Picking a framing nailer


I'm going to buy a framing nailer (finally) for reno projects, sheds, etc. Hobby user, not pro. I'm trying to decide whether to buy a full round head nailer or a clipped head. 20^ units are full round head usually with plastic coated nails, 28^ units are clipped head with wire weld nails and 32^ units are clipped head with paper coated nails. The advantage to the clipped head units (either one) is the better angle gained for toe-nailing etc. The advantage to full round head is better holding strength and building code issues (code issues not applicable where I live). I've been told to stay away from paper coated nails as one shop felt they were becoming less popular due to issues with the paper coating disintegrating when wet, etc. Other than that, the 2 others have been recommended from different shops. Oh, the Borg carries paper coated nails where I live.
Any opinions here?
Thanks, Neil
P.S. ^ = degree angle
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toolguy said:

As for opinions, you'll get more than you asked for... <g> Here's one to get you started.
As for the nailer, a few years ago, I faced the same quandaries you are now. I ended up with a Senco FrameMaster601 (or something like that...). It has been an excellent tool, no problems, and it uses clipped head nails. Pull through due to the clipped head is not the problem some used to claim, and pullout of the shank is more of a problem than the head. I use ring shank nails when I need more resistance against pullout. One thing I HAVE noticed about the paper collated nails is that the paper sometimes ends up under the nail head. In some applications, this is VERY annoying. The metal wire nails do the same, albeit with little wires. I can't say anything about the plastic, as I've not used them. As for the paper deteriorating on the nails before use, don't leave 'em in the rain. I have some 10d that are 3 years old and they work fine - but they have been stored indoors. Oh, yeah. I recieved a free Senco Brad Nailer in the bundle on sale, so it made the decision a little easier for me. FWIW,
Greg G.
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I currently use a Senco Frame Pro ( 32deg paper). Designed as a clipped head, but there full round head nails now that will fit the gun, the head is just offset on the shank. The nails, as noted in post above, will stay coallated for years if kept dry. (they will even survive a little weather before disintegrating.) The full round head plastic coallated guns tend to send plastic shrapnel everywhere when you shoot, (use safety glasses) whereas paper and wire coallated do not. The paper coallated are generally easier to find. I am currently on my third framing gun (not due to quality problems, just general wear and tear) the prior being a Porter cable FC 350 (also 32deg paper) which worked well for 5 years or so and was a good gun. My current SencoFramePro 601 has also performed well and is somewhat more compact than the PC, however the PC held more 1/3 more nails in the magazine.

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Dave Jackson said:

That's the one - the Senco FramePro 601. That is an interesting point about the replacement Paslode full head nails, I'll have to look out for them. I assume they carry the usual Paslode Premium price? ;-) Also interesting about the plastic collated nails and shrapnel, I've often wondered about that. And neither model you mention is any picnic to hold over your head while working on eaves and soffit framing. DAMHIKT.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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We have two Sencos, an SN60 and a SN65. Both are full round head that use the plastic collated strips and I am here to tell you that the plastic often ends up under the nail head and that it is very annoying to have to go back and remove, sometimes with some sort of metal-edged tool ala a slotted screw driver or somesuch.
--
"New Wave" Dave In Houston



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New Wave Dave wrote:

The story is that whatever the collating material, some gets trapped under the head on occasion. The paper has the advantage that it will (eventually) disintegrate on its own, the wire or plastic won't.
I have Bostitch w/ the plastic collated FRH and the only _real_ pita is the schrapnel issue...since I wear glasses anyway, I have protection but it is annoying.
OTOH, not being professional builder, the time period between usages can be extended so the lack of deterioration in the box is a real advantage...
If I were a pro, I could well switch to paper for that reason alone....
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., ... :)
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How bad is the issue of collating getting stuck under the head? I've been using a paper collated unit recently and haven't noticed this happeing at all. I'll have a closer look at my work but I don't think it's been an issue. I'm leaning towards wire weld/28 degree nailers. How common is it to see bits of wire sticking out of the head?
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Duane Bozarth said:

You would think it would disintegrate quickly, but because there is a mylar or polyethylene backing on the paper, it takes longer than imagined. Of course, brands may vary, and since I won't use those BigBox Chinese special nails, I can't speak for those. That is also probably why they haven't deteriorated over time in storage.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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New Wave Dave said:

I guess I'm better off with paper collated nails then, I can use my fingernail to remove 'most' of it. It's still a real pain, and if it weren't for the fact that a nailer makes a two man job easier for one man to do, I would just hand nail the suckers - neander style. ;-)
Greg G.
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"Greg G." wrote:

