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Palm nailers Senco vs Bostich vs. PCable

BillOnBreeze's picture

Who's had recent good or bad experience with palm nailers. I just missed an Amazon sale that offered the Porter Cable for $85 after rebate if you bought $300 of PC tools (and I had just bought a FramePro 350 that got me 2/3 of the toward the $300 buy-in(. Normally it's $110. The Senco A20 is about $90 and some say the newer A20 isn't as good as the older A9. Then there's the Bostich, which when it's available at eBay in good used condition can be around $50 but one knock I've heard on Bostich is it can't take really big nails (70d) even if the specs say it can, and maybe there's a new model in the offing. Any other brands worth looking at?

(post #123241, reply #1 of 29)

I have a Senco, although I have'nt tried 70d nails in it.
Can't say I've seen a 70d,either.

If it were easy....a caveman could do it.

(post #123241, reply #2 of 29)

70d nails? I think the Navy fires them from cruisers and battleships to soften a hostile area before landing. I asked only b/c there's been discussion about whether the Stanley Bostich nailer actually could handle them despite saying in specs that it can.

(post #123241, reply #3 of 29)

I had a Senco a20, put about 200 rounds thru it, and a seal gave out.

I have a free Bostitch (came with a framing gun) that's a little lighter and seems to work well so far.

Jason Pharez Construction

   Framing & Exterior Remodeling

Jason Pharez Construction

    Framing Contractor

(post #123241, reply #4 of 29)

I'm going to pick up Harbor Freight's for $30 this week probably, I'll let you know how it works. 


(post #123241, reply #13 of 29)


A customer brought one of the Harbor Freight palm nailers in the store recently, to see if we could repair it.  It had quit on him the second time he went to use it.

It came in a cool box though....

(post #123241, reply #14 of 29)

the thing about the HF tools, is you can buy an extended warranty for relatively cheap, still beats the cost of a nicer nailer, and if it quits, just take it in for a new one.  Considering how little I'll use it compared to a contractor, I find it to be a good alternative.


(post #123241, reply #5 of 29)

I have that same free Bostich palm nailer (came with my framing gun).  It's worked well for me the past 4 years.  It's driven every nail I've attempted but to be Honest I haven't ever seen 70p nail

  It's fine on the 16p nails that are 3 1/2 inch long but a 70p?  

(post #123241, reply #6 of 29)

7" long is a big nail

Edited 5/18/2005 3:38 pm ET by dustinf

It's not too late, it's never too late.

"70 D Nails" (post #123241, reply #27 of 29)

Lol ....... 70 D galvanized spikes were brought out of retirement in the mid 70's so that the homeowners and retailers could have something quick & easy to use when fastening down all those "landsape timbers" that the plywood industry was good enough to supply us with ...... their only practical use these days. I also have the Stanley-Bostitch pn200 palm nailer(the big boy) and i would recommend it to anyone without hestation.... you can't hurt it! ....... and i can also tell ya'll first hand that it will not handle a 70D..... it won't even fit in the magnetic tip !

(post #123241, reply #7 of 29)

I bought the PC when I was doing work last summer, driven a little over 100 nails, works fine. No complaints. And no problems yet. Hopefully I find work for it this summer too — deffinately handy when you really need it!

(post #123241, reply #8 of 29)

Same here. No problems with my PC palm nailer. It's been very handy for driving in nails in close quarters.  I went with PC because they had many different types of hits. Not that I used them all...

(post #123241, reply #9 of 29)


     I have a Stanley Bostich for two years, has fired multible rounds, no problems so far.




Street Construction

Remodleing at it's best.

(post #123241, reply #10 of 29)

Remodleing at it's best.

Gus, tell me you didn't spell it that way on the side of your truck!

(post #123241, reply #15 of 29)


     That's why my wife is book keeper and advertising, can't spell but can read a ruler like greased lighting.   LOL LOL LOL>



(post #123241, reply #11 of 29)


Welcome to Breaktime. If you fill in your profile, others will be able to differentiate us!

Regards, (the other) Bill

(post #123241, reply #12 of 29)

Bill - What, more than one Bill on the forum? Maybe I can claim prior art based on an earlier birthdate <g> and you'll have to change. Seriously, I'm so used to forums and sites rejecting same username/nicknames that when it took my "Bill" I figured, My lucky day. Yep, I'll change it or change my "Bill" to something else. I like to cook also (met my wife that way). Wonder if Tool Thyme is taken? - Bill (the recent interloper)

(post #123241, reply #16 of 29)

I have the Tradesman that Lowes sells for around $80.  Have had it for at least 5 years and it paid for itself on about the second job.  Had the magnet fall out of the nose cone and called them and they sent one right away.  The nose does work loose sometimes, just tighten it up.  Staked it with a punch and it seemed to stay.

