Author Topic: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?  (Read 2058 times)

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Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 529
Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« on: May 11, 2017, 12:49 PM »
So I need to pick up a brad nailer. Got some crown and baseboard in the house that needs to be put up and Id like to use it for things like attaching backer board to cabinets and bookshelves and the such. From my research it seemed 18 gauge would be a good size for these tasks so I began looking around to see what was available.


Well it seemed that Cadex and Grex were at the top end price wise and I loved that the Cadex nailers from in Systainers, but I have read quite a few reviews complaining about having a lot of issues with both of these brands specifically in the 18 gauge versions. That is a shame because I have held a Grex in my local Rockler and thought it felt nicer than any other nailer I have ever felt. I was looking specifically at this Grex (LINK), and this Cadex (LINK).


So my question is have any of you owned either of these two and did you have any issues with them?
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Offline TLittle

  • Posts: 6
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2017, 01:31 PM »
I have the grex green budy 18ga and it's fine, but just fine.  I doubt I'd buy it again though. I have a dewalt as well that is just as reliable and comfortable in hand.  Nothing wrong with the grex but at double the cost hard to justify to me

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 529
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2017, 01:50 PM »
I have the grex green budy 18ga and it's fine, but just fine.  I doubt I'd buy it again though. I have a dewalt as well that is just as reliable and comfortable in hand.  Nothing wrong with the grex but at double the cost hard to justify to me
It really is looking like there is no "perfect" brad nailer and most people like and do just fine with one of the most popular ones like the Hitachi, DeWalt or Bostich. I may end up going cheap and just picking up one of those.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1052
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2017, 01:59 PM »
+1 for Hitachi

Check out bigskytool.com for reconditioned Hitachi tools.

Big Sky Tool
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 02:03 PM by RobBob »

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 529
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2017, 02:01 PM »
+1 for Hitachi

Check out bigskytool.com for reconditioned Hitachi tools.
Thanks, but if I decide to go that route I can get the Hitachi NT50AE2 for $52 out the door from my local Lowes brand new. No need to go refurbed.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Online live4ever

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Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2017, 02:20 PM »
I think for 18g there isn't a huge reason to step up to the expense of the Grex/Cadex models, this coming from someone who's very happy to step up when it seems justified.  I have the Hitachi NT50AE2 and it was great for the price and got me through many projects around the house, but I ended up replacing it with a Bostitch with "Smartpoint" tip.  The size of the tip and visibility started mattering to me more as my skills improved.  The Bostitch was around $90. 

Where I'd gladly spend the $300 is for the 23g Cadex pinner.  It shoots up to 2-3/16" pins, (compared to around 1-3/8" for the sub $100 pinners e.g. Hitachi) and also can do slight-headed pins in addition to standard headless pins when you want just a wee-bit of holding power.  I've been eyeing that for a while now, but still can't justify it because I do have a 21g and cheap 23g so the need factor is low.  But I want it.

"What you have to do tomorrow, do today.  What you have to do today, do now."  - a wise grandfather who was clearly talking about purchasing Festools

Offline mopo

  • Posts: 3
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2017, 02:25 PM »
So I need to pick up a brad nailer.

In addition to the other brands mentioned you might wish to check out Omer. I've been looking into the Omer 2" to replace my older porter cable. I'm looking for something with less recoil that leaves a smaller hole, and the Omer seems to be top rated in those two criteria.

Online RKA

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Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 02:35 PM »
I have an older Milwaukee 18 ga (when they tried their hand at peddling air tools), a Grex 1850GB and a newer Milwaukee M18 18 ga. nailer.  Of the three, the Grex leaves the cleanest holes in the surface, so it's my first choice.  The head is also slightly narrower which is nice when I'm in a corner.  But the price isn't justified when there are other solid options at 1/2 the cost. 

The cordless Milwaukee is a horror show.  The first one was swapped because it was even worse.  I can't sink nails consistently, leaves divets the size of a 16 ga nailer, needs frequent union breaks (and I don't even bump fire my nailers).  This one is going to Milwaukee service when I get a chance.  These nailers should have been beta products not production releases. 
-Raj

Offline Rip Van Winkle

  • Posts: 227
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 03:56 PM »
I don't own one so I can't personally verify quality, but when I looked into brad nailers, the only brand I didn't see negative reviews for was Omer.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 529
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2017, 04:16 PM »
I think for 18g there isn't a huge reason to step up to the expense of the Grex/Cadex models, this coming from someone who's very happy to step up when it seems justified.  I have the Hitachi NT50AE2 and it was great for the price and got me through many projects around the house, but I ended up replacing it with a Bostitch with "Smartpoint" tip.  The size of the tip and visibility started mattering to me more as my skills improved.  The Bostitch was around $90. 

