Tool Test – Grex 23-gauge Pinner

From April 2007 Popular Woodworking

Twenty-three gauge headless pinners have come a long way in recent years, and we were glad to test the new Grex model P645L in the shop. The new edition is an upgrade from the P630 model in a number of ways.

First, there’s the additional range of fastener lengths. Now you can use fasteners in 12 different lengths from 1/2″ to 1 3/4″ in size. This is a 3/8″ increase in the total fastener length from the earlier tool’s top end. Is this something big? If you’re attaching face frames, it might just be great news because of the additional holding power. This was evident in plywood as well.

 
Next, while Grex has continued using the adjust-free magazine (no need to adjust for each change in fastener size), the double trigger safety and rubber hand grip, there is a new feature in the P645L that I found especially interesting , the lock-out mechanism (shown in the inset photo). If you have ever attached mouldings to your projects only to find that the pinner was emptied sometime during the task, you will appreciate this feature, too. Dry firing will not happen after the number of remaining fasteners drops below six or seven pins. Of course, this feature can be over-ridden if you are about to complete the task.

How does the pinner operate? I shot the 1 3/4″ pins through 4/4 pine and 6/4 red oak without any problems. The pins did move slightly with the grain of the wood, however nothing more than you would expect. The P645L is a bit weightier than the previous model by almost a half-pound but it is still light enough to use for an eight-hour work day. Unlike many of those in the construction trades, I am not a fan of the belt hook. I cannot see dragging the air hose around the woodworking shop while attaching mouldings. Fear not, I am sure that the feature can be removed if need be. 

, Glen D. Huey

More information on the 23-gauge pinner from Grex