Pinners have become very popular and in the past seven or eight years I have used many different models. My favorite, by far, is the Cadex CPB23.50 (out since at least 2007). Like other tools of its kind it drives extremely thin headless fasteners that leave entrance holes that are hard to detect. Most pinners max out at 1 3/8-inch fasteners; some go no higher than 1-inch fasteners. These small tools are fine if you’re only dealing with ¾ material, but for larger pieces of trim, they simply don’t work. The CPB23.50 accepts 5/8- to 2-inch pins, putting it at the upper end in terms of capability. I don’t use 2-inch pins that often, but when I need to it’s nice to have a gun capable of driving them.
This pin capacity makes the Cadex larger than most pinners, but that’s not saying much. Although it’s big for a pinner, it weighs less than 3 pounds so your arm will never get sore using it.
The CPB23.50 is packed with features, but not the kind that feel tacked on so the manufacturer can say the tool has it. My favorite might be the little air blower, which is easily operated by a lever up near the thumb. I recently restored some old sidelights and while installing the stops, the air gun was essential for dusting out the little corners before each piece went in. It was fast work because I didn’t have to pause to set down the tool and get a brush. I just tipped the Cadex forward (the air comes out of at the top of the tool) and pressed the lever.
I also like the pneumatic swivel connector. The air hose connection can rotate, so the hose never gets coiled, twisted, or tangled while the tool is being picked up, put down, or shifted to the other hand. This makes the tool easier to work with and reduces the hazard of tripping by keeping the hose flat on the ground. It’s beyond me why these connectors are not standard on all air tools. The tool has a belt hook—which is another item I think should be standard. With all the picking up and putting down of any nail gun, being able to hook it on my belt is very convenient, especially when working from a ladder.
The tip of the tool is very small and I can place a pin exactly where I want every time. If I’m working with a finished surface, Cadex supplies a little no-mar tip that slips over the nose. It makes the front of the tool a little beefier, but the no-mar tip has register lines, so accuracy doesn’t suffer. The tip stores right on the bottom of the nail cartridge, so it’s always there when I need it. Additional features include rear exhaust, a magazine sight window, and an anti-dry fire mechanism,
As pinners go, the CPB23.50 is expensive. At around $300, it’s three times what you would pay for one of the bare bones pinners with the smaller pin capacity. In my opinion, the added cost is worth it. All of the little features (most of which are not found on lesser models) make it faster and easier to do the job. Time and time again, I’ve found myself relying on the air gun, belt hook, or the larger pins.
My one complaint with the tool (and it’s a minor one) is that it could use a little more padding. When I put it down on its side, it rests directly on metal. With pinners being a finish tool, there have been scenarios where I’ve had to place it on a newly finished surface. Doing that with a metal tool is stressful and Cadex could have solved the problem with just a few rubberized spots.
But this small issue doesn’t detract very much from the overall excellence of the Cadex. Out of all of the tools I currently own, this is one of my favorites.
Fastener size: 23 gauge headless pins and brads
Fastener length: ?-inch to 2-inch
Magazine capacity: 120 pc
Weight: 2 pounds, 12 ounces
Additional features: rear exhaust;
Country of origin: Taiwan