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Framing nailer

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Joful, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I'm looking for a framing nailer, to be used on large but infrequent projects. It will be a 34-degree clipped head nailer, unless anyone can convince me I should consider otherwise.

    A Paslode fuel nailer would be great for projects away from the shop (such nailing together pallets at the wood lot), but the fact that this thing may sit a year between projects has me thinking the fuel nailers are not for me. Most of my pneumatic nailers (15 & 18 guage) are the Senco oil-less teflon line, so I went looking at them for framing nailers first. However, they get mixed reviews, with many liking the short body and weight of their 901, and others saying that's under-powered for LVL work (I do have a big project using some LVL's in my near future). Their 951 has power to spare, but I guess it's bigger and heavier than the offerings from others.

    After looking at what else is out there, I'm looking more closely at Max and Bosch (SN883CH/34 vs. SN350-34C). Price is about the same either way, so I'm looking at some expert opinions on either model. I'm also wondering if anyone has another I should seriously consider, although I've already looked at the equivalents from Bostitch, DeWalt, Hitachi, Makita, P-C, Ridgid, etc.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I've sent thousands and thousands through my hitachi. In fact, I've easily spent more on mails than I have on the gun.

    I thought it was 31 degree nails with full heads. That is the standard. I know the heads are full. You don't want to buy a gun and then have to buy odd ball nails.
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Have nothing but good things to say about all my Porter Cable nailers. Haven't used many competitors. But they have never let me down.
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  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    That would be weird, Highbeam. There are pretty much two options out there today:

    30 - 34 degree (manufacturer-dependent) with clipped heads
    20 - 22 degree (manufacturer-dependent) with full heads

    I've never seen a 30'ish degree nailer with full heads.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I'm not certain, I buy the huge crates and load them up. I know that the heads are full and that they aren't full 16 penny. Standard home depot crates of nails so they must be 21 degree.
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  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Joful, having one that will shoot metal framing connector nails has been handy for me. Just something to consider.
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  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Well, I'm leaning towards the Bosch, which gets as many positive marks in reviews as any other. Most of my older tools are Milwaukee, but I've been buying a lot of Bosch (sidewinder circ. saw, recip saw, oscillating tool, impact driver, laminate trimmer) lately. I haven't been disappointed with any of them.

    Just gotta choose clipped head vs. full head, now. Some areas (tornado / earthquake) require full head, but almost everyone else uses the clipped head, since the steeper clip angle makes getting into corners easier.

    edit: just went with the bosch SN350-34C. done. next?
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  8. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    My framing nailer is more in the diy/weekend warrior league & I haven't use pro-level framers, so I can't comment on models.
    From what I read, building codes are moving more toward requiring full round heads for framing. They also tend to be a bit cheaper around here (nailers and nails). A few less in the strip is not a concern for me since I'm not in high production work (by any standards).
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  9. Den69RS96

    Den69RS96 Member

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    I have a PC round head framer, the 15 degree angled finish and the small brad nailer. Never had a single jam and they work great. I would go with round head framer. Some buidling codes do not allow clipped head nails. My PC framing gun framed out my basement and built two sheds without 1 single jam.
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  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I have not seen any positive reviews of Porter Cable by any pro's who have multiple guns to compare. In fact, just the opposite. Not saying it wouldn't work for me, but there's no one out there saying Porter Cable is better than Bosch, Paslode, DeWalt, and Bostitch.

    As to the clipped head vs. round head, I found more people stating the same as you, than I could possibly count. "Some building codes require round head." When I look into it, though, I cannot find anyone outside some specific earth quake and tornado zones, who actually have this in their local code. When I look at what pro's around here are using, and what our local supply houses stock, it's basically 100% 34-degree clipped head.
  11. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

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    My brother and I both bought used Porter Cable nailers on Craigslist--his was $100, mine was $90. Both came with over half a box of nails. Both have built multiple additions and porches without a hiccup.

