Frequently Asked Questions

Most small portables will suffice. For instance; a very small 1HP portable (delivering 2.0 CFM – cubic feet of air per minute) will allow you to operate SENCO’s largest nailing tool at about 15 nail drives per minute. The same compressor will run a medium-size finishing nailer at about 30 nail drives per minute, and will run a small brad nailer at over 70 drives per minute.

SENCO tools take a “gulp” of compressed air for each fastener drive. Big tools take a bigger gulp; smaller tools use less of a gulp. The technical term for this gulp is “air consumption per cycle”. If you divide the air consumption per cycle into the CFM of a given air compressor you will determine the possible drives per minute. This should give you a clear picture if the compressor is able to properly supply the tool you are planning to use.

Few people, maybe some pros, will operate SENCO tools at super high speeds. Most people will buy the easy-to-carry portables for the convenience of being able to take the compressor to the job site. The 30-lb. portables tend to deliver about 2.0 CFM; the 50-lb. units usually deliver about 4.0 CFM.

Some basic recommendations on the correct compressor to buy:

SENCO tool to operate Compressor to buy
Upholstery stapler portable, 2.0 CFM, 30 lb.
Brad nailer portable, 2.0 CFM, 30 lb.
Finish nailer portable, 2.0 CFM, 30 lb.
Sheathing stapler portable, 4.0 CFM, 50 lb.
Framing nailer portable, 4.0 CFM, 50 lb.
Roofing nailer portable, 4.0 CFM, 50 lb.
2-4 large tools at once wheelbarrow, 6+ CFM, 150 lbs.

90-100 PSI works well for most tools and applications.

To be a general as possible, we try to match certain customer types to certain tool models. Some folks can get most of what they need with one of our tools, others will need (and want) more than one tool. The incredible gain in your productivity, quality, and fun (yes, fun!), make the cost of your tool a very wise investment.

Here are a few customer/tool matches:

Customer Type Tool(s) to buy
Craft maker brad nailer, narrow-crown stapler
Upholsterer upholstery stapler, medium-crown stapler
Cabinet maker brad nailer, narrow-crown stapler, finish nailer
Furniture maker same as cabinet and upholsterer
Home builder framing nailer, finish and brad nailers, and a roofing tool
Remodeler heavy framing nailer, finish and brad nailers
Roofer roofing coil nailer or wide-crown roofing stapler, medium-crown stapler
Floor underlayment installer heavy narrow-crown stapler
Siding Installer
– Vinyl medium-crown stapler of coil roofing nailer (with special vinyl siding attachment)
– Clapboard coil siding nailer
– Wood shake medium-crown stapler
– Fiber cement full round-head framing nailer
Picture framer upholstery stapler with fitting attachment, and a brad nailer
Pallet and crate builder
– New wood Heavy-duty coil nailer
– Old wood heavy medium-crown stapler

Of course, this could be a very long list. If you don’t see your specific need listed above, call 800-543-4596 to get some good advice.

It all depends on the amount of use. A tool used every day by a pro will probably need a rebuild every 1-2 years, while tool being used once per week may go 5-10 years before needing any kind of service.

Ironically, oil-type tools will last longer if regularly used. Longer storage with no operation will lead to a dry rotting of certain o-rings. It’s best to get them out, oil them up, and cycle the tool to keep the rings lubricated.

Some SENCO tools are a no-oil design and can store for longer time periods with no concern.

When rebuilds are necessary, you can choose to hire a servicing dealer, or do the job yourself with the handy o-ring and rebuild kits offered by SENCO for most tool models. SENCO leads the industry in making self-service easy to do.

SENCO tools are professional-grade. Compared to discount brands they last longer, and they work longer before any service becomes necessary.

The angled magazine is popular for its maneuverability into tight places. The FinishPro35 (and the FIP41XP, and FIP42XP) drives a true brad-head (rounded-head) SENCO “DA series” 15-gauge finish nail, which has always been very popular with finish carpenters. The angled magazine (35 degrees) is highly maneuverable.

The 16 gauge straight magazine finish nailers are not as maneuverable, but they do drive a slightly thinner 16 gauge square-head nail, which may mean less wood splitting with smaller moldings. The square-head nail is not as appealing as the true brad-head nail, but it does a cleaner job on MDF moldings because the square-head helps prevent the cratering (puckering), which may occur with the true brad-head nail. The 16 gauge nails tend to cost less than the heavier 15 gauge nails, so there is some cost savings.

The major appeal of our current contractor model, the FinishPro42XP is the no-oil feature. They are cleaner tools to use for your fine finish applications. It’s our tool targeting the pro user.

SENCO offers a 16 gauge, straight magazine nailer model number FinishPro32.


15 gauge finish nailer tools:

  • angled magazine track
  • true rounded-head nails
  • best for real wood
  • best holding power for heavy moldings

16 gauge finish nailer tools:

  • straight track
  • t-head nails
  • best for fake wood (MDF)
  • less splitting
  • low cost nails

Brad nails are formed from a fine 18 gauge wire, while finish nails are made from heavier 16 or 15 gauge wire.

Finish nails are the correct choice for fastening larger crown and baseboard trim, brad nails are used to install smaller trim to help prevent splitting and to promote a cleaner looking job with less touch-up work after the nailing is done.

