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Demos & Comparisons
Demos & Comparisons
  • Driving A Fine Point: 3 Micro-Pin Nailers Compared

    The micro-pin nailer reigns supreme, as tool of choice for trim carpenters, finish woodworkers, and anyone else who works on cabinets, finish and trim, picture frames, and light furniture assembly. While these tasks don't require a lot of holding power, they do require a nail that leaves virtually no footprint and won't split wood. So, which 23 gauge pin nailer do you choose?

    Using a micro-pin nailer for trim work

    To help in the decision making process, we’re comparing the Metabo HPT NP50A, Cadex V2/23.55A, and Grex P650. Each of these micro pinners drive a 23-gauge headless pin nail of 2" or more in length. While the tools naturally share some features, it's really about the details—and which can best suit your particular needs. Continue reading

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  • Degrees of Difference: Framing Nail Gun Angles

    Clipped head, wire coil, plastic strip. Framing nail guns come in a wide range of types and collations. Ever wonder what's the deal with all the framing nailer angles? Never fear. From 15-degree to 34-degree nailers, we've got the angle on framing guns.

    The first thing to know is that the angle degree refers to the nail collation, not the slant that the nail is driven. Nails are driven straight or perpendicularly into a surface. The second thing you should know is that the framing nailer degree you need may depend on the geographic location of your project. More on that later. 

    Hitachi NV83A5

    15-Degree Framing Nailers

    There are two main kinds of framing nailer—stick and coil collation. All framing nailers in the 15-degree group are wire-coil collated. This means that their nails are held together by two thin wire strips and slanted at a 15-degree angle. The nails themselves have a fully round head and the collation is circular in shape. More often than not, the full-round-head nail that these nailers drive is the preferred head shape for building code.

    Continue reading

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  • Fasten-Ating Facts: Understanding Nail Shank Types

    Often a make-or-break factor in roofing, pallet assembly or framing projects, nail shank type plays a critical role in U.S. building code. Using the wrong shank can leave you with a damaged roof, squeaky subfloor, or worse. The following are the most common gun nail shank types found in construction. Learn which is best for your job—and why.

    Choose from various nail shanks for construction applications

    Smooth Shank Nails

    Let’s start with the most common nail shank type. Smooth shank nails have no threading and are the easiest to drive. This also makes them the fastest type of nail to drive. Depending on strength and makeup, they can be driven into nearly any surface, and are suitable for a wide range of everyday construction applications—from framing to finishing.

    Pro Tip: Consult with building codes and material manufacturer guidelines before starting a project, to determine if you need to use a certain kind of nail or other fastener. You can also check with the International Code Council (ICC) construction-related specifications. 

    As you might imagine, smooth nails are the easiest shank type to produce, and thus, among the most affordable. What smooth shank nails offer in versatility, however, they lack in optimal holding ability. So you wouldn’t use them for jobs like roofing, where greater pull-through or withdrawal resistance is needed.

    Applications: Framing, Siding, Trim and Finishing, General Woodworking

    From Simpson Strong-Tie, a Smooth Nail Shank

    Ring Shank Nails

    Ring shank nails have annular (ring-shaped) threads on them that prevent them from being removed as easily as smooth shank nails. When driven, the thread creates a “locking” effect with wood fibers, which gives it greater resistance from withdrawal.

    The ICC considers this and other nail shank thread types as "deformations." According to the International Staple, Nail and Tool Association (ISANTA), "The most common method to make a "deformed" shank is to start with smooth round wire that has been drawn down to the nominal diameter of the finished nail. During the manufacturing process, special machinery rolls and compresses the steel to "deform" the smooth shank into the desired shape:  ring, screw, etc."

    So in other words, the term "deformation" is not a negative one. It simply describes the fact that threaded shank nails differ from smooth shank nails, which have what’s considered a "regular" formation.

    If you’re driving nails into a material where expansion and contraction is an issue (such as with subfloors, or where fasteners are exposed to the changing elements), you’ll want ring shank nails. Ring shank nails are great for surfaces exposed to high winds that might pull out a common nail. They’re ideally suited for softer woods that might otherwise split when nailed.

    Applications: Siding, Roof Decking, Asphalt Shingles, Underlayment, Subfloors (See Installing Subfloors: Nails Vs. Screws.) 

    Another example of nail shanks, the ring shank nail

    Screw Shank Nails

    Screw shank nails combine the benefits of a nail with those of a screw. You get the ease of drive that a nail offers, and approximately the same holding power as that of a screw. The thread forces the nail to turn as it’s driven, essentially forging its own thread in the wood. As with ring shank nails, the threads create a locking effect that makes the nail more difficult to remove.

    This type of nail takes more force to drive than both smooth and ring shank nails, but provides greater pull-through resistance than either. While ring nails are more suitable for softer wood species, screw shank nails are ideal for hardwoods. A longer, more complex manufacturing process (and increased holding power) means that screw shank nails are generally more expensive than smooth and ring shank nails too.

    Applications: Decking, Flooring, Pallet Assembly, Siding, Fencing, Framing, Sheathing

    Simpson Strong Tie Nails With Screw Shanks

    Helical & Other Nail Shanks

    Specifically designed for use with hard yet brittle materials, such as concrete or brick, masonry nails are hardened to prevent bending or breaking when they’re driven. Rather than a threading, as with ring and screw shank nails, fluted shank nails feature linear grooves that allow them to be easily driven without breaking apart the concrete. You may also see the term helical nails, which are also used for concrete and steel. 

    Applications: Furring, Floor Plates, Drywall Track To Concrete, Steel Beams

    There are other specialty types of nail shank, such as barbed shank, helical threaded shank, stepped-shank, knurled shank, and others—each designed for specialized applications. To further sharpen your nail knowledge, read more about nail components.

     


     

    Shop Nail Gun Depot:

    All Collated Gun Nails

    Coil Framing Nails

    Plastic Strip Framing Nails

    Paper Stick Framing Nails

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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.


     

    Shop Cordless Nail Guns at Nail Gun Depot

     

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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 36V AC Adapter for the Metabo MultiVolt System

    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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