Author Topic: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?  (Read 1779 times)

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Offline Lbob131

  • Posts: 469
BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« on: July 01, 2019, 05:21 PM »
We operate seven Senco GT90CH framing nailers at work. They use the commonly used battery/gas cell system.
Usually about half of them are not operating and are off being fixed at any given time.
Sometimes a local guy who knows a little about them and some times back to the Senco supplier. :(

One of the guys had a Dewalt DCN692N a few years ago and it only lasted a short while and Dewalt just said it wasn't worth fixing.
The firing system is a mechanical flywheel and it can bump nail afaik.

Hikoki make the NR1890DBL framing nailer. It has a bump nailing facility.
The firing mechanism is an air spring.
It's a new concept afaik?
Does anyone know if it is reliable?

We have 3 air nailers in the workshop and they rarely give trouble.
So this "air spring" that hikoki mentions sounds promising to me and perhaps the way forward. :D

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3859
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2019, 08:29 PM »
I'll be interested as well to see replies on this. I got a new generation Dewalt framing nailer, since most of my other cordless nailers are Dewalt, and it gave me problems almost from the beginning. Like firing a few times, then not firing a nail, but with no visible jam. When I unlocked and reloaded the nails it would start firing again, only to fail after a few more tries. Fortunately all this went down within the first week of using it, so I simply returned it to Acme tools and instead got a cordless Paslode framer.
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Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 815
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 09:53 PM »
I'll be interested as well to see replies on this. I got a new generation Dewalt framing nailer, since most of my other cordless nailers are Dewalt, and it gave me problems almost from the beginning. Like firing a few times, then not firing a nail, but with no visible jam. When I unlocked and reloaded the nails it would start firing again, only to fail after a few more tries. Fortunately all this went down within the first week of using it, so I simply returned it to Acme tools and instead got a cordless Paslode framer.

My PC framer died last week and I was close to buying the Paslode, until I found out they don't make stainless steel nails for it. I live and work on the coast and stainless steel nails are the only option for any fasteners used outside. I want a cordless unit, but as far as I can tell none are all that great.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 688
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2019, 03:19 AM »
We have Paslode, Spit and Makita, all good.

Offline Pnw painter

  • Posts: 211
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2019, 10:30 AM »
I’m not sure if it’ll be worth waiting, but Milwaukee is releasing a new Framing nailer this fall. If it performs well I’m sure it’ll be a huge hit.

https://www.protoolreviews.com/news/best-new-milwaukee-tools/46549/


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Offline demographic

  • Posts: 501
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 01:29 PM »
I have a De-Walt first fix nailgun which I wouldn't swap for a Paslode, its generally more reliable, quieter and doesn't need gas. Oh and it bump fires.

Also I have a Hitachi second fix brad gun which I like but it's slightly faffy to get going after I put a fresh battery in. Needs a button depressed and if I want to bump fire I need to press another button... every time I put a new battery in. Plus it goes to sleep which the De-Walt doesnt. Just pull the trigger.

If Dewalt made a straight 16 gauge brad gun I would have bought one of those instead but it's rare for the sites I go on to supply the angled brads and I'm not putting materials or fixings onto site.


I'm never buying another gas and battery nailgun again, its just not happening. All cordless electric from now on in.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 688
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 02:47 PM »
I have a De-Walt first fix nailgun which I wouldn't swap for a Paslode, its generally more reliable, quieter and doesn't need gas. Oh and it bump fires.

Also I have a Hitachi second fix brad gun which I like but it's slightly faffy to get going after I put a fresh battery in. Needs a button depressed and if I want to bump fire I need to press another button... every time I put a new battery in. Plus it goes to sleep which the De-Walt doesnt. Just pull the trigger.

If Dewalt made a straight 16 gauge brad gun I would have bought one of those instead but it's rare for the sites I go on to supply the angled brads and I'm not putting materials or fixings onto site.


I'm never buying another gas and battery nailgun again, its just not happening. All cordless electric from now on in.

Hi mate, yeah the cordless non gas nailers seem to be taking off now, I nearly bought the new Makita recently but, have no experience of them. I definitely like the idea though.

Offline Lbob131

  • Posts: 469
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 04:45 PM »
The Milwaukee  looks the business. Perhaps the firing mechanism  is  "air spring" also.
It has the option  of  an extended magazine   to hold  two strips  of nails.
So a real  "assault"  nail gun.  For  the  trades special forces.

If these  are successful/reliable,   gas  cells will be a thing of the past  I think.
Think I'll  wait until  autumn. Or  "the fall" as   you  american's would say. [big grin]
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 02:25 PM by Lbob131 »

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 501
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2019, 03:35 PM »
Hi mate, yeah the cordless non gas nailers seem to be taking off now, I nearly bought the new Makita recently but, have no experience of them. I definitely like the idea though.

A few years ago my Hitachi first fix nailgun was playing up and I needed another nailgun.
The Paslodes (which I've used extensively on site) were knocking on 600 quid and all the local builders merchants had snotty posters up saying that they wouldnt honour the warrenty on the Paslodes they sold if the buyer used non Paslde nails.

