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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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  • 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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  • The 2018 Holiday Tool Buying Guide

    Somehow, December's crept up and it's already time to grab a holiday deal for your favorite woodworker! If you've got a tool nut on your list, we've got you covered.

    NGD Christmas Guide

    You can find an affordable gift for the carpenter, flooring installer, upholsterer or all-around handyman in our holiday tool guide, below. Psst: Special sale prices—and stocking stuffers—are only around while supplies last.

    Now, without further delay, Nail Gun Depot’s 2018 Gift Guide...

    Under $150—Flooring Tool, Micro-Pinner, & Upholstery Stapler

    We love the Freeman PFBC940 Mini 4-in-1 Flooring Tool, not just because it doubles as nailer/stapler, but also because it's completely affordable. The versatile tool drives narrow-crown staples and brad nails from 5/8” to 1-5/8” in length. So you can switch from woodworking to flooring like a boss.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free 50’ air hose, complete with fittings.

    Grex tools' dependability and power are practically legendary. The robust P635 23-gauge headless nailer features an auto-adjust fastener mechanism and a rear-exhaust with silencer. Part of a special holiday gift set, this micro-pinner's industrial-grade, yet lightweight design, is suitable for craft projects, decorative trim, and light furniture assembly.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free edge guide, a $30 value.

    Powerful but lean at 1.7” wide and 2 lbs., the German-made. BeA 71/16-421 upholstery stapler drives 1/4" to 5/8" staples with gusto. Great for handling trim work, bedding, upholstery, and cabinetry, this dexterous little tool is reliable and reasonably priced.

    BeA 71 16-421 stapler

    $150 to $300—Fencing Staplers, Brad Nailer, & Tool Belt

    Freeman pneumatic staplers make installing (and repairing) fences more efficient, and easier on the user. The 10-1/2-gauge Freeman PFS105 fence stapler and 9-gauge PFS9 fence stapler feature ergonomic engineering, quick jam releases and top-loading magazines, not to mention they're relatively lightweight. The 9-gauge nailer includes an optional T-handle for greater control.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free 50” hose with fittings & special holiday price.

    For those who appreciate the quality and dependability of Hitachi/Metabo tools, the NT50A5 PRO 18-gauge brad nailer is a great choice for the carpenter. Ideal for crown molding, paneling, and window casing, it's powerful and versatile. The NT50A5 even has a thumb-actuated duster for easy cleanup.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free stainless steel insulated tumbler.

    Really, just take your pick of Occidental Leather's awesome gear. Their hand-crafted tool holders are made here in America, in Sonoma County, California. The leather is top-grain cowhide and reinforced with copper rivets. For the greatest flexibility, we suggest the OxyLight Adjust-to-Fit Belt, which has a high-mount hammer holder. 

    Occidental Leather Adjust-To-Fit Tool Belt

    $300 and Above—Finish and Framing Nailers, & Air Compressor

    Senco's Fusion series eliminates the need for fuel cells, potentially saving hundreds of dollars per year. The 16-gauge F-16S Finish Nailer features a fast-charging battery and nose-mounted LED light. This powerful straight nailer is perfect for molding, furniture and cabinet framing, and paneling. 

    For framing, the brawny Paslode CF325XP Cordless framing nailer offers impressive battery life and runs in temps as low as 14°F. For finishing, the Paslode IM250A-Li finish nailer has an angled magazine lets you navigate challenging areas. Each tool comes with a carrying case, battery, charger, and more.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free spare battery, plus two fuel cells. 

    Finally, we suggest the AIRSTAK Systainer compressor from RolAir. This compact cubical wonder is ideal for carpentry work that requires mobility and a quiet output (70 dB). The compressor rests in a Systainer case with pull-up handle, and has a removable cord that can be stored inside. The compressor weighs about 30 lbs and delivers 2CFM at 90 PSI.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free RolAir T-shirt and limited-time sale pricing on select models.

