Bostitch® Gas-Powered Framing Nailer (GF28WW) Review
Written by Todd Fratzel.
Bostitch® 3-1/2″ Gas Wire-Weld Framing Nailer Model GF28WW
Cordless framing nailers are becoming more and more popular on job sites. In fact it’s likely that cordless or gas powered framers will continue to grow in popularity until pneumatics are almost completely driven off. So when Bostitch asked me to test their all new Gas-Powered Framing Nailer (GF28WW) I was definitely interested.
Like many of the other cordless framers on the market this one uses a combination of battery power and gas to fire nails into the substrate. The battery creates a spark that ignites the fuel in the firing chamber which pushes the drive piston.
Bostitch Model GF28WW Features
- Drives 28° Wire-Weld Nails
- Lightweight at just 8.3 lbs.
- Precision Balanced with battery inline for ergonomics and control
- Depth Control for precise fastener placement
- Low Nail Lock-Out prevents dry fire and extends tool life
- Adjustable Rafter Hook for convenience
- Over-Molded Grip for comfort and control
- Range: 2″ – 3-1/2″ .113″ – .131″
- Weight: 8.3 lbs (w/battery)
- Battery: 7.2 volts, 1.4 Ah Ni-Cd
- Charging Time: 1 Hour
I’ve been using cordless framers for over 5 years now and I’ve seen them go from a specialty tool that only a few contractors used to a tool that is in almost every job trailer I walk past. So it’s no surprise that every manufacturer is scrambling to get on the “train” so to speak with their own versions. While I’ve used Bostitch pneumatic nailers for over 20 years this is the first cordless framing version that I’ve had the pleasure of using.
Out of the box the GF28WW is very similar in design to the other “orange” brand cordless framer that we’ve used quite extensively. The nailer comes in a really nice case (finally a company that doesn’t skimp on cases, rugged plastic, good metal clasps, great label), including a battery charger, and battery.
Fuel Cells and Battery Pack
The GF28WW cordless nailer uses a high-pressure gas for operation in any type of weather. Its fuel cell, which is expected to drive approximately 1,200 nails per canister under normal operating conditions, provides a convertible valve module to offer compatibility with Paslode®, Senco®, and Hitachi® cordless framing nailers as well.
The new Bostitch gas-powered framing nailer uses a 7.2 volt Ni-Cd battery to create the combustion that drives framing nails between 2” to 3-1/2” in length (.113 to .131 in diameter). Its one-hour battery charger helps to reduce downtime by recharging the battery quickly and efficiently.
Weighing in at 8.3 lbs (with the battery) it’s about a half pound heavier than the Paslode version. Like most of these gas powered nailers the nose is pretty heavy which makes the balance a bit strange compared to pneumatic nailers. This is partly due to the fact that most cordless nailers use a shorter nail clip (not exactly sure why other than maybe weight). Overall the balance and grip are fairly consistent with other brands.
I tested the GF28WW over the last couple of months on several small framing projects. The most recent project involved framing some walls in my basement. Being able to use this framer in the basement without carrying a heavy compressor around back through the deep snow was a nice benefit.
As you can see in the photo above I was able to easily nail LVL headers. The GF28WW had plenty of power to drive the framing nails flush into the dense material. The recovery between shots is pretty good which means you can shoot nail after nail at a pretty steady rate of every 1 to 2 seconds. For me these type of nailers must have sufficient power to nail engineered lumber.
The GF28WW has several nice features and a couple things I’d change. It comes with a really sturdy wide rafter hook that also functions as a belt hook. One of the tasks that we use cordless framers for more than anything is working on trusses. Being able to climb around trusses safely is really important and eliminating hoses is a big part of that. So the rafter hook / belt hook comes in very handy!
I really like the housing/cover for the fuel cell. The cover is very easy to close compared to some of the other cordless nailers we’ve used.
I also really liked the “pusher knob” which pushes the nails towards the firing pin. The pusher knob has a really easy lever for releasing the nails.
If I had one complaint/suggestion for Bostitch it would be the firing head. I”m not a huge fan of having to use a tool to free jambs. This is especially true on tools that we use while climbing on trusses and roofs. Frankly I’ve seen enough tool-less features for removing the firing head housing that it should be standard equipment on today’s framers.
I also don’t like that the depth of drive has to be done using a wrench. Again this could easily be changed to a tool-less feature. I find that if it’s not easy to do the guys on the crew will likely never fix the depth.
The Bostitch® 3-1/2″ Gas Wire-Weld Framing Nailer Model GF28WW is an excellent cordless framing option. Bostitch has been making nailers for years so they actually understand what it takes to design and manufacture a quality nail gun. Like most tools that I review this one has a few small features that I’d like to see change but overall it’s a solid tool that offers great performance.
Where To Buy
This nail gun can be purchased at authorized Bostitch retailers and several online locations. It’s priced about 10% less than the current Paslode framer so it’s a great value. You can visit Amazon at the link below if you want to buy one online.
- Bostitch GF28WW Cordless Wire Weld Framing Nailer
for $299.95 with FREE Shipping
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