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Ramset single shot .22 caliber concrete nail gun is total junk

by PeteK
posted 02-10-2017 02:49 AM


47 replies so far

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

19977 posts in 2680 days


#1 posted 02-10-2017 02:52 AM

Get the one from Hilti….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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squazo

62 posts in 1642 days


#2 posted 02-10-2017 03:00 AM

I actually went through the same problem not to long ago

I purchased the cobra by ramset which is a .27 not a .22. the strongest charge they sell at the BORG is yellow which is a level 4 but you can get level 5’s online, I though level five was the strongest but I was surprised to find that you can get level 6 which is purple. I was so excited I bought reds and purples.

They came in the mail, all to no avail even with a larger caliber than yours and a power level of 150% of the yellows I had the exact same experience. Though I am able to shoot a nail through an entire inch of steel (steel is technically softer than concrete) but this is useless because I have a welder and besides I am able to fairly easily remove said nail from the steel anyways so I know it does not hold well. I live in Louisiana which has some of the hardest concrete in the country maybe that is it. google aggregate map and see how hard your concrete is.

I did not return it because I feel maybe with a pilot hole it will work, and then I will be able to easily have a flush head fastener onto concrete instead of a wedge anchor. Also I hate tap-cons they are useless.

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William Shelley

571 posts in 1466 days


#3 posted 02-10-2017 03:03 AM

Honestly you must be doing something wrong. I bought the second-cheapest ramset tool, the one with the trigger but you hold your palm against the oversized bulbous end. I used the yellow hi-power shells and managed to get a 3” nail with the washer to bury itself 1/2” into the 2×4 i was trying to nail into the concrete floor of my basement.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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PeteK

28 posts in 638 days


#4 posted 02-10-2017 03:22 AM



Honestly you must be doing something wrong. I bought the second-cheapest ramset tool, the one with the trigger but you hold your palm against the oversized bulbous end. I used the yellow hi-power shells and managed to get a 3” nail with the washer to bury itself 1/2” into the 2×4 i was trying to nail into the concrete floor of my basement.

- William Shelley

That’s the same model I bought. I’m using the yellow shells as well. I think I just have super hard concrete. It’s a 1950’s house. Not sure if that makes a difference.

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bandit571

19977 posts in 2680 days


#5 posted 02-10-2017 03:25 AM

Use the reds, or the black ones…

We used to just drill a “pilot hole” and then use a 16 spike, and a length of form wire….and hammer the spike in.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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William Shelley

571 posts in 1466 days


#6 posted 02-10-2017 04:06 AM



That s the same model I bought. I m using the yellow shells as well. I think I just have super hard concrete. It s a 1950 s house. Not sure if that makes a difference.

- PeteK

Gotcha. Well, could be the concrete, yeah. My house was built in 1926 but I’m not sure if the concrete I’m nailing into is original or not. There’s a wide range of strengths of concrete available and theoretically it continues to cure indefinitely.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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William Shelley

571 posts in 1466 days


#7 posted 02-10-2017 04:06 AM

I guess the other thing to ask, is are you putting a ton of weight behind the tool? It’s possible that if it’s not held with enough force, then a lot of energy is being lost in recoil.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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PeteK

28 posts in 638 days


#8 posted 02-10-2017 05:47 AM

I was leaning into it pretty good. I don’t think much was lost to recoil

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robscastle

4983 posts in 2201 days


#9 posted 02-10-2017 07:56 AM

up the cartridge charge

-- Regards Robert

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TopamaxSurvivor

18268 posts in 3672 days


#10 posted 02-10-2017 07:57 AM

Powder actuated tools work best in new construction where the concrete is new. I never liked them. I used a rotor hammer most of my 45 years anchoring to concrete.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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PeteK

28 posts in 638 days


#11 posted 02-10-2017 07:58 AM



up the cartridge charge

- robscastle

According to the manual, I’m using the strongest one already

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robscastle

4983 posts in 2201 days


#12 posted 02-10-2017 10:34 AM

OK I hear you,... havent used one for years.
In fact I would be surprised if you can actually buy one in Australia as you would need a firearms licence and then the hassle of buying the cartridges.

These days its a butane cartridge and a pieso trigger to operate it, from memory its a Pasode Brand

-- Regards Robert

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TungOil

930 posts in 491 days


#13 posted 02-10-2017 02:51 PM

Concrete hardness has a lot to do with how effective these powder actuated tools are. My current house has concrete block foundation walls and I can drive nails with my ramset all day without any issues. My last house had a poured concrete foundation and even with the heaviest charge I had a very hard time driving nails- they would either not set fully or would blow out the face of the concrete (or both). Sometimes coming behind the first charge with a second will drive it the rest of the way. I gave up on that tool for most work and bought a decent hammer drill and just use tap con’s now.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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JayT

5626 posts in 2207 days


#14 posted 02-10-2017 03:00 PM


Powder actuated tools work best in new construction where the concrete is new.