    Good luck!
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  12. OH_Varmntr

    OH_Varmntr New Member

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    I'm running a Senco FramePro 701XP. I ran a friend of mines gun for awhile then he needed it back so I went out and bought the same one he had. Absolutely love it.

    I looked at a few Paslode gas guns for remote use in the yard but I ended up buying a few hundred feet more of airline.
  13. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I have about 250 feet of 3/8" air line, but I don't think that will reach the wood stacks from my shop compressor. I can always haul my portable compressor around the yard, as needed, tho. I have AC power plumbed to the far reaches of the property, including a pair of 20A receptacles right by the wood stacks.

    Two of my smaller nailers (18 ga. & 15 ga.) are Senco oil-less nailers. I was using both of them all day today, and I absolutely love them. However, their lighter framing nailers did not seem to do well in the few comparison tests I read, having a lot of trouble nailing into LVL. Their big 950 nailer appears to be a real brute, but I found much less third-party comparison data on that unit.
  14. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    I've had my battery/gas canister Paslode Framer for 10 years & never had an issue with it sitting for long periods between uses. I keep it clean & oiled & I keep a battery in the charger at all times, but I do use the same batteries in my trim nailer. That is getting a LOT of use. No issues with that one sitting either.
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Interesting. I really did debate getting the Paslode, as it would be easier to use for nailing together pallet cribs. I can always throw the small compressor in the loader bucket, and bring that down to where I stack (I have AC power down there), but you still have to run cords, hoses, etc. New Paslode was $380'ish, new Bosch was $290'ish... but a refurb Bosch with full warranty plus 90 day full refund policy was only $150. That was hard to pass up.
  16. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Paslode framer here since '07, and the only issue is when I forget to oil it.
    It can be hard to use unless you do that, so I ended up buying a nice big bottle of the juice to keep it lubed.
    It's not nearly as fast as an air gun.
    Brother has a PC, which works well too.
    Pros and cons to both.
  17. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    You'll likely see a fair amount of similarity between PC, Bostitch and DeWalt these days as they are the same company, different brands.

    I just picked up a used Porter Cable framing nailer myself but have yet to use it. Looks great in the case if that's worth anything. ha.
  18. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Interesting. I think they must outfit the basic chassis differently, though. I remember seeing a comparison how well the depth stop gripped the lumber for toe-nailing, and these three brands were not all the same, in that comparison.

    Bottom line, for this handy homeowner, any gun with the power to nail thru LVL's is going to work. I paid attention to things like complaints about the depth stop slipping off the lumber when toe-nailing, overall drive power, positive or negative comments on weight/balance, etc. Sometimes the little stuff makes the difference, when you're not using any of them frequently enough to wear 'em out.
  19. Michael Golden

    Michael Golden Feeling the Heat

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    Senco all the way here! I own two of them, I use to build fence on the side and never had jams. I first bought a bostich and I had nothing but problems with jams. Could have been that gun I don't know?
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, nothing against Senco (I own two), but pro reviews rate Bostich way over Senco, ten out of ten times. Senco has great pro oil-less finish and brad nailers, but their trouble with the framing nailers is they're straddling the fence. Their 700 series is light and compact, but lacks power for LVL's, and does poorly on rapid nailing tests. Their 900 series has all the power you'll ever need, but it's bigger and heavier than the competition. According to the reviews I've read, from the rare folks who actually have experience with several different brands, is that they're falling on either side of the sweet spot.
  21. Michael Golden

    Michael Golden Feeling the Heat

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    Just stating my experience with it. I fought the bostich framing nailer on one job and literally had to un-jam it every 3 or 4 boards. With the Senco framing nailers I just had the occasional paper get stuck, a very easy fix. Father in law had a bostich and loved it, but once he used my Senco when we were building my house he was impressed.
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  22. tekguy

    tekguy Feeling the Heat

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    late to party but I have run at least 4 boxes of nails through the 'blue' Harbor Freight unit I have, with only a few jams.. I only paid like $70 new, its the angled model that uses clipped nails -

    make sure your compressor can keep up with the air demand and you will have less issues (no matter what type you buy)

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