One exciting development in power tools this year is the introduction by Bosch of a full line of pneumatic nailers.
The modern pneumatic nailer, invented nearly a half century ago, has remained relatively unchanged. The folks at Bosch feel that they have reinvented pneumatic nailers with this new line which uses Full Force Technology.
Full Force Technology offers a patented air chamber design that enables nailers to use 100 percent of the air coming from the compressor to drive the fastener, rather than saving air to return the driver to the “ready” position.
The net result is a family of nailers that are 20 percent smaller and 10 percent more powerful than comparable tools and that deliver the best power-to-size ratio in the category. Increased power and maneuverability mean enhanced productivity on the jobsite.
“Every user group can benefit from a nailer with a smaller air chamber. For finish carpenters, that means outstanding line-of-sight and control, and for framers and roofers, it means increased comfort and balance, as well as the ability to nail confidently even in tight spots,” said John Ronn, Bosch’s group product manager for Pneumatic Fastening Systems. “The associated increase in power means significantly fewer nails left proud in typical use and improvements in speed overall.”
Bosch’s Full Force Technology is the product of more than four years of research, development and real-world testing on jobsites across the nation. Nearly 20,000 hours of field testing and user feedback in 18 markets is represented in the new design.
“The research showed us a series of user needs that remained consistent across the board,” said Ronn. “Users wanted more power, a more compact body, better line-of-sight, better maneuverability and features that enhanced the final quality of their work.”
According to Ronn, all of those needs are reflected in the design of Bosch’s seven new nailers and five new compressors, and Full Force Technology is just the start. Here are just a few of the segment-specific innovations in Bosch’s pneumatic fastening lineup:
• Framing — Bosch comes to market with both full-round head (SN350-20F) and clipped-head (SN350-34C) models. In addition to the Full Force Technology air chamber design, the two nailers feature a metal strike plate to protect the main housing and cap from jobsite abuse. The tools also feature a proprietary Quick Release Magazine design which enables removal of jammed nails without disassembly of the tool.
• Roofing — Roofing jobsites are some of the most abusive when it comes to tool durability. Bosch took pains to strategically armor the most vulnerable parts of its RN175 Roofing Nailer. Another patented innovation is the single-action side loading canister, designed for simple one-handed operation.
• Finish — Bosch’s finish tools gain an especially narrow nose and slim body from the application of Full Force Technology. This means unparalleled line-of-sight in the applications where it matters most. The manufacturer’s new 15-gauge (FNA250-15), 16-gauge (FNS250-16) and 18-gauge (BNS200-18 brad nailer and STN150-18 stapler) tools also feature tool-less adjustable depth-of-drive, dry fire lockout, in-line self cleaning air filters and no-mar nose covers to protect delicate workpieces.
• Compressors — Jobsite visits revealed that users wanted compressors that were better balanced, easier to transport and easier to maintain. Three new electric hand carry compressor designs from Bosch address the need by standing two “hot dog” style tanks on their ends at a slight angle. The resulting improvement in balance makes Bosch’s CET3-10 (2.5-3 gallon), CET4-20 (4-5 gallon) and CET4-20W (4-5 gallon wheeled) medium-size compressors the most maneuverable and compact on the market.
Bosch makes the compressors easier to maintain by incorporating its patented EZ Drain system, enabling tanks to be drained from the front of the compressor at any time. Bosch rounds out the new compressor line with 8-9 gallon wheelbarrow compressors in both electric and gas-powered designs. Look for coverage of the new Bosch air compressors in more detail in a future Tool Talk column.
As with all Bosch products, durability is also emphasized in the new pneumatic fastening lineup. Prior to unveiling the new product family, Bosch had already completed thousands of hours of rigorous torture testing. The new framing nailers alone were forced to drive 5.3 million nails and endure 11 million dry fire (blank) cycles. The nailers were also tested head-to-head against comparable models. Bosch’s new framers consistently performed twice as long as the leading seller in the category before requiring maintenance.
Rockwell on the job
Another innovative tool we have been testing for several months is the Rockwell Jawhorse portable work station and clamping system. Builders and do-it-yourselfers often need an extra pair of hands on projects. Jawhorse is a simple solution.
The Jawhorse is a heavy-duty, folding work station and clamping system like no other. Constructed of heavy-gauge, powder-coated steel throughout, the Jawhorse can support up to 600 pounds. Yet, it weighs only 43 lbs. for easy portability.
The wide-stance tripod design of the Jawhorse keeps all three non-slip, rubber-padded feet firmly on the ground, even on uneven terrain. When open, it measures 39 in. L x 39 in. W x 35 in. H.
Jawhorse folds to 30- x 14- x 14-inches, about half the size of a golf bag, and has a built-in wheel for easy transport. It fits into vehicles, closets or in a corner of the workshop or garage.
Jawhorse’s 8- x 3-inch steel jaws open to 37 inches, wide enough to hold any standard door. With an optional Plywood Jaw, you can secure a 4- x 8-foot sheet of plywood. By pumping a foot pedal, the work piece is compressed to the desired tightness – up to 2,200 lbs. of gripping force. The pedal has a stirrup to prevent your foot from slipping, and the clamping jaw travels one inch with each stroke of the pedal and can clamp at any point so it is adjustable and precise.
“Anyone who has wrestled an awkward-shaped object or a full sheet of plywood onto a sawhorse understands the value of hands-free clamping,” said Craig Taylor, Positec vice president of brand marketing. “Jawhorse takes the place of workbenches, stands, saw horses, vices and clamps. You can set up shop at the job site or in your garage. It’s also ideal for apartment dwellers and homeowners who don’t have a workshop or garage. Just stow the Jawhorse in a closet, then set up right at the project, on a patio or in the driveway.”
Jawhorse has accessories for specific tasks, such as sawing logs and timber, creating a miter table compete with rollers, holding large sheets of material, welding and more.
Customize Jawhorse with options that include:
• Log Jaw – steel jaws that hold logs and timber up to 12-inch diameter;
• Miter Saw Station with Rollers fits a miter saw to the Jawhorse;
• Plywood Jaw adapts the Jawhorse for sheet goods up to 52 inches wide;
• Saddlebag holds tools and accessories within easy reach;
• Welding Jaw secures welding work;
• Clamping Work Table coverts Jawhorse into a heavy-duty clamping work table.
Striker knows the score
New from Striker is the Carbide Utility Score that allows easy scoring and snapping of a variety of materials, and is the preferred, safe method for cutting carcinogenic fiber cement siding (Hardie Board).
The Striker Carbide Utility Score features a sharp v-shaped carbide scoring tip designed to scribe deep and wide cuts with minimal force into fiber cement siding, backer board, roofing, linoleum, laminates, plastics and glass. Though the score won’t replace gang cuts of siding with saws, contractors and installers can safely cut fiber cement indoors and in tight or confined areas, such as on scaffolding, without creating dust.
Additional features include a crosscut file located along both sides of the hardened steel blade, allowing the user to smooth out rough edges, often eliminating the need to pull out a file or rasp. Serrations along the blade’s top edge create a notching saw for cleaning out corners around plumbing, junction boxes and HVAC openings.
The tool also features a striking cap at the end of its aluminum handle that acts like a hammer to allow the user to knock out cut pieces and set siding nails to the correct depth. The folding blade and removable pocket clip means the tool fits easily on a belt or in a pocket or pouch.
Striker Carbide Utility Score also has a thumb stud to safely open and close the blade, and a spring steel lock to lock the blade open or closed. The blade folds completely inside the body of the tool.
Striker Carbide Utility Score will be available this fall.
Don Geary is a regular contributor to Rural Builder magazine.