DeWalt DCN890P2 Battery Concrete Nailer

DeWalt DCN890P2 battery operated concrete/steel nailer is a self contained battery operated nailer for fastening to masonry materials including concrete, block, metal decking with concrete overlay as well as steel. The tool will shoot pins from 1/2″ to 2-1/4″ in length. If you add the optional DCN8903 Stick-E Contact Trip, you can attach lathing discs, ceiling clips, EMT straps and more.

Applications & Benefits

So what are some of the benefits or applications for a battery contact nailer like the DeWalt DCN890P2? Consider a few different situations.

Hot Work. One of the first reasons we looked into handling a battery operated concrete nailer was to solve a jobsite problem for a customer. They were making fastenings into the deck in a hospital. On this site, the hospital wanted them to hande it as “hot work” if they were using a powder actuated tool. What does that mean? That means they had to lift the ceiling tile, make the fastening and wait 30 minutes before replacing. The pounding of a rotary hammer wasn’t acceptable and so the DeWalt DC890P2 was a no brainer for this application.

Simplicity. Powder actuated tools (P.A.T.) like a Ramset or Hilti tool make quick work of fastening to concrete and steel. After selling them for 25 plus years, I am very comfortable with them and their operation. However, with a P.A.T. training and certification is required. You also need to know what power level to use where and when. Gas tools like the Ramset T3 and Hilti gas tools are simply more complicated. They have more moving parts and believe it or not if you are a low volume user, they can be even more fussy. Like any engine, they want to run, not sit! The DCN890P2 tools is a simple easy to use tool. Replacing the driver is a 2 minute job site fix. You adjust driving force with a simple 3 position switch. Most jams are cleared quickly with a simple flip of a lever.

Perception. I have sold millions of powder charges for Hilti & Ramset P.A.T and while over the years I have had a few injuries reported (and they where caused by operator error) they really are a safe tool. Still there are some sites that for safety, sound or other reasons are not comfortable with P.A.T being used. Again, you may consider using a rotary hammer but now you must consider dust management and the rat a tat tat of your hammer. The DeWalt battery concrete nailer to the rescue.

Block. Unlike P.A.T. tools battery operated concrete nailers will not blow out the block. P.A.T. tools use the base material to stop the advance of the driver. The DCN890P2 tool limits the driver’s travel just like an air tool or gas nailer would. The result is no blow out of the hollows in block.

What Can The DCN890P2 Do?

To be certain, the DeWalt concrete nailer does not have the power that a P.A.T. tool can develop, but in most applications, it simply doesn’t have to. The tool competes very nicely with the Hilti BX-3 tool. The tool is finding a home in the drywall trade for track to concrete and steel. My thought is the tool really becomes a nice addition to the electrical and data comm/security trades. With the addition of the DCN8903 Stick-E Contact Trip, you can start shooting EMT straps, right angle clips and more. We are now offering right angle clips with ceiling grid wire attached for suspending light fixtures and cable runs. Lathing discs rod holders and more can be used with the Stick-E probe. An optional pole tool extension is available as well.

HILTI BX3 Battery Nailer For Concrete

The Hilti BX3 is a battery operated tool designed to fasten to concrete and other masonry materials as well as steel. This is really a neat little tool that is finding it’s home in a variety of trades. I’ts proving usefull not just in the drywall, electrical, mechanical trade but also in the data comm/cabling fields. The latest version, the Hilti BX3 02 is a 22 volt tool that will hold a magazine of 30 pins. Advertised performance is up to 1.3 fasteners per second and a battery life of up to 800 pins with the highest capacity battery. The selling points of the tool include the idea that you have a clean quiet tool (compared to powder) that requires no user license. Some jobs are very noise sensitive, hospitals for instance, and some just won’t allow PAT tools. Shooting down track and other straight pins is just one use. The BX3 has a unique way of attaching clips and holders for the other trades.

