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Nails, Staples & Screws
Nails, Staples & Screws
  • 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.

     


     

    Shop Nail Gun Depot:

    Framing Nailers

    Framing Gun Nails

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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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  • 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.)


     

    Shop Nail Gun Depot:

    Flooring Fasteners

    Pneumatic Flooring Nailers

    Manual Flooring Nailers

    Flooring Staplers

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  • Within Reach: The Quik Stik Rafter and Truss Fastening System

    For contractors who fasten rafter and truss-to-top plate connections, falling is a potential safety hazard. The Quik Stik Rafter and Truss Fastening System from Simpson Strong-Tie resolves some of issues associated with overhead fastening, making it safer and simpler to get the job done without the need for a ladder.

    The Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Stick Rafter and Truss Fastening System Being Put to Use

    How Does the Quik Stik Work?

    The Quik Stik System is a screw driving extension tool that attaches to a drill or driver with a minimum 1,200 RPM−including cordless screw drivers. To use the tool, insert the Quik Stik’s hex-drive shaft into the drill or driver motor’s chuck. Then push down on the head of the tool to expose the magnetic bit holder, and insert the T30 driver bit until it clicks. Ensure everything’s properly connected by doing an installation motion, sliding the drive shaft though the guide sleeve while running the motor. When you're all set, insert the compatible Strong-Drive SDWC truss screw into the head and you’re ready to go. 

    Like many of the screw driving systems from Simpson Strong-Tie, the Quik Stik makes the fastening process considerably faster and more convenient. With this particular innovation, Simpson Strong-Tie asserts the Quik Stik is essentially "eliminating the need for ladders, power nailers and compressor lines.” It's certainly a step up for those who do a lot of overhead fastening.

    The rafter and truss fastening system has been evaluated and approved for five different types of installations: offset from stud (underside of top-plate, bottom edge of top-plate), wide face of stud, narrow face of stud, and front corner of stud (compound angle). Click here to see more specifics about Quik Stik approved installations.

    Safety Improvements with the Tool

    One of the most obvious issues with rafter and truss applications is the reach factor. You’ll likely need a ladder to fasten those connections, and with that comes with risk of falling. This tool provides a minimum of 43” extension for screw driving, so for most wall heights, you can forgo the ladder. If you use a cordless screw driver with the Quik Stik, you don't have the hassle of a cord, giving you greater freedom and mobility.

    Another benefit of the tool is that, since you can work from the interior of a structure, you won’t have to lug a ladder outdoors—or have to contend as much with the elements. So there's less potential for slipping, tripping and dropping.

    Also, you don’t have the heft of a pneumatic tool, thanks to the extension tool’s weight. Not including the motor you choose, the tool weighs about 6 lbs. This means less strain from lifting a tool overhead, which could lead to inaccuracies in fastener placement. The Quik Stik has a comfortable, rubberized grip; it’s really a well thought-out solution for driving screws overhead.

    Special features onthe Quik Stik

    Unique Features on the Quik Stik

    You’ll notice the special positioning prongs on the head of the tool, which is over-molded with nylon. The prongs help securely grip the top plate while driving screws. The manufacturer has also included a bubble level that can be positioned along the handle or tool's head. The level may be angled, and even removed.

    On the head of the tool, there are bright-orange guidelines to help direct the screw to the optimal angle for truss and top-plate to rafter connections. An orange centerline guide on the Quik Stik's head is useful for locating 90-degree angles in vertical connections. Rocker arms on the head let you adjust for precision fastening.

    When you pull back on the tool's head, this exposes the screw, letting you see exactly where you're going and preventing mis-installation. And, should you need to remove a screw, set the driver motor to reverse and just unscrew the fastener.

    The Strong-Drive SDWC Screw, Compatible with the Quik Stik

    Quik Stik's Compatible Fastener

    As mentioned, the Quik Stik drives the specially designed Strong-Drive SDWC truss screw. The 6” screw is fully threaded, engaging the entire length of the fastener. A cap-head on the screw allows it to be countersunk into double top plates. The SDWC screw also has a type-17 point for easier starting and driving.

    The screws are code-listed under IAPMO –UES ER-262 and are tested in accordance with ICC-ES AC233 and AC13 for wall assembly and roof-to-wall assembly. With a bright-orange coating, the truss screw is easily visible and has a wide “tolerance” on angle installations, making it easy to install in a variety of positions.

    Those familiar with the Quik Drive auto-feed systems from Simpson Strong-Tie will be curious about fastener collation. The Quik Stik system drives one screw at a time, so you won't be able to use collated screws. But who knows; perhaps Simpson Strong-Tie has already considered a solution for that, too.

    Quik Stik Fast Facts

    • Applications: Rafter Assembly/Truss-to-Top-Plate Connections
    • Approved Installations: Offset from stud (Underside of Top-plate, Bottom edge of top-plate), Wide face of stud, Narrow face of stud, Front corner of stud (compound angle)
    • Fasteners: Strong-Drive SDWC Truss Screws
    • Screw Driver/Drill Motor: 1,200 RPM or Greater
    • Driver Bit: T30 6-Lobe
    • Attachment Weight: 6 lbs.
    • Driver Bit Included: Yes

    Are you ready to reach higher with the Quik Stik Rafter and Truss Fastening System? We’re certainly up to the task.


     

    Shop Nail Gun Depot:

    Quik Stik Rafter and Truss Fastening System

    Strong-Drive SDWC Truss Screws

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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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