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Pierce writes: “Apparently this rig runs pneumatic tools — the Lowe’s flyer shows a woman using a nail gun on a fence — using the big brother of the carbon dioxide cannisters used to power BB and paintball guns.  I’m eying this rig because my 26-gallon compressor is a thousand miles away — long story — but I wonder: will it drive three framing nails then sputter and die?”

We saw this during a recent trip to Lowe’s as well, and would love to hear from some of you that’ve used it.  Obviously it’s not going to handle major work, but could this be a handy addition for project work in tight spaces or where it’d be difficult to string line or a compressor?

Let us know in comments.

Portable Compressed CO2 Regulator [Lowe's]

 

83 Responses to Hot or Not? Portable Compressed CO2 Regulator/Tank for Nailers

  1. nrChris says:

    Web link? Sounds intriguing but I need more info.

  2. Chuck Cage says:

    Chris: My mistake — done!

  3. Roscoe says:

    It’s hard for me to see how the high price or inconvenience of refills would make this a viable option. There are just too many other solutions that are simpler and cheaper in the long run: pig tanks, small/portable air compressors, generators, 12V inverters, even gas-powered cordless nailers. It’s a neat invention, I’m just not able to find a practical use for it though.

  4. Stuey says:

    This looks like it would be more useful for casual airbrushing or something of the sort. If larger capacity paintball CO2 tanks are compatible with this, it could be much more appealing.

  5. Brad says:

    Good call Nate. I was wondering how hard it would be to whip one together with various paintball parts. Heck, I may have the parts sitting around. I smell a DIY project in the making.

  6. will sanders says:

    Ya know I sent this in something like a week ago..

  7. Donovan says:

    You can get hundreds of shots from a medium sized paintball tank, so I would think this would last quite a while. The other thing is that there are paintball tanks that just use compressed air, not CO2, so that would be cheaper/easier to fill.

    Donovan

  8. Jim Nutt says:

    I know I carry a 20lb CO2 cylinder along with me when off-roading. It’s got a plethora of uses, from refilling flat tires, to powering air tools. The 20lb cylinder will fill more than 20 tires and power the impact wrench to change them as well, but I don’t know how long the small little cartridges this thing uses would last. It costs about $20 to refill the 20lb cylinder and you can pick them up on ebay for about $80. The CO2 regulator can be a bit harder to find, but usually run about $40.

  9. Compressors are definitely better when power is available, but in the middle of nowhere, CO2 seems like a fine option. I’d like to see the numbers, for how long you’d have to run your engine for the alternator to make enough power to run a compressor to deliver the same pneumatic power that’s stored in 20 lbs of CO2.

    The trick is to never get stuck with an empty tank! This is where a cellphone, or in remoter areas, a VX5 and a copy of the ARRL repeater directory, might really come in handy. ;)

  10. Wayne D. says:

    Decent little niche product, but why not buy one of those Craftsmen tanks that are quite a bit larger? You could get more out of it and then refill it with one if those 12V compressors that you use to refill tires. Plus, they are only $20.

  11. Raelx says:

    You can’t compare this to a pig tank based on size. You can run 12 or 22oz CO2 tanks on this. The 22 oz tank contain 22oz (by weight) of liquid CO2. This 22oz of liquid can produce 621 gallons of gas at 125psi, or 124 5gal tanks. So in short this is much more nailing time then you could ever get out of a pig tank. And for $100 it makes all your existing air tools “cordless”.

  12. Julian Tracy says:

    I agree with the above poster – this makes all of your nail guns almost cordless.

    My buddy has the Dewalt 16ga 18volt gun – he loves it, but I use my 23ga pinner quite a bit in addition to my 18ga / narrow stapler / 16 and 15 guns as well – and using this means they can all be used like a cordless.

    I even oen the Bostich Trim-air 20lb lightweight compressor – but there are still times when I don’t feel like lugging even that into a small job and the C02 solution might be the ticket.

    I actually bought one of these a week or so ago, but have not had time to check it out just yet.

    Julian

  13. Tan says:

    I believe you numbers are off. A lb of CO2 makes about 9 cuft of gas. A 22 oz would be about 1.3lbs and would not make 621 gallons at 125psi. Some run rates are listed here.

    http://www.greenair.com/emitter.htm

  14. Jim Sutton says:

    I actually invented, and built a custom High pressure Portable unit a couple years ago, and have been working on patent and marketing issues. This Kobalt deal is a basic unit single regulator co2. My concern is liquid transfer. If it gets in your gun, kiss it goodbye. I have been told it would blow all the seals and o-rings.
    My unit is costs around 550 to produce but it is a workhorse. It can adjust from 0- 1000 psi. I can run all my guns on it and the shot per tank counts are extremely competitive. I use a scuba tank to refill it and refill the scuba at the fire station for free. I install cabinets for a living and my unit is priceless. I have’nt used a compressor since. I have sold several of my units and the guys that have them say I would have to pry it out of their cold, dead fingers to get it back.
    This technology is at the forefront of construction innovation and is the future of pneumatics. Compressors will be a thing of the past within 5-10 years.
    The beauty of the high pressure unit is that it will power all your guns, and you don’t have to buy a cordless version of every gun to compete. For the cost of a new compressor you could be cord and hose free for life.
    Something to think about.

