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  • Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

    I'm an aspiring woodworker that just recently bought a circular saw. I managed to build a simple work bench without losing any fingers so my next goal is to build a basic toy chest for my daughter. After that, a (hopefully) nicer blanket chest for my wife.

    I've been reading about compressors and nail guns. It seems the oil-free compressors that come in the combo kits are typically rated as very loud and have a short lifespan. However, the nail guns they include tend to get decent reviews. Unfortuantely, I can't find many nail gun kits by themselves.

    So my questions are:
    1. Should I get the combo, wait for the compressor to fail, and then just replace it? This way I'd get at least a finish and brad nailer at a decent price.

    2. Buy a better compressor and the nail guns separately? My primary hesitation here is that it seems just buying the nailguns separately cost as much as the combo kits with a compressor. I realize I could get higher end nailers but I'm not sure if I'll need/appreciate them.

    I think part of my uncertainty is I'm not sure if I'll need a brad nailer and a finish nailer or just one in order to build some simple chests. If I only needed one then I think I'd just buy a nailer and a better compressor.

    The combo kits I'm mostly focusing on right now are:
    - "RIDGID Compressor With Toolbox On Top", has two nailers (finish and brad), and a 2.5 gallon oil-free compressor. $249
    - "Porter-Cable Three Nailer / Compressor Combo Kit", has 2 nailers and a stapler, 6 gallon oil-free compressor. $279.
    - "Bostitch CPACK3 Finish Nailer, Brad Nailer, Finish Stapler, and Compressor Combo Kit", has 2 nailers and a stampler, 6 gallon oil-free compressor. $279.

  • #2
    Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

    The oil less/oiled compressor debate has been going on forever and will continue on. So much depends on the amount of usage the compressor will see. I've had an oil less Campbell Hausfeld pancake compressor for almost a decade and it shows no signs of wearing out and because it lives in the shop looks pretty much the way it did when I took it out of the box. Yes, the oiled compressors tend to be quieter than the oil less but that isn't always the case either. My compressor for example happens to be very quiet for an oil less model while some of the oiled Harbor Freight models are louder than a freight train.

    As far as nailers go, for furniture building an 18 gauge brad nailer and possibly a 23 gauge pinner should get you by. For some light construction type work a 16 gauge or 15 gauge nailer will come into play. Of those two, I prefer the 15 gauge as it's more versatile but it does leave a little larger hole to fill.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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    • #3
      Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

      Thanks for the information. Do you think it's important to get an 18ga brad nailer that can handle 2" brads? Or would 1 1/4" be enough most of the time? I figure 2" provides for more options but I'm not sure how often I'd need a 2" brad versus a 2" finish nail.

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      • #4
        Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

        I just purchased this compressor here:

        http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-D55146-...5665617&sr=8-6

        VERY VERY quiet but not big enough of a tan for a impact wrench. I tried that but later went out and bought an electric Impact wrench. No problem running two framing nailer's or two roofing guns. I like that it is easy to move so I can take it out on the job and also set it up in the shop.

        About the nail guns I have a Bostitch 2 in 1 Brad nailer and Narrow crown stapler that I think is great. Just one gun to carry or use rather than 2 like they sell in most of those sets.

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        • #5
          Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

          I've managed to pickup a couple of Ridgid nailers during the last two Christmas shopping seasons at Home Depot. Watch for some of the more spectacular deals on the "Combos" as the season draws to a close or during the inventory clearances that take place in late December and early January. In both cases my purchases were substantially below the normal valued price.

          For instance, in 2005 (as I recall) the "Finish Carpenters Combo" sold both the Ridgid 10-inch CMS and the Ridgid 16-ga Straight Finish Nailer together. On clearance I picked it up for $135.... less than the individual price of either of these tools.

          In 2006 I picked up another "combo" which consisted of the same 16-guage Straight Finish Nailer, the 18-ga Brad Nailer, and the 7.2 volt Pivot Driver. On clearance it came to $129... which was only $10 more than the 18-ga brad nailer sold for individually.

          I can't remember what "steals" there was last year, but I'm looking forward to this season's bargains.

          For a compressor, I have a 3-year old Craftsman 33-gal oil-less. Nice unit for the garage, but at about 90 dB's, you don't want to be anywhere near the unit, even with the best ear plugs. However, I recently purchased a much smaller 2-gal, Craftsman cast-iron, lubricated unit that is considerably less noisey. It's perfect for powering the nailers and is easily portable. I just posted it's details and a link on the "First Compressor" thread, here in the same forum.

          CWS
          Last edited by CWSmith; 11-02-2008, 08:07 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

            Originally posted by davidadner View Post
            Thanks for the information. Do you think it's important to get an 18ga brad nailer that can handle 2" brads? Or would 1 1/4" be enough most of the time? I figure 2" provides for more options but I'm not sure how often I'd need a 2" brad versus a 2" finish nail.
            I choose to go with an 18 gauge brad nailer that will shoot up to 2" long brads. My reasoning at the time was that I'd rather have the capability to shoot longer brands and not need it than to need it and not have it. FWIW, there have been many times that I've shot brads longer than 1¼". Whenever glue is involved, I choose a brad over a finish nail.
            Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

              I originally bought this kit http://www.factoryauthorizedoutlet.c...D55141FNBN.asp I actually liked it a lot and it came with a crown stapler to. It was just to small for around the house stuff. It is perfect for small nail guns but nothing heavy duty. My buddy uses it on roof tops for his roofing nailer. He loves it because it is light and he can take it anywhere.

