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  • Cordless Nailers: Comparing Gas- and Battery-Powered Nail Guns

    There’s no question that cordless nailers have come a long way from the late 1980's, when Paslode introduced the first cordless framing gun. Despite technology advancements in almost every facet of the industry, there's still one dividing line in cordless nailing—compressed gas fuel combined with a battery—or battery-only power. Two very similar concepts with very different means for operation. Understand the differences before you buy.

    An example of gas-powered cordless nailers, the Paslode CF325XP Framing Nailer

    Gas-Powered Cordless Nail Guns

    Also known as fuel-powered or gas-cartridge nail guns, gas-powered nailers rely on combustion. These types of nailers were designed to mimic pneumatic nail guns, by using compressed gas fuel in combination with a battery.

    To shoot a fastener, you press the tool nose against the work surface, fuel goes into the combustion chamber, and mixes with air from the tool’s fan. When you pull the trigger on this type of nail gun, a spark plug near the battery lights the gas-air mixture. The combination of fuel and air forces the piston and the driver blade downward, which fires the fasteners.

    The first tool of this kind was invented by Paslode. They introduced the Impulse model in the late 1980s, and the technology behind it is still in use today. You can see this kind of system in several different nailers, including the Paslode CF325XP cordless framing nailer and the Grex GC1850 brad nailer, for example.

    As you might imagine, it requires more energy to drive a framing nail than it takes to sink a brad. This translates to the size of battery and fuel cell your tool may require. For instance, the Grex cordless brad nailer uses two AAA batteries to ignite its small, cylindrical finish fuel cell.

    An example of battery-powered cordless nailers, the Bostitch BCN680D1

    Battery-Powered Cordless Nail Guns

    In recent years, there's been a push to eliminate the gas fuel cell, and use a more powerful battery as the nailer's sole source for power. The battery powers a spinning flywheel, which drives the motor. As long as the trigger is pressed, the flywheel stays in motion, which allows for rapid or bump firing.  With the Bostitch BCN680D1 18-gauge brad nailer, for example, a 20V Li-Ion battery alone powers the tool.

    New innovations strive to make battery-powered tools increasingly lighter and more agile. Some battery-powered nailers even utilize similar design elements comparable to an air-powered nailer, to power the tool. The Senco Fusion finish nailer, for example, uses a permanently sealed air cylinder, which stores energy as compressed air. This type of nail gun works similarly to a pneumatic, but without the need for fuel, instead using the battery to do the heavy lifting.

    Bostitch claims that by switching to an all-battery-powered model, pneumatic tool users save up to 20 minutes a day in setup. They also state that gas-powered tool users can save up to $15 per week in fuel cells and cleaning/lubricating costs. That's something to take into consideration when high-volume production is a requirement.

    Associated Costs of Cordless Nailers

    Let’s look at an important aspect of comparison—cost. A lithium-ion battery will cost around $100, and a battery charger will run you about $50. If the tool comes without a battery, you’ll need to get one. Having at least one backup battery is highly recommended too.

    One thing many people fail to consider when purchasing a tool is the continued cost of ownership. Batteries have a limited lifespan, so eventually those will need replacing. A battery for a cordless tool will last approximately 3 years or 1,000 charge cycles. 

    For gas-powered nailers, expect to pay about $13 to $15 for a single fuel cell. While fuel cell life can differ depending upon size and application of the tool, most deliver 1,000 to 1,300 shots. Metabo HPT estimates that, for skid of 200,000 nails, you'll need about 200 fuel cells. That comes out to approximately $1,796.

    Example of gas-powered cordless nailers, an Aerosmith Track Pinner In Use

    Convenience of Cordless Nailers

    The obvious benefit of owning cordless nailers is that you don’t have to worry about getting a compressor or being tied to an outlet. That also eliminates a safety hazard in potentially tripping over air hoses or cords. There’s also no need to worry about choosing the fittings or hoses (or even tool oil) to work with your tool, so you can leave those out of the equation.

    A battery-only powered cordless nailer means a single power source, which is one less thing to worry about. The downside of course is that the tool's sole reliance on it will drain the battery quicker, unlike with a gas-and-battery-powered nailer. So, you should plan to keep at least one spare battery on hand at all times. Also, a large battery means added tool weight. If you’re working at challenging angles, such as overhead, you'll notice it.

    One other thing to consider, a gas-powered nailer can typically run longer than a 100% battery-powered model, since it has two sources of energy working together. For a quick overview, here are some of the pros and cons between both types of cordless nailer.