The initial tool purchased by most customers is some kind of brad nailer to attach finish moldings. Heavier finish nails often split smaller moldings, so brads are preferred for the small trim pieces, or also for the lighter-weight moldings. Most folks who have used a hammer to drive small brads know how frustrating it can be when nails bend, and you can often ding the molding easily with the hammer. The brad nailer makes these small trim jobs a breeze with high-quality results.

The brad nail also has a smaller head, which may not need to be concealed with carpenter’s putty. When a nail is not puttied over, it’s called a “shiner”. Sometime a shiner is so small, it’s difficult to be noticed. Brad nails leave such a small shiner, the putty touch-up may not be necessary. Of course, it all depends on the application, or how easy it will be for people to see the surfaces that you have nailed.

The driven finish nail is almost always puttied over to conceal the shiner because it leaves a more visible hole in the wood surface. Again, for larger and heavier moldings the finish nail is the correct fastener to use. The finish nail offers more support and withdrawal resistance than the brads making them a better choice for the bigger trim installation.

Most finish carpenters own and use both tools; a brad nailer for small moldings, and a finish nailer for larger base or crown moldings.

The bottom part (retainer/bumper) serves to secure the other parts up into the cap. To remove the parts, you need to “pop-out” the retainer/bumper. It is a hard rubber with rounded profile hooks on the side. Up in the cap there is a “recess” that accepts the hooks. The part is able to “pop-in” and “pop-out”.

Two ways to remove the bottom part:

  1. remove the exhaust deflector and push a shaft or screwdriver through the top to force the bottom part out.
  2. Use a flathead screwdriver to “rock” the bottom part from side-to- side – the part will work loose and free itself from the gripping recess.

The owner’s manual does have air consumption info expressed as an X60 figure. See the specs section in the back, and divide the posted air consumption figure by 60 to get per cycle consumption.

We do not have a complete list of air consumption figures. Sorry. My “rule-of-thumb” on consumption is:

Large tools (framers) – .160 CFM per cycle

Medium tools (roofing, finish) – .080 CFM per cycle Small tools (brad nailers) – .030 CFM per cycle

These approximations will work well when sizing a compressor

If you divide the “CFM per cycle” into the “CFM delivered at 100 psi” of a given air compressor you will then know how many nails/staples you are capable of driving per minute (your speed limit)

Air fittings come in more than one style, and they come in basically two sizes.

Automatically including an air fitting would mean the air fitting would be wrong for about half of the customers who buy the tool.

We could include a selection of air fittings, but this would drive up the cost of our tool and we are under pressure by the retail giants to cut cost.

A good tool dealer will have the air fittings in stock.

A block-out device (aka: nail guide assembly) is an assembly of parts that will help prevent jamming problems when driving the shorter sizes of nails. Since jamming occurs more often with the shorter nail sizes, the block-out can be a good preventative measure. It’s a good idea to install the block-out when driving a large quantity of the shorter nails.

The block-out simply fills space not occupied by the shorter nails to help prevent the “back-drive” of a nail. Back-drives occur more often with the shorter nail sizes. Back-drives occur when the nail tries to drive back toward the magazine track, instead of out the hole at the tip of the guide body (nose) of the tool.

With the block-out properly installed, a back-driven nail will be blocked from driving toward the magazine, so it can drive out the hole.

For driving smaller quantities of the shorter nails, a block-out should not be necessary.

To properly load:

  1. Turn the tool up-side-down – aiming upward.
  2. Slide open the track (magazine rail – the moving part).
  3. Set the staples into the housing channel right behind the nose.
  4. Slide the rail to the closed position.

The measurement (looking from overhead) of the nail heads is:

  • AY – .050 X .065 (inch)
  • AX – .050 X .080 (inch)
  • AY – 1.27 X 1.65 (millimeter)
  • AX – 1.27 X 2.03 (millimeter)

As you can see, there is not much of a size difference. The medium-head AX is considered small enough to leave as a “shiner” (no putty needed to conceal) in most trim applications. To the eye, the slight-head AY will look about the same as the AX once driven into the wood.

Also consider, tools with the same size driver tip drive both nails, so you will find little difference in the final appearance of each driven nail. Most drives result in a 1/32″ countersink into the wood. The tool’s driver will poke into the wood to provide this countersinking of the nail. It’s the tip of the driver that makes the hole (dimple) in the wood.

Only in applications where the nail is driven flush to the wood surface would there be some noticeable difference in viewing the AY as a smaller nail head.

Stainless steel fasteners offer the only real solution – and you doing your best to keep from splintering the wood with your fastener drives.

Our N_ _ BGB (see list below) staples are stainless steel fasteners popular for cedar fence boards, and cedar shake/shingle roof and wall coverings. Drive them with the SNS41, SNS44XP, or SNS45XP SENCO staplers.

Prevent splintering the wood surface by making use of the tool’s depth control device. Even with a stainless fastener cedar can do something called “extractive bleeding,” causing that ugly black streak on the wood surface.

  • N15BGB – 16 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16 crown, 1 1/4″ leg
  • N17BGB – 16 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16 crown, 1 1/2″ leg
  • N19BGBN – 16 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16 crown, 1 3/4″ leg
  • N21BGBN – 16 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16 crown, 2″ leg

For a nailing tool, see the SENCO SCN49 Coil Siding nailer and the available stainless nails.

