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Rapesco Nailer

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Steve Maskery

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Having done a few reviews of things I am fairly happy with, I thought I'd do one of a tool less satisfactory.
Sometime last year (I really can't remember exactly when) I bought a Rapesco 181 nailer. It was about £40, if I remember rightly, and I bought it because I didn't want to spend a fortune on a Paslode.
I nearly took it back the first time I used it. I found that the magazine cover jumped open of its own accord on a regular basis. Worse still, nails were not driven in far enough, so I had to go round with a nail set and hammer. This would not have been so bad if the nails had been as hard as nails, but I found setting them almost impossible, they just bent. Perhaps it is because they do not have a point on them, they rely on the brute force and ignorance of the drive unit to penetrate. I found that if I used my other hand to hold the head of the gun, resisting the recoil, the nails were well set, but the surface of the wood was marred by the firing pin, even with the plastic cover in use. I ended up using it for workshop jigs and the like, and areas which are not seen.
This week I made a replacement base for my tablesaw. Birch ply, rebates and grooves, PU glue and nails. Very Norm. I was halfway through nailing when the thing stopped. I had PU glue going off by the millisecond (fortunately it was clamped up), so I dismantled the head to remove the jammed nail. Except there wasn't a jammed nail. I checked the fuse, it was fine. Dead.
I rang the number helpfully printed on the machine. My mobile said "Calls to this number are barred". My house phone got though to a message which said "We regret that this service is no longer available, but we will put you through to an advisor. You will continue to be charged at 60p per minute". Th lady said, "There is nothing else you can check, sounds like the drive unit has gone". If it was less than a year old they would replace it, otherwise I could buy another one for 50% off. Buy another one? I was still on my first packet of nails! Trouble was, I could not find the receipt and didn't know exactly when I bought it. I politely declined her generous offer.
Stuff that for a lark.
So I took it back to B&Q, whence it came, explained to the Nice Young Lass on the desk that she could trace it with the serial number if she had access to the stock-control program, who said, "No problem, we have one in stock, would you like to go and get it?".
Well their computer was lying, they didn't, but they did have the 191 which also does staples. It cost me a tenner to upgrade, which was reasonable under the circumstances (although I begrudge it going to Rapesco), so I now have a new gun. I was stupid enough not to take the original pack of nails out of the box. Doh.
I commented to the NYL that that was easier than I had expected, considering I hadn't got the receipt. "Oh I, don't like arguments," she said, "people shout at me". Bless.
But I have to say that the magazine cover on this is better than the 181, though the firing pin still makes ugly dents in the surface. Bigger ones than the 181, actually.
Verdict?
Cheap, cheerful and rough. Not a fine tool, but convenient when it works, if you are not bothered about the finish.
 

Aragorn

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In a twisted sort of way, I'm pleased to see someone else has experienced the delight that is owning a Rapesco nailgun. Truly one of the worst tools ever made.
Mine just jammed every 3-5 shots! The complaints and replacement scenerio was smooth enough, but the replacement did the same thing!
I had the same problem with setting the nails too. Completely defeats the point of using a nailgun.
Steve, I believe your conclusion is very generous. I'd advise this machine is avoided at all costs. It simply cannot do what it "says on the tin".
 

Adam

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Get a Paslode gas nailer. They really are the business. Really well engineered - the only problems I ever heard with them, is the gas goes out of date, and they only inthe last couple of years started putting a best-before date. Not surprisingly people still have really old gas cannisters lying around, and then wonder why it isn't working properly.

Adam
 

Jim

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Have been toying with the idea of getting a paslode but been put of by storys of bad reliabitlity, any truth in this or has anyone got one that can reccomend
 

Aragorn

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I make good use of my Paslode. It is very useful for certain types of jobs, but mostly I will use my air-powered guns as they are better. The paslode is ideal when it is inconvenient to have a lead trailing away. It is really quite loud though (i have the framing nailer not the finish nailer).
 

Martin

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If you're looking to use a nail gun in your shop (as opposed to lots of on-site work) I'd very much recommend a compressor and a brad nailer/finish nailer/framing nailer (whatever you want).

Once you've invested in the compressor you can pick up the other guns at a reasonable price (OK - it's still going to cost you £150 to £200 for a decent nail gun, but that's cheap compared to the price of several paslodes - in fact, do they even do a brad nailer?). I'm also somewhat put off by the fact that you have to buy fuel cells.

I bought a brad nailer/compressor kit about 3 years ago and have since added a finish nailer to it. No complaints, and the compressor is small and therefore reasonably portable (recently used it + the finish nailer out in the garden to put down some decking).

Plus you can use the air supply for cleaning up the workshop...

Martin.
 

