DeWalt 23GA Pin Nailer Review
The DeWalt 23GA pin nailer is an exceptionally well-designed pinner that easily installs finer workpieces while eliminating the need to fill nail holes. It’s also great for attaching small trim pieces and reducing the amount of touchup required before painting. I’ve put the finishing touches on several projects with it and found it easy to work with, lightweight, and reliable. I also liked how it could even handle longer nails when needed—though I typically top out at 1-3/8 inches.
- Accepts pin nails up to 2-inches
- Dual trigger system
- Tool-free depth adjustment and jam release
- Oil-free—no stains
- Low nail dry fire lockout
- No marring or indentation
- No significant downsides
Although many Pros get the job done with an 18-gauge tool, the DeWalt DWFP2350K 23GA pinner offers some significant benefits. DeWalt’s dual-trigger lets you work more easily while still having a safety on the tool that doesn’t involve pressing the head into your delicate work material. The tool also requires no oil, so you don’t stain your work. Lastly, this is the only 23-gauge nailer I know of that has a tool-free jam clearing mechanism. Pinners are prone to jams, especially when running low on pins. That brings up the last benefit—the low nail lockout function removes the chief cause for jams. All in all—you’ll do yourself—and your customers—a favor if you turn to the DWFP2350K for finish work.
There’s not a Pro carpenter out there who doesn’t have an 18-gauge nailer for finish work. Not as many carry a 23-gauge nailer. If the 18-gauge tool suffices for such a wide range of work, why have another tool? The larger nails come with trade-offs. Larger nail holes need to be filled/covered and that thicker fastener has a greater chance of damaging delicate pieces. The powerful DeWalt 23GA pin nailer makes a strong case for itself by saving time, avoiding that potential damage, and including a nice feature set.
It does this because the very thin, headless pin nails are barely perceptible once driven. If you dial in the depth of drive and leave the pinhead flush with the work, you don’t have to fill or cover the result. The no-mar tip and smooth drive leave no indentations behind (more on that in the next section). We installed nosing and thin trim on several jobs—and the wood was always left unscathed. As a bonus, the DeWalt DWFP2350K accepts 2-inch pin nails—longer than the 1-3/8-inch max length of most of its competition.
Pull The Trigger(s)
The dual trigger design is a safety measure that primarily protects your workpieces. All nailers down to 18GA use nose safeties that prevent the gun from firing unless the nose is depressed. Because a 23-gauge pinner is meant for finer work, there’s no such nose safety on the DeWalt (or any pinner that I know of.) Pushing the nose of a pneumatic nailer into a delicate workpiece often leaves marks. Pinners forego this to allow for more precise and careful work.
In the old days, pinners didn’t have such safety mechanisms. I once knew a carpenter who had chest pains and, at the hospital, found that he’d pin nailed himself earlier that day! Fortunately, he recovered.
As the DWFP2350K is a pneumatic gun for small-gauge fasteners, it stays light and maneuverable. A few reviewers have wished for a battery-operated version, but I really think pneumatic is the way to go for such precise work. Bulky, cordless pin nailers like the Ryobi P318 and the Makita XTP02 simply weigh twice as much or more. For those who’d still balk at dragging out an air compressor, I suggest a compromise. The DeWalt 23GA Pin Nailer’s air demand is minimal, so you can use a small, battery-powered air compressor.
Even though there’s a low-nail lockout, a small window in the magazine gives you a gauge for remaining nails. I felt that the lockout mechanism really helped prevent jams. Most pin nailers I’ve used jam frequently—particularly when nails get low in the magazine. If the DeWalt 23GA Pin Nailer does jam, it may just be the world’s only 23GA pinner with a tool-free jam mechanism. I actually fired many strips of nails and didn’t experience any. That’s one feature I was happy and impressed I didn’t have to use!
The DeWalt 23GA Pin Nailer will set you back $149.00. As I mentioned, it accepts a longer nail than almost all of its competition (2-inch nails versus 1-3/8-inch standard). Here’s a quick look at the field:
- PIN138 Porter Cable 1-3/8-inch: $94.99
- Ridgid R138HPA 1-3/8-inch: $134.95
- Makita AF353 1-3/8-inch: $97.95
- Hitachi NP35A 1-3/8-inch: $126.47
- DeWalt DWFP2350K 2-inch: $149.00
- Bostitch BTFP2350K 2-inch: $121.80
The Bottom Line
With a large nail range, tool-free jam clearance, dual-trigger safety, and lots of finessable power, the DeWalt DWFP2350K pin nailer makes a compelling case for itself. If you thought you could get along with an 18GA nailer, you might reconsider when you see how much time it saves and workpiece marring it avoids. After this review, it’s hard to imagine finish carpentry without it!
DeWalt 23GA Pin Nailer Specifications
- Model Number: DWFP2350K
- Fastener Length: 5/8- to 2-inch
- Fastener Type / Gauge: 23 GA Pin Nails
- Magazine Capacity: 135
- Height: 8.75 inches
- Length: 9.2 inches
- Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Trigger Type: Dual
- Price: $149.00