When it comes to purchasing a pneumatic finish nailer, the range of choices is as wide as a Texas prairie. But that hasn't always been the case: When I was starting out, there were only a couple of brands and models to choose from. In recent years, most of the excitement about new finish guns has been about pinners, 15-gauge nailers, or tools that don't have to be connected to an air hose. Far less attention has been paid to the 16-gauge pneumatic nailers that many of us have been using all along.

As an interior trim carpenter, I use a number of different pneumatic nailers, brad guns, and staplers every day. But for installing standing and running trim, my 16-gauge nailer gets the most use of all. The nails it takes (1 1/4-inch to 2 1/2-inch) are ideal for installing base, crown, face frames, and door and window casings. (I still use my...

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