If you prefer the look and holding power of screws, the auto-feed SENCO DuraSpin tools offer both battery and corded models and stainless screws for the fence boards.

The installation of cedar wood products calls for extra care when selecting the proper corrosion resistant fasteners. The use of the wrong fastener may lead to bleeding problems – an ugly streak caused by the chemical reaction of the fastener and the natural acids of the wood.

For this reason, it is often recommended that stainless steel fasteners, or premium hot-dipped galvanized fasteners be used for the job.

If you want to use an air-powered tool for the job, the best choice is the 16- gauge stapler, and stainless steel staples. SENCO’s model SNS44XP is a great choice, lighter weight, adjustable depth-of-drive control, and just the right power to do the job. (The SENCO SNS41, and SNS45XP models will also work well.)

SENCO’s best combination:

Tool – SNS44XP Stapler
(Drives 16 gauge, 7/16” crown, 1” to 2” leg lengths)

Fastener – N17BGB Stainless Steel Staples – most popular choice
(16 gauge, 7/16” crown, 1 ½” leg, type 304 stainless steel) (3000 per box covers about 6 squares)

Note: N15BGB (1 ¼” leg), N19BGBN (1 ¾” leg), and N21BGBN (2” leg) are also sold.

Clipped from a cedar shingle/shake manufacturers installation instructions:


Hot dipped zinc coated nails or stainless steel staples are recommended. However, any U.B.C. approved corrosion-resistant fasteners can be used. Use two for each shake placing them approximately one inch from each edge, and high enough to be covered an inch or two by the succeeding course. Fasteners should be long enough to penetrate at least 3/4″ or through the sheathing. The butts of the shakes should project from 1 1/2 to 2 inches from the first roof board so that the rainwater will spill into the gutter or to the ground without working down the side of the building. Individual shakes should be spaced about 1/4″ to 3/8″ apart to allow for possible expansion. These joints or spaces between shakes should be broken or offset at least 1 1/2″ in adjacent courses and should be kept out of direct alignment in alternate courses.

The Siding Coil Nailer SCN49 is the proper choice for the clapboard siding job.

The tool offers the right amount of power, adjustable depth control, high load capacity, and a lighter weight.

The nails are thinner (.092 diameter) to prevent splitting, wire-collated or plastic-carrier collated for a clean drive with minimal flagging, and a petite head size (.220-. 230) for a clean look.

Because it’s an air-powered tool, the SHF50 allows a flooring installer a much easier job compared to the manual (non-air) SHF10 or SHF15. The SHF50 air tool requires a much lighter tap with the mallet; the air drives the nail, the mallet tap tightens the board. In other words, the SHF50 requires way less labor, and speeds the installation job.

Information on the staple vs. cleat nail issue indicates that, in some jobs, staples actually hold too well, and this can spell trouble for natural expansion and contraction of the overall installed floor. The flooring cleats provide some amount of “give” to allow for movement without buckling of the flooring.

The nail vs. staple issue is a major selling advantage that really needs to be stressed. It is accepted knowledge in the hardwood industry that cleats are the superior fasteners, producing less splitting of tongues and fewer floor squeaks. Even Stanley now makes these same claims, now that they are preparing to introduce a conversion kit to convert the MIIIFS (stapler) to a cleat nailer.

The tool is designed to “lock-up” with 5 or less nails remaining in the magazine to prevent excessive wear from a “dry fire”. The safety element will not travel up far enough to allow the tool to operate until more nails are loaded.

Why does your tool have this feature?

When a tool cycles with no nail driven, there is more vibration created by all the unused energy and this vibration can lead to more wear and tear of your tool’s internal components. The lock-out feature helps prevent the wear and tear and tells you when it’s time to reload.

SENCO offers two basic types of triggers for most tool models, Contact Actuation and Single Sequential Trigger. It is important that you to understand the differences between the two triggers in order to help you understand how each operates. Applications for each trigger and the methods of operating them are as follows:

Methods of Operating a Contact Actuation Tool

Contact Actuation Trigger (also called Dual Action) is for applications where high production work is desired.

  • Bottom Fire Method: This method of operation is sometimes called bounce firing. You must keep the trigger pulled while moving the tool along the work surface with a bouncing motion, depressing the safety element where you want to drive a nail or staple.
  • Trigger Fire Method: First depress the safety element where you want to drive a nail or staple, then pull the trigger. See SAFETY NOTE below regarding “rebound.”

Methods of Operating a Single Sequential Trigger Tool

Single Sequential Trigger (also called Restrictive Trigger) is for applications where precision nail or staple placement is desired. You must first depress the safety element where you want to drive a nail or staple, and then pull the trigger. After each nail or staple is driven, completely release the trigger and lift the tool off the work surface.


Both types of triggers are safe if used as described above and according to all warnings and instructions. A Single Sequential Trigger tool may reduce the possibility of injury to you or others in the area. This is because it is less likely to drive an unwanted nail or staple if you keep the trigger pulled and accidentally bump the safety element against yourself or others. Also, these tools will “rebound” or bounce when driving a nail or staple. Rebound can cause the user to drive an unwanted nail or staple (double fire). Double fire will occur if the safety element is unintentionally allowed to recontact the work surface or anything else (e.g., your body) with the trigger pulled. A Restrictive Trigger tool will reduce the possibility of double fire and may reduce the speed of operation compared to a Dual Action Trigger tool. Call Customer Service at 1-800-543-4596.

