Pneumatic tools… tools that are powered by air. Ever since I got my first air rifle, I’ve been amazed at just how much power compressed air can deliver. Dominated by nailers this year, here’s a look at the best pneumatic tools that the year has to offer for the 2014 Pro Tool Innovation Awards.
Winner – Powered Roofing Removers
JKN Enterprises Rapid Roof Remover
What they say: The Rapid Roof Remover will save you time, money and effort. With a blade width of 30 inches, this machine will drastically reduce the back-breaking labor of removing existing material. When used on a shingled roof, the unique design of the tear-off blade will remove most of the fasteners, saving the extra time needed to “prep” the area to be resurfaced
By bringing up the shingles or flooring in such a manner that even multiple layers peel off the surface in a single pass, the end result is larger sections being brought up at once. This helps in the removal of debris – again saving valuable time.
What we say: A Pnuematic roofing and flooring remover sounds pretty good to us! The 30 inch width of the blade and ability for the user to stand up during use will certainly make the Rapid Roof Remover less time consuming and painful than traditional removal methods. We really like the fact that this will also dig out the majority of the roofing nails, leaving less to take out by hand.
Winner – Air Guns
Guard Air U80WJ2 / Ultra Whisper Jet
What they say: The Ultra Whisper Jet® (U80WJ) is perceived as a triple threat by providing ergonomic comfort, superior performance, and low noise technology which make it a distinctive tool in in the market. Utilizing compressed air, the output of the U80WJ is powerful enough to effectively clean factories, plants, machinery, equipment, and parts while simultaneously reducing noise by 6 to 20 decibels compared to conventional air guns. Ergonomic, cushioned pistol-grip style handle provides unparalleled comfort. The Ultra Whisper Jet also features a cast aluminum body and contoured ergonomic trigger. 1/4″ and 3/8″ FNPT inlet versions available.
What we say: An air gun is an air gun, right? Not exactly. Eliminating even a few decibels will reap long term benefits for the worker that is around tools like these all day, every day. The design is also elegant, yet simple.
Winner – Nailers, Brad
Bostitch BTFP12233 Smart Point 18 GA Brad Nailer Kit
What they say: Improve visibility and reach tight spaces with the BOSTITCH Smart Point™ 18 GA Brad Nailer.
The BOSTITCH Smart Point™ 18 GA Brad Nailer with Smart Point™ Technology provides precision and accuracy. The Smart Point™ 18 GA Brad Nailer has an 80% smaller nose*, which improves visibility and allows accurate nail placement in tight spaces. Smart Point™ technology eliminates the need to compress the contact trip to actuate the tool, reducing work surface damage and the risk of pushing the material out of position.
What we say: The Smart Point feature is what really makes this family of nailers stand out. Not having to compress the nose in order to relieve the safety helps to improve accuracy when nailing quickly in addition to preventing damage to the surface. The smaller nose makes it easier to see precisely where the nail is coming out.
Winner – Nailers, Finish
Bostitch BTFP72156 Smart Point 15 GA “FN” Finish Nailer
What they say: Improve visibility and reach tight spaces with the BOSTITCH Smart Point™ 15 GA “FN” Style Finish Nailer.
The BOSTITCH Smart Point™ 15 GA “FN” Style Finish Nailer with Smart Point™ Technology provides precision and accuracy. The Smart Point™ 15 GA “FN” Style Finish Nailer has an 80% smaller nose*, which improves visibility and allows accurate nail placement in tight spaces. Smart Point™ technology eliminates the need to compress the contact trip to actuate the tool, reducing work surface damage and the risk of pushing the material out of position.
What we say: Like its 18 GA brother, the Smart Point finish nailer shares the same features we love about the brad nailer, including the narrow no-mar tip and the ability to see exactly where you’re placing the nail. For flooring, this is a particularly helpful feature as it allows you to get right into the tongue for edge nailing.
Winner – Nailers, Framing
Hitachi NV90AG 3-1/2″ coil framing nailer
What they say: The Hitachi NV90AG 3-1/2″ coil framing nailer packs both the driving power you need and the convenience you want into one, surprisingly lightweight package. It is capable of handling a variety of tasks, driving nails from 1–3/4″ x .099″ to 3-1/2″ x .131″. Coil framing nailers are not known for their compact designs, but this coil framing nailer weighs in at only 7.7 lbs with a head height of just 13-1/6″. Equipped with a steel head plate for increased durability, this nailer can handle any jobsite need. Power to weight ratio is outstanding.
What we say: Until someone finds another way of getting 400 fasteners into a magazine, don’t expect coil nailers to go away. Hitachi did well to reduce the weight of the NV90AG to 7.7 pounds while still giving us the maximum nail capacity for this type of tool.
Winner – Nailers, Staplers
What they say: The SENCO SHFS200 is a professional-grade, mallet-actuated hardwood flooring stapler that supplies best-in-class power with 547 inch-pounds at 100 PSI and uses 1” – 2” 15.5 gauge, ½” crown staples with a magazine capacity of 102 fasteners. At 21-1/2” in height, users find it easier and more comfortable to use while providing increased control.
The SHFS200’s tool-less non-marring base plate also makes alternating between ½” and ¾” flooring thicknesses quick and accurate. Users simply lift and rotate the base and release to lock it back into place. With the plate resting squarely against the surface, the tool is perfectly placed above the tongue on the floorboard so the direction and angle of the staple is automatic.
What we say: There is a lot we love about the Senco SHFS200. Simple tool-free change between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch flooring is a start. The non-marring base plate is outstanding for easily setting up the tool to nail correctly every time. This flooring nailer made installing our pine floor a breeze.
Winner – Nailers, Subloor
Paslode TetraGrip Subfloor Fastening System
What they say: The TetraGrip™ Subfloor Fastening System is a technological breakthrough in subfloor fastening for the residential builder. The revolutionary system features a specialized, pneumatic coil nailer and a unique fastener with a patent-pending, barb-threaded design that rotates as it drives to bond with wood fibers. This advanced design allows the fastener to drive like a nail and hold like a screw, eliminating subfloor nail squeaks. Since TetraGrip eliminates steps in the subfloor installation process and reduces variability, the system also provides more consistent results and performance as compared to alternative methods.
What we say: The fastener in the TetraGrip System is simply genius. The elimination of floor squeaks might be a negative for dads with daughters that like to try and sneak out. The rest of us, however, will sleep better without the creaks and squeaks of footsteps waking us up.
Winner – Air Compressors, Portable Electric
DeWalt DWFP55130 200 PSI Quiet Trim Compressor
What they say: The DWFP55130 features a 2.5 gallon tank that delivers 3.0 SCFM at 90 PSI, and is rated to 200 max PSI*. The ability to deliver both 3.0 SCFM and 200 max PSI allows the compressor to fire many nails with a quick recovery time.
The lightweight and ergonomic design makes transportation effortless. Users can save space by operating and storing horizontally or vertically.
Jobsites can already be loud enough, so we have engineered the compressor to have an incredibly low 71.5 dBA** operating noise level – measurements on-site can be communicated without shouting.
What we say: The number one complaint about compressors is traditionally noise. While contractors may get used to it, the people that live in the home they are working on won’t. We love that we can have a conversation without shouting at each other while this compressor is running.