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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:33 pm 
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Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Brushless Framing Nailer.jpg
deWalt DCN692 Brushless Framing Nailer.jpg [ 43.84 KiB | Viewed 6392 times ]


I'll start this review by stating what I do for a living – I'm a carpenter and joiner doing mainly site work and I do almost anything from (basic) shuttering to roofing work (at a push) and almost everything in between, or so it seems. Unlike some reviewers on the 'net I very much depend on my tools lto earn a living. This can make me sceptical of manufacturer's (and other reviewer's) claims. In terms of nail guns the deWalt DCN692 is the fourth I have owned. It's predecessors were a somewhat second-hand original stick-battery black Paslode Impulse (see below), an orange Paslode IM350/90 (my first new gun) and a Senco GT90CH. I've also used hire/loan gas nailers from BeA and Hitachi (the mk.1 only) as well as a few pneumatic nailers (and I still have a deWalt full head pneumatic nailer).

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review - Passlode Impulse.jpg
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Above: The original black Paslode Impulse gas nailer of 1986

One thing I will admit is that I don't like, and have never liked, gas. So finding a nailer which didn't use it was a major bonus for me. Gas lets yo down; it won't work when it's too cold (you end up keeping one or two cylinders permanently in your trouser pockets in the winters), it often leaks when stored in the gun and the plastic connector caps on gas cylinders don't always fit well or even work at all so you always end up having to carry round one or two known good ones off previous cylinders. Gas also has a sell by date, so yes, it can go out of date and then it may or may not work and it might oil-up the insides of the gun which will mean a strip down and clean is required (and there are shifty little so and so's at some builder's merchants who will happily short change you by selling you out of date gas unless you watch them like a hawk). Then you may find some non-OEM gas can oil-up the inside of your gun and stop it working (Champion, especially, for some reason). Even when working normally gas guns need to be stripped and cleaned periodically – and this is hardly a site job just in case you lose bits (but you do it any way because Paslode will charge you £100 plus for the privilege of a “factory” service). Gas guns are known to corrode battery terminals with a black, non-conductive “deposit” at a rate of knots (and which regular user hasn't had blackened battery terminals at one time or another?), the igniters can fail without warning (and for what is effectively little more than a Piezo-electric lighter they cost a fortune to replace) but worst of all you always seem to run out of gas at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon when the dealers are shut, you are a 4 hour drive from home and you need to get another 300 nails in..... Finally gas guns are very noisy. Despite this we continue to be wedded to these periodically cantankerous tools. At least the most modern guns have cured some of the worst ills which early models had – such as my first Paslode which refused point blank to work upside-down (try doing in-situ joist replacement or solid strutting in volume and you'll understand why you need a gun instead of a hammer and why you need it to work upside down), the battery constantly falling out, batteries needing to be removed when the gun was rested for more than 5 minutes because the flashing light would flatted it and NiCd batteries which were, to say the least, fragile (as were the chargers). Have I added that some manufacturers also seem to source their batteries, chargers and plug top transformers from a factory making novelty cracker fillings somewhere in central China? – because they are short-lived and flaky (or at least Paslode, BeA and Bostitch ones seemed to be in the past). I've therefore wanted a battery-only 1st fix nailer from a main stream power tool manufacturer with Li-Ion batteries which could be interchanged with my main stream cordless tools for years – in fact ever since I heard that deWalt were working on one back around 2005 or 2006. I waited, and waited, but it never arrived. When DW finally did release their first stab at this, the single-speed DCN690, back in 2013, it was very late, heavy, slow and frankly a bit gutless. The DCN690 in fact rapidly earned a reputation for being a terrible gun. DW must have gone back to the drawing board to fix the ills of their first, brave stab at a truly cordless 1st fix nailer to come up with the 2-speed DCN692 in 2015 and overall I have to say that I think they've largely “nailed it”.

OK, so the DCN692 has a 2-speed brushless motor which is designed to drive paper-collated plain and ring shank clipped/off-centre head first fixing nails between 51 and 90mm in length, 2.8 to 3.3mm (0.113 to 0.131in) shank thickness and angled at between 30 and 34 degrees. Jut like the nails Paslode, Senco, Hitachi, Makita and everyone else in the cordless market uses. The DW nails are fully compatible with Paslodes, etc and the DW in turn will happily use gas nailer nails as well. So if you can get nails that will fit a Paslode IM350, then they will also fit the DW.