That was compared to other manufacturers who said I could use any compatible nails.

So the Paslodes were more expensive and had a worse guarantee? ? In my book thats just a massive fail so I looked harder at the alternatives.

After using my De-Walt for over three years and one job where it really got hammered I stripped it and put in fresh recoil springs.
It took about half an hour during which I was mostly watching the telly, now Ive stripped a few paslodes over the gears and thats about how long they took as well. They needed stripped far more often though.

I'm not trying to put a downer on them, its just that I have quite a lot of experience with them and find the De-Walt much simpler to use.

I've not used my Hitachi cordless bradgun as much and to be honest I prefer the De-Walt flywheel system but I'm just not buying a 16 gauge bradgun that fires angled brads.

If I bought my own brads I'd get one but I don't so I wont.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 02:24 AM by demographic »

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 501
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2019, 03:49 PM »
Oh, I forgot to mention that one of the places I've worked at bad several Paslode airline first fix guns.
They were very reliable indeed and the most powerful nailguns Ive so far used. Great.
Only problem is they need a compressor so not much use on sites for me.

In a workshop they were unbeatable.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 815
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2019, 03:49 PM »
No stainless steels is a deal breaker for me on the Paslode. Galvanized will not hold up on the coast.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 688
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2019, 04:52 PM »
Oh, I forgot to mention that one of the places I've worked at bad several Paslode airline first fix guns.
They were very reliable indeed and the most powerful nailguns Ive so far used. Great.
Only problem is they need a compressor so not much use on sites for me.

In a workshop they were unbeatable.

Yeah, Paslode seem very Marmite, some love em, some hate them.
Got a real old first fix Spit, it still works fine.
Nail gun technology seems to be moving again now though.

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 501
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2019, 08:20 PM »
Oh, I forgot to mention that one of the places I've worked at bad several Paslode airline first fix guns.
They were very reliable indeed and the most powerful nailguns Ive so far used. Great.
Only problem is they need a compressor so not much use on sites for me.

In a workshop they were unbeatable.

Yeah, Paslode seem very Marmite, some love em, some hate them.
Got a real old first fix Spit, it still works fine.
Nail gun technology seems to be moving again now though.

Oops, it seems I accidentally wrote Bad Paslodes when I actually meant Had Paslodes. I'm writing on my phone so sometimes spelling mistakes caused by fat thumbs get through.
The airline Paslodes I've used have been excellent, great power and very reliable indeed.

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1092
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2019, 10:55 PM »
Oh, I forgot to mention that one of the places I've worked at bad several Paslode airline first fix guns.
They were very reliable indeed and the most powerful nailguns Ive so far used. Great.
Only problem is they need a compressor so not much use on sites for me.

In a workshop they were unbeatable.

Yeah, Paslode seem very Marmite, some love em, some hate them.
Got a real old first fix Spit, it still works fine.
Nail gun technology seems to be moving again now though.

Oops, it seems I accidentally wrote Bad Paslodes when I actually meant Had Paslodes. I'm writing on my phone so sometimes spelling mistakes caused by fat thumbs get through.
The airline Paslodes I've used have been excellent, great power and very reliable indeed.

I thought all Gas Paslodes were bad. A crew helped me frame an addition last week. They had 3 gas Pasload nailers. All 3 failed before we finished. We finished the framing job with my air Paslode nailer. Something I did observe, is that they put in a lot more nails with the air gun than they did with the gas guns.   

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 688
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2019, 02:53 AM »
I was on a very big job years ago, it was so big the carpentry was contracted out to numerous companies including us. All the chippy’s got to know each other and we all had Paslode or Spit nailers. Some of the Paslode’s were very unreliable, and many were sound. All the Spit’s seemed trouble free.

I always thought Spit and Paslode were made by the same company but, apparently not, until Spit bought Paslode in 2002, or Paslode bought Spit in 2002 can never remember who bought who?.

Anyway, for me the Paslodes were fine but, the Spit better.
Anybody remember the gun powder activated Hilti nail guns back in the day?  [blink] [big grin]

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 501
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2019, 02:01 PM »
I was on a very big job years ago, it was so big the carpentry was contracted out to numerous companies including us. All the chippy’s got to know each other and we all had Paslode or Spit nailers. Some of the Paslode’s were very unreliable, and many were sound. All the Spit’s seemed trouble free.

I always thought Spit and Paslode were made by the same company but, apparently not, until Spit bought Paslode in 2002, or Paslode bought Spit in 2002 can never remember who bought who?.

Anyway, for me the Paslodes were fine but, the Spit better.
Anybody remember the gun powder activated Hilti nail guns back in the day?  [blink] [big grin]

I've honestly never even seen a spit nailgun other than the powder ones with a circle of cartridges that look like jumbo kids capguns.

