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Demos & Comparisons
Demos & Comparisons
  • What Are Scrails - And Why Should I Use Them?

    Have you heard of a scrail? Scrails can be driven using most pneumatic nailers, but offer better holding power than a standard nail. These fasteners are driven at a rate twice as fast as collated screws - and eight times faster than bulk. Available in a variety of collations, heads and coatings, the ease and speed of a scrail increases productivity and saves labor cost. Find out more about scrails on the Nail Gun Network.

    Relatively new to the fastener market, scrails, manufactured by Fasco, are available in 20-22 degree plastic strip, 30 degree plastic strip, 15 degree wire coil and 15 degree (90 degree) plastic coil. Just as you would with a traditional nail, you will need to stay within the range of fastener that your nail gun works with - visit the tool manufacturer's specs for nail length and diameter.

     
    Scrails
    Bulk and collated screws commonly feature a Phillip's or Square drive. Scrails on the other hand, are available with Phillip's, Square, Pozidrive and Torx heads. They are also available in a range of heads including flat, composite, combo trim and more. You can choose between fine, coarse and double threads.
     
    Scrail Heads
    Depending on your application, the coating of the scrail is essential. For subfloor, pallet, crating and manufactured housing, a yellow zinc coating is typically recommended. Colored screws for composite lumber are available in brown, cedar, gray and tan. Hot-dipped galvanized coated scrails are recommended for any pressure treated lumber application. If corrosion resistance is required, scrails are also available in 304 and 316 stainless steel.
     
    Scrail Collation
    Odd to look at, scrails have become a revolutionary new item within the fastener industry. These handy fasteners can save time and money for contractors and DIYer's alike.
     
    Ready to start using scrails? Feel free to contact a customer service specialist at Nail Gun Depot to ensure you are ordering the correct product for your application.
     
    Best Of Luck On Your Next Project,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • Nail Components (Pt 2)

    Welcome to the second part of our series on nail components. Last week, we talked about nail types, shank types and point types. If you missed part-one, you can check it out here. In the second half, we are going to look at finish types and the importance of angle.

    While the shape of the nail is pivotal to its use, you also want to pay careful attention to the finish. The finish of a nail can determine whether or not it can be used outside, the type of surface it works with and its durability.

     

    Finish:

    Bright: This finish is used for your basic hardware nail. There is no coating, it is just plain steel. This finish offers no corrosion resistance, meaning it can not be used on any exterior applications where it will be exposed to precipitation.

    Electro-Galvanized: Similar to the bright finish, electro-galvanized nails are coated with zinc via an electrical charge. These provide slightly more corrosion resistance than the bright finish, BUT should still not be used for exterior projects that are exposed to weather.

    Hot-Dipped Galvanized: These nails are dipped in liquid zinc to provide good corrosion resistance. The resulting finish is composed of a clumpy, zinc exterior. These nails can be used for exterior applications.

    Stainless Steel: This finish offers resistance to corrosion for the lifetime of the nail. Stainless is able to be used for exterior projects and works particularly well with wood such as cedar and redwood. It is popular in markets that have a significant amount of moisture in the air.

    Aluminum: This metal offers less durability than stainless, but also boasts a corrosion-free lifespan. It is typically used for applications such as attaching aluminum trims or gutters.

    Copper: Copper, being a more expensive material, is typically only used when fastening to other copper materials. It is used more for appearance than utility.

    Blue Oxidized: This finish is the result of degreasing and heat cleaning, which leaves the nail with a blue coating. This finish is typically used with plaster.

    Vinyl Coating: Vinyl coated nails provide enhanced holding strength and are easier to drive. The downside to vinyl coating is that these nails are not useable for outdoor or exterior projects.

    Cement Coating: The cement (resin) coating is applied to the nail to improve holding strength and can make the nail easier to drive. It should not be used for applications that will be exposed to weather and precipitation, so exercise caution if using for exterior projects.

    Phosphate Coating: The use of a phosphate coating improves holding strength and provides an excellent surface – for use with paint or putty. The phosphate attracts paint and retains it better than most other nail finishes.