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review - Head Styles.jpg
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Above: Differences in collated nail head designs
Below: Collated nail details

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review - Collated Nails.jpg
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Main Features

The DCN692 cordless nailer is compatible with the newer XR range of 18 volt Li-Ion battery packs (in the USA these are sold as 20 volt, sic). AFAIK it can be purchased as a bare tool, or with 2 x 4.0Ah or 2 x 5.0Ah battery packs (I opted for the 5Ah version, the DCN692P2). It comes in a fitted plastic carrying case which is externally identical to that used for the 1st generation of 15ga and 16ga 2nd fix nailers

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review - comparative case sizes.jpg
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Above: Comparison of the DCN692 1st fix nailer with the 1st generation DC616 16ga straight 2nd fix nailer - carrying cases
Below: With the cases open to see what you get. The white "ring" in the DCN692 case (left) is the non-mar foot

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review - comparative case sizes open.jpg
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In fact on it's own whilst the DCN692 seems large, it really isn't that big when compared to two of the more widely used 1st fix gas nailers on the market; the Senco GT90CH (also sold as the Rawl WW90CH) and the Paslode IM350/90 nail guns

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Above: (left to right) Senco GT90CH, Paslode IM350/90 and deWalt DCN692 nail guns

and the case is certainly smaller than the cases of either of those tools, a plus if space in the van is limited.
The DCN692 has two user-selectable speed settings:

Speed Setting 1 is optimized for driving shorter nails (51 to 70mm long), while Speed Setting 2 is for 71 to 90mm nails. Speed Setting 1 reduces power consumption (allowing more nails per charge) and also reduces the amount of hand-arm vibration you receive with each nail (and thus lowers user fatigue).
Speed Setting 2 is really needed when driving longer nails, when maximum power is required. DW reckons that a fully charged 4.0Ah battery will drive about 700 nails, but in reality I found that when driving through C24 softwood into 150 year old pitch pine that I was getting about 450 to 500 90mm plain nails out of a 5.0Ah battery in bump fire mode, but then pitch pine is really heavy going for any nail gun

//Continues in pt.2

_________________
"The person who never made a mistake, never made anything" - Albert Einstein

OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


Last edited by Job and Knock on Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:13 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:55 pm 
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//Continued from pt.1

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – speed switch.jpg
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Above: Speed setting switch at the rear of the handle, under the fold-away rafter hook (left: speed 2 for longer nails, right: speed 1 for nails up to 70mm)
Below: Sequential and bump mode settings at the rear of the main body to the left (shown in bump mode)

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – bump_sequential mode switch.jpg
deWalt DCN692 Review – bump_sequential mode switch.jpg [ 211.56 KiB | Viewed 6385 times ]


The nailer runs in two separate modes, sequential mode (where the nose has to be positioned, pushed down onto the work, the trigger pulled, the motor then spools up and it fires) or bump mode (where you pull the trigger to run the motor up to speed then “bump” the tool against the work to fire a nail). DW recommends that you only use bump mode on nails up to 70mm – in reality I found that after the tool had “run-in” it was possible to bump plain shank 90mm nails successfully, although your technique may need some modifying over the way you use a Paslode gun. Bump mode can be a bit hard on the batteries, hence my reason for choosing 5Ah batteries. There is a fairly standard looking thumb wheel depth control fitted to the nose of the tool to vary the amount a nail head will be sunk into the material.

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – nail depth thumb wheel.jpg
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Above: Nail depth adjustment thumb wheel
Below: The non-mar foot fitted to the nailer. It stored on a spigot inside the tool box when not in use

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – non-mar foot fitted.jpg
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deWalt also supply a push-on plastic no-mar tip for the nose piece in the box, although I personally haven't yet used it, it may be useful when it comes to finish nailing stuff like plywood flooring.

Additional features include low battery and stall indicator lights (at the top, rear of the motor casing), a stall release lever, and jam-clearing lever.

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – stall and battery low lights on the top of the motor housing.jpg
deWalt DCN692 Review – stall and battery low lights on the top of the motor housing.jpg [ 157.08 KiB | Viewed 6385 times ]

Above: Battery low indicator light (left) and stall indicator light (right) are at the rear of the motor housing top
Below: Stall release lever on the front of the motor housing

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – stall reset lever at the front of the motor housing.jpg
deWalt DCN692 Review – stall reset lever at the front of the motor housing.jpg [ 131.97 KiB | Viewed 6385 times ]


Apart from a conventional squeeze trigger in the handle the tool incorporates a lock/unlock button at the rear of the motor housing (see sequential and bump mode photo above).
Loading the gun with nails is straight forward, simply pull back the spring-assisted pusher until it locks, insert a clip of nails into the end of the plastic-covered metal magazine, then release the pusher to put the nail clip under light pressure. In use the gun will automatically lock out when it gets down to about 3 to 5 nails to prevent dry firing. Stalls and jams can happen with any first fix gun, so the stall release lever on the front of the nailer is designed to overcome this when it happens. In the case of a major jam (where the stall release lever can't clear the problem – such as a bent nail caught in the nose) it may be necessary to unship the battery, undo and clear the nose and release the stall before reinserting the battery. DW have made this much easier than on any other gun I have ever used by providing a hex key (stored at the rear, right hand side of the magazine) and by having a clever magazine design which incorporates two captive hex screws to secure the front of the magazine.

