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All about Stud Guns and Stud Drivers

Stud guns or Stud drivers are heavy-duty tools that fire gunpowder cartridges. This “power load” pushes a piston inside the tool that slams a special heat-treated and hardened steel nail (a “drive pin”) through wood and into concrete. It takes only seconds to load and fire a stud gun, so you can drive dozens of fasteners quickly. To finish off a whole basement with scores of wall furring strips and/or floor sill plates, you can spend as little as $20 for the hammer-activated gun or $70 for the trigger-activated type For occasional use, rent a heavier-duty tool for about $25 a day. Either way, it will cost a combined 50¢ to 75¢ for one power load and a standard drive pin.

Before you work with stud guns, check with your local building officials. The use of power fasteners is sometimes restricted with certain construction techniques and situations. Also Stud guns don’t work in every situation. Never attempt to use power fasteners in very hard concrete or stone—or brittle materials like glass, tile or brick. Before using a stud gun, test the hardness of your concrete by conducting a “center punch test”.

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