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estevens 11-23-2013 09:19 PM

Air Nailers.
Live the Northwest. Am in the process of replacing old tools and buying new generation tools before I get started adding on and remodeling another house.

All of my carpenter tools (power) have worn out and just gotten old on me, time to update and I have not purchased any for so long, I need some advise prior to doing so.

My next purchase is going to be a set of air nailer's. I definitely will require a finish nailer, what brand and size is best for cabinet work, base and trim work.

They show finish, brad, staple and framing. Which or are all recommended. For example if I were to purchase a Bosch 15 ga 2.5" finish nailer, how many different size nails will this one unit accommodate, just the one size or several size finish nails. Bosch, Rigid, Bostich, Hitatchi, Porter Cable.... ?? Thanks you in advance for any advise, it will be greatly appreciated. EStevens

oh'mike 11-24-2013 06:08 AM

It's nice to have a big project starting--tooling up is fun.

Do get a 15 gauge angled finish gun---and a 2" brad gun.

My finish guns are older Senco guns,made in Ohio---tough old tools---I'm not up on who makes the best now--my advice? Look for one that has a quick opening nose so you can free up a jammed nail without tools.

There are a lot of good brad guns on the market---My favorite is the Rigid brand---Nice operation--handy belt hook--simple nose door to release a jam--

For home use,you will get good service even from inexpensive units. I know a few people with Porter Cable guns--they work well----

woodworkbykirk 11-24-2013 10:35 AM

id avoid the bosch guns.. their very sketchy.. theyve had bad issues with breaking very shorlty into their work life and are notorious for not sinking nails even in soft materials

hitachi and paslode both make great guns no matter what gauge it is. senco guns are really nice also. we have their 15 gauge thats worked flawlessly for 5 years

Dave88LX 11-26-2013 04:53 PM

Heck I have found a use for darn near every size of nailer out there doing DIY stuff around my house. I think a 15-gauge and an 18-gauge will start you off the best. They'll only shoot the specific gauge they're built as, but they do have a range of lengths. Can always pick up a 23-gauge (pin) or framing nailer when the time comes.

logan91077 11-27-2013 09:53 PM

Hitachi or ridgid are my favorites. 15 gauge finish nails should do the trick for what you want to do

firehawkmph 11-28-2013 11:18 AM

I've got bostich, senco, porter cable, hitachi, and max guns. For a framer, I like the max, light with a good bit of power. The bostich and hitachi are 15 ga finish guns. Both work very well, toss up. The porter cables are 18 ga brad gun, 1/4" crown stapler, and 23 ga micro pinner. No issues with them either. The senco is a framer, too big and bulky and heavy. Don't use it anymore. Also have a max 18 ga 2" brad gun. It works well when I remember I have it. It sat on the tool shelf for about a year because I forgot I bought it until a buddy mentioned it.
Mike Hawkins:)

woodworkbykirk 11-28-2013 08:10 PM

framing wise i own a ridgid.. feels like a toy compared the hitachi nr3ae2 or whatever its called that we have at work..

finish nailer wise.. senco 15 gauge at work.. i currently own a hitachi 16 gauge, 2 paslode 18 gauge, 1 bosch 18 gauge, 1 bosch 23 gauge.. ive also owned. porter cable 18 gauge, ridgid 23 gauge

ratherbefishing 11-28-2013 08:22 PM

I'm not a pro. I don't use my carpentry tools everyday. But I insist my tools work. All my nailers are Porter Cable and they all work fine. I have a framer, 16g, and a brad nailer. The only time I miss the 15g is installing pre-hung doors. Then I suck it up and drive 6 nails by hand.

