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Tag Archives: pneumatic tools
  • How To Avoid Destroying Your Pneumatic Nailer

    Basic maintenance on a pneumatic nailer can slash unnecessary repair costs, and will keep your air-powered nail gun running like new. But, despite minimal effort required for preventative maintenance, we continue to see far too many pneumatic tools reduced to scrap from lack of service. We've previously covered how to protect your pneumatic tools and compressor from cold temperatures - but what about year-round maintenance? Take a look at these professional maintenance tips to extend the life of most pneumatic tools, protecting your investment.
    FramePro325XPAction1
    Depending on the region, a big risk to any pneumatic tool is simply the environment it inhabits. Airborne particles can clog pneumatic nailers and cause undue wear to components within the tool. This is particularly true in coastal regions, where moisture and salt in the air increases the chance for system failure, rusting or corrosion. In areas with high moisture content in the air, it's extra important to avoid prolonged exposure to the elements. Invest in a systainer case or air-tight box to store pneumatic tools that are not in use. The same principle applies to areas that have a lot of dust or sand in the air - particularly when talking about prolonged exposure at a job site.
    Hitachi NV45AB2 Coil Roofing Nailer
    A universal rule for protecting and prolonging the life of a pneumatic nailer, make sure the tool is properly lubricated at all times. A regular cause for air nailer failure is component wear due to lack of lubrication. Just like you wouldn't drive a car without oil in the engine, a pneumatic tool requires the same attention. It's also crucial to note that pneumatic nailers and staplers require special lubricant, specifically labeled as pneumatic tool oil. Many generic lubricants eat through rubber over time, which will cause more harm than help in the long run (remember most pneumatic nail guns have rubber o-rings). NEVER use WD40, motor oil, transmission fluid or aerosol lubricants.
    Unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer, make sure pneumatic nailers, staplers and other fastening tools receive regular lubrication to moving parts. Even with a self-oiling valve design, it's important to keep watch that your pneumatic nailer is receiving the proper amount of lubrication. In general, we recommend putting two or three drops of pneumatic tool oil directly into the coupling joint, before connecting the air hose. Do so daily at the start and finish of use - and be sure to fire the tool two to three times to give the oil a chance to work through the valves.
    Surprisingly enough, many other causes for system failure on a pneumatic nailer can be prevented by simply using the tool properly. Before firing the nail gun, make sure you are using the correct size and type of nail. Pay careful attention to the nail's angle, as well as the collation.
    You'll also want to check the manufacturer's recommended operating pressure, before hooking up an air compressor, to avoid misfiring caused by inadequate air flow. Too much air pressure can drive nails too deep - whereas too little pressure can cause nails to not sink evenly. Furthermore, consistently using improper air pressure can damage the pneumatic tool over time.
    Make sure you are using the proper size air compressor too. For finish and trim work, small hand-carry compressors will typically perform adequately. For framing tools, or if you are planning to connect multiple air-powered nailers, larger wheelbarrow compressors could be a better fit.
    rolair compressor at jobsite
    As always, safety should be top priority. Always consult your owner's manual, or visit the manufacturer's website for detailed information about your pneumatic tool. For more maintenance advice, consult a certified repair center.
    Keeping Your Pneumatic Nailer On The Job,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • Introduction To Air Compressors