  15. Ben Hubbard says:

    Hey Jim,

    Thank God!!! I’m not alone. I just went to lowes for a saturday project and passed the tool section. I completely flipped out when I saw the new Kobalt Portable tank. My buddy and I have an exact replica in my garage that we invented about 2 years ago. Needless to say how in shock I was when I saw my exact idea, and completed project on the shelf at Lowe’s. I probably sounded like a crazed lune when I told the cashier that I invented the product that was right over their. We did not do anything with the working model because we relized how hard it was to get a patent, and once you did, all someone has to do is change the slightest little thing and it becomes theirs. If I would’nt of found this blog I probably would have completely lost it. Youre absolutely right, it is the future of cordless. Now that I know that someone didn’t rip me off, i just may invest in that someday.

  16. [...] Hot or Not? Portable Compressed CO2 Regulator/Tank for Nailers A few companies are now offering small, high-pressure CO2 tanks with appropriate regulators designed to power low-volume pneumatic tools like nailers, and it seems as though a) readers (on the whole) like the idea, and b) some have even tried their own similar solutions with SCUBA gear.  Check out the comments on this post for more information. [...]

  17. Jim Sutton says:

    Ben Hubbard,
    I ran into a problem w/ patent because a guy in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida got a patent on the dual reg idea already. The problem is that the paintball industry has been using dual reg tech for ten years. The patent reviewer said he never saw any paintball stuff when he did his prior art research. But then he said its already a done deal but if I send him dated documentation showing the PB stuff that conflicts, he’ll pull the patent. I think Kobalt is ok though because they use a single reg and co2. This other guy has made three patent attempts, and spent well over 300,000.00 dollars to develop his unit. I built my first working prototype in two weeks. I improved it only twice to get to where it is now. I have spent maybe 1 grand in development. Mine is pretty sweet though. I’d love to see what yours looks like. The other guys you can see at http://www.turanairsystems.com. His is limited in pressure to 125 I think, and his tank is sealed to the reg, so if something on tank goes bad you have to replace the whole thing. I can use any size tank I want to. Email me and I’ll send you a pic of mine. Or you can see it on ebay item # 280092658637 . Love to talk to you, sometime.
    e-mail me at Smalliehunter@indy.rr.com.

  18. [...] Dan also mentioned (and we agree) that Lee Valley’s page (link below) “shows an admirably positive attitude towards inventors” — very apropos considering the discussion of the CO2 nailer power pack here at Toolmonger recently and the AutoWrench a while back. [...]

  19. anonymoustroll says:

    Any ideas on how to attached the same configuration to a scuba tank?

  20. Jim Sutton says:

    You would need to come up with a series of adapters to make it work. It could be done but the more joints you have, the more potential leaks. Leaks will kill this system because you are using a finite quantity of air so short hoses and exact working pressures are the keys to longevity. What are you needing air for, that you want to have so much volume available?

  21. Fred Coppersmith says:

    This looks a lot like the JacPac (JacPacCO2.com – 1-800-567-0864)

  22. Shoey says:

    Agree, looks a LOT like the JacPac unit. The Lowes model number is J-6901-100 and the JacPac is J-6901-91. Looks like a rebranded unit.

    http://www.supplierpipeline.com/jacpac_reg.asp?btype=need&products=y&workshop=y&jacmorr=y&jacpac=y&kit=y

  23. Fluffy says:

    I play in the paintball world and the my father is in the construction world so if want to do a home grown setup I recommend the Palmer Stabilizer. The link below will direct you to a Non Paintball unit desinged to fill tires from CO2 tanks but the HPA has the same ASA threads. This is one of the best regulators in the Paintball world and it will keep the CO2 out of your marker/nailer. Once the regualtor is aquired you just need to make a hose that will connect the regulator to the nailer. The regulator is adjustable via a hex wrench on the top, from 0-300 psi.

    http://www.palmer-pursuit.com/ecom/product_info.php/cPath/22_23/products_id/52?osCsid=cc70220706d5f5155a9debda73f940c4

    Have fun.

  24. jj says:

    This a sweet idea, I’m going to buy one. I do want to see how to refill it and what pressure it can put out. Having put together a CO2 tank system for compressed gas source at racetracks, this is definitely more user friendly. Sure, you can rig one together, but to buy one for $100, without the sourcing of parts, this is quite elegant. Save your energies on rigging up a refill system. 22 oz. of liquid CO2 will yield you alot of gas. The beauty of CO2 is that as a liquid, it will not drop in pressure until the liquid is depleted– it will maintain a constant pressure until the tank is empty. Compressed air cannot do the same.

  25. Jeremy Reece says:

    I Just Bought One, I Love It. It’s Portable And It Shoot’s All Of My Guns With The Same Power Of My Big Compressor.