The F75 Long Reach is generally used for applications requiring about a 4-inch reach in from the edge to the spot where the staple needs to be driven.

The F75 Sisal offers a wider jaw opening and the ability to drive a staple about 1-inch from the material edge.

At the root of this question are physical reasons of why each fine-wire staple works well for a given application. The answer lies in having some familiarity of the unique shape and size of the wire that is used to make each staple.

Staples are formed from raw wire. It’s helpful to think of wire as being either fine (round) or flat (ribbon-like). The category of SENCO fine-wire staples includes both kinds.

Most people have stapled paper using the office-type stapler. The office paper stapler utilizes a fine-wire staple, it’s formed from a round type of wire, the thin profile of the wire does a fine job of piercing through sheets of paper, the wire is flexible enough to bend against the anvil plate of the stapler, and it nicely folds back against the back page of your documents.

You might also be familiar with flat-wire staples. If you have ever used the hand-squeeze type of stapling tools, which are great tools for installing paper against wood, and other jobs where a fine-wire staple might tear through the materials you are stapling, then you have seen flat-wire staples. A flat-wire staple measures thin north-to-south (thickness), and measures wide east-to-west (wih3h).

Upholstering is one of the most popular applications for SENCO fine-wire staples. If you consider the possible choices materials that might be used in upholstering a chair, you want to use a staple that does the best possible job in securing your material to the chair. You don’t want your staple to tear through the material, or promote a tearing after the staple is in place.

Most cloth-like upholstery fabrics are installed using the C or B wire staples because the round wire will drive fully to the work surface, it holds the fabric snugly, and it prevents cutting the threads of the fabric. The B and C series staples are also lower-cost when compared to the flat-wire choices, the finer the wire, the lower the cost.

On the other hand, let’s say you want to install a vinyl chair covering. Vinyl is more often installed with the flat-wire staples like the F or G. The flat staples have a hit-and-stop action by nature of the flatness of the wire. The flat-wire staples will resist tearing when the staple crown hits the vinyl surface. Since vinyl offers a greater lateral pull than cloth, the heavier wire flat staples better holding strength than a fine staple.

The primary point – be familiar with the wire size, crown size, and leg length before you order the fine-wire stapler for your application. Hopefully the information presented here will provide you with the ability to make the correct choice.

The turbo setting is great for harder woods, or using longer nails when extra driving power is needed. The regular setting is best to “govern” the tool for standard tasks to prevent the over-expenditure of energy.

With too much energy (having Turbo setting on when driving something soft), the driver/piston will slam very hard into the piston stop, which leads to too much vibration, and the result is too much wear and tear on the tool.

Keep the power setting on “standard” for most jobs.

Don’t use the Turbo setting unless you really need it and this will help your tool will last longer.

For on-site trim carpenters, the FIP25XP is a better choice. The depth control feature, soft tip, dry-fire lock (no nails – it locks up), belt hook, and power adjustment are features not found on the SLP20XP. Of course, the longer nail lengths for the FIP25XP make it a handy choice for finish trim applications.

The SLP20XP remains available, and still very popular. I prefer to sell it to cabinet maker and woodshop users. The smaller and more compact size makes it very maneuverable, and the SLP20 offers excellent sightlines to the work surface. It’s easier to see exactly the spot where the nail will drive.

So, for on-site the FinishPro25XP is a great choice, and for the woodshop the SLP20XP is the best choice. Of course, you’ll find both tools in both places, but if you are not sure of which tool to buy, this advice may be helpful.

Both tools are very clean, powerful, and light.

The correct procedure:

  1. Unscrew the two rear magazine mounting screws
  2. Pull magazine track away from nose of tool.
  3. Using a screwdriver and hammer, drive (strike) the driver back into tool body past jammed nail, and remove loose jammed nail.
  4. Reassemble magazine to tool.
  5. Re-install and tighten two magazine mounting screws.

Use the proper SENCO nails and use a dry-film lubricant spray on the magazine track to help avoid jamming problems.

We have done a limited amount of testing with these ICF products and found that either coarse threaded screws for wood or hi-lo threaded screws provide higher withdrawal values in the plastic ICF retaining strips than fine metal screw threads.

Then depending on the material thickness and type further product recommendations can be provided.

This is a tough question to answer in a “black and white” fashion but, here is some background:

Inch Pounds Ratings: Kinetic Energy of Air Tools

We measure the kinetic energy of our pneumatic tool line using 3 different methods. Each method has accuracy associated with it and each is used during different parts of the tool development cycle.

Here’s a basic description of the calculation to derive kinetic energy.

Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. The amount of kinetic energy generated by a pneumatic fastener-driving tool depends upon two variables: the mass (m) of the object and the speed (v) of the object. The following equation is used to represent the kinetic energy (KE) of an object.

KE= 1/2mV2

Where m = mass of object V= speed of object

The kinetic energy of the tool is proportional to the square of its speed. This means that a doubling of the velocity will result in the kinetic energy increasing by a factor of four.