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – right side view showing the position of the hex key.jpg
deWalt DCN692 Review – right side view showing the position of the hex key.jpg [ 252.78 KiB | Viewed 6385 times ]

Above: the hex key stored at the rear of the magazine, under the (stowed) rafter hook
Below: Two captive hex socket screws secure the magazine to the nose. Being captive the can't be lost when the magazine is released

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – undoing the magazine.jpg
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To clear a jam the user takes the pusher pressure off the nail clip in the magazine, unscrews the magazine at the nose end then pivots the entire magazine out of the way. I happen to think that is a very clever piece of design, so well done deWalt

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – pivoting the magazine.jpg
deWalt DCN692 Review – pivoting the magazine.jpg [ 230.59 KiB | Viewed 6385 times ]

Above: The entire magazine pivots out of the way to deal with jams

After the running-in period I've found the DCN692 to be no better or worse than my Senco or past Paslodes in terms of jams and stalls. I've now used about 4 boxes of nails (3300 nails per box – it's been mainly 90mm plain shanks as well), so I think I've got a reasonable idea of how the tool works. The “running in” period is deWalt's term for the bedding period (between 500 and 1,000 nails) during which period the tool was indeed a bit tight and sometimes wouldn't flush longer nails completely. Straight out of the box the DCN692 would sink a nail to just below the surface but it wouldn't punch it 3 to 4mm under like most gas nailers can. After running-in the results speak for themselves (and refutes other claimns made elsewhere by people who have obviously not run their guns in fully):

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – sequential firing test.jpg
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Above: Ten sequentially-fired 90mm plain nails into the edge of dry 8 x 2in C24 softwood joisting
Below: Plus ten bump-fired 90mm plain nails

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – bump firing test.jpg
deWalt DCN692 Review – bump firing test.jpg [ 94.23 KiB | Viewed 6385 times ]


It can also fire 90mm ring nails – something that neither of my Paslode nailers could ever manage.

In terms of the way the driver pin is operated this DW is completely different to the gas nailers. The internals are quite similar in some ways to those found in the 1st generation 2nd fix cordless nailers pioneered by deWalt in that you have a flywheel powered by a motor (in this case a 2-speed brushless motor) which drives the driving pin. This pin is driven by friction alone and it is pushed into contact by the firing of a solenoid. At the end of the stroke two springs return the driving pin to the start position.

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – driving pin and spring return casette.jpg
deWalt DCN692 Review – driving pin and spring return casette.jpg [ 156.24 KiB | Viewed 6385 times ]

Above: Top of the DCN692 removed showing the spring and nail driver “cassette”

The mechanism might be similar to and scaled up from the original second fix guns, but maintenance is considerably improved. Gone is the scary trip into the innards of the tool to replace the drive pin if it shears off (and again, this happens to all nailers, of all types, from time to time in trade volume use). Instead two hex screws either side of the silver top are undone and the entire top is pulled clear with the springs and driver pin readily accessible for replacement (they are in a “casette” which is held in place by three screws). Far faster and much easier than the equivalent process on a gas nailer where an almost complete strip down is generally required, Replacement drive pins costing circa £55 whilst the springs, which also need to be replaced periodically, come in at about £27 each. I'm not certain how much life they will have but hopefully DW will have made them to give a similar life to the old “lazzy band” return bungees on the 1st generation 2nd fix guns – in my case about 3 years. Other than that there is no maintenance to do – no cleaning, no lubrication, nothing.

