Finally a cordless nailer with punch
In 10 years of being a Carpenter I've owned the senco fusion, milwaukee 16g fixer, dewalt 16g and now I have my hands on the hikoki 15g.
First impression was the weight of the tool was on the heavier side, although the gun has less kick back than competitors so it's only really an issue with over head work. Having said that, the major benefit this gun brings is its punch. This gun is the punching champ of the gasless/cordless fixers, which from my experience has been the major compromise when coming from gas/air.
I purchased this gun for a fix out on a house I was about to do. I got through the job however the gun proved less than satisfactory regularly jamming and misfiring. While this gun has some strengths I found it has more design weaknesses. Hitachi's warranty support proved unsatisfactory also.
The biggest feature of battery guns is their convenience - no need for gas or oils, no exhaust fumes, no regular servicing costs and quieter than gas guns, and no hoses and compressor. All battery guns are heavier than gas and pneumatic guns so its a level playing field here.
The specific strengths of this gun are;
1) its got punching power - it drove nails through trim/plasterboard/pine studs as required.
2) quick enough firing time
3) shoots 15g DA brads - more angle that other brads (good for tight corners) and more holding power that 16g
Specific weaknesses of this gun;
1) useless oversize 'rafter hook' that can't be swapped - way too big and definitely does not suit right-handers
2) off-set magazine adds bulk and twists the firing line of sight - you could get use to it but not the extra bulk
3) depth adjustment ineffective - could not get variability with that and you need that
4) angle of jam release too small making it hard and slow to clear jammed nails
5) too bulky in tight corners on the magazine side
6) obstructed vision with the protection bumper
This is usage at a trade level fastening typical fixout trim - architraves, skirting, quads, DAR mouldings etc. so for trade, a gun needs to work without this much trouble.
Compounding the issue was the absence of warranty support. I returned the gun for warranty support and after five (5) weeks of nothing from Hitachi Australia - they had not even looked at it I was told, so I gave it back.
This makes me stop and question every time I consider buying Hitachi/Hikoki. I have had good after sales support from Bosch however.
It's a shame because since taking over Hitachi, TTI have been making some very impressive tool improvements elsewhere in their range to put Hitachi/Hikoki back up there.
Its one thing to have a great swag of tools to offer to market but it takes more than that to gain the markets loyalty which wont happen without necessary back up... unless Hitachi Australia are banking on unsuspecting buyers?
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