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DeWalt's D55141FNBN Air Compressor Nailer Kit Solid but Slightly Underpowered
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DeWALT D55141FNBN Air Compressor Nailer Kit DeWalt's D55141FNBN Air Compressor Nailer Kit doesn't offer incredible power, but it's a useful, durable kit for most any shop.

DeWALT has a solid tradesman reputation, and this package lived up to that rep. The one I tried includes a two-gallon compressor, 25' PVC hose, a brad nailer and a finish nailer. DeWALT markets a second package, which I haven’t even seen, that mates a one-gallon compressor with a brad nailer. Its price puts this package in the middle of three others with six-gallon compressors. Despite having the lowest horsepower rating and the smallest tank of the four “high-end” packages I tried, the DeWALT’s pressure maximum of 150 PSI and airflow rating of 2 CFM at 90 PSI make it fully competitive.

Design-wise, the DeWALT compressor looks no-nonsense, with its sturdy chassis, stout tank and upfront controls, and its embossed step-plate-looking top. The immediate disconnect between image and reality is the “No Step” label on that step-plate-looking top. Why not beef it up and have it be a step? A second disconnect is the hidden power switch. It’s black, mounted in the back, beneath that black no-step top, on the black motor shroud.

The pair of nailers in the package — you will certainly stash them in the soft carrying bag that’s included — are quite fine. Both tools feature soft-tipped safeties, tool-free jam-clearing, and on-board depth-of-drive adjustment. The triggers have a “lock-off,” which you twist to the right to lock the trigger, thus preventing the tool from firing. The tool weights — just under 2-1⁄2 lbs. for the brad nailer and under 4 lbs. for the finish nailer — are comfortable. Because the compressor has two couplers, you can (provided you have or buy a second hose) connect both nailers for a trim-out job, using the brad nailer to fasten casing to jamb edges, the finish nailer to secure it to the wall studs.

The one reservation I have is that the brad nailer is limited to fasteners 1-1⁄4" or less. The presumption, I suppose, is that once you use fasteners longer than 1", you’ll want to switch to the heavier gauge. That’s a choice I’d want to make for myself.

posted on June 1, 2011 by Bill Hylton
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