Pneumatic nail guns

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This was in a previous thread, but...
Harbor Freight sells nail guns with a 28 and a 32 degree angle for the
clipped head nails.
Lowes sells 30 degree nails for their Bostich, and others.  All other
dimensions are okay, except for the angle of the strips.  Does anyone
know if the 30 degree nail strips will work in a 28 degree or a 32
degree gun - and which way would be better?

Re: Pneumatic nail guns
I've gotten jams in my Senco framing gun when using Bostich nails. It'll
fire a few but then it jams. IOW they don't work. I don't know what the
angles are.
<Ken Sterling> wrote in message
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Re: Pneumatic nail guns
You will buy a box of either 2000 or 4000 (typically) framing nails
for whatever framing nailer you use.
If the specifications of the nails on the box do not name the nailer
which you have or the length and angle for the nailer, do not get them
at a home center such as Lowe's or HD.

Buy them where the framing contractors purchase their nails. They will
sell you one box and it won't be any more expensive than the home
center. Plus, it will actually work in your nailer.
If they are like the supply center where I go, they will probably let
you fire off a strip of nails to ensure that they function well in
your nailer. Then you buy the rest of the box and start fastening.
They want to sell you as many boxes of nails as you will buy, so it's
in their interest to make you want to buy more.

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Re: Pneumatic nail guns
Also, where your attachment strips on the nails are related to the tracks
inside your feed rail are important to prevent jamming, even if the angles
are the same between different brand nails.


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Re: Pneumatic nail guns
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Ken, i wondered along these lines a couple of years ago and from my
experience, most nail media and guns have been standarized with the
possible exception of round head roofing models.

any variation in "angle" of the strips may be related to round vs clipped
nails.  there s/b just those two non-interchangeable media being sold now.
some nail lengths/types/diameter are still brand specific, talking framing
guns/media here.

of course, the actual performance of the media may vary widely and depend
on the gun and lot.  there is no reason to buy Chinese nails, the US brands
are cheap enough, unless they are indeed incompatible w/our standards.

my guess is that the HF guns will use domestic nails,   --Loren

Re: Pneumatic nail guns
I have the 28 degree framing nailer from HF.  HF uses paper to hold
the nail strips.  I got a box of whatever 28 degree nails that Lowes
sells and they were held together by wire.  My gun could not reliably
feed those nails.  Thus, I just bought a couple of 2000 count boxes of
nails from HF - problem solved.  

One note on the HF guns, they take some getting used to.  As soon as
the nose touches the wood, if the trigger is pulled, it fires.  This
doesn't sound bad, but the gun has recoil.  Thus, if you're tired or
aren't paying attention, you can fire two nails real easily due to
squeezing the trigger, the gun bouncing up and coming back down while
the trigger is still pulled and another nail being fired.  There's a
slang term for that type of mechanism, but don't recall what it is.
Some nailers disengage the trigger after each shot and make you
squeeze again before it will fire.  All I'm saying is that the HF gun
takes some getting used to.


On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 02:24:39 GMT, (Ken Sterling) wrote:

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Re: Pneumatic nail guns
Bounce-firing is the way many framing nailers operate. Accurate nail
placement is not as important with a framer as with a finish nailer or
stapler for trim.
There are at least two ways to deal with it:
- Hold the trigger down and intentionally bounce the nose where the
nail goes. Not a high bounce - maybe 1" from the surface.
- DO NOT hold the trigger down, push the gun firmly onto the surface
with the other hand, then pull the trigger

Finish nailers and brad nailers usually have optional triggers
available from the manufacturer to restrict the tool to one shot per
trigger pull. They can also be bounce-fired using the suggestions

Find a scrap 4x4 and practice it a bit.

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Re: Pneumatic nail guns
I was considering the same HF gun not too long ago and ended up buying a
Paslode pneumatic framing nailer instead. The trigger you refer to is called
a bump trigger. I have used a Bostitch framing nailer with a bump trigger
and my co-workers and I universally considered it a "deathtrap".
My Paslode came with a bump trigger in a little package but I have no
intention of ever putting it on. I prefer the semi-auto type much better.
When it comes to the nail strips I think Bostitch is the only one that uses
wire to hold them together. Senco and Paslode use the paper tape kind. In my
experience a "paper tape" type nailer WILL NOT fire wire bonded nails but a
"wire" type nailer will fire the paper tape kind.
Also another tip, if you have the paper tape kind of nails, never ever if at
all possible let them get wet or even very damp at all because it will gum
up the gun very badly. I guess none of this really sheds light on the angle
dilemna,sorry bout that, but I hope it might help someone somewhere. In my
opinion having the right nails as far as paper or wire type will be more
important than having the perfectly correct angle. You'd be surprised how
crooked I can swing a hammer and still drive a nail.