- TopamaxSurvivor


Concrete hardness has a lot to do with how effective these powder actuated tools are.

- TungOil

Totally agree with these two posts. A couple years ago, I spent several months working with Hilti to try and find a faster solution for a local carpet place nailing down tack strip to concrete. It was ultra high PSI concrete that had been poured in the 50’s for slab construction houses on what was then an air base. The Hi rep about drove himself nuts trying to prove that they had a good solution, but everything thrown at the concrete would just dimple it and not penetrate. There was not a single powder actuated tool or load Hilti made that would fully sink nails into the slabs.

The only solution for the carpet installers was a rotary hammer.

Sounds like the Ramset tool is working fine and you just have really hard concrete that needs a different solution.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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bigblockyeti

5112 posts in 1717 days


#15 posted 02-10-2017 03:06 PM

I have a Simpson strongtie gun that works pretty well, but it too has issues with older, really tough concrete. Working with concrete that’s not too old or firing into steel it can be a real time saver. Anything that’s achieved the kind of strength your concrete likely has is much easier to drill and use tapcons with.

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dhazelton

2767 posts in 2293 days


#16 posted 02-10-2017 03:21 PM

What was said above, they work best in green concrete. I’ve had luck putting up partition walls in a garage with a concrete floor but it depends on the concrete – some areas held fast and others blew the concrete apart. I don’t think I would trust them to hold shelving to a wall – I’d go with a freestanding unit myself.

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bondogaposis

4725 posts in 2348 days


#17 posted 02-10-2017 03:22 PM

The older the concrete, the less likely a ramset will work. It is great when it does work because it is fast and easy but sometimes other methods are required.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Kazooman

1006 posts in 1949 days


#18 posted 02-10-2017 03:26 PM

The hammer drill and tapcon screws is the way to go, but it doesn’t mean you are home free. The hammer drill can be cutting like a hot knife through butter and then it hits a big pice of aggregate. Things slow down in a hurry. On several occasions I have just quit with that hole and started over in a new spot. The other frustration can come from a piece of aggregate that you managed to drill through or just missed. The threads on the tapcons don’t like it at all. My poured walls are about forty years old and they prove to be a real challenge.

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bandit571

19977 posts in 2680 days


#19 posted 02-10-2017 03:28 PM

And, hope you don’t hit rebar on the way in….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Wright571

7 posts in 595 days


#20 posted 02-10-2017 03:38 PM

Instead of trying to nail the board to the wall, how about using construction adhesive similar to this 10.1 oz. Polyurethane Construction Adhesive
Seems like its made specifically for bonding concrete and wood. If your still concerned maybe use some regular concrete screws or the bolt/anchor in a few spots to supplement.

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RobS888

2411 posts in 1841 days


#21 posted 02-10-2017 03:52 PM

I thought concrete continues to cure forever. So the older it is the harder it is (assuming the presence of some water). My house is from the 30s and had thick concrete walls on each side of the driveway( 18 inches wide), we wanted to widen the driveway, so they had to come down. Using a 4 pound maul and cold chisel I could barely break off pea sized pieces (it took a large bobcat to knock them down), but using the same maul and chisel I could easily shape the concrete retaining blocks we put in.

My father-in-law was a general contractor, when I asked him about it 20 years back he chuckled and said concrete continues to get harder.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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JADobson

1034 posts in 2107 days


#22 posted 02-10-2017 03:57 PM



Instead of trying to nail the board to the wall, how about using construction adhesive similar to this 10.1 oz. Polyurethane Construction Adhesive
Seems like its made specifically for bonding concrete and wood. If your still concerned maybe use some regular concrete screws or the bolt/anchor in a few spots to supplement.

- Wright571

This!

I just finished my basement and used PL400 (not sure if that is available in the states: http://www.lepage.ca/en/lepage-products/construction-adhesive/pl-construction-adhesive/subfloor-adhesive.html) works great. To keep the board in place while the glue dries I drilled a 1/8” hole in the 2×4 and then switched to a 1/8” masonry bit to drill an inch or two into the concrete. Then take two 3” nails and drive them both into the hole until they jam then bend over whatever is sticking above the 2×4. This keeps it from moving around until the glue dries.

