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Old 12-08-2009, 07:05 AM   #1
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


OK, looking to buy a nail gun combo. (MAYBE seperate pieces?) What I need to know is how to understand all the details. Size of nails/brads, CFM???/how much psi is needed to run the gun. How to read and decifer the constant air pressure to the compressor to the gun, etc etc. Even if you can just point me to a easy to understand website. I have look but nobody really goes into detail, they just tell you the specs, but if you don't understand them it is of little or no help. Might as well be in Latin. LOl

I just want to make sure the compressor is going to run the gun!

Thanks Again

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Old 12-08-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


Subscribing... in the market soon and don't have a clue on what the options are..

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Old 12-08-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


The compressor will be rated by the number of gallons, maximum pressure and SCFM at a certain pressure (usually 90 psi). SCFM if the number of cubic feet of air (volume) per minute that the compressor is supposed to keep up with at the rated pressure. Pneumatic tools will list a minimum SCFM at a specified operating pressure (again usually 90 psi).

As long as the compressor can exceed the requirements of the tool, in SCFM @ rated pressure, the tool will work properly.

Added: Be sure to follow the tool manufacturers minimum size on the air hose. For most applications 1/4" will be fine.
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Last edited by 47_47; 12-08-2009 at 10:32 AM. Reason: Added
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:33 AM   #4
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


I don't think as a diy'r you can go wrong getting one of the combo kits (compressor, 16 ga. finish gun, 18 ga brad gun).

Home Depot/lowes seem to have these combos pretty regularly

Porter Cable combo kit comes to mind, but any major brand will be fine for you.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:32 AM   #5
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


Right now Home Depot has the Porter Cable Combo (Compressor, 16ga finish, 18ga brad and 18ga stapler) on sale for $259
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


VERY good question!

What kind of compressor is best for all types of nails? From the smallest to the largest?

I've always been a hammer person, but am sure ready for a nailgun these days.

Thanks for the tips on the combo's. Will take a look at them.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:30 PM   #7
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


WOW! Something as simple as searching as "Nailer" got me 10x's more items! Lots to look over, this may take a while.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:37 PM   #8
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


Just about any of the name brand combo kits will suit DIY'er needs as far as trim. They don't include a framing nailer which can be purchased separately IF needed. Most of the compressors in the combo kits will support a framing nailer as long as you're not "bump firing" to nail down decking or such. The compressor most likely wouldn't be able to keep up. That's where it would be worth getting an upgrade compressor, if you plan on doing a fair amount of framing. As stated above, check the SCFM@90 lbs. to see if a framing gun can be handled....
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:21 PM   #9
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


47-47's advice is good regarding matching and/or exceeding the compressor's output vs. the gun's needs. I use both a framing nail gun and a finish nail gun in my HandyMan business. I don't need them every day as a framing carpenter or trim carpenter might, I use them occasionally. I have knowledge of these guns from using them while working for a home builder some years ago. I bough a combo outfit on sale at the blue apron store, then found out it was built by Campbell-Hausefield, a reputable name. My compressor is a 2-gallon unit that I caught on sale last Christmas at Sears for maybe $60 and it does run my guns. It might not do for building a home, but it works for me with one gun nailing intermittently. There is no magic answer to the question. Each person will have to do their research as Sheila is doing and find what they need. Good Luck, David
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:20 PM   #10
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


Any compressor with a reservoir is going to be up to the task of running finish nailers. The only reason to go for a bigger compressor is if you want to run tools like angle grinders, impact wrenches, or orbital sanders (i.e., automotive tools).

I've got one of those pancake compressors and it's just fine for my level of DIY framing. My framing nailer will drive six nails before the compressor kicks in. I can then drive at least a dozen more before it doesn't have enough air to sink them. Realistically, I need to stop and position the lumber (or even measure and cut) long before I'm going to drive that many nails.

2.5" 15 gauge nails rock. With those nails there are things you can easily do that are just kind of hard without.

I've seen that some combo packs have a brad nailer, while some have a brad nailer that also shoots staples. I got the first kind and I recently had to buy the stapler. But Campbell-Hausfield (however that's spelled) has one for about $30, so it's not a big deal.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:39 AM   #11
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay123 View Post
I don't think as a diy'r you can go wrong getting one of the combo kits (compressor, 16 ga. finish gun, 18 ga brad gun).

Home Depot/lowes seem to have these combos pretty regularly

Porter Cable combo kit comes to mind, but any major brand will be fine for you.
That is a way to go. You can also get them fixed if you have a Senco place around.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:50 AM   #12
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


Thank You Everyone for your input. If and WHEN I buy a nailer I probably would go with a combo kit, with the idea that everything would HAVE to work together. But let me throw this into the mix, a buddy of mine has offered to let me use his Dewalt cordless nailer, (not sure of the model) he said he likes it alot better because no cords/tanks/etc. I have never used either one.

What are everyones thoughts on the Dewalt cordless/battery operated?
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:57 AM   #13
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


Cordless tools have their place, but they are heavier than a corded or pneumatic equivalent. Try your friends nailer for a while and judge for yourself.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:00 PM   #14
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


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Originally Posted by 47_47 View Post
Cordless tools have their place, but they are heavier than a corded or pneumatic equivalent. Try your friends nailer for a while and judge for yourself.
That is what I intend to do, I like try before you buy! lol Plus there is not $$$ output except for nails.

Thanks
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:02 PM   #15
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HOW to buy a nailgun? Understanding the ins and outs


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What are everyones thoughts on the Dewalt cordless/battery operated?
I got the dewalt 16 ga. straight finish nailer when it first came out a few years ago. I really like it. I was doing production trim work at the time and it was great not having to drag a hose around or have to worry about fuel cells like I did with my paslode cordless guns.

It is heavy, but I used it all day (many days doing crown all day), and I really liked it. I'd buy one again in a heartbeat.

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