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  • Brad nailer purchase

    I am considering purchasing a brad nailer and air compressor or a combo kit. I think an 18 gauge brad nailer will be sufficient for my needs right now but would like a compressor that I can use for bigger nailers/staplers in the future without having to upgrade. 99% of my projects are home improvement/DIY (shelving, bookcases, cabinets, molding, etc.). Any information regarding brand, style, pros/cons will be helpful. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Gravity. It\'s not just a good idea. It\'s the LAW!

  • #2
    I have the PC 18 gauge BN125 which I picked up from Amazon a while ago. I haven't tried any other brands but i'm very happy with my purchase so much so that I also picked up the 16 gauge finish nailer. I haven't used the 16 gauge finish nailer much yet but the brad nailer has been very reliable without any jams. I believe PC has a combo with the pancake compressor and the two nailers. In terms of an air compressor, my 2 cents is to get one as big as your budget and space allows as long as portability is not an issue. I find myself using the compressor for other things such as spray guns and other air tools. In a year and a half's time i'm on my 3rd compressor. Started with a husky 3 gallon then went to a craftsman 6 gallon pancake after the husky stopped working. The craftsman only lasted 6 months of occassional use. I took it in and traded it for a craftsman 15 gallon. Hope this one lasts a while. When I'm using the nail guns inside the house and need portability, I just connect the 3 gallon tank (compressor is gone but the tank is still good) to the compressor and fill it with air. The pump on the 3 gallon is gone but the pressure gauges still work fine. I know this is lengthly but I thought you could get some ideas from what others have gone through. Hope it helps.

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    • #3
      I too like the PC tools. I did buy an 18 gague bostitch brad nailer as I could not pass on the price and am very very happy with it as well. But my 16 ga and my compressor are both PC with no complaints
      \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Far From Handy:
        I am considering purchasing a brad nailer and air compressor or a combo kit. I think an 18 gauge brad nailer will be sufficient for my needs right now but would like a compressor that I can use for bigger nailers/staplers in the future without having to upgrade. 99% of my projects are home improvement/DIY (shelving, bookcases, cabinets, molding, etc.)...
        I have an arsenal of Porter-Cable nail guns. Brad, Angled Finish, Angled Framing and stapler.
        Love them all. The Ridgid guns appear to be great quality too. I just had my collection before Ridgid came out with theirs. I do a lot of home repair and improvement projects for myself. Can't get anyone decent where I live to do a good job on smaller projects because they are too busy making more money on new home construction. So, me and my degenerative disk desease try to do it all and scream in pain later. I almost wish that mythical "housing bubble" the financial geniuses keep talking about WOULD bust, at least around here, so I could get some good help. Sorry all you pro builders out there. I fear it may happen once the cost of building materials start shooting up rebuilding after Katrina. But that's another topic for future discussion.

        You need a compressor that will go up to at least 120 PSI to make sure you're covered if you decide later on that you want the bigger guns for more ambitious home projects. Given that I work with computers all the time, using a hammer only aggrevates the problems I have from using a keyboard. Of the tools in my shop that I value the most, you'll find my nail guns. Plus, no more dents from a hammer and the jobs go faster!!

        As a side note, the bigger the tank, the longer you can work without the compressor running continuously. But that isn't very important for DIY'ers like us. You mainly need 120 PSI or more.

        [ 09-12-2005, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: George ]

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        • #5
          Far From Handy,

          I can't speak for the brad nailer, other than to agree, that from what I've seen, the PC brad nailers are very popular and I've yet to read of any complaints.

          But, regarding the compressor, I would like to comment that if you intend to use the compressor for other uses, the pancake-type units will most definitely fall short. Nailers require relatively high pressure (PSI), but very little volume (SCFM). Hence, the perfect fit for those very small tank compressors.

          Spray finishing and many other air tools generally have larger volume needs. Spraying generally requires less pressure, but volume can be as high as 10 scfm or more. Air sanders will require even higher volume.

          The best advice that I can offer is to take a look at the various tool catalogs or web sites and look at the pressure/volume requirements of the tools you imagine yourself using in the future. That will define the size compressor that you will need. For a home shop setting, I would probably go no less than a 30 gallon tank and frankly, 60 gallons wouldn't be out of the ordinary. Pressure-wise, 135 to 175 psi is probably where you want to be.

          The bottom line of course will be the size of your shop and the depth of your pocketbook (the latter always brings my illusions back to reality). I recently purchased a Craftsman 33-Gal, 150 psi unit. At the moment I needed something that was wheel mounted and I didn't want to spend more than $300. The Craftsman was the only unit in this range that I could find with enough volume to run an siphon-feed spray gun. The Coleman, HD Huskey, CH, and Lowes' units all fell a bit short of the gun's requirements.

          So, check the tool first and then the compressor output (psi/scfm). Usually numbers on the compressor will be given as SCFM @ 40 psi/SCFM @ 90 psi. There should also be the tank size in gallons and the top pressure that the compressor will produce.

          One final note: Non-lubricated aluminum units are more care-free, but are noisier and less durable than cast-iron, lubricated units. While they are generally less expensive, the usuable life is about 1,000 hours as compared to 4,000 hours or more for cast-iron units.

          Hope this helps,

          CWS

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          • #6
            as far as a compressor goes, I would highly recommend the husky, 5hp, cast iron, 26 gal. upright. it is bulky if you are looking for a small package, but if you can afford it, and have room for it, it will handle all your air needs , from nail guns to spraying lacquor, the nail gun, I have several porter cable guns, very happy, have not tried the new rigid, but I have had problems with rigid cordless tools, namely battries and chargers, so have avoided there new line of nailers until they establish within the market that they are up to par with companies that have been making them for years

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            • #7
              In lieu of the husky, look at the CH VT-6290 or VT 6299. Better warranty, similar machine
              \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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              • #8
                Thank you for all the replies, I appreciate the input. I just got a great deal on the PC finish nailer/brad nailer/compressor combo kit so I may be able to afford yet another compressor for bigger tools. However, I haven't really needed to do much more than air a couple of tires or blow sawdust around until now. I'msure I'll be able to dream up a need for a bigger compressor soon. Thanks again.
                Gravity. It\'s not just a good idea. It\'s the LAW!

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