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Hilti BX3 02 Battery Actuated Fastening Tool, 1 Battery, Charger, Case

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Hilti BX 3-IF come with battery and charger used 

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Hilti BX3-IF Battery Actuated Fastening Tool, 1 Battery and Charger

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HILTI BX 3 Battery Actuated Fastening Tool. Case 2 batteries, charger

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The Hilti BX3 can fasten ceiling clips (including pre tied clips) rod holders, EMT straps, tie wrap straps and cable straps. Hilti recommends you use their X-FG B3-ME guide or nose piece to do this kind of work. While you may be used to loading a clip or strap in you powder actuated tools with the nail installed, the clips and straps have no nail installed. You will note they have a fluting that holds them in the nose piece and when you fire, the nail comes from the magazine. This is a nice feature if the fastening fails, just pull out the bad nail and refasten. The down side to this, is you have to use Hilti’s proprietary fasteners which can tend to keep the price up. We actually tie quite a few ceiling wires and are working with some of our customers to tie our wire to their clips for them.

Street pricing on the Hilti BX3 is up there, double or more of most powder tools, so it may not be the tool for everyone. But when a tool solves a problem for you, pricing concerns fade very quickly. If you are on the fence, you will find used ones here and there on ebay that are still in great working order and about half the price. Give it a try and if it doesn’t fit the bill, you will likely get close to what you paid for it back.

While the Hilti BX3 is the first of it’s kind, Dewalt offers the DCN891B. More to come on that tool!

Used Hilti DX350 Tools

I have sold and serviced many powder actuated tools over the last 20 years including the Hilti DX350 and the clone versions of the tool from many different manufacturers.  They are just such a solid tool with many different uses.   Here are a few points to help you find a good deal on a good used Hilti DX350.  Don’t just accept the statement that the tool fires or works well.  I have seen tools advertised as working well when they were obviously missing parts in the photos.

A Hilti DX350 tool should not just fire, it should fire solidly and advance one load each time you cycle the tool.  The most common thing a used tool may need is a piston or driver.  The piston or driver is what forces the pin into the concrete.  They are a wear part and so they chip up and can even break.  An aftermarket piston to fit the Hilti DX350 goes for around $30.  The driver is easy to replace.  If the tool isn’t advancing the load advance isn’t expensive, but it is a little more tricky to replace.   The little “C” clip that holds the front barrel together can get bent up from time to time.  Again this is a wear part, easy to replace and many of the tools have extra packed along with the tool.  Stay a way for a tool that has cracks or breaks on barrel or fastener guide.  If the tool fires and advances but make just a “poof” sound, almost like a bad load, it is likely the return pawl that reset the piston is warn.  Easy to replace but figure another $20 or so to fix.

When you are looking for a used Hilti DX350 tool you will find clone tools from Ramset, most notably the Cobra tool.  The Cobra is a great tool, but stay away from the Cobra Plus tools, many of the parts are not available.  As for prices, I have seen them all over the board but many good tools can be had for $100-$150 or so.  If you shop around you may find a tool with loads and pins to fit your application.  FYI the tool is a .27 caliber strip tool.  Loads are readily available at most big box stores.  The loads are color coded, going from the lowest, GREEN, YELLOW and then RED.  Start with the lowest power level and work up until you pin sets to correct depth.  Ramset, Simpson and Powers loads will work in the DX350 if they are .27 caliber strips.

Below are a few of the used Hilti DX350 tools available on ebay or click here for a more extensive search.

Hilti DX350 Powder Actuated Fastener Gun w/ Case and EXTRAS

$115.50 (22 Bids)
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Hilti DX350 Powder Actuated Nail Gun - NEW

$187.50 (4 Bids)
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Hilti DX-35 DX-350 shear clips ramset cobra shear clips 5 clips new free ship

$35.00
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Hilti DX350 Powder Actuated Nail Gun + Case & Extras

