Ever heard of 21-gauge brad and pin nailers? If not, you’re in good company, judging by the recently resurrected “21 gauge nailer/pinner” thread in the JLC Finish Carpentry forum. But some contributors to the thread have said they use these tools a lot because the fasteners have significantly more holding power than 23-gauge pins but leave much smaller entry holes than 18-gauge brads. The major power-tool manufacturers don’t offer 21-gauge nailers, but one high-quality option mentioned in the thread is the Cadex model CPB21.50 (cadextools.com). Since Cadex also makes 23- and 18-gauge nailers, we called the North American distributor for an opinion about the 21-gauge option. The short answer: “The 21 gauge … can be the only finish nailer a finish carpenter needs. Throw away your 18-gauge and put the 23-gauge back in your toolbox until you are shooting pins of 35mm (1 3/8 inches) or less.” — B.G.

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