Which air nailer is better - round head or clipped head?

I realize that they use different nails but is one actually better than the other? I hear that some codes require the round head nails which makes me wonder about the clipped head models - or were they made first?
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poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Only recently have codes been altered to require full round head nails and that is usually in wind zones. I think that our code here requires full round heads, but I have never had an inspector say anything about them (I have both). Now, just to be sure, I buy the full round head nails that fit in a clipped head nailer. The heads are offset to allow them to work in a clipped head nailer.
Otherwise, you won't notice any difference in comparable guns.
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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That makes sense. The only that it is not clear is why the clipped head nailers are more expensive. For example a Porter Cable round head nailer is $180 and the clipped head nailer is $240 (at the same store, with the same size nails etc.) Also, the number of loaded nails is about the same, I think you get a whole extra 2 nails for the clipped head model???
They also have a magnesium nailer as well which adds about $60.
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poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

For a suitable definition of "better", sure...
The clipped head were invented to get more nails per stick so wouldn't need to reload as often. Good for production rates, not so much for strength.
As Bob says, some Codes have changed (primarily FL and perhaps some other Gulf Coast areas) to require full round head for better wind resistance.
My personal feeling is the clipped head isn't much more than a finish nail and has no business being used for other than sheathing or subfloor kind of applications, but that's me... :) Nail gun nails tend to be undersized anyway compared to hand nail sizes and when you compound that w/ the reduced head area, they just aren't my choice.
Obviously, imo, $0.02, ymmv, etc., etc., etc., ...
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I hear what you are saying but what other options are there besides manual nailing in every single nail? That's okay for small jobs but I need to get into tight areas and I'm tired of screwing around with a hammer/nail and my hand in these tight areas.
I actually called porter cable and they claim that some codes "require" a clipped head nail and some "require" a round head nail. I find that hard to believe that any town would "require" a clipped head nail. On what grounds would they prefer that type of nail? Unless that is just their standard response when anyone asks that question.
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poison snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

FRH nailer is the option if you're going to use a nailer. The angled versions are available for either which are the most convenient all around.
I'm unaware of any code that would require a clipped head and it makes no sense, anyway. I would assume it would be as you say, a response guaranteed to not be wrong (if not right, necessarily, either :) ).
Pick a vendor and go with it -- it's not worth sweating over. I have Bostitch and am happy. Any of the majors are ok.
I've had reasonable success w/ factory refurbished units to save a little on the initial cost and if, as I presume, you're not a professional framer, ought to serve just fine for your purposes as well...
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Well I'm going to be a vote of dissent. I have used both extensively, and prefer clipped heads if local codes allow it. I really don't think pull out is much of an issue--I'd have to wonder how you are putting things together if you are relying on the pull out strength for anything. Nails are supposed to be used in shear, aren't they? I've taken plenty of stuff apart, and when you have to get your crowbar to pull nail heads through a board, round or clipped, it's pretty impressive strength. As for hand nails, yes in theory they are larger and thus stronger, but you just go ahead and demo a job that's been hand nailed vs gun nailed and get back to me on that. When you are using a gun, you just naturally use a lot more nails.
I like clipped head because the clips are more durable and can be carried in a tool belt, the guns are less prone to jams, you can fit more clips per load, and they are more reliable in the cold (the plastic collation of the FRH don't work so well in very cold conditions. (I once saw a guy drop an entire big box of full round head plastic collated nails down three flights of stairs. There wasn't a usable clip in the lot. Plus, like Bob says, they make the hybrid nails--full head but shoots in a clipped gun.
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marson wrote: ...

...
Your choice, as I said originally "imo, $0.02, etc., ..."
I _am_ in a high wind (not hurricane) area and I consider it from that standpoint. If a Greensburg EF5 picks me out, it's gone no matter what, but on that other chance, I'm going for every additional bit I can...
Again, $0.02, etc., ...
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In real good thunder and lightning storms I'd sit on the front porch cause I think how awesome it is. Spouse & spouseling said I was nuts. I said the only difference between being inside or on porch if lightning hits is crispy critter vs. vaporize.
.
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Al Bundy wrote:
...

Up to a point, I agree....there becomes a point it's time to head to the basement, just in case....so far, the house has been left standing.
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