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Our simple guide to screws and bolts

There are so many varieties of screws and bolts that sorting through them all can be something of a headache. That said, we’re always up for a challenge, so we’ve put together this handy guide to everything with a thread.

Types of screws and bolts:

  1. Wood screws

Sharp-tipped screws for use in wood. Outdoor varieties include stainless steel, zinc-coated, and Japanned.

  1. Decking screws

For fastening outside decking. Covered in a waterproof coating to protect them from the weather.

  1. Coach screws

For fixing large, heavy pieces of structural wood. Masonry use requires a pre-drilled hole and a plug. They have a hex head that is turned with a socket or wrench.

  1. Carriage bolts

These bolts have a rounded head and a square anti-spin shoulder. Used in fastening timber, they’re turned with a socket or wrench.

  1. Drywall screws

Specially made to be used in plasterboard. These have a trumpet-shaped ‘bugle’ head that goes into the board without tearing up the exterior.

  1. Machine screws

Straight-shanked and shaped like a bolt. Slotted head is turned with a screwdriver. Pre-drill a hole to provide a strong fastening.

  1. Roofing bolts

Mushroom-headed bolts used for fixing roofing and guttering. Double slotted with a square nut.

  1. Self-tapping screws

These create their own thread as they are being driven. Often used for fixing metal. Stainless steel or zinc-plated self-tappers are recommended outdoors to prevent rusting.

  1. Tek screws

Drill point enables them to tap their own hole. Used in sheet metal and cladding. Usually hex-headed or Pozi-headed. Also available with a bonded washer to create a water-tight seal for outdoor applications.

  1. Hex bolts

Hex-headed bolts with a partial thread. A popular choice in construction and machinery. Tighten with a socket or wrench. Also available as fully-threaded hex set screws.

  1. Concrete screws

Self-tapping screws for concrete, brick, and masonry, they don’t require a wallplug. Hex-headed; use a socket driver or wrench to turn them.

  1. Blue concrete screws

These specially-treated concrete screws are resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for long-term outdoor use.

  1. Socket screws

The head contains an internal hex connection that is driven with a socket. They’re handy for when a lack of space makes screwing difficult.

  1. Security screws

Designed to stay put permanently, these non-reversible screws feature a special head that can only be turned clockwise.

  1. Mirror screws

These come with a chrome cap that covers the head once installed to provide an attractive finish. Used in mirrors and glass.

We stock a wide range of screws and bolts for all your fixing and fastening needs. If you have any more questions, our team is always happy to help, so get in touch at our Redhill store.

DeWALT Demo Day – June 21st 2019

Don’t miss our exclusive DeWALT Demo Day on Friday June 21st!

We’ll have all the latest new DeWALT products and will be doing demonstrations in store. Plus there will be special offers on the day:

  • 4 Customer Experience days to be won
  • Buy any Flexvolt kit and claim a FREE XR Flexvolt 6Ah battery
  • Spend £400 and get a FREE 4Ah 18v battery
  • Spend £500 and get a FREE 5Ah 18v battery
  • Spend £600 and get a FREE 6Ah 18v battery
  • Spend £900 and get a FREE 9Ah 18v battery

 

The 7 most important tools for self-builders

Do you aspire to live in a home built with your own two hands? Or do you just like the idea of making a tidy profit from building a house and selling it on?

If maximising profit is the prime goal of your self-build, the more time you spend doing jobs yourself, the more money you save on labour. Your level of expertise will determine how much you need to rely on professionals, but there are plenty of jobs that even a novice builder can undertake themselves. Of course, you’ll need the right tools to tackle them.

Here’s a list of the most essential tools for self-builders:

  1. Drill driver

Having a cordless drill driver in your toolkit can save you a lot of time and effort. These gadgets combine an electric screwdriver with a drill, and the cordless variety runs on rechargeable batteries, giving you the freedom to drill and screw wherever you like! Make sure you get at least 12v of power and a hammer action to give yourself enough grunt to get into tougher materials like masonry.

  1. Paint brushes

Painting and decorating a house can take up to three months, so if you’ve got the time you can save labour costs by doing it yourself. Although a set of brushes can be bought quite cheaply, don’t scrimp too much as cheaper ones tend to shed their hairs quicker than a dog in summer. For large walls and ceilings purchase a roller with an extending pole, and don’t forget some dust sheets to protect surfaces from unwanted paint splatters.

