Video: Dewalt 18V XR DCN690 Framing Nailer vs Paslode & Makita Gas Guns

Dewalt have recently produced the first ever 18V framing nailer – the DCN690. That’s right, no gas, no cords, just a Dewalt lithium-ion battery. So how does it stack up against the common gas powered nailers?

Firstly, like all the common models, the Dewalt takes 90mm, 34-deg nail clips. None of these models take two full clips, which annoys us no end. It has tool-less depth adjustment and stall release (not that we managed to stall it). It is about 1” shorter than the Paslode and Makita model, but weighs significantly more.

  • Dewalt DCN690  – 4.5kgs
  • Paslode B20543 – 3.3kgs
  • Makita GN900     – 3.6kgs

That extra weight would really get to anyone wanting to use it all day. Also, though it can fire two nails per second, it is a tiny bit slower than the gas powered nailers we tried. It will also cost new users ~$880 for a full kit, or the bare tool is about the same as the Paslode and Makita ($550-600).

However, there are several distinct advantages of this gun.

  1. Operating Cost. You’re going to save $8-$13 in gas per 1000 nails and the tool is meant to be maintenance free.
  2. Compatibility. The batteries and charger are full compatible with the rest of Dewalt’s 18V XR line. So you can grab a bare drill etc. to throw in your tool bag.
  3. Convenience. If you don’t use your framing nailer often, you don’t have to worry about if you have gas, if you’ve charged you’re 7.2v batteries etc. You just check the Dewalt battery indicator and start nailing.

We feel that tradies holding the gun above their head or at arms reach all day may be better served by the lighter, well-balanced Paslode. The Makita is a very similar gun to the Paslode, though a little heavier in the nose and with a belt hook that doesn’t suit lefties.