Where I'd gladly spend the $300 is for the 23g Cadex pinner.  It shoots up to 2-3/16" pins, (compared to around 1-3/8" for the sub $100 pinners e.g. Hitachi) and also can do slight-headed pins in addition to standard headless pins when you want just a wee-bit of holding power.  I've been eyeing that for a while now, but still can't justify it because I do have a 21g and cheap 23g so the need factor is low.  But I want it.


You're right, the 23 gauge Grex (LINK) does seem to have very good reviews. What is such a small pin typically used for though? I have never used anything other than 16 and 18 gauge.
I don't own one so I can't personally verify quality, but when I looked into brad nailers, the only brand I didn't see negative reviews for was Omer.
Interesting. Made in Italy too. Ugly color but the reviews look good. Though there arent many. (LINK) Ill look more into Omer's stuff.
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Online live4ever

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Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2017, 04:34 PM »
You're right, the 23 gauge Grex (LINK) does seem to have very good reviews. What is such a small pin typically used for though? I have never used anything other than 16 and 18 gauge.

Usually small/applied moldings where the pin is providing alignment and a [very] small amount of holding power while the glue dries, and where you don't want a hole to fill.  23g pins don't leave a noticeable hole - if you look very close you might see the shiny cross-section of the pin but that's about it. 

Two recent projects I used my pinner on:  Refurbing our deck and added small ~1" moldings under the post caps to give them a bit more flair.  I could definitely have used 18g there but it would leave divots and I wasn't counting on the nails to hold anything.

Had an old IKEA dresser that we wanted to spiff up for our son's nursery ('cause we're fancy like that).  In addition to getting painted, the slab drawer fronts received an applied molding (maybe 1/4" x 1/2") glued on...18g would have had to be filled, and the 18g nailer's action would be a bit too violent for delicate work (workpieces shifting).
"What you have to do tomorrow, do today.  What you have to do today, do now."  - a wise grandfather who was clearly talking about purchasing Festools

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 529
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2017, 04:36 PM »
You're right, the 23 gauge Grex (LINK) does seem to have very good reviews. What is such a small pin typically used for though? I have never used anything other than 16 and 18 gauge.

Usually small/applied moldings where the pin is providing alignment and a [very] small amount of holding power while the glue dries, and where you don't want a hole to fill.  23g pins don't leave a noticeable hole - if you look very close you might see the shiny cross-section of the pin but that's about it. 

Two recent projects I used my pinner on:  Refurbing our deck and added small ~1" moldings under the post caps to give them a bit more flair.  I could definitely have used 18g there but it would leave divots and I wasn't counting on the nails to hold anything.

Had an old IKEA dresser that we wanted to spiff up for our son's nursery ('cause we're fancy like that).  In addition to getting painted, the slab drawer fronts received an applied molding (maybe 1/4" x 1/2") glued on...18g would have had to be filled, and the 18g nailer's action would be a bit too violent for delicate work (workpieces shifting).
Got it. Makes sense. Thanks!
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 529
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2017, 04:56 PM »
Looking into the Omer 12.50 and while it does look like a good option its seems less available in the US market and goes for $250+.

I ran across the MAX USA-NF255FA/18 (LINK LINK). Its made in Japan (confusing though, some say MAX is in Japan but this gun is made in Thailand), sells for less than $100 and is available at one of my favorite resellers (AcmeTools).


Anyone got any insight into the MAX?


And also, does Omer still offer a lifetime warranty?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 05:10 PM by ben_r_ »
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Online SRSemenza

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Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2017, 05:34 PM »
I recently got the Bostitch Smart Point. I really like it. In fact I bought a second one. Haven't put a lot through it yet but no problems so far.  The nose is great! Small size and no need to press down makes it easy to position and see exactly where the nail will go. Fits into some pretty tight corners too. Oh, it has rear exhaust and oil free too.  [thumbs up]


Seth

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 529
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2017, 06:07 PM »
Just placed an order for an Omer 12.50 from ANCO Fastener Sales based out of Eugene, OR. Total shipped came to $235. (LINK) Cheapest I could find it anywhere and it's coming from authorized reseller so they say. Planning to confirm with Omer USA tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. Still waiting for my California Air Tools 4610AC to get here, so hopefully they'll both arrive next week and I can put them both to use that following weekend.


