Nailers are hot right now. We’re seeing a spike in innovation throughout the category, and national brands are racing to introduce the next game-changing product or feature.
What’s really exciting is that some users are finally starting to break free from the regional brand and collation preferences born of a previous generation. It’s becoming more about finding the right features and less about blind loyalty to whichever brand you grew up using. Brands focused on building guns and nails that make jobs easier and take less of a toll on the user are rising to the top.
For example, we’re seeing framers in the Northeast and on the West Coast embrace DeWalt’s 21-degree lineup, which veteran framers know was practically unheard of a few years ago.
DeWalt is making a lot of noise in the traditional lineup of top nailer brands – especially in the Northeast where Bostitch has been the reigning brand for decades. Bostitch and Dewalt hail from the same company, so all of that knowledge is now wrapped up in the Dewalt brand that stands for innovation and technology.
The yellow and black have done quite a bit to improve on things like recoil and arm strain. The latest DeWalt guns are lighter and shorter and come with selectable fire modes, depth of drive adjustments and other features designed to minimize jams and reduce the time it takes to clear them. These enhancements might seem subtle to the layperson, but they can make or break a gun for that pro who’s framing every day.
While innovation is exciting for pneumatics, the cordless side of things is exploding with new technology – quickly leading to more powerful and faster guns, better batteries with long run times and what looks to be an exciting few years ahead.
To be fair, cordless isn’t entirely new to this category. Paslode has had skin in the game for quite a while. Its gas cartridge-powered cordless options are still popular among many users, but every day new brands and products hit the market.
Here are a few of my favorite players in the cordless world right now (click photos to enlarge):
DeWalt 20-volt XR: DeWalt’s rising star status in the nailer arena includes its 20-volt XR line of tools. Combined with lithium ion batteries, ergonomic design and brushless motors, DeWalt’s 20-volt XR nailers get the job done faster and with more power than many battery-powered guns on the market today.
Milwaukee M18 FUEL cordless nailers: In true Milwaukee fashion, its new cordless nailers are quickly resetting the industry standard. Ready to fire technology makes these guns fast – the fastest in the market. The new line of M18 FUEL cordless nailers consistently seat nails sub-flush with zero ramp-up time. The guns are compact, lightweight and can drive large amounts of nails per charge with a single battery pack and no gas cartridge.
RIDGID HYPERDRIVE: The folks at RIDGID introduced their HYPERDRIVE technology in a new line of cordless nailers last year. With 18-volt options in brad and finishing nailers, these guns feature brushless motors and can shoot at least 1,450 nailers per charge. The makers of RIDGID nailers also make RYOBI’s AirStrike. These guns are excellent for both the Pro and DIY user because they get the job done at an incredible value. Today it seems like everyone has Ryobi ONE+ batteries that could be put to good use in a nailer
Next time you upgrade or replace a gun, spend a little more time researching than you have in the past. The category is changing, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the options available now versus just three years ago.
About the Author: As the Merchant for Pneumatics, Compressors and Air Tools, Jeb is the number one buyer and seller of these goods in the country. He has been a merchant with The Home Depot since 2011 and previously worked in the Garden Department. Before joining The Home Depot Jeb was a merchant in the consumer electronics industry and has been a merchant for 12 years.