There is nothing like firing a powder actuated tool, well maybe an AR-15 would top it, but for tools a semi automatic is the way to go. When I first started using these tools I was introduced to using a single shot hammer style Ramset. At the time, it was pretty cool. Not that a single shot hammer isn't cool, but for me it doesn't compare to a Semi Automatic. Yes, I know there is a time and place for everything, but today we're talking about the Duo Fast Semi Automatic Powder Actuated Tool Model DF-27, so let's jump into it.
The tool comes in a nice plastic case where there is extra room to keep some fasteners and shots, which is always a plus for me. You also get a cleaning kit that you can store in the case. Picking up the tool, you can feel the weight, which is expected. The tool has a pretty good feel in your hand and the rubber on the back of the handle gives the user better control. One thing to point out if you have bigger hands, the handle might feel a little small for you. The handle could use a couple extra inches so your pinkie finger isn't off the handle.
The DF-27 is a .27 caliber which will fire 3, 4 and 5 loads. As noted, the tool is solid and weighs 4.5 lbs with an overall length of 15.44″. You can fire up to 3″ pins. This tool is great for fastening metal or wood to concrete. I didn't get a chance to bring this out to a job and use it, but I had a chance to play around with it on some metal, wood and concrete around my place. Having experience with these types of tools in the past, I have to say this tool has a very nice set up. Opening and closing the piston wasn't any harder or easier than other tools I have used. Once you fire a shot, it was easy to get the tool set up quickly to fire another pin. I probably fired about 60 shots and never had any problems.
One thing I found interesting was the warranty. The tool comes with a 1 year warranty, but you must complete a test which is located at the back of the owners manual. There are 19 questions you must answer. I haven't taken the test, but I looked through some of the questions and they were pretty entertaining. They are all true and false and remind me of the Illinois drivers test where some are a little ridiculous. In Illinois there is one question that asks, “Is it okay to drive around a railroad crossing when the gate is down?” However in Illinois we pretty much give anyone who has a pulse a drivers license. I do have to say the test given by Duo Fast is much better and more logical than the Illinois drivers test.
Overall this is a pretty good set up. The tool feels solid and packs a powerful punch. Not too much abuse to your hands over longer periods of use. If you are going to be using this on a weekly or monthly basis, this is a great buy. For everyday use, I would probably go with a higher end model. Considering you can use a shot 3, 4 or 5, you can pretty much use this for most applications.