ROK 3-1/2" Clipped Head Framing Nailer

Good value in a well appointed nailer with a 2" to 3-1/2" fastener capacity

samona_12057_lead

ROK 3-1/2" Clipped Head Framing Nailer



The new ROK 3-1/2" Clipped Head Framing Nailer (12057) from Samona International has some very nice features that will be of particular interest to anyone who makes a living framing houses, as well as avid DIYers looking for a dependable, good quality nailer.
 
The 12057 has a 70 to 120 PSI operating range. I used it with a Crispo 8 gallon, 2.5 HP compressor that delivered 4.1 CFM at 90 PSI, and the nailer ran without a hiccup, fully setting 3-1/2" nails. It comes pre-fitted with a 1/4" NPT air inlet with a dust cap, which I eventually replaced with a swivel inlet - it makes orientation of the air hose that much easier. Remember to add the requisite 3 or 4 drops of oil into the adapter before each use.
 
If, like me, you use the head of the nailer to nudge lumber into place, you'll appreciate that both the body and the magazine are made of aluminum. There are four small rubber bumpers on each side of the head that provide a bit of head protection when you lay the nailer down. The pusher release (follower), the exhaust cover, the cover at the end of the magazine, and the drive arm cover are made of a high impact ABS plastic.
 
A rubberized grip covers the handle, and there is a removable non-marring rubber tip on the nose. However, there isn't any place to store the tip on the nailer. The spikes on the tip of the nose do a reasonably good job of gripping stock, but I think they could be a bit more aggressively shaped. At about 20" long, 12" high, and 8.8 pounds, the 12057 is about average in size when compared to other framing nailers. They need that weight, particularly when driving long, 3-1/2" nails; the weight helps to lessen recoil. While still front heavy - as that's where the piston and cylinder are located - it still feels lighter than its actual size; likely a testament to how well balanced the tool is.


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Non-marring tip
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Non-slip spikes
I usually wear gloves, and found the handle opening and trigger a tad small. The trigger has a solid feel to it and responds well to the touch. To the left of the trigger is the selector switch that allows you to choose between sequential or bump or bounce firing (contact actuation) modes. It's a rare framing nailer that doesn't offer both modes. Switching from one mode to another is just a flip of the switch - very convenient. And just below the selector switch is the depth drive adjustment wheel, which is equally easy to use. I really like having all the controls located together. Right atop the nailer is the air exhaust port, which you can rotate a full 360°; another handy feature.

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Rotating exhaust port
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Bumper pads
The pusher release works smoothly, and you can load two clips (up to 80 nails) into the magazine at a go. I was disappointed not to see a lockout feature. It's easy to get into a comfort zone when nailing - move and bump, move and bump. Without a lockout feature to let you know when it's time to reload, you can end up driving air; which not only makes you feel silly, it puts undue stress on the driver blade. As with most framing nailers there is no quick release latch on the head if you need to remove jammed nails. Usually a screwdriver and needle nose pliers does the trick. If you still can't remove the nail you can remove the plastic cover over the nose casing to better get at the jammed nail. Oddly, the included user guide is mute on how to handle jammed nails. In all the time I used the 12057 it never jammed.
 
If you maintain your nailer, not a lot will go wrong with it. Depending on the amount of use, the piston head may need to be replaced; fortunately ROK includes a spare piston drive head, which you can replace yourself.


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Trigger, firing mode selector and depth adjuster dial
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Pusher release (follower)
In use, the 12057 performed consistently well in both sequential and bump firing modes. I didn't have any problems driving either 2" or 3-1/2" 34°clipped head nails in spruce framing and 3/4" sheathing. The nailer is reasonably well balanced, and it was quick and easy to adjust nail drive depth on the gun. While it does lack a lockout feature and doesn't have a rafter hook, at under $200 the 12057 still represents good value in a framing nailer.

KEY FEATURES:


  • 2" to 3-1/2" fastener capacity
  • Drives 34° clipped head nails
  • 80 nail magazine capacity
  • Aluminum die-cast body
  • Aluminum alloy magazine
  • 70 to 120 PSI operating range
  • 1/4" NPT air inlet
  • Sequential or bump firing modes
  • 360° adjustable exhaust
  • Cushion grip
  • 8.8 pound weight
  • 1 year warranty
  • Includes: Replacement piston driver head, eye protectors, hand shell case, removable non-marring tip, 4 Allen keys, small container of oil

Manufacturer:Samona International
Available From:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
Retail Price:$179.99-199.99
Model #:12057
Made In:China
Carl Duguay, October 2010
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