$49.99 (1 Bid)
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Lubrication For Hilti, Ramset, Simpson & Other P.A.T. Tools

cleaning ramset hilti toolsWe get asked all the time, “what should I use to clean my Hilti or Ramset tool?”  Usually what the customer is hoping for is a cleaner that they can spray on and their done.  Really cleaning your Ramset, Hilti, Simpson or any powder actuated tool is a two part process.  Step 1 is to remove built up powder on the tool.  In our shop we have a bench grinder that makes cleaning the outer surfaces of the barrel very easy to clean.  For the inside, we use a stiff wire brush.  One trick is to cut the handle off and stick the wire brush in a cordless drill for quick work of the inside of the barrels.  If you don’t have a bench grinder, wire brushes and a little elbow grease will do the job.  Your goal is to remove the built up powder as best you can.  Most tools come with brushes but we do stock a cleaning kit with brushes and lube.  Step 2 is the lubrication of the parts.  We favor the Tri Flow product for our in house repair and cleaning work.   We like to spray the parts and let them set for a minute or two.  Tri Flow has teflon that will leave a light film that seams to make subsequent cleanings a little easier.  Whatever you use, Tri Flow, WD40 or a gun cleaning lube,  DRY THE PARTS OFF!  If you don’t dry the lube, powder will stick to the tool making it much dirtier, much faster.  So how often should you clean the tool?  Well, if you clean your garage once every 5 years, it doesn’t hurt the garage any buy you sure have to work a lot harder to get it clean than if you just maintain it once and a while.  Same with your Ramset  & Hilti tools.  A quick clean every 300-500 shots is much easier than trying to do it when it has fired  a few thousand rounds and won’t operate smoothly.

Ramset Replacement Parts

Ramset Replacement Parts

Ramset Replacement Parts

Keeping a few basic replacement parts on hand for your Ramset powder actuated tool will keep your job running.  With just a few of the basic wear parts on hand, you will be able to handle simple jobsite repairs.  The most common of any Ramset replacement parts to keep on hand is the piston or drive pin.  This is the part that drives the pin into the concrete so it takes the most abuse.  Replacement of the piston in your tool is usually very straight forward and takes just a few minutes, if you have one!  Cost on the piston for most tools is usually under $40.  Some tools like the Ramset Cobra (a clone of the Hilti DX-350 tool) and the D-60 use a barrel clip to hold the front and rear barrel together.  These can get tweaked from over driving so have a couple on hand.  One last part I would recommend to have on hand is the return pawl.  The purpose of this piece is to reset the piston in the chamber for the next shot.  The return pawls on the Ramset Viper and D45A are small and can get lost easily, again having a couple on hand will keep you going.  Keep in mind as well that if you need to order a part, make sure of your tool model especially in the case of the Ramset Cobra tool and the Ramset Cobra Plus tool as the pistons are not interchangeable!  Ordering extra parts like two pistons instead of one will reduce your over all shipping charges.  If you need help or have questions on which part you need, visit our site for tool schematics or call us toll free at 1-877-212-2377.

Better Success Fastening Ceiling Clips With Your Ramset & Hilti Powder Tools

Hilti and Ramset tools have been a great asset to many trades including the data comm field for hanging cable hooks. Overhead fastenings can be a challenge in some concrete. Power Point Ceiling Clip For Hilti Ramset ToolsIf your having trouble with low success rates when shooting ceiling clips into the concrete deck above, the problem many times can be traced back to the quality of your pin. Most tool supply houses and even the big box stores offer pins and loads for Ramset and Hilti tool. The problem is, many are stocking the cheapest pins available to maximize sales and profit. The result is that when you run into brittle concrete or pre cast decks, you can have a lot of blow outs. If you are shooting up a ceiling clip with pre attached, every failed fastening can start to add up. If you are having more blow outs than you like, or you are getting a lot of fish hooked pins, consider a ballistic point pin like the Ramset SPC78 and Ramset SPC114 series of ceiling clips. These clips are assembled using a polished point pin rather than a standard “pinched” point. See the pictures, there is a difference. Add to that the thicker shank on these ceiling clips and you will see fewer blow outs and less fish hooking of your pins. The SPC114 pin has an even thicker shank than the SPC78 and while you may not be able to sink it all the way, get it in 3/4″ and you will have a solid support for your light fixtures and cable hooks. For even better success, use a Ramset or Hilti tool made just for overhead work like the Ramset Viper 4.

