Reviewing the Senco SHF15 was no easy task, even for 160 square feet of 2.25″ x .75″ white oak flooring. I did not want to rent a floor nailer since I suspected my small project would take weeks thanks to my limited time to work on the flooring. By hindsight, I think that was a good call since it made for a less stressful install. Despite several people telling me this nailer is super reliable, I ran into a glitch with it on the third day of use. Apparently a nail mis-fired and worked its way under the nailing pin. The end result: a totally bent and jammed nailer. My local dealer took it back to send to Senco, and immediately replaced it. This left me with an uneasy sense about the quality of the unit, although it turned out to be the only, albeit significant glitch I ran into. The Senco SHF15 uses a ratcheting system where nails not fully driven by the first hammer swing remain positively positioned for additional swings. I needed 2-4 swings, but was driving the maximum length nail (2″), into some pretty hard flooring and subfloor. It has a rugged composite base that I didn’t worry about scratching the wood with, and it weighs in at a scant 7.6 pounds. The SHF15 Flooring Nailer is designed for installation of 1/2″ to 33/32″ hardwood flooring, however, 1/2″ applications require an optional adapter. The SHF15 drives cleat nails at a 45 degree angle, which seemed to do well at fastening solidly. I had no issues with wood splitting, and cleats are supposed to hold tightly but still allow for expansion and contraction. The nailer also made for nice tight joints, although I was pretty careful about tightening up the joints before nailing too. After a weeks worth of on and off hardwood flooring installation with the SHF15, my wife said I officially looked more ripped. Woohoo! However, my body told me it would have preferred a pneumatic nailer. If I were doing it over again, especially on a larger space, I’d go with a pneumatic nailer like the Porter-Cable FCN200 Pneumatic Flooring Cleat Nailer even though it’s more expensive at just under $500. So if you want your significant other to call you ripped, or if budget is tighter than your arm and back muscles, I’d recommend the manual nailer. The Senco SHF15 Flooring Nailer runs just under $300.
About Marc Lyman
Marc grew up under a brave single mom who "encouraged" home improvement on the family home. Early toddler gifts included a tool set, and even a cordless Bosch drill when cordless drills first came out. In grade school (give or take a few years), Marc's mom said, "We need to cut down some trees. . . . here's a chainsaw." A father figure also involved Marc in many home improvement projects, including a summer of home remodeling in Palo Alto, CA. Toss in some Obsessive Compulsive personality traits researching everything home improvement related. The end result: a genetically pre-disposed, socially sculpted home improvement machine! For his complete profile, please visit our About page. Really, it's worth it.
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