The 3 Best Cordless Pin Nailers for Woodworking

Tired of dealing with loud air compressors and tangled hoses? It’s about time you switch to a cordless pin nailer.

Thanks to advances in technology these battery powered tools are as capable as pneumatic nailers with the added convenience of portability.

Read on for our reviews of the 3 best cordless pin nailers cordless pin nailers for efficiency, power, and user-friendliness. And if you’re new to cordless pin nailers, keep reading! We have some tips and guides for you.

Top Pick: Makita XTP02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 1-3/8" Pin Nailer, 23 Gauge, Tool Only

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buyer’s Guide to Cordless Pin Nailers

What are Pin Nailers Used For?

Pin nailers, in general, are used to insert pin nails into wooden surfaces with one pull of the trigger. In all honesty, it’s challenging to do that kind of job manually. Pin nailers usually have a magazine where you can load your 23-gauge headless nails. Press the nozzle flush against your wooden surface, and boom, your nail is inserted with barely a fuss.

Pin nailers can be pneumatic air powered tools or cordless battery-powered tools. Cordless ones are powered by a battery or by a combustion fuel source. Cordless pin nailers are better for portability, but they generally aren’t as powerful as the best pneumatic pin nailers. Still, they are often used for some light woodworking

How do Cordless Pin Nailers work?

Cordless pin nailers have two possible power sources: fuel or battery. Fuel-powered nailers use an internal fuel canister to ignite and release the nail from its barrel. Fuel canister batteries are pretty light and easy to bring around. They provide a very powerful pin nailer for its cordless feature, but at a few expenses.

Fuel-powered pin nailers, while cheaper than battery-powered pin nailers, can incur extra costs because of fuel refilling. You will have to periodically refill the canister and eventually buy more fuel if you keep it for the long term. But, remember as well that fuel exhaust fumes are in no way at all healthy for you.

For this reason, battery-powered pin nailers were innovated. These are electric and usually use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Understandably, they are not as powerful with their nail shooting, but can still do some simple jobs. These can be more expensive upon purchase but are ultimately more environmentally-friendly.

How To Choose the Right Cordless Pin Nailer

Pin nailers are good at firing the smallest yet longest of headless nails into wood. The best of the best can do so with hardly a scratch or mark to show for it. But how do you judge an excellent cordless pin nailer for yourself?

Tool Weight

Not everyone is built the same, and not everyone exercises for hours a day. If you can’t carry a heavy tool, don’t hurt yourself trying! Nailers can range anywhere from 2lbs to 7lbs. Of course, cordless nailers may be slightly heavier than corded ones but go for one that you feel comfortable holding for long periods.

Tip Size

Tip size plays into the accuracy of your nail firing. Some of the well-designed cordless pin nailers have an extra-narrow tip to insert nails into tight spaces. But sometimes, it can be challenging to make such a narrow tip without it being flimsy or breakable. You need a tip that can fire accurately while withstanding a decent amount of pressure.

Preventing Dry-Fire

Dry firing is what you call firing the pin nailer with nothing coming out. You’ll be surprised how often it happens that carpenters are in their nailing rhythm only to find out they’re out of nails! Good pin nailers usually have alerts to tell you if it is low on nails to prevent such mishaps. Or, it would avoid dry-firing through a lockout mechanism that will lock the trigger if there are no nails left.

Dealing with Jams

Nail gun jams are a nasty business, and the best cordless pin nailers should have a way of dealing with them. Some mechanisms would be a latch that releases the jam; another would be a lever that resets the trigger and nozzle. Cordless pin nailers would often clear the jam by instructing you to remove the battery temporarily. The user manual accompanying the tool will likely have instructions.
However, whether there are instructions and if it works are two different things. Be sure that the tool looks trusty or sturdy enough to clear jams in the possibility of one.

Reviewing the Top 3 Best Cordless Pin Nailers for 2021

Makita XTP02Z 18V LXT Cordless Pin Nailer

Makita XTP02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 1-3/8" Pin Nailer, 23 Gauge, Tool Only
  • Refined firing mechanism reduces recoil; reduces force required on the work surface when driving pin nails
  • Drives 6 different lengths, 5/8", 11/16", 3/4", 1", 1-3/16" and 1-3/8", of 23 gauge pin nails (tool does not work with 1-1/4" Pin nails)
  • Magazine capacity up to 120 pin nails

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Makita XTP02Z is a cordless pin nailer that was specially built for handling your trimming jobs, baseboards and molding, and even casings. Thankfully, it’s on the more compact side of cordless pin nailers, but it can still handle 23-gauge headless nails from 5/8” to 1-3/8” in length.

Makita’s lithium-ion batteries are a wonder in themselves. Although the magazine of the XTP02Z can carry 120 nails, its 18V lithium-ion charge will last much longer; it can last for hours, long enough for over 5,000 headless pins to be inserted before its next charge.
The XTP02Z also becomes more than a power tool with Makita’s Star Protection computer controls. These controls exchange data from the tool to the system and alert in case of overheating, overloading, or over-discharging.