    Rolair AIRSTAK Systainer Compressor

    ~The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Cyber Weekend Alert! Our Hottest Deals of the Season

    Mark your calendars; Nail Gun Depot's Cyber Weekend starts November 23! That's when our biggest sales drop, so sink your nails into a few of the previews, below.

    For more specials, see the Cyber Weekend Catalog at Nail Gun DepotGet 'em before they're gone! Offers start November 23, 2018, and run through November 26, 2018 - while supplies last.

    Nail Gun Depot Cyber Weekend Sale

    A Deal a Day = One Excellent Weekend

    5% off NailGunDepot.com Site Wide

    A Hat You Won't Forget

    Cyber Weekend - Free Beanie with Framing Nailer

    Your Coffee's Coolest Keeper

    Free Insulated Tumbler with Any Metabo HPT/Hitachi purchase

    FREE Spares Are The Best Kind

    Free Battery with any Dewalt 20V Max Nailer/Stapler Kit

    Your Favorite Tunes—Even On a Roof

    Free Bluetoth speaker with a MAX framing or roofing nailer

    A Blade or a Hose... Can't Decide? Get Both!

    Blade & Hose Promo

    Winter is Coming.

    Free Cold Air Tool Oil With Senco Framing Nailer or Heavy-Wire Stapler

    To Err is Human, To Remove it is Divine

    Free Staple Remover with Purchase of BeA Upholstery Stapler

    Good Fence Staplers Make Great Fences
    Freeman Fence Stapler Deep Discount

     It's Like the LotteryBut With Tools

    Power Tool Giveaway for Nail Gun Depot Cyber Weekend Sale

    For more Cyber Weekend specials on Cadex, Grex, Makita, Metabo HPT/Hitachi, MAX, Paslode, Senco, and more, see Nail Gun Depot's Cyber Weekend page.

    Know someone else who likes a sweet deal? Share the cyber sale news on Facebook or Twitter!

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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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  • Prevent Burnout By Oiling An Air Nailer Or Stapler

    Considering how much they can cost, and how hard they work, air tools are really an investment. That’s why oiling an air nailer (or stapler) is so important. It ensures a return on your investment--and that wearable parts, like O-rings, aren't prematurely fried. It's also super easy to do.

    We've tackled a few "burning questions" about oiling an air nailer or stapler to keep them running for years to come.  

    OilingNailer2

    How often should I oil my tool?

    Daily. And if you’re working on an extended project, oil the tool before you start working and again mid-way through the day (after a lunch break, for instance). If the nailer's sat unused for a while, you definitely want to oil it before using it again.

    What kind of oil should I use?

    Only use lubricating oil made specifically for pneumatic tools, such as Senco Pneumatic Tool Oil or Paslode Lubricating OilOther oils lack the correct viscosity or contain ingredients that can destroy the seals, disintegrate O-rings, or may even cause combustion. Keep the WD40, compressor oil, motor oil, transmission fluid, etc. out of your air tools.

    Also, if you’re working in below-freezing conditions, you'll need a tool oil that's formulated for temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and contains anti-freeze. Try Paslode Cold Weather Tool Oil.

    What oil not to use on an air nailer

    How much oil do I need?

    All you need is 5-10 drops of oil. Drop the oil into the air inlet, the nozzle where your air hose attaches to the tool.

    What happens if I don’t use tool oil?

    The O-rings in the tool will dry up, causing the tool to malfunction. It will also cause unnecessary wear on its components, and potentially cause corrosion. To learn more about maintaining your nail gun, read our post on How to Avoid Destroying Your Pneumatic Nailer

    Pro Tips:

    • Make sure the air tool is OFF before adding oil.
    • Do not oil the tool's magazine, as this attracts dust and dirt. You definitely don’t want any debris stuck in the magazine, which can cause fastener jams.
    • Drain the air compressor at the end of each day. This keeps condensation from building up in the compressor, entering the tool, and then corroding it.

    Have questions? Just contact NGD's knowledgeable customer service.

     


     

    Shop Nail Gun Depot:

    Nail Guns

    Paslode Tool Oil & Accessories

    Staple Guns

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