Rather than trying to guess what various tradesmen and consumers will want to buy together (and then creating a zillion different “kits”), Hitachi’s trying something new — simply offering what amounts to volume discounts on purchases of a broad category of tools. In this case, they’re trying out the idea with compressors and nailers. This strikes us as a great idea.
Here’s how it works: when you buy Hitachi’s EC510 compressor, you automatically get 20% off the price of one of five finish nailers. (See below for the full list.) If you buy two of the nailers, you get 30% off the package. If you buy three, you get 40% off the package. It’s a “roll your own” kit.
Of course, the tool selection remains important, regardless of which ones you pick.
The EC510 6-Gallon Pancake Compressor
This is a pretty standard pancake compressor, oil-free and capable of delivering 2 CFM @ 90 PSI — essentially what you’ll need for running a couple of medium-use finish nailers. Additionally, it offers an “easy-turn” drain valve. Hitachi includes a 25′ 1/4″ diameter PVC hose and a 1/4″ NPT plug and coupler as well. Lowe’s price: $189.
The NT65MA4 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer
As you might guess from the angled configuration, this nailer is meant for limited-space/awkward situations like installing crown moldings, lattice, and staircases. Features include selectable single and contact actuation, tool-less depth and air-outlet direction settings, and an air duster. Lowe’s price: unavailable online.
The NT65M2(S) 16-Gauge Finish Nailer
This nailer delivers much the same feature set as the MA4, but with a straight nail configuration. Lowe’s price: unavailable online.
The NT50AE2 2″ 18-Gauge Finish Nailer
You’re probably recognizing a theme here. Same feature set, but designed for 5/8″ up to 2″ 18-gauge fasteners. Lowe’s price: unavailable online.
The N3804AB3 Narrow Crown Stapler
Similar, but designed for staples. (It holds up to 130 of ’em at a time.) This one includes a factory-installed air fitting, though. Lowe’s price: unavailable online.
The NP35A 23-Gauge Micro Pin Nailer
This one features a fixed rear exhaust, but adds a dual trigger system that allows you to easily hold and fire it in a variety of different ways. Plus, hey: 23-gauge nails are t-i-n-y — perfect for, say, tacking trim together so you don’t have to clamp it while waiting for glue to dry. Lowe’s price: unavailable online.
We’d love to comment more on the deal as a whole, but without the price of the nailers it’s pretty hard to compare. The best we can do is compare Lowe’s price on the compressor ($190) to what we find online, which is $242 at Sears and $190 on Amazon [What’s This?]. (We did note some cheaper prices via Google, but they looked to be either shady or refurbs, which don’t compare.) If the same kind of pricing holds true of the tools, the indicated discounts would represent pretty much the kind of discount one would expect in kit form.
Like we said up top, this strikes us as a great idea. We could easily see a trim guy buying a 23-ga and a 16-gauge along with a compressor as a kit. We hope this idea takes off and catches on with other manufacturers, too. What we’d really love to see? A Milwaukee roll-your-own M12 kit.