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Advice Needed: Framing Nailers

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  • Advice Needed: Framing Nailers

    Hello All

    I am considering buying a framing nailer for DIY home renovations, shed building and constructing various workshop structures.
    I want whatever tool I buy to be capable of doing code-compliant residential framing on an occasional basis.
    I might also want to use it for repairing / building fences (but not enough to warrant a coil feed type).

    My questions are:

    1) What minimum shank diameter for air-driven nails is code-acceptable for residential framing in Ontario (GTA if that matters)?

    2) There seem to be three nail head types: full round, clipped and offset round…
    Which of these nail head types are code-acceptable for residential framing in Ontario (GTA if that matters)?

    3) Are there any (residential) framing situations where code requires 3 1/2" long nails or are 3 1/4" acceptable?

    4) I have heard that nails attached by plastic strips (21 deg?) produce a lot of debris and that the plastic can get imbedded in the work; how much of a problem is this in practice?

    5) Can framing nailers typically shoot both ring- and straight nails? What about galvanived - for fencing?

    I am considering the Paslode Compact Framing Nailer but am concerned that its max length capacity is 3 1/4" - anyone have any experience with this tool?

    All comments welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
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  • #2

    Re: Advice Needed: Framing Nailers

    The paslode nailer is the one that my son-in-law uses exclusively. He is a 4 crew framing contractor, so read into that what you will.
    The commonly available nails would be acceptable by the OBC, otherwise there would not be much of a market for them.
    Plastic strip nails are a PITA, don't bother. Auto-feed plastic strip screws, are great, on the other hand.
    For fencing, just use shorter nails to lay up fence boards, ACQ nails are available in both ring and common shanks. .
    Regarding code requirements, I can't answer that, but a quick read of the OBC should garner you the answers you seek.


    • #3

      Re: Advice Needed: Framing Nailers

      I have owned many nailers and framed many buildings & decks.
      I do less framing and more finish work now - but I still have a framing nailer.
      The coil nailers are great but heavy.
      I would say the best is senco or bostitch followed by paslode.

      My current framing nailer is a mastercraft.
      I got it from a garage sale for $20 - it works great.

      I have never heard of any contractors having code issues with 3 1/4” clipper head nails.



      • #4

        Re: Advice Needed: Framing Nailers

        The Paslode clipped head framing nailer is by far the most common nailer I see in the hands of framers, and finding fasteners for it (and others based on the pattern, including the Bostitch, that also uses 30 degree nails) will be the easiest.

        I have a Hitachi clipped head framing nailer, and at the time I bought it, it was the lightest in the class. I'll tell you, that pound makes for a huge difference after a day's work, though I'm sure the current nailers from most major/quality/reputable brands have by now gotten their weights down as well.
        The downside of the Hitachi is that it uses an uncommon angle of nail, meaning that sourcing fasteners can be tedious / expensive as they aren't always stocked. This also means a different angle to the driven nail relative to the bottom of the nailer, which may be a positive or negative, depending what you're trying to do.

        I personally dislike coil nailers, I find the fasteners are far more fragile as the coils are easy to crush. One point is that the coil nails are commonly found in ardox form, which depending on application, might be a bonus.
        I also dislike the wire collated nails as the broken wires act as little barbs that inevitably catch bare skin. An upside is that the strips of fasteners aren't easily damaged.

        My Hitachi, like the majority of collated strip nailers, uses the paper/glue strip like the Paslode/Bostich. Broken strips aren't a problem, like a stapler/staples, the nailer doesn't care how long the pieces of strip are. Downside is that the paper that holds the nails together deteriorates when they get wet (they're not fragile, but the strips do get floppy if the paper gets saturated with water). I personally buy a 28 degree, paper collated, 3 3/8" galvanized ring nail for my Hitachi and I'll tell you that those nails do not like being pulled out.

        My experience, in a nutshell, for what it's worth.

        (To the best of my knowledge, all the nailers/fasteners described above would be appropriate for stick-framing in Canada)

        The Paslode (
        The Bostitch (
        And it would seem that while taking over Hitatchi's tool division, Metabo has replaced "my nailer" with a 30 degree version (

        I think you'd be more than content with any of these three.

        - The only plastic collated nails I've personally seen are structural nails (for joist hangers, et cetera) and go in a completely different type of nailer; If framing nailers are now available in this pattern, I'd be weary about the price and availability of fasteners - Further, the wire and paper tape methods both work just fine, I see no reason for the increased complexity.
        - My Hitachi can fire ring or smooth nails, galvanized or not. I've further seen a wide variety fired from both the Paslode and the Bostitch nailers linked above.
        Last edited by ThePracticalPeasant; 10-17-2021, 05:42 PM. Reason: Adding my "the's" / Fixed a hyperlink / Appended further feedback to OPs questions


        • #5

          Re: Advice Needed: Framing Nailers

          this off craiglist. Sometimes double fire so might be worn a bit or more likely operator error. I dont like the long length, the weight is fine its just not a comfortable thing. My Senco roofing nailer is coil and nicer to use. I get the coils can get damaged easy at least with roofing nails and I could have been more careful but with the roofing nailer it never cared if a coil was messed up.

          The long length at times restricts access. Best improvement I made while not in this photo is putting a swivel air fitting on. Really should be on almost all of my air tools. Had to buy it when I met the guy at the front door, he seemed honest, and since he went to this much trouble to build a decent carrying case for a framing nailer, I could not say no.. I dont do much carpentry type stuff but its got some use with others in roof rebuilds and been a great thing to have.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	DVC05978A.jpg Views:	0 Size:	257.1 KB ID:	1345521
          Last edited by Sawdust; 10-17-2021, 10:59 PM.


          • #6

            Re: Advice Needed: Framing Nailers

            Thanks all who reponded - any furhter insights on code requirements for these nails would be appreciated!


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