Customer Reviews: Hitachi NR90AE Round Head 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer
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on January 15, 2006
I have been in the market for a Framing Nailer for two months. Tested a number of units including Porter Cable, Senco, Bostitch, Paslode and more. This Hitachi NR90AE beat them all for weight, balance, easy loading, jam free operation, depth adjustment and trigger selection.

This unit has all the features of the more expensive Hitachi Units, but appears to be lighter weight. As with most nailers, there is no standard case included, and for some reason Hitachi chooses not to include the standard 3/8" NPT connector.

Hitachi has also made a small mistake in its packaging for this tool. Nowhere on the box does it inform you of the angle of the nails used in this nailer. It uses 21 degree plastic collated full-round-head stick nails.
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on January 3, 2007
I bought this nailer to frame and deck a 24x35 shop. It has worked flawlessly without a single misfire while driving a couple thousand nails. I shot 2" - 3 1/2" nails and all fed smoothly and drove in cleanly. The tool-less depth of drive feature is nice, but I found it just as easy to adjust the air pressure depending upon what length nail I was using. It's light and well-balanced. The only problem I had was self inflicted; the nailer fell off a 10' wall and landed square on the rear cover. Afterwards, it would not work, so I disassembled it to find a crack inside the cast aluminum exhaust housing. The replacement was ~$27, but it took two weeks to get in. It's been dropped from the roof and attic space of the shop (12'+) a couple of times since without incident, so I'll chalk the first failure up to bad luck. The repair guy that sold me the replacement exhaust cover informed me that Hitachi was their best performing nailer (they also carry paslode, senco, and one other brand) and he could not give me any negatives. A wish list item for Hitachi would be a "stud hanger" that you could use to hang the nailer on while working above ground. Without one, you're subject to put it in precarious positions and it's subject to fall. :-)
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on January 27, 2008
I bought this gun a couple of months ago and waited until i had shot approximately 5-6000 nails of different lengths to leave feedback. I use my pnuematic nailers for crating, and the framing nailer mostly to block and brace cargo into international ocean shipping containers. The containers have a 2" thick oak floor & i shoot the nails through various stock & into the flooring. this gun sinks 3 1/2" nails into the flooring like it was shooting into soft pine!
With previous guns (bostitch & Rigid), i ran into a problem with the 8 penny nails getting jammed when you insert 2 strips of nails. I was waiting for this gun to have the same problem but have not had it happen so far. Also, i am still waiting for my first nail jam, because that has not happened yet either.
This tool is so well made and works so well, it is a pleasure to use and i look forward to a job when i can pull it out of the box. It is very light & sturdy and the nail magazine is very well tooled & made.
After reading Amazon recommendations, i purchased the worm gear hook with it when i ordered and i'm glad that i did. I am also dumbfounded by the ill reviews given to this gun's sister that shoots clipped head nails.
If you are reading reviews and wondering about this gun, it would serve you well to buy it.
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on March 8, 2007
I purchased this item recently and have used it for about 4 weeks in a commercial construction environment. It has performed well without problems as anyone would expect of an industrial tool such as this. There are some nice new features over the N83 worth mentioning. 1) The gun load from the rear as opposed the old top loading mechanism. This is faster and can be done with the gun in any position even upside down. 2) The depth adjustment is done with a nob next to the trigger which is new to hitachi and it works well. For those familiar with the Bostich fence nailer it works the same way. 3) The gun can be set to either bounce trigger or single fire. This setting is changed with a small lever just the to the left of the trigger.

Lastly this gun is very quiet compared with others I've used. My only complaint is that it is fairly heavy compared with my Magnesium Framed PC. The tradeoff of course, is that the mag framed guns are not as tough though I had several years of service from it.
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on December 18, 2007
This is my third framing nail gun. I've owned two others a Campbell H and a Porter Cable. As to the Campbell, well, it simply didn't hold up. After about 4 re-habs and a deck, it kept jamming to the point where I'd only be able to shoot about 100 or so nails. The Porter Cable was better, but I found it heavy and the pull back kept slicing my fingers when I'd reload it. After about 6 months it started jamming up as well.

Enter the Hitachi. Light weight and easy on my hands (the pull back is large and makes loading easy). It delivers consistenly and if it does jam (happend only twice so far).. its my fault... i.e. bad nail strip.
The step up in quality is not that expensive, but, I can guarantee you that after a few nail jams, you'll be wishing that you went with the quality instead of the price.. Nothing is more frustrating than to have your work progress stopped by a faulty tool. A nail jam can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to clear. My time and my frustration level was worth paying the extra $70 - $100 for the Hitachi.

Notes: Buy a 3/8 connect and a nipple. Also buy a case for it, you can find soft bag cases for decent prices on-line.

Bottom line - Pay the extra for the quality and you'll get it back in productivity.

UPDATE - 07/24/08 - This gun continues to impress me.

Just finished a roof where I used two separate nail sizes. I used 3 inch nails to replace and repair the joists and studs. I also used 2.25 inch nails to lay down the plywood sheets. The gun will let you quickly and easily switch these out, and will "hold" the nail strip for you as you remove it.

You might not think so, but, this is a great help. With all nailers, you need two hands to "unlock" the strip and then turn the gun to slide it out. Other guns, would then let the strip fall out and hit the ground. Damaged strips / dropped strips = bad nails.

