Grizzly H5527 Brad Nailer – Review
When we read that Grizzly was selling a brad gun for $25, we were pretty suspicious of it's quality. A brad gun is at least an $80 purchase, right? Would this Grizzly gun work? Would it constantly jam? Would it not have the strength to put a nail into a piece of wood, and if it did would the nail go in at some freaky angle? All these questions were in our head when the nice folks at Grizzly agreed to send us one to test out. And test out we did.
As far as the gun goes, it's a no frills machine, which we like actually. We can get frustrated with tools that have too many moving parts, too many dials, micro-adjusts for this and that, a lot of which aren't even necessary. For features, Grizzly's H5527 can boast only one: an adjustable exhaust. For some reason we had thought, and had written earlier, that there was an adjustable depth of drive setting, but we were wrong. This is about as stripped down as a brad nailer can get.
The kit includes the gun, a pair of safety glasses (the kind you were forced to wear in high school chemistry class), two wrenches, a case and a little container of oil. We destroyed the oil container almost immediately while attempting to get it open and the glasses went into the little box we have marked, 'safety,' where they will likely stay for all eternity. For $25, we're interested in the gun. Everything else is just gravy. So we loaded it up and plugged it into the compressor (while wearing our own stylish safety glasses – please don't use pneumatic tools without protecting your eyes).
We expected the gun to explode when we hooked it up to the compressor, but it acted just like a normal brad gun three times the price. Then after a moment, we started hearing a little hissing noise from the air plug. We detached the compressor, took a look and noticed that there was no Teflon tape on the connection. We unscrewed the plug, wrapped it with tape and, moments later were back in action and ready to go with no more leak.
We started shooting brads and really felt little difference from our nice Porter-Cable brad gun. Sure, the weight was a bit off and the action of the nosepiece was slightly stiffer, but the gun really fulfilled its task: 'insert brad into wood.' In fact, the gun was great. The nose construction makes it a bit difficult to be uber-precise, but we found we did pretty well with brad placement. It's not like they were a quarter inch off from where we wanted them to be.
The adjustable exhaust is a bit stiff to use, but we rarely adjust those anyway. The nail magazine is also a bit stiff, and the little clip that holds it in needs to be manually held back when loading the magazine, as opposed automatically clicking into place.
We only bring up all of these nit-picky things to confirm that you will not be getting a $90 Hitachi brad gun, and that if you're expecting the kind of features and seamless action that the more expensive guns have, you won't find them here. But what you will find is a great no-frills brad nailer. After a week of using it, we were really impressed with the H5527 and we honestly see no need to spend all that cash, particularly if you're a DIYer and won't be using the gun everyday.
Grizzly's H5527 is a fully-functional brad gun and a great purchase. It's a steal really, and a great option for someone who isn't willing to pay a boatload of money for a Big Ol' Brand Name Brad Gun.
At Grizzly and Amazon.com
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at August 15, 2007 5:28 AM