Compressor/Nailer Advice

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I'm starting on several projects that will require finish work. All of my windows will be replaced. And I'm remodeling my kitchen/dining area. I will have all my window casement to replace, some door casement, and all of my baseboard on the main level. When I finished my lower level, I hand nailed the trim. Never again!
I'm shopping for a compressor and finish nailer. I already have a Dewalt 18-gauge brad nailer (D51238K). It was free with a table saw I bought last year. I'm currently debating between the Dewalt D55155 Air Compressor and a Porter Cable Pancake compressor. If I go with the PC, I can get 2 or 3 PC nailers in a combo deal. If I go with Dewalt, I have to buy a finish nailer. Either the 15-gauge or 16-gauge.
Any experiences that point one way or the other?
Should I get a 15-gauge or 16-gauge finish nailer?
Thanks for your help,
Steve
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Any size compressor with a tank will work fine for any of the nailers. Pick the one you like best. I would go with the 15 gauge finish nailer since you already have the smaller brad nailer.
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Been doing some more reading on 15 gauge nailers. Looks like the Senco 41xp is highly regarded. How does it compare to the Dewalt 15 gauge nailer?
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I have had a 15 gauge Senco for about 17 years now. I like it. It is the Cadillac. Senco invented the nail gun. DeWalt, too early to tell.
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Leon wrote:

I use Bostitch guns, save for a Makita brad nailer. I pretty much ask around what guys like and Bostitch (especially for roofers) comes up the most. Chicks wearing Daisie Dukes is second. I got the Makita brad nailer because it came with the compressor I bought. Check out the MAC700KIT (google/froogle it). It's an oil-lubed design which is a lot quieter. So far I love it, and the brad nailer is great too.
JP
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I have PC nailers and one from bostich. All have been good. I think nailers are one of those tools where it's hard to make a bad one. A lot of people here also really like the $15 (iirc) harbor freight nailers even. For a pro using the nailer every day, the brand probably matters. But for the home user, it seems not so much. I'd get the one with the best combination of price and features.
brian
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Before I bought my last nail gun I went to the local repair center and asked them which brand to buy and they said I could buy any name brand except Dewalt. Yes they even sold Dewalt nailers but did not like them.
Craig
www.vintagetrailersforsale.com

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Leon wrote:
<<I have had a 15 gauge Senco for about 17 years now. I like it. It is the Cadillac. Senco invented the nail gun. DeWalt, too early to tell. >>
You probably have one of the old American made Sencos, when they were one of the better guns. Not so any more. Like almost all the rest, the 15 ga. Senco I just traded off was made in Taiwan, and while it is a serviceable gun, it is just another gun.
The trimmers I know have all taken back their DeWalts and traded them for Bostitch. To a man, they hated the DeWalts. The specs were great, but the guns weren't. Most common complaints were that it jammed, and that things just "broke" on them. Triggers, drivers, magazine springs, etc. We have only one authorized service center here, and parts/service wound up with the guns being in the shop as long as 3 weeks for warranty. That's three or four houses they could have trimmed out with the gun instead of having it in the shop.
I had excellent luck with all my Bostiich guns, and they seem to last really well on the job, even in the hands of my guys. If you are looking for a 16 ga nailer, the Bostitch gun is pretty good; it will drive a 2" nail through a solid yellow pine knot. If you are looking for a 15 ga angle nailer, the Bostitch 15 ga is even better than the 16 ga.
Bostitch has some pretty good combo deals on at Amazon, and I think they have free shipping for most of them. I just got the 15 ga/18 ga gun combo with the compressor, lines, etc. for a lot less than I thought it would be. I like the compressor a lot as it has a quick recovery, pushes a decent amount of air and has a six gallon tank. It is handy to have two brad guns if you haven't before.
When I am hanging doors, I load one of them with 1 1/4 brads for the trim to jamb detail, and then the other with 2 1/2 brads to tack trim/jamb into place before nailing with the 16 gauge.
Great combo for baseboard/shoemold, too. Just use the same brad sizes and you are are ready for both.
Robert
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Like framers around these parts no longer use Senco ... they've all gone to Hitachi. There is a van based industry around here that makes the rounds of construction sites selling nails and repairing compressors and nail guns on-the-spot ... the guy that was in front of one of my sites told me yesterday that he hasn't seen a Senco on a framing crew in a while.
times change ...
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Last update: 12/13/05
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As to the compressors, I would go with the much quieter Dewalt. JG
lefty wrote:

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If you ever plan on getting a framing nailer, buy acompressor large enough to handle one. Framing nailers take a lot more air than finishing nailers, a small pancake won't work with it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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I used a full size framing nailer with the small pancake porter cable. It did run a lot, but it worked just fine. I'd say I could frame an entire 8' wall with top and bottom plate and nail it into place before the compressor needed to refill. It would usually refill in less time than I needed to pull out and arrange the 2x4s for the next wall.
brian
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That is just wrong. A pancake will easily handle a framing nailer.
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Unless you're nailing off roof/floor sheeting or wall sheating then you have to slow down but it is doable.
Gary
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I have the porter cable, but haven't used the dewalt. The porter cable had been a great compressor. I have no complaints about the nailers either. I bought a full size framing nailer and used it with this compressor to frame up a 1200sqft basement. It's done everything I wanted. It even barely works with an impact wrench. My only compaints are that it's loud enough to wake the dead, and the vibration makes it walk a little.
brian
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Oil-lubed compressors will be quieter but they actually contain just a small quantity of oil. Oil-less you don't have to be concerned about setting it on a sloping surface but they are loud. A 2 h.p. compressor will recover pressure quite rapidly.
wrote:

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Here's another question. What diameter hose is recommended for running the various nailers?
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There's a hose that comes with the PC compressor nailer kit. iirc, it's about 5/8" outside diameter. Inside is probably 3/8" or maybe 1/4". It doesn't take much. Those coiled air hoses that a lot of people hang from their ceilings look skinnier.
brian
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What are my nail choices/requirements for the Dewalt, Senco, and Bostitch?
Proprietary nails? Available in small quantities?
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Framing nails come in boxes of 2000. Brad and finish nails come in smaller quantities such as 1000 since they don't take up much space anyway. You would do well to used brand-name nails in your nailers. There are very few "proprietary" nails that only work in specific nailers.
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