     

    Angle:

    The angle of a nail is based on the variation in degree that the nail sits from the vertical (base). The angle of nail required varies from nail gun to nail gun – but typically sits in a range between 15 and 34 degrees – if the nailer is angled. If a nail gun is angled, the manufacturer should list the degree of angle required in the nail gun’s specs.

    From nails to nailers, there are a plethora of choices to select from when choosing the right tools for your project. We hope that this two-part series on nail components will help you in determining which nail works best for your needs.

     

    We always appreciate feedback and comments. Feel free to reach out to us at sales@nailgundepot.com if you have an idea or request for a future blog post – or simply want to offer input on a topic.

     

    Good Luck In Selecting Your Next Nail,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

     

    P.S. We will be taking a two-week break from blogging during Christmas and the New Year to observe the holidays and enjoy time with friends and family - Our store will remain open during regular business hours. Keep an eye out for our next post on January 7, 2014.

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  • Nail Components (Pt 1)

    We've talked a lot about using nail guns, but what about the nails that go in them? We get questions all of the time asking about the components of a nail. The type? The shank? Point and finish?

    What makes each nail different? The average person only knows about one type of nail, the simple flat head design with a smooth shank and blunt diamond point. This is the most common style for nails used in everyday construction, but what about other nail types? Let's take a look at some of the variations in nail design and function - but first, let's go over some basic terms that define the structure of a nail.

    A nail is composed of three parts - the head (top), the shank (body) and the point (tip). Size and length will vary depending on the type of job you are working on - your nail gun will tell you which size nails it will work with. Finally, you have the finish of the nail, which represents the nail's exterior - and can come coated (resin), galvanized (dipped) or untreated.

     

    Now that we know some of the basic terms regarding the structure of a nail, it's time to look at the variations in their structure.

     

    Type:

    Flathead: This is the most common type of head for a nail. Available in different forms such as full (regular), clipped (reduced head size) and off center (head sits to the side of base), this nail's larger head size offers stronger holding capability.

    Brad & Finish Nails: These nails are typically used for finishing work, such as attaching trim and molding. Having a smaller head means these nails do not have the holding strength of their flathead counterpart, but they are able to fit in tighter places and are less noticeable to the naked eye, after installation.

    Duplex: The duplex nail is intended for temporary use, featuring a double head for easy removal. These nails resemble a push-pin, and are designed to work as a placeholder - before a permanent application has been made.

     

    Shank:

    Smooth: The smooth shank is the most common shank that can be found on nails. The easiest to produce, this type of shank also provides the least amount of holding strength.

    Ring: The ring design on a shank provides improved holding strength and can be recognized by the threaded rings that run along the body of the nail. Its appearance resembles a smooth body nail running through a spring.

    Screw: A screw design has a body similar to its screw counterpart, but is driven into wood without the traditional screw head. It features a spiral design that covers about 3/4 of the nail's body.

    Spiral: Similar to the screw, this shank spirals the entire body of the nail.

     

    Point:

    Blunt: This is the most common of nail points. It reduces splitting when being driven, which makes it an asset to anyone using a nailer.

    Long: This point is mostly used in drywall installation, as it has a long, sharp, needle-like tip that can be driven deep.

    Chisel: This type of point is mostly used for heavy duty projects, such as pallet-building and industrial assembly. The chisel tip also helps to avoid splitting.

    Flat: This point does not have a sharp or jagged edge. It features a smooth point.

    Clinch: This point is off center, but is sharp like the chisel. One side of this point is shorter than the other.

     

    Have we sparked your interest? Check back next week for the second half of this two-part series on nail components.

     

    Best Of Luck On Your Next Project,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Nail Gun Basics

    Don't let using a nailer or nail gun be an intimidating experience... learn the basics right here on Nail Gun Depot!