  26. Rick says:

    Small field application. I have used the free additional filled promotional bottle that came with the unit. I do pre fab cabinet work in apartments. The only use I have for an air tool is to put up trim on the cabinets.
    Using a Bottich 2 1/8″ 18 guage brad nailer to shoot 1 1/4″ brad nails I got approxemently 280 shots out of Lowes 9 oz bottle that says it is filled to 7 oz of CO2. Less then their lab tests even for 2 1/8″ brad nails, although they stated field applications may very. Piston size and travel is not faverable to the smaller nails I use.
    My local supplier will exchance a 20lbs bottle for $16.00 dollars. One 20oz bottle that I think I can refill myself for .75 cents will place trim in 12 units in a three story building for me. Hopefully the compressor, cord and hose will stay in the truck for back up. I already have a 20lbs bottle from younger keg days and currenlty looking to spend another $100.00 for scale and refill station from paintball suppliers to refill my own smaller bottles because not many could afford to do even a home project if you have to buy filled bottles from lowes for $25 to $35 each.

  27. Graham says:

    I just purchased one of these from Lowes. It is a badged JacPac. The 9oz tank cost about $5 to refill and should last for a couple of hundred 2″ brads. For me this saves me lugging a compressor or tank around or running the hose inside the house. I can pin coving to the ceiling with ease. Great for those quick jobs. Will still use the compressor for larger jobs. The kids think it great because there is no noise which they dislike when the compressor starts up. What is best about this is I can use all of the air tools I already own. Yes I could buy other cordless versions, but this enable all the stuff I have for $100. Haven’t tried it with the 3 1/2″ nailer but if it this handles 135 roofing nails, hopefully I will get 100 out of a 9oz bottle. My other use for this is helping out friends at thier houses, now I don’t have to cart the compressor around and no more back ache!

    Note, You don’t have to buy the bottles each time. Lowes have done a deal with Blue Rhino so you can exchange empty tanks for full ($5-6 for 9oz).

  28. Robert says:

    I also go one of these and its great. I don’t have to run 200′ of line from the garage just to put up my trim. And I can still use all my nailers with it.

    Just so you guys know, you don’t have to get these tanks filled from Lowe’s. Dunhams, Walmart or anywhere that fills Co2 tanks for paintball will fill these. And it should only cost $0.25 per oz. to fill (price from Dunhams Sports).

  29. Matrix says:

    Any advice about using this to power a 3 1/4″ framing nailer for about 50 nails? I’ve got some roof sheathing to repair, and I shudder at the idea of unearthing the compressor from the garage, laying 200′ of extension cord and dragging it over. Although I realize this system wasn’t created with such a large application in mind. None the less, it sure would be convenient.

    Also, I was reading about CO2 damaging larger air tools due to freezing – seeing as I nail slowly (about a nail or two a minute), would that really ever happen?

    Thanks for any input.

  30. Mark says:

    Lowes charges $35 for a large tank but only gives you $8 credit on the tank itself. That is what the cashier at the store told me. That is extremely expensive co2 !

  31. Matrix says:

    Places like Dick’s Sporting Goods will fill a 20oz tank for $3.99.

    I bought this unit last Thursday, and so far I’m mildly satisfied with it. It does what it claims to, I’ve been driving 2 1/2″ finishing nails with my Ridgid R250AFA all weekend and blew the dust out of my computer…haven’t run out of CO2 yet.

    On the other hand, the build quality is poor. I’m used to Ridgid tools (who have outstanding quality in my opinion), and this unit can’t compare. I’m not sure if it’s how all JacPac’s are, or they lowered the quality just for these Lowes branded ones. Either way, it’s a shame.

    Will I return it? No. At least it comes with a 3 year warranty though.

  32. Jonathan says:

    Matrix, what problems are you having with the quality?

  33. Craig says:

    I run a paintball store in St. Louis, Mo. Any paintball store will fill the tanks for about $1-$5 depending on the size. A guy that sells these brought one in and it is really neat. He said he finish trimmed his whole basement on one bottle. Mine is coming today so I’ll let everyone know how it works and lasts. Also any paintball store should be able to adapt any size Co2 bottle to this unit with spare parts laying around, anywhere from 4oz. to 75lbs.(hard to carry around that last one). One reminder to every one with these is to keep the small Co2 tanks out of high temps. and direct sun. The burst disks will blow fairly easily if the pressure rises. These are also availible at PB stores.

  34. William says:

    I know I’m off topic but do you mind telling the name of you PaintBall store?

  35. Mike says:

    If you’ve bought one of these look at it closely!! I got the kit back in March/April, and have used it off and on since then, but only recently was alerted to a serious flaw!

    The burst disk on the bottle that came with my unit, did not have a vent hole in it! I noticed this when I first opened it, but figured there was some other venting for the disk…not so. I mentioned this to a paintball shop guy over the weekend, and he took a look at it. The burst disk on my tank had actually burst, but was still holding the pressure! This could have caused a very bad situation, but thankfully my tank wasn’t full, and I caught it in time. If you have one of these, check out the disk on your tanks!