  1. Adhesive

When it comes to the finishing stage of your build you’ll find there are countless things that need fixing in place. Tiles, skirting boards, rails, or even squeaky staircases can all be stuck down using adhesives. Some multi-purpose adhesives double as a sealant, which is handy when you’re looking to save pennies.

  1. Retractable knife

A razor-sharp blade is a must-have. From cutting plasterboard to sharpening your carpenter’s pencil, a good retractable knife can perform countless tasks. Make sure you go for one with a good grip to help ensure both comfort and safety, and keep a stock of spare blades too.

  1. Plastering trowels

Plastering can be responsible for around a tenth of labour costs on a typical self-build, so you can save a tidy sum if you have the skills to do it yourself. Get a couple of different sized trowels to cover both rendering and finishing, and go for ones made of stainless steel. This material will deliver a sharp-edged finish, is easy to maintain, and has enough flexibility to make it easy on your joints.

  1. Bucket

Whether you’re mixing plaster, measuring materials, or just lugging stuff around the site, you can’t go far wrong with a heavy duty builder’s bucket for a great general-purpose container.

  1. Shovel, broom, dustpan & brush

Even if you’ve delegated most of the jobs on your self-build to professionals, one area where you can still save on labour costs is site maintenance. Every seven to eight hours spent building requires one hour of site servicing, which includes keeping it tidy. By purchasing a good shovel, broom, and a dustpan and brush you can pitch in when it’s time to clean up, allowing your labourers to concentrate on the job at hand.

Of course, this list barely scratches the surface; you could fill a fleet of shopping trolleys with useful tools for housebuilding, but this lot should at least be a good start. If you’ve got any questions about these items or any other aspects of self-building, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Choosing the right screw for the job: our easy-to-follow guide

We’re often asked about the right screws to use when fastening to certain materials. With so many options out there to choose from, knowing which one is right for the job can be a bit of a conundrum. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to help you find the best screw for the material you’re working with.

  1. Best screws for wood

This depends on whether the wood is used indoors or outdoors. Brass and stainless steel woodscrews are rustproof, making them ideal for outdoor use. Their non-corrosive properties also make them suitable for hardwoods like oak and chestnut, which contain acidic tannins.

Japanned screws have a black lacquered coating that also protects from weather, and can be used outdoors with wrought iron, or for when you want a dark screw head.

MDF and chipboard screws are for use with MDF and chipboard, funnily enough. They are designed to deliver maximum grip in fibrous wood materials, but extra retention can be gained by drilling a pilot hole before driving the screw in. MDF and chipboard are not for outdoor use.

For fastening outside decking, use specialised decking screws. These are covered in a waterproof coating to protect them from the weather.

  1. Best screws for plasterboard

Drywall screws are specially made to be used in plasterboard. These have a trumpet-shaped ‘bugle’ head that goes into the board without causing excess damage to the exterior.

  1. Best screws for metal

Use a self-tapping screw. These create their own thread as they are being driven, but need a pilot hole to give them a headstart. Drill one slightly narrower than the gauge of the screw. If used outdoors, go for stainless steel or zinc-plated self-tappers to prevent rusting.

  1. Best screws for plastic

When screwing into plastic or fiberglass, first drill a pilot hole. Although you can use self-tapping screws, screwing straight into the plastic without pre-drilling will tear a rough hole, which could lead to further damage.

Other screws available:

Mirror screw

A two-part screw used for mirrors or bath panels. Once the screw is in, a rounded chrome cap is screwed over the head for a neat, decorative appearance.

Coach screw

Used for fixing large, heavy pieces of structural wood, these require a pre-drilled hole the length of three-quarters of the screw. Coach screws have a hexagonal-shaped head that is turned using a spanner.

So, what materials can you screw directly into, and which need to be drilled first? Here’s a rundown of the most common ones.

  1. Screwing into brick

When fastening to brick, you need to consider the weight of the object you’re attaching. For light and medium weight attachments such as hanging basket brackets, a stainless steel screw driven into a plastic wall plug will do the job. For heavier objects, it’s advisable to insert a more heavy-duty anchor into the brick to create a stable fastening.

Start by drilling a pilot hole using a hammer drill and a masonry bit. Clear out any debris using a vacuum cleaner nozzle. Now add the wall plug or anchor. Wall plugs are made of flexible plastic and can be squeezed into the hole with just your fingers, but metal anchors usually require a hammer to install. Once the anchor is in, all that’s left is to add the screw.

  1. Screwing into mortar

Although mortar is less dense than brick, you still need to drill a pilot hole and add a wall plug or anchor before you can screw into it.

