CAMO Edge Pro
The new Camo Edge Pro is an auto-feed stand-up screw gun that drives screws diagonally through the edge of decking. The tool is easy to use and fast compared to hand-driving screws. It only takes a few seconds to load a 50-screw collated strip in the tool and then you can walk along a deck board zipping in screws without bending over. I estimate it speeds screw installation by a factor of 4.
You can use the Edge Pro to install wet pressure-treated lumber without gaps so when the boards dry and shrink spaces will develop. The Edge Pro also installs composite, PVC or dry wood decking with gaps when you use a separate spacer guide. I installed some prefinished red cedar using all three types of Camo tools. I first gapped, straightened and screwed the boards with the Marksman Pro every 4th or 5thjoist. Then I went back and screwed the boards off with the Edge Pro.
Due to it’s length, the Edge Pro can’t be used to screw the house-edge of decking within about 3 feet of a wall or other obstruction. I used the Marksman Edge and Marksman Pro to drive those screws.
The Edge Pro comes knocked-down in the box so you’ll have to assemble the system. Camo has a good video showing the steps to put the tool together. The Milwaukee screw gun comes with the kit. The tool drives collated 2 3/8 in. Camo screws that are available in 316 stainless steel and ProTech coated steel for exterior use in treated lumber. The same screws are used for 1 in. to 1 ½ in. thick decking.
It took me 15 minutes to get the hang of using the Edge Pro efficiently. There’s a sequence to orient and operate the tool to ensure accurate screw driving.
First the edge guide needs to be set against the decking and in-line with the center of a joist, then the handle of the tool needs to be angled so the level guide (what I think of as the foot) is flat on the surface of the deck board.
Driving a screw is a three-step process. The feed assembly needs to be compressed by pressing on the hand grip on the side of the tool. Once it’s compressed completely the body of the screw gun is pressed forward. This action engages the driver bit with the screw head. Before pushing the screw into the decking, you have to start the gun spinning. The chisle point of the screw doesn’t penetrate as fast as regular screws so let the screw start drilling its hole with light pressure and let the screw determine the drive rate. It takes a dozen screws before you get the feel for driving the screws. It’s important not to push the screw gun hard against the screw and then squeeze the trigger. Doing so may cause the screw to ‘walk’ a little up or sideways and you won’t get a clean drive.
The collated Camo screws come 1000 in a box (20 strips of 50 screws) and attaches about 280 square feet of 5 ½ in. wide deck boards. Two extra 6 in. long Camo driver bits are included in the box.
There’s a swing-out gate on the nose for removing screw strips and clearing jams.
Behind the nose is a screw depth-of-drive adjustment. The depth is set at the factory so you shouldn’t need to calibrate before using the tool. On the screw strip guide is a tension adjustment.
MSRP for the CAMO Edge Pro tool is $379.95. A box of 1000 2 3/8 in. ProTech collated screws is $87.95 and stainless screws are $209.95.
CAMO Edge Pro
Stand-up screw installation
Orient the bottom of the tool to the board edge.
Put the heal of the level guide at the board edge.
Tilt the tool until the level guide sits flat on the decking surface.
Nosepiece closed and ready to drive screws.
A gate hinges open for jam clearing and for removing a strip of screws.
A depth-of-drive adjustment and a screw strip tension adjustment are located just behind the nose of the tool.