  36. kt says:

    Has anyone found any spec sheets on this? I’m wondering what kind of flow rate it produces and valve size. thanks.

  37. ken says:

    I receieved the regulator about a week ago and have used it a couple of times. It works really good with my trim guns, but for some reason the tanks, which I have two, have only lasted about 75 nails each. I’m wondering if anyone else is having this problem or if I just have a faulty regulator. I’m going to exchange it for a new unit. Other than that it seems to be a great tool for small jobs

  38. jim belisle says:

    I ran into a builder 30 yrs ago that was using a regular Coke CO2 bottle with a press. regulator. He had the bottle in a back pack to transport to the roof etc. said he could do all the nailing in a 3000 sq ft house on one tank but what about using it with a spray paint gun ?????

  39. scott mccutcheon says:

    Ken, You are not alone in thinking that you are the only not getting a lot of nails per tank. I did exchang it for another unit and got the same results both times. The only differance is the second unit came with a empty tank.The first did’t have a tank at all.Im going to call the company and voice my concerns.

  40. Lee Berry says:

    I’m slow to catch the excitement of these units-but getting there. FYI–Nailers
    brad guns etc. require MINIMAL VOLUME of a GAS (compressed air etc.) at
    around 100-120 PSI–to fire 1 shot–around a fraction of a SCFM-(Standard Cubic FT/Min). A DA sander or impact wrench , paint guns etc. need 4 to 8
    SCFM or more to run–way to much for bottled gas in small, portable sizes even though they pack a lot of gas due to their high pressure. Any attempt to
    run a nailer etc. on the unregulated pressure of CO2 would DESTROY the gun
    and probably your face in the process. Also note that the VOLUME of CO2 at
    refill VARIES with temp-hence variable production.–27 years fluid power exp.

  41. Leslie Wong says:

    Anybody ever use this with an impact air wrench? I don’t have a compressor or an air wrecnh but when working on my car, sometimes an impact wrench would be handy.

  42. environazi says:

    Hate to rain on everyones parade but wouldnt compressed O2, even with its limitations, be better than liquid CO2 concidering its enviromental impact. So you need an extra tank or two to do a job at least you can still LIVE.
    Life wasn’t meant to be easy!

  43. There’s a huge problem with compressed O2 – it’s explossive. But then again, without life, one does not breathe, and without breathing, there’s no CO2 exhalation. (I know, I know, I have a lousy sense of homor.)

    Compressed gas requires special safety precautions as it is. There are some paintball guns with electronic componentry, and a lot of metal grinding is done with air tools. The reason compressed air works is because air is (correct me if I’m wrong) 81% nitrogen, which makes it relatively inert.

    Nitrogen or Argon could be alternative choices, but they cost a lot more to produce. The compression and containment of these gases might in fact require more resources and produce more waste than CO2 compression would.

    By all means, it’s alright to rain on a parade if doing so enlightens the audience. However, to make bold suggestions, one should provide references and supportive evidence. If these are unavailable, then it might be better to avoid drawing a debate.

    I spent about 10 minutes googling and have been unable to find any reference regarding how a bulk CO2 tank is filled.

    However, given the prices of other gases vs. CO2, the later’s production process is unlikely to be complex, which if true, would suggest a smaller environmental impact compared to alternative gas compression.

    For an easy way to see what I mean, consider solar cells. Sure solar cells convert solar radiation to electrical power, but the production of a large efficient array uses more enegy than could be saved by its operation during a reasonable amount of time (we’re talking about decades here).

    Although I’m certainly not implying that all environmentalists are naive, there are some that like to preach blindly. Please avoid falling into that category.

  44. Voice of Reason says:

    CO2 is taken from the atmosphere hence there is no net gain or loss from the atmosphere. It’s also reasonably easy to obtain so less energy is used to obtain it than other gasses as Stuart suggests.

    Just goes to show that people who have no grasp of science and/or engineering should just shut up about the environment before they break something.

  45. Jim says:

    I work at a welding shop which also has a fire extinguisher and paintball line of items which I deal with. We have been using CO2 for a long time on 15-20lb CO2 tanks with our framing nailer. It works great and it is so much more quieter. These new systems are pretty slick looking. We have smaller cryogenic CO2 tanks at our shop. We use these to mostly fill smaller 100, 50, 20, 15, 10, and 5lb CO2 tanks. When filling CO2 is transferred in a liquid form. So therefore it is done by weight. Weigh the cylinder you are filling when it is empty, add the tank size weight and that is the weight you fill it to.

  46. Josh says:

    Hey guys… Has anyone had any trouble with the regulator not sealing all of the way. I have had two of the regulators do this and i am very conserned. The first time an in-line pressure gauge read over 160psi which is the max pressure the gauge read to and the regulator was supposedly closed. I returned it and got a new one but is starting to do the same thing only slower. If you havn’t had trouble with it i would suggest using a pressure gauge st some point in the line so you know the exact pressure. Other wise this is an extreamly cool product. I have three 9oz tanks and a 24oz tank the i can have filled at Academy Sport and Outdoors for $2 for the 9oz and like $3.50 for the 24oz. I’m using it with pneumatic potato cannons and it works great.

