Ridgid 18V 23GA Cordless Headless Pin Nailer Review
Ridgid 18v 23GA Cordless Headless Pin Nailer – Model R09898B
18V Cordless 23-Gauge 1-3/8 in. Headless Pin Nailer
Model number: R09898B
Price: $219.00 (Bare Tool)
Power source: 18v
With the release of the 18V Cordless Headless Pin Nailer, Ridgid has become another major tool brand with a full lineup of cordless nailing solutions. Ridgid claims that this pin nailer will shoot up to 1,875 nails on a full charge of a 2.0Ah battery. Let’s take a closer look at this nailer and how we used it on our projects.
Ridgid Pin Nailer Features | Specifications
- Battery Voltage – 18V
- Nailing Capacity – 1/2″ – 1-3/8″
- 1875 Shots per Charge of 2.0Ah Battery
- Bright LED Light
- Lifetime Service Agreement
- Belt Hook
- Clean Drive Technology
As soon as you pick up the Ridgid R09898B, its compact size is what draws your attention. Because of its ergonomic design, which provides a comfortable grip, long-term use is possible without tiring out the hands. The R09898B is a great choice for on-site and workshop applications due to its cordless portability.
The Ridgid Cordless Pin Nailer is lightweight, comfortable, and has a great line of sight. It’s a great addition to the Ridgid 18v nailer line up!
- Height – 8.9″
- Depth – 7.7″
- Width – 2.8″
Depth of Drive Setting
The Ridgid R09898B has a large depth of drive adjustment knob located on the right side of the nailer, just under the top plate. It is large and has an aggressively gnarled wheel for easy adjustments.
The knob has a positive click as you adjust it. We were not ale to test the depth of drive adjustment responsiveness, I’ll explain that more in a moment.
Pin Nailer | Nail Capacity
The Ridgid R09898B has a nailing capacity of 1/2″ to 1-3/8″. These sizes are pretty standard across the board when it comes to pin nailers.
The magazine has a pinch release mechanism at the bottom of the magazine to open. Once the nails are seated with the arrow facing forward, you can push the magazine cover up and lock it in place. There is a window on the magazine for visual on how many nails remain.
The Ridgid R09898B has a nice, bright LED light with a unique position. The LED is angled up at a 45° angle allowing for illumination of the general fastening area.
No Mar Tip
The R09898B comes with two orange hard plastic no marr tips. Non-mar contact tips are a nice feature on nailers as long as they don’t obscure your line of sight.
The tip is securely held in place, (it is hard to remove) which we like because it’s more likely to stay in place over time.
The reserve tip is clipped on the rear of the magazine.
Fastener Jamb Clearing
Fastener jambs can occur for various reasons. It should be noted that during our shop and field testing and evaluation, we did not have any jambs on the nailer. Ridgid provides an onboard hex key for top plate removal. The hex key sits at the bottom of the nail magazine. It secures into a slot and then presses into a channel allowing for a snug fit and less of a chance of falling out.
A feature we like is the keyholes on the top plate. This allows you to loosen the screws and slide the plate off rather than taking the screws completely out, risking the chance of losing them.
The Ridgid has a traditional-style double trigger system. If you’ve used pin nailers on small trim parts you know that the contact tip when depressed, can move your trim piece – the double style trigger eliminates that frustration.
With the dual trigger system. The first trigger serves as the safety switch, and you need to pull it to disengage the switch. Then you need to pull the second trigger to fire the pin into the work piece.
Ridgid Pin Nailer | On the Job
We used the Ridgid pin nailer to build a custom fireplace mantle with all mitered edges. Pin nails were used to secure the mitered edges while the glue dried. after mitering the parts with a table saw, we used blue painter’s tape to align the parts while we glued the joints.
Once glued, we folded each section at a time and fastened them with 1-3/8″ pin nails to hold them in place for clamping.
On the same project, we used the R09898B Pin nailer to secure thin outside corner trim over our shiplap wall covering.
The trim was pre-painted and the pin nailer was the perfect tool for leaving tiny, unobtrusive holes, requiring a small amount of touch-up paint.
Clean Drive Technology
The Ridgid R09898B features Clean Drive Technology. Ridgid claims that the Clean Drive Technology enables the operator to shoot nails flush at any angle, reducing trim blowouts.
When we tested this feature we discovered the following:
- Straight On – all nails were fired straight on, set into the wood perfectly.
- Left and Right Angles – All nails fired were set slightly proud of the wood surface.
- Forward Angle – this position was not scored as it is not a normal nailing position since the tools contact nose comes off the work piece.
- Rear Angles – nails were set int the wood at an acceptable depth.
Testing Nail Penetration | Depth of Drive
We conducted a nail penetration test on what we feel are the most popular species of trim remodeling contractors use in the field.
- Red Oak
- Soft Maple
- Pre-painted Maple cabinet trim
- Poplar molding and small trim parts
On our Poplar test we had to set the nailer to almost MAX depth setting. At that setting the pin nails that were fired were set perfectly just below the wood.
Our 3/4″ Red Oak test was done with the nailer set to MAX depth setting and almost all of the pin nails were proud of the wood. When we applied “light” pressure to the nailer, the nails were driven flush, and when added more pressure, they sank just below the wood grain with many leaving firing pin marks.
For comparison we used a pneumatic pin nailer in the Red Oak and easily set all the pins below the surface. In this hardwood scenario the cordless pin nailer couldn’t produce as much power as the pneumatic pin nailer.
Pre-Painted Maple Cabinet Trim
We took some Maple cabinet trim we had from a previous remodel and cut 45° miters to test fastening in pre-painted material. This is a practical, in the field, installation carpenters encounter on almost every remodel. This test showed inconstant depth settings, when pressure to the tool was applied fastener setting improved, but often left a firing pin mark. More on this when we discuss room for improvement.
Applying Pressure To a Pin Nailer
When joining trim in the field there is a fine line with holding the miter together, and applying tool pressure, and then trying to fasten it with a pin nailer. The goal is to hold the mitered trim in place without moving it with pin nailer pressure. That’s why pin nailers have the double style trigger to eliminates applying too much pressure to the work piece.
When the magazine has 0-10 nails left, the dry-fire lock-out mechanism prevents you from firing any nails. When the last nail is utilized, and the LED light will flash rapidly to alert you to reload fasteners.
Room For Improvement
In our testing the cordless pin nailer struggled with hardwood trim applications. After several discussions with the team at Ridgid we discovered that part of the issue is the 2.0 Ah battery pack that was sent to us for testing. This tool is sold as a bare tool and we also received a 2.0 Ah battery to use with it. Engineers for Ridgid pointed out that this tool performs much better in hardwood applications with a larger 4.0 Ah battery pack. This does make sense as we’ve seen much better performance on higher demand applications using larger density packs, not only with Ridgid tools but with all brands.
So users that want to use this cordless pin nailer for hardwood applications should use a larger 4.0 Ah battery pack for the best performance and power.
The Ridgid pin nailer sells as $219.00 and can be purchased at Home Depot here:
By adding the 18v cordless pin nailer to their arsenal, Ridgid now has a complete lineup of cordless nailers. The Ridgid R09898 18v cordless pin nailer shined on the Poplar and Pine we tested on. It struggled more as the wood species got harder like the Red Oak and Maple. For these harder types of wood species, users should be sure to use a larger 4.0 Ah battery pack for maximum performance.
In the world of pin nailers, the Ridgid R09898B sits well for carpenters, serious enthusiasts and DIYers. If you currently operate on the Ridgid 18v battery platform this nailer is definitely something you want to have to round out your nailer arsenal.
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