That's sorta' my opinion as well....in general, I try to avoid the power nailer anywhere final work will show. In a framed wall which is going to be covered anyway, don't see that it makes any difference whatsoever. On finish siding, it's a pita.
That said, on the barn w/ _such_ a large area to renail, did use the nailer w/ ring-shank. The 8d didn't seem nearly as bad as the larger sizes for capturing plastic, but still had some. We were setting below surface and filling anyway, so not as big a deal as if were trying to have flush finish surface. (Being restoration/repair work on 90 yr old siding, the filling was needed anyway owing to replacing old nails and in enlarged holes, etc., so wasn't an additional step).
When doing the restoration on the doors which are t&g siding backs on crossbuck-style framing, I clipped the nails and hand drove them to avoid the plastic on the finished interior surface.
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guns seem to be very good. The only problem I have is the price of their parts. Sometimes they are kind of expensive.

Paslode makes a full round head (frh) nail that fits most clipped head nailers. The city where I live (Stillwater Oklahoma) is in the process of eliminating clipped head nails from the list of code compliant fasteners. So a lot of the framers are switching to frh nail from Paslode. I am by no means a Paslode salesman (ha ha).
David
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Check with your local building codes. Some require 16d nails to be .162 (a common gun nail is .131) Hitachi, Porter Cable or Seneco all make quality nailers.
Dave
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I bought a Harbor Freight 4041 for $89 to see what a Chinese nail gun would do and so far it has done just fine. Like yourself I am only using it occasionally for small projects. It takes the same nails that several brand name guns do so finding them is not a problem.
It does not seem to have the balance and light weight that I would want if I were going to use it alot, but for small jobs it is OK.
RonT
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For hobby use, the price of nails and price of repair parts is not likely a large consideration. No profit motive is present. Senco and Porter Cable make some very good units. There are combo packages with a framing nailer and a compressor that can be a good value.
I still have both of these as follows:
RH - Hitachi NR83A - been made for years, very reliable, recently upgraded to add sequential trigger option and depth adjustment option. THE nailer in certain parts of the U.S. Limited to 3-1/4" nails.
CH - Paslode F350S - current production clipped-head nailer, plenty of power. THE nailer to have in certain other parts of the U.S. Always remove nail strips when the nailer is not in use to avoid jams. Drives clipped-head and Roundrive nails. Swappable sequential trigger option.
Always get quality fasteners for your nailer from a reputable source such as a rental shop, framing contractor supply, etc. Go ahead and put the framing nailer in sequential-fire mode for all uses. The additional control and avoidance of double-firing is worthwhile. Leave bounce-firing to those who earn a living framing houses every day. You'll be glad that you did, regardless of which nailer brand you buy.

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For me, I figured this tool would probably sit 362 days a year but would be handy for the very odd time I needed it. Instead of spending a bunch, I went with the Harbor Freight (4041 I believe). It's a 21 degree full head job. For the 2-3 days of the year I've needed it, it's worked just fine. If I were framing houses for a living, I might think otherwise. Last I saw, this thing was on sale for $89. I found the Senco 21 degree nail strips work in it just fine. Cheers, cc
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Had good service from the Porter Cable FR350A Framing Nailer here (full round head) Review > http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com/reviews/portercableFR350A.htm
--
Regards,

Dean Bielanowski
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xcz wrote:

replaced the std trigger with a single fire trigger (free from PC) for the asking.
Dave
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toolguy Wrote: > I'm going to buy a framing nailer (finally) for reno projects, sheds,

> wire

> The

> better

I wanted a nail gun, then I wanted two nail guns; one for framing and one for finish work. Problem is they would only get occasional use, big, bulky, take up room to store. I ended up with a palm nailer. A palm nailer is the perfect tool for my needs, drives various nail types. It uses normal (bulk) nails so no debris, its fast, easy, light-weight, less expensive, basically a pneumatic hammer at 800-1000 blows a minute (13-17 blows/sec). If you do framing for a living I think a nail gun is the way to go, faster with one big pop. For occasional use, building sheds, etc, dont overlook a palm nailer.
Dont know what is going on with Grizzly but they are selling their palm nailer for something like $30. I looks mysteriously like the Senco unit, but Grizzly-green. Grizzly doesnt make a lot of the stuff they sell, dont know who makes the Grizzly palm nailer but the price seems too low to be legit.
--
joe2


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Afterwards, I still go over the nails with a framing hammer for that extra little 'suck' that most nailers I have used seem to miss.
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If the depth of drive adjustment is set to its limit, the nailhead cannot be seen. If the nail is not pulling the pieces together, put your other hand (the one not holding the nailer) on top of the air chamber to reduce rebound off the surface being nailed.
wrote:

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