    Step 1: Choose a Nail Gun

    • What type of project are you working on? Will you need a framing nail gun, brad nail gun (for light trim and molding, this gun shoots smaller nails that won’t split the wood and are less visible), trim nail gun (these nails are slightly thicker than brad nails), flooring nail gun, roofing nail gun or concrete nail gun? Choose the nail gun that is best for you. For most at home projects, such as decking and framing, you would want to choose a framing nail gun.
    • Strip or coil? This refers to the way the nails are collated. Strip nails come in a strip, coil nails in a coil. Coil nail guns allow for less reloading, as they hold more nails.  If you are doing a big job or are a professional, this is the way to go. Most DIYers choose a strip nail gun.

    Step 2:  Choose a Nail

    • Clipped head or full head? Clipped head nails are just what they sound like, part of the head has been clipped off. This allows the nails to be collated closer together, which means more nails in the strip and less reloading. The holding power does not differ much, however some coastal states still require full head nails for certain projects.
    • Galvanized or not? Galvanized nails are coated to resist rust and corrosion, so if you are completing an outdoor project or something that will be exposed to moisture, galvanized is what you want.

     

    Step 3: How Will You Power Your Nail Gun?

    • Nail guns can be powered by air, electricity, fuel or batteries. When you buy your nail gun you will need to know how it receives power. Most choose an air powered nail gun for its reasonable price point and ample power. However, air powered tools require an air compressor. Your nail gun will be attached to the compressor by a hose. Your compressor will be either gas powered or plug into the wall. You can purchase nailer kits with a compressor at Nail Gun Depot.

     

    Step 4: Load

    • Load your gun according to the instructions. This is a relatively simple process. The strip nail guns are similar to loading a stapler. Pull back the magazine, insert the nail strip, and release the magazine to allow tension on the nail strip. To load a coil nail gun, open the magazine - inside there will be an adjustable nail tray - set the tray for the length of nail that you are using. Insert the nail coil into the magazine. Toward the nose of the tool, you will find a “feed pawl” which guides the nails into the chamber - so be sure the wire and nail heads are aligned with the proper grooves.

     

    Step 5: Fire

    • Most nail guns will require the nose to be pressed against a surface to fire. This is a safety feature so that the gun is not accidentally shot. There are usually two choices for operation: bump fire and sequential. Sequential requires you to pull the trigger each time you want to shoot a nail. Bump fire eliminates the trigger and fires each time the nail gun is pressed up against a surface
    Now you are on your way to hassle free nailing!
     
    Your Source For Nailer Knowledge,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • How To Choose A Nail Gun For Your Project

    You've decided to use a nail gun on your next project, but what type of nailer do you need? Nail guns come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the project you need it to complete. To learn what makes each type of nail gun unique, let's look at some of the main ones homeowners use:

    • Framing nail gun - This type of nail gun is used for larger projects such as fencing, deck building, sub-flooring and (of course) framing. These nailers are also excellent for projects involving plaster, as hammering can crack and loosen plaster.
    • Finish nail gun - This nail gun drives either 15 or 16 gauge nails - depending on the finish nailer - and is used for crown molding, baseboards, cabinets, chair rails, wood furniture, decorative trim, millwork, caskets, hardwood flooring, furniture and paneling. Finish nails are sturdy enough to hold these larger pieces, but small enough that they can be puttied over for the finished product.

    FinishPro42XP

    • Brad nail gun - A brad nailer drives even smaller, 18 gauge brad nails, versus a finish nailer. Brad nailers are used for smaller trim, as larger nails can split the wood. Using a hammer to drive brad nails can be frustrating due to their ultra-thin pins that can bend easily.

    Hitachi NT50AE2

    Now you need to decide how to power your nail gun:

    • Gas-powered - This nail gun uses a fuel cell with a rechargeable battery. This nailer does not require an air compressor, hose or cord - which makes it convenient. However, this is a more costly way to power your nailer.
    • Air powered or pneumatic - This is the most popular choice for power fastening tools, as it is a cheap, powerful and convenient way to power your nail gun. This nail gun uses compressed air to drive nails. If you choose pneumatic, make sure that the air requirement for the nail gun and the compressor match - ensuring your nail gun will work properly.
    Bostitch Pneumatic Finish Nailer

    Don't forget to consider the brand when making your decision, trusted brands such as Stanley Bostitch, Hitachi, Senco or Paslode will usually lead to less jams and repairs. Nail guns can speed up a job, allow you to drive nails into hard to reach areas, and drive smaller nails without the frustration of bending or breaking. NailGunDepot.com offers a wide selection of nailers, so check us out - and good luck on your next project!

