Proposal to purchase Raptor plastic nailgun system for CNC

Looks like the Redhawk gun doesn’t offer as many sizes as the gun you listed. I believe Omer has a cheaper gun too that is similarly limited to 1.5"

Yes the Raptor 17P.32 is the cheaper one (still $262) with a capacity of up to 1-1/4" compared to the RedHawk FN15S for $188.
My feeling is that the Raptor is the “nicer” one but the RedHawk is 1/2 the cost.

So is there a need/desire to be able to go up to 2-1/4" nails? That would steer to the Raptor.

I believe it’s nice to have the capability to do so if we ever wanted. We could not get so many sizes of the nails and save around the same price differences on the guns, if we wanted to pinch pennies I would prefer it would be on the ammunition(as we could always get these individually or later) and not the gun(as once we get it we can’t just upgrade 6 months later).

Typical size for a board seldom goes much above 3/4". This goes for both the plywood we’ve been running through the CNC, and general project boards from the big box stores (say if you bought some oak). If you want to get really fancy you can get 1"-2" stuff from Frank Paxton, but that’s getting pretty specialized.

So at 3/4", even a 1" nail is 1/4" into the spoil board. If we need more capacity than that it seems like we should be thinking about another solution to hold down the piece.

Slight digression, but Frank Howath has a video of him doing a vertical clamping on his CNC. It basically allows him to do board edges and the like. That would be the sort of situation where that extra 2 1/4" might be useful, but his solution allows for much much longer pieces.

I’m also thinking that Coy is correct about the 15 ga nailer. I’m not seeing an commercially available nail guns at 15 ga that don’t have an angle. The Omar appears to be pretty unique in that regard. OTOH I’m not seeing a downside to 18 ga, but I am seeing lots of upside.

Wish I could remember to add the link. Here’s the video in question.

I know others have varying opinions on how they make decisions. I made mine because that was the size (gauge) gun that CNC Router Parts sells, the size that the salesman said most CNC people use, and the size that people in the forums I visit had. I just didn’t have the energy to try proving all those people wrong.

This isn’t about “proving all those people wrong”. We are just looking around for the different options.
Can’t do any harm to talk about it and see what’s available.
We can’t buy anything for two weeks anyway so there is no harm is discussion.
I’ll put Coy down for the 15g Raptor gun. (noted in notebook)
Everyone else feel free to look around more and leave more notes in this thread.

When I use the CNC almost all of my “boards” (solid wood) are 3/4" to 1.5". For me it would be very useful to have the ability to hold those down with a deeper capacity. But at the same time, I could also just use regular nails for the thicker ones, as I have been doing this far.

I think you misunderstood my reply. I was only speaking to why I chose the gun that I did. I have no opinion at all in what we choose as a group.

I agree with Elly that nails longer than 1" are very useful if one is using solid wood.

I’ll also mention that, in my experience, having only 1/4" of a nail (well several nails) holding a 3/4" board down
tends to fail if one is using a 1/2" mill on the material.

So, again, if it’s Raptor nails, I’d go for the 15ga. gun.

If the big gun is not going to be used much, I say screw it.
Um, that is, use screws to hold down the project…

I have a 16 ga finish nail gun I can bring in if we want to test those size brads. From what I can tell on the wiki, the hive has two 18 ga nailers.

This guy seems to think that the 16/18 ga stuff will work in any gun, but the 15 ga stuff will not. Might explain the Tech Shop’s porter cable nailer working correctly.

Seems to be little risk to getting a box of the 16/18 ga stuff, and seeing what happens.

FWIW Coy I wasn’t saying you were wrong, but rather expressing disappointment I couldn’t find more information. Seems like a very niche product, which is disappointing, since I like to read reviews from real users when I buy tools. Just too easy for the “professionals” to take a nice kick back, and give the consumer a poor review. While I know there’s some review shenanigans going on on like Amazon, usually forumites aren’t shrills.


I think it’s good others have chosen to take their time to research this. I only gave my opinion on what drove my decision. I guess the other thing that helped me decide more quickly was that I knew it would be nice to have to replace the spoil-board. I preferred that we not use the metal nails again. I’ve ruined a few bits. One on my very first time using it.

So I’m getting the vibe that the longer nails would be an advantage.
This steers us toward the big Raptor.

The smaller guns can do up to 1-1/4", if that meets our needs, it could save some cash.

Very few choices are black and white.

I personally like nice tools but I believe I need to be judicious with other people’s money.

Please continue doing research and looking into options. I’d like to come to a decision before the vote in two weeks.

We could get some 1-1/4" nails and see if our gun can drive them and they can meet our needs. Minimal risk.



Or the 15 ga Red Hawk at $188 vs $314.

Yes but that one only goes up to 1-1/2" long nails. (Which may be OK)

One potential problem (maybe Coy has experience with this) is that
we want the spoil board to stay put through many uses, for which these nails are fine, but
we want to remove our project at the end of the run.

The website boasts that the nails “melt slightly upon insertion into the substrate… (creating) a strong mechanical bond between the fibers of the substrate and the fastener.”

Does this mean chunks of project board are going to be left stuck to the spoil board?
Or that we need to chisel off the nail heads after removing the project waste?

Anyone know?

I’m sure Coy is more familiar with this, but it looks like a stiff tap in the plane of the spoilboard will shear off the nails. You will leave a bit of the nail in the spoilboard so it will theoretically fill up with nail pieces, but I bet that is way down the road.

Interesting idea.

The instructible’s link shows the guy hitting the side of the project board with a dead blow hammer to break the connection.

Instructables also says they work better on softer materials.

That suggests we’ll need a list of woods & materials that require alternate fasteners.
(Hard maple? Aluminum? etc.)

And that we’ll still need alternate fasteners, e.g., screws.

But it does sound like a nice way to save the mills much of the time.

From everything I have been reading, They have good bonding strength and decent vertical strength, but have a very high shear value. Hence why it will hold pieces in place for CNC’ing but will pop right off with a hit to the side with a hammer.