Senco SHF200 Hardwood Flooring Nailer Review
Senco SHF200 Flooring Nailer and Senco PC1280 Portable Air Compressor Make a Great Pair
Phase 3 of the Plating Home Renovation had begun, it was time to clean out the storage room in pursuit of a smartly appointed home office. “Operation Storage Room Conversion” would require a full remodel: from ripping out old carpet, installing a subfloor, painting the walls and ceiling, new light fixtures, a large window install, and new flooring. This was the perfect proving ground to test out the Senco SHF200 Pneumatic Hardwood Flooring Nailer and it’s life source, the Senco PC1280 6 gallon pancake air compressor.
Each aspect of the project was eating into a thin home renovation budget so I was excited to score a nice batch of affordable 5-1/2 inch white pine planks for the flooring from my friendly neighborhood discount flooring retailer. The light color and wide plank design were well suited for this home office project. The planks would be installed over a plywood subfloor using 1-1/2 inch L type cleat nails fired into place by the Senco duo.
My goal for the install was to keep all my joints nice and tight and flush to the wall to avoid the need for quarter round molding along the baseboards. I couldn’t wait to put both the Senco PC1280 compressor and SHF200 flooring nailer to the test and save myself some much needed time in getting my floor installed.
Senco SHF200 Pneumatic Hardwood Flooring Nailer at a Glance
Applications: Installation of ½” and ¾” thick hardwood and hardwood laminate flooring
- Easy on the arm, it’s pneumatic action requires a single strike to drive fastener
- Innovative non-marring base that adjust between ½” and ¾” flooring without the use of tools
- Lightweight and well-balanced, yet 5% more powerful than competitive flooring nailers
- Safety trigger prevents accidental ejection of fasteners
- Extra-long ergonomic handle reduces the amount the operator has to bend over to use the tool
- Included mallet, oil, wrenches, 1/4″ air fitting
- 5-year limited warranty
Senco SHF200 Pneumatic Hardwood Flooring Nailer Specs
Item #. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …8D0001N
UPC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 741474095597
Reg. Operating Pressure . . 90-110 psi
Air Inlet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/4″ NPT
Tool Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.1 lbs (4.58 kg)
Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.5″ (546 mm)
Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.8″ (452 mm)
Width . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.1″ (79 mm)
Fastener Capacity . . . . . . . 107
Fastener . . . . . . . . . . L type cleat nail, 16 gauge
Fastener Range. . . . . . 1½, 1¾ and 2″
Finish . . . . . . . . . . . . Bright Basic
Collation . . . . . . . . . . Mylar taped
Application: Finish and Trim work
- Oil free pump design – maintenance free, no oil leaks
- Draws only 12 amps – will not trip circuit breakers
- Integrated control panel – easy access to couplers and pressure control knob; highly visible gauges
- Pancake tank design – keeps compressor compact and well balanced
- Weighs only 38 pounds
- Dual couplers – run 2 hoses simultaneously
- Fully shrouded – protects critical components
- 150 Max psi
- One full year limited warranty
The Senco PC1280 Specifications
Power Source . . . . . . . . Electric
Current Draw . . . . . . . . 12 amps @115V
Horsepower . . . . . . . . . 1.5 (running)
Pump. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oil-free
Motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . Universal
Air Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . SCFM @ 90 psi: 2.8
Pump-up time . . . . . . . 152 seconds (0 -150 psi)
Recovery time . . . . . . . 33 seconds (120-150 psi)
Max pressure . . . . . . . . 150 psi
Tank storage: . . . . . . . . 6 gallon
Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 lbs
Length . . . . . . . . . . . . 17”
Width . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.3”
Height . . . . . . . . . . . . 18″
Upon unboxing the Senco SHF200, I was impressed with both the protective carry case and contents. The nailer comes with a high quality flooring mallet, oil, ¼” air fitting, wrenches, safety glasses, and a solid plastic carry case. The tool feels solid and well-built in your hands. The use of an extra-long handle by Senco was impressive – making the install easier on my back, something we can all appreciate.
