Hitachi NT65MA3 15 Gauge Finish Nailer Review
With a nifty color scheme and futuristic styling, the Hitachi NT65MA3 2-1/2-Inch 15 Gauge Finish Nailer has the good looks to back up its strong performance and fancy features. With the 34 degree nail magazine, you will be able to get the head of this nail gun into the tightest corners. Don’t let the light weight of this tool fool you either (it’s just 4.4 lbs) because it packs enough power to drive and set 2-1/2” finish nails into almost any hard wood or composite material.
Editor’s Note: For punch lists and jobs where you don’t mind the extra weight, check out the Ryobi P325 Airstrike 16 gauge nailer.
The Hitachi NT65MA3 finish nailer came in a grey plastic hard case that was designed specifically for the tool. Along with the nail gun came some safety glasses, a no-mar nose piece and an instruction manual. It as nice to see that Hitachi decided to include the quick connects air coupler pre-installed on this nail gun. It will work well with any job site trim compressor. We tested ours with a Hitachi EC119SA 4-gallon twin-stack air compressor.
The main body of the nailer is painted black and constructed of light weight aluminum and the steep angled, 34 degree magazine is made of a durable composite material. The steep magazine angle will let the user get into tighter corners better then other styles of finish nailers. The nose of the gun has a easy to clear feature that open with the snap of a lever so you can remove jams quickly and without the need for special tools. On the back of the main body is a very handy air blowing nozzle button that when depressed, blows air out on to your work surface to clear away dust and debris. This is a great feature—one that I used quite a bit. The air deflector is 360 degrees adjustable so you’ll never have the exhaust air hitting you in the face no matter how you’re holding the nail gun.
The firing mechanism is activated two different ways via a selector knob located above the trigger. The first method is the single actuation. This works when you press the nose against the wood & pull the trigger to drive the nail. The next nail will not be shot until the trigger is released and pulled again. The second method is contact actuation (often referred to as bump-action). In this mode, when the trigger is held, the Hitachi NT65MA3 will fire a nail each time the nose is pressed against the workpiece. To protect fine quality surfaces, a removable no-mar nose piece is included and stored on the side of the magazine when not in use.
The nailer will accept up to 100, 1-1/4 to 2-1/2-inch, 15-gauge finish nails at a time. There is a simple depth of drive adjustment dial that will allow fine tuned nail setting on various materials. Loading nails is quick and simple. The nails are loaded into the base of the magazine. Then, once the nails are inside, you just pull back the magazine slide to engage the nails.
Out on the job site, the Hitachi NT65MA3 15 Gauge Finish Nailer was able to do anything we tried. From hanging crown molding with 2-1/2” nails to installing some tiny trim with the 1-1/4” nails, we never had any trouble. One thing that we have noticed with some other finish nail guns is that they can be a little fussy on the brands of nails that they will shoot. This wasn’t the case at all with the Hitachi. We tried Bostich, Senco, and Hitachi nails in various sizes, and all functioned as designed. The one thing that we would have liked to see was a tool belt clip of some kind intergraded into the nail gun. We used a generic cordless screw gun belt hook to hang it when we needed both hands free and didn’t want to set the gun down. This was a particular nuisance when we were up on ladders installing crown molding.
The Hitachi NT65MA3 2-1/2-inch 15 Gauge Finish Nailer is a very solid performer with good looks and durability. Since it has some unique features like the built in blower and the select fire activation switch, this makes this finish nail gun stand out above the many others that are on the market especially since the street price of this nail gun is now considerably less then the original MSRP.