I realize that they use different nails but is one actually better
than the other? I hear that some codes require the round head nails
which makes me wonder about the clipped head models - or were they
Only recently have codes been altered to require full round
head nails and that is usually in wind zones. I think that
our code here requires full round heads, but I have never had
an inspector say anything about them (I have both). Now, just
to be sure, I buy the full round head nails that fit in a
clipped head nailer. The heads are offset to allow them to
work in a clipped head nailer.
Otherwise, you won't notice any difference in comparable guns.
That makes sense. The only that it is not clear is why the clipped
head nailers are more expensive. For example a Porter Cable round
head nailer is $180 and the clipped head nailer is $240 (at the same
store, with the same size nails etc.) Also, the number of loaded
nails is about the same, I think you get a whole extra 2 nails for the
clipped head model???
They also have a magnesium nailer as well which adds about $60.
For a suitable definition of "better", sure...
The clipped head were invented to get more nails per stick so wouldn't
need to reload as often. Good for production rates, not so much for
As Bob says, some Codes have changed (primarily FL and perhaps some
other Gulf Coast areas) to require full round head for better wind
My personal feeling is the clipped head isn't much more than a finish
nail and has no business being used for other than sheathing or subfloor
kind of applications, but that's me... :) Nail gun nails tend to be
undersized anyway compared to hand nail sizes and when you compound that
w/ the reduced head area, they just aren't my choice.
Obviously, imo, $0.02, ymmv, etc., etc., etc., ...
I hear what you are saying but what other options are there besides
manual nailing in every single nail? That's okay for small jobs but I
need to get into tight areas and I'm tired of screwing around with a
hammer/nail and my hand in these tight areas.
I actually called porter cable and they claim that some codes
"require" a clipped head nail and some "require" a round head nail. I
find that hard to believe that any town would "require" a clipped head
nail. On what grounds would they prefer that type of nail? Unless
that is just their standard response when anyone asks that question.
FRH nailer is the option if you're going to use a nailer. The angled
versions are available for either which are the most convenient all around.
I'm unaware of any code that would require a clipped head and it makes
no sense, anyway. I would assume it would be as you say, a response
guaranteed to not be wrong (if not right, necessarily, either :) ).
Pick a vendor and go with it -- it's not worth sweating over. I have
Bostitch and am happy. Any of the majors are ok.
I've had reasonable success w/ factory refurbished units to save a
little on the initial cost and if, as I presume, you're not a
professional framer, ought to serve just fine for your purposes as well...
Well I'm going to be a vote of dissent. I have used both extensively,
and prefer clipped heads if local codes allow it. I really don't
think pull out is much of an issue--I'd have to wonder how you are
putting things together if you are relying on the pull out strength
for anything. Nails are supposed to be used in shear, aren't they?
I've taken plenty of stuff apart, and when you have to get your
crowbar to pull nail heads through a board, round or clipped, it's
pretty impressive strength. As for hand nails, yes in theory they are
larger and thus stronger, but you just go ahead and demo a job that's
been hand nailed vs gun nailed and get back to me on that. When you
are using a gun, you just naturally use a lot more nails.
I like clipped head because the clips are more durable and can be
carried in a tool belt, the guns are less prone to jams, you can fit
more clips per load, and they are more reliable in the cold (the
plastic collation of the FRH don't work so well in very cold
conditions. (I once saw a guy drop an entire big box of full round
head plastic collated nails down three flights of stairs. There
wasn't a usable clip in the lot. Plus, like Bob says, they make the
hybrid nails--full head but shoots in a clipped gun.
Your choice, as I said originally "imo, $0.02, etc., ..."
I _am_ in a high wind (not hurricane) area and I consider it from that
standpoint. If a Greensburg EF5 picks me out, it's gone no matter what,
but on that other chance, I'm going for every additional bit I can...
Again, $0.02, etc., ...
In real good thunder and lightning storms I'd sit on the front porch
cause I think how awesome it is. Spouse & spouseling said I was nuts. I
said the only difference between being inside or on porch if lightning
hits is crispy critter vs. vaporize.
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