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Stanley Bostitch
  • The Nail Gun Buyer's Guide

    If you've come to the Nail Gun Depot, chances are you know what a nail gun is, what it does, and how it is used. Nailers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, designed to fulfill tasks that range from framing to finishing to flooring - depending on the user's needs. With a variety of options available, which tool is right for you? Find out the features you need, to take on the projects you want to build, right here.

     

    Let's start by covering the types of nail guns or nailers you might encounter:

    From top-to-bottom, the largest of the nail gun family is the framing nailer. Framing nailers are built to tackle large jobs that require heavy duty fasteners (nails) - such as framing, fencing and pallet building. The industries that benefit most from this type of tool include home-building, construction and manufacturing. Similar to the framing nailer, roofing nailers are almost identical in appearance, however these nail guns are designed specifically to fastening roofing shingles.

    For projects that are a bit less intense, finish nailers are recommended for jobs such as door and window trim, paneling, baseboard, casing, crown molding, furniture, shelving and cabinetry. A close relative to finish nail guns, brad nailers drive an even smaller - brad - nail, and are designed for small trim work and furniture repair. Typically, using a brad nail gun will prevent the need for wood putty to cover up a hole where the fastener has been driven - but these nailers can only be used on lighter-duty projects, since the fastener is not as large as a finish nail. Last but not least, a pin nailer might be your best option for crafting or small trim projects, such as cabinet doors and bird house building. For anyone in renovation or remodeling, having a good finish and brad nailer is key to success.

    Designed specifically for hardwood and laminate floor installation, floor nailers are the last of the commonplace nail guns that most contractors or DIYer's will require. These nailers are built to install a variety of hardwood floor sizes and thicknesses. Typically activated with a mallet, floor nailers are only built for flooring applications. Find Your Nailer Now

     

    Pneumatic or Cordless?

    The age old debate between contractors, do I want a cordless nailer or a pneumatic, air-powered nail gun? Most heavy-duty nail gun users swear by pneumatic tools, as they are generally a bit more reliable and do not require re-charging on the job site. The downside to a pneumatic tool, it requires the use of an air compressor. For workshop woodworkers, using nailers such as finish, brad and pin models, a small compressor such as the Senco PC1010 will be more than capable. For heavy-duty, high-intensity use on a construction site, look to a larger compressor such as the Senco PC0970, as it has a larger tank and is capable of providing enough air-pressure for larger tools - including framing nailers.

    If you choose a cordless nail gun, you will need to keep a battery charger handy to keep your tool running - once the battery wears down. Cordless framing nailers also require a fuel cell to provide the necessary pressure to drive a fastener. The benefit to a cordless tool, you can reach beyond the length of an air hose and can get into tighter, hard to reach areas. You also eliminate the need for an air compressor with a battery-powered nailing tool. This is generally the appeal that makes these types of tools desirable to DIY builders.

     

    Terms to look for when shopping for your next nail gun:

    You'll more than likely encounter some - or all - of the following terms, when comparing nailers.One of the most important features you will want to look for, an adjustable depth of drive lets you select how far you want your nail (or other fastener) driven into the object you are fastening. Another option to look for, directional exhaust plates allow you to select the direct your tool shoots it's exhaust - this feature is particularly beneficial in dusty areas. Last, but not least, you will also want to be sure your nailer has a jam clearing feature - to avoid lost time and/or costly repairs if/when your tool jams.

    Depending on the job your are working on, pay attention to features such as trigger size (if you wear gloves while working), easy adjustment for different nail or fastener sizes, and a rugged exterior design to handle the projects you throw at your nailer.

    Keep an eye out for brands such as Senco, Paslode, Hitachi, Bostitch and MAX, as these manufacturers all have a strong track record for building reliable, long-lasting tools. Also keep an eye out for the length of warranty offered by a manufacturer. Most brands will come with a one-year limited warranty, but certain tools go above and beyond - such as Senco's XP (XtremePro) line of nailers that include a five-year limited warranty, or Bostitch's seven-year limited warranty that is offered on select tools.

