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Milwaukee M12 23-Gauge Pin Nailer 2540 Review

Compact and Lightweight, the Milwaukee M12 Pin Nailer is a Joy to Use

The smallest of the nailers we consistently use, many folks have wondered about a legitimately compact cordless pin nailer. We got our hands on the Milwaukee M12 23-Gauge Pin Nailer and there’s no question it’s smaller than most. We also wanted to know if it has the power and accuracy we demand.


  • More compact and lighter weight than other cordless pin nailers
  • Excellent visibility
  • No firing delay
  • Plenty of power
  • Two-stage trigger prevents accidental firing
  • Easy depth adjustment
  • Dry fire lockout


Milwaukee M12 23-Gauge Pin Nailer Performance

Man, oh man, I’ve been looking forward to this Milwaukee cordless pin nailer! As soon as I took it out of the box, I put it to work testing it driving power and accuracy.

We use gridded 1/2-inch poplar over 2x PT to run some standardized tests and the nailer performed beautifully! The magazine holds up to 120 1/2-inch to 1 3/8-inch headless pin nails that load easily into the magazine. It feels very stable as you lock it down.

Grid Testing

The first thing I was looking for was the telltale cordless nailer firing delay. It’s simply not there with this model. As soon as you pull the trigger, it fires without having to spin up a flywheel.

Satisfied, I then turned to dial in the power. With 3/4-inch pin nails loaded, I needed to find the right balance of driving depth. Starting at the shallowest setting, I worked my way down until I found a depth that sank the nails just below the surface. I found it about 1/3 of the way through the range, leaving plenty of room for longer nails and harder woods.

The depth adjustment itself is super-easy to use. The thumbwheel has roughly 35 points of adjustment. The wheel turns easily between each one and seats confidently. It’s not too hard on your thumb while still giving you defined depth positions.

Milwaukee M12 Pin Nailer Depth Adjustment

As for the visibility and accuracy, it’s excellent. An LED light improves your visibility in low-light conditions. The nose is narrow enough to get an accurate position. Once we got used to the no-mar cover, we had no problem placing nails right on our grid intersections. The driver fires through the center of the nose, so you need to put the white arrow about 1/4-inch above your target. There’s a spare on the right side of the magazine if you lose or wear out the first.

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