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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.

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  • Everwin MCN40 Joist Hanger Nailer: Compact & Mighty

    We're excited to announce the arrival of the Everwin MCN40 Joist Hanger Nailer, launched exclusively through Nail Gun Depot! Conceived with innovation and convenience in mind, this metal connector nailer is noticeably compact. But don't let its small size fool you.

    Imagine a pneumatic joist nailer that weighs just 4.4 lbs and can tackle metal framing hardware with respectable power. The manufacturer is so confident in this tool's capability, Everwin calls the MCN40, a “construction nailer with an industrial tool’s core.”

    MCN40 Joist Hanger Nailer from Everwin

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  • Quick Tips For Fixing Framing Nailer Jams

    Nothing ties up work faster than a nail gun jam. It's a nuisance that can cut into your work, unnecessarily delaying projects. All nail guns will jam from time to time, no matter the brand, no matter the price. This applies equally to coil and stick framing guns. It's very easy, however, fixing framing nailer jams yourself.

    Read on to learn how to clear a fastener jam—and what causes a jam in the first place—so you can prevent them. Also, be sure to watch our helpful videos on the Nail Gun Depot YouTube Channel.

    Using a Hitachi NR83A5(S). This worker surely knows how to fix a framing nailer jam

    Clear An Impulse Framing Nailer Jam (also works for paper tape nail guns)

    One of our most popular tools is the Paslode CF325XP Cordless Framing Nailer, originally the Paslode Impulse framing gun. Because it is such a common tool, we get a lot of calls asking how to fix fastener jams. Well, it’s simple to do it yourself, whether on this or another brand of paper strip framing nailer. 

    Learn how to fix a framing nailer jam in a Paslode XP Cordless Framing Nailer

    1. Disconnect the power supply. For a cordless nailer, remove the battery and fuel cell. For a pneumatic nailer, disconnect the air hose.

    2. Remove the fasteners. You don’t want any flying out when you remove the stuck nail from the magazine.

    3. Using an Allen wrench, loosen the two screws underneath the depth adjustment.

    4. Using a screwdriver, gently separate the magazine assembly from the nose assembly. You’ll notice the driver blade is stuck with the offending nail behind it.

    5. Using the screwdriver again, push the driver blade down. If there’s a really tight jam, tap the driver blade down with a nail set. Pushing the driver blade down should help clear out the jam.

    6. Tighten the Allen screws back up, and you're ready to go.

    What Caused the Jam:

    Tape Collation Fail: The fasteners have been mishandled, or the paper tape has gotten wet. Nails will no longer line up properly.

    Slamming the Follower: This can also throw off the nail collation. Use enough force to close the follower, but don’t slam it shut.

    Incorrect Loading: Nails have been put into the magazine backward.

    Wrong Fastener Collation: If the nailer calls for a 34-degree paper collated nail strip, for instance, don’t try to use a 28-degree wire collated nail strip. Use the angle and collation directed by the tool manufacturer.

    Learn how to fix a framing nailer jam in a Metabo HPT/Hitachi NV83A5 Coil Framing Nailer

    Clear a Coil Nailer Jam

    Another fan-favorite framing nail gun is the Metabo HPT NV83A5 Coil Framing Nailer, previously known as Hitachi brand. Here's how easy it is fixing framing nailer jams in your coil nail gun.

    1. Disconnect the air supply.

    2. Remove the fasteners.

    3. Push the driver blade down by tapping it with a nail set and a hammer. If you’ve got an old driver blade on hand, you can also use that to push the current driver blade down.

    4. Make sure the driver blade is all the way down and remove the stuck fastener completely from the nose of the tool.

    5. Reload nails and reattach air supply.

    What Caused the Jam:

    Lack of Adequate Oil: The air cylinder in the nose needs plenty of oil to function properly. Too little oil, and the nails will be slow to feed, causing a jam. Pro Tip: For coil nailers, use 10-15 drops of oil before nailing.

    Misshapen Coil: A coil has to be round to feed properly. If the roll has become misshapen from being dropped or squeezed, you can try to re-form it. In some cases though, you just have to start over with a new coil.

    Wrong Fastener Type: Be sure the nail's shank diameter and collation match the tool's specified usage. Otherwise, the nails will not fit or feed properly in the tool. This is why many manufacturers have a coil nailer specifically designed for use with roofing nails, versus siding nails, versus framing nails.