     

    Your Leading Source For Nail Gun Knowledge,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Tools And Projects That Are Worth The Investment

    Are you getting ready to start a new home improvement project, know the category of tool you need, but can't decide whether it's worth spending extra to get a top of the line model? We usually talk about tool categories for a project, but what about the features of a tool that makes it unique to the competition? Today, we're going to focus on a few of our favorite tools to splurge on, paired with the projects they are built to tackle. Learn which tools and projects are worth the investment.

    Let's start from the ground up, finding the right Framing Nailer to fasten the bones or frame of your project. One of the most popular choices according to Nail Gun Depot's customers, the Paslode CF325Li (902600) cordless framing nailer (replaced by Paslode CF325XP) is built to handle heavy duty work, with long term success. This framing nail gun drives 2" to 3-1/4" 30 degree paper tape strip nails without a cord or compressor. Powered by a fuel cell and rechargeable battery, reach the unreachable - this is the perfect framing tool for tight fitting spaces. Thinking about finishing a basement? This Paslode is the perfect tool to frame your walls. The CF325Li is a popular, contractor grade tool that gets a thumbs up from our customers.

    Once framing is complete, most contractors will use a screw gun to attach drywall to the wood studs. Available in both battery-powered and electrical-powered variations, the Senco DuraSpin Collated Screw System is among the most popular options available on the market today. Trusted by contractors for their quality and versatility, Senco's DuraSpin screw guns drive a range of collated screws from 5/8" to 3" in size. If you're in the market, look at the DS312-18V or DS332-AC to maximize the available range of screws accepted.

    PROJECT NOTE: If finishing a basement, stick to the basics. Less is more in many instances. Putting a lot of intricate detail and fancy upgrades into a basement does not typically return the investment. Unless budget is no object, look at tasteful updates that will boost resale value.

    Another popular upgrade, you might be looking to install new hardwood floors in your home. Hardwood flooring can add big value to a home and can help make it more attractive to a prospective buyer, if it is done correctly. Starting a hardwood installation properly means using tools to get the job done right - which is exactly why we recommend our next tool to splurge on. Known for making quality flooring tools, the Bostitch MIIIFS Hardwood Floor Stapler is one of the best-selling floor staplers offered at Nail Gun Depot. This flooring stapler has passed the test of time - and comes with a seven-year warranty to support its reputation. A quality pneumatic tool, the MIIIFS drives 15.5 gauge 1/2" crown flooring staples from 1-1/2" to 2" in length.

    PROJECT NOTE: Be sure to know the thickness of the floors you are installing. The typical range of thickness is 1/2" to 3/4" flooring, though other variations are available. Compare different breeds of wood to see which hardwood floor will match your walls and furniture best.

    Ready for small, around the house updates? For trim, molding, shelves, cabinets and more, you'll be looking for either a Finish or Brad Nailer. Once again, Senco is at the top of our must-have tool list with their Fusion line of Cordless Finish and Brad Nailers, which are among the most competitive options available to the market today. Models of the Fusion include the F-15, a 15 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer; the F-16A, a 16 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer; the F-16S, a 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nailer; and the F-18, an 18 Gauge Brad Nailer. These battery-powered finishing tools have been recognized by top-tier industry publications including Popular Mechanics and the Journal of Light Construction, thanks to their durability, versatility and available features.

    PROJECT NOTE: Adding crown molding to your home can infinitely improve appearance - and even boost resale value. This is an inexpensive upgrade that can payoff big when trying to sell your home. Look to match crown molding and baseboards for an aesthetically pleasing design. When working with a dining room or living space, consider adding a matching chair rail too.

