MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Porter Cable 6 Gal. Compressor Combo with Finish & Brad Nailers & Crown Stapler

Tool photo.

Whenever I told anyone that I was planning to install a chair rail in my dining area, the most common response was, “You do have a nail gun, right?” I complained that nail guns were too expensive and that I was going to do it with a good old-fashioned nail set. The following Saturday morning, I wasted half of the day with my $6 nail set — bending nails, dropping expletives, and gouging up the expensive trim I was trying to mount on the wall.

For my next home project, I went to Home Depot and took the plunge for a nail gun combo set from Porter Cable. It almost paid for itself on that first job, and every job since then I’ve thanked myself for buying it. For less than what I thought a single top-of-the-line nailer would have cost, I got a pancake compressor with a 25-foot hose, a crown stapler, a brad nailer, and a finishing nailer. Each nailer came in an individual hard plastic case for easy storage and with a full box of ammo. Unless you’re framing a wall, you’re pretty much covered with this setup.

If you have more than a chair rail on your list of projects, get yourself a Porter Cable combo set. My second thought, get one anyway — your friends will love you for it.