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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What nail guns do you pros and serious DIYers like and why? I'm interested in framing, finish, brad, stapler, and pin nailers. How do Bostitch and Porter-Cable compare? Does anyone know how well the oil-free nailers work?

Thanks,
Rick
 

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Tool Geek
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Rick, Welcome to the Nailer World. Once you get 'Nailed' with the 'Nail Gun Addiction" there is no turning back. You are addicted for life. You never have enough. Whenever a fastening issue comes up the first thing that comes to mind is "How can I use a Nailer on This?"

As far as which Guns are liked question, there are two parts

  • Which Type of Gun ?
  • Which Brand of Gun ?
The Gun type is far more important than which Brand. Sure there are differences in design, quality, and price but the most important consideration is 'How am I going to use this?'

I have mainly PC Nailers starting with the fuel cell powered Bammer (big mistake) and now have every type you listed plus a couple of Palm nailers and a T-Nailer. Staplers include both the PC wide crown and narrow crown Staplers.

I am happy with PC but do not think they are superior to any other brands. I do have some other brands Senco, Cambell & Hausfeld, and Bostich.

Oilless nailers are definitely the coming wave, Even HF has a ggod deal on an oiless Brad nailer:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=96364
.
 

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What nail guns do you pros and serious DIYers like and why? I'm interested in framing, finish, brad, stapler, and pin nailers. How do Bostitch and Porter-Cable compare? Does anyone know how well the oil-free nailers work?

Thanks,
Rick
I like Paslode, been using them for 30 years, have used many others but always come back to paslode I cant stand the plastic junk the Hitachi leaves all over the ground, besides that Hitachi has a problem with double fire when the get between a couple studs and start bouncing off each other. Dangerous. Seen many people shoot them selves.
Bostich are expensive and I think heavy.
The only thing I buy from porta cable are jig sawa and sawzall. They make the best sawzall I think.
 

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All of my nail guns are Senco, from the micro pinner to the framer. I have had great success with these and I am still using some of my finish guns I bought 20 years ago. If I was to replace my framing nailer I would probably get the Hitachi as it is a great tool. All of my oil-free guns still work great. I do mostly trim work and if I needed to replace any of my finish guns I would continue to go with Senco.
 

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Oldguy
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Different brands have a differeny feel. All thr Pro brands are good, get what feels good in your hand. I own PC, Bostich and Hitachi guns.
 

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Remodeler
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I have Porter Cable clipped head framing nailer, 18g and 16g finish nailer, and narrow crown stapler. They are all traditional oiled guns. I have zero complaints about any of them. Never had a misfire or misfire. They all feel ergonomically well balanced and also feel like good quality tools. I can't speak about the other brands, but Porter Cable is definitely a good gun; I'd obviously recommend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for the great information.

I read a review of framing nailers that said Hitachi and Bostitch would sink nails better (more consistently flush) than Porter-Cable. I would guess the piston size and valve design in the gun would have an effect on its ability to drive nails flush, but couldn't you simply make sure the pressure from your compressor is sufficient (without exceeding the rated pressure for the gun) to drive the nail? The article/review said the difference was most noticeable in LVL (laminiated veneer lumber).

I appreciate the comment about getting what feels best. I liked the balance, trigger placement, visibility of the nose, and overall feel of the Porter-Cable (FC350A). I could also see weight being a tradeoff. Wouldn't a heavier gun handle recoil and drive nails better than a lighter gun? Of course, a heavier gun would also make you tried more quickly.

It seems like a lot of the pros use Bostitch. Are they more reliable and do they drive nails more consistently?

What about clipped vs. full round head? I noticed today at HomeDepot that Paslode makes an offset full round head nail that fits clipped head nail guns. Would that satisfy building codes that require full round head nails? I live in Wisconsin, and I don't believe building codes require full round head.

I'm not a pro. I'd use these guns for projects on my own house. I have quite the hunny-do list: kitchen remodel, bedroom remodel, laundry room remodel, basement remodel, deck, etc.

I'll soon be installing hardwood flooring (for the first time) in a bedroom. One of the comments I read about the Porter-Cable guns (the oil versions) is that the Porter-Cable logo on the side of the guns can scratch the project (floor in this case) because the edges are so sharp. Has anyone had that experience with their PC guns?

Wow! I didn't realize this nail gun research would require so many questions. The search has been fun. Hey, you can't have too many tools, especially power tools.

Thanks again,
Rick
 

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I have all Porter Cable - bought one of the pancake nailer sets they offer. Later added the PC FR350 framing nailer, stapler, palm nailer, etc. All have worked well and provided reliable service. I have done many DIY projects small to pretty good sized - a 24x30 workshop, a whole house remodel, etc.

