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Specialty Tools & Apps
Specialty Tools & Apps
  • 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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  • 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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  • 10 Tips For Air Tool Safety

    Almost everyone who works in construction has a horror story that involves a power tool. You may have read our January 2014 blog post about a carpenter who accidentally fired a framing nail into his heart. Luckily, he survived the incident, but not without becoming a cautionary tale in Vice magazine.

    According to OSHA, nail gun accidents alone account for tens of thousands of serious injuries each year, and they account for more construction-related injuries than any other power tool. And those are only the reported ones.

    Just because you’re working on a weekend project, or using a lightweight power tool, doesn’t reduce the risk for injury.

    Nail Gun Safety

    Before You Pull the Trigger

    What are the best ways to prevent air tool accidents? Job one is to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. In fact, you should do so before even firing the tool, which we admit is hard to do when a brand new air gun is burning a hole in your tool bag.

    You’ll notice the larger part of a tool’s manual is comprised of warnings; exclamation points in rounded triangles, circles with diagonal slashes through them and occasionally curious illustrations. You’ll see “no horseplay” a lot in user manuals. The warnings are easy to gloss over, but heed them. A power tool mishap can simply ruin your day, or it can shorten your career. Before becoming a statistic, familiarize yourself with the following safety tips.

    Senco Safety

    10 safety tips to follow when using an air tool:

    1. Read the manual.
    2. Wear protective gear, including safety glasses, shoes, gloves, hard hat, face shield, ear plugs, and whatever else the task requires.
    3. Use the right fasteners for the tool. This can prevent damage to the tool as well as accidents down the line.
    4. Maintain your tool, hoses, and compressor. Occasionally inspect tools for damage, replace worn parts and use air tool oil, if need be. RolAir has some great tips for maintaining an air compressor.
    5. Store tools in a dry place and clear off any debris after using. Moisture, dust and fumes can damage tools. Read our blog on How To Avoid Destroying Your Pneumatic Nailer for more information.
    6. Keep a clean work area to avoid tripping and combustion. NEVER blast away debris from a workspace or from skin using a compressor. It can propel metal particles, fragments or chips. Air driven under the skin can cause an embolism. If you clean an object with a compressor, OSHA has specific regulations for protective gear, chip guarding and air pressure (below 30 PSI).
    7. Always use the correct air pressure required for the tool. Check the user manual for guidelines, or learn more about PSI here.
    8. Opt for Sequential over Contact fire. Reserve rapid bump firing for high-volume, high-speed applications. See our video on safe trigger use. Also, respect the rebound. After driving a fastener, allow the tool to recover before for making contact with the surface again.
    9. Keep your finger OFF the trigger until you’re ready to drive a fastener. Always refrain from pointing a tool at anyone.
    10. Turn your tools off when not in use. That includes air nailers, staple guns, air compressors, etc.

    Construction Safety

    Besides ensuring your tool is in working condition, make sure you are, too. Don’t overreach, and avoid alcohol or other substances that can cloud judgment or impair movement. Want to see more? Our friends at Senco have even more great safety tips for using power tools.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • MAX TwinTier: A New Era in Rebar Tying

    Rebar, or reinforcing bar, is the backbone of concrete work. While concrete is strong in some ways (compression strength), it’s weak in others (tensile strength). In simpler terms, it means concrete can stand to be pushed more than it can to be pulled.

    That’s where steel rebar comes in. Steel has a high tensile strength and is added to concrete structures to give the needed strength to support buildings, roads, retaining walls and the like. Before concrete is poured and set, steelworkers lay the rebar according to specified building and construction codes.

    Rebar comes in a range of coatings and gauges, depending upon application. The rods must be connected by corresponding ties, a tedious yet important process, to keep the rebar from moving while the concrete is poured.