For those who have fought for it Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

(post #123241, reply #17 of 29)

I've had the Senco for a couple of years. Worked great right up until the little rubber seal inside started sticking. Initially, I fixed this by just banging it on something hard. Now, it just blows out air.

I've found it very handy for driving in the 10d's required by Simpson for joist hangers...particularly when going into those dense glulams. Gotta make sure to wear ear protectors, though.


(post #123241, reply #18 of 29)

70d is just a dream for alot of us.

(post #123241, reply #19 of 29)

I've probably put about 600-700 nails in my bathroom with PC with no problems, and I haven't put any nails in my head. There was a time when the seal started getting stuck open, but I started oiling it and the problem went away....

....furiously knocking on wood.....

My only complaint (so far) is that the magnet is hopeless for holding nails.

(post #123241, reply #20 of 29)

I'm going with the Porter Cable. Amazon has had it for $110 including shipping and there's a $25 discount if you buy $200 worth of hardware plus PC had (ended May 1) a $25-$50 discount on $150-$300 worth of PC tools. At that price, it's actually cheaper than some eBay auctions for like-new nailers, especially when the eBay shipper gets $15 or $20 for shipping. I feel sorry for the small shops that can't compete with Amazon's prices, but the savings are going in my pocket.

The word I heard most often on palm nailers was: Senco's newer A20 didn't seem as durable as the older A9 (hard to believe Senco doesn't make first-class everything) ... Stanley Bostich was okay (and you could find some in good used shape online for <$50) ... Porter Cable well-regarded ... and they all make quite a racket when operating.

(post #123241, reply #21 of 29)

I had a Senco A9 about 5 years ago.... lasted about six months and the seals blew.

Then I bought a pair of Cambell Hausfield cheapos for around $50 each (IIRC) and got maybe another six months out of them before they quit.

All three are rolling around in a tool box somewhere.  Never bothered to repair a tool that lasted only 6 months right out of the box.

Maybe it's just me.... bad luck and all.  But I gave up on the things.  They saw a good amount of use but were only used for driving nails into hardware.  If you find a good one that lasts, let us know.  In the mean time we're getting by with a positive-placement framing nailer, a good old fashioned hammer, and a pea-shooter for the tight spots.

(post #123241, reply #22 of 29)

I've had the Senco A9 for about 3-4 years.  I give it air tool oil in the air hole and tighten the screws twice a day, at the beginning and after lunch.  Sometimes I have to tighten the screws more often, when it starts to leak a little.  When it sticks open and blows air, whacking it on the back stops that.  The little rare earth magnet that holds the nails got crushed into fragments, which were no fun to get out.  I had to unscrew the business end of it and spend at least an hour with a rag.  But other than that, it still works.  Too bad they don't make them any more.


-- J.S.




-- J.S.


(post #123241, reply #23 of 29)

A bunch of Senco A9's, the previous generation palm nailers, showed up recently on eBay, new. That's the good news. The mixed news is, some of the sellers want $99 (minimum bid) plus shipping when you can buy the newer A20 for $89 with free shipping elsewhere.

(post #123241, reply #24 of 29)

Diesel, you may want to check out the link below to Danair. IIRC, they were one of the first companies to offer a palm nailer. I remember seeing them advertised at least 20 years ago, well before the Tiawanese imports hit the market.

For what it's worth, the Danair is made in the U.S., & the couple times I've seen one in person, it seemed well made. That said, I use a cheapie Bostitch & it works fine, though not as well as my short magazine Hitachi hanger nailer. ;>

(post #123241, reply #25 of 29)

I've had the Bostitch for a while now, have used it on metal hangers and at least a few pounds of 20D's (4") , drives them real easy, even in 100 year old framing lumber, probably can do bigger nails, but don't know about 70D's. I like this tool though, never a problem (may be not enough use?)

(post #123241, reply #26 of 29)

I've got a Senco ( don't see a model # on it) that I've had for 7-8 years. It'll drive maybe 100 nails before the seal blows. I bought it to drive copper gutter spikes, but have since switched to hidden hangers, so it doesn't get much use. All in all, though, it's a piece of crap.

Hey Mister Sushi, you forgot to cook my fish.


"Am I dead or alive? What's this? Linoleum? I must be in hell." -The Salton Sea

SENCO PALM NAILER PARTS AN INSULT (post #123241, reply #28 of 29)

I have had a Senco palm nailer for 21 years with fair use.  When I pulled it out last week it had blown a gasket - which you would expect eventually.  

The thing I didn't expect is that the parts to fix it were an "in your face" insult - totally unreasonable.  A washer with a neopreme gasket built into it was 39-44$.  The main body gasket was unavailable.  My response was to buy a Rigid for 40$ new.  It doesn't leave me with a good opinion of Senco.  

This thread..... (post #123241, reply #29 of 29)

outlasts most tools.