Now, anyone got a recommendation on good 18 gauge brad nails to use? Or do any old nails work just fine. On Amazon it looks like the Porter Cable nails are very popular (LINK), as well as the Senco (LINK).
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 06:26 PM by ben_r_ »
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Offline Brandon

  • Posts: 205
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2017, 06:52 PM »
I owned a Grex 23ga, worst pinned I've ever had. I currently have a Cadex 23 and 21ga, both of which are unimpressive. I don't think either brand is worth the money from my experience. I use my guns pretty much every day.
In my opinion Senco seems to make the most dependable guns available and I've tried most brands. 23ga I've had for 3-4 years, zero issues. The higher priced 18ga FinishPro 25xp's are great, I have a couple. Had a cheap one too but that died after 2 years is so.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 06:55 PM by Brandon »

Offline wptski

  • Posts: 408
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2017, 07:39 PM »
I own a Grex in both 18GB and 23G both work for my needs no jams yet but I will say that I like the edge guide option which I have on both and I don't think anyone else offers that option.
Bill
Most Confused!

Offline T. Ernsberger

  • Posts: 777
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2017, 07:50 PM »
For crown and base unless it's on a cabinet I use a 16ga or 15ga nailer depending on the material. 

Offline rizzoa13

  • Posts: 529
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2017, 08:05 PM »
15 or 16 ga for trims? You better have lots of filler for those holes 😎. I got myself an Omer 18ga and it's a heck of a machine. You can feel the difference in the way it's built and it's heft. Haven't had one problem with it and everything is easy to work on if you ever need to.

Offline T. Ernsberger

  • Posts: 777
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2017, 09:11 PM »
15 or 16 ga for trims? You better have lots of filler for those holes 😎. I got myself an Omer 18ga and it's a heck of a machine. You can feel the difference in the way it's built and it's heft. Haven't had one problem with it and everything is easy to work on if you ever need to.

@rizzoa13 we normally use a 1x6 base with a cap.  The 15 ga works great for holding power with the 1x6.  I usually use 16 ga for crown,  18 ga for casing and base cap.  By the way make sure your painter uses oil primer to cover up the smoke damage on the trim from your Kapex.  [big grin]

Offline KDConst

  • Posts: 7
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2017, 09:26 PM »
I agree the Omer is by far the best I have ever used.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 529
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2017, 11:40 AM »
Interesting response I got from Omer. I emailed them yesterday inquiring about their "lifetime warranty" I had read they once offered and here was the response:

Quote
Thanks for asking this question and providing Omer USA with a chance to respond.
 
First, let me say that I believe you will be quite pleased with both the performance and the durability of the 12.50 OMER bradder you are considering.
 
They are known to be substantially tougher by design, than so many of the Do IT Yourself Quality tools that are marketed by many "big name companies" in the tool business.  Please note that we do not aim for the segment of the market that is served most frequently by Big Box Store or light duty hobby type of tools that have become so commonplace.
 
In that Big Box Store context, the "meaning" of LIFETIME WARRANTY needs to be reviewed.  I recall that there was a marketing decision a few years back when Home Depot commenced their introduction of RIGID Air staplers and nailers.  To LAUNCH that line - they did in fact state that the tools they were selling - had a LIFETIME Warranty.  I believe this practice ended but you would need to check with them to be sure.
 
OMER's model 12.50 highly regarded & robust Italian made bradder is as rugged as any tool you will find of that type.  But before purchasing, please read over our parent company's GUARANTEE, which is attached for your consideration.
 
P.S.
 
In answer to your question regarding where to buy this Omer tool, please remember that you are welcome to place an order with OMER USA who will sell you OMER tools & fasteners directly if you reside within the United States.  We have separate Canadian distributors who handle the Omer line.
 
Send your purchase order to: Orders@OmerTools.com
 
ALSO
 
Nail Gun Depot - Amazon - StapleMania and quite a few other authorized inter-net based dealers have this particular tool model available on line every day.
 
Here is a LINK that will take you to one of them as a starting point:


https://tts-products.com/omer-12-50-18-gauge-brad-nailer-3-4-2-hd.html
Please call if I can provide further information to help you make a positive OMER buying decision.
 
