Why You Should Buy a Trim Gun

This tool drives nearly-invisible nails and makes quick work of joinery.

If you’re interested in getting started in woodworking by building small projects, you really don’t need a fully equipped shop. With a little creativity, you can build just about any small project with a circular saw, a jigsaw and a screw gun. As your skill level, project complexity and knowledge increase, you’ll know what power tools are next on your wish list.

Windshield wiper blades

You can use a “pinner” or trim gun for more than fastening projects together. For example, try using it to build mock-ups or test-fit pieces.

But there is one basic tool you really should invest in for your budding hobby, and that’s an 18-gauge “pinner,” or trim gun. It shoots brads with very small heads, leaving itty-bitty, easily filled holes. You can buy a high-quality pinner for less than $100 or a kit that includes a small compressor and an air hose for less than $200—so we’re not talking elephant bucks here.

Most pinners shoot brads starting at lengths of 5/8 in., 1 in. and then in ¼-in. increments up to 2 in. You can get started with a small brad package containing a few racks of each size for about $10. I use my pin gun for a myriad of tasks besides pinning together projects. I build mock-ups, test-fit pieces, tack together boards for glue-ups (so they don’t slide around during clamping), and even add braces and gussets to hold parts during assembly. Just last night, I tossed together a varnishing drying rack with scrap and 1-1/2-in. pins. Once you have one, you’ll wonder how you got along without it. And if you’re doing any trim inside the house, you’ll have the tool for the job. So don’t mess around—go get yourself a pinner. ASAP!

— Travis Larson, Senior Editor

For more information on trim guns and woodworking, check out this article:

Top Trim Carpentry Tools

Popular Videos