The compact size of the Senco PC1280 pancake compressor made setup a breeze as I had to navigate a labyrinth of furniture stacked in our hallway leading to the new home office work area. Getting set up was really easy and took only about 5 minutes. I was able to get the tool loaded with the L type cleat nails, the compressor powered up and filled to capacity, and the nailer adjusted for ¾” flooring material and get right to work. Loading the 16 gauge L style cleat nails is a snap and Senco did a great job of creating a loading slot that only loads one way- the correct way. Simply slide the fresh batch of nails into the nail slot and pull back the load spring handle and you are ready for work.
One quick note about the tool free adjustable base- Senco’s engineering on this feature is top notch. You can easily pull down and rotate the non-marring base for both ½” and ¾” flooring applications without the use of any tools. This is great and time-saving if you are working with both profiles on the same job or simply want to transition from one to the other without any downtime. Anytime setup can be tool free, I’m all in. I always seem to lose the adjustment tools required to reset for a different scenario.
The design of the nailer makes it very easy to line up the tool against the wood quickly using the extra long handle. By just pulling the nailer back against the wood, it slips into perfect position. A quick, but not too light, hit with the mallet drives the nail into the wood to secure it to the subfloor while remaining hidden. As I began to install the tongue and groove planks I really began to love using the mallet actuated nailer. The force of “firing” the nailer with the mallet snuggly affixes each board right up to it’s mate with zero gap (provided you are working with square material).
The compressor did a great job of keeping me fueled up working at about 90-100psi and operation was really simple–plug the unit in, power on, and set the pressure regulator knob to about 100PSI. The unit will kick on/off to maintain a necessary supply of air to keep your ammo firing. I was able to fire about 150 nails before the the PC1280 came on to resupply the first time. With the quick recharge time and number of shots I got before recharging, we could have easily run a second nailer without losing production time.
The two performed well together and the noise level of both the compressor and nailer were actually quite a bit below what I expected. I was able to continue working on the install with a sleeping two year old not far from our work area. I installed roughly 230 sf of flooring with this combo in around four hours with a bit of help from one of the PTR editors, Kenny Koehler.
Extra time on the project was required to square the ends of my flooring planks by making one quick cut at each end as the planks did not come square from the mill…a small price we paid for low-cost lumber. I simply had a miter saw set up to quickly take care of each board before we brought it in.
During the install we experienced only four “misfires” and these were due to user error – weak mallet strikes on the actuator. If you hit the actuator too weakly, it does not open completely to let the full blast of air in, and then won’t completely drive the fastener. Still, it doesn’t take a massive strike, either. Just as an experiment, I was able to use the heel of my hand to deliver enough force for a full drive. Like the Mythbusters tell us on each episode, don’t try this at home, we’re what you call “professionals”. We did notice you need to keep an eye on your nail supply as several times we got into a rhythm and would run out of ammo and dry fire the nailer. We quickly learned to keep the nail level topped off to avoid stoppage of work and keep the nails and project rolling.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
In summary, the Senco SHF200 flooring nailer and PC1280 pancake compressor were a stellar combo for this new flooring installation. The compressor exceeded our expectations with it’s compact size, moderately low noise level, and ability to quickly refill necessary air supply. The nailer fired on target with trouble free use time and time again, and it’s ergonomic design left my back feeling pretty good having spent a day on my hands and knees installing flooring.
This combo is well suited for professional grade flooring installations. Minimal setup time, reliable operation, installer-first design, and a reasonable price tag make this a must have for any flooring project. Senco really did a great job with this setup, I’m looking forward to helping my neighbor with a new hardwood flooring install in the coming weeks using this combo.
Editor’s Note: As we were working on the installation, Jack’s very uncomfortable wife, Rachel, came out to chat with us a couple of times. We’re very excited to say that she’s now much more comfortable and we’d like to congratulate to the Platings as they have welcomed young Aurora Jean Plating into the world and into Pro Tool Nation. “Rorie”, as she is affectionately known, is Jack and Rachel’s third daughter.
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Senco's SHF200 Hardwood Flooring Nailer performed flawlessly during our testing, and we weren't even using Senco fasteners. The misfires we experienced were due to human error. For that reason, this nailer receives a perfect score for performance. Ergonomics and features are excellent with the tool free switch between 1/2" and 3/4" flooring material. While there are nailers much less and much more expensive out there, the SHF200 still has good value with most street prices between $300 and $350. With the way it performed for us, there doesn't seem to be much reason to chase after the higher priced models unless you just like supporting a different company.
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