Have we Seen the Death of the Gas Nailer - a Toolstop REVIEW

Do battery-powered nailers mean death for gas nailers? You decide.

Dewalt DCN690M2 Cordless Nailer

There doesn't seem to be an end to the power tools now available running off lithium-ion batteries.

With the move to increased power and capacity from these batteries, it's now likely that the tools you use the most will have a cordless version, allowing you to work independent of a cord, which for many on the jobsite means greater productivity
Bosch GSK18v-li brad finishing nailer

Two tools now available in cordless versions that have caught our eye are the DeWalt DCN690M2 first fix or framing nailer and the Bosch GSK18V-LI brad or second fix nailer. Click to read our exclusive review of the DCN690 nailer.

Both are powered by 18v li-ion batteries. Both benefit from the available 4.0Ah batteries (click here to read why 4.0Ah is a game changer, and click here to read about how Metabo are taking things further again with their 5.2Ah batteries).

However, the presence of a battery on these nailers isn't what caught our eye. It's the lack of gas.

Why is that so important? Well, as we pointed out in our guide to buying nailers:

A combustion powered nailertypically features an internal resevoir filled with flammable gas, normally in the form of a cartridge. An electronic control mechanism allows a little of this gas to flow into the combustion chamber. These nailers depend on a battery which provides a spark, igniting the gas and driving the piston.

Good points:
Typically ably to drive larger nails into harder surfaces with ease, without relying on an air supply.
Not-so-good points:
Additional cost of buying gas cannisters.

Bosch GSK18V-LI 18V Cordless li-ion Brad Finishing Nailer

If the battery in your nailer will power it, pushing nails where you want them to go, do you still need a gas nailer?

Would you be better switching to a cordless, battery-powered nailer and putting the cash you've saved on gas to a decent holiday each year?

We put the Bosch GSK18v-Li brad nailer (a second fix nailer) into the hands of Wayne and Neil, a plumber and a joiner to trade respectively, to get their thoughts on it.

Watch their review on Toolstop TV via this link or in our player below.

You'll notice that they conclude the video by asking "gas or battery?".

Do you agree with Wayne, that we've seen the "death of the gas nailer"? Are there some jobs that only a gas nailer is up to handling?

Share your opinion with us in the comments section below, and if you know of any gas nailer-user who should chip into this debate, Share the article with them using the Share buttons!


Joey on Fri, 04 Sep 2015 05:11:15 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I would love to review this item however have not been able to buy one
anywhere in Australia. I have a full Bosch tool kit at home and this would make a
good addition. Bosch have been promising delivery since March this year
and last contact with Bosch is that it will not be available until
October and wont even commit to that. I wonder what parts and service
would be like if anything goes wrong.

Cant agree on the death of gas nailers when you cant buy anything else.

Dunc on Tue, 05 Nov 2013 16:00:40 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I use dewalt and paslode will always go gas 1fix 2nd fix dewalts are great

Edward Redfern on Sat, 06 Jul 2013 18:34:07 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Well, if anyone's looking at affordable, professional Gas nailers, Avoid paslode as they're discontinuing the IM350+, IM65 / 65A, etc and replacing with newer expensive models with 1 YEAR... warranty. As some may know, I had a downfall with a Bostitch gas rig. Well, here's an exciting update lol. SENCO who are the manufacturers of the best in fastening equipment produce guns like the GT65RHA. I'm now the proud owner of one and this out performs anything I've owned before, easier to set up and service. I did have an issue when it arrived with failed batteries and charger but the SENCO rep through my agent saved me. Having put this baby though her paces, she performs like a gem. better grip, more driving force, easier loading and safer to run. I love it to bits. Senco are now launching the new Fusion nailers which are in direct completition with Bosch and Dewalt and have a process of their own. Just search for the SENCO Fusion system and be blown away.

Wayne Burgess on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 11:21:44 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

No fumes,No gas to buy, much quieter and the Lithium ion batteries these days on the quality tools are worlds apart from even 6 months ago. They work in extreme temperatures these days which gas nailers do not.
So if I were in the market I would be buying a battery powered nailer.
Having just had a first fix nailer stolen I will be looking to buy a battery powered 1st fix nailer.
The gas nailer has had it's day.

Edward Redfern on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 20:39:04 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Well, an update on this posting. I've seen the death of my bostitch 18 gauge brad nailer. A gun RIDDLED with faults and right in the middle of some custom projects for clients. Bostitch used to be a company I trusted, but producing a nail gun with a safety issue (no lockout on magazine when empty) means a number of safety issues when operating a gun like this. I'm now having to raise money through other projects and private teaching to buy my paslodes all over again. I'd give anything for my IM350 and IM65 to turn up, but they won't because they're long gon, sold by some thug with no morals to feed a habbit. I've had to post a review on toolstop for this gun to advise users of this issue and consider other alternatives. I'm not in the habbit of advising people to avoid a product, but when it's an issue of operator safety and product performance, it has to be done.

postable_mark on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 07:46:49 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I love that scene.