I accidently glued over a doorway and when I cut the 2×4 from the doorway I had to use a crowbar to remove the board. It took up a fair amount of concrete. These aren’t going anywhere.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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McFly

273 posts in 1024 days


#23 posted 02-10-2017 04:51 PM

Have you reset the depth setting on the side of the gun? I use one all the time and never have issues like these.

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PeteK

28 posts in 638 days


#24 posted 02-10-2017 05:33 PM

I don’t think it has a depth setting. I’m thinking I may have been a bit hasty saying the tool is total junk. I think I just have really hard concrete. But that means the tool is pretty much useless to me. I may keep it since we plan to build a new house in the future it might come in handy.

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tomsteve

783 posts in 1216 days


#25 posted 02-10-2017 06:32 PM

id suggest renting a hammer drill for the job.
or
is it possible to have the shelving unit tall enough to attach the top to the floor joists?

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corelz125

392 posts in 973 days


#26 posted 02-11-2017 01:32 AM

Best way to anchor something into concrete is a hilti kwik bolt or something like that. Those bolts can support a lot of weight. like tomsteve said rent a hammer drill and you can have it done in no time. powder actuated tools are hit and miss

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DirtyMike

637 posts in 898 days


#27 posted 02-11-2017 01:38 AM

Cut nails and a hammer?

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RogR

110 posts in 862 days


#28 posted 02-11-2017 02:31 AM

This!

I just finished my basement and used PL400 (not sure if that is available in the states: http://www.lepage.ca/en/lepage-products/construction-adhesive/pl-construction-adhesive/subfloor-adhesive.html) works great.

PL400 is available (under a different brand) @ Home Depot. I have used it to anchor interior walls where the concrete was too hard, and it absolutely will not let go – even if you set the wall and run a bead tightly down each side.

Just about any good polyurethane adhesive will bond so tightly to clean concrete that the concrete will break before the glue gives up. I often use it as insurance at door openings to prevent the drywallers from knocking the framing out of plumb.

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wuddoc

272 posts in 3714 days


#29 posted 02-11-2017 02:45 AM

Concrete hardens with age. In order to determine if a powder actuated tool would work I use to use a surface PSI tester. Maybe you could find someone who has one.

https://www.pce-instruments.com/us/index.htm?id=google-us&_artnr=2132888&_p=473&_pmode=0&_pbexkey=73&_date=20170210013836&_pbhash=3386fa940a5ea15f7efdd4af22cccd16c3922a5a702bf464021e05d050e360ca&gclid=COGB7NuBh9ICFZQ7gQodhcgB5A

-- Wuddoc

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devann

2246 posts in 2689 days


#30 posted 02-11-2017 07:29 AM

What everyone pointing out about older concrete equals harder concrete is correct. I’ve come up against the same problem you’re having Pete. I had to call my Hilti salesman and get diamond tipped pins. Even then I could only use 2” pins in 2×4s. Downward pressure. I had to build a wood deck over an old concrete porch. Not sure if diamond tipped pins are available for Ramset.

For most concrete applications, powder activated tools work best when used to pin a material (wood / metal) to concrete and then framing is applied wedging the structure into place as not to allow lateral movement of the frame.

For fastening 2×4s to a concrete wall Tapcon screws will give you better results and hold better over the long run.
You may possibly be able to rent a hammer drill. Hammer drills that use the snap in drill bits (SDS) will cost more but are actually cheaper in the long run if you have a lot of holes to drill, and the drills last longer too compared drill with a typical chuck.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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TopamaxSurvivor

18268 posts in 3672 days


#31 posted 02-11-2017 07:48 AM

Rotary Hammer is the correct name for efficient concrete drilling and anchoring. Hammer drills with a drill chuck aren’t much good for anything but a couple small holes or drilling a little cinder block.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Hermit

186 posts in 1322 days


#32 posted 02-11-2017 12:52 PM

Having worked in commercial construction, we always used red shot for what youre trying to do. It’s also best to set the nail with a hammer first so it’s almost all the way through the 2×4 before you fire. Another alternative is to rent a roto-hammer.

-- I'm like the farmer's duck. If it don't rain, I'll walk.

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corelz125

392 posts in 973 days


#33 posted 02-11-2017 12:53 PM

After you return the ramset use that refund towards a bosch bulldog. It’s a handy tool works great driving lag bolts also

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waho6o9

8189 posts in 2573 days


#34 posted 02-11-2017 02:28 PM

Never heard or thought of using my bulldog to drive lag bolts. So I looked it up.

Thanks corelz125 for the friendly advice.

