Does a good job with the right power

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Review by jake posted 08-28-2009 01:01 AM 6532 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Does a good job with the right power No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I wanted a small nail gun for woodworking projects but didn’t always like firing up my compressor. The Arrow shoots 18 gauge nails up to one and a quarter inch long. Good for the 3/4 inch lumber from the big boxes I often buy. I use quite a bit of oak and it drives the nails fully through solid oak, with the nail head just below the surface for a clean look. The reviews on Amazon were amazingly poor, but a few spoke of it doing a good job with the right power. I found out first hand that this is very true. I have a small outdoor shop and used a heavy duty but long extension cord on my first attempt. It only drove the nails 3/4 of the way through. I unplugged the unit and plugged it right into the outlet and it fully drove the nails. I like the ease of it being electric, its overall small size and light weight, ability to drive nails through hardwood and the small gauge nails make a small hole that is almost imperceptible to see and easy to fill. It did not mar the surface of the wood either, as I have used pneumatic units that made a dimple in the wood from their force. Overall this a handy tool as long as you have decent wiring to stand up to the draw. As I write this I do not have the tool next to me but it is listed as 14 amps on Amazon. I am making an entertainment center that I will post in the next few weeks, which I have used this gun extensively on, tacking pieces together after gluing them and I loved not having to clamp them and wait for the glue to set in many parts of the unit. For that reason alone I am a fan of this handy tool. I hope the negative reviews don’t kill this item off.

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7 comments so far

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#1 posted 08-28-2009 01:29 AM

I did not review this particular tool because the HUGE fluctuations in performance depending on which outlet I have this thing on. I am pretty sure it is a house wiring issue (No sub panel in the shop yet). This is a VERY picky tool, but when it is given sufficient power, it works great!


It’s not bad enough for me to want to take it back, but it DOES irritate me that I have to be careful of which outlets I use it on. It pulls as much juice as a dust collector, and THAT is scary…

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128 posts in 4023 days

#2 posted 08-28-2009 06:34 AM

Same issues with mine but I like it.

-- Rick, Pa. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

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118065 posts in 4348 days

#3 posted 08-28-2009 06:35 AM

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#4 posted 08-30-2009 02:49 PM

I’m afraid I’m on the opposite end of the review. The inconsistency is the primary gripe. It still has a place in my shop. I mainly use it for shop projects in which speed of assembly is more important than quality. It “clamps” some MDF projects together while the glue dries. It seems like I always have to hand set a couple brads each time I use it, though. A few shots later a brad is shot too deep in the same piece. I hadn’t considered the power issue, honestly. I can’t recall if I’ve plugged it direct to an outlet or not. I have power strips placed throughout, might have to retest it. I remember the marketing made to long cord a selling point. Based on the power comments posted here and the marketing of the long cord, I’m inclined to believe that it isn’t intended to be used with an extension cord.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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39 posts in 4474 days

#5 posted 09-01-2009 09:13 AM

I believe you are right. A 20 amp breaker is rated at 12 guage wire and a 15 amp breaker is rated at 14 guage. On a 15 amp breaker nothing else could be running and 12 guage is pretty heavy wire, larger than most extension cords, power strips etc. So you would have to look at the strip and circuit. Power tools like circular saws, jig saws, etc. are more forgiving and will run with power flucuations, so it’s hard to tell even is someone used other 15 amp tools on an extension cord. I have a large induction motor table saw and a smaller benchtop with universal motor, rated at 15 amps. I run the benchtop saw with no problem on the lines that the nail gun doesn’t like. I was using the Arrow again today on my current project and was pretty amazed at it shooting one and a quarter inch nails in oak with no problem and set nicely just below the surface. It is a pain to only be able to use the right outlet, but for me the ease of building most items without any clamp time for the glue up outweighs the inconvenience. For example, after the glue is used I shoot a small nails through the tonge and grove of raised panel doors on the back. Once the pieces are sanded I tack a small nail at the top and bottom with the panels in place, which leaves in the room in the width where all most all of the epansion takes place but no rattle. Oak is brittle so after a little practice on placement I am staining in minutes after the assembly and all of my doors are very solid.

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1319 posts in 4246 days

#6 posted 09-03-2009 02:37 AM

I have two of these ET 200’s because of great customer service. I got it because I wanted something light duty for indoor molding trim work. It did that fine… but gave out after a dozen brads were fired. I called customer service, and they sent me a new circuit board that goes in the trigger. No instructions, but fairly obvious as to how to. Well, that circuit board went up in smoke, too. Called again. Got a new board right away. Fixed it again, and all has been well… but a week after the second board was received, I got a whole new tool with case in the mail. So, I now have two. They said they had a bad shipment of circuit boards… So, no complaints about customer service.

I made up some wood utility shelving in a very, very tight space. I couldn’t swing a hammer, but I could tack it up with this gun. Works fine now for light duty. Any problems I have in use I can trace back to “operator” error. It helps to have something like this for that occasional project where you need a third hand or something. I used it several times to tack together glue ups. Cannot replace a pneumatic tool…

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

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280 posts in 3400 days

#7 posted 06-26-2013 02:02 PM

My parents have one of these that I tried to use with some repairs I was making on their house. I never had it fully drive a brad, i had to finish all of them with a hammer. Since i was tacking on trim into corners, that kind of defeated my whole purpose for using it. It’s possible that my extension cord was the culprit, but it was only 25’ and pretty stout (I also used it for the table saw…). I ended up moving to other tasks for that weekend and dragged my PC compressor and nail guns back with me the next weekend.

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

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