    Welcome back to a new year of the Nail Gun Network! We hope you had a relaxing holiday break - but alas, it's time to get back to work. Easing into the routine swing, let's start 2015 with a breakdown and categorization of air compressors - so you can find the right compressor to handle your projects.
    Senco Air Compressors
    If you use pneumatic (air-powered) fastening tools, you have to use an air compressor to bring them to life. Air compressors provide power to your pneumatic nail guns, staple guns, paint sprayers, ratchets and other air-driven tools - they can also be used to inflate tires, blow dust or debris, and more. The application(s) you need an air compressor for, will determine the type of compressor you require.
    Senco Compressor Kit
    First, let's take a brief look at how an air compressor works. Air compressors feature a motor, which forces air into a storage tank. Depending on the type of compressor, a user will attach their tool(s) to the compressor via an air hose or hoses. Every time the user fires their pneumatic tool, air in the storage tank is released through the air hose - activating the tool. As the storage tank depletes its air, the motor kicks-in and returns the tank to a designated air pressure. For some compressors, such as MAX's AKHL1250E, an expansion tank is also available.
    MAX Expansion Air Tank
    Smaller projects - with low volume use - can typically get by with a smaller, single-stage compressor. Single-stage compressors feature one-piston motors, which force air into their storage tank for consumption. As the compressor depletes its supply of air, the motor kicks back on to replenish it. These compressors are typically useful for small workshops, residential garages, or DIY applications. Because they are typically smaller in size, they are also useful for renovation and remodeling projects, where space might be limited. Keep in mind, these compressors are not designed to power multiple tools at once - or tools that require a good amount of energy to fire, such as framing nailers. Finish and trim nailers and fine wire staplers are typically intended for this type of compressor.
    Bostitch Trim
    For heavy-duty applications in construction or manufacturing, such as home-building, assembly line work and more, two-stage compressors should be a better fit for use. Two-stage air compressors feature a second piston - providing quicker refill times to the storage tank. The storage tank is also typically larger in size, allowing more air to be stored during use. Two-stage compressors are also designed to power multiple tools at once - improving operation efficiency. The downside to these compressors, they typically weigh more, are more expensive, and make more noise during operation.
    Bostitch Pneumatic Framing
    When shopping for an air compressor, consider the manufacturer required pressure for the tool(s) you are looking to power. Every manufacturer should provide the CFM and PSI required to operate safely. The CFM or Cubic Feet per Minute determines how many tools can be run at once on an air compressor. The PSI or Pounds per Square Inch directs the maximum range of operating pressure with which an air compressor can run properly. Disregarding either of these factors can lead to permanent damage to your tools and/or air compressor - as well as possible injury to the user. When selecting an air compressor, choose a model with a higher CFM rating than the tool or tools you are planning to operate - this will allow for a margin of error.
    Senco PC1010N
    When you start shopping for a compressor, you will also notice the difference in design between certain models. Depending on your application, there are four main designs available for portable air compressors. Generally, the most basic option available, most hot dog shaped compressors have small, cylindrical tanks - this style is generally the easiest to transport, but offers the least power. Models such as the Senco PC1010 exemplify a well-built, popular compressor within this segment. Similar in size, a pancake compressor features an oblong tank that resembles the shape of a tire. Bostitch offers the BTFP02011 pancake compressor (replaced by Bostitch BTFP02012) as part of a 3-tool combo kit for finish and trim. Still capable of being carried by hand, twin-stack compressors feature two tanks (generally one above the other), which allows them to restore maximum air pressure quicker than a single-tank design, such as the hot dog or pancake. A great example of the twin-stack compressor, RolAir offers its FC2002 model - also known as "The Bull" for its rugged nature. One of the heaviest-duty designs for portable compressors, wheelbarrow compressors are too heavy to carry by hand, but feature a single-wheel design with handles - allowing this type of compressor to be rolled from jobsite to jobsite. J-Air is a reliable, popular manufacturer of this style compressor. For fixed workstations that require high-volume use, stationary compressors are also available. There is also a selection of other wheeled compressors available for heavy-duty use, that function similarly to the wheelbarrow design.
    RolAir Bull Compressor
    One final point to consider, determine the source of power that will work best for your compressor. For almost every hot dog, pancake or twin-stack compressor, electric power is your only available option. However, larger compressors, such as wheelbarrow models, generally are available with either the option for gasoline or electric power. Crews in new construction tend to favor gas power, as it can sometimes be hard to find electric on a jobsite. Many gas-powered compressors also feature more powerful motors. Depending on the application - and if electric is easily accessible - you might prefer the emission-free design of electric compressors though.
    J-Air Compressors
    If you work in cold climates, make sure you shop for a compressor with a cold start valve. Many compressors include this feature out of the box, but if not, you could have a hard time starting your air compressor in frigid temperatures. Standard on many new compressors, an oil-free pump design reduces wear and tear maintenance. For high-volume use, check to make sure the compressor includes more than one connection for pneumatic air hoses - to ensure you can run several tools at once. Also, make sure the compressor has the proper cooling systems installed to handle the applications you plan to use it for - this will help to avoid overheating or damage to the compressor motor.
     
    Bostitch 3-Tool Combo Kit
    Last, but not least, consider the manufacturer of your future compressor. There are several reliable brands available, some of which we recommend, including compressors from Senco, RolAir, J-Air, MAX and Bostitch. Be sure to compare each compressor's features prior to making a purchase.
    Blowing Away Your Air Compressor Knowledge,
    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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