  47. Nismo812 says:

    I help run a paintball setup at a summer camp. This would be a great addition for anyone who doesn’t want the combersome use of luging around a compreaasor for medium to small jobs.

    To fill our paintball tanks we lease a 50lb tank from a welding supply co. for $80 a year then buy the contents (the CO2) for $20 each time we need it refilled. with this all I need do is refill the small tanks myself for the paintball guns. Same thing as the nailgun tanks for this kit.

    CO2 is different than compressed air because it shrinks alot when compressed and expands alot more when released. Therefore you get alot of shot from one 20oz tank (around 1500) and the same number of nail shots with the nailgun setup.

  48. Seth.R says:

    for all those wondering about spray painting.I don’t think it would have the volume and probably would freeze up the gun and paint.

  49. nick.r says:

    i also play paintball and am suprised nobody has mentioned the hp nitro tanks that eveybody uses in paintball nowadays. i use a 68 cubic inch carbon fiber tank that can be filled with compressed air or nitrogen and will hold 4500 PSI of air, alot! you get no liquid in your tools and can be filled for free or at the most $3 at any scuba shop or fire dept. it is regulated at the bottle to 700 psi, same as co2, same threads as co2. its the way to go.

  50. Donald says:

    I’m getting the Kobalt Portable Compressed CO2 Regulator in a few weeks. Was check specs at Lowe’s, and cost of re-filling tanks. Our Lowe’s will swap the empty tank for a full tank at no charge! I was very surprized, the manager said it was an option all Lowe’s had, but only the smaller ones were doing it.
    Another thing to keep in mind – air tools need oil. Might be good idea to attach a portable oiler at the end of the air line. I can’t wait till I have one. It will help a great deal around the farm.

  51. Stuart says:

    Free air swaps is a pretty convincing way to get more people to buy the CO2 system! When I checked my local store a few months ago, they had an offer to bring back empty tanks for a ~75% discount on a new one.

  52. Daniel says:

    I’m new to the C02 idea, but it sounds great. I only use my compressor on occassion, and was wondering if I just unscrew the cannister from the regulator between sessions, or if it needs to stay connected? How long will the C02 last, or will it leak out once you’ve used it to nail a few things?

  53. James says:

    environazi, #### you. Plants need CO2 to live. You have no evidence to support your statement. CO2 is a naturally occuring compound, you dumb ####. If you’re so concerned with someone’s CO2 output, go kill yourself. And don’t post crap like that on benign websites. There’s some material for your blog.

  54. Mark says:

    Actually you could use ANY scuba tank the same way for much less. You could go anywhere from a 5000psi interspiro spun composite tank that holds 100cuft which are incredibly light, or scuba tank from 120 down to 13 cuft at 3000 psi. Both first stage regulators can be easily detuned down to 75 – 100 psi for pneumatic tool usage.

    It’s what I used when I first set myself up in the trim business. I had just quit teaching scuba and same shop where I taught to this day (8 years later) gives me free air fills which is nice. But to buy would be around $6. A standard 80 would last my 18 gauge nailer all week. Air leaks are a definate killer of any such system.

    BTW, the 5000 psi system mentiones would have to be filled at your local firestation. Most will do it as long as the tank has a current hydro and visual inspection for just a small donation to the department.

  55. Damon says:

    Ok… this unit is designed to eliminate hauling a compressor around for projects or to sites, where a hundred shots takes care of business. It hold a lot more power than compressed air. I have moved my compressor hundreds of times, my back hurt just typing that, when I only need it for 30 shots. The co2 tank here is lighter than the combined weight of the three guns I bring with me…. You can probably get a 100 gallon tank for it but defeats the purpose of what this specific unit is all about. This is a compliment to a compressor!! If you are at a site for weeks, bring your compressor! If you are going to a site to do a days worth of trim or such, use your new co2 tank. It is similar to a cordless drill battery, sometimes I take one battery to a site, sometimes two, if I am going to do a lot of work with it I bring the charger….. (the charger would be your compressor in this case for those of you not following me) If you are dealing with heavy demand, bring that old plug in drill that can handle anything. Don’t expect to be sand/bead blasting or spraying a house with a freaking hip mounted co2 tank!!! This is an awesome addition to my two compressors, one is huge, one is small and now this! But it has it’s place! Embrace it’s particular beauty if you are tired of moving a compressor for a day of work!!!

  56. The Lowes unit is a nice little unit for the DIY user. I have one for research (already broke it though). The inexpensive regulator inside the plastic housing is a basic single stage diaphram design. They work well as long as they are working. The typical problem is that there are two main areas that fail; the seat weak seat assembly or the diaphram. Usually the seat assembly failure is due to minute debri contamination and often causes the daiphram to blow or it will blow the weakest downstream part (hose, tool, pressure release valve). A previous blogger mentioned his regulator not holding pressure. He has a bad seat assem. Once this happens your regulator must be exchanged or thrown away. Power Tank now offers a construction version of their popular automotive SuperFlow regulator that fits all CO2 bottles with a #323 (paintball style) bottle. We do NOT use a diaphram and our seat assemblies do not hold debri. There is also a built-in pressure release valve to protect any downstream components up to 200 PSI (typical max pressure of nail guns). http://www.powertank.com/products/sfID1/34/productID/223 Our Construction Series is truly designed by builders for professional builders and come with a limited lifetime warranty on the regulators. The link shows a hard case for our Sidearm Kit. This is now being replaced with a nylon tool bag which makes put-away time faster, lasts longer and fits easier in the Knack Box. It’s not as cheap as the Kobalt but will work like a Rigid.