    Gas-Powered Nailer Pros/Cons:

    Pro: Gas-powered cordless nailers tend to run longer between re-charging than their all-battery-powered counterparts.

    Con: You need two accessories (battery and fuel cell) to power the tool. Some people also find the odor of gas tools annoying, though some brands like Grex now offer odorless fuel.

    Battery-Powered Nailer Pros/Cons:

    Pro: Battery-only nailers eliminate the costs associated with gas fuel cells. Simply charge up and start working. Most battery-only nailers also eliminate the aggravating "ramp-up" time required by gas-powered tools, which equates to time saved.

    Cons: Battery-only nailers typically have a larger battery pack, since the tool is running exclusively on the energy generated by the battery. This allows them to go longer between charging, but adds weight to the tool. Some systems, such as Metabo HPT's MultiVolt, allow the user to switch between an electric power cord and battery.

    Which type of cordless nailer do you prefer? Let us know in the comments. Questions? Contact Customer Service.


     

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  • Metabo HPT's Revolutionary New MultiVolt System

    When a new tool hits the market, it rarely earns the title “game changer.” Well, the MultiVolt system from Metabo HPT lets you choose corded or cordless power—within the same tool—creating a whole new game entirely.

    The first of its kind, the revolutionary system even won the Pro Tool Innovation Award. Now available at Nail Gun Depot, the MultiVolt platform offers unheard-of flexibility, portability, and safety in using a tool in various work spaces. Metabo calls it, “The future of power tools,” an assertion that seems pretty on point.

    Metabo HPT System's 36 V Battery

    The MultiVolt Battery

    At the heart of the system is the 36V/18V battery (372121M), which powers any of the tools—from circular saws and slide grinders to rotary hammers and impact wrenches. The 2.1 lb. lithium-ion slide-type battery can also be used with 18V Hitachi and Metabo HPT tools. It’s backward-compatible, so the cordless Hitachi/Metabo HPT tools you already own aren’t suddenly obsolete.

    This innovative battery has a high-cell-capacity battery of 21700 cells, which is 46% greater than standard Li-Ion batteries. That amounts to 1440W, thoroughly increasing tool power and run time. When using the 36V tools, the battery delivers 4 amp-hours of run time; with the 18V tools, it delivers 18 amp-hours.

    Unlike with earlier Li-Ion batteries, a four-stage gauge on this one tells the percentage of battery life remaining. Purchase the battery alone or with a rapid charger (UC18YSL3B1), which powers up the battery in 52 minutes or less. Confident in its durability, Metabo HPT guarantees the 36V battery with a two-year warranty, and the charger one-year.

    The MultVolt Adapter for the new system from Metabo HPT

    The MultiVolt Adapter

    The system’s ET36A AC adapter is the muscle, and it’s got brains to boot. If you’re working without access to a power outlet or the battery is running low, simply insert the ET36A adapter. It slides into the tool just as the 36V battery. 

    The MultiVolt adapter produces a max of 2,000 watts, comparable to traditional 15-Amp AC tools. A 20-foot cord on the adapter can connect to extension cords and generators with little or no reduction in power, thanks to brushless technology, which we’ll touch on later.

    In describing the award-winning adapter, Pro Tool states, “As we see more corded tools fall to the wayside as cordless tools meet or exceed their power level, more Pros keep asking for hybrid power options. Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi) answers the call with their ET36A MultiVolt adapter.”

    The only limitation (aside from a cord) we see with the MultiVolt Adapter, it is not interchangeable with other Hitachi/Metabo HPT 18V cordless tools, whereas the 36V MultiVolt battery can be used with 18V cordless models.

     

    Metabo HPT MultiVolt System 36V circular saw

    MultiVolt Tools at Nail Gun Depot

    On the home front, we’re excited to be carrying the MultiVolt AC adapter, 36V/18V battery, the battery & rapid charger set, and tools including—the 7-1/4” Circular Saw (C3607DAQ4M) and the Reciprocating Saw (CR36DAQ4M).

    With the 36V reciprocating saw, you can expect a curved wood blade, 1-1/4” stroke length, slim profile and orbital action. A 4-stage selector on the saw ranges from 1,700 to 3,000 SPM (strokes per minute). The 36V Circular Saw comes with a 24T blade and blade wrench, and features fast braking, bevel adjustment, and a dust blower. Both saws are available from us with a battery and charger, and feature brushless  technology.

