Duo-Fast DF150-CS Cap Stapler - Review
When we put on house wrap, it's with a hammer tacker. The process is not a particularly pleasant one, but since we've been around the business, it's always been done that way, so we ignore the fact that it's a pain, and just suck it up like everyone else does. If that's the way it's done, then that's the way it's done.
Well, not so fast...(actually, not so "Duo-Fast".....ha ha ha....eh?). Last year, Duo-Fast, makers of many pneumatic tools that we like released a cap stapler designed for roofing felt and house wrap. If you've never seen one of these things, it's a little strange. It's like a crown stapler Frankensteined up with a coil siding nailer. The staples are shot just like normal, but there is a secondary system that feeds the caps up to the nose of the gun.
Duo-Fast sent us one of these to check out and it showed up (thankfully) just as we were about to start putting up the Tyvek on the exterior of our renovation. So we put down the forever-jamming hammer tacker and tried out the cap stapler.
The verdict is that it's a pretty sweet tool. It's very light, which is good because you'll be using it at arms-length quite a bit. The rotating exhaust vent has a nice loose feel to it. There is also a belt-hook which is essential for a tool of this nature. It comes with a straight coupling attached, which is nice, but we would have preferred a swiveling one. With this tool being passed from hand to hand on staging, anything that helps prevent a twisty coil hose would have been appreciated.
Loading the staples is just like with any other gun and loading the caps is basic as well. So basic, in fact, that we never opened the directions when we set the gun up. If we can figure it out, anyone reading this can as well.
The trigger has both styles of firing. Installing house wrap requires fast, repetitive work, so we set it to bump fire. The action is fast, but not perfectly fast, so we had to slow a little to hit a rhythm that the gun could keep up with. That's one advantage of the hammer tacker: you can go as fast as your manic ADD mind allows (as long as your arm can keep up). The cap stapler had nice clean results and the overall look of the finished product is pretty cool.
The caps and staples do sit proud of the wrap by a solid 1/16 to1/8". The unevenness will get lost in the siding application, but if you're on a job with zero tolerances or some kind of freaky metal siding that telegraphs through any oddities, this will be something to consider. Oh, and there were a couple of times when we had to revisit a few caps with a hammer in order to persuade the staples a little deeper into the sheathing.
At around $275, it's not a tool for Joe Homeowner to pick up for small little things here and there. This one's at the contractor level and we see it being a good find for anyone from a roofing contractor to a lone wolf carpenter who tackles the occasional siding job. This is the kind of tool that is going to save you time and give you nice looking results. Time is money and nice looking results are referrals. Win, win.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at October 3, 2012 8:40 AM