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Re: [Shop-talk] Inexpensive framing nailer/compressor

To: Jim Stone <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Inexpensive framing nailer/compressor
From: Brian Kemp <>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 19:31:21 -0800
Cc: shop talk <>
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I have a couple year old HF framing nailer and it works ok.  I also have 
a box of HF nails of the maximum gauge that the gun can use. The nails 
are kind of thin compared to a 10 penny nail and I've had a few curve 
due to the grain of the 2x lumber.

Last summer I had a contractor help me rebuild a 45' long cantilevered 
balcony and used his Rigid nailer.  For an engineered sheer panel, we 
needed to shoot 10 penny nails ($75 a box) that my HF nailer couldn't 
hold.  His gun shot every nail perfect with consistent results.  Mine 
didn't.  While the HF  nailer didn't have any jams, head depth was very 
inconsistent.  There was also a noticeable difference in ergonomics.   
The Rigid nailer felt more comfortable, better balanced, and easier to 
use.  His gun also shot my cheap nails for blocking, though he did 
comment on their flexibility.

When I used my nailer for a balance beam for my gymnast daughter, the 
nailer worked fine.  I had a lamination of trimmed framing lumber that I 
glued and clamped then filled with nails so I could move on to the next 
piece, so all nails were straight in and not at an edge.  Only one bent 
enough to come out the side, so that went well.

This is definetly a case of you get what you pay for.  I spent about $70 
when I got mine after the sale price and a 20% off coupon.  I think he 
said his was $250.  Doing it over, I'd probable look a little higher if 
I was going to use it a bunch.

I also caution you to watch out for nailers that use clipped head nails 
instead of full head nails.  Some building departments don't allow 
clipped head nails.  Hopefully I have the wording right here. Instead of 
a full round head, part of the head is missing, I would assume to allow 
the nails to be closer together.


On 2/26/2013 12:30 PM, Jim Stone wrote:
> I would like to buy a framing nailer.  I dont want to spend a lot as this is
> not something I will use often, but after recently borrowing one I realize how
> nice they are when needed.  I would like to keep the total costs under $200
> and I am weighing my options.  Does anyone here have any recommendations?  I
> could certainly buy new at HF and keep within my budget, but would want to
> know that someone else had bought one and found it ok.
> Thanks.
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