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So I'm a little confused. It seems like 21 degree fullhead framing nailers are fairly standard.

According to the http://codes.iccsafe.org/app/book/content/2015-I-Codes/2015%20IRC%20HTML/Chapter%206.html

R602.3(1) Fastening Schedule Item #16, 16d nails are required to attach studs to plates (which there'd be a ton of when building walls).

But when I go to try and find some plastic collated 21 degree 16d nails, they are non-existant. Lowes only sells 4 different products at 3.5" (non of which are 21 degree), Home Depot only has one and it seems a little sketchy, and Amazon has a couple of products but the ones that are actually rated seem really expensive. Am I missing something? It seems like something that is required by code would be sold all over the place.

  • Most subs building new houses do not buy their supplies at Home Depot and Lowes. Try a building supplier. Think of HD and Lowes like Walmart. Higher prices for equal or lesser quality; rarely better quality and rarely meaningfully cheaper than a true supplier. – Damon Feb 3 '16 at 6:15
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I have no idea what you are talking about. I get both coated and standard from big blue and little orange. They don't carry a ton of different ones at the store because why would they? They are really heavy, hard to stock, the boxes break all the time (ones with a lot in there because you know you want thing cardboard for nails naturally), and there isn't a brand that people would really prefer over another unless that is what you do for a living.

If you are a carpenter or contractor then you buy the quality you want online and pick up at the contractor's desk. I looked out in my garage and I have 5 different boxes of 21 degree nails. A couple I bought online the rest at the store. Really I am not that concerned unless it is outdoors.

  • I just did the online search 30 mins ago and those were my results. I had stopped by HD and they don't stock any 3-1/2". 3-1/4", sure, but no 3-1/2". I was kind of shocked so I had to grab someone that worked in the dept and they said they don't carry them. I could try hitting up Blue, but based on their Internet results, I'm not really expecting much better results. – 2 Left Thumbs Feb 3 '16 at 4:26
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    To take this further, some engineers who pay attention know that a pneumatic 16d nail at typically 0.131 " diameter nail is smaller diameter than a non-pneumatic 16d nail at 0.162" diameter. This matters because they use to spec the non-pneumatic ones as a standard and then the framers would use a pneumatic nail with a reduced capacity. Good engineers know this and will spec the smaller diameter so a pneumatic nailer can be used. Also, on our plans, we spec the diameter of the nail to make it explicit. But most people, including some engineers, don't know and don't want to know this. – Damon Feb 3 '16 at 6:12
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    @Damon - good points. Other than rust/corrosion who has ever heard of nail quality causing an issue in residential buildings? – DMoore Feb 3 '16 at 6:19
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    @Damon - I didn't want to make the paranoia worse but I guess I can mention it now. Hardly any 3 1/2" nails measure true to 3 1/2", In fact most 3.5" I get are pretty damn close to 3.25"... – DMoore Feb 3 '16 at 6:27
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    @DMoore Ya, this industry is very frustrating with all the "should's" and "don't ask don't tells". This is just one of many. Oops, I've said too much. – Damon Feb 3 '16 at 6:34

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