Edward Redfern on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 19:30:34 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

If I was ever in the position where a manufacturer wanted someone to road test a cordless nailer on site and in the workshop, I'd say yes, as long as it becomes part of my rig for teaching. When gas nailers came out and I started with the IM350 and IM65, I found myself working quicker than before. Before my sight loss, I could drive nails in by hand, but since that, If I drive a nail in with a hammer, I damage fingers, so nail guns have always been the go-to tools for me. Compressors have their uses but their running costs and in the case of a compressor I once used, portability were issues, so gas nailers became the ultimate in fast installation tools. The issue today with nail guns is the design element. My bostitch 18 gauge brad gun suffers from a few design issues which I'm starting to notice worry the heck out of me. the major one for me is when a round of nails has run out, the gun still continues to fire. This causes damage to the gun and there's no warning unless you happen to feel where the nail should be and isn't. then it's back to the pack to refill. This is where the Paslode IM65 really made a difference, like the 350 classic where both shut off on the last nail for a reload. So, I feel that Bostitch, though a good company, have missed out on their guns on safety matters and build quality. £190.00 not very well spent. At some time, when a major job comes up and I'm paid, then I'll try and replace the guns. More often than not, the brad gun is for fine finish / pinning / underpinning but the rest, I use my drills and frame screws.

kate andrews on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 19:07:20 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

My husbands also had a problem with lithium batteries malfunctioning and not charging properly after only a month of having it. I don't see why the gas ones are such a problem

Jamie on Fri, 07 Jun 2013 10:39:08 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I'd love to use on of these, But Just like Shaun, my dad wouldn't let me use one either and i'm 19 LOL

Edward Redfern on Thu, 06 Jun 2013 17:12:16 +0100 (Likes: 1 / Dislikes: 0

much appreciated. To be honest, after working this last week on an intensive job with my 18 gauge bostitch, I'd rather have the paslode IM350 and IM65 back. I miss my babies. I tried a cordless only finish nailer, one of the early makita's and it felt odd I miss the smell of framing gas in the morning.

Gaz Watson on Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:29:46 +0100 (Likes: 1 / Dislikes: 0

No one seems to be mentioning the unreliability of Lithium batteries. Sure they last a long time beyween charges but I've had 2 batteries developing faults in the last 2 years and know of countless others with the same problem. They cost a bomb to replace as it is.

Chris Owens on Sun, 02 Jun 2013 23:27:53 +0100 (Likes: 1 / Dislikes: 0

Compare with this discussion from series 4 of The Wire :-) (warning: very foul language and thick Baltimore accent): http://www.youtube.com/watc...

Battery tech has moved on, though: Snoop (in the clip) has problems with battery discharge when not in use - Li ion is much much better in that regard than older tech.

Shaun Booth on Sun, 02 Jun 2013 15:49:18 +0100 (Likes: 2 / Dislikes: 0

My dad wouldn't let me near his IM350 for fear I'd break it. I'm nearly 24, nothing has changed.

Karis on Sun, 02 Jun 2013 14:50:35 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Interesting Article

adrian on Sat, 01 Jun 2013 19:01:57 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Dont think they will take off overall their heavy bulky expensive personally i use the paslode range for first and second fix also the bostich air range never let me down i know what i'll be sticking to

alan dunn on Sat, 01 Jun 2013 15:56:42 +0100 (Likes: 1 / Dislikes: 0

Give it a couple more years when the price falls and the battery first fix nailer will really take off. Have used battery, gas and compressed air nailers and always reach for my dewalt 2nd fix, will be getting the dewalt 1st fix when the price falls or funds become available.
Why keep gas in your pocket to keep it warm because the nail gun can`t work on a cold gas cartridge? Have tried the dewalt cordless framing nail gun at Harrogate toolfair and it was fantastic, no smelly gas getting up your nose, you can use the bump feature up to 65mm nails and I think it felt lighter then the paslode.
Paslode will be running scared soon and fetching their own version out.

Kieran on Sat, 01 Jun 2013 11:44:23 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Potentially battery operated nailers could kill off the gas nailers but there would have to be a decrease in the price of them and the batteries to make them more appealing. However with the advancements in batteries and the unit itself i do think in a few years time maybe that the price and quality of the battery operated nailer could see the end of gas nailers

James Wall on Sat, 01 Jun 2013 11:27:49 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

i agree with Edward. to expensive to change

Edward Redfern on Sat, 25 May 2013 07:24:53 +0100 (Likes: 4 / Dislikes: 0

Not a chance. As a blind cabinet maker / joiner, I use bostitch gas nailers both in the workshop and on site. I paid enough for the models I'm using. I don't see how I could afford to move to Cordless framing and brad guns where £500.00+ per gun is crazy. I'm happy with my family of nail guns and wouldn't want to lose them. I had an IM350 and IM65 stolen last year on site and that was bad enough.

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