Ive used quite a few Hilti powder actuated guns but usually for fixing to steel girders.
Evil things.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 688
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2019, 04:09 PM »
Yeah Spit were quite common at one time, don’t see them much now, as Paslode seem what many choose.
Those powder Hilti’s were great, they did scare me every time I used one, probably because a local hire centre boss committed suicide with one. The safety was almost non existent on early ones.
How great were they for steel fixing though, better than drilling and screwing/bolting

Offline ProCarpenterRVA

  • Posts: 87
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2019, 07:06 PM »
The Paslode still gets my vote. Indestructible, I've dropped them off roofs and they were scuffed up but fine otherwise. Power and easy to maintain. If you had three guys working on your project and all of the guns failed, it's likely because they lost the Allen wrench necesarry to clean and lubricate the guns. It's an easy 15 minute job. I've had a good dozen paslode impulse and air powered framing guns and the power is unbeatable for driving nails into LVL.

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Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 686
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2019, 02:25 PM »
If the criteria here is "Most Power", I'd cast a vote for the Max high pressure line of nailers. The compressor fills to 500psi, and most of the nailers run at ~300-350psi line pressure. I have the coil framing nailer and coil hardware nailer, they both perform great.

Framer: https://www.maxusacorp.com/nailers_compressors/products/hn90f/
Coil hardware nailer: https://www.maxusacorp.com/nailers_compressors/products/hn65j/
Compressor: https://www.maxusacorp.com/nailers_compressors/products/akhl1260e/

The reason for the purchase was I built an addition last Summer with LSL studs. The LSLs make LVLs feel downright soft, even at 150psi my Hitachi NR83 could only sink the nails ~halfway into the LSL material. The Max high pressure framer will fire into LSL's just fine, and will bump-fire LVL headers all day without leaving a single nail proud.

The compressor is fabulous, 35 lbs (aluminum tanks, so no rust), DC brushless motor, 2 high pressure ports and 2 110psi ports.

The next time I sell a basement remodel I'll likely purchase the concrete nailer, it fires 2-1/2" nails into concrete using just the compressed air (no gas or powder charges), also shoots into steel I-beams.

Concrete pinner: https://www.maxusacorp.com/nailers_compressors/products/hn120/

The system is NOT inexpensive, so probably out of reach for most hobbyists, but I'd recommend to tradespeople as a useful investment.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 02:28 PM by Tom Gensmer »
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Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 688
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2019, 03:23 PM »
Just from my own experiences, if I were buying a new gas nailer now, I would go Paslode or Spit. From what I understand, they are very similar nailers made now, by the same company.

Offline Frank-Jan

  • Posts: 1043
  • Dutch Canadian living in Belgium
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2019, 06:24 PM »
Over here, they are the same company.. spit-paslode: link

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 501
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2019, 02:39 AM »
For me it goes in this order, from best to worst.

1, Airline paslodes : great, reliable but only in a workshop environment.
2, De-Walts all electric flywheel method. Its simple generally reliable (although you still get the occasional jam its simple to sort) and it bump fires when set to do so. You hardly ever have to service them.
3, Hitachi cordless gas ram, now I've only used the second fix version of this but the system will work the sama and I find the switching on sequence to be irritating compared to the De-Walt..

7,  Paslodes combustable gas with sparkplug system. Waay noisier, needs frequent rebuilds, unreliable but they are powerful. You couldn't give me one nowadays and I've used a lot of them. Same with Hitachis old ones which used the same system.
The sharp eyed amongst you will have spotted that my numbering system went from three to seven. Thats because I feel theres bound to be a few systems between the first three and Paslodes way. I really don't like em at all.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 688
Re: BEST FRAMING NAIL GUN "DRIVE" MECHANISM/SYSTEM?
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2019, 04:05 AM »
It’s a catch 22 I suppose. From the gas nailers available, Paslode/Spit are almost certainly the most powerful, well at least in the first fix models. They are known to be troublesome to many though, which really frustrating when it interrupts work progress.

Something I have noticed when on site though, if someone’s Paslode jams or acts up, I’ve found they aren’t using Paslode nails. I was talking to a mate last night, he runs a crew of five chippy’s and is always slating the Paslodes but, did say he doesn’t use Paslode nails as they are way too expensive, and that’s a very fair point, because compared to other brands they are.

Why can’t the Paslode nails be priced more competitively, they sell enough of them?
I have had sub contractors pricing the odd cut roof for me, and have thought every so often that the quotes were a bit high, probably because they use the Paslode nails and gas?

For power though, they’re hard to beat, never used the Hitachi but, heard they are almost a Paslode copy, possibly even made by Paslode? I recently saw somebody putting trims and architraves up with a cordless non gas Makita, it seemed a nice nailer. It would be great if they did a larger first fix version but, that would be difficult to achieve I’d imagine.

The power with these first fix nailers is paramount, and probably a first consideration in my my opinion, then again so is reliability, hence the catch 22.
When you think what it takes to put in 4” nails with a claw hammer, especially overhead, you realise the demands on these nailers.