Coil Roofing Nailer Education Needed

Of all the crap and gizmos I have I do not have any air tools! <head hanging low in shame>
Planning on picking up a general use compressor like the Porter Cable.
In the future I will likely be doing a roof. I usually just hand nail since I never did an entire house in one shot. So a roofing nailer will probably be in the future as well. I could rent one but that forces hurrying to get it done.
Thought is if I just buy one of those econo Harbor Freight ones and it lasts the job it'll cost less than renting more than a few days.
Not knowing air tool details, I need some "look for"s and "look out for"s. What I've picked up so far from nosing around the Harbor Freight website is these coil roofing nailers vary. They have one for $89/$99.     http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber917
Says it needs 2.5 CFM @ 90 PSI which is about the Porter Cable output of like 2.6 @90 PSI. Connector is 1/4''- 18 NPT. Standard?
They showed another, but MAGNESIUM COIL ROOFING NAILER, on sale for $99 (reg 199).
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber253
Would guess it's better for a couple of reasons but noticed air requirement is much much higher at 17. Saw a different one with air req at 11. Why these big differences?
Nails:
Some say 10 gauge. Others say 11 gague . The product spec sheets say '0.12" (Approximately'. Is there some standard to look for here so you don't have o get the crappy Harbor Freight nails? I see they are listed as zinc coated vs galvanized.
Help me out with some basics here. Thanks!
Al...
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while rolling down an embankment or roof (not recommended, though). That's about the upper range for oil-free hand-carry jobsite compressors. We used to run 2 roofing guns off of a Campbell-Hausfeld of about the same size quite easily.
Have you looked into the rental prices in your area? Don't buy junky tools. If money is the issue, just rent or borrow. You'll probably spend half of what you would on a new piece of junk, and the headache factor will be greatly reduced.
Trust me, you'll want to get the project over with as soon as possible anyway. The quicker the new roof is on, the fewer times you'll have to tarp it off and worry about rain. Plus, roofing in the summer sucks.
As far as what to put in your gun, you'll need to read the boxes of nails or the instructions for the gun. Both should mention which nails work with which models.
For asphalt shingles, Michigan Residential Code (2003) requires fasteners (nails) to be galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or copper, minimum 12 gage shank, minimum 3/8" head, and of sufficient length to penetrate the sheathing a minimum of 3/4" (19.1 mm) or through the thickness of the sheathing, whichever is less.
Check with your local building inspector if you're unsure of the requirements in your area.
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while rolling down an

Thanks for taking the time to post the extended reply. I'll have to digest it in detail as time permits along with any any others that come up.
Thanks again, Al...
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and it worked just fine. I don't remember what brand of nailer I was using as it was at church and not mine. One tip I want to pass on - the best way I found to actually nail was to hold the trigger and tap the roof with the nose of the nailer where I wanted to put the nail. The gun I had had the trigger/nose sensor interlock, and when we tried to do the obvious way of putting the nose where we wanted to put the nail and pulling the trigger, more often than not we wound up with two nails at the same location because the gun bounced enough firing to fire again before we could let off of the trigger.So instead of putting the nose on the roof to "arm" the nailer and pulling the trigger to "fire" the nail, we did it backwards. We held the trigger to "arm" the nailer, and "fired" the nail by tapping where we wanted it to go. Just as safe and actually faster.
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PSI. Connector is 1/4''- 18 NPT. Standard?

If you are only going to use it once I use the eBay "rental" program. Buy a very good condition Bostitch or other high end tool, do the job and put it back up on eBay. Did this with a flooring stapler, bought for $360, did my floors, sold for $311. Tried it with a Bostitch roofing nailer to do my new shop three years ago but never got around to selling it. Just did my barn with it last month. Keeping it until I reroof the house this fall. Bostitch nail coils in Home Depot just vary by length.
Steve.
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PSI. Connector is 1/4''- 18 NPT. Standard?

Hmmm, never considered that angle.
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I'm not saying Harbor Freight is super well consctructed, but I bought a framing nailer last year and build a very large garage/shop with it and then a toolshed. It worked flawlessly and I'm keeping it. For the roof I bought a bostich coiled nailer cause I started hand nailing it and it took forever. I couldn't order the HF and get it in time with the time I had off from work to finish it, so I bought the bostich. It worked well and jammed every once in a while (normal I would suspect). It cost a lot more than the HF and for a job or two I would have just bought the HF roofing nailer had I to do it again $90 v. $260.
Al Bundy wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in PSI. Connector is 1/4''- 18 NPT. Standard?

I have seen on a couple of ng's about people who bought HF stuff and had decent luck with it. I'm sure there are a lot of "junk" stories too.
But I guess it's how you look at it. If you know you are only gonna need it for a couple of projects and are pretty sure not again and it cost's less than renting under the timeline gun I guess you take a chance. If you get lucky and it lasts longer than that then that's a freebie. That's the way I would look at a HF purchase.
Al...
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