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mybeach

tool review - Porter Cable 6 Gallon Compressor and Nail Guns

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After shopping for a decent homeowner compressor, and seeing that Sears and Home Depot both had packages for sale, I decided on the Home Depot version for $299. Porter Cable.

 

The compressor is a 6 gallon pancake style, with 150 MAX psi. This is sufficient for the trim nailing I needed it for. The kit includes the 16 gauge straight nailer, an 18 gauge pin nailer and an 18 gauge crown stapler. A 25 foot hose is included. It also comes with a canvas/plastic tool bag, 500 of each type of fastener, and some allan wrenches. After comparing exact model numbers, it was clear that the hose, the 18 gauge guns and the extra fasteners represented about a $120 price tag if purchased separately. I thoght it was a good deal.

 

The compressor is a pancake design with a 6 gallon capacity. Maximum pressure is 150 PSI. Exceeding this preasure will trip a safety valve that releases the excess. The power cord is about 6 feet long. It takes about 4 minutes to go from empty to 150 psi.

 

The front panel is simple, a tank pressure gauge and a tool or feed pressure gauge. The tool gauge is red and pressure is controlled with a simple knob that increases or decreases preasure settings. The gauge is in 5 PSI increments. Finite adjustment is not possible, but 5 PSI is enough.

 

There are two tool feeds, which I find to be a nice option. Buy a spare hose and you can have two nailers ready to go, or another tool. That's about it! The tank has 3 stubby legs with big rubber feet, and it isolates the vibration for the most part.

 

Using the 16 gauge nailer was first. After experimenting with different pressure settings, 80 PSI was perfect for countersinking the 2" nails. The gun can accomodate nails up the 2.5 inches. The gun was comfortable to hold, and had a comfortable feel. It held two racks of nails, about 50 total. It could hold a few more. The gun was pretty light, and seemed well built.

 

I had a few small pieces to install (1 inch long), and splitting occured on two pieces, so I predrilled and eliminated the problem. Some splitting occured when setting nails too close to the end, but that could be a material issue also. I did not nail through my 22.5 joints at all because of this, but I did glue them and they look fine.

 

I installed about 100 LF of 3/4 bamboo shoe today. Nailing about every foot or so. No problem. Nice clean nail holes, and no misfires. No heads protruding. The compressor cycled about every 15 or 20 nails, which is not bad. It ran about 1 minute to build 150 PSI again. It was a bit annoying, sort of like a honda with a fart can muffler, but it cycled pretty quickly, so no problem. Putting the saw outside means lots of trips in between nails anyway.

 

I've used some other air tools, but this one fits the bill for a homeowner very nicely so far. If you are still using a hammer and a nail set, do yourself a favor and go for the air tool. smile.gif You'll like it. Additional tools will be reviewed here as I add them.

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Its a decent setup. I own this one as well. But when I got mine, it didn't come with the 2 guns,only the finish nailer.

The Missus got it for me on Valentines day several moons ago.

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Get yourself some longer hoses, park the comressor outside or in another room to eliminate the noise. Splitting could be due to the fastener bending in the trim and forcing it apart.

-Joe

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I just got a Porter Cable combo pack from Homies as well. The newer packs with the 16ga finish nailer also comes with a 18ga brad nailer, for $240. I was holding off because I didn't particularly need a stapler so it was perfect for me! smile.gif

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View PostI just got a Porter Cable combo pack from Homies as well. The newer packs with the 16ga finish nailer also comes with a 18ga brad nailer, for $240. I was holding off because I didn't particularly need a stapler so it was perfect for me! smile.gif

 

The one I saw out here only had the compressor and 16 ga nailer for $240. For $299, it added the 18 ga nailer and the 18 ga stapler, which retail for about $120 separately. I figure the extra $60 was worth it. Sometimes a 16 ga is too heavy.

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I put a pressure regulator at the gun, this will allow accurate pressure for nailing not matter what lenght supply hose you use. Sometimes you want the compressor waaay outside.

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