    Nail Your Next Project,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • How To Load A Pneumatic Stapler

    Learn how to load your air stapler properly. Loading a pneumatic stapler varies slightly from tool to tool, but the following instructions demonstrate how to load most common models. Learn more on Nail Gun Depot.

    First, you must ensure you have the proper staple - this will determine whether or not the tool can even be used. After identifying the correct staples, you are ready to load them.

    Most staple guns are either top or bottom loading. Medium and heavy wire pneumatic staplers generally load from the top, while most fine wire staplers are bottom load. Before loading, be sure to disconnect the air supply and keep the stapler pointed away from you.
    A top loading stapler is fairly straight forward. Pull the magazine follower back until it locks into position. After the follower is locked into position, place the strip of staples over the magazine rail. The staples should move freely back and forth on the rail. The last step is to unlock the follower and release it so that it pushes the staples into the nose of the staple gun for firing.
    Bottom load staplers operate differently. First, locate the magazine release, generally found at the rear of magazine. Depress its release and slide the magazine rail away from the nose. Turn the stapler upside down and insert the staples into the channel toward the nose of the stapler. After the staples have been loaded, slide the magazine rail back toward the nose until it locks into place.
     
    Now you are ready to connect your air supply and test fire.
     

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • How A Nail Gun Works

    Ever wonder how your nail gun works? Learn the fundamentals of nailer operation, getting a behind the scenes look at the engineering marvels that power these game changing tools.

    The most common type of nail gun is pneumatic, or air-powered. Compressed air is supplied via a separate air compressor, which is powered by either electricity or gasoline. The air from the compressor is pushed through a hose into a holding area in the nail gun; this is called an air reservoir. The typical pneumatic nail gun uses a piston with a long shaft attached to it called a driver. The driver is what makes contact with the head of the nail and forces it into the work surface. The piston is located in a cylinder inside the main body of the nail gun. The air in the reservoir is held in place by a valve, which is located above the piston.

    Before the trigger is pulled, the air pressure below the piston is greater than the air pressure above it, which keeps the piston at the top of the cylinder. When the trigger of the nailer is depressed, the valve opens, forcing air into the cylinder and making the pressure above the piston greater than below it. This drives the piston down and hammers the nail. When the trigger is released, the air inside the nail gun around the cylinder is vented through the small holes drilled toward the bottom half of the cylinder. This makes the pressure below the piston greater than above it, and forces the piston back up to its starting position. Simultaneously, the valve opens back up and forces the used air through an exhaust port in the top of the nailer.

     
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • How To Use A Framing Nail Gun Or Nailer

    Strip Nailers
    To use a strip nailer, pull back the magazine follower to prepare for loading. Insert the proper nails into the nailer's magazine - see manufacturer specs for fastener information.
    Keep in mind, some nail guns load from the top, while others load from the rear.
    After inserting nails, release the magazine follower to allow for tension on the nails. Now, you will want to attach your air line to the tool.
    To fire, most nailers will require the safety to be depressed against a surface, while the trigger is pulled at the same time.

    Two modes of operation are available, bump fire and sequential operation. Bump firing will eliminate the need to release and pull the trigger after each shot.

    Most nailers also feature an adjustable depth of drive. This allows for flush driving or countersink.

     

    Coil Nailers

    To use a coil nailer, open the magazine basket and front door latch. Inside the basket is an adjustable nail tray. Be sure to set the tray for the length of fastener you are using, to allow for optimal performance.

    Insert nails into the magazine basket. Toward the nose of the tool, you will find a feed pawl. The feed pawl guides nails into the chamber. Be sure to align the collation wire and nail head into the proper grooves.

    Close the magazine basket and door latch, attach your air line, and follow the same steps listed above to fire.

    Always consult the manufacturer's operating manual for exact instructions detailing the specific tool you are using.

     
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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