Hitachi NP18DSAL 23-Gauge Cordless Pin Nailer

 

Hitachi NP18DSAL 23-Gauge Cordless Pin Nailer Review

Pin nailers, like the Hitachi NP18DSAL 23-Gauge Cordless Pin Nailer are an exciting new addition to the market. Pin nailers are the smallest of finish nailers available, utilizing ultra-thin 23-gauge pins. The fasteners range in sizes from 3/8” to 2,” are headless, and result in the least visible hole of all fasteners.

Pin nails are GREAT for holding two pieces of wood that have been freshly glued together during the cure time. Their small size, and no-head design make them a fantastic fastener for small, delicate molding, interior millwork, and cabinetry.  In the shop I also use pin nails over double sided when template routing and jig making.

We took a close look at the Hitachi NP18DSAL 23-Gauge Cordless Pin Nailer.

Hitachi 18 V Cordless Pin Nailer

The Hitachi NP18DSAL 23-Gauge Cordless Pin Nailer is powered by a lightweight, compact 3.0Ah Lithium Ion battery. It has a built-in counterweight designed to eliminate recoil, which also reduces the force needed to actuate the tool.

Hitachi Pin Nailer Features

  • Low battery charge indicator
  • Tool-less depth of drive adjustment
  • Dry-fire lockout
  • Integrated belt hook
  • Ergonomic soft grip handle
  • LED light
  • Tool on/off switch
  • Body rubber bumpers

Runtime

The 3.0 Ah battery takes approximately 45-minutes to fully charge a depleted battery. As for runtime, this is not a heavy use tool. We used the tool for over a month without charging. Hitachi says this pin nailer is capable of driving up to 3,000 headless pins per charge.

Fastener Length

The Hitachi NP18DSAL 23-Gauge Cordless Pin Nailer drives pins from 5/8″ to 1-3/8″ in length and can be used to produce nearly invisible holes for a variety of applications including cabinets, paneling, delicate molding and small trim parts.

This pin nailer accepts 1 strip of pin nails [100 pins] and can handle the following fastener lengths:

  • 5/8”
  • ¾”
  • 1”
  • 1-3/16”
  • 1-3/8”

Hitachi Pin Nailer Weight

At 4.4 pounds the Hitachi NP18DSAL 23-Gauge Cordless Pin Nailer is slightly heavier than their pneumatic counterparts, they save weight on the total package since you no longer need to lug around your compressor.

The tool itself measures 9-5/8” x 8-15/16” x 3-9/32”.

LED Light and Battery Gauge

Located on the control panel is an LED switch. This light can be turned on or off by pressing the button. If you leave the LED light on, it will automatically turn itself off after 5 minutes to conserve battery charge.

On-Board Safe-Guard Diagnostics

The battery gauge also doubles as a diagnostic meter, allowing you to protect the electronics of the tool. If the tool is overloaded the battery gauge will flash on and off, 1-second each indicating a driver blade issue.

A second diagnostic warning shows a rapid ½ second on and off flashing which indicates that the tool is overheated and needs to cool down

Dry fire Lock Out

The pin nailer is equipped with a dry fire lock out which activates when the nailer is at 20 or fewer pins in the magazine.

Depth of Drive Adjustment

The fastener depth of drive is adjusted by rotating an adjustment knob near the nose of the tool. The knob works well and is easy to operate and will modifies the depth of fastener by 0.75mm each time the it is rotated.

Line of Sight

The Hitachi NP18DSAL 23-Gauge Cordless Pin Nailer has excellent line of sight.  We found that this smaller nose design allows the tool to fit into tighter spaces.

Additionally, two no mar tips come with the tool:

  • groove driving tip [Moldings]
  • Flat driving Tip [suitable for driving into softer materials like Cedar]

The no mar tip stores and recesses into the magazine area of the tool.

No Contact Tip

The small pointed nose of the tool features a “no-push,” work contact safety tip that reduces marring on your trim and delicate mill work.

The hype on the  no-push contact tip is that it allows for quick and accurate nail placement without separate contact trip. The micro-nose design eliminates the need to push against the work surface to actuate the nailer, allowing users to fit into narrow spaces with an 60% smaller nose footprint.

Basically it gets you precise accuracy and that sure gets our attention. There is nothing more annoying than using a nailer that puts a fastener in a location different than where you thought it was going to go. I can think of a dozen times where I wanted to smash my brad nailer with my hammer after I blew apart a trim return or nailed it and the trim part moved on me.

Using the Hitachi Pin Nailer

We enjoyed using the Hitachi pin nailer. Once you get past the increased weight, not having to deal with a hose is a plus. The nailer did not mis-fire or jamb during our 2-month testing. We used it to trim out a large remodel, kitchen and 3 bathrooms.

Improvements

The pin nailer comes with an Allen wrench [stored on magazine] that is needed to remove the nose of the tool to get to the driver blade, or to remove jammed pins, adhesive, fragments or splinters in the driver blade guide groove. We’d like to see Hitachi utilize a tool less design.

Overall Impression

Hitachi has been stepping up their game lately. Most notably is their Triple hammer, table saw, cordless framing nailer and now this 23-guage pin nailer. The TBB crew is impressed and is watching Hitachi closely.

Cost

This pin nailer costs approximately $279.00 online – check it out!

279.00

Hitachi’s Name Change

As you may have heard, Hitachi Power Tools announced they are changing their name to Metabo HPT next year. Just so you know- same tools, new name, that’s it. This cordless nailer isn’t changing other than the name printed on the side.

They will be servicing and honoring all warranties on Hitachi products so it really doesn’t matter which one you have- they are one in the same. If you have questions- check out their website or message me below and I will ask Hitachi Power Tools myself!

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is also the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the editor of the blog, A Concord Carpenter and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. As a carpenter and web editor, Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals. He is the carpenter correspondence for and writes a Q&A column, in the Sunday Boston Globe, called "Ask the Carpenter."He hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show,, offering the do-it-yourself audience in Boston’s Metro West region expert advice on home repairs and maintenance. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, where we post all of our tool reviews and video editorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/@https://twitter.com/robertrobillardRob Robillard

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1 Comment

  1. I noticed you stated you never had a jam or misfire. I own one and I have had constant jam issues but only when there is a small quantity of nails left. Keeping the nails over half full seems to eliminate the jams. I am wondering if this is a common problem (known issue). Or maybe I just got a rare bad apple… any thoughts or suggestions?

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