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Thread: Screw Gun Recommendations

  1. #1

    Default Screw Gun Recommendations

    The company I work for uses sheets of plywood to secure the racks and all the shows I've done I've used duplex nails and a hammer to setup and tear things down. Earlier in the year I posted opinions on paslode and I looked into other nail gun manufacturers. There's not much out there and I'd worry about reliability anyways. I see a lot of folks go with screws.

    What are some recommendations for screw guns that you like?
    Also on a related note, what do you go with for screws?

    Thanks for your input!
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  2. #2
    Light up the sky! Array PYROBOOM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I'm sure you'll get lots of opinions on this. I think you get what you pay for when it comes to drills. I have an 18v XRP hammer drill made by DeWalt. Love it.

    I'd avoid Black & Decker and Ryobi if you are going for quality.

    I use gold screws from Home Depot.
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I will second that recommendation, Dewalts are great. The 12 Volt is OK, the 18 is much better. The kit with the drill, light and circ. saw and recip saw is a great pyro tool box. And the batteries are good backup power supplies for a firing system.

    I also use deck screws, as drywall screws break going both in and out which is a pain. You can often reuse them a few times, which then saves money.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I would recommend Square Drive screws. You don't have to put any pushing force behind the gun, or worry about lining up the bit just right on the end of the screw. The heads don't strip out, and I've never had one break off. Works great in the dark, when you're loading out your show. The square drive screws are almost always sold with a square drive bit thrown in the box at no extra cost.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I'm going to go against epyro and put in a vote for Ryobi; I bought one of the 18V drills on the recommendation of a friend who runs a theatre scene shop and it's worked like a champ.

    Also, definitely go for Robertson (square head) screws if you can.
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Black and decker owns dewalt and Robi and is made on the same line.
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by graybeard View Post
    I would recommend Square Drive screws. You don't have to put any pushing force behind the gun, or worry about lining up the bit just right on the end of the screw. The heads don't strip out, and I've never had one break off. Works great in the dark, when you're loading out your show. The square drive screws are almost always sold with a square drive bit thrown in the box at no extra cost.
    Was just going to suggest the square drive screws as graybeard suggested,

    Porter Cable makes a nice screw gun. I like Dewalt and have several of them. Black & Decker may own Dewalt - which was a branch off their B & D Professional line years ago, but B & D products are cheap and inferior. Ryobi may be popular and okay for occasion use but it is not as good of quality as PC or Dewalt.

    Personally I am big time Milwaukee fan. I have sanders that have been used very heavily from the 1990's that still look good as new, of course the bases have been replaced.

    Milwaukee makes some excellent heavy duty tools.

  8. #8
    Member Array Pyro Chuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    DeWalt, Makita, Porter Cable, Milwaukee, Hitachi....all good brands that will most likely not let you down. As for the dislikes on the B&D here, I have to say that the three B&D cordless drills I have here have been nothing but excellent so far. Two of which are 18v that I have had for several years and gone through thousands upon thousands of screws tearing down old barns and metal buildings and such and putting them back up on different properties. Hell one of them got dropped about 12ft when it was about 5 degrees out...broke the plastic at base of handle so the battery was flopping. I took it inside, let it warm up, hot-glued the shit out of it and we still use it to this day. Both of those drills I got on clearance for like $30 each and one came with extra battery and the other cam with boom-box-radio/charger. My latest B&D buy is a 20v with the smaller, lighter lithium battery. I got it on clearance at Wally World just before Christmas for $20. It holds it's own when it comes to power and length of charge for sure...plus it's smaller and lighter My B&D circ-saw also holds it's own against my DeWalt....only have the DeWalt because I got it on clearance as well for right at $30 if I recall correctly. The again I did get the B&D on clearance as well for $18
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    There are many tools that I won't bother with B&D such as a good router or jigsaw, then I tend to lean towards Porter Cable or one of the others named above. If you can afford the cordless kits from DeWalt as mentioned above, then go for it...and enjoy Got $1300 extra layin around? hehehe This'll do ya right :
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    Member Array Pyro Chuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by graybeard View Post
    I would recommend Square Drive screws. You don't have to put any pushing force behind the gun, or worry about lining up the bit just right on the end of the screw. The heads don't strip out, and I've never had one break off. Works great in the dark, when you're loading out your show. The square drive screws are almost always sold with a square drive bit thrown in the box at no extra cost.
    Well said graybeard, last deck I helped a guy with we used square drives...and hammerdrills...WOW that was nice
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I used to be in construction we used dewalt but after getting tired of battery problems switched to makita lithium ion. Absolutely love this drill it is much more compact works great it is a bit pricey though. It also has a light on it that comes on when you pull the trigger another plus when working with limited light. I also would recommend the square drive screws especially for repeated use or you can also use torx screws which tend to be even less finicky than the square drive screws.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    In commercial construction this is the cordless of choice for power and weight.