    What does a brushless motor add to the equation? It makes the tools ultra efficient, delivering more power, greater durability, and lessening maintenance issues.

    Will you invest in the new MultiVolt lineup—or stick to your (18V or corded) tools? Let us know in the comments.

     


     

    Shop Power Tools On Nail Gun Depot

    Shop Metabo HPT MultiVolt Tools & Accessories

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  • How Screws Are Measured

    Screws come in a variety of types and sizes for an endless number of construction tasks—from woodworking to metal roof installations. But, choose the wrong length or width, and it can split the wood, or affect the soundness of a structure. As with staples, screw measurement is slightly more complicated than that of nails. Here are three essential measurements every tradesperson should know.

    Screw measurement has three main points

    Screw Measurement, In Three Parts

    There are three main screw measurements: gauge, length, and threads per inch (TPI). When shopping for collated screws at Nail Gun Depot, for instance, you’ll find screws labeled like this: Duraspin #8 x 1-1/4" #08X125CBACTS. So, what do the #8 and 1-1/4" mean?

    Screw Gauge

    The first number is screw gauge, which refers to the outside thread diameter. This is also known as “major diameter.” Screws with a major diameter less than 1/4” are typically labeled in sizes #0 to #14. Screws with a 1/4" or larger major diameter are labeled in fractions of an inch.

    For each gauge size, there is a decimal equivalent. Example: #1 = .073”. That number increases by .013” with each increasing size. For the #8 Duraspin screw (shown below), the decimal equivalent is 0.164”. Engineering Toolbox has a handy screw size chart that lists screw gauges and their decimal equivalents.

    Beyond major diameter, screws have other width measurements. The width beneath the threaded part of the screw is known as root diameter or “minor diameter." The measurement of the unthreaded part of the screw (if not fully threaded) is the shank diameter.

    Durasping Screw, Screw #8 x 1-1/4", #2 Square, Round Washer, Type 17 #08X125CBACTS

    Screw Length

    The next important aspect of screw measurement is shaft length. In the Duraspin screw mentioned above, the length is the second detail in its label—1-1/4". Shaft length is the part of the screw that drives into a surface. 

    The length measurement for a countersinking screw is the distance from the top of the head to the tip. This goes for flat-head, bugle-head, trim-head—and any other countersinking screw where the head can be driven beneath a surface.

    For a non-countersinking screw, it's the distance from the bottom of the head to the tip. So for hex-, pan-, button-, round-, and truss-head screws, length is measured from directly under the head to the tip. One exception: an oval-head screw, which can be partially countersunk, is measured from the widest point of the head to the tip.

    Below is an example of two non-countersinking timber screws from Simpson Strong-Tie. The first screw has a washer head with a low profile. The second screw also has a washer head, but a more prominent hex drive. Note where the length is measured on each.

    SDWS Log screw (SDWS221500)vand a SHWH Timber Simpson Strong-Tie Hex screw (SDWH271500G).

    Threads Per Inch (TPI)

    TPI is a measurement of the number of threads in a one-inch section of screw. The TPI measurement occasionally follows the screw gauge with a hyphen. For example, a screw labeled "#10-12" has a #10 gauge with 12 threads per inch. You may have heard the term "thread pitch," which refers to the number of threads per unit of measurement.

    Check out the detailed measurements, below, for the Senco Duraspin 08X125CBACTS washer-head screw. The #8 gauge screw has a major diameter of 0.17" and 8 TPI. The screw is 1-1/4" long, a measurement taken from the bottom of the head to the point.

    Technical information for Senco Duraspin

    If you're shopping for collated screws and need help, contact Customer Service for assistance.


     

    Shop Collated Screws

    Senco Duraspin Collated Screws

    Quik Drive Collated Screws

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  • Metabo HPT's Revolutionary New MultiVolt System

    When a new tool hits the market, it rarely earns the title “game changer.” Well, the MultiVolt system from Metabo HPT lets you choose corded or cordless power—within the same tool—creating a whole new game entirely.

    The first of its kind, the revolutionary system even won the Pro Tool Innovation Award. Now available at Nail Gun Depot, the MultiVolt platform offers unheard-of flexibility, portability, and safety in using a tool in various work spaces. Metabo calls it, “The future of power tools,” an assertion that seems pretty on point.

