work tool - perfect for hobbyists and for professionals.

The nail size adjustment is automatic, if you follow the instructions. One thing to keep in mind is that the pins get driven below the surface only erratically. But they never stopped above the surface either. But remember to work with the air at about 100 psi. I wound up taking a nail and grinding the tip a bit to sink the pins, and this worked fine. On dark wood or with some carefil placement, they pretty much disappear.

The best recommendation I can give is that I find myself reaching for the PIN100 a lot when I'm gluing up small joinery. It has saved me a lot of time and added an extra element of security. I think that if you try it, you will see what I mean.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2005
I just couldn't seem to get the thing to reliably set pins below the surface of the wood. At best, it would set them even with

the surface, leaving a nicely visible small shiny dot. At least 50% of the pins would stick up above the surface How much work is it to fix that sort of thing.

I tried it on walnut, pine, poplar, and white oak with only marginal differences between species. I ran the air pressure way up at the nailer with no success. Pin length did not seem to make a difference either (I shot quite a few 1" and 3/4" pins).

The only way I could get the thing to set the pins below the surface was to push the nose firmly into the wood. You guessed it, a noticable dimple from the pressure was the result.

So am I crazy to expect that I can gently place the nose of the nailer against the workpiece, shoot a pin that sets 1/32"+ below the surface, wipe some putty in, and then stand back to admire the work? Such a nailer must exist, but it isn't this one.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I bought this after reading the reviews from everyone else. There is always trepidation when you hear pitfalls, especially when you consider the money and sweat-equity that goes into projects. Bottom line: I have encountered absolutely no problems to date. No "nose dents", no jamming, and the pin hole is so small it can be covered up with a wood-filler stick -- if it is needed at all. I've done so many projects the hard way in the past, that I'm kicking myself for not having this over the past few years. I also followed the PC instructions and put in just a couple of drops of oil, and I did not get the oil marks that some reviews mentioned. Additionally, I even used it in a tricky situation where I had to drive pins at an angle joining 2 pieces perpendicularly -- and it was flawless. I've used it on maple, oak and pine. I've run all three wood types (and all using 1" pins) at 80 PSI, and the depth has been perfect. By the way, the automatic adjustment to pin length is worth the price itself just in time (and forgetfulness) savings. I recommend this Pin Nailer highly.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2003
Verified Purchase
I use this tool on a professional basis along side another Senco pinner I have. I use both with different depth pins so I don't waste time reloading from one length to the next. The PC is a wonderful tool every bit as good as the Senco and has given me a solid 6 months of use without a hitch or a mis-fire. No problem from hickory, maple, or oak as far as splitting and I use it to apply appliques of all types to my cabinets, and you never see the pin!
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2007
We are a professional cabinet shop. (Plumbridge Custom Cabinets in Duarte, Ca) We have 2 of these guns. Using 23 guage pins saves a ton of work installing prefinished trim!!
This gun works fine at first -until you loose a rack of 1/2 pins inside the magazine. 30 minutes later, you have the magazine dis-assembled (not made to be easy to do), and the nails out. You see, you have to move a slide on the magazine to the correct position for each nail length you use. Slide it for a moment the wrong way, and poof! your little 1/2 nails fall deep into the magazine and you have to tear it down again.

Then I bought a Grex P630- a few dollars more, but the difference is so obvious. It's completely impossible to jamb the magazine- the design and construction of this entire gun is flawless. We have never had a single problem with Grex guns in over a year of almost daily use. If you need a pin nailer for hobby use, the cheaper porter cable is fine I suppose. But if you make a living with your tools, I suggest you let loose the extra few bucks for a Grex- you will not regret it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I build high end custom furniture for a living, and clamping molding or using break-away pins are both time consuming, not to mention using an 18ga nailer leaving holes. This nailer is a real time saver. I can pin my moldings and move on to the next piece without having to wait for my glue to set-up first. Two things worth mentioning: Have at least 100 psi pressure with a 1/4" hose, and use several drops of oil to ensure complete recessing of the pins in hard woods. Time vs. $, a great investment!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2006
As always, I am careful to give the required pre-use prep and treatment of tools I purchase. In this case, I simply placed several drops of the supplied oil into the air connect on the rear of the nailer. I used 1" pins into hard maple custom made moldings for a 6' long salt water aquarium hood. At this time there has never been a jam or failure. On one pin I was not super careful about the angle and the grain caused the tip of the pin to come out on the side. My fault, not the pinner. My only real complaint: the end of the pins do not countersink below the surface as far as I would like, and I am using 100 psi air pressure. I realize I am asking it to countersink into hard maple, but I wish there was an adjustment on the pinner to take care of this problem.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2005
I finally decided to take the plunge after hearing a friend of mine rave about how useful pinners are. I have to admit he is right. I have never had a jam or a pin that did not counter sink with this gun. It's perfect for small moldings and appliques. I don't have to worry about splitting my finer moldings as I have had happen when using my 18 gauge brad nailers. Use a gentle touch on soft woods or you will leave a mark as some reviewers have noted. The pin hole appears to be about 1/4 the size of that left by my 18 gauge brad nailers, to my eyes. I would recomend the PC pinner to anyone for delicate work.
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