  1. Screwing into concrete

Once you’ve drilled a pilot hole using a hammer drill and masonry bit, add a wall plug or anchor, depending on the weight of the object you’re attaching. Alternatively, use a masonry screw to screw straight into the pilot hole. These sturdy self-tapping screws are resistant to corrosion and have a fierce thread to help them bore into stonework.

  1. Screwing into plasterboard

No pre-drilling necessary, but use a drywall screw.

We’re confident that no matter what the job, we can help you find the right screw to get it done. Our experts are on hand at our Redhill store to help with any questions, so just drop by or get in touch.

10 essential tools for building contractors

Whether you’re just starting out in the building trade, or you’re a veteran looking to splash some cash on a new toy, it’s always worthwhile finding out what other contractors are carrying in their toolkit. Some like to keep things old school by putting their trust in more manual tools, while others are always in search of the latest gadget.

Although your tools depend largely on the type of projects that you do, there are some you shouldn’t be without. So kick back with a brew and let us run down our list of the 10 absolute essentials.

  1. Drill

A must-have piece of kit. Most people choose the hassle-free option of a cordless drill, though if you’re going to follow suit, make sure you get an 18-volt model with a couple of batteries, as this will give you enough power and battery charge to last throughout the day. Many drills also double as an electric screwdriver, saving you space and money. Top tip: Go for a drill with more than one year’s warranty on both drill and batteries.

  1. Reciprocating Saw

When it comes to woodworking, a saw is a basic requirement. However, there’s no need to wear yourself out by using a manual hand saw. A reciprocating saw is an extremely versatile power tool that can deliver around 3,000 strokes a minute. This allows it to cut through most building materials, from wood to steel and copper. Just remember when using one to protect yourself with adequate safety gear.

  1. Oscillating multi-tool

Using rapid side-to-side movement, the versatility of these gadgets lends them to a wide variety of tasks. From cutting and sanding, to polishing and wood detailing, the range of interchangeable accessories available means you can replace several tools with just one device. Investing in one can save you both money and hard work.

  1. Tape measure

There aren’t many jobs that don’t require an accurate measurement at some point, so purchasing a good retractable steel tape measure is a no-brainer. Go for one with a minimum extendable length of 5 metres, though the longer the better.

  1. Spirit levels

Liquid bubble levels can be bought in packs that include a long and short version, ideal for when you need to measure straight levels in confined spaces. If you’re more technologically-inclined, then you could plump for a laser level for better accuracy and adaptability.

  1. Vacuum

With stricter regulations surrounding construction dust coming into force, it’s essential that you’re able to keep your work area free of harmful materials. Whether you’re drilling, sawing, or sanding, you’re guaranteed to be working in an atmosphere of dirt and dust. Help keep the site clean and safe by investing in a trustworthy industrial vacuum or dust extractor.

  1. Hammer

While nail guns take away most of the effort, you can’t beat a trusty claw hammer for giving things a good old whack. Avoid those with wooden shafts, as these tend to deliver more of a shock to the hand on impact; fiberglass or steel is a better bet for comfort. Comes with a range of swear words for when you hit your thumb.

  1. Step ladder

Unless you’re over seven feet tall, chances are you’re going to need a step ladder. Resist the temptation to stand on a piece of furniture and get yourself a durable set of steps for those hard-to-reach tasks. Some models are made with non-conductive materials like fiberglass to reduce risks on electrical jobs.

  1. Safety gear

The most important bit of kit you’ll ever own is your body; if you get injured you might find yourself unable to work until you recover. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re equipped with reliable safety gear. A strong pair of gloves will help protect your hands, goggles will shield your eyes, steel toe cap boots will safeguard your feet, and a mask will keep you from breathing in harmful materials. Also, when you’re working on a construction site, PPE regulations require you to wear a hardhat to protect your noggin.

And last but not least –

  1. Pencil

Perfect for marking up materials or for just doing the crossword. Ideally perched behind one ear, or tucked into a pocket away from light-fingered workmates.

We hope our list has given you some food for thought for when the time comes to treat yourself to a new tool. If you’d like to find out more about any of the options out there for contractors, then get in touch.

And if any of your power tools need a little TLC, don’t forget we have our own repair workshop where our engineers service and repair a wide range of professional power tools.

What’s the difference between sealant, adhesive, and filler?

It’s a question we often get asked here at Fixings & Powertools Center. When you’re in need of something to plug a gap or bind materials together, the huge selection of products available on the market can make the selection process overwhelming. Shelves are packed full of tubes all claiming to have the answer. So how do you pick the right one for the job without wasting time and money?

