Which Nail Gun Should I Buy?

8 Mar 2021
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United Kingdom
I am going to be building a shed and garden room. I will also be installing some skirting boards and architrave. Anyone got any recommendations on some reasonably priced 1st and 2nd fix nail guns for a DIYER?
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It sort of depends on what you mean by reasonably priced! If you think about it 1st fix nailers in particular have to be pretty robust to survive the constant shock loads they are under. They are also a relatively low volume product in comparison to, say, combi drills (TBH I can't see many electricians or tilers needing a 1st fix nailer) with most buyers being trade and requiring reliability over price. So they tend to be expensive.

That said, I think there are two possible alternatives:

1. Small portable compressor (under £100), low cost filter/regulator (£20), fittings and hose (£30) with consumer grade pneumatic tools (e.g. Axminster, Clarke, etc - Ryobi do sell a better mid market product range in the USA with grey imports often being available here)

2. Ryobi AirStrike cordless tools (cue @big-all )

Unfortunately I can't give any personal recommendations on specific tools as I just don't use them

I do have some limited experience of low cost pneumatics and all I will say is that the first fix guns aren't much good for the sort of volume work I do (e.g. up to 10k 50mm ring shanks in a day, etc) but they can do lower volume stuff. I have in the past used low cost 16 ga and 18 ga 2nd fix nailers (Rockwell, an old B&Q house brand) as stop gaps when my main pneumatics were on the bench and neededvsomething urgently. I had no problems in short term use. Air tools are actually pretty reliable requiring only a bit of air tool oil before each usage session and being kept dry, clean and oiled between use (so don't store in a cold, damp garden shed over the winter - if only because the aluminium used in their construction will oxidise)

The Ryobi cordless AirStrike tools are available in the UK and are probably the only worthwhile readily available mid market pneumatic tools around, but they are aimed at the home worker market and are not as robust as, say, Senco or Passlode. But then they cost a lot less. See AvE on YouTube for a strip down video on one of the Ryobi Airstrike tools

As to the sizes of tools you are looking for I'd suggest that you look for a clipped head nailer (these use paper collated, clipped head, 30 to 34° nails from 50 to 90mm long), whilst for the 2nd fix I'd suggest going for a 16 ga gun as these take 32 to 64mm nails, as opposed to the 25 to 50mm of 18 ga guns. The 16 ga holes are bigger than 18 ga, but you get better holding power with them and in any case on painted work it makes little difference once you've filled them
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the ryobi air strike works faultlessly but not up to fencing or cladding due to small heads you can scew nail in pairs at about 30 degrees in a "\/" set up for extra pull out resistance but wouldnt trust it to last the life off the shed as the nails are about 1.6mm so would possibly fail after 5-7 years with corrosion or rust

i use mine for mainly repairing lap fencing here screws or nails and hammer will probably damage the cheap and cheerful wood they are often made from
it does have a bump mode but never used it as i like "neat"nails well spaced in the correct place :D
Is they the 16 ga 2nd fix, B-A? Thought they did a clipped head 1st fix as well
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Just looked it up. It appears that the AirStrike P318 is the 23 ga gun, P360 is the 18 ga gun, the P325 is the 16 ga gun and the P330 is the 15 ga gun (going small to large). Asked a few people who are more knowledgeable about Ryobi tools and they all say the same - Ryobi do a number of pneumatic nailers which fit the bill (the AirWave range) and are mid market, but so far no fully cordless 1st fix gun. Sorry, OP, but maybe pneumatic might be the most coat effective route
Sorry to jump on your thread but I've been looking for a DIY gun and had thought the only options were a compressor, and wired/cordless electric. But the other day I came across some on Screwfix which use gas bottles, kind of look a bit like the larger soda stream ones!
Is this a decent option to consider?

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