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Review of Grip-Rite 16-Ga. Finish Nailer


Grip-Rite GRTFN250 Finish Nailer

Grip-Rite GRTFN250 Finish Nailer

(c) 2007 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

In the Model GRTFN250 16-gauge (straight collated) Finish Nailer, Grip-Rite has built a quality pneumatic finish nailer that compares favorably with similar models from more established manufacturers. This woodworking tool is lightweight, well-balanced and easy to adjust, and handles a wide range of nail lengths. It also includes some thoughtful touches such as a nail magazine that allows for a quick visual check of nail size and remaining quantity, a 360-degree adjustable air deflector and a clip hook so the user can hook the nailer on a tool belt, freeing up their hands for overhead work.
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  • Lightweight and exceptionally well-balanced to ease fatigue when nailing overhead
  • Includes Sequential Trigger and Dual-Action Trigger for bump-firing
  • Accommodates straight collated, 16-ga. finish nails from 1" to 2-1/2" in length


  • Tended to jam more frequently than desired when using longer nails


  • This finish nailer is very well-balanced to help reduce user fatigue.
  • The 360-degree Adjustable Air Deflector has twelve locking positions to direct exhaust away from the operator.
  • The E-Z Clear Latch allows jammed nails to be removed from the nose without tools
  • Quick-disconnect coupling allows quick air hose connection, with a dust cap to protect the coupling when disconnected.

Guide Review - Review of Grip-Rite 16-Ga. Finish Nailer

To test the Grip-Rite GRTFN250 Finish Nailer, we exposed the unit to a number of conditions with many different lengths of nails. While the manufacturer recommends only Grip-Rite collated fasteners for use in this tool, it isn't practical to expect that users will always be able to find their brand of 16-gauge nails at their local home center.

Accordingly, we tried numerous brands of nails in this unit for our tests. While we didn't experience any more problems with any one of the brands of nails, we did notice a relatively consistent jamming issue with 1-3/4" or longer nails, about one jam or double-fire per clip. Clearing the jam from the E-Z Clear Latch was a relatively simple process, but occasionally a pair of pliers was needed to remove the jammed nail(s).

Even though the unit did occasionally jam with longer nails, we did not experience even one problem with nails of 1-1/2" in length or less. The unit's depth adjustment mechanism is accurate and easy to adjust for the varying sizes of nails. We did notice that, after some continued fine-adjustments, the occasional jamming issue became less of a problem, although we never could get the issue to go away completely.

Even with the occasional jamming with longer fasteners, we were duly impressed with this finish nailer, and feel it would be a welcome addition to any woodworking shop.
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