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corelz125

392 posts in 973 days


#35 posted 02-11-2017 03:24 PM

I use the hf impact sockets on that attachment

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TopamaxSurvivor

18268 posts in 3672 days


#36 posted 02-11-2017 08:57 PM



After you return the ramset use that refund towards a bosch bulldog. It s a handy tool works great driving lag bolts also

- corelz125


Mine is at least 30 years old, probably a million holes and still going strong ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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runswithscissors

2751 posts in 2021 days


#37 posted 02-11-2017 09:26 PM

I bought one of HF’s pneumatic concrete nailers. Like with others, my basement walls date back to 1953, so the concrete is extremely hard. The nails simply blew out the concrete or crumpled. Not the fault of the nailer, but the fact the concrete was too hard.

Ended up drilling and using either concrete nails or screws. I was just hanging 3/4” furring strips, so was using 1/4” fasteners. The 7/32” drills for these were a big disappointment, as the carbide would break off after just a few holes, and they would bend easily also.

I tried construction adhesive, but the walls had been whitewashed, and the glue would soon let go.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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TopamaxSurvivor

18268 posts in 3672 days


#38 posted 02-11-2017 09:32 PM

A good carbide drill in a roto hammer should make lots of holes in the hardest concrete. They are a lot different that the cheapie hammer drill bits.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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tmasondarnell

83 posts in 1786 days


#39 posted 02-11-2017 10:29 PM

Just a note on concrete getting harder as it gets older.

That is true, but not the way most people think.

As concrete cures, it does get stronger. A concrete mix is rated by its compressive strength (e.g. 3000 psi, 5000 psi, etc). After 28 days from the initial pour, you are at 75% of the full rated strength of the mix. At 90 days, you are 98% of the compressive strength. After 90 days, at a diminishing rate, the concrete will continue to close the gap between 98% and 100%.

The concrete, however, will not get significantly harder after 90 days and will never be harder than the composition of the original mix. A 3000 psi mix will not become a 5000 psi mix after 20 years.

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corelz125

392 posts in 973 days


#40 posted 02-11-2017 10:45 PM

A hilti or powers sds drill bit will last many holes i drilled thru small rebar with those bits

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teejk02

481 posts in 1122 days


#41 posted 02-11-2017 10:58 PM

I tried nailing into concrete walls once and decided never again. Seems that any gap between the wood and the wall would lead to a “blowout”...further to that, older walls were poured in the forms and only hand tamped, leaving large voids around the aggregate. I leave the .22 loads now to securing floor plates.

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TopamaxSurvivor

18268 posts in 3672 days


#42 posted 02-11-2017 11:26 PM



Just a note on concrete getting harder as it gets older.

That is true, but not the way most people think.

As concrete cures, it does get stronger. A concrete mix is rated by its compressive strength (e.g. 3000 psi, 5000 psi, etc). After 28 days from the initial pour, you are at 75% of the full rated strength of the mix. At 90 days, you are 98% of the compressive strength. After 90 days, at a diminishing rate, the concrete will continue to close the gap between 98% and 100%.

The concrete, however, will not get significantly harder after 90 days and will never be harder than the composition of the original mix. A 3000 psi mix will not become a 5000 psi mix after 20 years.

- tmasondarnell

Does it become more brittle or prone to chipping?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Bill1974

124 posts in 2982 days


#43 posted 02-16-2017 03:32 PM

I would bite the bullet and rent a rotatory hammer drill for a few hours. Forget the hammer drill unless its only a couple of holes or its new or soft concrete. Then use tapcons or expanding anchors. Even if I am drilling two holes I usually take out the rotatory hammer drill, it really that much faster and sure to make it through just about any concrete. If you are drilling a lot of holes in hard concrete, a tapcon sized bit in a rotatory hammer only lasts about 75 holes. Also don’t buy the cheap bits at the borg, get the bosch or similar quality brand.

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JADobson

1034 posts in 2107 days


#44 posted 02-16-2017 04:24 PM

Forget the drills. Just glue.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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runswithscissors

2751 posts in 2021 days


#45 posted 02-17-2017 04:29 AM

I tried to glue 1/2 furring strips to my basement walls, which were whitewashed. Worked great—for a few minutes. Then the strips started falling off the walls.

Had to drill and pin. Used several types, including the blue screws and the split pins (don’t know their official name).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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bandit571

19977 posts in 2680 days


#46 posted 02-17-2017 04:38 AM

Maybe just get a large box of Redhead anchors, and be done with it?

The “gun” I used was a Hilti .28 cal.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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corelz125

392 posts in 973 days


#47 posted 02-17-2017 11:55 PM

PeteK what did you decide to go with?

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