This is an add-on to Travis2897's question about Framing nailers.
What nailers would provide the most versatility? I'd like to limit myself to two or three nailers. My future projects include:
*) Replace the sheathing on my home's exterior.
*) Install James Hardie siding.
*) Install crown molding.
What would you recommend for me so I can do my projects, avoid aggravating the tendonitis I tend to get in my wrist when doing lots of hammering, and not spend an arm and a leg?
Thanks in advance.
There are three main groups of nailers:
1. Framing nailers
2. Trim nailers
3. Brad nailers
Framing nailers use larger nails with heads, usually the equivalent to either #16 nails or #8 nails. Nail length can run from 2" to 3-1/4". They re used for heavy things like 2x lumber, attaching plywood and siding etc. The large nails are going to be seen and cannot be used for more delicate or finished projects.
Trim nailers shoot a very small head trim nail - the nailgun equal to a hand-drive finish nail. Nails are from 1" to 2-1/2" in length and are 15ga, 16ga or 18ga in thickness (with 15 being the thickest). Most guns cannot span the entire range of nail length - those that can shoot a 1" nail will only be able to shoot a 2" nail as a maxium size. In turn, the larger trim nailers cannot take the smallest nails. Used for almost all types of trim where you do not want to see the exposed nail head. You will still need to fill above the head in a finish situation.
Brad nailers use very small headless or almost headless nails. 18ga or smaller. Used for fine trim or on smaller sized pieces where almost no head exposure is needed. The smallest are pin nailers - 23ga guns that can shoot a pin-like brad that is only 1/2" long - perfect for an unseen nail.
As to what you need, it will vary on conditions. If, for example, your wife is leaning over your shoulder reading these words than the ONLY option is to buy at least one of every size nailgun out there. And power tools, lots and lots of power tools! Then use your new tools to build a shop of your very own. Simple.
If your budget dictates less, then the most useful for homeowners would be a large trim gun, a frame gun and then a smaller brad gun. If you find a brand of trim gun that has a wider range of nail lengths, then it will be more versatile for average homeowner usage. Also, factor in how often you may do framing or siding. A good framing gun will run around $300. If large scale framing is a rare thing, consider renting.
An aside: Framing guns are fairly heavy and will have a kickback. Using one will not be kind to your tendonitis.
Other things: You'll need a compressor and hoses to go with your nail guns. Most small compressors will power brad and trim nailers but it takes a larger compressor (larger air tank, not just higher psi) to power a framing nailer.
If you are just getting started in nailguns, my advice would be to find a complete kit - compressor, hose, basic air tools and a trim or brad gun. Most home stores offer them and they are priced much lower than all their parts.
Left out a roofing gun.
Check out CPO tools website.
They carry a lot of factory reconditioned tools.
There's not going to be a magic light weigh framing nailer. They have to be made bigger and heavy duty to hold up and have enough force to do the job.
Unless your doing some super light duty trim a Brad gun is useless.
There ok to tack something in place while glue is setting but little else.
Thanks Jaybee and JoeCaption. I knew I could count on you guys for good advice.
Jaybee, your point about renting the framing nailer makes good sense. Since I always seem to take 6 times longer than I estimate to finish a project, I might buy the framing nailer and then sell it after my project is complete.
Joe, your reply was at 4:14 AM Eastern. Are you up all night or do you get up incredibly early?-)
I did check out CPO tools as you suggested. They have a combo package with a finish nailer, brad nailer, stapler, and a compressor.
The compressor is rated at 3.5 SCFM @ 40 PSI - 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI. Would that give me the power you recommended in Travis2897's topic regarding framing nailers?
Other than installing house wrap or felt backer, what would I use a stapler for?
Framing nailers require a lot of push - around 7 to 8 cfm @ 90 to 100 psi. This requires a medium to large compressor - something with a decent sized tank. If you try to use a framer with a small compressor, what will happen is that you'll get a few shots off, then you'll have to wait for pressure to build back up. With a framing nailer set in the 'slap' setting, it's easy to set over a hundred nails a minute so having the right size compressor is important.
Staplers are used for attaching thin material. Ideal situation would be attaching a 1/4" plywood back to a bookcase. The staples will hold the wood instead of pulling through like a finish nail would.
A Porta Cable framing nailer needs 3.0 cfm.
There's at least 4, differant style staple gun.
Cap nailer, which uses staples to hold round plastic caps whick is used for roofing felt or house wrap.
Narrow Crown which I've used a lot for installing 1/4 underlaymant, tacking up window casing, attaching the backs on cabinets, ECT.
Wide Crown, which I've seen used for roofing siding, building boxes.
A flooring stapler for laying hardwood flooring.
I would not suggest using a stapler for roofing or house wrap, use a cap nailer or roofing nailer instead.
I swapped out the slap nail function for a single trigger pull on my framing nailer. For the DIYer I think that is a better/safer option. On my Porter Cable nailer it was a free exchange direct from PC. I use my PC kit compressor that came with my finish nailer for my framing nailer. I think it is a 3 gallon tank. I suspect if I were doing a lot of framing I'd need a bigger tank but as an advanced DIYer it does fine.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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