Evolving World of Nailers Shifts to Meet Demand

May 28, 2015

The housing market is enjoying some good tailwinds, which typically mean positive things for residential construction. As work picks up – especially in home repair and remodeling – increased demand for categories like roofing and framing are helping to drive product innovation in nailers. 

In the past, nailers have been categorically known for regional loyalty to things like brand and collation, especially in framing. Even today you can see those preferences still present in different areas of the country – 28-degree with wire weld in New England, 30-degree paper tape in the Midwest and 21-degree round head in the West. 

But with a new type of professional come new priorities, preferences and loyalties. It wasn’t long ago that residential construction pros would focus on one task alone. If you were a framer, you framed every day of the week. While that’s still true in some cases, many of today’s pros go where the work leads them – they might be framing one day, painting the next, then finish the week doing something completely different.

This opportunistic pro might be looking at nailers and nails for the first time and without predisposition. What they’ll find is a much wider assortment of brands and configurations than ever – including new products from some of the most well-known names in tools.

DeWalt, for example, just rolled out a new suite of pneumatic nailers, including a 21-degree framing nailer with tool-free depth of drive adjustment and a compact design that remodelers will really love. We’re also excited to see new nailers from Makita, and a 21-degree framing nailer from Paslode, which is the first time they’ve ventured outside 30-degree framing for which they’ve always been known.

And with Paslode’s first 21-degree gun comes the introduction of resin-collated nails. These eliminate some of the most common pain points for pros. It doesn’t break as easily as plastic, which minimizes jamming and stinging. The resin basically liquefies when you’re firing, which provides some incremental bonding power as the nails are fired and minimizes clean-up time.

More product enhancements like that are on the horizon, but the real potential for sea change is in cordless technology. Cordless has had a presence in nailers for a while now – from brad to 16-gauge nailers – and it’s exciting to watch the rapid advancement and innovation brewing.

Overall, technology is advancing rapidly across all types of nailers. It won’t be long before brands like Ridgid, DeWalt and others have turned the corner – creating a cordless gun and battery that can drive the cycle time and speed that framers and roofers need.

Advancing cordless technology will spark nothing short of a revolution in nailers – possibly even upending the stubborn brand loyalty that dominates the category. The benefits are undeniable – no compressor, no plug, no hose, no trip hazard. Essentially you’re removing the “ball and chain.” You’ll still have to charge the batteries of course, but the logistics of charging a handheld battery are significantly less complicated and expensive than rigging up a large-sized compressor – especially when working on net new construction.

It’s an exciting time for nailers, and we look forward to what the next few years have in store. To learn more about the latest tools and services for construction professionals, visit your local The Home Depot store on Thursday, June 4 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a Pro Appreciation Event that will have exclusive savings, giveaways and more.

Merchant – Pneumatic Fasteners

Steve has been with The Home Depot for more than 12 years in various roles – from category merchant to time spent in the field and in product development.


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