I am thinking about getting a framing nailer. Do Y'all have any
recommendations or things to look for - clipped head vs round, stick vs
All I have is a brad nailer, so this is a bit more... Don't want to end up
like that guy with 7 nails in his noggin!
Some locales require round head (Cali?).
I like Bostich' wire collated clipped head when I'm framing walls, etc
onsite, etc. The nails fit in a belt better and take less damage than coils
or paper/plastic collated strips if you sit on them or drop 'em. You do
have to mind the fastener depth with thin sheathing - it's pretty easy to
blast a nailhead 2/3 of the way through 1/2" plywood.
I have a couple Bostich N-80 series stick guns (clipped head). If I was
buying tomorrow, I'd get another or look into a Hitachi stick gun.
Oh, and plastic collated full head nails shower your eyes with plastic
fragments (not nice for overhead work).
Coil guns typically hold more nails (120 vs 90?). This makes them generally
heavier than stick guns. If I did a ton of floor and roof decking I'd
probably get one. The plastic magazines on the Bostich coil guns get
fubar-d on occasion.
If the air is plugged in, treat them like a .45 and you won't be wearing any
The Porter Cable FR350 (?) that my neighbor loans me occaisionally for
homeowner projects is easy to use, and easy on my no longer so strong back
& shoulder. Seems exceptionally well made.
One of the younger generation of friends is a one man contractor. Ben got
a good deal on some SENCO gear, used, and has had exceptional service from
those pieces. One neat piece he was using was the palm nailer, which made
hanging Simpson-type hanger a LOT easier and faster. Since I've got some
more floor joist upgrading to do, I may just spring for one of those soon.
The mention of supply for your fasteners is a good one. Check to see what
your favorite local lumberyard carries, and adjust your equipment to fit.
An unplanned drive to the big city can ruin a whole building day and/or
your loving wife's attitude.
IMHO, Stick Nails take up less room than Coiled nails themselves. Coiled
nailers take up less room than stick nailers.
Clipped will not hold as well as round because of the smaller head area.
From there, if you are going to use this gun for framing, consider the
Paslode Airless. An associate of mine bought one 3 or 4 years ago and not
having a hose hanging around your feet while on a ladder sold me. He uses
it weekly and together we have probably built 10 or so fences with it. It
has never missed a lick. Fuel canisters run about $12 for 2. That is good
for about 2500 nails. A single battery charge will go about 4000 nails.
I'll take that over lugging any compressor and hose to a job site. It
shoots clipped stick nails.
Okay, what about palm nailers? This PC unit sounded interesting...
(Amazon.com product link shortened)90735595/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1_etk-tools/104-7084019-9598327?v=glance&s=hi&n"8013
Now, I know this'n won't bump and nail, but it might strike a happy balance
for this and other uses. Once I finish this job, a standard stick or coil
framing nailer would most likely be unemployed, whereas a palm nailer might
server other uses..
Give this a try to test the waters. It's $20 and should be fully
refundable on Ebay for $35 or so, KWIM,V? ;)
If you like it, keep it or get the PC.
What other uses did you think of for the palm nailer?
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I thought about those too - to avoid the expense of a framing nailer, for my
occasional use. From what I learned: (a) they work (b) they're not something
you'd want to use to replace a nailer. Have you hit the pawn shops? Seems
to me like they're in there.
Personally, I "stole" a new FR350 from Sam's club - was at the clearance
table for $75. Just missing the case. I've used it to knock out a project or
three. I like the FR350.
Sam's is a great place to shop. I was cruising the tools area and found
they had the Porter Cable 2.5" finish nailer and the sign said $35. I took
it up front and it rang up $180. The manager went over to check the sign,
came back and said I got a great deal on that one.
John if you are not going to need to use a framing nailer, the palm nailer
is a good alternative.
I bought a Senco Palm Nailer from Home Depot for $79.00 last fall. The palm
nailer is definitely better than swinging a hammer but still not as
convenient as a framing nailer.
As Bridger indicated, the palm nailer EXCELS at nailing framing clips. It
really will snug the metal brackets up close to the 2x stock.
I did build my 10x12 storage building with the palm nailer and used Hardi
Plank for the siding. While this was vastly better than swinging a hammer,
I did bend about 1 in 15 nails using the palm nailer while trying to
penetrate the Hardi Panel siding. It worked pretty good for nailing wood to
wood, and again was excellent for nailing the metal joist brackets. IMHO
however, the palm nailer is marginally faster than swinging a hammer when
nailing wood to wood. If time is a factor, the framing nailer will probably
be your best bet.
Really big advantages of the palm nailer are that it is lite weight when
compared to a framing nailer, it gets into tight spots easily, it uses
almost ANY sized nail, and you can buy cheaper bulk nails in the quantity
that you want. Since the nail goes in slowly compared to a framing nailer,
you can usually drive the nail to any depth. This was nice being able to
leave the head of the nail proud of the surface when putting up the siding.
Not according to my doctor it isn't.
More damaging to the nerves in the hand, than swinging a hammer is to the wrist
He said you have to be nuts to use one for more than a few minutes a day.
I asked for studies on the subject but he said it's just common sense.
I suppose that could be so, however my Senco model was very palm friendly
and it simply felt like I was pushing the nail into the wood. I really felt
less shock than that of a hammer hitting the head of a nail.
I've never tried the Senco, the Bostitch is pretty jarring.
I trust this doctor though, he was recommended by my union years ago and he
specializes in work related injuries.
He knows his tools, and often asks about stuff like what hammers you use, even
shovels. He's a big fan of those ergonomic handles.
I have the Senco as well. It's a well made piece of equipment that excels
on joist hangers, is useful for nailing/homing 20d nails or when using
hardwoods (put a rough oak floor in a small barn - the framing gun couldn't
home the nails), but is slower than a hammer on new work.
A couple of thoughts. First, if you're just curious you might try the
HF model, which is commonly on sale for around $40 (the whole kit).
As a replacement for a framing nailer, my thoughts are that it's an
apples/oranges thing. If you need a framing nailer, the palm nailer
will not satisfy you. I have one, and use it on occasion, and am
grateful for it. But I see it as useful only in tight quarters. I'd
*much* rather have a decent framing hammer than a palm nailer to do
most framing projects.
Check your local supplier or borg and find out what type of nails they
carry. Around here I was going for the clipped when to my surprise they only
carry round. Probably code reasons but that was the suggestion to me and it
saved me from buyin the wrong one, well I actually never bought either I
went for the palm nailer.
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