  57. George F. Stiefel says:

    I bought one about a year ago and have found it indispensable for interior finish work (moulding). The only problem I have had with the unit is that the blue air hose blew out one day last week while just sitting there. I am now trying to find where to get another one. It works great and improves mobility 1000%. Getting the tanks refilled, though, is another issue. Here in Texas, Academy Sports refills the tanks. I just bought 8 more large tanks so that I don’t run out of gas before I get back to Academy. It sure beats the heck out of hoses and air compressors and it will run practically any air tool.

  58. Simon says:

    I bought the Kobalt a few days ago and used it this weekend to install base boards and crown molding in a 12″ x 12″ room. It worked very well but I do have some comments. Overall it is good for me – an occasional DIYer in a condo – but some lessons here. The back of the box lists the specs and capability, from a few hundred to many hundred nails on a 9 oz tank. I found that the 9 oz tank was good for only about 60-80 nails (not 675 as advertised). That got me through all the base board and 1/4 of the crown molding. I’m using a Porter Cable finish nailer with 16 gauge 2.5″ finish nails, at about 80 psi. Still new with the tool, I think I lost a small amount of pressure hooking up and unhooking the setup. It didn’t seem like much hiss at the time but 3-4 times (the initial playing around with a new toy, and then initial setup, breakdown overnight and set up the next morning) must have added up. Still it seems like too few nails. My lesson and recommendation is to preserve the gas and treat it like the finite resource that it is. Set it up quick with minimal pressure loss! (Also the instruction manual recommends a process to bleed the air out of the system prior to switching tools, and I did this for the overnight breakdown, but I must have lost at least 5% maybe 10% of capacity doing this!) Its probably a good idea to get two tanks and always have a full one as backup. Another observation is to watch the pressure. As you use the tool the pressure drops slightly and after ten nails you went from 80 psi to 60 or so and you have to dial up the regulator again. If you don’t notice the regulator then the half-sunk nails will remind you. A compressor will automatically repressurize. I seemed to do a lot of clean up with maybe 25% of the nails needing to be punched in with a hammer after I was done with the nailer. Lowes was helpful and switched out my tank easily when I ran back in the middle of my project. A new 9 oz is $25, and taking in the old one I got a rebate of $19, so it will be just $6 for a new 9oz tank in exchange from here on. They don’t refill it, they just swap it out. The new 20oz tank is $32 I think and so I might just switch up to that one next time. The size of the 9oz was OK and comfortable but going up and down a ladder with a rig swinging on your hip can be awkward in tight corners, especially with a nailer in one hand and a piece of molding in the other. At the end of the weekend I realize it is not quite all I hoped for but works well, simpler, quiet, and convenient as long as I have enough gas. I’ll definitely keep it and use it for finishing or furniture projects.

  59. jason says:

    possiblities of using this for occasional model airbrushing, any comments.

  60. Steve Anderson says:

    I have been through about 5 of these in one year. I am a commercial user, i carry 90lb of co2 in my truck. these regs are junk and somewhat dangerous as they fail and put a tremendous amount of pressure into the line. sometimes the “burst disc” on the line works, sometimes its the seals in your gun that save you. this is a tremendous idea, but i am looking for something safer!

  61. Steve Anderson says:

    guess i will buy that power tank outfit and let ya’ll know how it works out!

  62. [...] Re: CO2 Power for Pneumatic nailers Found a link to a forum discussing this thing. It actually raises a few more questions than it answers and there is more stuff here than I have time to read. [...]

