Editor's Review: Streamlined Cap Stapler
review date: March 11, 2010
Most manufacturers of housewrap and synthetic roof underlayment recommend or require that their products be installed with cap nails or cap staples. Several brands of cap nailers and staplers are now available, each a little different from the next. Paslode’s new CS150 cap stapler has some worthy attributes.
The CS150 is easy to manage thanks to its light weight (about 4-1/2 lb.), its integral belt hook, and the inline configuration of the cap-coil magazine. The cap magazine’s rear-mounted position puts the center of gravity right in the middle of the hand grip and leaves the nose free to sneak into tight inside corners.
The tool accommodates staples from 3/4 in. to 1-1/2 in. in length, allowing installers to fasten thin sheet materials like housewrap as well as thicker materials, such as 1-in. rigid-foam insulation. Each coil of 244 caps is wound on a cardboard spool and has a window that provides a visual cue to the remaining capacity.
Loading staples takes a bit more practice. The magazine is relatively short in length, and the hand-grip area is too tight to drop a staple strip straight down on the rail as you do with stand-alone pneumatic staplers. Having to slide the staples in at an angle annoyed me until I figured out a work-around: Just snap the staple strip in half, and install in two sections.
Another drawback to the staple magazine is that it holds only a single 100-staple strip at a time, so you’ll be reloading staples 2-1/2 times for every coil of caps. This nailer doesn’t have an anti-dry-fire mechanism either, so you’ll most likely discover you’re out of staples only when you start firing loose caps.
I also found the hand grip on this tool to be a bit undersize. My index finger rides forward on the trigger farther than I prefer, and I can’t effectively operate the tool while wearing work gloves. But I do like the switchable trigger, which allows me to choose between bump-fire and sequential modes with a lever.
The depth-of-drive adjustment, a must-have on a cap tool, is just beneath the trigger. This adjustment lets you tweak the drive to match the air pressure from your pneumatic hose and the density of the sheathing you’re fastening into. Any cap stapler can be used as a regular pneumatic stapler by removing the caps, but Paslode makes it easy with the addition of a shunt switch that cuts the air to the cap-advance piston. It isn’t the same as using a dedicated pneumatic stapler, if only because you still have the cap magazine and track on board, but it’s a nice perk if you’re on a tight tool budget and need a stapler only occasionally.
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