I have a vision issue which makes it difficult to drive a nail with a hammer, so I reach for my nailer all the time. I even got one of those new battery powered nailers from Sears Craftsman - works well for small quick jobs.

Oil free? I dunno. I put a couple drops in the nailer each time I start to use it - no big thing to do.
 

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Oldguy
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I put a dab of silicon sealant (rtv) on the sides of my nailers so it has a 'soft' spot to lay it down on.
 

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PC FC350AR is a great deal

Porter Cable sells an FC350AR. Same as the FC350A, just a rebuilt version. It is substantially reduced in price compared to the original.

I like the clipped head because it doesn't spit out little bits of plastic like the full head nail clips do with each shot. The little plastic bits may all need to be swept up after the job is done.

I have the FC350AR and have liked it a lot.

The following is a link the the reconditioned tool on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Factory-Recon...raming/dp/B0007LXUSG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
 

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...I like the clipped head because it doesn't spit out little bits of plastic like the full head nail clips do with each shot. The little plastic bits may all need to be swept up after the job is done....
Thanks for pointing that out. It shows you did your background work before buying the clipped head.

However paper collated nails are now available and since more jurisdictions are going to the full round head requirement, I say the base 350 over the clipped head model.

Ref for Paper Collated nails:
http://www.duo-fastconstruction.com/products/fasteners/20_degree_paper.htm

Before I bought my 350 over the net 20 years ago, I planned to get the 350 clipped head version. When I asked a contractor friend about my pick he pointed out that clipped heads were not legal in CA and if I got one over the net where was I going to get nails locally.

So I got the base 350, and yes all those slippery bits of plastic are a hazard and a nuisance But since I still have a half 2500 box full of the plastic jobbies, I doubt I'll ever get to buy any of the new generation because I'm pretty much retired.

Clipped head guns may themselves fade away as building regs continue to get tighter.
 

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General Contractor
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I run Passload/ Bostich/ Rigid/ and Porter Cable guns. I prefer the Passload for small jobs and roof framing (no hose). For general framing I prefer the Rigid stick nailer for decks or operations where I might have to change nail sizes frequently. Prefer the bostich coil gun for repitive framing. I also run a Passload angled trim gun which is great for small jobs. I run Porter Cable trim guns for large trim jobs and in the shop. The trim guns work fine and I am especially fond of my pinner. I do have the PC 350 round head also. I don't really care for it to much as it jambed frequently and blew out gaskets yearly. Currently it lives on a shelf and hasn't been used since last time I rebuilt it.

Whatever guns you decide to purchase add an inline filter to your compressor. Also if you do buy guns that require oiling get an inline oiler. Another tip is make sure you run the guns at the propper tank pressure. Alot of people think 90psi or 120 psi will run every gun and that isnt neccessarilly the case.
 

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Builder and Remodeler
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I mostly use Paslode guns now, but I have a "PortaRidgid" : Can't get parts for PorterCable around here so that guns seals were bad. Dropped a porch beam on a Ridgid and bent the magazine. The magazine from the PorterCable fit perfectly on the Ridgid. :thumbup: = PortaRidgid. Makes a good backup gun.
 

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Love for Construction
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PaliBob, a question about your dislike of the portercable bammer. What don't you like about it? I know thy discontinued it and you can't find fuel cells anymore, but I'm just curious what are the other deficiencies with it?

I've been contemplating picking one up at a pawn shop for $45, and trying to reload the fuel cells with MAPP gas, like others have done with some success. Am I stupid for even attempting this?

Thanks!
 

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I have several Porter Cable nailer - have served me very well and without issues through multiple fairly major DIY projects. Recommended.
 

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I bought a Porter Cable bundle. Pancake compressor with 16 and 18 gauge nailers:

http://www.portercable.com/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=20656

They've been great. I've installed a lot of trim with it, and made some built in cabinets. The compressor is really loud though.

I also have a Harbor Freight framing nailer. I'm not a framer, so for the few projects I do, the lower quality is perfectly fine. Mainly, it's heavier. But it shoots a variety of nails, including both clipped and full head.
 

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I've got a Porter Cable compressor, and all my nail guns are Bostitch, except for an off brand roofing nailer I purchased to attach underlayment with.
 

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I am considering buying this Hitachi nail gun:
Hitachi Framing nailer: NR90AEPR

I saw one at $175.75 (amazon).

Is this a good choice?

I have seen some hitachi nail package (compressor - hose - hitachi framing gun) but the framing gun does not have depth adjustment.
 
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