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A New Zealand company has created a truly portable nail gun

Tool uses Airbow’s “Hammerforce” technology.

A New Zealand company has created a truly portable nail gun
[Photo: courtesy of Airbow]

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The nail gun seems like the perfect invention—just pull a trigger to drive metal into wood—but current models are either tethered to a bulky air compressor or require a mix of butane cells, lithium-ion batteries, and even explosive charges to do the job.

The Airbow Framer is driven solely by air stored within the device, utilizing what the New Zealand–based company has dubbed Hammerforce technology. “The mechanism is a fast valve that gives precise control over ultrahigh-pressure air,” explains Richard Evans, COO of Airbow. Hammerforce directs a single gram of air onto a nailhead to drive it into wood. Currently sold exclusively in New Zealand, the device can fire up to 300 nails, as quickly as 3 nails per second, and can be charged to 80% capacity in under 10 seconds with Airbow’s air compressor.

The Framer is an elegant design that’s lighter, more balanced in your hand, and only half as loud as its competition. And with no electronics to speak of, it’s completely weatherproof, too. None of this would matter if the Airbow lacked the necessary power to do the job. But this thing is strong. In fact, Airbow’s upcoming sequel to the Framer will drive nails into concrete.

A version of this article appeared in the October 2019 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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