All kinetic energy values are determined at 100 psig unless otherwise noted (small pinners and staplers are rated at 95 psig max.)

We optimize the kinetic energy of each tool to provide low recoil, required drive power and long-term reliability. A 900 in-lb framing nailer is not going to please a customer that only needs to drive a small diameter nail into a soft wood application. Be assured that the energy level is a critical measure that we use to design a tool that will provide the required power for the range of applications described in our product literature.

Power ratings for certain models:

  • SN951XP framing nailer – Power: 1002 in. lbs.
  • FramePro701XP – Power: 904 in. lbs.
  • FramePro601 – Power: 884 in. lbs.

SENCO’s view:

The person in the center is Al Juilfs, the inventor of the staple gun in 1948. Mr. Juilfs was a Cincinnati area inventor who held patents for automotive suspension designs.

In 1948, Juilfs was contacted by William Tillinghast, who was a distributor of fasteners. Tillinghast needed some help with some major customers, and he asked Juilfs to construct a tool to help automate stapling applications for Ford Motor Co., and Federated Department Stores. George Kennedy, a schoolteacher, served Mr. Juilfs as a draftsman.

These three gentlemen founded the Springtramp Eliminator (named after a device invented by Juilfs to prolong the life of automotive leaf springs) Company in 1951. Thanks to the high price of sending telegraphs, the name was soon shortened to SENCO.

Pneumatic staplers became popular for a wide variety of applications, ensuring steady growth of SENCO. The first nail driving tools were introduced in the mid to late 1960s.

There is some uncertainty as to who actually invented the first “nail gun”. Some say it was SENCO, some say it was Paslode (Signode); others believe it was development efforts by both companies at about the same time.

Many would say Mr. Juilfs deserves the “inventor” status because his invention (and the efforts of his co-founders) eventually led to the development of the first nail-driving tools.

When the tool is triggered, air pressure is removed from the top of the firing valve and this allows the air underneath to force the valve upward opening the top of the main cylinder sleeve. Of course, now the air pressure is able to enter the sleeve and force down the driver/piston to drive the fastener.

Your problem: The ring on the side of the firing valve is no longer sealing. If you stretch-out and grease the ring, the tool should start working again.

Air flow knowledge: If that ring isn’t sealing, the air pressure will simply bypass the valve instead of forcing the valve upward.

A lack of lube will wear the ring out quicker and lead to a smaller ring – unable to seal. Also, a dry ring will lack the size to properly seal.

Customers should store oiled tools up-side-down to allow oil to flow to the cap area. Also, don’t store tools in a dry place – use the basement, or a lower cabinet. Wrap the tool in plastic for extended storage.

SENCO staples are used by a number of boat manufacturers for securing seat-covering material. When the time comes to recover the boat seats with new material, SENCO tools are popular for this task. Two good choices are available from SENCO. Ask our local dealer to order in these items.

Our classic choice for upholstering boats:

The SENCO SFT10XP-C Stapler (#6S0021N) – about $199.00

Staple – the C06BGA stainless steel staple – about $40.00 for a box of 10,000 – this is a fine-wire (22-gauge) staple (3/8” crown – 3/8” leg)

For customers who want a heavier (flatter) gauge staple:

The SENCO SFT10XP-F Stapler (#6S0041N) – about $199.00

Staple – the F06BGA stainless steel staple – about $60.00 for a box of 10,000 – this is a flat-wire (20 gauge) staple (1/2” crown – 3/8” leg)

Here are the three most popular formats with descriptions:

Clipped-Head Nails – Introduced to the market in the mid 1960s, this was the first kind of “gun-nail” available to homebuilders. The nails are collated in a strip with paper tape on each side. The nails are touching each other making it necessary to clip off a small portion of the nail head, thus called clipped-head nails. SENCO clipped-head nails are collated at a steep 34 degrees, and a full size strip offers about 60 nails. The tools that drive clipped-head nails include SENCO’s current models SN901XP, SN951XP, and FramePro601.

Full Round-Head Nails – This format, also known as FRH, was created in the late 1980s as an alternative to the clipped-head format and quickly became the format of choice in markets threatened by earthquakes and hurricanes. The nails are collated with twin strips of plastic, have a fully round nail head, and step up at a 20-22 degree angle. There is a space between each nail allowing for the full head. Each strip offers about 30 nails and with the SENCO brand, two strips can be loaded in the magazine of the tool. The tools that drive the FRH nails include current SENCO models SN902XP, SN952XP, and FramePro602.

Coil Nails – The most common type of coil nail is collated with two copper- colored wires. Coil nails are rolled into a circular coil and rubber-banded to keep the coil tight during shipping. Some brands of coil nails utilize a flexible plastic instead of the wire. Coil nails are loaded into a circular canister on the coil nailer tool, the front of the nail strip is loaded onto the feeder pawl, and a side door is closed over the top of the nails. Coil nails are popular for customers who like a high-load because they need to reload less often. Coil nails have a full round nail head. Current SENCO models for driving coil nails include the SCN65XP for framing, SCN60XP for pallet and crate building, and the SCN49 for siding.

