Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer Review

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If you walk into any Home Depot, you would be hard-pressed to miss the green and silver Ryobi display. To add to their ever-expanding 18V ONE+ battery line Ryobi introduced a new line of cordless nailers, the smallest being a pin nailer. Pin nailers offer benefits when detail and precision matter most. While I was curious to explore all of the benefits of pin nailers in general, I was even more curious to see if a cordless nailer could really match up to the tried and true compressor powered nailers. Check out the Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer Review below.

Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer Review Overview

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The Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer, model number P318 comes packaged efficiently in a small box. Inside you will find the bare tool, manual, a small package of pin nails, and a small accessory bag containing the edge guard, belt clip, and a single screw. The bare tool weighs in at 3.85 pounds, and with the battery attached it weighs about 5.5 pounds. The cost of the tool alone is $129.00, and a combo package of one battery and charger will run you about $59.00.

Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer Review Features

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The Ryobi Cordless Pin nailer is compatible with 23 GA pin nails ranging from ½” to 1-3/8. The small gauge is ideal for preventing splitting and allowing for an optimal hide. Something to note is that pin nails, in general, aren’t designed to hold a substantial amount of weight. You can and should, however, augment the strength with the addition of wood glue.

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As seen here, there are brad nails surrounding a pin nail in this photo. A brad nailer uses 18 GA nails, which is a significant jump in size.  Often times pin nails don’t require patching as they are headless, but smaller holes make the job much more seamless when needed.

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The nails load easily and the magazine can hold 130 nails at a time. The nailer has a simple release at the bottom that when depressed the magazine slides open.

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This nailer uses Ryobi’s ever-popular 18 Volt One+ battery line, and on their upgraded 4.0Ah battery, it can drive up to 3800 nails on a single charge. While I haven’t shot that many nails at a time, I have run a few hundred through the nailer at a time during testing, and each time the battery still showed a full charge. The onboard battery gauge was also a neat feature Ryobi offers that allows the user to check at reloading for life expectancy.

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The tool includes a belt hook that can operate on either side of the tool and is attached using a simple screw that is also included.

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The Double-action trigger is dual functional, allowing both sequential firing and requiring both the small safety trigger to be held flush with the grip while the main trigger is depressed to fire a nail. The nail gun does not require pressure on the tip to release a nail as is frequently the case.

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The Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer also has an edge guide which allows for accurate placement of nails. When working in tight corners or where precision is key, this is a well-appreciated addition.

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The tool has small rubberized pads to prevent marring of the work surface on both the tip and the edge guide.

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The tool also has a Dry-Fire lockout, which blocks the driver from engaging when the magazine is empty. For me, this feature stands out because in most nailers when you run out of nails you can still fire blanks which in turn damages your workpiece.

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The LED light at the front of the workpiece was helpful and was quite bright. I found this ideal when using in low light situations, or where precision is imperative.

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The rubberized handle allows for increased comfort during use and ensures a solid grip.

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The jam release mechanism on the tool is unique but effective.

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The jam release is operated using two hex screws and an included onboard hex key so you can easily open the head and clear any jams.

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Initially, I was disappointed to see it wasn’t tool-free, but once I played around with it I actually prefer the increased security this nailer had as latched jam release mechanisms have a tendency to fail.

Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer Review Performance

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The Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer functioned exactly as expected. The pre-set depth of the pin nails is ideal as it drove them just past the surface to leave a minimal need for patching. Understandably a common concern of cordless tools is weight. While the Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer is certainly heavier than a compressor powered nailer, I didn’t find it cumbersome at all. The convenience of being battery operated absolutely makes that slight amount of extra weight a non-issue.

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You can see here the accuracy of the included edge guide. One thing that is routinely brought up regarding cordless nailers, in general, is a delay between hitting the trigger and the nail firing. There wasn’t a discernable delay, what I mean by that is sure if you went looking for it you could find it, but it caused no issues in performance or accuracy so it is a moot point. The bonus of the edge guide’s stellar accuracy left me more than impressed.

Ryobi Cordless Pin Nail Review Value

The value of this tool is seen from two perspectives. For a woodworker, carpenter or contractor who installs a lot of trim work where the details really matter it saves time and effort needed for finishing. Eliminating the need for a compressor allows for exponentially better portability and where compressors have to be filled and maintained at a certain PSI, the cordless option eliminates a lot of hassle and delays.

For the average homeowner, hobbyist or DIY’er there are a lot of unexpected uses for a pin nailer. Beyond installing trim work, pin nails serve as excellent clamping mechanisms. For example, when using clamps often times you have to wait for a joint to set before moving on because the clamps are in your way. With a pin nailer, you get an instant bond, allowing the glue to set up without disruption. That’s really the tip of the iceberg though as you will be amazed at the number of things that cross your mind where small easily concealed nails could have saved a lot of time and effort.

Ryobi consistently prices their tools well and watch for bundled packages if you have the need for other tools in their line. While there aren’t a lot of cordless pin nailers on the market, the $129.00 price tag is well justified for the features and convenience of this Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer.

Ryobi Cordless Pin Nail Final Review Thoughts

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In all honesty, this was my first Ryobi tool. I can now fully understand the cult-like following Ryobi has. My mind wracks with a million different times over the last few years this Ryobi Cordless Pin Nailer would have come in handy. When I imagined being able to drop the need for a compressor to use air tools, I kept thinking it was too good to be true. Somehow, I reasoned there would be a downfall. In this case, though, I am happy to be proved wrong. Ryobi came to the market to win and that they did. I am eager to challenge the other nailers in their Airstrike line to see if they measure up to this Cordless Pin Nailer.


  1. By chance, have you tested the pinner in different hardwoods? The other cordless brand pinners have not held up well in that area, and I am curious how the Ryobi performs in harder materials.

    • I haven’t, what species of wood did you have an issue with? Also, what kind of issue did you have? The harder woods never take nails as well, and since you cant adjust the depth on this one I can see the concern. I have had no issues with cedar or pine.

  2. Great timing on this article. I have been looking at pneumatic pin nailers because I did not think Ryobi had one. I have the Air Strike 18 gauge and really like it so I think this will be a nice addition. Greetings from Texas. #TIACREW


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