Tool Kit

molding trim interior finish carpentry installation tools

Here I am using an inexpensive Bostitch, 18 gauge nail gun. It constantly jammed, so I returned it for a Porter Cable that never jams.

Your molding installation tool kit will easily pay for itself by the time you’ve installed the moldings in one, 12′ X 15′ room.  [See this post How Much Does a Finish Carpenter Charge to Install Moldings? for details.]

Only The Tools You’ll Need

You don’t have to assemble a whole woodworking shop to install moldings, but a plastic miter box with hammer and nails simply won’t do.

As much as I love good tools, I buy only the ones I need, and resist buying a tool just because, as Tim Allen says, it will look good hanging on my peg board.


Power Tools For Installing Moldings: $830.00 Used or $1,590.00 New

12 ” Compound Miter Saw, $200.00 Used/$350.00 New

Table Saw, 10″ Blade, $250.00 Used/$550.00 New

Palm Sander, $35.00 Used/$70.00 New

Biscuit Joiner,  $120.00 Used/$170.00 new

18 Gauge Brad Nailer, $85.00 Used/$160.00 New

23 Gauge Micro Pinner, $90.00 Used/$130.00 New

Portable Air Compressor, $50.00 used/$160.00 New


Power Tool Accessories

12″ Miter Saw Blade


Hand Tools ( New Prices)

Coping Saw $17.05

Stud Finder $15.00

Contour Duplication Gauge $7.00

3′ Level $20.00

Chalk Snap Line $10.00

Combination Square $22.00

Quick Square Layout Tool $17.00

Wood Files, Assorted Small$6.00

Metal Mill Hand File, Large $10.00

Nail Punch Set $10.00

Claw Hammer $15.00

Utility Knife $6.00

Pry Bar, Small $7.00


Used vs New Tools

Used  I’ve bought and sold plenty of tools on Craigslist, so I used them to find the used tool prices listed above.  As in all things, buyer beware.  Know what the tool is worth in the condition it’s being offered before you buy.

New  Sometimes you can’t find the used tool you need for this weekend’s molding project, and you don’t want to wait, so you go buy something new for full price.  That’s what I did when I needed a table saw to start Our Kitchen Molding Makeover.

I ended up with a much lower quality table saw over what I could have had if I had waited to buy a used one, but at least I did get the features I wanted — it just is not a precision machine like what I’m used to.


My Favorite Tool Brands

Most consumer-grade tools — Dewalt, Ridgid, Ryobi, Black and Decker, Bostitch, Skill — will install your moldings just fine.

But for longer-lasting, precision tools I prefer Bosch, Makita, Hitachi, Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Senco, Accuset, and a few Dewalt tools.

Of course there are options and accessories you can buy for most of these tools, and they are all very tempting.  But the tools in this list are the tools that will make installing moldings a joy, rather than a chore.

Now go buy yourself some tools!

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