Fasco America recently released its gas-powered hoseless positive placement nailer, the F70G, and sent me one to review. If you’ve read my previous reviews here at Tools, you know I am a big fan of cordless and hoseless equipment when it makes sense.
Features. If you’ve ever used a gas-powered nailer, there won’t be anything new here. This 33° strip nailer has a rear-loading magazine that holds one strip of nails (If you break the strips in half, it will hold 1 1/2 strips). While it weighs close to 8.5 pounds and looks rather large and bulky, it is a well-balanced tool. It shoots fasteners ranging in size from 1 1/2-inch x 0.129-inch-diameter up to 2 1/2-inch x 0.169-inch-diameter nails (we commonly use 1 1/2-inch x 0.148-diameter and 2 1/2-inch x 0.162-inch-diameter nails).
The gun runs off gas that is ignited from a spark, so you need both a canister of the gas and a charged battery to ignite the gas (you'll need to buy the gas canisters, but the tool comes with two rechargeable NiMh batteries). One thing to note is that repetitive nailing - shooting off tie-down straps, for example - heats up the gun. To illustrate, shooting off 10 Simpson Strong-Tie STHD-14 straps in a row required 22 nails per strap, or 220 nails in a row. When I was done, the gun was what I would call hot. This didn't affect its performance, though, and the gun did a great job of consistently sinking the nails.
The gun has a belt hook and nice rubber grip. To locate the nail in the connector, the gun relies on the nosepiece rather than the nail itself. This can lead to missing the hole and firing the fastener into the hardware. If the hardware is a heavy-enough gauge, then you will get major recoil from the gun.
Performance. I had zero issues nailing 2 1/2-inch x 0.162-inch-diameter nails. This gun consistently set them just right, thanks to the dial-type depth adjustment located just above the nosepiece. In use, the gun doesn’t feel heavy and bulky, and I don't have any reservations about recommending it based on performance and convenience alone.
This gun retails for $760, which for our crew and the type of work we do is probably a little too steep. On the other hand, I could see that this nailer would be a good fit for a large crew that installs huge amounts of hardware. And it’s true that, once you factor in a hose and compressor and set-up, the price differential between this gun and, say, the Metabo HPT NR65AK2(s) pneumatic nailer (at $389) isn’t that great (though it's likely that there is already a compressor and hose set up on most framing sites).
A hoseless gun is much more efficient to use than a pneumatic one, and the F70G is a great gun that has proven to be very reliable. Whether the price is justifiable is not for me to say. I will say that it is safer to work without a hose, and certainly much more convenient.