     


     

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  • 6 Critical FAQs Before Installing Hardwood Flooring

    Nothing beats the ambiance and timelessness of wood floors. Hardwood flooring can last a hundred years or more, adding beauty and value to your home. Installing hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can be a daunting process if you aren't familiar with the following frequently asked questions.

    Installing Hardwood Flooring is a Perfectly Sound Investment

    Q. What’s the difference between hardwood and engineered wood flooring?

    Hardwood flooring is made of solid wood. Walnut, cherry, pine, birch, ash, are common varieties of hardwood flooring. Bamboo (actually a grass and not a wood) is another popular flooring choice these days. Engineered wood, often used interchangeably with hardwood flooring, is actually made of layers of wood with a veneer of real wood. It offers the look of solid wood, but with greater versatility.

    Solid hardwood flooring typically comes in 3/4” thick boards, while engineered wood boards are usually 3/8" or 1/2" thick. Hardwood boards are typically narrower than engineered wood planks to better adapt to moisture fluctuation.

    Deciding whether to invest in solid or engineered hardwood flooring depends upon your needs and environment. Solid hardwood flooring is known for its endurance and the fact that it can be refinished many times. It's also more expensive than engineered wood flooring, which is more stable and moisture resistant. If a section of engineered flooring gets damaged, however, it usually has to be replaced, as the engineered wood flooring cannot be re-sanded or refinished as many times (If at all) as solid hardwood.

    Q. Can I install hardwood flooring on concrete?

    Yes. But there are certain requirements to ensure that moisture doesn’t reach the hardwood. The concrete floor for solid hardwood should be at-grade or above-grade (at or above ground-level). For basements, most flooring manufacturers recommend using engineered wood. Furthermore, the concrete also has to be completely dry - even before installing a subfloor. Carpeting, paint and other materials must be removed as well, and you may need a concrete grinder to prep first.

    After new concrete is laid, it can take more than a month for the moisture to evaporate from concrete, and moisture levels must be tested prior to installation. Before laying hardwood flooring over concrete, you’ll need a moisture barrier between the two surfaces. For solid hardwood over concrete, it’s recommended to use a wood subfloor, which can raise the overall floor level. Something to consider, as clearance for doorways and other items may change.

    Hardwood flooring installation with the Bostitch BTFP12569 2 in 1 Flooring Tool

    Q. What Tools Do I Need When Installing Hardwood Flooring?

    If you are installing pre-finished hardwood flooring, you’ll need a flooring stapler or nailer. The choice depends on personal preference. See our article on the Difference between a Flooring Nailer and Flooring Stapler, for more info. Freeman, Bostitch and Powernail are reliable brands for flooring tools; our most popular tool is the Freeman PF18GLCN nailer.

    Decide whether you want a manual flooring nailer or pneumatic flooring tool. If you have a large installation project, choose the pneumatic tool. While more expensive, it will make the job faster and save you fatigue. You may also want to invest in a rolling flooring accessory that will also make the process easier, with less lifting each time you fasten.

    Other tools need you’ll also need: a hammer, miter or table saw, and a pry bar for removing molding. For installing unfinished wood, you’ll need a sander, vacuum, and other finishing tools.

    Q. What Hardwood Flooring Fasteners Will I Need?

    As for wood flooring fasteners, you'll use nails or staples. Staples are generally a cheaper choice of fastener, but 16-, 18-, or 20-gauge flooring nails or “cleats” are the choice of pros. They allow for wood flooring expansion and contraction, also providing great holding power. Whichever fastener you choose when installing hardwood flooring, you'll need to use that fastener throughout the entire installation.

    The fastener you choose may also depend the wood and subflooring material needed, and the recommendations of the flooring manufacturer. Per Flooring.org, the National Wood Flooring Association, states that for solid hardwood boards, nails or staples should be spaced between eight and ten inches apart, and for engineered wood boards, between four and eight inches. PowerNail has a handy Room Square Foot and Cleat Coverage Calculator.

    Q. How much wood do I need to install a floor?

    Hardwood flooring is sold in cartons. To determine how much wood is needed, first find out the square footage of space for your project. Before installing hardwood flooring, measure the room’s length and width, then multiply the two to get the total square footage. For an unusually shaped room, measure odd areas separately. It’s helpful to divide the areas into rectangles, add the measurements together and then multiply to get square footage. Don’t forget to include closet space.

