Bostitch PN50 mini nailer
A pint-size palm nailer
If you can’t justify the cost of a dedicated metal-connector nailer but don’t want to resort to hand-nailing all of those joist hangers, a palm nailer can help to speed things up when it comes time to pin metal to wood. Plus, on those occasions when you’ve got to put fasteners in a place where no framing hammer or impact driver wants to go, a palm nailer can move the job along quickly, without too much head-scratching or knuckle-busting.
I’ve used an old (and, dare I say, inexpensive) off-brand palm nailer for years without too much complaint. Recently, however, I tried the Bostitch PN50 Mini Impact Nailer, and I was impressed with the performance packed into this more ergonomic package.
This palm nailer is much more compact than my old model, and it fits snugly in my hand. The low weight (just over 1 lb.) and the grippy, vibration-insulating rubber overmold, combined with the swivel connector for the hose, add up to a tool that’s pretty comfortable to use.
In terms of driving nails, the PN50 has no problem setting multiples of Simpson Tie nails, and 4-in. nails went into old, hard Douglas-fir framing with ease.
Of course, using a palm nailer is a compromise. You have to weigh the positives—such as low cost and maneuverability in tight quarters—against the negatives, such as vibration and noise. On the whole, I’d say that the PN50 offers a combination of ergonomic refinement and performance that means the compromise won’t feel like a concession.