Follow our guide to help you make the right choice.

1. Sealant: forms a barrier between materials

Sealant is a substance with a close molecular structure that creates a watertight barrier, and is available in liquid, foam, powder or paste form. It is designed to close gaps between surfaces and keep out dust and dirt, while still allowing a degree of movement. This makes sealant suitable for situations where the surface requires some flexibility, such as building joints. Mastic sealants also stick materials like wood, metal and glass together.

Watch out for different classifications termed ‘low mod’ and ‘medium mod’ sealants. Low mod will stick to porous and non-porous materials, whereas medium mod is suitable for use on smooth and non-porous substrates only, such as glass and metal.

2. Adhesive: permanent bonding solution

Adhesives are often supplied in liquid form, and are designed to grip and bind two surfaces together. Different adhesives suit different materials. They solidify on application to provide a permanent and rigid bond. Less supple than sealants, adhesives are stronger, harder and generally longer lasting.

3. Filler: fills gaps and cracks

Typically used to fill holes, polymer filler or decorators’ caulk, as it’s also known, comes in a variety of forms, from powder-based to more expensive ready-mixed formulas. Although convenient, fillers can have limitations, such as being slow to dry. Aim to choose a product that won’t shrink or crack after application.

With all this said, wouldn’t it be great if there was a single product that could do all these jobs on its own? We think we have the answer.

CT1 is a sealant and construction adhesive that can be applied to all surfaces both indoors and outdoors, from metals and glass, to wood and granite. Whether you’re looking to stick a mirror to stone tiles in a bathroom or sealing around a window or door frame, CT1 can do it all.

Effective in both wet and dry conditions, CT1 is trusted by tradespeople as a reliable, effective, fast-acting agent with the flexibility to withstand the toughest conditions. Developed by C-TEC, a specialist in high quality, problem solving products for use in a wide range of different scenarios, CT1 is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a general multi-purpose product.

Why choose CT1? This product is:

  • Odourless
  • Resistant to fungus
  • Flexible
  • Resistant to chemicals
  • Food safe (can be used in areas where food is prepared)
  • UV-resistant
  • For use in wet or dry conditions
  • Solvent-free
  • Environmentally compliant
  • Non-corrosive on surfaces

From day-to-day projects to specialist uses such as underwater bonding, CT1’s strength and versatility make it ideal for use in the construction and engineering industries, eliminating the need to buy various products to suit different uses. It also comes in nine different colours including clear, to provide a discrete join on any substrate, and can be easily painted over.

So if you’re looking for a reliable all-round sealant that can save you time, space, and money, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better choice than CT1.

If you’re still unsure which product is right for your needs, remember we’re always here to help with any questions you might have. Drop us a line or visit us at our Redhill store to speak to one of our experts.

Trying to choose a planer? Read our plain-talking guide

Originally a mediaeval tool, a planer cuts wood to the desired thickness, while at the same time creating perfectly parallel surfaces and beautifully bevelled edges. Whether you’re levelling floor joists, smoothing rough surfaces, or ensuring accuracy in cabinet-making, a reliable planer is an essential component of any woodworker’s toolbox. It’s therefore worth taking the time to decide which features are most important to you when you’re looking to buy one.

What to look out for

Electric power planers can dramatically cut task times, while providing a professional, clean finish. Key aspects to consider when selecting an electric planer include: power, cutterhead quality, cutting widths, weight, dust collection, and portability.

Selecting a tool that has enough power to drive the motor, no matter what type of wood is being cut, is essential. One measure of power is the speed (in revolutions per minute) at which the motor turns. Anything less than 8000 rpm isn’t going to provide the drive needed.

We’ve picked out three of our most popular models across the varying price ranges, all with impressive durability and performance, to demonstrate the versatility of the tool and to point you in the right direction on your hunt for the ideal planer.

Our top picks

At the value end of the range, the Bosch GHO 26-82 Planer 110V provides plenty of power for a small machine. Its compact size makes this tool perfect for transporting on-site. For a competitive price, you’ll get the fastest and best value blade changes on the market, and it also comes with parking rest, and lock-off switch, and chip clearance suitable for both right and left handed users.

At the other end of the market, the Festool EHL65EQ One Handed Planer 240V should be on your shortlist. This machine is designed with comfort in mind. Complete with a soft-grip handle and weighing only 2.4kg, it’s a versatile and portable addition to your power tool collection.