The Hitachi will let the nail strip loose of the "pusher", but the side lock with catch the strip for you , thus saving it from hitting the ground. You can then use one hand to get the strip and then insert your other size.

So, again, this is another plus for the Hitachi.

NOTE: - Buy the Hitachi nails with the glue tips, great holding power.
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on September 24, 2010
The NR90AEPR Hitachi Full head Framing Nailer is great and is everything everyone says it is.

The reason I am giving the low rating is based on the price and the incorrect description and image at the time I placed my order. I sent the seller a letter and hopefully they will get the description straightened out. If the price and description get resolved I will update my rating.

First off, the Hitachi NR90AE has been discontinued and has been replaced by the NR90AEPR. At the time I am writing this, Amazon still has a listing for the AR90AE and still shows the old image which shows it as bright green with black flames. However if you look at the product specifications it does state the model number is NR90AEPR.
The NR90AEPR is not bright green; it is more of a light greenish silver. Currently if you search Amazon for NR90AEPR, it comes up with three items, one listed as the NR90AE and two listed as NR90AEPR. The NR90AEPR have the correct "Silver" images.

Secondly is the price. The vast majority of the time I find that Amazon is cheaper, especially when you get free shipping. But for this item the price is all over the place. I purchased the nailer for $269. I saw that Lowes had the NR90AE listed for $179 to $199 (Depending on location) but they had the newer "silver" image of the NR90AEPR.

Not knowing the difference at the time, I thought that the Bright Green one was the newer version, so I went for the more expensive one. What I received was the "Silver" NR90AEPR. Realizing it was the same item that Lowes had for $90 less, I contacted the seller (Aubuchon Hardware). To their credit they did give me a 20% refund to offset the cost difference. Now I see the same item being listed for $424 by a different seller and Lowes still has it for $179 (for my Zip Code anyway) $199 without a Zip Code entered in the shopping cart.

Bottom line, the nailer is great, however don't make the same mistake I made. Shop around for price, and don't expect the bright green one with black flames...

Hope this saves people some aggravation.
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on January 15, 2008
I am finishing my basement (with much, much help from my Father-in-law). He recommended we buy a framing nailer (he's going in halvers), and the local home store strongly recommended this one.
I may never hold a hammer again! This is the most amazing tool I think I've ever owned. It has made a tedious, timely process move as smooth as silk.
We are using a small, cheapo Craftsman "hot-dog" compressor, and the nailer doesn't seem to be putting too much stress on it, though we're not fast. (I am considering a new air compressor now. Hitachi or Mikasa....)
The Hitachi nailer has been very easy to load and ridiculously easy to use. I agree with another review on the safety glasses - they are a must because the plastic pieces from the strip fly all over the place. However, buy better safety glasses than the cheap things that come with the nailer. Also, make sure you buy a 3/4" NPT connector; this nailer does not come with one.
I am very, very impressed. I strongly recommend this nailer.
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on January 18, 2007
As a carpenter/contractor I get to use a many different kinds of tools each day. This gun unlike some I've used has the feel of power when you pull the trigger, as all Hitachi's do.It has worked superb never misses a shot,no jambs, and liteweight. The ONLY reason I gave it a 4 is that Hatachi should attach from factory a skyhook. Which I had to buy aftermarket. Buy the gun you won't be disappointed.
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on May 11, 2009
I am building a simple house. I am a DIY type not a professional. This is the first nailer I ever used. It it relatively light. More specialized nails such as spiral galvanized are not cheap nor that available at the local lumber yard. These nails once they go in have great holding power. The clips go in easilly. It is nice to at a glance see if it is close to reload time. Only fired 500-600 nails so far. Most of my nailing so far has been toe nailing. I am impressed. The point at the tip usually supports the nailer and the nail is driven without fuss. Vertical nailing is a breeze. I had one double fire. No big deal but was a surprise as I was in the single fire mode. There is not too much bounce back. The nailer did not tire me. It felt good.
It is a shame a hanger is not built in. Would also be nice if the magazine holder had a measuring scale on it. The magazine holder seems to be a bit light. That is great for weight but I am concerned it may be a bit fragile and could be damaged if struck against a stone or wood when putting it down. The color is a bit goofy but you get used to it quickly.
Overall I like it. Hope it lasts.
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on November 10, 2006
The Hitachi NR90AE Framing Nailer is a great tool. So far it is the best Framing Nailer I have used. Like the ad says, it will shoot nail into the hardest woods. It is also very durable. I have drop mine on serveral occasions and have not damaged it at all... It is very tough. I wanted the Roundhead nailer becasue some say they hold better than D nails. The plastic coated nails do at times send flying plastic chips so make sure you wear safty glass with this nailer. If I were to buy another nailer it would be a the Hitachi but the D Nailer. It will hold more nails and you don't have the flying plastic deal with... But over all this nailer is at the top. All of the functions work great and are place in the right places. If you a looking a nailer one feature that is a most is the trigger control. Having on the trigger control on nailer and not having to switch triggers out is big plus which this gun has... The depth setting works well to. The only thing missing from this nailer is a Hanger hook. This is almost a most when working in high places.... But look for a after mark one soon....
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