HF Framing Nailer

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I'm considering getting a Harbor Freight framing nailer. I usually buy higher-end stuff, but I need this just for the occasional project, and don't want to outlay $250-$350 for a Senco, Hitachi, etc.
My question has specifically to do with safety. Is there any reason to think the chance of injuryt would be greater with a HF nailer than a better quality one?
    -- Andy Barss
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Only to your wallet - Buy PC, Senco or Hitachi then if you don't want it any more, sell it on eBay.
Dave
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Look on the PC refurb tool web site - no need to pay new prices for a brand-name, quality tool. If there is a framing contractor's supply store available, see if they have some used framing nailers for sale. I got a moderately used Paslode F350S for $175. Use it all the time. Dave is right. Name-brand stuff will retain it's value much better than the generics that are produced for a much lower price point.
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Andrew,
We use HF nailers in our remodeling business on a regular basis. We have had only one gun fail and that was from a laborer putting the wrong size nails in it.
Craig

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I've had an HF 4041 framing nailer for about 6 months or so. I used it on a large deck and screened porch and it did fine. I will probably not use it much but it comes in handy when I need it.
You can use Spotnails and other brand name nails or take some that come with the gun from HF to a nailgun dealer or Home Depot and they can match up the angle of the nail.
For occasional use mine has been great.
My only regret is not waiting for the lighter model to go on sale for $79 and buying it. Mine is a bit heavy at around 10 lbs.
Ron T
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Something else to consider for occasional use, a Palm Nailer. It is a bit slower but takes "any" sized nail, is cheaper, and uses bulk nails.
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Is it really more convenient than a hammer (which again takes any sized nail, is cheaper, and uses bulk nails)?
Ken Muldrew snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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have to disagree. I too have a palm nailer, its a real blessing when I need to drive a 16d into an area I can't swing a framing hammer. To me, I love the feeling of "slinging steens" and the hassle of a palm nailer to drive a bunch of easily reached nails is not worth it.
Dave
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;~)
I was not recommending a palm nailer over a regular hammer, rather a Framing Nailer for the "occasional project". I agree with your statements.
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Ken Muldrew wrote:

Ever toe nail anything, especially when it has to be dead on?
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Sure, lots of times. Toe-nailing with a hammer usually isn't much of a chore unless you're in confined quarters. The main advantage of a pneumatic framing nailer is speed. Does a palm nailer give you more speed over a hammer? Does it let you put nails in places where you can't swing a hammer? I've never used a palm nailer, so I guess I'd like to hear why one would consider it over a framing nailer (where it also has some advantages over a hammer).
Ken Muldrew snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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Ken Muldrew wrote:

Hmm. Maybe it depends on how strong you are; I'm on the small side. I always found, that a stud or other other piece would move around, sometimes moving into position, but most times off 1/8" or so. Speed is not the problem, accurate assembly is.
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snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (Ken Muldrew) wrote:

For the home owner doing the occasional remodeling job, I think a palm nailer is more useful, and safer, than a framing nailer. I'm finishing off a portion of our basement for my wifes' stained glass shop and had looked at framing nailers during the planning stages. (every project deserves a new tool) I was quickly put off by their weight, bulkiness, and specialized nails. Even storage would have been a problem when the project was done. With a palm nailer, the compact size has let me place nails in places I could not possibly swing a hammer, and even in places I could not see. Since I use nails infrequently, my hammering skills are a bit dull, resulting more than a few bent nails. It is difficult to bend a nail with the palm nailer. I find it to be faster than a hammer, though certainly slower than a framing nailer. Most importantly, my palm nailer has a magnet that holds the nail, freeing up a hand to hold the material being joined, and guarantees no smashed fingers!
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I got all three of them and they all have their places. Just my nickels worth.
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wrote:

I'd say 4 to 5 times faster driving a nail. Almost as fast as you can push and you don't get tired. I drives them in the time it takes to take 1 swing with a hammer, all things being equal.
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On Fri, 02 Jun 2006 13:53:38 GMT, "Leon"

I like my Estwing nailer
(Amazon.com product link shortened)49393609/sr=1-19/ref=sr_1_19/102-5326107-1744931?%5Fencoding=UTF8&s=hi&v=glance&n"8013
This puppy drove 12" ring-shank polebarn spikes into "ironwood" (species unidentifed, but very hard) posts all day when I built a barn for my dad, and is still pretty, without giving me tennis elbow.
It'll put in a 16d in one good swing- I bet that's at least as fast as your palm nailer, and doesn't require a compressor.
So for occasional use? This is my vote- a hammer is more versitile, it doesn't care if you set it in the dirt (even a Paslode doesn't appreciate that much, then all that time you saved gets lost in cleaning the gun in the field) and it rides on your belt. Add the long handle on the Estwing and the ripping claw, and it's thing of beauty- not only does it drive nails like a champ, but it can demo as fast as a crowbar and a 3lb maul with a short handle.
And the #1 reason for hand nailing- especially for occasional DIY use, (at least in my book) is that a hand nail and hammer will pull a frame together a whole lot better than a gun. The nails are thicker and have more holding power, and one guy (or two who are not pros) raising a wall is likely to rack the frame at least a little and put a lot of stress on the joints. With a nail gun, they just pull loose- with hand spikes, they've got a lot more gumption.
I know it's a throwback attitude, but I build almost everything with a hammer, and it is really just as fast as messing with compressors, air lines, and boxes with goofy nails on coils or strips. Even after using a nail gun fairly extensively for a while at work, I still prefer the ring of a nicely struck nail, and happily drive spikes all day with ol' reliable on my independant projects.
Though I will concede that roofing, trim and pin nailers are worth their respective weights in gold. Hard to argue that after the first time I laid hands on each of them.
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Let me go a bit farther with this. I suggested a palm nailer over a framing nailer for "occasional" use. If you are going to be driving lots of nails on a regular basis the framing nailer is the way to go as you are probably not going to buy more nails than you will ever need. More convenient than a hammer? That's another question entirely and not asked by the OP that I was responding to. That said however you will probably finish a 50' fence faster and certainly be less tired when finished. More convenient than a hammer for 5 or 6 nails. NO. Hundreds? Absolutely. The palm nailer also really shines when nailing joist hangers.
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I guess I'm with Ken. Other than the obvious case of a confined space where a palm nailer is very handy, I can't imagine choosing one over a hammer where you have good access.
todd
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hello,
I have one and have driven around 400 nails with it so far. No problems with it, works fine, $79 on sale + 20% off coupon... was a great deal.
cyrille

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