Ok, I lost my nail spinner and I am installing wood molding. Nightmare!
Lowes doesn't know what I am talking about. Neither does Sutherlands. Not an
item for either Grizzley or Harbor Freight. Even Rockler doesn't have one.
Any ideas? Can't even find it on Amazon or Ebay or web search.
I guess we now know why nail spinners when the way of dodo bird
btw I pinged Vermont America about nail spinner production, I should
have an answer next week.... will report back.
They make them, but I can't find anywhere to actually buy one.
You are correct, Sir!
The spinner requires you to use a drill to spin in the nail, stop, and
use a hammer to finish driving it. Using a clipped nail requires you
to use a drill to make the hole, stop, and use a hammer to finish
driving it. Really not a big difference in time or effort unless you
are doing a lot of nails, and in that case there are tools that don't
require using the drill at all.
Something like the Paslode Trimpulse, or approved equal, is far
faster, doesn't split wood, and is useful for many more applications.
It's an investment, sure, but it's an _investment_!
Reply from customer service at VA
Thank you for writing.
You are correct, our nail spinners are discontinued and are no longer
I am sorry for any inconvenience.
We value you as a Vermont American tool user & trust that you will use
your Vermont American with confidence.
If you have further questions please write back.
so..... there you go, seems like nail spinners have joined the swing
brace and the ratchet screwdriver.
Hey! I own both of those items! Been looking all over for new side-notch
style bits for the giant-size yankee with the red wood handle, but
apparently everyone on ebay thinks they are made of gold.
Never even used the old brace drills I had, since I was born after the
advent of affordable power drills.
I do miss my lost or stolen crank drill, which I used occasionally
when I didn't want to drag a power cord out.
Just don't care to own battery powered tools.
I picked up one of those driver "kits' in a plastic case at HD or
someplace a while back when I saw the bits were worth the price of the
kit. Maybe 5 bucks for the kit. They were unloading them.
Chinese, like almost everything else.
I've got a feeling that when I get my tools organized and out of
various boxes and containers, I'll find way too many of just about
every driver bit. Also think the razor knives will add up big time.
Anyway, my kid was putting together the "fireplace" I mentioned
recently, and there were many phillips screws to drive in tight spots.
I noticed the store bag with the driver kit and pulled it out.
Had a ratcheting driver handle and he used it.
Sloppy action and I figured it would break, but it lasted the job.
I don't want to insult anybody, but that nail spinner is about the
most stupid tool I ever heard of.
I've driven plenty of nails and screws in hardwoods and only split
wood once - the first time.
After that I chucked a drill bit slightly smaller than the nail or
screw shank and pre-drilled.
I pre-drill pine too when using fat or long screws.
Recently put up a couple hundred feet of oak crown moulding,
baseboard, door casings and shoe, using a brad nailer for the first
time. No splits, and very little denting.
I'm a fan of brad nailers now. They don't cost much, and the little
pancake compressor has other uses.
Blowgun - and tires in a pinch. Well worth the 60-70 bucks for a kit.
Besides that, I'll use that nailer again soon for shelf cleats between
the studs in my garage. That right there will save me a thumb and a
BTW, I read long ago that blunting (flatten with a grinder) the nail
tip will prevent splitting, because the nail will shear the wood
fibers instead of separating them.
Never tried it, and don't know if it really works. I pre-drill.
But the 18 ga gun brads I used for my oak are flat tipped.
Don't really know if that's because it's cheaper to produce them with
no point, and the gun force doesn't need pointed nails, or it's
because it prevents splitting, or both.
For hardwood trim, I'll use the nailer from now on.
You can do the same thing by turning the nail upside down and hitting
the point. That way you don't need a concrete or metal surface.
The other tip is to align the nail in the correct orientation. Nail
points have flats with an elongated diamond shape. If the nail is
placed with the wider axis running across the wood grain it will cut
the fibers and is less likely to split the wood. This works with both
finish and common nails.
Check out the ridges right under the nail head on a common nail and
you'll see how the ridges relate to the longer axis. You can feel
these ridges and orient the nail without looking at it.
I have used the old swing brace drills even though I was born after
advent of affordable power drills. I used one before I could afford a
HoleHawg or heavy duty right angle drill kit.
I haven't used a swing brace is over 25 years
Every tool has its time and its use.
Just because you cannot see the previous (or current uses) for a nail
doesn't mean "that nail spinner is about the most stupid tool I ever
Your comment is not insulting but it is revealing.
Stupid tool might be the correct phrase but the reference seems wrong
in this case.
Now that you've discovered brad nailers and are clearly an expert,
shall we cease the manufacture & sale of small hammers, finishing
nails and nail sets?
FYI the mechanics of "driving" a nail with a nail spinner is
substantially different than driving a nail with a hammer or shooting
And there a situations were "spinning the nail in" is advantageous.
Using a cordless drill as substitute of for a nail spinner is an 'ok"
solution but the drill chuck grips the a finishing nail differently
than a nail spinner.
BTW an 18 gage brad nailer is a bit on the small side for crown and
kinda wimpy for shelf cleats.
I would suggest you consider a 16 gage brad nailer or 15 gage finish
I have access to all three but use the 16 gage the most of the time,
that is, when I'm not pining for a nail spinner.
Dulling a nail point does help to reduce the tendency for the nail to
split the wood but it certainly won't do the whole job in a serious
Pre-drilling, especially in hardwood, is a good technique if you don't
have a brad nailer.
I usually plan on doing it right the first time, and don't make backup
plans from the get go. Bob is right and you should have used a
heavier gage nail. Houses move and brads have minimal holding power
I liked your story though, if it's any consolation. ;)
These are pretty bright kids- as soon as they saw the spiral part of the
tool, and used it once, they understood it. The point is, they had never
seen one before. Have Yankee-style screwdrivers been gone from the mass
market that long? I haven't seen them in stores around here in several
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