    Last but not least, you have a fresh, new look for your home, but need some new furniture and decor to add that final, personal touch. When you've run out of ways to improve your house itself, look for ways to compliment its design - through decor. One way to do this is through refinishing and reupholstering furniture. For all of your upholstery work, make sure you choose a staple gun with the capability to take on a wide range of projects, which is why we recommend the Duo-Fast EIC-3118 (66118) 22 Gauge Electric Upholstery Stapler (replaced by Fasco-Maestri 7C-16 3/8" Crown Electric Stapler). This Duo-Fast upholstery stapler is electric powered, meaning there is no need for an air compressor. This tool will run 3/8" to 9/16" leg 22 gauge 3/8" crown fine wire staples, perfect for furniture upholstery and light wood assembly.

    PROJECT NOTE: Measure the length, width and depth of the seating pad and multiply three times the amount of any given dimension to calculate the amount of fabric you will need for your surface - this rule applies to a single surface, calculate for each chair separately. Measure from the longest point if working with a curved or angled shape.

    Ready to splurge on a quality, new tool? Contact Nail Gun Depot with any questions about these and other tools. Want to compare models? We can help with that too!

    Providing Tools That Get The Job Done Right,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • The Difference Between Brad Nailers & Finish Nailers

    Are in the middle of a home improvement project, but caught on which fastening tool you need to complete it? If you are doing simple upgrades around the house, you are most likely shopping for either a finish or brad nail gun - but which one is right for you? To the untrained eye, these tools would appear to be the same, but in reality, each has a very different purpose.

    Let's start with what makes each of these power fastening tools unique. A brad nailer is designed to run 18 gauge, fine wire brad nails. These small nails are very hard to drive manually, which makes a brad nailer essential to any major home renovation project where brads are needed. On top of that, brad nails are almost invisible to the naked eye once they have been driven into wood. In fact, there is a good chance you will not need carpenter's putty to conceal a brad nail that has been driven into trim. The downside to using brad nails/nailer, these fasteners do not have the holding strength to be used for larger, heavier projects, such as large crown molding or baseboards.

    For larger, more bulky wood trim, you will need to use a finish nailer, such as the Paslode IM250A-Li Cordless Finish Nailer. Finish nail guns will run 15 or 16 gauge finish nails, which are slightly larger than a brad nail, giving them increased holding strength. The biggest downside to using a finishing nail gun, because of the larger diameter fastener, you will almost certainly need to cover nail openings with putty. Furthermore, if you try to use a finish nailer on a small piece of trim, there is an increased probability for wood splitting and the formation of imperfections on the wood.

    Ideally, you'll want to have both tools handy for projects, especially if you are regularly working with trim and molding. If you have to choose between buying one or the other, your best bet is to start with a brad nailer, as it can handle most light trim work and will require less touch-up after installation. If you are installing shelving or a mantle, you will probably want to go with the higher strength, finish nail. The downside to only using a finish nail gun, it has the potential to split thin wood and might require additional touch up on small trim and lighter duty projects. While a finish nailer can tackle many of the same projects as a brad nailer - and then some - the brad nailer will maintain best overall appearance on small trim work.

    Once you have determined whether a brad nailer or a finish nailer will best suit your needs, be sure to also consider whether a cordless, battery-powered nailer or a pneumatic, air-powered nailer will be the most efficient choice for your project. For the around-the-house DIY'er, you might find that the battery powered brad or finish nail gun is best, as it does not require an air compressor to run and can be used in hard to reach places. Senco's Fusion line of finish and brad nailers, the F-15 Finisher, F-16 Finisher and F-18 Brad Nailer, stand as excellent, industry-leading examples of cordless nail guns. For a contractor or individual that has a regular use for either tool, consider a pneumatic nailer, as they typically offer better long-term reliability than their battery-powered sibling - and do not require recharging. Brands such as Bostitch, Hitachi and Senco all offer high-quality, air-powered finish and brad nailers.

    Ready to nail your next project? Feel free to drop a line if you need more information, or would like to research a specific tool.