The Festool Planer works to a planing depth of 4mm, and 23mm rebate, with a spiral blade that reduces noise levels while working. As you would expect with a Festool product, the dust extraction at the left or right hand side means the dust is taken away immediately so you can clearly see what you’re working on, and you won’t need to clean up afterwards. With infinitely variable chip depths, this planer has the advantage of a quick blade change thanks to its automatic adjustment for greater speed and efficiency.

Another respected name in the market – DeWalt – offers a powerful model that copes with even the hardest wood. The DeWalt D26500K 4mm Planer 240V has left and right chip rejection, front handle depth control and a large planer blade drum which rotates at high speed to provide an excellent finish.

If you’re looking for a planer, we’ll point you in the right direction – matching your requirements with the ideal model. Give us a call or pop into the store for one-to-one advice.

Dust from power tools: are you using the right level of filtration?

More than simply an irritation, dust generated during construction can be extremely dangerous. The Health and Safety Executive states that ‘regularly breathing in dust can cause diseases like lung cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease’. In fact, silica – commonly found in building materials – is the second biggest killer after asbestos.

If you work in the industry, you need to be aware of the dangers posed to your health, and the effective ways to minimise your exposure to harm. Modern-day power tools create much higher levels of dust, so common-place items like saws, sanders and grinders present a greater risk than non-electric hand tools.

The material that you’re cutting also plays a part in the nature of the risk, as some substances are more hazardous than others. For example, silica is classed as posing a ‘serious’ risk. Even wood dust can be carcinogenic according to health experts and therefore precautions must be taken.

Reducing the risk from construction dust

One of the biggest changes to the industry is the tightening of Health and Safety regulations around protecting workers and creating a safe work environment. To improve air quality, sites must use vacuums and dust extractors to trap the dust and safeguard the health of those around.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002) introduced different levels of filtration needed to combat dust found on most modern construction sites. There are three levels, or standards, which determine the maximum amount of dust that can pass through the filter and into the atmosphere – thereby limiting exposure.

Dust filter levels include:

L-class for light hazards (e.g. household dust)

M-class for medium hazards (e.g. wood, filler and concrete)

H-class for high hazards (e.g. asbestos or pathogens)

Designed to meet the needs of these different filter classes, most modern extractor units will clearly state this classification. Some of our customers are surprised to hear that construction sites have been known to turn away tradespeople with anything less than an M-class model.

With a wealth of dust extractors and vacuums on the market now, here are some of our top recommendations, including trusted brand names and key features to look out for:

Festool is one of the biggest and most highly-regarded producers of mobile dust extractors in the market. If you’re thinking of investing, and work in the trade, we would recommend an M-class product like Festool’s 574825 Mobile Dust Extractor CTM MIDI I 10V Cleantec, which will cover all bases.

Lightweight and compact, this model uses innovative Bluetooth technology which remotely activates when using cordless power tools. With a manual suction hose and a filter that can be changed from the outside, this product is easy to maintain and robust in design.

The Dewalt DWV902m Construction Dust Extractor 110V contains a duel filter cleaning system for tough construction applications. The filter is cleaned every 30 seconds to reduce clogging and power tools can be connected.

One cost-effective worksite system is the Nilfisk Alton Aero 26-21 Wet & Dry Vacuum. This unit can be easily transported to site and features a power tool adapter to suck up dust at the source, which means it’s easier to see what you’re working on.

Recommended dust extraction features

Approximately 95% of the dust extractors on the market have universal extensions which can be fitted to most power tools. However, it’s worth checking compatibility with your equipment and whether additional couplings can be bought. Another useful feature is auto start, which runs as soon as you start working and continues for a short time after you stop.

Regardless of which brand you choose, this is one piece of kit that you shouldn’t do without. Our customers repeatedly tell us these products have a huge impact on their work – saving time and energy on the clean-up process, as well as their health.

If you’re unsure which dust extractor or vacuum is best for you, give us a call or pop into our Redhill store and we’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction.

Are you using the right screw for the job?

Do you know your Phillips from your Pozidrive? Or the difference between a coach screw and a carriage bolt?

Screws, nuts and bolts come in a mind-boggling array of names, shapes and sizes which can be a cause of confusion. However, we’re here to point you in the right direction with our quick guide to the most commonly used, and frequently misinterpreted, fixings products.

