Tool Tests and Reviews

  • Paslode F350-P Framing Nailer

    Long known for tools that drive paper-collated fasteners, Paslode now makes a 21-degree gun and resin collated fasteners that work with it. 

     
  • Hitachi NR38AK Strap-Tite Nailer

     
  • Tested: Paslode F325R Compact Framing Nailer

    Aimed at the remodeler, this is the smallest lightest standard-pressure framer you can get.

     
  • Bostich 18-Gauge Smart Point Brad Nailer

    A unique contact mechanism makes it easy to accurately place fasteners.

     
  • RoboReel Air

    The electric motor in this orb shaped device automatically reels in your air hose.

     
  • Cadex 23-Gauge Pinner

    The CPB23.50 drives pins up to two inches long and is loaded with useful features.

     
  • DeWalt DCN690 Cordless Framing Nailer

    This battery-powered gun is convenient for small framing projects, pickup and punch work, and driving nails that might otherwise be driven by hand.

     
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    Ridgid Tri-Stack Compressor

    The motor and pump can be removed from this compressor for separate use and to make the tool easier to transport.

     
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    Lightweight Framing Nailers

    These sub 8-pound nail guns are comfortable to use and surprisingly powerful.

     
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    Tools Up Close: Graco ProShot Paint Sprayer

    Last summer, my painting company added a new sprayer to its arsenal: the Graco ProShot. For those who missed the hoopla surrounding the introduction of this tool, it's a hoseless 2,000-psi piston pump sprayer that takes pro-style tips and is powered by an 18-volt battery. The ProShot is sold...

     
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    Tool Test: Airless Paint Sprayers

    We gathered nine pumps, ranging from midlevel budget models to a few suited for everyday use on smaller jobs – they just had to be able to handle the pros' requisite .019-inch tip. Our painter of 25 years used them with interior and exterior latex paints to determine their worth from a full-time...

     
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    First Test: High-Pressure Pneumatics

    Makita is bringing its high-pressure nailer line to the U.S., and we were the first framing crew in the country to get our hands on its framing and siding coil nailers and brand-new 400-psi compressor. High-pressure nailers are more common in Japan, where the affinity for efficiency and compactness...

     
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    First Test: Bosch's First-Ever Nailer

    Out West where I build, the Big Three of framing nailers are Hitachi, Paslode, and Senco; if you've shot a 12d nail here, chances are it's been through one of these. There is no shortage of companies making framers, as I found out in our test of 19 full round-head nailers last year, but an...

     
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    First Test: Nail Kicker Pneumatic Nail Remover

    For such an ingenious tool, the Nail Kicker is based on a very simple concept. What if you could use a nail gun instead of a hammer to pound a nail back through a board? All you would need is a nailer without a magazine, right? That's the idea behind the Nail Kicker.

     
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    First Test: NailOut Pneumatic Nail Lifter

    The NailOut is an air-powered cat's-paw designed to work just like a manual cat's-paw but without the hammer swing. Essentially, this tool is an adaptation of a pneumatic tool called a scaler that's used in the metal fabrication industry. A scaler's simple reciprocating action–or stroke–is similar...

     
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    Lightweight Air Compressors

    My life changed 30 years ago when my boss showed up on our jobsite with a used 2-gallon, 1-horse air, belt-driven compressor and a couple of roofing staplers. That old compressor chugged day in and day out, just barely keeping pace with our tools but driving our production to a new level.

     
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    Hoseless Nailers

    As a builder in the Washington, D.C., area, I spend a lot of time with a nailer in my hand and, of course, a lot of time dragging an air hose around the jobsite. It was an eye-opening experience for me to try out the current generation of hoseless (a.k.a. cordless) nail guns, both framing and...