Re: Pneumatic nail guns
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i don't know about "bounce" mode, but my 2yr old Senco came with
the "automatic trigger", meaning that it will fire nails rapidly
whenever the bail is pushed _and_ the trigger is pulled.  you,
as an amateur, do NOT want this, you will never master it.

fortunately, Senco offers a modified (semi-auto) trigger free of
charge.  get it, use it, problem solved.  some guns have a
"selection" feature, dunno what that is or if the HF guns use
it.  watch those toes with an automatic nailer,   --Loren

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Re: Pneumatic nail guns
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Senco will send you a restrictive (single fire) trigger free for their
framing nailer if you don't want the bounce fire (or, it may be the
other way around, I got mine a couple years ago and don't remember
now).  I really don't like bounce fire, it's too easy to shoot a nail
somewhere you didn't want it to go (e.g. your leg).  Roofers like 'em,
but I really can't see the need for it in framing.

This is a safety issue, contact HF and ask for a restrictive trigger.
They should send you one for the asking.  It's cheaper to send you a
trigger than to deal with a lawsuit.

When you use one, make sure nobody's in line with it.  I've had
occasions where I've hit a bit of weak wood and shot a nail THROUGH
the wood and across the room.  Now it's probably not going fast enough
after splintering a 2x4 to do a lot of damage, but it's bound to be


Re: Pneumatic nail guns

Paul Amaranth wrote:

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Apparently you've never looked down the plate of 50ft of unailed wall
studs or had a quarter acre of subfloor sheathing to nail off. You learn
to appreciate bounce fire guns real quick if you use them to make a
dollar. I've been framing houses for a dozen or so years and no nails in
my leg yet (knock on wood!). Personally I'd find the restrictive trigger
a total pain in the ass, but I can see how others opinions would differ.
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Don't know much about the Harbor Freight guns, but I do know the
restrictive trigger is becoming de facto standard for all new guns in
the near future. It appears as if the makers are voluntarily sending out
all new guns with the restrictive trigger in place. You'll have to
convert it to bounce fire yourself. They've spent a fair amount of money
advertising the "benefits" of the restrictive trigger. Must be some
liability issues that put their panties in a bind.
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Most nails lose a fair amount of steam in the first few feet of
freeflight. Still, best not to have any of your soft tissues in the path
if you can help it.


Re: Pneumatic nail guns
Dick Streff wrote:
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I was using a bounce nailer putting some blocking between studs, about
chest high.  I ws nailing the left side, so I had the gun in my left
hand and was holding the block with my right.  Just before bouncing it I
thought "My hand probably shouldn't be there".  Well, I don't aim as
well with my left hand as I do with my right and the gun hit the edge of
the stud.  The nail ricocheted off and went right into my hand.  The
immediate feeling was impact, not penetration.  But as I looked at my
right hand, there was a nail sticking in it.  Well, through it, actually
- between the index and middle fingers.

Pulled it out and put a band aid on the hole.  _Very_ little bleeding.
I was _really_ lucky - think about it, the hand has bones, tendons,
nerves, arteries and the the nail missed everything!  The hand was a
little sore/stiff for a day or so, that's it.

You can believe that I'm a lot more careful when I'm bounce nailing.
I'm also very aware of others close by who are bouncing.  Especially
since I'm talking about a Habitat project where nobody is a
professional.  Most of the guys pick up the gun and say "How do you work
this?".  Makes one a little nervous.

Stay safe,

Re: Pneumatic nail guns
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I was thinking of getting either the 28 or 32 degree gun from HF, but
since I only saw the 30 degree nails at Lowes, that's what generated
my original question.  I didn't see any 28 degree nails at Lowes, but
all the other dimensions stated for the HF guns matched up, diameter,
length, etc., except for the 30 degree.  Don't know if they were bound
by wire or paper, tho....

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