Senco Next-Generation FN91T1 Framing Nailer Delivers Serious Driving Power
Engineered lumber is growing in popularity and framing nailers have to have the power to drive into them. Considering how much framing is soft SPF (spruce/pine/fir), that can be a challenge for some models. We got our hands on the Senco FN91T1 paper tape framing nailer to see what it can do with modern framing materials.
A quick note before we jump in. The FN919T1 is a 30° – 34° paper tape clipped head nailer and it’s the one we’re using for this review. While there are some differences (like the nose design), it came out with a 21° round head version—the FN81T1—that you can expect similar results from.
Senco FN91T1 Paper Tape Framing Nailer Performance
We generally see framing nailers used with softer pine for the majority of applications. Sometimes, however, we’ll need a nailer to punch through denser material. That’s why we tested this nailer by driving a series of 3 1/2-inch nails into a section of LVL.
We set the nailer to the deepest drive setting and dialed our line pressure to 115 PSI. To our delight, the Senco not only drove the nails but actually managed to sink them! Whether you’re fastening LVL to LVL or softer materials into it, you can be confident this nailer has the power you need. Plus, there’s plenty of speed to keep up with even the most seasoned members of your crew.
Accuracy and Visibility
Typically, accuracy isn’t the biggest factor when it comes to framing nailers but it’s not something to ignore either. The improved claw design does offer a decent amount of visibility but we have seen better. The kit also includes a no-mar tip to protect delicate surfaces, however, it further obstructs your view.
Take that all with a grain of salt. You can still see the nose and you know the nail is going to fire inside of it. You’re just unlikely to have 1/8th-inch accuracy.
Toenailing into boards at hard angles can get tricky no matter what, and some nailers handle it better than others. This nailer underwent a bit of a facelift towards the business end to help improve performance in this area. The nose is now more aggressive with larger steel barbs that get a much better bite into the wood compared to other framers we’ve used in the past.
Senco FN91T1 Paper Tape Framing Nailer Design Notes
Weight is a big factor when it comes to selecting a framing nailer. While some Pros are opting for new cordless models, like the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2744 nailer, some are choosing to stick with tried and true pneumatic options because they tend to be a tad lighter.
The Senco FN91T1 nailer weighs 8.4 pounds, a few pounds shy of most battery-powered models. It has a nice balance and isn’t overly top-heavy. The magazine’s inline design helps keep the left/right balance neutral. The head has the forward tilt we expect that promotes effective bump firing and recoil reduction.
When it comes to the grip, textured rubber overmold on the handle helps you maintain a secure grip, even when wearing work gloves.
To switch between bump fire and sequential fire modes, you need to switch out the trigger. That’s not unusual for pneumatic framing nailers, so it’s not a big surprise.
You change the driving depth with a typical thumbwheel, but the placement is a bit different. It’s central on the nose rather than offset on the right, making it easier for lefties. Every 1/2-turn of the dial, you feel a stop/detent, giving you an idea of how much you’re adjusting.
Loading the Magazine
Nails load from the base of the magazine. Slide a stick in, bring the pusher down over them and let it slide back up the same way you do with most framing nailers. One difference is that the override button takes some getting used to. Its corner placement makes it far easier to engage from the above than below.
One fly in the ointment is that you have to remove the entire magazine to access the firing chamber. While the system isn’t overly complex, it’s certainly not as convenient as those with tool-free access.
- Large aluminum rafter hook
- Engineered and assembled in Cincinnati, Ohio
Senco FN91T1 Paper Tape Framing Nailer Price
The Senco FN91T1 retails for $309.99 and comes with a 5-year warranty. While it’s not out at the time we’re writing, we expect the FN81T1 to have a similar price tag.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a framing nailer that has the performance to deal with engineered lumber without sacrificing speed, the Senco FN91T1 or FN81T1 framing nailer is an excellent choice. It has plenty of power to fasten in LVL and its aggressive claw nose makes toenailing far more effective. While having to remove the magazine for jam-clearing may make some people hesitate, the nailer’s overall performance and quality are more than enough to make up for it.
Senco FN91T1 Paper Tape Framing Nailer Specifications
- Model: Senco FN91T1
- Power Source: Pneumatic
- Magazine Capacity: 80 nails
- Weight: 8.4 pounds
- Max Operating Pressure: 70 – 120 PSI
- Air Consumption: 0.111 SCFM
- Air Inlet: 3/8 in. NPT
- Nail Size Range: 2 – 3 1/2 in.
- Warranty: 5-year
- Price: $309