May 22, 2009

Campbell Hausfeld Nail Guns


It looks like Campbell Hausfeld is revamping their line of nail guns with the release of three new pneumatic weapons. The guns have a number of interesting features, which appear to gear them towards the DIY set. The price is also going to be a bit lower than the pro crowd, which is always nice.

There are three guns in this release; a 34 degree framing gun, an 15-gauge angled finish nailer, and an 18-gauge brad nailer. The three guns have a new streamlined look which is a nice departure from the blocky primary blue of past CH guns. As far as features go, there are a number that have essentially become standard on today's guns like an adjustable exhaust, dry fire lock out, and easy access to a jammed nail. But the CH guns have quite a bit that we've never seen before. These new features include a little laser point to indicate nail location, a low nail indicator light, and a tethered no mar tip. But the boldest of these new features has to be the built-in stud finder on the finish nailer. One other thing that is worth mentioning is that the CH guns all come with a swiveling male plug. Sure, it's a small touch, but to us it's an essential (and smart) one. Why swiveling plugs aren't on every gun made is beyond us.

Like we mentioned earlier, the guns look like they're geared toward the DIYers. Most carpenters we know still scoff at using a laser with a miter saw, so we can't imagine the eye rolling we'd see in this case. But if you're not using nail guns everyday, we can think of some situations where the laser could be helpful. And as for the built-in stud finder, it initially strikes us as a tool trying to do too much, but when we get down to it, we realize that if it works, it could save a lot of time and anguish. And when we hop in the time capsule, we can envision a world 10 years in the future where all finish nailers come with some sort of stud finder on them. Who knows, maybe this is the initial stage of a technology that will catch on.

The pricing on these tools is just where you'd expect, pretty much one 'level' below the pro tools. The framer will be about $200, the 15 gauge about $140, and the 18 gauge around $90. These prices sound reasonable to us.

The tools will be available in early June at select retailers (CPO, Air Compressors Direct), but it's our guess that we'll also start seeing them at Amazon as well as the box stores.

There's plenty more information on the guns at, which, by the way, is one of the nicer micro-sites that we've seen in a while.

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at May 22, 2009 4:58 AM
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