 

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When To Replace Your Ramset Cobra Piston SC301200A

ramset cobra piston SC301200AThe Ramset Cobra tool has become a staple for many of the trades including the low voltage and electrical trades.  The Ramset Cobra is what we call a Hilti DX-350 clone tool as is the Simpson PT27 and tools from other manufactures as well.  This is a well proven design that is easy to use and quite reliable.  One of the things I like is how stable it is when mounted on a ceiling extension pole tool, making it a great choice for ceiling grid wires for suspending not only ceilings but j hooks and light fixtures.  One of the most common wear parts on these tools is the piston, or drive pin.  How can you tell when it is time to replace the piston on your Ramset Cobra?  Murphy’s law dictates that what can go wrong will so even if you piston looks good, having a spare will save you down time.   When your piston is new, it has taper around the end.  Like a tent stake that expands when repeatedly pounded, the piston will start to flare over time.  This bevel accommodates this flare.  If you piston is starting to flare or chip, it is time to replace it, or at the least have one on hand.  As for the ring, typically they will last the life of the piston.  You can replace them but it isn’t easy.  To replace the piston on your Ramset Cobra, slide the annular spring to release the piston stop and slide out the barrel.  Remove the barrel clip and now the barrel halves will come apart.  Simply pull out the old piston and replace it.  Reassemble the tool in reverse order.  If you have any problems or questions, give a call toll free at 1-877-212-2377 and we will walk you through.    Find a complete line of Ramset Cobra parts here.

Safety First With Ramset & Hilti Tools

Safety first.  We here it all the time but what does it mean to be safe when operating a Hilti, Ramset or other powder actuated tool?  There is the ramset cobraobvious and please don’t skip thesm basics as some do.  Safety glasses.  A Hilti, Ramset or any powder actuated tool develops enough power to sink a nail into 1/2″ steel.   That should be enough power to put a piece of that pin or other fragment through your eye lid!  Secondly, use your hearing protection.  When using a Hilti or Ramset tool on an extension pole like when you are installing pre tied grid wires for ceilings or supporting fixtures and data cable runs, the tool may be far enough away from the operator for your comfort, but it is still recommended.  If you fasten into steel with a powder actuated tool, you will likely only make the mistake of not wearing hearing protection once, it will leave your ears ringing.  Certification is required on powder actuated tools.  You can get certified on a Ramset tool on Ramset’s website.  Besides the obvious safety guidelines, certification will give you more safety guidelines for proper application and nail selection when using your Ramset or Hilti tool.

Keeping your powder actuated tool clean and in proper repair is often overlooked.  If any of your tool parts are chipped or cracked, replacing them now can not only save you down time later but could vary well prevent an injury.  You can find a complete line of Ramset Parts.  If you need any assistance with your powder actuated tools, you can give us a call toll free at 1-877-212-2377.

BX/EMT Conduit Straps For Hilti & Ramset Tools

If you are  mounting any EMT conduit or BX cable to masonry materials, give these one hole straps a try.  Designed for use with Ramset, Hilti and other powder actuated tools, these straps are available in sizes for BX cable, 1/2″,3/4″ and 1″ EMT.  The straps are preloaded with a 1″ pin with a .300 head for use in most powder tools offered by Hilit, Ramset and others.  Where can you use them?  The main application is for poured concrete or metal decking with concrete over the top.  I have seen many contractors use them in cinder block or in the horizontal mortar joints of brick as well all though you won’t find pullout data for some of these applications.  Pre cast concrete slabs can sometimes be fastened with a Hilti or Ramset tool but they can be very brittle, be ware of post tension with shallow cables.  Any time you use a Ramset, Hilti or other powder actuated tool, be safe and follow the manufactures recommendations, starting with lowest power level first.  Safety glasses and hearing protection are a given.  You may want to make others, especially in an occupied office aware that you will be using a nail gun!  Try these great time saving BX/EMT conduit straps with your Hilti, Ramset or other powder actuated tools to save time on your next project.

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