Sincerely,
 
Chuck Hotze[/color]
Omer USA, Incorporated
Vice President - U.S. Market Development
OmerTools@aol.com[/font][/size]903.821.1966  (Mobile)[color=rgb(177, 39, 4) !important]
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline wptski

  • Posts: 408
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2017, 12:48 PM »
Interesting response I got from Omer. I emailed them yesterday inquiring about their "lifetime warranty" I had read they once offered and here was the response:

Quote
Thanks for asking this question and providing Omer USA with a chance to respond.
 
First, let me say that I believe you will be quite pleased with both the performance and the durability of the 12.50 OMER bradder you are considering.
 
They are known to be substantially tougher by design, than so many of the Do IT Yourself Quality tools that are marketed by many "big name companies" in the tool business.  Please note that we do not aim for the segment of the market that is served most frequently by Big Box Store or light duty hobby type of tools that have become so commonplace.
 
In that Big Box Store context, the "meaning" of LIFETIME WARRANTY needs to be reviewed.  I recall that there was a marketing decision a few years back when Home Depot commenced their introduction of RIGID Air staplers and nailers.  To LAUNCH that line - they did in fact state that the tools they were selling - had a LIFETIME Warranty.  I believe this practice ended but you would need to check with them to be sure.
 
OMER's model 12.50 highly regarded & robust Italian made bradder is as rugged as any tool you will find of that type.  But before purchasing, please read over our parent company's GUARANTEE, which is attached for your consideration.
 
P.S.
 
In answer to your question regarding where to buy this Omer tool, please remember that you are welcome to place an order with OMER USA who will sell you OMER tools & fasteners directly if you reside within the United States.  We have separate Canadian distributors who handle the Omer line.
 
Send your purchase order to: Orders@OmerTools.com
 
ALSO
 
Nail Gun Depot - Amazon - StapleMania and quite a few other authorized inter-net based dealers have this particular tool model available on line every day.
 
Here is a LINK that will take you to one of them as a starting point:


https://tts-products.com/omer-12-50-18-gauge-brad-nailer-3-4-2-hd.html
Please call if I can provide further information to help you make a positive OMER buying decision.
 
Sincerely,
 
Chuck Hotze[/color]
Omer USA, Incorporated
Vice President - U.S. Market Development
OmerTools@aol.com[/font][/size]903.821.1966  (Mobile)[color=rgb(177, 39, 4) !important]
Isn't that like many other?  Depends if you can afford to wait even when some manufacturers have many service centers like say DeWalt has.  I read of owners of Rigid tools having a problem with warranties because it has to be registered.
Bill
Most Confused!

Offline rizzoa13

  • Posts: 529
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2017, 05:39 PM »
To me that's legal mumbo jumbo. I'd try to search out owners of Omer tools that have had experiences with repairs and get their opinion. You might struggle though I dont think they break too often.

Offline justinh

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    • Profiled Edge Woodworks
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2017, 09:04 PM »
15 or 16 ga for trims? You better have lots of filler for those holes 😎. I got myself an Omer 18ga and it's a heck of a machine. You can feel the difference in the way it's built and it's heft. Haven't had one problem with it and everything is easy to work on if you ever need to.

For 3/4"-5/8" trim nailed through drywall I use at minimum a 16g for base and crown.  15g gets used for trim when needed but is usually reserved for backers, doors, and exterior trim.  An 18g is enough for small colonial speed base, wood to wood fastening like the inside edge of casing or base around an unfinished built in but not much more than that.

Offline Jim Green

  • Posts: 28
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2017, 11:57 PM »
Get an Omer. They are a step above the rest including grex( I'll duck now) and yes I have owned one didn't last on site. They are really built well and fire so solid. You won't regret the extra cost.

Offline glass1

  • Posts: 281
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2017, 06:33 AM »
The issue with the smart point nailers is that skinny flimsy cheap plastic depth adjustment dial.

Offline glass1

  • Posts: 281
Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2017, 06:38 AM »
That being said most nailers in the 18 gauge have poor tips and cannot sink 2" nail properly. The Grex, cadex, and omer have good tips. If senior would put their tip design from their 21 and 23 gauge on their 18 that would be good. I find the nose too stiff on my paslode for fine stuff.

Online SRSemenza

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Re: Cadex / Grex Brand Nailers (18 Gauge) Worth It?
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2017, 10:16 AM »
The issue with the smart point nailers is that skinny flimsy cheap plastic depth adjustment dial.

Yes, I agree on the depth dial. It is also not the easiest to turn. Depth dial on PC (at least the older ones) is much better. However I am also finding that with the Smart Point I almost never have it set to anything other than deepest.

Seth