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Which nailer to get?

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  • Which nailer to get?

    Ok all,
    I really need some advice.
    I am looking at getting a nailer and probably want to so before the weekend sales end.
    I am considering 2 units.
    I am looking at the Ridgid R150FSA and Hitachi NT50AE2.
    My needs are trim for book cases, picture frames, etc..
    I think that the 18ga will be just right for me.
    Both of these are 18ga. The Ridgid can handle up to 2 1/8 in nails and the Hitachi can handle up to 2 in nails.
    The problem that I have is this..
    The Ridgid is about 30 more dollars than the Hitachi.
    That is fine if there is actually an advantage to getting the Ridgid.
    I want the right one for my needs and I want the best I can a certain price range.
    I am not sure what they are using to justify the extra 30 dollars on the Ridgid though.
    Here is what I know so far..
    The Hitachi is not oiless and the Ridgid is.
    I was told by a sales rep that if you are not constantly using the oiless however, they will rust inside.
    I will be using it off and on..I am sure.
    He did suggest using a few drops of oil in the oiless though.
    Also the Ridgid has the lifetime warranty. That is nice unless these things can last for years and years of moderate use anyways.
    Maybe it is the nails. Is it that one takes universal nails and the other does not?
    What exactly is the benefit of the Ridgid that warrants the higher cost?
    I guess part of the puzzle for me is that Ridgid usually is more reasonable in price when it comes to higher end tools. So I am wondering if I am missing something.
    Any advice?

  • #2
    Re: Which nailer to get?

    I don't know anything about the Hitachi, but, unless things have changed, the last time I looked at the Ridgid nailer, it seemed kind of cheap. Felt like I would break it if I looked at it too long. In all fairness, I have not used one, just my first impression. I've had Porter Cable brad nailers for years ( the only reason I've owned 4 of them is other people seem to like them too-thieves). The PC has taken many nasty falls off my ladder onto concrete and has never skipped a beat.
    Don't know if this helped...

    I've learned a lot from my past experiences.
    I've learned nothing from my passed experiences.


    • #3
      Re: Which nailer to get?

      I have several Porter-Cable nailers and I am very happy with them. To me, the Ridgid feels very cheap. I wouldn't worry about 2" vs. 2 1/8". I haven't even seen 2 1/8" brads anywhere, not that it makes any difference really. I don't even use 18GA. brads longer than 1 1/2" since they tend to bend too easily and blow out the side of the wood. Anything longer than 1 1/4" I usually use 16GA. or 15GA.
      This the nailer I'd recommend to you >>>


      • #4
        Re: Which nailer to get?

        Porter Cable is good, Hitachi is good, never really used a Ridgid but I'm a Bostitch man

        Scope this one out... takes 5/8" - 2" 18 gauge brads

        This kit includes an 18 gauge gun and a 16 gauge gun for $169.00 with free shipping...

        Just a few more to consider

        PS. The Bostitch is always easy to find brads for, so is the PC... The other brands often use one of these two brands brads...
        Last edited by jbergstrom; 05-26-2007, 04:01 AM.
        Cheers! - Jim
        All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer


        • #5
          Re: Which nailer to get?

          Thanks guys,
          This is good info.


          • #6
            Re: Which nailer to get?

            The primary reason for the $30 difference in price is the oil less feature offered on the Ridgid nailer. If you can get into a routine of adding a drop or two of oil before or after each use a conventional nailer will serve you just fine. I don't know for sure if it's OK to use oil on an oil less nailer but unless it says so in the manual I'd ignore that advice you received from that HD guy. Also, unless you would also be storing the nailer in a very damp place, I think the chances of rust forming on the inside of the nailer are remote at best.
            I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


            • #7
              Re: Which nailer to get?

              I have the ridgid and I like it. I can understand the looks seeming "cheap" but truthfully I love the way it feels in my hand and balance. I got it after trying their stapler and being very impressed with it and though I haven't used the 18ga much I still am shooting out staple after staple with no jams or problems. I have also used the 16gu a bit and find it very reliable and solid in use.

              I have never heard of a gun rusting inside from lack of use. Sounds fishy. My suggestion is go by what feels good in your hand and price. With the limited use it will be seeing according to your post, you can probably get away with an even cheaper model from Harbor Freight and get your money's worth out of it. I had an old CH one that came with a pancake compressor and got several years of use out of it before it started falling apart, and I used it a lot on the jobsite, so if the $30 is a consideration you may want to go even cheaper and get yourself a 23gauge for the picture frames as well. I'd bet you can get both for under the price of the ridgid or hitachi from HF.

              Just more options to make it even tougher to decide!
              A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.


              • #8
                Re: Which nailer to get?