    Metabo HPT System's 36 V Battery

    The MultiVolt Battery

    At the heart of the system is the 36V/18V battery (372121M), which powers any of the tools—from circular saws and slide grinders to rotary hammers and impact wrenches. The 2.1 lb. lithium-ion slide-type battery can also be used with 18V Hitachi and Metabo HPT tools. It’s backward-compatible, so the cordless Hitachi/Metabo HPT tools you already own aren’t suddenly obsolete.

    This innovative battery has a high-cell-capacity battery of 21700 cells, which is 46% greater than standard Li-Ion batteries. That amounts to 1440W, thoroughly increasing tool power and run time. When using the 36V tools, the battery delivers 4 amp-hours of run time; with the 18V tools, it delivers 18 amp-hours.

    Unlike with earlier Li-Ion batteries, a four-stage gauge on this one tells the percentage of battery life remaining. Purchase the battery alone or with a rapid charger (UC18YSL3B1), which powers up the battery in 52 minutes or less. Confident in its durability, Metabo HPT guarantees the 36V battery with a two-year warranty, and the charger one-year.

    The MultVolt Adapter for the new system from Metabo HPT

    The MultiVolt Adapter

    The system’s ET36A AC adapter is the muscle, and it’s got brains to boot. If you’re working without access to a power outlet or the battery is running low, simply insert the ET36A adapter. It slides into the tool just as the 36V battery. 

    The MultiVolt adapter produces a max of 2,000 watts, comparable to traditional 15-Amp AC tools. A 20-foot cord on the adapter can connect to extension cords and generators with little or no reduction in power, thanks to brushless technology, which we’ll touch on later.

    In describing the award-winning adapter, Pro Tool states, “As we see more corded tools fall to the wayside as cordless tools meet or exceed their power level, more Pros keep asking for hybrid power options. Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi) answers the call with their ET36A MultiVolt adapter.”

    The only limitation (aside from a cord) we see with the MultiVolt Adapter, it is not interchangeable with other Hitachi/Metabo HPT 18V cordless tools, whereas the 36V MultiVolt battery can be used with 18V cordless models.

     

    Metabo HPT MultiVolt System 36V circular saw

    MultiVolt Tools at Nail Gun Depot

    On the home front, we’re excited to be carrying the MultiVolt AC adapter, 36V/18V battery, the battery & rapid charger set, and tools including—the 7-1/4” Circular Saw (C3607DAQ4M) and the Reciprocating Saw (CR36DAQ4M).

    With the 36V reciprocating saw, you can expect a curved wood blade, 1-1/4” stroke length, slim profile and orbital action. A 4-stage selector on the saw ranges from 1,700 to 3,000 SPM (strokes per minute). The 36V Circular Saw comes with a 24T blade and blade wrench, and features fast braking, bevel adjustment, and a dust blower. Both saws are available from us with a battery and charger, and feature brushless  technology.

    What does a brushless motor add to the equation? It makes the tools ultra efficient, delivering more power, greater durability, and lessening maintenance issues.

    Will you invest in the new MultiVolt lineup—or stick to your (18V or corded) tools? Let us know in the comments.

     


     

    Shop Power Tools On Nail Gun Depot

    Shop Metabo HPT MultiVolt Tools & Accessories

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  • The First-Ever Grex Cordless Pin Nailer

    The most anticipated tool of the year goes to the 23-gauge Grex cordless pin nailer. See the Grex 23-Gauge GCP650 Cordless Pin Nailer here, before it hits store shelves later this month.

    When it arrives, regular pricing will be set around $438.

    Grex GCP650 23 Gauge Cordless Micro Pin Nailer

    More About the Grex GCP650

     

    For woodworkers, a 23-gauge headless pin nailer is THE tool to have. This micro-pinner operates at nearly the same muscle as its pneumatic counterpart, but with cord-free convenience. As you might expect, the nailer is compact and easy on the user at under 4 lbs, but here's the rubthe GCP650's motor capably drives 2" pin nails into solid oak or maple. It's the only cordless nailer in its class that can say that.

    Adapting to different wood densities and nail lengths is no problem, thanks to a power adjustment knob on the tool. A fine, narrow nose makes for precise fastening and a stepped magazine grants access to tight corners. The tool also has a built-in edge guide, so there's less stops to adjust. Considering you can get up to 50,000 shots per charge, that's quite a workout, but one this Grex cordless pin nailer can handle--hardened steel design, excellent balance and an auto-lockout features help extend tool life.