    http://www.makita.com/en-us/Modules/...aspx?ID=349736

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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I have one just like the one pictured by goneshootin.

    It works great and I haven't had any troubles with it yet, had it now for ten years.


    I do want to try out those Square Drive screws that graybeard is talking about though...
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by goneshootin View Post
    In commercial construction this is the cordless of choice for power and weight.

    http://www.makita.com/en-us/Modules/...aspx?ID=349736

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    We have a few of those at work, and they are VERY nice. The one wierd part is that when they go dead, there's no slow down period. It's just stop! I'm used to this Craftsman junk I have at home. The 18v Dewalt I used to have was awesome until the battery melted to the charger. This is going to be one of those subjects that you may never get an answer you like. Good luck.
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I would recomend a impact driver less chance of stiping out the screws and they are a lot lighter than a drill. I would alst recomend a ryobi you can't beat the price and they are very durrable chances are you wouldn't it out.

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    Moderator Array lava's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by mitten blaster View Post
    Black and decker owns.... Robi....
    I thought Home Depot bought Ryobi.

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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I use DeWalt drivers. They're all about the same at a given price point. I'd recommend buying the best unit you can afford - it's worth it in the long run.

    +1 for Robertson drive screws. Look for a brand called 'Primeguard'. They have excellent lateral strength, and will bend rather than shear off like drywall screws.

    Kevin

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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by steelersfan View Post
    I would recomend a impact driver .

    I agree. when it comes to driving screws you cant beat an impact driver. the makita lithium ion's are light and only take 15 min to charge a battery.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    There is no doubt that the higher-end tools are nice.

    That said, I have 3 starter sets from Ryobi - drill, circular saw, light, charger and 2 batteries - the oldest of which is about 6 years old and still works fine. I buy them when they're on sale. The last set was $109. in the January sale PLUS it came with two extra batteries - 4 batteries total.

    They're inexpensive enough that I don't mind lending them or letting others use them at shoots. My friends have Dewalt tools, but they've stopped bringing them because they're too valuable. And it's really nice to have multiple sets.

    Just another thing to think about.

    Oh, and I almost always use square-drive screws.
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Oh, and by the way, the Ryobi drill is on sale at Home Depot through May 2 for $69. - drill, charger, and 2 batteries.
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  20. #20
    Member Array Rare_Breed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I was a dewalt fan, but then I got ahold of the Milwaukee 28 volt (yes, 28v). Yup, it's expensive, yup, it's heavy... Damn I love it!!! For those that saw me at MAFF, I went from Thurs-Sun on 2 batteries, never hooked up the charger. I use the drill and sawzall (which runs smooth as a sewing machine compared to a dewalt) all day everyday at work, they can take the heat. My Dewalt saws all literally went up in smoke, completely melted the battery and the battery receptacle on the saws all which was when I decided to try Milwaukee.

    If you buy a cheap set, might as well buy extra batteries cuz your gonna need em. By then, you coulda had a Milwaukee 28v Argghh Arrrggghh Arrrrgggghhhh (Tool Time anyone?) I laugh when I see someone swapping batteries every 30 minutes, I think to myself "that used to be me".

    Bosch also makes solid tools, very impressed with those as well.
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    Member Array Sonic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I own both Porter Cable and DeWalt tools. No failures on either and I've owned them for a long time.
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I agree with the Ryobi +one 18v cordless drills being unstoppable. The one I have is a bargain priced champ. I too worked construction for about 5+ years and we used every damn thing. The guy we subcontracted under was great about going out and spending all kinds of money and throwing all kinds of tools our way. Needless to say there is no one "good brand" for everything. Brand "A" makes great saws, while terrible drills. Brand "B" makes terrible saws, while great drills.