//Continues in pt.3

_________________
"The person who never made a mistake, never made anything" - Albert Einstein

OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


Last edited by Job and Knock on Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:15 am, edited 3 times in total.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:07 am 
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//Continued from pt.2

Specifications

Motor, Firing Modes and Speeds:

Brushless motor, 2-speeds (user selected)
Modes: Bump or Sequential, (user selected)

Dimensions:

Height: 346 mm (13.5in)
Width: 104mm (4in)
Length: 335mm (13.25in)
Weight: 3.5kg (7.8 lbs)

Capacities and Nails (Clipped Head):

Nail lengths: 51 to 90mm (2in to 3-1/2in)
Nail shank diameters: 2.8 to 3.3mm (0.113 to 0.131in)
Nail stick angle: 30˚ to 34˚
Magazine angle: 33˚
Magazine capacity: Up to 55 nails
Shank types: Smooth or ring shank, paper collated

Charger and Battery Specifications:

Battery type: deWalt DCB184
Capacity: 18 volt 5.0Ah Li-Ion 90wH
Charger: deWalt DCB105
Charge time (full charge): circa 90 minutes for 5.0Ah

General Thoughts

Initially I was very sceptical about this gun, even though DW is offering the gun with a 3 year warranty and with a 30-day money back guarantee. I'd read a number of extremely negative comments about the DCN690 and one or two bad comments about this tool. After about three months reasonably heavy use in a professional environment I think that a lot of the comments I've read on the net were made by people who simply hadn't used the gun enough to even run it in, let alone understand how to use it to the best. Yes, there is latency (spool-up) for the motor, but then gas nailers have latency, too. The tool will really and truly bump fire, even 90mm nails (despite DW advising otherwise) but getting it to properly sink nail heads may take a little practice – it operates in a different way to gas nailers and that can take some adjustment on the part of the operator. In sequential mode it can be slightly slower than gas nailers, as well, but not all that much. Fortunately, having had DW's 2nd fix cordless guns for many years I found it easy to adapt to the tool. The controls, with the exception of the speed control hidden away below the rafter hook, fall easily to hand and the tool is short enough to be able to get into most spaces, such as between 400mm centres joists. I have noticed a tendency to dry fire when used at extreme angles for toe nailing, but at those angles my old Paslode or Senco would be all but unuseable, so I don't really see it as a problem.

The battery charger performance at circa 90 minutes for a full 5Ah charge is hardly stellar when compared to the charge speed on my Makita 18 volt LXT kit (circa 45 minutes for a 5Ah battery), but you can upgrade to a faster charger and in any case I seriously doubt that anyone could actually flatten a 5Ah battery in less than 4 hours – in general I have been getting a full day, or almost, out of a single 5Ah battery. The batteries imnclude a press button to illumibate the charge remaining LED display

Attachment:
deWalt DCN692 Review – battery state display.jpg
deWalt DCN692 Review – battery state display.jpg [ 93.98 KiB | Viewed 6375 times ]


In fact the only aspect of this gun I still dislike is the weight – but even there I've learned to live with it. At 3.5kg (just under 8lbs) it is a fairly heavy tool (although lighter than the first generation 16ga first fix gun I still use) and whilst I consider it to be reasonably well balanced in the hand, for that reason I have to admit it won't for everyone. I've loaned mine to several other carpenter's I've worked with and most expressed surprise at how well the gun actually performs (maybe the scuttlebut on the 'net has had some effect on people's perceptions), but they were divided 50/50 over the weight of the tool. All I can say is that I've made my decision – and I'm keeping mine

If anyone has any additional questions about the DCN692 which they would like me to answer, please post them here or PM me and I'll be glad to answer them and incorporate them into the review.

The editor of this review is in no way associated with deWalt. This review expresses the personal views of the author alone. Photographs are terrible, I know, but then I am a carpenter and not a photographer - and the pics were taken on my phone.....

If you'd like an alternative view from another reviewer, then maybe A Concorde Carpenter's review might be of interest

Finis

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"The person who never made a mistake, never made anything" - Albert Einstein

OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


Last edited by Job and Knock on Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:23 am, edited 3 times in total.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:37 am 
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Brilliant review J&K. Very comprehensive and it's great to have a review from a pro joiner who has tested the gun out in real site conditions. Seems to be a real improvement on the previous model and it'll be my next purchase tool wise.
Thanks for taking the time to review :thumbleft:


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I'm not sure why, maybe because it had nail gun in the review, but I read all of that - awesome review. Maybe I just secretly long for a nail gun and....... :scratch:

:cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

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Brilliant comprehensive review. I've considered buying one of these for a few years now for fence building. I think I'll ask Santa.


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Thanks J&K - now I'm waiting for your review of the DCN660 finish nailer, which I've still yet to buy..


