Throw Away Your Hammer Stapler and Get a Pneumatic Cap Fastener - Fine Homebuilding
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Throw Away Your Hammer Stapler and Get a Pneumatic Cap Fastener

comments (1) November 11th, 2011 in Blogs
JFink Justin Fink, Senior Editor

Video Length: 4:36
Produced by: Colin Russell


For a long time now, hammer tackers have been the standard for installing house-wrap and roofing underlayment. That's about to change. The problem is that staples alone don't meet manufacturers specifications for fastening most mateirals. And that means, by extension, they don't comply with building codes either.


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Nowadays, cap fasteners are going from best practice to code required. Let's take a closer look.

There are 5 different options, from tin caps, to pneumatic coil nailers. Here's an overview of all the current systems on the market:

Hand-Driven Options

  • Tin-Cap Fasteners - Place cap onto the surface and install using either a hammer-tacker, hand-driving a nail, a pneumatic roofing nailer or stapler.
  • Pre-Collated Caps and Nails - These caps and nails are long enough to hammer through and are great for installing rigid foam. However, their bulkiness limits the amount you can carry in your nail pouch.

Pneumatic Tool Options

  • 20-ga. to 21-ga. Cap Staples - These staples are a great choice for installing housewrap and roof underlayment, but only if its going to be covered by shingles the same day with limited foot traffic.
  • 18-ga. Cap Staples - These fasteners come in longer lengths and are ideal for installing roof underlayment as well as thicker materials.
  • Cap Nails - The main advantage of cap nails in the extra length the provide over staples. These also allow for the instilation of thick rigid foam.


For more on cap fasteners read "It's Time to Switch to Cap Fasteners" from FHB#224.

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posted in: Blogs, nailers, cap fasteners

Comments (1)

rrocket88 rrocket88 writes: I have the hitachi nv50ap3 cap nailer and I love this thing! I used it to re-roof my Parents 48 Square roof by myself! Even though it was not required by code in their area, I increased the nailing pattern to match high wind performance and nailed both the felt and the shingles rather than just hand tacking the paper and letting the roof nails hold the whole thing (as the installation I removed was done). I found the capacity was good enough not to slow me down and I quickly got good at reloading. It had no misfires but every once in a while I would pull the gun before the cap was trimmed and pull out several caps off the spool. I would then have to stop and rewind the caps, no biggie as I quickly learned to pull up and away after shooting (a natural move if you are quick firing with the nose). It mostly happened if I was over-reaching or at an odd angle.

I'm looking forward to installing some rigid insulation, but haven't been able to find the 2" nails mentioned in the review...any leads on sourcing these would be much appreciated.
Posted: 1:26 am on November 29th

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