Pros

  • The trigger can be locked for safety and convenience
  • It comes with LED lights for better lighting and accuracy
  • Rubber stoppers and casings for better tool protection
  • Narrow nose to insert nails into tight spaces
  • Grip-fitting handle complete with rubber protection and padding
  • Accompanying tool hook

Cons

  • Prone to nail jams
  • Prone to plunger breakage and needing part replacement
  • The power source may be insufficient

Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless AirStrike 23-Gauge Headless Pin Nailer

Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion Cordless AirStrike 23-Gauge 1-3/8 inch Headless Pin Nailer (Tool...
  • Double-action trigger design for sequential driving
  • Dry-fire lockout feature extends tool life
  • LED light feature for optimal vision

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Ryobi ONE+ Cordless Pin Nailer runs on an 18V battery that lasts long enough to fire 3800 nails on a single charge. We appreciate its anti-dry-fire design and sequential trigger mechanism to include safety precautions for any user.

Ryobi does an excellent job of prioritizing features that cover safety and convenience. They use non-marring pads for their tips to keep any wooden surface smooth and unmarked despite any pressure you might exert. There are also LED lights near the tip to increase visibility. And of course, because we don’t like sacrificing comfort, we highly appreciate the rubber mold wrapping the grip of the pin nailer.

Pros

  • Sequential double-action trigger for safety precaution
  • Non-marring pads to reduce witness marks
  • Built-in LED lights for increased visibility
  • Can accommodate 23-gauge headless pin nails from 1/2 “to 1-3/8 “
  • Runs on an 18V battery lasting 3800 nail fires

Cons

  • Inconsistent nail firing
  • Unable to reset the firing
  • Not as strong as a pneumatic nailer

Metabo HPT 18V 23 Gauge Cordless Pin Nailer

Metabo HPT Cordless Pin Nailer Kit, 18V, 23 Gauge, 5/8" up to 1-3/8" Pin Nails, 3000 Nails Per...
  • INCLUDES: NP18DSAL cordless pin nailer, Compact 3.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery, Fast Charger, Contractor Bag, Safety Glasses, 3mm Hex. Bar Wrench
  • AWARDS: Pro-Preferred for Pneumatics 2014 - 2020 per Builder and Developer Magazine
  • NAIL GRADE: Use genuine Metabo HPT pin nails for optimal performance. See note below

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Metabo, previously known as Hitachi Power Tools, is an incredibly trusted and reputable brand. Its new cordless pin nailer is built for lighter carpentry jobs on the go. Your compressor and hose can now be left behind while you drive in those headless pin nails.

However, Metabo warns that its pin nailer kit works best with high-quality pins, such as the ones that Metabo sells. While this may sound like a cop-out, the rate of pin jams with Metabo’s pin nailer does increase with non-Metabo pins. They claim that the pin nails have to be of high-quality metal that will not bend from impact.

Metabo’s cordless pin nailer comes with some features that we haven’t seen in our other nailers. A recoil-eliminating counterweight, a safety tip that disallows firing unless there is sufficient pressure, as well as a battery indicator to warn users of low battery. All in all, we think Metabo’s pin nailer is a well-thought design and convenient for any beginner or pro user.

Pros

  • Includes safety features such as a counterweight, dry-fire lockout, automatic depth adjustment, a safety tip, and a belt hook
  • Can drive 3000 pins from one charge of the lithium-ion battery
  • Can accommodate 23-gauge nails ranging from 5/8” to 1-3/8”
  • The application reduces the possibilities of holes, cracks, splits, etc.

Cons

  • Prone to nail jams with non-Metabo nails
  • Does not include a spring for re-firing
  • Inconsistent nail firing

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Cordless Pin Nailers best for?

Cordless pin nailers are best for light detail woodwork jobs, such as decorative trims, picture frames, cabinets, and moldings. They mainly differ from corded pin nailers that come with a hose and compressor.

When should you use a Cordless Pin Nailer?

Most flooring nailers are designed to accommodate fasteners specific to flooring. The cleats and staples they fire are only useful for flooring. However, some flooring nailers are light enough and made with a magazine to accommodate different gauges of nails. These nailers are usable for more general-purpose nailing tasks.

Are Cordless Pin Nailers better than Corded Pin Nailers?

Cordless pin nailers are generally more convenient to lug around. Although the battery can be a bit heavier, they usually come as one piece and don’t require extra parts to operate. However, they are known to be less powerful.

Conclusion

Cordless pin nailers are the next new thing for woodworking convenience. Whether you want one as a second pin nailer or want to start with smaller projects, these cordless pin nailers are handy to have around. If you’re a beginner, we especially recommend you try one out. We hope you consider the models we’ve shortlisted, or at least taught you a thing or two about choosing one!

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