    Your Leading Source For Nail Gun Knowledge,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • How To Install Hardwood Floors

    With the housing market slowly taking a positive turn, many consumers are beginning to once again buy and sell houses. At the same time, many house hunters are looking for homes they can rehab - giving them a chance to put their personal style into the home they will live. A popular trend in rehab and renovation, and one of the first things many home-buyers will add to their home if it's not already there, installing hardwood floors can enhance your home's appearance - and even add value. Learn how to install hardwood floors, on the blog by Nail Gun Depot.
     
    Your first step in hardwood floor installation is determining the type of wood you want to use, including species, board width and thickness. The finish and color of your hardwood flooring will play a major role in the overall appearance of a room, so make sure you choose flooring that matches your furniture, cabinets, counters and wall color. Know the measurements of the space you will be installing a new floor, to get the most accurate pricing and quantity of materials needed. Thicker wood is typically more expensive, but can add strength to your floor system. If you are working with a tight budget though, you will most likely want to use a thinner cut of wood.
     
     
    When measuring a room for flooring installation, measure the width and length, then multiply for square footage. Order 10-15% extra material to allow for mistakes and irregular board lengths - such as when lining floor boards up to a wall.
     
    Before you even begin to install your hardwood floor, inspect the sub-floor to make sure it is sturdy and free of squeaks. At a minimum, sub-flooring needs to be 3/4" thick. If there is a squeak, drive a long drywall screw into the sub-floor at the joist where the squeak happens. Be sure the sub-floor is clean and free of any debris.
     
     
    Next, you will want to put down a layer of vapor barrier paper. This paper helps to prevent moisture from forming underneath your hardwood, which can eventually lead to cupping or mold if left untreated. You'll want to use 15 pound tar paper or felt, allowing at least 4" of overlap between sheets. Secure the barrier by stapling - and be sure to pencil a line on the baseboards to show where joists are located. You are now ready to begin your installation.
     
    Start installation with the longest wall, and work your way across the room. Remove the shoe molding from the wall and create a chalk line 3/8" from the baseboard, to allow for expansion and contraction due to humidity and climate change. Begin with a long board for the first row. Line up the board's edge to the chalk line and drill pilot holes through the board into the sub-floor and joist. You will want to face nail each board at every joist, using a nail-set. Repeat this for the whole first row of boards - choosing board length at random to stagger the boards. A trick of the trade, lay all of your boards out prior to nailing, to get an idea of length and ensure the boards do not line up uniformly. Lay the floor boards perpendicular to the joists below. This will help to anchor the floor and will add to its sturdiness and integrity. A simple trick to help you determine direction, look at your sub-floor and see which direction the nails run along the joists.
     
     
    Once you have installed a few rows of boards, drill additional pilot holes into each board's tongue, and hand-nail the rolls. Once you have enough clearance, begin using a pneumatic floor nailer, such as the Bostitch Miiifn or the Senco SHF200. You can also use a manual floor nailer, such as the Bostitch MFN201, depending on preference. Keep in mind a pneumatic nailer will probably cost a little more than its manual counterpart, but the ease of use and time that a pneumatic tool saves will justify its use in most cases. You will also need to decide whether to use a flooring nailer versus a flooring stapler. Be sure to research the proper length of a nail or staple for the tool you are using - and the board it is fastening.
     
     
    Position the lip of your pneumatic floor nailer over a board's edge and strike firmly, using a flooring mallet. This will drive the nail into the tongue of the board. The industry standard, drive at least two nails per board - placing them roughly 10" apart. For tongue and groove flooring, make sure each end fits into the corresponding end of the next board. If this is not completed properly, your floor will be left with fairly large gaps. When you approach the opposite wall from where you began the flooring installation, you will again return to drilling pilot holes and using a nail-set, as the pneumatic nail gun will not fit properly.
     
    Once the last board is secured and in place, clean the newly installed hardwood flooring with a damp cloth, using only a water and/or vinegar solution. Finished hardwood is very durable, but can easily be damaged by exposure to dense moisture, direct sunlight, heavy items being dropped, or items scratching across its surface. If you take good care of your hardwood floors, they can last a lifetime.
     