  63. MIke Santos says:

    OK guys, here we go. The real deal about Co2 powered pneumatics. Your equipment as well as the regulators will fail. There is no way to stop this. The constant freezing and thawing of seals as well as the, for lack of a better term “Dirty Gas” , makes failures inevitable. I am a certified airsmith in the paintball industry so i have delt with Co2 for many years. As you may have read in one of the earlier posts, the Liquid Co2 poses a serious threat. This guy isnt kidding. The liquid will destroy seals very very quickly as well as cause serious pressure spikes in output pressure if the regs are not high quality and Co2 friendly. No the things will not kill you. The tanks themselves will NOT rupture. They are rated FAR FAR FAR above the actual operationg temps of the gas used in them. If anything fails the gas will simply Vent from the failed seal or if a Co2 tank is over filled the burst disc (a one time use safty port) will blow and simply vent the gas. Yes it will be loud and will give you a cold burn if you are stupid enough to try to cover the venting liquid Co2 with your bare hand. ;oP If you are SEARIOUS about building a rig that will not fail and is easily refillable on the spot you should invest in HPA systems from the paintball industry. These are small 48, 68- 114cu inch tanks by volume and hold 3000-4500 psi of pressure. These puppies have tiny built in regulators cappable of regulating as low as 90 psi consistantly. All of the adjustable types sport 1/8th npt threads on the output side and are easily filled off of scuba tanks. These air systems are fiber wrapped vessels and the entire system weighs in at about 2 lbs. They are easily mounted to nailguns so there are NO hoses what so ever. Not even a tank on your back or side. I made a rig for my friend who does roofing. Imagine being able to nail upside down and not have to drag hoses around. No tripping hazards. The best thing about HPA systems when compared to the Co2 is that the gas is Clean. It will never hurt your guns/equipment. In fact it is far superioor than the air you use from a normal compressor which takes moisture from the atmosphere and stuffs it through your equipment. Scuba air or comprssed nitrogen (either will work in the systems i am describing and are readily available from Paintball and scuba shops accordingly) are completly dry. Anyhow… I guess i am done ranting. You can find these systems on ebay or any paintball retailer. Online simply search for Paintball Air system or Paintball HPA systems. If you have any questions you can try and reach me at taperunner4@yahoo.com I hope this helps someone… anyone… oh please because im tired of typing and if this was all for no reason at all im gonna shoot myself with my hoseless nailgun! :OD

    Mike

  64. Gas Guru says:

    I just stumbled onto this thread and I felt the need to correct Mr. Santos. 1. CO2 is tough on regulators – I agree although if designed correctly the life expectancy of a CO2 regulator can be greatly extended to last for many years. Like a good nail gun, make the regulators fully rebuildable (see Power Tank) and this is not an issue. 2. Not all CO2 is is “dirty”. In fact, nearly all CO2 sold nowadays is acceptable to push beer and softdrinks which means it is food grade clean. 3. CO2 is not detrimental to o-rings. Read again how guys have been using homemade CO2 systems with their air tools for decades as I have without a single tool failure. I spoke with an Hitachi engineer and he had no issues with using CO2 in their guns. 4. CO2 is easily refilled and far safer to fill than HPA (high pressure air) as pressures are far lower (2k-4.5k psi vs. 800 psi). There is simple equipment available now that allows you to refill CO2 right on your tailgate. 5. We researched fiber wrapped tanks and they were found to be too fragile for our construction environment. It was too easy to chip the surface which forced the bottle out of service and at the high cost of this type of bottle ($150-$250) it was not worth the slight weight savings of a few ounces. And if I dropped the bottle from a ladder or roof I’d much rather drop a $40 low pressure CO2 bottle than a $150 high pressure HPA tank. Another advantage of CO2 over HPA was mentioned previously in this thread. This is that CO2 provides a constant bottle pressure which means you’ll get a more consistent nail shot without having to adjust your regulator. As far as mounting the gas botle to the gun, in my opinion adding 2 lbs. to my nailgun that I have to lift for hours at a time is 2 lb. too much. I prefer using a lightweight hose and carrying the 2-3 lb. on my belt.

  65. Bob Ferguson says:

    This is an extremely handy tool for me, but I have problems keeping a seal between the bottle and the regulator. The first unit I got worked great the first two or three times I used it. After that, I had serious leakage around the connection between the bottle and the regulator. I replaced the o-ring on the bottle as advised by the manual, but this had no effect. Eventually I returned the regulator to Lowes where they courteously gave me a replacement unit. My experience with the new one was identical: it worked fine the first time or two, but then started leaking badly. I don’t see any damage to the connectors, and have tried replacing o-rings repeatedly; even tried a different CO2 bottle. Has anyone else had this problem?

  66. Tony says:

    Am I glad I found this thread–I was beginning to think I was imagining things! I bought the Kobalt CO2 Regulator at Lowes, and it has been very handy on a few of my small jobs, but the problems have FAR outweighed the benefits! I returned the first one I bought, because the knob broke, and wouldn’t shut the valve. Now, after less than a hundred nails with the replacement, I too can’t get a good seal between the bottle and the regulator. In addition, when I tried to attach a new bottle the other day, ALL the CO2 leaked out, before I even got to open the regulator. Is this a case of poor engineering, or is this operator error?

  67. [...] &#84ool&#109onger » Blog &#65rc&#104ive » Hot or Not? Port&#97ble Comp&#114esse&#100 CO2 … [...]

  68. Bob Ferguson says:

    I wrote to JacPac about the sealing problem, and was advised to place a second o-ring inside the regulator connector, flat across the bottom. I’ve tried this a couple of times now and it seems to work perfectly.

  69. Josh says:

    This could be a good alternative to those cans of compressed air for use on electronics. I work on computers alot and those cans of air get costly real quick.

  70. lee says:

    To the person complaining about the seal not working, jerks the deal:

    I purchased a new tank and regulator from lowes at 1/2 price on a black Friday special.
    Never opened the unit until recently.