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Damn it J & K! Now I really need one of these nailers, although I would in reality have little use for it!
Excellent review mate, much better than a lot I've seen for different stuff. You can't beat real world experience of kit.
The photos are OK too IMO. In focus and you can see what you're supposed to be looking at. :thumbright:


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excellent review mate. i was one of the original testers of the dcn690 nailer.

i was doing a loft conversion job at the time so the gun was used side by side with my makita first fix gun. at the time the makita was playing up something rotten which i since discovered was that damn champion gas. that required a full strip down and clean to rid it of the crap and its since working as expected.

the champion nails also did for the first dewalt gun. a bit of the collated strip went inside the gun and jammed it up. dewalt service centre wouldnt touch it as i had no proof of purchase because i was a tester :cussing: :lol: a few emails back and forth and a dewalt rep came with a new gun. it didnt work :lol: so they changed it again. then it failed a little while later. so an email to dewalt again and they picked it up. and when it was returned im pretty sure it was the same gun. but it seemed to work better.... maybe it has slightly modded insides or something? it still has the black cap not the yellow cap of the dcn692 :scratch: :scratch:

a short while later we got a job replacing a flat roof on a building in a ship yard in wallsend. that roof took 4- 6 pallets of osb. we had to replace all the joists and new facias etc etc. so the dewalt and makita gun were ran side by side again. the dewalt ran flawlessly as did the makita both using rawl nails. firing between 63mm and 90mm nails. since then its been used as and when necessary although not for a good while now. maybe getting onto a year. the makita has been the go too gun as its a tad lighter. but if i get another decent job on im sure both will come back out.

i agree with the good feature on the magazine. spinning it out the way to clear nail jams is very good.

it was very good of dewalt to give the guns as tester machines for free. and i did notice it didnt take long for the dcn692 to come out. its good that theyve sorted out all the problems with the original guns. perhaps if that roof job had come along sooner id have been able to give the first gun a real test


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I bought this a couple of weeks ago as a bare unit (£250). I put up a 60 feet close lapped fence at the weekend using cheap Champion nails I got off ebay (51mm). I only got one jam which I sorted out in seconds and it punched the nails right in from the word go. I also used a compatible 4ah Floureon battery I also bought off ebay (£25) and it lasted almost the whole day.

I'm not trade so won't use this daily but I'm getting a lot of requests locally to put up fences so it will get a lot of use.

I'm glad I read this again as I thought the plastic nose cap was only for packaging so binned it. I had to dig it out of the wheelie bin :roll:

I have 6 of the gas cannisters if anyone wants them 3x firmahold & 3x champion. Otherwise I'll just bin them.


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stevewestern wrote:
- now I'm waiting for your review of the DCN660 finish nailer, which I've still yet to buy..

Well, Steve, look what Santa brought early, today........
Attachment:
deWalt DCN660 001 02.JPG
deWalt DCN660 001 02.JPG [ 24.66 KiB | Viewed 4633 times ]

Attachment:
deWalt DCN660 001 01.JPG
deWalt DCN660 001 01.JPG [ 25.26 KiB | Viewed 4633 times ]

The review (with a comparison to the 1st generation tool) will follow......

Even if you've already bought one

Oh yes, and nearly 6 months on from my original review and 10k plus nails down the track, the DCN692 still continues to perform flawlessly and without incident

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


Last edited by Job and Knock on Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Look forward to the review j&k :thumbright:
Pity dewalt chose to do an angle only unit when 90% of site users have a straight nailer and that's all the sites supply in terms of nails.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:10 pm 
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I have talked to a DW insider who told mne that there was certainly a straight 16 gauge nailer prototype made, but he couldn't tell me what had happened to it. I recently had a play with the Milwaukee 16ga angled 2nd fix - in comparison it's a bit lighter and the nose is a bit smaller, it doesn't seem any slower or faster in bump mode and it can certainly sink 50mm pins into softwood (not really much of a test, that, though TBH). The one negative think I noticed was the ferocious kickback it had - like a compressed air nailer running on too high a line pressure. Hopefully there will be some form of adjustment to counter this. In the end I went for the DW because it is a tried and proven technology and there are just less moving parts to go wrong than the Milwaukee. Pewrsonal choice. The old DC616 will now be pensioned off

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:12 pm 
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steviejoiner74 wrote:
Look forward to the review j&k :thumbright:
Pity dewalt chose to do an angle only unit when 90% of site users have a straight nailer and that's all the sites supply in terms of nails.


What's the advantages/disadvantages of it being angled?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:02 pm 
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Argyll wrote:
What's the advantages/disadvantages of it being angled?

Pros: Easier to get into small and/or awkward corners. Can be easier to use close to walls, floors, etc
Cons: Longer shortest pin size available (32mm as opposed to 25mm in DW). More expensive nails than straights (15% or more).

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!



For this message the author Job and Knock has received gratitude : Argyll
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