May 22, 2009
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 CHnailers.com, which, by the way, is one of the nicer micro-sites that we've seen in a while.
April 20, 2009
If the tool industry was an above ground pool, last week Bosch was the 300 pound man cannonballing into the center of it. While the company is doing a lot that is impressive, the waves and splashes mostly emanate from the release of their new line of pneumatic tools.
This is a wonderfully aggressive move for a couple of reasons. First, until now, Bosch hasn't shown any interest at all in the pneumatic category, seemingly content to leave that arena to Hitachi, Paslode, Bostitich, Senco and all of the other companies known for their quality air tools. Secondly, because they're bosch, they're not going to simply release a line of tools that is equal to or even slightly above the competition, they felt the need to throw the long ball and redesign the category from the ground up.
The chief advancement of the new Bosch nailers has to do with something as seemingly boring as resetting the nailing piston. If you take a look at the framing gun you have out in the garage, the first thing you'll notice is how bulbous the body is. This is because when you pull the trigger the firing piston not only shoots the nail, but it also directs some of the air into something called a 'return chamber,' which then becomes pressurized and causes the piston to reset. Bosch and their engineering mentats saw a way to remove this return chamber completely by having the release of the trigger set off a second, smaller blast of air that does the job of resetting the piston. The two chief benefits of this development are 1) air is no longer wasted in the return chamber resulting in a stronger gun (10%, according to Bosch) and 2) without the added bulk of the return chamber, the guns can be slimmed down considerably (20% smaller, according to Bosch).
We were lucky enough to get our hands on these new nail guns and we have to admit that they are very impressive. The majority of the size reduction seemed to have taken place in the width of the tools, giving the line a very sleek and streamlined feel. And from what little we got to test them out, we really liked what we saw in the power department.
Bosch is leading off the line with the release of two framers, one full head and one clipped head. May will see the release of two wheelbarrow compressors, and the rest of the current lineup will hit in July; an angled finish nailer, a straight finish nailer, a coil roofing nailer, a narrow crown stapler, a brad nailer, and three hand-carry compressors. Our guess is that it won't be long before we see a 23-gauge pinner as well.
Now how about price? The Full Force guns are hitting the market as top of the line items and therefore aren't exactly being given away. As a reference point, Amazon looks like it will be selling Bosch's 15-gauge angle finish nailer for about $225. The Senco and Porter-Cable, both quite high end are going for just a hair less than $200. Most other models average out to a price of about $150-$170. So the Bosch are definitely more expensive, but it all comes down to that crucial cost/save analysis. From what we saw (and felt) of these tools, $25, $35, $65 isn't a whole lot of additional investment for what you're getting in return.
Like we said earlier, it's a bold move by Bosch and one we suspect will pay off in the long run.
Bosch Full Force Pneumatics at Amazon.com
Here's a video we found that does a nice job of describing how Bosch removed the air chamber...
April 17, 2009
Here's something to chew on over the weekend. More to come soon...
April 16, 2009
Anyone who is even the most casual reader of this site it likely to know that we're slobbering idiots when it comes to Cadex's CPB 23.50 23 gauge pinner (our review is here). It has always been our opinion that it's just one of the finest tools we've ever used. That said, we were obviously interested when we discovered that Cadex just released a brad gun called the CB 18.50, and that it is equipped with a lot of the same features that made the 23.50 so successful. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one to try out and try it out we did.
Continue reading: "Cadex CB18.50 Brad Gun - Review"
March 16, 2009
Hidden fastener systems can make a big difference with the look of your finished deck, but there's no question that they're a lot more time consuming to install. Tiger Claw, one of the leading systems on the market, is in the process of releasing a gun built specifically for their fasteners. By the looks of it, it could speed up installation to the point where it's much faster than the traditional method of pre-drilling and screwing into the face of the board. How about that? Faster and better looking...
According to Tiger Claw...
The fastener installation gun drives a UFO Ballistic NailScrew® in like a nail, but can be removed like a screw. Simply slip the hidden deck fastener into the nose of the gun and position it in the groove of the board. The gun automatically enables perfect positioning of fastener and screw installation with the pull of a trigger. Builders now have a one-step installation process for hidden deck fasteners
Tiger Claw's inventors say, when compared to manually inserting the hidden deck fastener into the groove with your fingers, the gun decreases installation time by about 75%.
We like that the system incorporates the UFO NailScrews. This way, you'll probably be able to back off a screw and shim the board if you've got a badly warped joist.
There is no pricing information on the gun, but it looks like it's going to be available in early spring, just in time for that deck project you've got planned.
There's more information about the Deck Fastener Gun here and
we wrote about UFO's NailScrew here.
September 15, 2008
Roofing is probably the toughest job in residential construction. You're up and down a ladder all day long, carrying heavy bundles of shingles and equipment; when you're working, you're usually bent over; you're rarely standing on a flat surface (which is murder on the calves); when you are standing on a flat surface, it's likely that you're dealing with the face-melting chemicals involved with rubber roofing; and if you happen to have the misfortune of working up in the Northeast, there are about five days a year where the weather is perfect for working up on a roof all day. Roofing beats the tar out of clothes and tools (not to mention knees and lower backs), so you've got to have a roofing gun that you can trust. It's with this idea in mind that Paslode created their new Roofing Coil Nailer, the R175-C.
Paslode has a lot to say about this new gun. They claim that it has 20% more power than most of the guns on the market; that it can blast out 8 nails per second; and that,
Continue reading: "Paslode Roofer's Choice R175-C Coil Roofing Nailer - Review"
August 13, 2008
Looks like the Tool King crowd is at it again with a new line of tools. This time the line is called Denver Tools and it looks like it mostly consists of pneumatics.
Judging by price and variety, the new tools look pretty similar to Campbell Hausfeld's new set of pneumatics, with Denver getting an edge on variety, but CH winning slightly on price. One item worth mentioning though is the Denver 77-Piece Air Tool Kit, which looks like it has just about everything the DIYer would want all in one place for the low price of $99.
Like the CH line, we're sure that these tools are great for DIY use and would be perfect for someone who is interested in checking out what pneumatics can do without wanting to invest a ton of money.
77-Piece Air Tool Kit at Tool King
Other Denver Tools at Tool King
July 8, 2008
This month Campbell Hausfeld, one of the most well respected names in the pneumatic world, is releasing a number of air tools to be sold exclusively at Home Depot. The tools come complete with storage cases and accessories. We had the opportunity to check out a few, so we gave them a good beating and here's what we thought.
In total, the series includes five tools; an impact wrench, an air ratchet, an air hammer, an air die grinder, and a cut-off tool. We tested the wrench, the ratchet, and the hammer.
Continue reading: "Campbell Hausfeld Air Tools - Review"
June 27, 2008
We were a little worried about testing out this tool. Up until now, we had only used one cordless nailer and it was quite a long time ago. Not only was the gun bulky (and smelly), but it kept running out of fuel and the battery couldn't keep a charge. But we thought that maybe the technology has been refined over the past handful of years so we cleared the slate and gave the new Duo-Fast Cordless Framing Nailer a fair shake.
Continue reading: "Duo-Fast 903000 Cordless 20 Degree Framing Nailer - Review"
June 24, 2008
We're big fans of the JacPac (our review is here) and we're happy to see that Supplierpipeline has finally given the tool the website it deserves. The new site has a lot more information on the tool which is good because the tool is pretty unique and the more explanation, the better.
Our opinion is that $100 is hardly anything to pay for such a useful item and that any serious carpenter should investigate getting one. We use ours all the time.
The new website is here.
JacPac at Amazon.com