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Thread: Clipped Head vs Round Head Framing Nailer Question

  1. #1

    Clipped Head vs Round Head Framing Nailer Question

    So does it make a difference? I picked up a Bostitch N80SB at Lowes today for $140 on clearance, but it is a clipped head nailer. I had planned to get a round head at some point, but the Bostitch seemed like a good value. No major jobs, a few home projects and maybe a shed. It looks like a round head Bostitch will run almost $270, although I can get a round head Porter Cable for a bit less. Thanks for any comments.

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
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    519
    It depends on your building codes. Clipped head nails don't have as much holding power as round head. In some areas they are not allowed to be used for framing. Check your local building codes.

  3. #3
    I haven't used it yet, but I recently picked up a refurbished PC FR350R? framing nailer at Amazon for $160 - $30 for getting an Amazon Visa. I've been looking for a new card anyway so I figure I ended up with a $130 framing nailer. I was going to link to this, but for some reason I can't get out to Amazon right now. The refurbished PC wasn't easy to find, just do a site search for refurbished and Porter Cable. Try this link.

    I wanted to make sure I got a full head nail because of talk I've heard of inspectors not accepting clipped head nails. Not a big deal for the projects I'm planning right now, but you never know what (inspected) projects might be down the road.

    Update: Looks like Amazon doesn't have any in stock right now - I just got mine last week though, so I'm guessing their reconditioned stock varies and you'll just have to keep watching it if you're interested.
    Last edited by Aaron Montgomery; 12-03-2004 at 3:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Grand Marais, MN. A transplant from Minneapolis
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    5,512
    What Steve said. Areas like Florida's hurricane alley require round headed nails.

    I have a Paslode Impulse with a clipped head and usually need the Sawzall or a serious pry bar to correct mistakes.
    PS Love the Book Did you get my Note??
    TJH
    Live Like You Mean It.



    http://www.northhouse.org/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
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    3,496
    I'll second what both Steve and Tyler said. Some codes require the full round head, but from the destruction/construction I've done, I've almost never pulled the clipped head through a board before the shank pulled out. So I don't get the code, but it's there. I do still see a lot of framers doing it by hand, which I also don't get. My elbow hurts just thinking about it. I've got the N80SB as well (on my second one, actually, first was stolen), and like it.

    Jason
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    37,396
    The safe choice is to buy a round-head nailer. You'll know that it is "legal" no matter where you are or where you move. IMHO, of course, but I practice what I preach. When I was doing the kitchen renovation last year, I bought a round-head tool even though my township would have been fine with the clipped head fasteners.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tidewater, VA
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    2,121
    John -

    I went with the round head nailer - PC350. Building code here required - though I have not had anything for the inspector to check.

    You got a pretty good deal on that nailer, so check your local codes. It may be OK.

    Ted

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    2,286
    I don't see any reason not to buy the clipped head. There have been plenty of studies that sat that structurally there are no differences and especially for the DIY'er, why not save a hundred bucks or more? The nails themselves are virtutally identical except for a tiny little nick out of the head, so if in doubt use 2 nails

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    San Jose, Middle California
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    643
    Tim

    The cost of pulling 1,000 nails out of job because the inspector burned you for clipped nails is enough to: 1) ask the question as to local codes, or 2) buy a round head nailer up front.

    I once had a framing contractor nail off 40 or so sheets of 1/2" CDX as shear thinking framing staples were allowed. They weren't and it cost him a bunch of money and time to pull all those sheets and REPLACE them with new sheets nailed with round headed 8d.
    Michael in San Jose
    Non confundar in aeternam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vermont
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    2,286
    No major jobs, a few home projects and maybe a shed.
    I don't think a building inspector is going to come around and have him pull nails out of his shed do you? Or maybe I'm just lucky to live in vermont

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    South Windsor, CT
    Posts
    3,304
    I'm a little puzzled about the N80SB being a clipped head nailer. I have a N80xx, maybe CB - my brother is using it right now and it shoots full head nails.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
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    3,496
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Russell
    I'm a little puzzled about the N80SB being a clipped head nailer. I have a N80xx, maybe CB - my brother is using it right now and it shoots full head nails.
    Here you go, Rob:

    http://www.bostitch.com/default.asp?...FFRAM%5FNAILER

    The SB is a stick magazine (clipped head), the CB is the coil--I presume yours is a coil magazine?
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  13. #13
    Thanks guys, I think I'll hang on to it awhile. The price was right and I don't think I'll have any problems for the projects I want to use it for, so I should be ok. It seems like the Bostitch were the first nailers to be commonally used around here and I've been very pleased with my finish nailer, so if I end up keeping it it should serve me well. Yes, Tyler thank you for your note and I'm glad you are enjoying the book.

    John

  14. Cool

    Hi John,

    .... What Steve Cox said is exactly right: “It depends on your building codes. Clipped head nails don't have as much holding power as round head. In some areas they are not allowed to be used for framing. Check your local building codes.” A few years back I bought a clipped head framing nailer and quickly found out that it was NOT code also and had the opportunity to exchange it for a round head nailer. I was concerned that I might get myself in a situation were I would be up against the RULE BOOK regardless of how good the nailed joints were. I personally don’t see anything wrong with the tool and I soon learned it’s all about politics. I prefer the clipped head to the round head simply because there are so many more nails in one clip and more reasonably priced. Also, with a nailer, it has been my experience that you always use more nails than if you were driving them in by hand yourself, remember those days when your arm was ready to drop off. To me there is no concern about holding power what so ever and that is not just my option but others as well.

    <O</O

    Good luck with your new tool .

    <O</O

    Boyd
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by John Weber
    So does it make a difference? I picked up a Bostitch N80SB at Lowes today for $140 on clearance, but it is a clipped head nailer. I had planned to get a round head at some point, but the Bostitch seemed like a good value. No major jobs, a few home projects and maybe a shed. It looks like a round head Bostitch will run almost $270, although I can get a round head Porter Cable for a bit less. Thanks for any comments.

    John
    Last edited by Boyd Gathwright; 12-06-2004 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Removed embedded characters and/or made adjustments and/or adjusted font size.
    Every man’s work is always a portrait of himself.

  15. #15
    Codes state round head these days, clipped heads aren't that much smaller. I'm sure the round heads hold on a few nanoseconds longer, but in an F-5 nothing stands anyway.

    I use a clipped head nailer and have problem with it. Takes all I have to pull one out after firing it in.

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