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Nailer Reviews

Bostitch N80SB, N86S & N100S 28-Degree Clipped-Head Stanley-Bostitch has been making these guns for a long time, and they are essentially unchanged. I had difficulty getting the guys to try them because they use a 28-degree wire-collated fastener, which is unusual compared to the rest of these tools. Not one of the supply houses in our area carries this gun, so they are only available at the big box retailers. This means that you have to return to the same retailer to get nails. In order to get the guys to try these guns, I had to give them a box of nails, too. The N80 is a heavy gun (8 lb. 2 oz.) and they get heavier from there. The N100 is so large and heavy (11.1 lb.) that it really does not have a use on the residential site. But it will drive a 4-inch fastener! Drive-depth adjustment requires a wrench, and the exhaust deflector can be rotated with the use of a 6mm hex key. The N80 and N86 toe-nailed well. The only real drawback to this reliable tool is the availability of fasteners.

Duo-Fast CN325B Clipped-Head & CN350B Round-Head

 CN350B This manufacturer has been around for a long time and has a reputation for building a reliable gun. I don't think this has changed much in the past several years, and it shows because neither has their gun. Several years ago I worked with a company that used the Duo-Fast and this gun is not substantially different from that one. It is the only one that uses a part called a "drop-off" to help guide the nail and minimize misfires. Two different drop-offs are included with the gun, one for 2 to 2-1/2-inch nails and one for nails from 2-1/2 to 3-3/4 inches. You need a tool to change them, and I don't think many people will take the time to change the drop-off when changing nails. Most of the contractors that I know are using 2-3/8-inch nails for sheathing and 3-inch nails for framing, so this is a moot point. These guns felt nose-heavy and awkward. Depth-of-drive adjustment is accomplished with a yoke extension that attaches to the nose of the gun. I can picture a problem: "Hey Scott, have you seen the yoke extension for the Duo-Fast gun? I can't remember which tool box we threw it in." The CN350B is an identical nailer, only a little larger to accommodate round-head nails up to 3-3/4 inches long.

Fasco R5C RHN20-90 Round-Head &

R5C HHN 31-83 Clipped-Head


R5C RHN20-90


R5C HHN 31-83


The remark that sticks in my mind is "this looks like a defense contractor's idea of a stick nailer." There's no depth-of-drive adjustment, no rubber grip, and a fixed exhaust, but this gun will feed and fire anything. The teeth on the nosepiece have plenty of bite to them, but are placed poorly for toe-nailing. We liked the switch located under the trigger that allows the gun to go from single-shot to contact-trip firing. This is a feature that I especially appreciate when doing blockout work in tight quarters (a single-shot, or sequential-trip, gun does not double tap like a contact-trip nailer). Despite the good features, this was another gun that did not excite any of the testers.