Unfortunately there are no easy or simple answers. There are several sources of noise from a pneumatic tool: the discharge of air resulting from the operation of the tool, the noise from the driver impacting the fastener and the fastener entering the work piece. There are also secondary noise sources. The work surface, the counter or table top and the floor all transmit the energy resulting from the driving of the fastener as it is expended in the work piece.

The actual noise of the tool can be measured by simply firing the tool without a fastener loaded. Do not fire the tool on a surface as this may damage the driver and creates impact noise. Do not aim the tool at anyone if you attempt to do this. Also, be careful the tool is pointed at a surface that will not produce a ricochet, as it is possible for a driver to break and become a projectile. This air noise can sometimes be reduced by the use of a muffler. Unfortunately, data indicates that this may be the lowest noise source in terms of sound pressure generated.

The first question though, before a muffler is used, is what is the air pressure? Many tools are operated at air pressures in excess of what is needed. Simply reducing the air pressure can reduce this noise source. Leaks in the air line or tool can also produce high frequency sound that is not as noticeable to the operator but just as physiologically detrimental and noise meter sensitive.

The physics of the driver pushing the fastener into the work surface creates an impact noise. Because both components (the driver and the fastener) must be made of metal, this noise can not be controlled in a practical manner in hand applications. If an application can be automated, then enclosures can reduce noise levels through adsorption. The driver is hardened steel, to withstand repeated impacts, and thus becomes an efficient noise generator.

By using sound adsorption on work surfaces and installing isolation pads at floor-table leg junctions, it is possible to reduce noise transmission.

Unfortunately, this approach is not as effective as would be expected as the aluminum siding and decking materials become emitters just like drums and piano sound boards. The placement of sound adsorbing materials to reduce reflective sound is beneficial to adjacent employees but does not usually reduce the tool operators noise exposure.

Air pressure, fastener size and the physical characteristics of the work piece are the critical factors in noise generation and not the tool. These factors are determined by the application, architect and building codes and not easily controlled.

Special attachments are used to modify the SENCO SJS-C, SJ10-C and SFW10-C. A stapling tool equipped with this attachment is often referred to as a “fitting tool”.

PW Roofer

A longtime favorite with the roofing professionals, the PW Roofer is ideal for asphalt and fiberglass shingle roofing applications. The PW Roofer drives staples from 1/2″ to 1-1/4″, (13 to 32mm). The roofer model comes equipped with a special wear plate, a hardened safety mechanism, and a handy shingle gauge to ensure consistent spacing from course-to- course. (Specify #130003N)

PW Industrial

The PW Industrial also drives from 1/2″ to 1-1/4″ and is ideal for attaching insulation, lathing, belt lines, and furniture/cabinet frame butt jointing and carton-to-skid. (Specify #130002N)

The PW-2″

The PW-2″ is primarily used in wire lath applications, insulative sheathing, styro, ridge vents, and industrial applications where longer leg staples are desired. (Specify #130063N)

Roofing nail coverage is based on 400 nails (or staples) per square.

Box of 3200 – 8 squares (400 nails per square)

Box of 7200 – 18 squares (400 nails per square)

Each coil has 120 nails.

4 nails per 3-tab shingle is customary usage.

FYI – Staple coverage is 25 squares per box of 10,000 staples

To prevent injuries while using any SENCO tool, exercise caution at all times and use safe workplace practices. Always use the tools according to all warnings and instructions. For your safety and the safety of your co- workers, remember the following safety warnings. Failure to follow these warnings will result in serious bodily injury to you or others in the area.

  1. Read and understand all safety warnings and instructions in the Operator’s Manual before using the tool.
  2. Keep finger off the trigger, if you do not intend to drive a nail or staple.
  3. Always be aware of the location of your co-workers so you do not bump them with any tool or other dangerous object.
  4. Always keep your hands and other body parts a safe distance away from the safety element of the tool.
  5. Always wear OSHA-required Z87 safety glasses with permanently attached side shields and be sure that all others in your work area are wearing safety glasses.
  6. Always wear hard hats when a tool is being used above you and be sure those below you or working near you are wearing hard hats.
  7. Do not toss, flip, throw, or otherwise mishandle a tool.
  8. Never position any part of your body where it can inadvertently come into contact with your tool or a co-worker’s tool.
  9. Never use oxygen, carbon dioxide, or other bottled gases. Tools will explode if bottled gases are used. Use only clean, dry, regulated compressed air (120 psi max.)
  10. All pneumatic tools will Rebound or Bounce when driving a nail or staple. Rebound can cause you to drive an unwanted nail or staple (Double Fire). Double Fire will occur if the safety element is unintentionally allowed to re-contact the work surface or anything else (e.g., your body) with the trigger pulled. The Restrictive Trigger (aka: single sequential) will reduce the probability of double fire. Rebound also may cause you to lose control of the tool or lose your balance. To minimize the probability of double fire and other effects of rebound when you are using any type of trigger:
  11. ALWAYS grasp the tool handle firmly to maintain control of the tool.
  12. WHEN TRIGGER FIRING, allow the tool to rebound off the work surface. DO NOT push the tool back toward the work surface after a rebound. DO NOT allow the safety element to re-contact the work surface until a second nail or staple is needed.
  13. NEVER position your head directly behind the tool.
  14. ALWAYS place yourself in a stable and balanced position.