    It’s advisable to add 5-10% to cover the “waste factor,” wood that will end up being unusable. If you’re completing more than one room, total the total square footage and then add 5-10% for waste cost.

    Installing hardwood flooring is a solid investment in any home

    Q. How much does installing hardwood flooring cost?

    This depends on a lot of factors—starting with the type of wood for your floor. For a rough idea on the cost to install hardwood flooring, Home Advisor states that the average homeowner will spend $4,396 to install a wood floor. On the lower end of the spectrum, softer woods such as pine can range from $3 to $6 per square foot, while more resilient and exotic wood varieties can cost $8 to $10 per square foot. In the middle lies common wood species, such as oak.

    Unless you’re planning a DIY project, add into that estimate the cost of labor, which will run from $3 to $8 per square foot. If you need to have furniture moved or carpeting removed, this will cost extra, so budget that into your costs.

    (For more on installation, see our article How to Install Hardwood Floors.)


     

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    Flooring Fasteners

    Pneumatic Flooring Nailers

    Manual Flooring Nailers

    Flooring Staplers

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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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  • 6 Tips: Preserving Tool Battery Power in Cold Weather

    Cordless tools are more common than ever these days, and what’s more, they keep improving as manufacturers continue to innovate. You’ve probably noticed that Lithium-Ion battery power has surpassed NiCad (nickel-cadmium) and NiMH (nickel metal hydride) in cordless tools—and nearly everything else we use. But in cold weather, Li-Ion batteries seem to lose steam. We'll help you preserve power in your cordless tool battery with 6 easy tips.

    Dewalt DCN693M1Li-Ion Cordless Metal Connector Nailer at Nail Gun Depot

    Benefits of Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Lithium-ion batteries have many benefits over their predecessors; they store a larger amount of electricity, have a lower rate of self-discharge, and are more compact/weigh less than other rechargeable batteries. These cordless tool batteries aren’t delicate flowers, but they do have more basic requirements for maintaining optimal performance. You may have noticed, for instance, that your Li-Ion-powered tool is a little less forgiving in colder weather.

    Batteries are a collection of chemicals and other materials assembled to create a reaction that will then power your tool. And chemicals inside of them can be impacted by extreme situational changes. On the plus side, if you can call it that, Li-Ion is more stressed by extreme heat than extreme cold. Protection circuitry mainly prevents over-heating. but It's up to you to prevent over-cooling.

    Here’s a fact: When the temp dips below 40°F, Li-Ion batteries don’t fully hold a charge. And trying to charge them at that temperature can permanently affect run-time. So, what to do?

    Preserving battery power, as in a Senco Lithium Ion 18 V Battery

    How to Preserve a Li-Ion Tool Battery in Cold Weather:

    1. Store (and charge) batteries within the temperature range recommended by the tool manufacturer. While you can discharge a tool battery in extreme cold, charging it in freezing temps (32°F or colder) is a no-no. You may not see the damage, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening inside the battery.

    2. If a Li-Ion battery has fallen below 40°F, place it in a room-temperature area for an hour or two and let it warm up. What is room temperature? About 72°F, give or take a few digits.

    3. Optimal temps aren’t always available job sites. When not using the Li-Ion tool battery in cold weather, remove it and place in a pants pocket to transfer some body heat to the battery. Another option is to use a gel warmer in the tool bag while it’s in the work car/truck.

    4. Don’t let a Li-Ion battery completely discharge before re-charging it. Unlike older battery types, Li-Ion doesn’t need to be completely drained/re-charged. Li-Ion batteries suffer from little to no “memory effect,” or low-charge capacity when continually charged from a partially charged state.

    5. Once you start to feel power lagging, swap out the battery with a spare and recharge the first one. Having a few spare batteries on hand will keep you powered up. Yes, you should have a spare battery. And yes, we sell those at Nail Gun Depot.

    6. When it’s time to store the battery for an extended period, leave 40% to 50% life in it. This helps keep it stable and keeps the circuit protection operational. Store the battery in a cool (40°F to 60°F), dry area on a plastic or wood (not metal) shelf. 


     

    Shop Cordless Tools

    cordless nailerscordless staplers and accessories, and cordless screw guns

    Shop Batteries

    Metabo HPT (Hitachi) batteries, Dewalt batteries, Senco batteries, and Bostitch batteries

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