One of the perks of Tools In Action is that we can usually get our hands on any tool that we want. So when I decided to start our wood floor project I wanted the best flooring tools I could find. First I checked the net, then asked some experts and finally I just called a few tool rental places and asked what they rent. I did this because newbie DIY users are hard on floor nailers, Think about it, it is a tool that you constantly hit with a hammer so rental stores want one that lasts. Everything pointed to Powernail, I contacted them and found out they are in the Chicago area so Eric and I went to pay them a visit.
We found out a lot of information about the company and history of the tools. Descendants of the 2 original founders Carl and Ed Anstett still run the company today right here in the U.S.A. Like most tool company HQ's there is a little museum of sorts showing off their tools and innovation over the years. They have come a long way since they invented the first “L” cleat in 1949. We will get into the advantages of “L” cleats in a bit. Powernail has a support team ready to answer any question or address any issue you may have. They have access to the guys that engineered and built your tool within arm's reach, so any problem is resolved fast.
The L cleat, besides being green (it is made from 100 percent recycled steel coils) is designed to prevent your tongue from splitting and gives good penetration into hardwood. They have sharp barbs for maximum holding power which will help prevent squeaks. The Powernail factory is a mixture of modern CNC machines and brute force stamping machines. We could have spent hours there but had to get back to our floor. Next we went to the training area where they have raised floor mockups to test out the nailers.
If you rent a tool, you rent a professional quality tool and Powernail dominates the rental world because they last and are serviceable. Things like aluminum anodizing and cup rings instead of o rings make this tool tough. The nailer we used was a Flex 50P, it is adjustable from 3/8″ to 3/4″. It is all adjustable onboard, loosen the two allen head screws with the included tool and use the camber lever to adjust to the proper height. The 50P uses an 18 gage cleat and the best thing is the boxes are color coded, if you have a red nailer you get the red cleats. It really takes the guess work out of buying cleats and you can be in and out of the hardware store in minutes and back to work.
The 50P worked flawless for us at 90 PSI. When we hit it hard, it seated the cleats in perfect every time. On top of the handle is a safety switch. The bottom is made from a no mar plastic base that easily slides across the wood without leaving marks. The base was wide which gave the tool a stable feel. The included mallet has a soft end for hitting the nailer and a metal end for tapping in the flooring. The Powernail 50P is a great nailer. If you're a professional that wants the best, the PowerNail Flex 50 p Nailer won't disappoint. The 50P has a 7 year body warranty and a 1 year parts warranty and is made in the USA. Check out Powernail.com