The SC1 Senclamp tool works best in the assembly of hardwood frames, like most picture frames, or cabinet face frames. The thin Senclamp fastener drives nicely into hardwoods like oak. The SC1 is also used for the toenailing of cabinet face frames to the cabinet box, as a primary means of fastening, or as a temporary hold so other fastening methods can be easily used.

It’s important to understand the relation of the “driver length” to the various applications for the SC1 tool. There are 3 drivers: miter (long), toenail (medium), and butt joint (shortest). You need the longer miter joint driver to force the fastener past the point of the inside corner of a miter- jointed frame, the butt joint driver will set the fastener but prevent the driver from plunging into the wood (which may separate the joint). The toenail driver is a compromise length between the other two. The SC1 tool comes brand new equipped with the miter joint driver, and the driver can be shortened with a bench grinder.

The SC2 Corrugated tools works best when softwood frames need to be assembled, like window or doorframes. The SC2 is most often used to fasten butt joints of larger frames.

Al Juilfs, the inventor of the staple gun in 1948, was a Cincinnati area inventor who held patents for automotive suspension designs. Mr. Juilfs was approached by William Tillinghast, a fastener salesman, to construct a tool to help automate stapling applications for Ford Motor Co., and Federated Department Stores. George Kennedy, a schoolteacher, served Mr. Juilfs as a draftsman.

These three gentlemen founded the Springtramp Eliminator Company in 1951. Thanks to the high price of sending telegraphs, the name was soon shortened to SENCO.

Pneumatic staplers became popular for a wide variety of applications, ensuring steady growth of SENCO. The first nail driving tools were introduced in the mid to late 1960s.

There is some uncertainty as to who actually invented the first “nail gun”. Some say it was SENCO, some say it was Paslode, others believe it was a joint effort by both companies.

SENCO folks would say Mr. Juilfs deserves the “inventor” status.

Both the SN4 and SN70 are large and powerful tools that are prized for the ability to drive framing nails into hard lumber.

These models never offered a “depth-control” feature. You may find that lowering the air pressure will help to prevent too deep a drive, but the best method is to shorten the driver a bit.

The driver is the metal shaft that pushes the nail into the wood at a rapid speed. If you were to hold the tool in the “fired” position, you will be able to observe the driver protruding out of the nose of the framing nailer. By actually seeing this driver protrusion (aka: lick out) it will help you decide how much driver length to eliminate by grinding.

If you grind, remove the driver out through the top of the nailer, grind and quench (dip in water) as you go to prevent ruining the temper of the steel.

The standard SNS200XP has about the same drive energy as the SNS44XP, however during field test it outdrove even the SNS45XP in furniture applications. The BST was created to handle the longer staples, tough substrates, and extreme applications – new glue-heavy OSB, engineered lumber, cheap knotty wood, low-quality competitor fasteners, questionable air supply, etc. The best way to sum it up is that the standard SNS200XP will handle all SNS41, SNS44XP, and a good percentage of SNS45XP applications. The SNS200XP-BST will handle the rest of the SNS45XP and all of the SNS50XP applications. The BST has almost 10% more drive energy than the SNS45XP and a much tighter drive track that results in better drive performance. In fact, other than the SNS50XP, it will be the most powerful N-wire tool on the market. If a customer is unsure, try the standard SNS200XP first and if more power is needed, step up to the BST.

I have a finish nailer marked SFN1, which has no return. I ordered the combination upper and lower seal kit and installed. This did not correct the problem. This nailer has a cap with four screws on the lower end that can be removed, when I took this off, there was a flat seal which had come apart in pieces, this is not shown on the schematic and neither is the removable end cap. Can you give me any info on this?

That broken flat seal used to cover the air holes on your main sleeve, and the kit you just installed does not include the flat seal. Your tool has the old-style main sleeve.

You need the flat seal (#BF0073) to repair your tool with its current sleeve.

A new sleeve in 1993 (the BA0118) uses a simple o-ring (LB0077 – it came in the kit) instead of the flat seal. I like to suggest changing to the BA0118 sleeve to improve your tool’s compression.

If you wish to keep the current sleeve, buy the BF0073, they remain available today.

FYI – The old flat seal and the current o-ring serve as a valve to allow your tool to “capture” some air for the return of the driver/piston. The air holes in the sleeve about ¼ of the way up from the bottom are covered by the seal or ring. The covered air holes allow a one-way flow of air pressure into the “return air chamber”. The captured air is used to send the driver back to the top after the trigger is released.

The following fasteners are regularly produced (not a special order) stainless steel fasteners:

  • C06BGA – fine upholstery staple, 3/8″ crown and leg
  • DA21EGBN – finish nail, 15 ga, angled, 2″
  • DA25EGB – finish nail, 15 ga, angled, 2 1/2″
  • F06BGA – flat upholstery staple, 1/2″ crown, 3/8″ leg
  • L11BGA – 1/4″ crown 18 ga staple, 3/4″ leg
  • L14BGA – 1/4″ crown 18 ga staple, 1 1/8″ leg
  • N15BGB – 16 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16 crown, 1 1/4″ leg
  • N17BGB – 16 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16 crown, 1 1/2″ leg
  • N19BGBN – 16 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16 crown, 1 3/4″ leg
  • N21BGBN – 16 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16 crown, 2″ leg
  • P13BGBN – 16 ga heavy-wire staple, 1” crown, 1” leg
  • Q19BGBN – 15 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16” crown, 1 ¾” leg
  • Q25BGBN – 15 ga heavy-wire staple, 7/16 crown, 2 1/2″ leg

*SENCO framing nails are also Lists of specific nail formats(clipped- head, FRH, and coil) are available upon request. There are several stainless steel choices in each format.

