Brad Nailer Reccomendations Please

The "Office of Management and Budget" (OMB), a.k.a. the wife, she who must be obeyed, etc., asked me what I want for Christmas. So, I am thinking an electric brad nailer or nail gun. Something that can be used for finish work, light duty, nothing too elaborate. Don't know where to start researching. If there are questions I should be answering/asking myself, what are they? Your advice would be appreciated. Thanks. john
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The "Office of Management and Budget" (OMB), a.k.a. the wife, she who must be obeyed, etc., asked me what I want for Christmas. So, I am thinking an electric brad nailer or nail gun. Something that can be used for finish work, light duty, nothing too elaborate. Don't know where to start researching. If there are questions I should be answering/asking myself, what are they? Your advice would be appreciated. Thanks. john
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Awhile back there was a thread on this subject so a google group search may give you a bit more information....but the short version is that the electric versions are a bit problematic and are best avoided....the one I have (25yrs old) often doesn't fully drive the nail and never did even when new (because of this it is barely if ever used). However cheap air brad nailers seem to work just fine......I have a couple of no name (stapler and a brad nailer) I got years ago at Costco and a recent inexpensive set from Campbell Hausfeld (framing, 18gauge and 16gauge) that have held up and work just fine (my use is pretty light though). The stapler, 18gage and 16 gauge don't require much capacity in the way of a compressor either. Rod
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I have never known anyone that had an electric to be happy with it, including me. They don't have enough power to sink a nail in anything much denser than balsa wood. They work well as a nail starter. After starting it with the gun, finish up with a hammer and nail set.

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No compressor?
I know some finish guys with cordless DeWalt finish nailers, and Paslode guns that the love them.
As far as the "electric" nailers go, I'm with CW.
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Gosh-- If I was in your shoes, I would ask about a budget size-- then I would go with the larges size "lub-a-dub" oil lube air compressor with in that budget.
Maybe a 33 gal tank if I could. I just hate the loud noise of your basic oil-less compressors at Sears. After that, there are a lot of choices for brad nailer and nail guns which revolved around your expected work load will be. None of the nailers that run off compressed air cost a lot, provided your work load is home use.
Air compressor is really useful around the house and cars also. (not to mention beach toys, and backyard pool stuff.) Yeah, I know, you want an electric nailer, but gosh it really is better to get an air compressor and nail guns.
Phil

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There (at least) 3 different types of electric nailers available. The cheap ones, that you are likely to find for under $50 - 75 or so, are largely not satisfactory. I'm speaking of models like the Arrow ET100 and similar tools. These use a simple solenoid and plunger and run on 120V house current. They can be used for things like nailing a plywood back on a case, but not much more. The must be VERY firmly held down and even then often do not set the brad flush or below the surface. And they often mar the work as well, not a good combination of characteristics.
The other type I have tried are the DeWalt rechargeable nailers. These do work well, but are quite expensive. They use a flywheel to build up the power to drive the nail. I tried the 16 ga out at a store and was impressed. It uses their regular 18V batteries and charger. Unfortunately, for what it costs, you could by a cheap pneumatic nailer AND a cheap compressor.
Porter Cable also makes a rechargeable nailer. There model uses a small compressor built into the tool. I've never tried one or even seen one other than in ads, so I can't say how well it works. It may not even be available anymore since B&D bought PC & Delta. It's cost is in the same range as the DeWalt.
THen there are Paslode type nailers that use a gas charge in a cylinder. I'm not really at all familiar with these, but I believe they are more of a framing tool.
IMHO the best nailers and brad guns are the pneumatics. Why not try to convince your benefactor to get you a small compressor (but not TOO small!) The cheap brad nailers from Harbor Freight (Often on sale for $10 or 20 depending on model & capacity) work just fine for home use. And the compressor can be used for lots of other things.
--
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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Electric nailers don't work well. You're better off with a hammer, nails and a nailset.
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16-guage finish nailer is what you want. Getting a name-brand model that is refurbished can save some bucks. Porter-Cable is a good place to start. http://portercable.cpoworkshop.com/reconditioned_tools/nailers_and_staplers/finish_nailers / Air compressor - 4 gallon, 2 h.p. electric oil-lubrication, weighs about 60 pounds. Plus 50-75 feet of air hose.

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That makes a perfectly LOUSY brad nailer. A finish nailer is not a brad nailer.

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On Sun, 08 Oct 2006 13:31:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@the.shoppe wrote:

I agree - two different animals. My Brad nailer is from Grizzly and I am very pleased with it

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wrote:

I have the Porter Cable and it works well but I have a lady friend who has a much smaller brad nailer (I forgot the brand) and she finds the small size much better for small hobby work like trinket shelves, doll furniture, and bird houses.

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See if the home depot near you has the Husky 1gal compressor + nailer/stapler combo pack for $50. http://tinyurl.com/evh5s I found this deal after calling around to a few local HD's. The compressor probably isn't good for much more than driving brads, and wouldn't keep up if you want to fire more than about 10-12 brads in rapid succession, but for light home use I think it's great. Very lightweight to carry around. Fairly noisy, though. The compressor is actually made by Campbell Hausfeld, model FP2028 (exactly the same thing, different color), which is usually sold for $60 without the stapler/nailer. Stapler/18ga brad nailer is labelled by Husky; don't know manufacturer. Hope this helps, Andy
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If you'll pay the shipping I'll give you an electric nail gun and a few boxes of nails but then you'll be out of the shipping money before you realize what a piece of crap it is. Nail starter is all it's good for.........and not that great at that. Get a combo air nailer at you local giant hardware store. There will probably be a holiday special and if you wait until after the holidays you might get a clearance price. Robert
jk wrote:

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OK, I give, uncle, no mas, whatever.....Electric = Junk. I accept this and will move on. My search will be for an air driven, finish/brad nailer. I do appreciate all of the inputs. Its good to be back and active in the "woods" working. Itching to get going on next project. Gonna do a "Mission Style" sofa, lower the back and sides a bit, use the left over mahogany I have from deck railing project. Speaking of which I do have another off topic question. I have collected ten 5 inch magnifying lenses, the kind that go in work bench inspection lights. At work, the light breaks, they throw the whole thing out. I salvaged the lenses. Looking for ideas on how to incorporate them into a piece of furniture, perhaps into the back or sides, or maybe build a piece of sculpture with them. Who knows. There's something there....just haven't got "it" yet. Ideas would be appreciated. Thanks gang. John K.
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I assume you're not talking about putting lenses in your mission style sofa - very different styles in my opinion. Maybe you could embed them in a clock or lamp base, or have them somehow function as corners of a picture frame. Or if you can drill little holes in them, make a windchime/light catcher to hang outside. Then I guess you'd have to watch out for accidently burning holes in your porch if the sun hits the lenses just right - never mind. I'd recommend starting a new thread for this question. Probably won't be noticed much at the end of a discussion on a completely different topic. Good luck, Andy
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