    Mine had a brand new tank with a new gasget.
    When I hooked it up and tried it, it worked for about 5 mins before the gasget started leaking.

    I brought it. Back to LOWES, and there, we went through a Total al of 4 sets of regulators and c02 bottles which all leaked immediately.

    Finally I noticed a little bag of firmer black gaskets in the newer model of the regulator than the old ver.

    After placing the new black gasket on the tank, it worked.
    The original white gasket that comes with the tank is 100% useless.

    The reason the original brand new tank lasted 5 mins but the replacement tank tried at LOWES didn’t even last that long is because they no longer have new ones.
    They “look” new but they are not. They have all been refilled, and as a result, the already crappy white gaskets are totally ruined (stretched and weakened) during the recharge process.

  71. Jason Dunn says:

    Oh man this is hilarious. I just went through the exact same thing at Lowe’s two days ago. They repalced my original tank (which lasted for years), but didn’t give me any o-rings. Tanks kept fizzing as I screwed them on. I had them open another one, same thing.

    So the guy calls the customer support number on the box. They mention the black o-rings. They said not to use the milky white o-rings that my paintball store sells. So we put one black o-ring on the tank and another inside the compressor. Problem solved.

    The compressor tends to blow out the o-ring when I remove the tank though. I found some detailed info about different o-rings and their suitability for use with CO2. Here’s the link.

    http://www.oringsusa.com/html/paintgun.htm

    I’ll quote the most interesting part below.

    “Hardware store o-rings are generally of two different materials: ethylene propylene (EP) or nitrile (buna N). They are both black, and unless it states on the package, you can’t tell which is which. The problem is this – EP o-rings are NOT compatible with CO2 or ATF. EP o-rings used anywhere in a paintball gun will swell horribly and become unusable very quickly. If your o-rings are swelling like this, they’re probably EP.”

    I’m going to call Kobalt and find out the dimensions of these o-rings. I also want to find out if they’re Nitrile (buna N), etc…

  72. Jason Dunn says:

    Oops I meant they replaced my original regulator, not tank. Luckily we only opened one more kit before the guy called and found out about the o-rings. That’s pretty funny that you made them open four.

  73. Brandon Piper says:

    So to all of you wondering about this thing, it pretty much uses a paintball gun’s co2 tank, it will fit up to the 20 OZ bottle… and by the way the 35 dollars that LOWES is charging for the bottle is F”NG highway robbery… you can pick up a 20 oz online new for 20 bucks and maybe spend 5 bucks tops on a refil…. and to fix the oring problem you cant use the black orings, they have to be the white ones, you can pick them up at academy or somewhere that sells paintball equipment or online. A tip to not blow out the orings is when youre unscrewing the tank, use something to relieve the pressure at the output side of it and it wont blow orings every time. And does anyone know what the max psi is for the kit? I talked to the hardware guy at lowes and he told me the tanks ran a couple hundered…. not true lol they run 1200 psi… the reason i ask is because its alot cheaper to use this kit for a Train Horn on my truck versus paying 300 bones for the compressor and tank kit…. any suggestions? Thanks!

  74. easye says:

    Did anyone else notice that Northern Industrial has a similar unit.

    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200385985_200385985#

  75. Jon Wells says:

    Has no one else had a problem with temperature? In a truck bed in a Texas summer the burst discs will blow every time – and they cost more than a gas refill! There should be along with the product, a suggested fill to a lower pressure for very hot weather.

  76. The cap says:

    Does any one no of u can run an hpa tank on this or is it only co2. Hpa / nitrus is a better ges and is cheaper.

  77. Shepherd Jim says:

    I got one of these for Xmas 2011 and have not yet had the chance to try it out.

    My only input is to report that here in Midcoast Maine CO2 refillers are scarce. My most local Sports/diving/paintball store (Johnson’s, Brunswick ME — 45 mins from me) refills the small (9 – 20 oz) tanks for paintballers — $7.50/refill, regardless of tank size — I guess the boss figures the biggest expense is the time/labor of the sales associate.

  78. cory says:

    I have one of these and love it. If you don’t want to drag a hose. 200 ft to pop in a few brads or nails it is awesome. You do need to change the o-ring everything,e you change a tank but you can buy a bagof 20 at any paint ball place. I fill a tank at dunhams for 15 cents an ounce and a 24 oz tank was enough to do all the young and groove in my sauna and change room. Probably close to 1000 3 inch brads. I’ve had mine for about 6 years Nd just broke it dropping it of the roof while installing facia and it’s no lomger available on lowes.com I hope there is one on the shelf there tomorrow. If anyone knows of another brand or where I can get another kobalt please let me know

  79. Frank says:

    I have built several systems that do everything listed above and more…. Currently we use my system for critical resin applications and general spray painting needs… This site is new to me.I have other products being developed for racing applications and other automotive apps… Seems like an inventors forum….

    Frank

  80. Scott says:

    Great for nailing stops in a closet when the hose won’t fit under ther door. A 20oz co2 tank will trim 2 rooms casing, base and crown but the regulators are cheap and not very durable.

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