Aragorn

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Martin
I agree - compressor + guns is the way to go for powered nailing. Paslode just do the two guns - a finish nailer and a framing nailer.
I have the framing nailer (useful e.g. decking) but have 4 other nailers to go with the compressor - much more versatile and IMHO better!
 
A

Anonymous

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I only use nails to make jigs, never furniture and my Rapesco thing has worked OK for the last year-or-so.

OK. It DOES dent the wood AND you have to press hard on the head to drive the nail home AND it does jam on every 30th nail or so. But it only cost my £35 and it drives 30mm nails into my jigs quite nicely :wink:

I sort of like it

Cheers

Tony
 

gidon

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Thanks Steve for the review.
I have an Arrow electric nailgun that I picked up from screwfix for £9.99! I use it when I can't be bothered to lug the compressor around - and it actually works ok. You do have to use 2 hands to sink thge nails properly - heavy pressure with one hand on the front. Hasn't jammed yet - although have to say having used it much.
Oh and be careful running these things off RCD's - mine fired without me pressing anything when plugged into an RCD - twice!
Cheers
Gidon
 

johnjin

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Hi Gidon

Yeah I've got one as well. The Nail Master Kit. Only good for the light stuff but fantastic value for the money and the brads you get with it cost more than the gun. Thats 2000 each of 15m/m, 20m/m, 25m/m. I believe its back up to 20 quid at the moment but two years ago it was 40. I've used about 3000 25m/m brads in it and I have only had one jam. You do need to press quite heavily on the front end and you do get little marks on the wood but what the hell for 10 quid. I only used it for a fence and Gates that I made and thought it so good that when I needed some more brads I bought another gun instead as it worked out cheaper as the brads are about 4 quid for 2000. No RCD so maybe just as well by the sound of it.

All the best

John
 

gidon

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Hi John
Yep - the same one. Good to see someone else who can't resist a bargain - or two in your case! The nails it came with are quite handy - they have brown heads. I used them in my air nail gun to attach some scotia - and they hardly needed filling in.
The scary thing is I saw these guns advertised on Ebay when they were going on Screwfix for £10 - for > £20 - quick buck for someone I guess.
It's not bad for £20 either in my opinion. As long as you don't use it for delicate work.
Cheers
Gidon
 

AlanG

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Good review
I to have the Arrow nail gun, I also have the same problem with the guns inability to seat the nails without applying weight to the top of the gun with my other hand.
It to only gets used for jigs and occasionally when I am too lazy to move the compressor.
This gun did teach me an important lesson though. Treat nail guns as you would treat a firearm; I plugged the gun into the wall socket with the gun lying on the workbench and BANG an 18-gauge brad fired across the room! The gun has never done this since, but it does make you think about always pointing the “weapon” in a safe direction.
Alan
 

Keith Smith

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I too have a Rapesco nailer and think Steve's revue was spot on. This tool is very poor I have box full of brads for it and being very mean would love to use them up but I came to use it yesterday and it is definitely heading for the bin. I have a Paslode angled brad nailer but this is only really suited to second fix and not so much for pinning in furniture construction.
 

Big John

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Agree with comments about the Rapesco, mine is poor, but I think it's yet another example of "you get what you pay for". I'm looking for a nail gun (18G) and compressor combination. Anyone have any recommendations?
John.
 

Aragorn

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Stanley's Bostitch are good - it's the range I use, but I have never tried any others, so no comparison.
 
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Anonymous

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Big John":1xzzr9p1 said:
Agree with comments about the Rapesco, mine is poor, but I think it's yet another example of "you get what you pay for". I'm looking for a nail gun (18G) and compressor combination. Anyone have any recommendations?
John.
I threw my Rapesco in the bin as well. Jammed if you looked at it wrong.

Bought a small compressor from Screwfix complete with nail gun that does 15 - 50mm 18g brads, blowgun (really handy) spray gun & tyre inflator. Cost me a bout £90. Couldn't be without it now.

Dave
 

Mdotflorida

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Mine hasn't broke or jammed but agree with everything else. Only sinks the pins in if you lean on it and then marks the wood !!.

It's a dog (No offence Dog :D ) I only use it for rough work.
 

Dewy

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I bought a Rapesco a couple of years ago & was instantly iritated by it never driving to the full depth.
Just as well I was using it where the bent over brads wouldnt show or it would have ruined the desk I was making.
To me it was £40 wasted & is now hung up alongside other useless tools as a reminder of what not to waste money on.
I bought a compressor & brad nailer with far more scope which works 1000% better.
Everytime I open a woodworking mag I see a full page Rapesco advert. "It out performs all others in its class"
I doubt if there could be any nailer in such a low class as Rapesco.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi all

I bought the Rapesco after seeing it on offer in one of the mags at IIRC 25 GBP.

It has worked very well. Pause. Gulp.

Perhaps I should go and test it again.

Cheers
Neil
 
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