    Max Rebar Tool and Rodbuster at Work

    From Manual to Power Tiers

    To save costs, materials and manpower, it was only a matter of time before a powered rebar tying tool was created. Tying rebar is tough on the body, mainly the wrist, shoulder and back. For a rodman, or rodbuster, repeatedly twisting metal wire can be permanently damaging over the long-term. A NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) study in 2005 revealed the potential health hazards and suggestions for making a safer work environment. If a worker is tying rebar for more than an hour per day, NIOSH recommends providing a cordless tying tool and a tying tool extension arm.

    Purchasing a cordless rebar tier is truly an investment. Looking for a strong lithium ion battery that holds a decent charge is key, as is a balanced tool that prevents fatigue and potential injury. Before you buy, make sure the tier is not only fast, but makes a strong, secure tie.

    The MAX Effect

    Without a doubt, one of the most familiar names in rebar tying tools is MAX USA Corp. They’ve been perfecting power tools for more than 20 years. MAX created the first battery-powered rebar tying tool, the RB262 (which used a nickel cadmium battery) in 1993. In 1998, power tiers became available to the American market, and the rest was history.

    Progression Max Rebar Tying Tool

    Currently, the cordless MAX RB398 is among the most popular tiers at Nail Gun Depot. Weighing a mere 5 lbs. and delivering more than 2,500 ties per battery charge—that’s 5x faster than manual tying—the RB398 can hold its own. Plus, it eliminates the need to disperse and cut rebar wire, saving on materials waste.

    But just when you thought they were done, MAX once again improves on their already bullet proof design.

    Dual Wire, Dual Savings

    New to the market for 2018, the MAX RB441T TwinTier offers an incredible output of 4,000 ties per battery charge. That’s a 200% increase from the previous models. The TwinTier also creates a highly secure connection thanks to a dual-wire feeding system, which dispenses two 19-gauge wires at once to form a tie. The tie is 50% tighter to boot.

    Max Rebar Tier with Extension Arm

    Like most rebar tiers, the RB441T comes in three tie wire options: regular or annealed steel, the most commonly used; galvanized with a zinc coating, which adds 40 times more corrosion resistance and is used for moist or marine environments; and polyester-coated wire, which is abrasion-resistant and at least 70 times more corrosion-resistant than annealed steel. The tie wire rolls are changed out in about half a second, an improvement compared to previous models.

    Due to the TwinTier’s patent-pending wire bending mechanism, the tie it creates has a 50% shorter height than the projecting “rabbit ears” produced by older cordless models. What does this mean to the concrete construction job overall? It means less concrete is needed to cover the tie, which further saves on materials. Check out this video from MAX, taking a closer look at the new RB441T. Hear what professionals in the field have to say.

    Max RB441T TwinTier

    Not only does the rebar tying tool save on materials and time, but labor. Fewer tiers are required per job, and an ironworker doesn't need the advanced tying skills and speed of years past. The tedious, wrist-twisting work is done for you - no strings attached.

    Need more? Ask one of our skilled customer service specialists about MAX USA rebar tiers and tie wire.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Paslode HardieNails: No Studs Required

    Will a new siding fastener transform fiber cement siding installation?

    In partnership with Paslode, James Hardie Building Products created HardieNails, a patented 1-1/8” long fastener that attaches siding without the need to hit a stud. The manufacturers have designed a nail that’s shorter but stronger, so it doesn’t need to be driven as deeply.

    So, how does it work?

    HardieNails Studless Siding Fasteners from Paslode and JamesHardie

    Continue reading

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  • Installing Subfloors: Nails vs. Screws

    Can’t decide whether to use nails or screws to install subflooring? Choosing the right subfloor fasteners can make all the difference in the quality and value of your installation. Before making a decision, consider the following key points:

    Which is faster?

    When time is of the essence, nailing is the quickest fastening option when installing subfloor. Regardless of firing mode, an air nailer lets you drive nails within seconds of each other, which saves time compared to using a screw gun. Screws need to be twisted into the subfloor, which takes more time than simply shooting a nail into subfloor material.