              I took it back and bought things separately. I screwed up though because I bought a cheap brad nailer and now I wish I had one that could shoot 2". Why put a bigger hole than necessary. I bought a ridigd finish nailer and a ridgid fraiming naler too.

              I picked up this http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...3+90156+524403.

              I love that thing. It is a little heavier than I would like but all in all it is a very good compressor. I dont have a sompresser to compare the noise to but I think it could be a little less noisy.

              OP if it was me. I would buy a small combo kit. I suggest getting the brad nailer that shoots 2". If you buy individual guns than you will spend as much as the ckit cost and you get a small compressor too. I still wish I had kept my origianl kit and bought my compressor I have now.









              Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
              I choose to go with an 18 gauge brad nailer that will shoot up to 2" long brads. My reasoning at the time was that I'd rather have the capability to shoot longer brands and not need it than to need it and not have it. FWIW, there have been many times that I've shot brads longer than 1¼". Whenever glue is involved, I choose a brad over a finish nail.

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              • #8
                Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

                I didn't get a combo kit, but I did get a screaming good deal on my compressor $49 (later reduced to $20) and a 3 gun trim kit from Senco (15 ga finish, 18 ga brad, and crown stapler) for $99. If you do it separately, remember that you'll need to add in a bit extra for some hose, fittings, and fasteners if the guns don't come with them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

                  Not to hijack the thread or anything, but I'm curious as to whether anyone has used those Paslode cordless nail guns.

                  They make a framing one that can shoot up to 3 1/2 nails......
                  I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

                    For furniture building, you do NOT need a nailer. You need a drill/driver and a light pinner/brad driver. Nail guns are for framing, roofing and decks. Your money would be better spent on a good drill and driver set than on a nail gun. You can always drive brads by hand and set them. a good drill and driver will see you through lots of furniture.

                    I purchased an el-cheapo oil-less compressor for the shop that didn't come with tools. I already had a good brad driver that was a 2" model. I've since purchased a smaller brad driver for the really small stuff like drawers and such. The compressor has enough juice to run the brad driver in the shop. It'll even run a sprayer if I need to. It wasn't my first purchase for the shop, as a matter of fact it's one of the last things I purchased. It's noisy and persnickity but it works and does what I need. Get some wood screws and a drill and a driver. Then you'll want a couple hammers and other hand tools. Good furniture is built with patience, time, and care. Experience is a good teacher.

                    Tinmack, I have a Paslode framer. It's about 5 years old and works like a champ. The newer models are not as heavy and seem to be as well made. I like the adjustability of the set mechanism. It seems just about every deck build requires a slightly different set to drive the nails just right, but you can usually dial it in pretty quickly. The fuel cells last a good long time and the batteries are pretty good. I still have the original batteries in mine. Obviously, I don't use it every day. About twice yearly I help out friends with decking and framing, but it's always been a reliable tool when I need it.
                    Last edited by VASandy; 11-02-2008, 11:17 PM.
                    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

                      Originally posted by tinmack View Post
                      Not to hijack the thread or anything, but I'm curious as to whether anyone has used those Paslode cordless nail guns.

                      They make a framing one that can shoot up to 3 1/2 nails......
                      I use one about 3-4 times a week. They are great for running around projects where hauling a hose and compressor would just not work. But for framing a whole house not the best. You have to have the battery charged and fuel that you have to buy. Also not the best for toe-nailing.

                      I have also used the cordless trim and brad nailers which I think are a lot more useful but still the battery and fuel cell you have to buy.

                      I just bought a Dewalt 15-Guage Cordless Trim gun and I really like it. It uses the XRP batteries that I already have and no fuel cells to buy. The dewalt is quite heavy compared to the paslode's but I think it is manageable.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

                        Originally posted by davidadner View Post
                        - "Porter-Cable Three Nailer / Compressor Combo Kit", has 2 nailers and a stapler, 6 gallon oil-free compressor. $279.
                        .
                        Home Depot actually has the PC 3 Gun kit for $299 with the 23G Pin Nailer packed in for free so you get 4 guns for $299. I picked up the same deal last Christmas and have been very pleased with it.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Buy compressor kit or each item separately?

                          Another thing about the Paslode is that you are making a new model that is already out in some places but it hard to find from what I have seen. Fuel is a bit different, doesn't require cleanings as much (main reason you see a lot in for repairs because people don't take care of them) and a better tip for toe-nailing. That is what I am waiting for and I will be adding one to my toolbox.

                          Info Here:
                          http://www.toologics.com/Manufacture...080318610.html

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