    As far as branding goes, it's hard to keep up with. Companies are always changing hands, merging, and sub-categorizing. Last I knew Black and Decker owned Dewalt. Dewalt is like a Cadillac to GM. Then a couple years later Black and Decker bought Porter Cable. Then recently Black & Decker merged with Stanley.

    Home Depot does not OWN Ryobi, they are merely the exclusive north american dealer of Ryobi. Ryobi or the company that actually make the tools for Ryobi used to make some power tools for sears/craftsman, last I knew they still do. Now Ryobi, Rigid, and Milwaukee are are made in the same factory. It's quite obvious who is "in bed" with who when a merchandiser shows up at a store and re-faces 3 brands worth of displays but wont touch any other brands in the store. Then a second merchandiser enters the store and updates the displays of the other 3 brands that were previously left untouched.

    Think of power tools like fireworks. Just a few manufacturers over in China make them, and sell them to many different marketing companies (Brands) worldwide. You can go to four different retailers and look at four different "Brands", all of which were made in the same factory. Fun times if you like pulling your hair out trying to compare items isn't it?

    All in all, screws are expensive. Nails are much cheaper & faster when using a Paslode nailer. All you need is a 3# sledge to knock them apart after the show is done, then bend the nails over. After a long while with a ton of shows done,the boards used for holding racks together is filled with bent nails - throw it away and get a new board.
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    Member Array flynlr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by goneshootin View Post
    In commercial construction this is the cordless of choice for power and weight.

    http://www.makita.com/en-us/Modules/...aspx?ID=349736

    Click image for larger version. 

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    been using this almost daily for 2 years. flawless.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Not sure if it's been mentioned or not, but a little impact driver is the way to go. They have the quick change sleeve for 1/4" hex bits and they are great for driving screws. They are light and because they are impact drivers, they require almost no effort to keep the bit from camming out of the screw head. I like the little Ryobi impact drivers because they're cheap to replace. They get taken into all kinds of extreme conditions including driving self tapping screws through SS sheet in really ackward positions. Bosch makes a nice unit, too. More pricey but better quality.

    EDIT: I see it has been mentioned. So ... +1 here for an impact driver!
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by steelersfan View Post
    I would recomend a impact driver less chance of stiping out the screws and they are a lot lighter than a drill.
    Yep, along with square drive screws. Using the impact will start the screws with ease and is much lighter. I own Milwaukee tools, but I also have lower shelf tools that I use when I am not working for profit. They are Craftsman, they work just fine and are nicely priced.
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    Member Array jr99svt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I would only use an impact driver after building racks this year. Its way easier than a traditional screw gun driver. I used a Dewalt 18v XRP hammer for a few years for work,(electrician), both batteries died last fall. Dewalts are nice Drills, But thier replacement LI-Ion batteries are crazy expensive. They got me a makita 3.0(like the white one pictured above, but its blue) drill and impact driver combo, now i only use the drill, well to drill. the impact driver saves time and effort. Dont buy cheap power tools. They wont last.
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    Member Array funman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    We use duplex nail gunS (Yes that's plural)
    and this year for our crew we are introducing our custom made duplex nail PULLER!!! (No more hammers and claws)

  28. #28
    Snakes and Sparklers Array HerrLoll's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I personally hate square drive screws. My personal preference is gold star drive deck screws.
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    20volt max li-ion dewalt impact driver. thing is stupidly light, battery lasts forever, they have super bright LED's in the driver making it easy to see what you're screwing/unscrewing in the dark, and it charges fast. worth the extra upfront investment imo.

    ryobi's biggest selling point are cheap to replace batteries, this was a concern with the 18volt dewalts but I think the li-ion's will hold up a lot better.

    if money is no object, then hilti is the only choice. (but overkill for fireworks, unless you want to drill some holes in a parking lot to stick rebar in.)
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  30. #30
    Member Array funman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screw Gun Recommendations

    I have never found one person who hates square drive!?!?!
    What is the down side unless you don't have a square drive hahaha

    When I was an electrician square drive was company policy as a MUST USE SQUARE at all times!
    After we left and maint crews took over the building we built, they HATED US hahah because they could never find a square drive to open anything we touched when we built the place hahah

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