    SN902XP_SUB-FLOOR

    However, some screw guns, like the Senco DuraSpin DS440-AC, are auto-fed. A collated strip of screws in this case makes screwing subfloors a little faster, although it’s not as swift as nailing.

    Which is more economical?

    If you’re on a tight budget, nails are the more economical solution. But, not all nails are created equal. Stainless steel nails, for instance, offer a higher quality, but are pricier. Overall, screws tend to be somewhat more expensive, but like nails, some offer better quality for a higher price.

    With that said, it’s imperative you choose a fastener compatible with your subfloor thickness and material. The quality and correct type of subfloor fastener can literally make or break your floor. The better the quality now, the longer your floor will last later – not to mention the sturdier it will be.

    Which has better holding power?

    As far as nails go, ring shank nails are a popular choice for subflooring. A ring shank has extra grip and holding power, compared to other shank types, and creates a tighter subfloor. Although ring shank nails have a good hold, screws have more overall holding power by comparison. With a larger thread gripping a bigger surface area around them, screws hold your subfloor very tightly – allowing no wiggle room for shifting or loosening.

    Paslode TetraGrip Installation

    Several nail manufacturers, such as Senco and Paslode, have released their own proprietary solutions to improve the holding strength of a subfloor nail. Senco's Whisper Grip subfloor fasteners feature lower rings designed to fully engage and grip the joist or studs, while upper rings ensure the nail remains countersunk - even if the joist or studs are missed. Paslode's TetraGRIP Subfloor Fastener takes it a step further, with a barbed thread design that when driven into wood, bonds with the fibers without destroying the wood. Paslode describes it as “rotation without destruction.”

    Which is more durable?

    Consider the heating and cooling of floors during the summer and winter months. Subfloors, like any other material, will expand and contract with temperature. This means that movement, even at a micro level, will occur. The smaller thread on a ring shank, compared to the larger screw thread, doesn’t provide as much grip as the larger one does. This means that the ring shank nail acquires less stress, but can essentially “move with the floor” more so than a screw can.

    By comparison, the screw has much better holding power, and can therefore contribute to an overall tighter subfloor. However, when the subfloor expands and contracts with temperature, or even house movements, the screw can’t move with the shift. This builds stress in the screw, which can cause the screw head to shear off in extreme circumstances. Likewise, if a screw is not driven flush, is over driven, or the wrong size screw is used, the screw head as an increased chance of breaking.

    Which fastener prevents floor squeaks?

    The fastener you choose will certainly play a part in whether your floor squeaks or not. Nails have greater potential for causing squeaking floors, due to their temperature flexibility. Movement between the subfloor and nail (even a ring shank) inevitably causes the two to become loosened over time, which creates floor squeaking – particularly in high-traffic areas.

    Screws, if driven properly, prevent creaking floors. A screw firmly holds the subfloor in place, which ensures a squeak-less floor for years to come.

    Quik Drive Subfloor Installation

    Are there any alternative options?

    Perhaps a happy medium in the subfloor nail versus screw debate, SubLoc Pro Scrail Fasteners offer a hybrid between the traditional nail and screw. Combining the versatility of a nail with the hold strength of a screw, they can be used with most framing nailers – meaning these subfloor fasteners can be driven much faster than screws. Like a screw though, Scrail Fasteners can be adjusted and removed after placement.

    With aggressive threading along the whole shank, Scrails have exceptional holding power, ensuring the subflooring remains tight. Scrails also have a diamond coating, which provides extra grip once installed into the subfloor material. This improved holding strength means floor squeaks are virtually non-existent.

    For any subflooring project, always consult your local fastening schedule, and find out what fastener length is appropriate for your subfloor. Nail Gun Depot offers nails, screws and Scrails, as well as specifications for all of our subfloor fasteners.

     


     

    Shop Nail Gun Depot:

    Fasco Scrails

    SubLoc Pro Scrails

    Senco Whisper Grip Nails

    TetraGRIP Subfloor Fasteners

     

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