                I recently purchased the Ridgid 18ga and 16ga straight nailers.
                They are replacing older units I purchased from Harbor Freight 7-8 years ago.
                The old nailers are fine, I handed them down to my Son so I can upgrade to newer units.

                The ridgid nailers are light weight, and to folks used to bicep straining nailers these puppies feel like light weight toys!!

                The ridgid 18ga nailer feels lighter, is more comfortable, has more options, and has a better capacity than my old DeVilbiss 18ga nailer.

                I like it being oil free and you do not add any oil ever! These have Teflon rings and stuff, the oil will mess them up. With an oil free unit the possibility of oil splatter from the nail being shot or the exhaust on your work is eliminated.

                I like the feel of the nailers [being left handed]. The belt clip gadget is clever but can be annoying at times.

                I am a weekend warrior and I can't say how these will work in a pro shop where they get 7 hours a day of use...For that scenario I'd suggest you buy the best, the most expensive etc.

                For the home workshop these are perfect. I have the entire range of brads so on a Friday night at 10p.m. when working on something I have the correct brad!

                I have made small storage boxes, installed molding, even repaired some furniture with these units.

                Bottom line, you have around a 30 day window when you buy at home Depot,
                Get them, try them, if you don't like them, return them!

                Cactus Man


                • #9
                  Re: Which nailer to get?

                  Thanks for the view on the Ridgid gun, like I said, I never used one. How is the trigger mechanism? By that, I mean my PC had a number you could call and they'd send you, absolutly free, a replacement trigger. The original required you to completely lift the gun from the surface before firing again. The new one allows you to fire as many times as you want as long as the safety is depressed.

                  I've learned a lot from my past experiences.
                  I've learned nothing from my passed experiences.


                  • #10
                    Re: Which nailer to get?

                    The Ridgid has a selectable trigger. So do my PC's. With my Dewalt 15 GA. I have to swap out the trigger, which is fine by me since I always have it on sequential fire anyway.

                    BTW- friends don't let friends shop at Harbor Freight!


                    • #11
                      Re: Which nailer to get?

                      Thanks for the info, Newman. I'd like to get a new nailer soon and semi-retire this one to a backup status. It's good to have a plan B.

                      I've learned a lot from my past experiences.
                      I've learned nothing from my passed experiences.


                      • #12
                        Re: Which nailer to get?

                        I like my Paslode...Feels nice shoots right and I like their nails too, one in about 300 that might bend when entering wood.
                        Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....


                        A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!


                        • #13
                          Re: Which nailer to get?

                          Originally posted by Newman View Post

                          BTW- friends don't let friends shop at Harbor Freight!
                          This is true newman. I will admit that though I'd never buy a power tool from HF that I expected to use more than four times a year, it could be a solution for those who don't depend on their tools for work. I know that before I learned the beauty of a well built contractor grade tool I made due with many a homeowner grade POS and was none the wiser though. My mom, who can a does build everything she needs, had only a jigsaw and an old black and decker power drill to work with for years. My point is I would rather have a sub par 23 gauge pinner for picture frames and an sub par 18ga for trim if I was only gonna pull em out a few times a year than a top notch finish gun that wasn't going to see much use, especially if I couldn't 'splain the price difference away by saying they will pay for themselves. (and an 18 will split those picture frames)

                          All that said, Newman is right though. HF tools are about worth what you pay for them.
                          Last edited by woodenstickers; 05-27-2007, 03:00 AM.
                          A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.


                          • #14
                            Re: Which nailer to get?

                            Thanks guys.
                            I like HF for a few things. If I need an extension for a socket and ratchet..or a pair of pliers, they might be the way to go.
                            I tend to stay away from them on anything that you plug in for power.

                            More than likely, this is the way it is going to work..
                            I will be building fairly heavily for a while. I have always liked working with wood and have some projects that I always wanted to do. (Quite a few actually.) And then there are the endless home upgrade ideas that I have.
                            For example there are spurts where my wife forbids me from watching the cooking channel. She has learned that what I am really doing is looking at the way the kitchen is laid out for new upgrade ideas.
                            During this time, the wood tools will get a good workout.

                            But....later I will get into some car work for a while.
                            (For example....been thinking of finding and restoring an older 1940's style truck with the flared fenders.)
                            During that time, the tools will be in a downtime.

                            Eventually I will get back into doing some more wood projects...

                            Plus....I like a tool that performs better for me.
                            It simply makes the job more enjoyable and makes me want to do more of it later.


                            • #15
                              Re: Which nailer to get?

                              This really depends on what you're gonna use it for - finishing, flooring, you need a pin nailer etc, etc. Once you know that check out this review site Nailer Reviews or any other that you can find to hone down your choice.