12penny 11-29-2013 07:22 AM

When I first went into business 15years ago, I bought the PC compressor and gun combo. I think it came with a framing gun and a 16ga trim gun. Shortly after I bought the 18ga and a pin nailer. These Porter Cable tools have worked almost flawlessly over that time, but I gotta say Ive gotten tired of carrying the compressor, and the hoses always seem to get wrapped around something. Hoses also add weight to the gun and sometimes the hose makes it impossible to get the gun into some spots.
It all changed for me when building some 2x4/plywood storage shelves for a client who had contracted me to finish their basement. Shelves came first so they could get all the crap of the floor. a hurry...shot a 12d into the 2x4 frame, and as Porter Cable framing guns tend to do, it double tapped. No problem, the first nail went right where I wanted it. Problem, the second went through the meat of my hand and pinned my palm together. Four @#!$'s, three puncture wounds, two hours and one tetnus shot later I was standing in the checkout line with a paslode framing gun.
Since then I've retired all my air nailers to the shop and replaced them with paslode cordless. The only thing I need air for is flooring, roofing and staples.
Wait....what was the question? Oh ya...I don't think you can go wrong with any of the newer nailers. Decide what you'll be doing and buy from there.

Hmmm....I could've gotten a pear tree in here somewhere! :laughing:

woodworkbykirk 11-29-2013 03:40 PM

i run my own nailers just about everyday.. which ones depends on what stage of a job im at.. im fussy with tools at that. if something becomes a hastle to use via jamming up or not setting nails regularly i will pull it apart to dress the drive pin or see what else might be going on.. once the nailer has been pulled apart more than twice in a year i send it in for a rebuild or just get rid of it and buy a new one

when tools go down im losing money so

Scottg 12-30-2013 12:01 AM


Originally Posted by estevens (Post 1270557)
They show finish, brad, staple and framing. Which or are all recommended. For example if I were to purchase a Bosch 15 ga 2.5" finish nailer, how many different size nails will this one unit accommodate, just the one size or several size finish nails. Bosch, Rigid, Bostich, Hitatchi, Porter Cable.... ?? Thanks you in advance for any advise, it will be greatly appreciated. EStevens

* Whatever brand you go with, note that the package deals can often save a lot of money. It's just that sometimes the kit with come with a 5gal compressor, a framer and a brad nailer, other times with a stapler and… whatever. Just be careful of the cheapie stuff. Air tools are probably not a place to skimp.

* The different brands for each type of nailer might accommodate slightly different size nails / fasteners. Mostly, they should be all standard. Just for example, I went to HD and looked at the 15ga framing nailers and they'll all use the same gauge nail, but some may have slightly different limits for length. E.g. Dewalt D51855 (1.5" - 3.5"), Bostich N80CB-1, (1.5" - 3.25") and Porter Cable FC350B, (2" - 3.5"), all have slightly different specs for sizes.

Sooo… you'll easily be able to find the nail that will work with any unit, which should be able to be any brand nail, but there may be limits as to the length capacity.

The first step is obviously to figure out which tool(s) you need, then if possible to know what your size needs are. (Or just get the one with the most common ranges.)

* I've got a 6gal Porter Cable like this that I like:

But that might not be large enough for you if you're doing a big project. That's a tougher call - for me anyway. For basic DIY and some medium projects I've built, it's worked great.

brucem609 01-04-2014 08:23 PM

I love the ease and portability of the paslode guns. Problem is you need to buy gas, and make sure you have a battery on charge. But, you don't need a compressor! Totally a personal choice

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ToolSeeker 01-05-2014 04:18 PM

Never owned a paslode but have worked with guys that had them. One was putting up fence the gas deal seemed like the perfect set-up. After 1/2 a day we went back got his DeWalt framer, air compressor, and a generator. The Paslode didn't sink 10 nails in that 1/2 day you had to go back with a hammer on all of them. Have seen the same problem on jobs but not to that extent.

JKeefe 01-06-2014 03:09 PM

I have a Porter Cable kit with the 6-gallon compressor, 16g finish nailer, 18g brad nailer, and crown stapler. I haven't used the stapler but both of the nailers have worked great for moulding, building frames, and fixing broken drawers.

BigJim 01-06-2014 04:00 PM

I love the Pasload framing guns, have had many over the years and still do have a couple. I love the Senco like Mike described, I also have a Hitachi and Pasload trim gun. I don't like the Pasload trim gun because the nails are sharpened from right to left instead of from front to back. Sharpened right to left or side to side will cause the nail to shoot out the side of trim unless you hold the gun horizontal.

Heck I even have a Fastenal corrugated fastener gun, not many folks use them anymore now days but it is a good gun.

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