HF brad nailer

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So... is there a specific model of brad nailer that is preferred at Harbor Freight? Or are all the 5/8"-2" capable nailers as good as the next? I can't (for now) see needing a stapler but are any of the brad/staple guns an exceptional value? Keep in mind that an air nailer will be a new thing for me. I've used framing nailers and Paslode cordless framing and finish nailers before.
Thanks in advance.
Ed
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Ed Edelenbos wrote:

Ed;
I have several brad nailers/staplers. Some I got with air compressors, some I purchased. They all seem to perform equally well. However, I would not use them in an industrial environment. They are on the light side.
Even though you don't anticipate using staples I recommend you getting a combo nailer/stapler. The difference between with and without staples is insignificant.
Dave
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Thanks. I should have thrown in there that it will not be used in a high volume/industrial situation. More of a hobbyist type thing.
Ed
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Ed - I have a couple of those HF guns, and they have been solid performers. I bought them for Christmas give aways one year and kept a couple for myself as thought I would keep different sizes of brads in them when I was work. They were something like $10 each on a early morning door buster/bait ad.
Here we are five years later, and they still work perfectly.
If you get the nailer/stapler combo, check it out right away. As you know, quality from HF can vary wildly, and even a great deal from lot to lot in their manufacturing. I have a couple of my compatriots that purchased the combo guns that had nothing but jams.
I don't know if it was the gun or the staples, but they had nothing but problems. They took them back and purchased brad only guns, and haven't looked back.
Robert
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I have a few brad only guns and a few brad/staple guns from HF. The only drawback to the brad/staple gun is that it leaves a staple size dent in the wood even if you are shooting brads. Other than that they all work fine. We use them in our woodshop and in our home repair business.
cm
wrote:

Ed - I have a couple of those HF guns, and they have been solid performers. I bought them for Christmas give aways one year and kept a couple for myself as thought I would keep different sizes of brads in them when I was work. They were something like $10 each on a early morning door buster/bait ad.
Here we are five years later, and they still work perfectly.
If you get the nailer/stapler combo, check it out right away. As you know, quality from HF can vary wildly, and even a great deal from lot to lot in their manufacturing. I have a couple of my compatriots that purchased the combo guns that had nothing but jams.
I don't know if it was the gun or the staples, but they had nothing but problems. They took them back and purchased brad only guns, and haven't looked back.
Robert
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wrote:

Par for the course... I went to the local and they didn't have any in stock. I do have another question if anyone feels like it; how about the difference between oil and oil free? It seems to me like the oil models would be the better bet but what say y'all?
Ed
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Didja get a rain check?

I started using pneumatic equipment in the mid 70's, so I am used to oiling. It is an easy habit to get into and stay with. With proper oiling, the "o" rings will last as much as a couple of years or more, even in a professional environment.
An example would by my Hitachi roofing gun. Over the years it has been used to shingle roofs (its portion on about half a roof is over 7,000 per roof!), apply insulation, and fabricate site built trusses. This is a utility nailer. When I use it all day, I oil the snot out of it in the morning, and then again when starting after lunch. I mean soak it. When it fires, you see the oil mist come out of it. It hasn't had seals in 5 years of use.
I have about 25 or so pneumatic nailers, and I like the oiled guns because they are easy to find rebuild kits to repair them is necessary. In fact, when I am in full swing, my fastener guys replace all soft parts free in my oiled guns when I buy nails and staples from them.
Because of their reliability and performance, I switched all my gun purchases over to Bostitch brand over a period of time, and when I needed a new brad nailer and 15 ga angle nailer, the fastener guys made me a great deal on the magnesium framed oiless guns. They are nice. I have trimmed a couple of houses with them, and like my other Bostitch guns, they performed flawlessly.
The oiless trim guns might be good for some for a couple of reasons. First, you can't over oil the gun and spew oil mist or have a dirty drop of oil fall on your project. Second, you don't have to remember to oil the gun, so you don't worry about blowing out the seals.
The oiless guns cost more, but the last time I bought guns, they were a <<LOT>> more. If I wasn't offered a deal on the guns, I wouldn't have purchased the oiless.
I think either way you go, you will be fine. I would be more interested in how the gun feels in my hand, and its reputation for reliability balanced with price.
I have no beef with the HF brad guns I have. At $10, they were an excellent buy. If I have an amigo or sub on the job that bursts a seal on a gun, he can borrow them anytime with no heartburn from me, and the work on the job can continue. I bought them to be utility tackers, and they have far exceeded my expectations. At $10 (I think the door buster price is nnow $14) it came with a bottle of oil, a cleaning brush(?) and a rebuild kit for the cylinder and trigger.
I think the last time I looked at the Bostitch bradder that was a mag/ oiless, it was about $120 locally.
But CPO has them reconditioned at an excellent price:
< http://www.cpobostitch.com/nailers/finishing_nailers/bt200k-2-r.html
For $49, I don't know how you could beat the price if you are looking at an oiless.
Good luck on your purchase.
Robert
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wrote:

Thanks for the add'l info. I hadn't thought about the chance of oil on the work. I can see how that might really matter. And no, I didn't get a rain check. It seems like these things are on sale more than they aren't... of course that probably only applies to the times I was looking and planning, not when I'm ready to buy.
Some of what you say makes me think. Should I buy 2 of the HF guns (so I have a spare when one goes down) or should I go for the Bostitch. (grin)
Ed
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oiling. It is an easy habit to get into and stay with. With proper oiling, the "o" rings will last as much as a couple of years or more, even in a professional environment.
What has been your experience with in line oilers installed on the tool?
Lew
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I never liked them. In a really high usage application (nailing/ stapling decking, framing, shingling), they don't keep up. Out in the field, the inherent dust of a jobsite can clog the dispenser. On the other hand, they can over oil your smaller guns, as all the oil trapped in the lines has to work out of the lines before an adjustment will occur at the gun end.
The worst part though, is that a hose used with an oiler is dedicated to rough work only. It cannot be used with your oiless tools, and never can be used again for any kind of air supply for finishing. That hose would be marked well and used by me correctly, but if the guys load that one in the truck and get set up with it... could be bad depending on the day's task.
Robert
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I asked:

stapling decking, framing, shingling), they don't keep up. Out in the field, the inherent dust of a jobsite can clog the dispenser. On the other hand, they can over oil your smaller guns, as all the oil trapped in the lines has to work out of the lines before an adjustment will occur at the gun end.
The worst part though, is that a hose used with an oiler is dedicated to rough work only. It cannot be used with your oiless tools, and never can be used again for any kind of air supply for finishing. That hose would be marked well and used by me correctly, but if the guys load that one in the truck and get set up with it... could be bad depending on the day's task.
OK, let's try again since it is obvious I wasn't specific enough with my first post.
I was specifically referring to in line oilers that attach directly to the tool..
1-1/4" to 1-1/2" dia, maybe 2" long, clear plastic with a fill screw.
Probably don't hold more than 2 oz of oil.
No back flow so they don't leak oil when just attached to the tool with no hose attached.
Uses general purpose air that hopefully is dry.
Sorry for the confusion.
Lew
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We may not be talking about the same thing. I have experience with these:
<http://www.mytoolstore.com/astro/astmat09.html
and their variants. You load it with oil, with the discharge end pointed at the gun.
Most of the descriptions of this device are paraphrased (swiped from one of the vendor sites) with "a mist of oil is sprayed into the line or directly into the gun depending on its location. This mist is actuated when the gun is fired".
Besides not working well, they were fragile when mounted directly behind the larger guns and broke often. They also make the smaller guns awkward to handle with the extra fittings they require. So this meant mounting the oiler at the other end of the hose, again resulting in the previously described problems.
I also tried this type model:
<http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf? Itemnumber=40312>
It may work well in a shop environment, but again, not in the field. This one has no choice of installation position, and it must go on the compressor side of the hose. Again, see the above post.
Those are the only two oilers I have actually tried. Are you thinking of another one? If you know of a spiffy little oiler that is really <<small>> behind the guns (metal cased) I would love to check it out.
I found the smaller oiler referenced above would be fine for work in big open places where you could set the gun down out of the way.
The oiler itself is only about 2 1/2" long, but with the additional fittings for it to hook to your air lines it adds about 6" in total of inflexible, stiff brass connectors and the oiler to deal with behind the gun.
I have found it easier to make sure I am the only one that uses my oiless guns, and to keep several refillable bottles of gun oil around in the truck and in the gun cases.
Robert
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these:
<http://www.mytoolstore.com/astro/astmat09.html
and their variants.
Close enuf for horse shoes, atom bombs, and inline oilers.

behind the larger guns and broke often.
I suspected as much.
Your experience matches mine.

Only if you baby it.

of another one?
No, see above.

<<small>> behind the guns (metal cased) I would love to check it out.
So would I.

oiless guns, and to keep several refillable bottles of gun oil around in the truck and in the gun cases.
Just curious, what do you use for gun oil?
Lew
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Bostitch BC604.
http://tinyurl.com/7xah95
I buy it by the quart when I can and put it in smaller bottles.
You can use SAE 20 non detergent, or even mineral oil in a pinch. But oils for other pneumatic tools, motor oils, 3-in1, etc., have too much acidity and incorrect viscosity to work over the long haul. (Sure learned that one the hard way!)
Most manufacturers have some jobber package the oil for them, and I think just about every major brand of nailer has their own branded bottle.
Robert
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oils for other pneumatic tools, motor oils, 3-in1, etc., have too much acidity and incorrect viscosity to work over the long haul. (Sure learned that one the hard way!)
Ever try red tranny fluid?
Was told some suppliers packaged it as air tool oil.
Lew
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wrote:

Or Peppermint Oil?
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wrote:

I'd been meaning to ask. Aside from the baby ass scent in baby oil, is it OK to use around the shop as a substitute for mineral oil? Also, I had noticed its ability to strip grimed surface dirt off finished furniture. Is this harmful to the finish? (Store bought item; finish unknown, but presumed to be polyurethane.)
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OK
noticed
Yes, but buy the unscented baby oil which is readily available at most drug stores. In fact it's what I used on my entertainment centre a number of years ago. Minwax gel stain, then the baby oil rubbed in with 0000 steel wool, finished with wiping everything off. Still looks good.
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I doubt it since tranny fluid is really refined stuff with detergents, suspension agents, etc., in it as well as treatments to keep the acid levels down as the oil gets dirty.
But.. that being said, I have heard that car repair shops have used tranny fluid in their pneumatic tools like sanders, wrenches and body saws, which use a different fluid entirely than the ones used in nail guns.
No personal experience on that one.
Robert
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