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Are hoseless nailers worth the hassle?

comments (17) October 9th, 2009 in Blogs
JFink Justin Fink, Senior Editor

Paslode, Max, Powers, Dewalt, and Hitachi all make hose-free, gas- or flywheel- powered nailers ranging in size from 18 ga. to a full round head framing nail.

There's no shortage of companies cranking out these tools, and Paslode practically built their empire around their version. But I hear strong opinions from both sides of the fence on the value of these tools.

"They let me leave the compressor at home for small jobs"

"They slowly leak gas between uses, so they're dead when you need 'em"

"The gas exhaust smells terrible"

"They are quieter than some pneumatic nailers"

"I can't sink a framing nail consistently"

etc, etc, etc...


So, the Tool Hound topic of the week is this:

Are hoseless nailers worth the hassle?


For more on hose-free framing nailers, click here

posted in: Blogs, nailers
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Comments (17)

MikeChrest MikeChrest writes: If I remember correctly, the thing I didn't like about the Paslode framer I borrowed is that you have to push really hard and hold it steady for a second before the gun would fire. Perhaps the newer guns are better. If you are doing work overhead or at an awkward angle this is a deal killer for me.
I'm not a big fan of bounce fired guns, but I do like bounce mode for sheathing and sub-floor work. I don't know how any framing crew could trade air guns for gas and still be competitive.
Flex eel hoses and a small compressor(another vote for Thomas)for trim/punch work, bigger compressor for roofing. I think more people would be happy with their air guns if they got some nice lightweight hoses. They do tangle like a barrel full of eels though.
The battery trim guns are still too heavy. I was working on a fourth floor apartment(with no elevator) and still would rather lug the small compressor up the stairs and plop it down for the day than hold a heavy gun overhead all day.
Posted: 10:12 am on January 30th

roberttp roberttp writes: I've used the impulse framer a bit, and while it beats nailing by hand in a lot of circumstances, I would take an air nailer any day over the gas. I found the pasload impulse finicky in the cold (although air nailers are too), loud, and slower than an air nailer especially when nailing off sheathing. I found it heavy as well, but maybe it's just a balance issue.
Tucker and Kit seemed to hit the nail on the head. I have a little thomas compressor that is so light and compact that I use that for pick up work, or really anytime I'm working alone and don't have my bigger compressor rolled out. It works great for finish work, and I can run my Max superframer for stud work no problem. I'd highly recommend this sort of set up in addition to having a bigger copressor.
If you interested in picking up a gas nailer, you can usually find them popping up used on craigslist this time of year in the northeast due to the cold weather operation issues. Just my own opinion.
Posted: 8:56 am on November 2nd

rustic_chippy rustic_chippy writes: With all the health and safety we have here in England now the hoseless guns win every time,i sold my bostich because i had to do a method statement and risk assesment everytime i got it out of the van(safety officers hate trailing leads and hoses)no one bats an eyelid when the paslode comes out,and as for maintenance its no more time consuming than sharpening a plane iron or chisel.I also have a dewalt 2nd fix 18v thats never let me down.
Posted: 4:30 pm on October 31st

karteberry karteberry writes: Time and place for both air and gas.
Posted: 11:09 am on October 29th

ASMWoodwright ASMWoodwright writes: I started out using Paslode nailers over 10 years ago and have moved over to air because the gas was making me sick. I used to use a Paslode framing and finish nailer for indoor work and I always wondered why I felt miserable at the end of a day. I feel great at the end of a day when I use air tools! I would advise against using a Paslode nailer in an enclosed space.
Posted: 4:17 pm on October 23rd

RobAFett RobAFett writes: Compressors? Hoses? Oh I remember them, I think that's what my father and grandfather used way back in the 20th century.

I've been using the Paslode hoseless for over 7 years now and they work great. I do mostly remodeling type of projects and other than the fuel getting old and cleaning it every once in a while, I've haven't had any problems. Although the battery good be made better.

Compared to dealing with a hose and compressor of the old days, everytime I pullout my Paslodes they are putting $$ back in my pocket. Hoses are a pain in the rear, especially on remodels. Rolling them out, cleaning them up not to mention using them on a ladder or up in the trusses. I wonder how much I saved in time and labor over the years? I've even talked with a builder in Indy that says they stopped using compressors years ago and only use their Paslode's - and at the time, he was building 20-30 houses a year, although I don't think he's doing that much these days.

