Rookie framers always get stuck with the worst work, like cutting out doorplates and knocking down braces. They also get stuck doing work that's just plain miserable, like nailing off joist hangers. Anyone who's ever been sent into the dungeon to back-nail hangers knows what I'm talking about: trying to drive tiny nails in a confined space over your head. Pneumatic nailer manufacturers, however, seem to have heard our prayers (and curses), and are building tools that make the task of installing framing hardware faster and easier.

We tested the Hitachi NR65AK, Paslode 5250/65S PP, and the Senco SN60MC. We also tested a prototype nailer from Stanley-Bostitch, the N88RH-2MCN. We looked at power and performance while working in tight spots, how well the tools located the nail hole in the hanger, and how each model worked when we were off balance. The fasteners these tools...

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