I’m not known for making a quick shopping decision, so I’m still waffling as I write this about which of these kits I’d buy if I were in the market. But I’m pretty sure that this Bostitch combo is the package I’d pick if I had to choose. It isn’t my ideal, mind you, but its components all rank close to the top in their categories. Plus, Bostitch provides three nailers rather than two or only one.
Consider first the compressor. It looks like a fraternal twin of the Hitachi, thanks to the biscuit-shaped six-gallon tank with the works on top. The upper housing is slightly different, and the handle is positioned at right angles to the Hitachi’s. The grouping of controls generally matches that of the Hitachi. The pressure gauges are up top, and the coupler, regulator, safety relief valve, and On/Off switch are in the same plane across the front of the compressor’s display.
But the Bostitch has more moxie overall. It has a slightly higher horsepower motor (1.5hp vs. 1.1hp), a slightly higher maximum pressure rating (150 PSI vs. 145 PSI), and delivers almost 30 percent more air (2.8 CFI at 90 PSI vs. 2 CFM at the same pressure). I didn’t measure any of these machines with a decibel-o-mometer, but my ear tells me the Bostitch makes pretty much the same noise as the Hitachi, or for that matter, as the Porter-Cable, Husky, or DeWALT. And by my scale, the Bostitch weighs one pound less than its “twin” and six pounds less than the Husky.
My quibbles are these: Why only one coupler? I've seen compressors with two, so that’s what I want! And why no plug you can press onto the cord to secure it in the cord wrap?
I have more reservations about the nailers. I applaud Bostitch for bundling full-range nailers in the package, providing a 2" brad nailer and a 1-1⁄2" stapler to go with a 2-1⁄2" finish nailer. (DeWALT shorts you on the brad nailer in its package, and Porter-Cable does the same with its stapler as well as its brad nailer.) All three nailers have padded-tip safeties (good) that obscure your view of exact fastener placement (bad). Two of the three have on-tool depth-of-drive adjusters; the stapler lacks it. The finish nailer offers tool-free jam clearance, but neither the stapler nor the brad nailer do. All three require a different trigger — not supplied — to switch from sequential to bump firing mode. None have a trigger lock or a belt hook.
One last note on Bostitch. Like Porter-Cable and DeWALT, Bostitch markets more than a single package. In the lineup are a compressor-brad nailer set and a compressor with brad and finish nailers package. All include the same compressor as the three-gun package.