Air Nailer kit Reviews ?

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Established Member
14 Nov 2003
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Sleeping in a basket
I'm thinking about asking Santa for an airnailer kit, although I'll probably end up with just 'air' :D , but seriously does anyone have any recommendations of air nailers as complete kits or can point me to any reviews. Max size of nail I'll need to fire is two inches as I don't need something that'll hold a bridge together and it'll have occassional use, not daily ?

Hello Dog,

I have just written a roundup of the small air nailer kits for New Woodworking, Unfortunately, the on-sale date of that issue is 8th Jan, too late for Christmas. However in the issue before I have reviewed the Paslode 18g, 50mm kit. On sale 11th Dec. This comes complete with neat compressor surrounded with a tubular frame. The Paslode gun is of good quality and it is supplied with quick release fittings and a decent length of hose. However, This kit, although good value for money, is not cheap.

If your budget is tight, go and look at the Clarke kit sold by Argos at £79.95. This is great value for money for occasional use. The compressor is fully equipped with both reservoir and line pressure gauges (not many are) and it has a pressure switch on the motor so that it cuts off when the reservoir is up to pressure.

The gun supplied is of the combination type firing both brads and narrow crown staples. The brad capacity is only 30mm, but a larger gun can be added for not much over £30.00 these days.

Hope this helps

Ralph Laughton
It does indeed Ralph, thanks. Any suggestions, if I go for the Argos version, where I can get a gun with 50mm capacity that'll run happily on the Argos compressor specs ?
My, :shock: Were you sitting there waiting for me to answer?

First, is there a reason why you want a 50mm capacity? I only ask because When I first had an air nailer, back in the mid nineties, it only had a 30mm capacity and I thought I needed one that would take 50mm brads. It took me a while to get around to buying another and guess which one gets the most use!

Anyway that is me. Start looking at Screwfix, Machine Mart, House of Hastings and Axminster Power Tools. I'm sure you will find what you are looking for.

The Little Clarke compressor has enough air flow to power any 18g nailer on the market.

:lol: I could answer yes but in fact no, I just happened to be around :wink:

The reason I need a 50mm capacity is that a current run of projects, which if successful, will become a regular run of projects require fixing together with at least a two inch nail and preferably fired from an air nailer for speed. Thanks for the advice once again :)
hello dog,
In answer to your persistent question "who puts the bubbles in spirit levels" the answer is rather complicated :roll: They are harvested from the provebial "Goldfish factory" The fish are fed with high organic food thus inducing a rather bad bout of flatulence :) then when the gold fish break wind some poor sod has to catch them before they reach the surface of the water. they have to use a non porous net to store them.
Once stored they have to be frozen so they can be inserted into the glass tube that is the level 8) . They are then shipped off to rabone and stabila for subsequent use.

Cheers BTJ
I would personally avoid the "Cosmo" and cheap stuff.

I learned the wrong way, that pressured air is a dangerous thing, and that buying cheap means lack of quality = danger.

I had a cosmo gun and compressor. The compressor lacked features, and had to resivoir, no pressure release either.

The gun "popped" on me, it gave me a small burn on my arm. I actually throught a solid object had hit me (Felt like it) - but no it was air.

I could really do with a decent nail gun, its useful to have at times.
dog take no notice of b/t/j ,the spirit level factories feed there workers heinz beans :p so be warned dont break a spirit level :shock: you might not be able to use your shop for awhile :wink:
Hello James,

Now, I know you had a bad experience, but I don’t think that was totally the gun’s fault. A lot of the cheaper compressors are not fitted with a pressure switch they run to a set pressure and the release any unused air through a dump valve.

I think the problem you had, was probably caused by too much pressure at the gun. The Cosmo compressor is capable of supplying 116psi (8 bar) an 18g nailer only requires 70 –90 psi. the regulator on that compressor has no gauge, only an indicator, and is just that - an indication. The Cosmo gun, correctly used, lubricated and maintained is perfectly safe.

The little Clarke compressor, I have mentioned above, has a line pressure regulator AND gauge. Making the whole thing more controllable.

:lol: I always wondered about the spirit level question but it's good to finally know how it's done.....I was, however, wondering if anyone wants to buy my sister ? She's in full working order, has very few defects, a slight weight problem requiring the additional purchase of a small industrial forklift and requires minimal food intake. She would make a good bookend as she is evenly proportioned to enable an entire library to stand unaided or as a foundation for an extension to your home or motorway. Delivery anywhere on or off planet Earth via UPS (Under-Pining-Service) :D
I don't know exactly.

I think a valve inside got stuck, I could hear the air going into the gun as I pressed the trigger. Then all of a sudden it popped, and the pressured air came out of the release valve and onto my arm (Not just the usual puff).

(In one way, it was my fault the release valve was pointing at my arm)
Hi James,

You start your reply by saying “I think…” but what did Cosmo say was wrong?

I assume, by “release valve” you are referring to the exhaust port on the top of the cylinder. You have learnt your lesson the hard way :x . ALWAYS ensure the exhaust port is directed away from your body. As you found out if there is a jam, this is where the pressure will be released.

Assuming the gun had been oiled and the pressure was correct (I’m not sure how you can say it was when the Cosmo compressor has no line gauge) I suspect the percussion pin or a nail got jammed, causing the piston to be restricted. The ‘pop’ would have been the ‘O’ ring seal giving way under the pressure and releasing its pressure through the route that all guns, cheep or not, will employ; the exhaust port.

Hope this helps you understand what happened.

You are right to be cautious around compressed air, but properly used it can be a great advantage in the woodworking workshop.

Ralph :wink: .
*My apologies to all members for trying to sell you my sister, it was a terrible thing to inflict on this community and she has now been confined to my chest along with the taxman :wink: *

Thanks for all the info, I've passed it onto Santa and between us we will find a good set up which doesn't break the bank or the sleigh :)

Tell Santa to keep the air hose warm... They are a real pain when cold. In the winter we keep our hoses in the cab of the sleigh :lol:


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