    Good Luck On Your Next Flooring Project,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • What's A Framing Nailer?

    Framing nailers are designed to tackle the obvious - framing - but did you know they can be useful for other applications? Uses can include anything from framing to sheathing, sub-flooring, truss building and decks. If you work in a construction or renovation trade, chances are you have worked with a framing nailer at least once. Let's take a look at how a framing nail gun works, its uses, and different options available on the market today.
     
    Paslode CF325Li
     
    One of the most important woodworking tools on a home-building site, the framing gun will allow you to drive framing nails into support structures without hesitation. These nail guns are designed for heavy-duty use - and can drive a row of fasteners faster than many woodworkers can hammer one framing nail. As with any tool, framing nailer safety is one of the most important practices you should follow. For more information on nail gun safety, check out our previous blog post here.
     
    If you are researching different framing nailers, you will find that there are two primary types available - cordless or pneumatic. Cordless framing nailers are powered by a compressed-air fuel cell, paired with a rechargeable battery, such as the Paslode CF325Li (replaced by Paslode CF325XP). The older, more traditional sibling, a pneumatic framing nail gun (also known as air-powered), generates its energy through an air compressor, such as the Senco FramePro 325XP. Either of these tool variations are perfect for the job site. A cordless framing gun will typically cost more than its pneumatic counterpart, however, you will find that it is much more flexible to use, as it isn't restricted to the length of an air hose. Consider how versatile you need your nailer to be when shopping for a new one.
     
    Senco FramePro 325XP
     
    A typical framing nailer will be available with either a bump-fire or single-shot mechanism, which will allow you to select between how you trigger a nail to be driven. Bump-firing allows you to suppress the nailer's trigger and continuously drive nails as the gun moves across a section of wood. Single-firing, on the other hand, requires you pull the trigger each time you fire a nail. As a safety precaution, almost every new nail gun will require that the nose be pressed against a surface, in order to fire a nail.
     
    Hitachi NV83A4
     
    The magazine is another area of consideration, when shopping for a framing gun. Depending on your line of work, you will want to consider the benefit of a strip nailer versus a coil nailer. Typically, construction workers and builders who work in high-volume fastening environments prefer the coil nailer, such as the Hitachi NV83A4, as it allows for a larger magazine capacity - which increases productivity. A DIYer or light-use builder might prefer the strip nailer, such as the MAX SN883RH2 (replaced by MAX SN883RH3), as it is lighter weight, easier to load, and generally a bit more versatile. The biggest consideration between a strip or coil nail gun is magazine capacity - just be certain you are purchasing the correct nail for your gun.
     
    MAX SN883RH2
     
    If you need some help identifying the right nail for your nailer, use our Fastener Finder tool on Nail Gun Depot.
     
    Helping You "Nail" Your Next Fastening Tool Purchase,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • Practicing Nail Gun & Power Tool Safety

    You have your nailer, stapler or screw gun; you have the proper accessories to tackle your project – but do you practice safety awareness when using your tools? Most job related accidents can be avoided, if you take the proper measures to ensure safety on the job site.

     

    For a 58 year-old carpenter living in Minnesota, a simple mistake almost cost his life, when he accidentally fired a 3-1/2” galvanized framing nail directly into his heart. While building a deck, the man’s framing nailer slipped out of his hands – and when he caught hold of it, hand still on the trigger, the gun’s nose bumped against his chest and fired directly into his heart. Thankfully, the nail missed his main arteries by millimeters, and he survived the ordeal after surgery, avoiding a lethal scenario. You can read the entire story here.

     

    The nail was a lucky miss, but let’s take a look at how this accident could have been avoided. In this example, a simple error could have completely altered the outcome, if the man had removed his hand from the trigger. Even bump action guns still require a suppressed trigger to fire, a safety feature most manufacturers include on their tools. If you feel as if you are going to loose hold of your nail gun or other tool, always take your hand off the trigger. Worst case, a broken tool is better than a life altering injury.