1. The Twin-Threaded Wood Screw

This humble all-purpose wood screw is the staple of any DIY or tradesperson’s tool box as it’s suitable for most timbers and applications. Fully threaded (with twin spirals down the length of the screw for greater grip and quicker installation), it can be used with a red or brown plastic wall plug into masonry.

2. Single-Thread Chipboard Screw

As the name suggests, this screw is ideal for chipboard or timber applications where you need to secure materials that aren’t too heavy. It can be screwed directly into wood.

3. Hex Set Screw

This product is one that often causes confusion. Commonly referred to as a ‘bolt’ by customers, when questioned further most people are actually describing the hex set screw. These fully threaded screws aren’t tapered like wood ones and can be used to fasten wood and metal together by screwing a nut onto the opposite end.

4. Carriage Bolt

Often mistaken for a coach screw – the carriage bolt has a cup head with a square hidden underneath the head for greater grip into the material being fixed. The hexagon nut can then be threaded onto the bolt from the other end and tightened.

5. Coach Screw

With a sharp end, coach screws aren’t designed to be accessed from the other side with a nut, unlike the carriage bolt. These screws can be driven in with a socket driver or impact wrench for heavier timber installations, and for fixing items to timber.

6. Screw head names

To add to the confusion, screw heads come in an assortment of designs for different purposes and tools. Most of us are familiar with the ‘slotted’ and ‘cross’ head, but how many others can you name?

  • Slotted head: (single line) a less common screw head mostly manufactured in brass and found in old furniture
  • Phillips: (cross head) normally found on a dry wall screw
  • Pozidrive: (cross head with a second cross) good for wood and timber
  • Torx: a six-pointed star commonly used for concrete applications
  • Tamper-resistant Torx: a small pin in the centre means a standard screwdriver can’t unscrew it. Ideal for construction projects that require added security
  • Hex or ‘Allen’: the hexagon head is used with an Allen or Hex key

When it comes to security screws and bolts, the head design relates to the level of strength required, rather than the application. Here at Fixings and Powertools Center, we have access to Hafren security fasteners, each with a security rating from one to five – from entry level security to maximum strength. For more details visit the product page of Hafren’s website.

Two screws about to revolutionise the industry include the concrete and cutter screws. The concrete screw is ideal for concrete and brickwork, and won’t expand or damage the brick when driven in. The cutter screw has a unique self-countersinking head with ribs and tucks on the underside, which channel into the surface without having to drill a countersink separately.

Still unsure which screw or bolt you need for your project? Come in and talk to our team – they’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

Tips on how to keep your gas nail gun firing

Nail guns – or nailers as they’re also known – are one of the handiest tools in the toolbox. Far from being a luxury, it’s an essential piece of kit for any keen DIYer or tradesperson involved in construction.

It can help you get the job done quickly, and improve accuracy, as the nails are driven in at high speed. It could also save the odd finger here and there too!

However, as a repair and maintenance centre, we handle a significant number of nail guns every week that have stopped working due to a lack of regular servicing and basic care.

Nail gun maintenance doesn’t need to be carried out in a professional workshop. There are things you can do at home to keep your nail gun performing at its best. Not only will it help you save money in the long run, it will also ensure your safety.

Here we’ve put together our top four maintenance tips:

1. Cool it down

If you’re maintaining your nail gun after use, make sure you turn it off and let it cool down. Remove any gas, batteries or nails before conducting checks. This equipment is highly dangerous if handled incorrectly.

2. Oil it every day

The moving parts of the nail gun need to be oiled every day and in between sessions during periods of heavy use. Different manufacturers will recommend different oil types dependent on the machine you have, so check the manufacturer’s guidelines for suggestions. Pay particular attention to the O-rings inside.

3. Keep it clean

Airborne dust and debris can build up in the system and interrupt the nail feed. Use a degreaser to wipe off built-up dirt. Again, check the guidelines for recommended cleaners that match your brand. Avoid using a cleaner that leaves a sticky chemical residue. You can also rub down your gun with a lint-free cloth that won’t shed fibres.

5. Give it a once-over every month

Nail guns are subjected to high levels of pressure and movement, which means screws can loosen and parts can break off. Check it over once every month to make sure nothing is loose or out of place. Tighten bolts where necessary. Replace worn-out parts such as O-rings, battery pads and filters with approved spares or take it to our service centre for more advice. Make sure you’re using the right fuel cells – check they’re in date too!

If your nail gun isn’t performing correctly, don’t spend hundreds on a replacement until you’ve popped into our Redhill workshop. It’s open Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm, so there’s plenty of opportunity to come along and speak to our expert team.