Makita pulled out all the stops at their recent 100-year anniversary event, including putting a bunch of new tools on display—some far in advance of their introduction date. The pinner shown here has been available in Europe and Asia for a couple of years and will not be released in the U.S. until 2016. I’m writing about it ahead of some tools that will be out before it because as a former finish carpenter and millwork installer, the idea of driving 23-gauge headless pins with a cordless tool is very appealing. One can already do this with framing nails and other size finish nails; it’s about time we are able to do it with tiny pins.
I had an opportunity to try the gun out and it worked as promised, quickly and quietly putting in pin after pin (video below). That it handles differently than a pneumatic goes without saying: There is no hose (good) but it is bulkier and heavier (not-so-good). Is it worth dealing with the extra weight? In a shop where hoses and cords abound, maybe not. But in the field, where mobility matters, yes.
The tool weighs 4.6 pounds with a full-size battery and 4.2 pounds with a compact battery. According to Makita, it can drive 3,000 pins per charge with a BL1830 (full-size; 3.0 Ah) pack and 1,300 pins per charge with a BL1815 (compact; 1.3 Ah) pack. Given the weight advantage of the smaller pack, I would never use this gun with a full-size pack because 1,300 fasteners per charge is more than enough for me. After all, this is a tool for precision finish work, not a framing gun for bump nailing sheathing.
Visually, the tool looks like a pinner that has been joined to a top-handle jigsaw. The magazine, tip, and vertical section at the front would be from the pinner; the grip motor and battery from the power tool. As with pneumatic 23-gauge pinners, the tip of the tool is narrow (for ease of placement) and does not compress; the safety is a spring-loaded lever aft of the trigger. Based on an exploded view of the tool I found on the web, it looks to be entirely mechanical, with a motor somehow compressing a big-looking spring and using it to power the driver.
Features include a belt hook, LED light, anti-dry-fire mechanism, and adjustable depth-of-drive (requires the use of an onboard hex wrench). Makita has not disclosed what the gun will sell for in the U.S. but I have seen the bare version on Amazon UK for £275. At current exchange rates that would be about $425—though it’s worth noting that tools are far more expensive in Europe than they are here, so the pinner is unlikely to cost anything close to that amount when it comes to North America.
DPT351Z (European model number; US number may differ) Specs
Power: 18-volt batteries
Nails: 11/16” to 1 3/8” 23-gauge headless pins
Magazine capacity: 130 pins
Size (L x W x H): 9 3/4” x 3 1/8” x 8 15/16”
Weight: 4.6 pounds (w. full-size pack); 4.2 pounds (w. compact pack)
U.S. Price: not yet known