Tool Review: Color-Coded Pneumatic Nails
Trackers make it easy to verify nail size
Each of Trackers’ six nail-head colors corresponds to a different length and diameter pneumatic nail, making it easy to verify whether nails were installed according to a nailing schedule.
Trackers have full-round heads and come collated in paper or plastic strips or in wire-bound coils. The nails are available in a bright finish only. The impact-resistant color covers the head and the upper 1/2 in. of the nail shank. Halsteel (888) 606-6245, www.halsteel.com) is currently the only licensed manufacturer of Trackers, which are ICBO approved.
A colored Trackers label with nail length and diameter identifies each box of nails; for instance, 16d 3-1/2-in. by 0.162-in. dia. nails have an orange label. Each box of Tracker nails comes with two laminated color-coded charts.
With Trackers, building inspectors will find that their jobs are a little bit easier because nail lengths will be easy to identify. Builders will find it easier to tell helpers which fastener to use in a given situation (“I said to use the blues there, not reds”). Architects and engineers can have confidence that building integrity won’t be compromised by the wrong fasteners. And most important, homeowners can rest assured that the nails holding their house together are capable of the job.
Tracker nails are available through distributors nationwide, but in the East, you still need to ask for them. If you contact Halsteel, they can put you in touch with a local distributor. In the West, Trackers can be found at major building-supply houses, such as Orco and Whitecap.
Ryan Hawks is a part-time carpenter and full-time surfer in Pacific Beach, CA.
Photo: Scott Phillips