    The GCP650 is also flexible, operating in cold weather and at high-altitudes. Gas-powered operation not only makes the tool flexible, it's also easier on the wallet, costing less to own in the long-term than similar nailers. The 23-gauge micro-pinner runs on just  two AAA batteries and a fuel cell. So, you don't have to worry about outlets, compressors or regular maintenance.

    Bonus: GFC01 fuel cells don't expire and there's no fumes to contend with.

    The GCP650 headless pinner maintains its lightness thanks to "passive heat management." Other reasons to love it: a built-in edge guide, wide fastener window that reveals how many fasteners remain in the magazine, and the quietude factor, with no distracting fan noise. 

    Fast Facts:

    • Tool Weight: 3.75 lbs
    • Fuel Capacity: 1,300 shots/can
    • Battery Type: 2x AAA batteries
    • Battery Capacity: 50,000 shots
    • Max Cycle Rate: 60 shots/min.
    • Fastener Capacity: 100 pins (1 strip)

    Grex based the new GCP650 micro-pinner on their other high-performance tool, the 18-gauge cordless brad nailer (GC1850). Lightweight yet extremely capable, the 23-gauge cordless tool features an all-metal construction (minus the exterior housing) and is perfect for finish and trim work, light wood assembly, dowel and joint pinning, crafts, display and sign work, door and window casing, and cabinetry.

    Grex STAFDA Video with 23 gauge headless micropinner

    Watch a quick video of the Grex GCP650 23-Gauge Pinner from the 2018 STAFDA show.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • New Fastening Tools At STAFDA 2018!

    While at the STAFDA (Specialty Tool & Fastener) show in balmy Phoenix last week, we got a sneak peek at these sweet new cordless and pneumatic nailers. Check out Nail Gun Depot’s YouTube channel for quick-videos from the show, or read below to see the innovative new products coming from Metabo HPT, Grex, Cadex, Fasco, and other top brands in fastening.

    Fasco America shows off the F70G Cordless Joist Hanger Nailer

    Fasco’s Faster Joist Hanger Nailer

    Fasten metal plates without being “tied down” by air compressor hoses. Fasco’s F70G Cordless Hanger Nailer is fast and powerful, driving two to three nails per second, from 1-1/2” to 2-1/2” in length. Already available at Nail Gun Depot, the joist nailer has a positive placement nose, non-slip grip, and single-shot actuation. Use it for fastening joist hangers, stud plate ties and post bases.

    Fasco F70G Joist Nailer Video

    Grex's Cordless Micro-Pinner

    Certain to stir up interest, the new Grex GCP650 23-gauge cordless pin nailer conveniently runs on a propane cylinder and two AAA batteries. Based on the popularity of its 18 gauge sibling, the GC1850, this Grex 23 gauge cordless should be a hit when it arrives in December. Already trusted for the performance of their corded 23-gauge tools, the cordless micro pinner features durable components, all-metal construction (minus the outside housing) and shoots 2” pin nails.

    Grex 23-Gauge Cordless Pinner Video

    Grex 23 Gauge Cordless Micro Pinner

    Metabo HPT’s Slick A5 PRO Nailers

    Continuously innovating, the brand formerly known as Hitachi Power Tools adds sleek framing and finish nailers to their A5 PRO lineup. Check out the NP50A 23-Gauge Pin Nailer, the NT50A5 2” Brad Nailer, and the NR90AC5 3” Framing Nailer.

    Each nail gun features dry-fire lockout and depth adjust. The 2” brad nailer has an integrated air blower and a “true” dry-fire lockout that lets you use the last nail in the magazine before shutting off, unlike other nailers which cut out with a handful of nails left.

    Metabo HPT A5 PRO Nailers Video

    Metabo Hitachi shows off NT50A5 Pneumatic Nailer

    Cadex’s 7 For 2019

    Cadex has big plans for 2019. Taking the sturdy V3 tool as a foundation, the company, known for precision trim tools, has spawned five different models: two L-series cleat nailers (one with a rolling base), a 20-gauge cleat nailer for thin floorboards (such as bamboo), an 18-gauge cleat nailer, and a 16-gauge brad nailer.

    But wait, there's more! Cadex will also release two cordless nailers, a 16-gauge finish and 18-gauge brad nailer with built-in light, 4 amp battery and no-mar tip. Cadex plans to drop all of the new nailers in early 2019, so stay tuned.

    Cadex Nailer Video

    Cadex Cordless Nailer

    So, which of these new tool(s) are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments!

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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