     

    A factor that helped to save this man’s life – staying calm and avoiding panic. Panic increases blood flow, which can increase bleeding from open wounds. In this example where a heart was pierced, panicking could have further reduced his ability to breath, leading to hyperventilation. Staying calm and contacting emergency medical services immediately will improve chances of survival, in life threatening situations. Treat for shock while help is on its way.

     

    As described in the instance above, nail guns are powerful tools, so let’s make sure you are set up for success, which starts with safe handling:

     

    • Start by knowing your tool and how it functions. Read the owner’s manual and look at warnings listed by the manufacturer.
    • Wear the appropriate safety gear for your job site. Safety glasses should always be worn, regardless of the project. Depending on your line of work, a hardhat, hearing protection, harness or gloves might also be required.
    • ALWAYS keep your tool pointed away from yourself and anyone else, especially when activated. When in doubt, treat your nail gun as you would treat any other firearm.
    • Don’t use a tool that is not functioning properly. Have any broken or damaged tool serviced before trying to use.
    • Do not try to drive fasteners on top of other fasteners. This can lead to misfire or backfire – resulting in injury.

     

    There is no guarantee that injury will not occur when handling your tools – on and off the job site – but practicing safety measures, such as the ones mentioned above, will increase your odds of avoiding injury and staying safe when using your nail gun or other tools.

     

    Stay Safe,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Choosing An Air Compressor For Pneumatic Tools

    We've talked a lot about pneumatic tools, such as nailers and staple guns, but what about the compressors that bring these tools to life? The air compressor you use can make or break your business, so it makes sense that you want to use a compressor that is durable, reliable and capable of providing the right amount of air pressure to your tool.

    Air compressors range in price, based on a variety of criteria including size, power and available features. Smaller units, such as Senco's PC1010 portable air compressor, run for $119 on Nail Gun Depot, whereas larger, more powerful units, such as Rol-Air's 7722HK28 nine horsepower compressor, has a price of $1,599 on Nail Gun Depot.

    Senco PC1010

    The first criteria to determine which compressor is right for you - where will it be used? Make sure to choose a compressor with the correct voltage for the space it will be used in. Always operate your electric compressor as close to its source of power as possible. If an extension cord must be used, consider using a heavy duty cord. If electricity is not accessible on the job site, you might find it easier to use a gas powered compressor. Gas powered compressors are generally more powerful as well - which might be useful for heavy duty projects.

    Rol-Air 7722HK28

    Next, you need to determine the appropriate tank size. Contrary to what some believe, tank size does not affect the amount of air delivered, but it does influence how much the motor runs. Planning to use more than one tool at the same time? You will probably want a compressor with a larger tank. The more tools connected, the more air pressure that is being used. If you want to reduce the amount of strain on the motor, consider a larger tank size. However, remember that a larger tank might reduce portability.

    Some models also come with available features, such as multi-tool use with the Bostitch CAP2060P (replaced by Bostitch BTFP02012), trays and attachments for tools and fasteners with the Bostitch CAP1512-OF, or low operating noise with the Bostitch BTFP02011 (replaced by Bostitch BTFP02012).

    Bostitch CAP1512-OF

    Oil-less or lubricated? Most conventional compressors require regular monitoring of oil levels, which can be a burden if you have multiple people using the same compressor, traveling from job to job. Just as a car, if oil is not replenished, the motor will seize. There is an upside to lubricated air compressors though - they are typically more durable and capable of heavy use. If you are an amateur DIYer, you might find the oil-less compressor more suitable to your needs - if it is only intended for occasional use. Oil-less compressors typically work best with lower volume, less intense use - but don't worry, they still can pack a punch.

     

    Buying a reputable brand, such as Senco, Bostitch or Rol-Air can provide additional peace of mind - and generally brands such as these offer a better warranty.

     
    Want more information about air compressors? Let Nail Gun Depot answer all of your questions and find the perfect compressor to meet your needs.
     

    Happy Hunting For Your Next Compressor,

    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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