By the way, earlier this year I bought the new Paslode with the new fuel - no more leaky gas. Dude...I thought I was happy with my old one, but this one rocks! Its faster and it gets into corners great and the new fuel comes with the nails, which make sense to me. One less thing to worry about.

Bottom line, hoseless is the way to go!
Posted: 11:46 am on October 22nd

ponytl ponytl writes: we frames with nothing but paslode impulse guns... it's all we use.. and it's not because it's all we have... even when setting forms it's all we use... you'd think being down in the dirt doing form work, would be the hardest work on any gun... but we have all but zero issues and we do no cleaning or maintenance until something stops working... which for us just doesn't happen a lot with our paslode guns...

I keep plenty of supplies on hand... and i don't expect a fuel charge to be good if it's been sitting in the gun for weeks...

Posted: 8:36 pm on October 21st

tinsley tinsley writes: Dukes,

You seem to know. Should I waste the time and money or just stay with my air guns? They are great, I was just looking for the next big thing. If cordless nailers are such a pain, I will gladly save my money.
Posted: 1:28 am on October 21st

GrantH GrantH writes: I've been using my Dewalt 16g nailer for about 4 years. I love it. I can't imagine lugging and setting up the compressor/hose for less than a days work. It has a few jamming issues when it starts the second clip in the magazine but that's about all.
Posted: 8:27 pm on October 19th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: I started using Paslodes a little over 10 years ago, and while yes, they can be finicky from time-to-time, I found them a helluva lot easier to use than conventional pneumatic nailers. I don't care what anyone says, that damn tube is a real pain in the a**.

Just my two cents.



Posted: 1:41 pm on October 16th

jpunion jpunion writes: I have been using cordless nailers for 10 years or more, Paslode framers and finish.If you're getting sick from the fumes you are alittle to close to the gun. Yes tere are maintenance procedures that must be preformed to insure the gun works when you need it. The Dewalt electric angle nailer is great. Wish they had a brad nailer.The angle nailer has never let me down.
Posted: 11:13 am on October 16th

MrTusat MrTusat writes: I used a Paslode finish nailer last week on a jobsite and the discharge off-gas gave me a headache. Just my 2 cents.
Posted: 1:16 pm on October 13th

Kit_Camp Kit_Camp writes: Tucker pretty much took (all) the words right out of my mouth, down to the trusty SFN40. Love that gun.

- Kit
Posted: 10:35 pm on October 12th

Mike_Guertin Mike_Guertin writes: I've used hoseless nailers for over 30 years and find them indispensible.

I'm not sure about these gas powered or pneumatic things you are talking about but my hammer works day-in and day-out without much service and no maintenance.
Posted: 9:01 pm on October 11th

dukes898 dukes898 writes: I have both paslode framing nailer and finish nailer and I find them to be very tempremental and not to mention the maintenance involved. The winters can be harsh in new york, misfiring or not firing at all is common in cold weather.
Posted: 4:19 pm on October 11th

tinsley tinsley writes: I have a DeWalt finish nailer and I have been happy with it. It recoils more than air guns, but is nice for quick pick up work. In 1000 nails, it will jam 5-10 times, but easy to clear. I have a big house to build next with a 9 in 12 roof and several other complexities, 5 bays, skylights, etc. I thought a Paslode framing nailer or two might come in handy. Any opinions? Normally on high stuff we nail off by hand like the old days. I didn't realize there was such a maintenance issue on these guns either.
Posted: 12:32 am on October 11th

Tucker W. Tucker W. writes: I have a Paslode angled finish gas nailer in my shed, and I don’t think I’m taking it out any time soon. I found it to be too much trouble.
The upfront cost is high and the cost to keep it running isn’t great. Compared to my trusty snf40, it has a battery that needs to be recharged, the gas cartridges need to be fresh and kept in stock, and I had to stock another type of nail just to keep going. And then there are the cleaning and maintenance issues. All that for something that still fails to fire when I need it.
My hoseless gun has essentially been replaced with a small, Thomas compressor. Its very light and has a low amp draw. I already have one finish nailer in my truck—why carry two? And maintenance wise I’ve had to service my old Senco maybe once in the last 9 years.

Posted: 9:00 am on October 10th

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