Note: Other stainless steel SENCO fasteners are available via special order (contract) – requires agreed upon minimum quantity and pricing.

The advantages of using staples:

  • staples cost less than nails
  • the stapler is typically smaller than the nailer
  • offer exceptional holding power
  • the stapler is less complex and easier to repair

The advantages of nails:

  • more nails per load means less reloading
  • the coil nailer offers a depth of drive adjustment feature
  • the nailers use a very standard format coil roofing nail
  • your customers may think nails are a better fastener
  • some markets may not allow the use of staples

The most popular system in the United States is nailing. It used to be pretty evenly split between staples and nails, but this has changed over the last two decades. There is a perceived quality issue with staples. When staples are properly installed, one can argue that they hold better than nails. However, the opportunity to improperly install shingles with staples is much greater than with nails. Staples are more easily over-driven or under-driven. This situation causes holding problems. When using nails, the drive issue does not seem to be as critical.

The coatings of the fasteners are extremely important. All products used in roofing must be zinc-galvanized. Some coastal areas in the States are going to require hot-dipped galvanized or even stainless steel fasteners.

Most codes require four fasteners per shingle. If you require additional code information, please consult your local building authority.

If your intention is to “blind nail” the tongue & groove boards, then try our FinishPro42XP (or older models FinishPro41XP or SFN40) Finish Nailer and buy the tongue & groove special attachment (XA1376). You will need to buy both items; the nailer and the XA1376.

Buy the XA1376 from Motion Devices 888-839-9080. Buy the FinishPro42XP from any SENCO reseller.

Blind nailing involves driving the nail into the corner adjacent to the tongue of the board. The nail is angled into the corner, and countersunk past the point of the corner. The XA1376 allows you to easily accomplish the job. (See the testimonial below)

The FinishPro42XP and the older models are outstanding finish nailers favored by on-site finish carpenters, and in-shop pros like cabinetmakers.

A customer’s testimonial:

“Purchased the products you recommended and I am very impressed! I am a perfectionist and have been installing 3/4″ T&G cherry for several years the “old fashioned” way i.e., pre-drilling and manually setting every nail! I was convinced no pneumatic nailer could do it without revealing a visible mark when occasional shrinkage occurs. Well, I was wrong. The SFN40 and XA1376 attachment are easily adjustable and within 5 nails I had a perfectly set nail with an even smaller hole than I was able to do manually and I avoid the occasional problem of the nail set slipping off the head of the finish nail. Thank you very much! I also want to thank you for the quick response to my emails! You have won a happy, long-time customer!”

The oil vs. no-oil question is an unnecessary source of confusion for a lot of people looking to buy a compressor. The people selling compressors amplify the confusion. Competition can be ugly, and each side will tell you how great their product is, and how bad the other guy’s product is.

Both types of compressors offer the delivery of compressed air. One mechanism requires a few ounces oil to operate; the other kind does not. Will one last longer? No. Will one be easier to maintain? No.

It is probably better to buy the self-lubricating compressors in the cold-weather markets for easier start up on a cold morning, or if the compressor is going to be operated on a non-level surface.

Some folks just don’t trust the no-oil machines, they have the impression the oiled machines will offer a longer life. They usually learn this from the companies who make the oil-splash machines.

From our standpoint at SENCO, we sell professional-grade compressors offering high quality for the day-to-day user. Both the self-lubricating and the oil-splash units are rugged and dependable, so it would be better to concentrate on questions of portability, CFM, gas, electric, and other more important issues.

SENCO sells the PC0344 Air Compressor Oil for buyers of the oil-splash air compressors. If the dealer does not stock the PC0344, inform the customer that any 30 weight, non-detergent compressor oil will work as a substitute.

The Parts & Accessories section of our catalog does a nice job of detailing the air outlet of each compressor. The air outlet is important information because customers need to know if the air hose fitting will plug into the air compressor. Knowing the specific air outlet fitting will help customers buy the correct fittings to equip the air hose properly.

Specific warranty information is detailed on the owner’s manuals for all the SENCO air compressors. Warranty coverage is normally a one-year period from the date of purchase.

SENCO brand compressors are made to the exacting standards specified by SENCO by other manufacturers who specialize in assembling high quality air compressors.

Some folks will install an air filter on the hose running from the air compressor to the air-powered tool as a preventative measure to keep dirt and debris out of the tool. A regular draining of the air tank and the use of good-condition air hose will also help to keep clean air going to the air tool.

On the bottom of each air tank is a petcock valve to allow the operator to drain the moisture trapped in the air tank. Compressors naturally will collect some moisture in the air tank thanks to a force of nature called condensation. It’s recommended draining the moisture on a daily basis, and leave the valve open overnight to allow the inner surfaces of the tank to dry. The drain-and-dry routine will minimize water going into the air line, and give the air tank a longer life.