We’ve been running Max high-pressure coil nailers since 2008. I wrote about our experience here. Last summer, I asked Makita to send us its high-pressure gun, the AN935H 3 ½” coil framing nailer so we could have a look.
Check out my review of the Makita 120-psi spiker here.
High-Pressure Advantages. Basically, these guns are smaller and lighter, but still have a ton of power due to the compressor storing air at high (500) psi. We keep the air about 275 to 300psi for these guns. And that sounds great—because it is. The trade-off is price: Everything costs basically double typical 120-psi tools.
A coil nailer holds a lot more nails than a strip nailer, so there’s less reloading—perfect for us as framers. A strip nailer with two clips of nails weighs about the same (maybe more if it isn’t one of the newer, lighter, more-compact models) as the high-pressure coil nailer with a full coil. A huge benefit to coil guns is that it's easy to clear jams, because the nosepiece is totally unobstructed.
Performance. This gun is crazy strong. It’ll bury nails in LSL with no difficulty. The depth of drive is a dial type, allowing me to set nails flush for shear nailing. As on other guns, there is a switch to select bump fire or sequential. The nosepiece is aggressive enough to toenail in engineered wood. One thing I like about this gun compared with the Max guns we’ve used is that it has a “built in air duster” so you can press a button and blow off the work surface.
The magazine opens opposite the way our older Max guns do and this provides easier loading. The hook that comes on the gun is set up for right-handed guys who shoot with their right hand. I am right-handed but shoot with my left, so this is annoying. I’ll just make a hook for it like we did for the Max guns.
That said, I really like the high-pressure ecosystem, but it is expensive. If you run a large crew, it probably won’t work well, in my opinion. But for smaller crews, it's a great system. This gun is $619 on Amazon. I have every reason to believe that it will last a decade or two, like our Max guns have.