Friday, February 20, 2009

The DeWALT Hoseless 18-Gauge Nailer

The DeWALT Hoseless 18-Gauge Nailer

Begin by thinking about all the possible uses you might have for compressed air. If you won't be doing anything other than nailing, then a small, oil-free compressor does a great job. They're portable, quiet, they plug into a regular wall outlet, and they don't take up much workshop space. I've used the Porter-Cable and Bostitch 2 hp models for everything from fine trim work to one-man framing.

If you think the same thing with me, let's decide to go pneumatic, there's also a little-known bonus you need to consider. You absolutely must take a look at a pin nailer if you'll be installing small molding profiles, building furniture or making model boats and aircraft out of wood. This tiny, handheld air tool shoots thin, 23-gauge headless fasteners.

With a compressor on hand, it also enables a whole range of rental air tools for specific jobs. A roofing nailer for shingling, a framing nailer for basement renovations or a tool that shoots small nails in the centre of collated plastic washers for holding down building wrap.

Based on a finishing nailer body, the Nail Kicker uses a tube and plunger assembly in place of a nail magazine and nose piece to kick nails out backwards from reclaimed boards. I've used this tool personally, and it speeds denailing 300% to 400% compared with hammer and crowbar methods.

Perhaps by now you're thinking you really don't want to build an entire air nailer arsenal. Is a finishing nailer all you really want? Consider a hoseless model instead of a compressor and air-powered tool.

The Paslode finishing nailer, for instance, uses a replaceable canister of combustible fuel to drive nails. The DeWALT hoseless 18-gauge nailer uses the same kind of rechargeable battery you'll find on a drill our impact driver. I know from experience that both these tools work well.