Nailers

Bostitch MIIIFN Review: Professional Pneumatic Flooring Nailer

Bostitch MIIIFN Review

Photo: topqualityflooringinc.com

What We Like

  • High-speed pneumatic operation with up to 420 inch-pounds of torque
  • Durable aircraft-grade construction
  • Comfortable elongated handle
  • Relatively lightweight (11.2 lbs.)
  • High capacity magazine (110 cleats)

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive but worth it

Bottom Line

A high-performance pneumatic flooring nailer that is geared towards delivering a professional hardwood floor finish.

Introduction

Hardwood flooring gives your home a very warm and elegant look. However, the boards must be installed properly to achieve this premium finish and for this, you need a professional flooring nailer.

The Bostitch MIIIFN is one such nailer and it is a professional tool because it has a powerful driving force plus a durable, ergonomic design. Let’s find out how these and other features work in tandem to give you professional results.

Bostitch MIIIFN Review

Bostitch MIIIFN

Photo: Bostitch

Performance: Powerful Driving Force

One of the greatest strengths of the Bostitch MIIIFN is its high-speed pneumatic operation, in which it drives in the cleats with up to 420 inch-pounds of force. The wide operating pressure range makes this possible because you can use up to 120 PSI from the compressor.

As a result, you can complete your flooring installation task quickly and easily, while driving fasteners flush into both unfinished or pre-finished hardwood floorboards.

That said, this unit also has a high capacity magazine, which can hold up to 110 cleats. This ensures you cover a huge chunk of your project uninterrupted for quick installation.

A lightweight FloorGuard graphite mallet is included in the set and manually striking the hammer cap activates the firing action to drive the fastener through the board and into the floor.

The nailer is fitted with an extra-wide composite base, which provides stability as you strike the hammer cap by positioning the unit right where you want to punch in the cleat.

Two of these base plates are actually included in the set and these are 1/2- and 3/4-inch sizes. Therefore, you can install 1/2- or 3/4-inch hardwood floorboards (which are the most commonly used) using this tool.

In addition to this, you get a pre-finished floorboard adapter foot, which helps to prevent scratches or scuffs on pre-finished hardwood floorboards during the installation process.

Therefore, you are assured of a professional-grade look and finish, whether using pre-finished or unfinished boards.

It is worth mentioning that you can buy the Bostitch BTFAFOOTG2 rolling base, which offers tool-free adjustment when installing floorboards with thicknesses ranging between 1/2 and 3/4 inches.

Therefore, it increases productivity while simplifying the installation process, and has gliding wheels that ensure you get a smooth, non-marred finish.

Design & Construction: Durable with an Ergonomic Design  

Apart from delivering a powerful punch, the MIIIFN is built using aircraft-grade aluminum, which gives it a strong frame. It is built with durability in mind and as such, it can withstand rough handling at any worksite with minimal wear and tear for long-lasting use.

That said, aluminum is not a heavy metal and thus, this gives the nailer a lightweight frame. All in all, it weighs about 11.2 lbs., which is quite lightweight for its power and size. Combined with a lightweight mallet, this design reduces fatigue so that you can comfortably work all day.

For more comfort, an elongated handle is included in the kit and this can be easily attached/unattached on the nailer’s arm. The handle enables you to work while maintaining a natural, comfortable posture so that you don’t hurt your back.

Versatility: Fits only L-Cleats

Though it has a high capacity magazine, this flooring nailer is only compatible with L cleats, and therefore, it is not very versatile.

However, it is worth mentioning that L cleats are the most commonly used flooring fasteners because they don’t shatter the tongue and the shape of their head provides a wider surface area to grab and hold the wood to the floor.

That said, the unit’s magazine can hold 1.5-2-inch 16-gauge L cleats and includes 2 base plates (1/2 and 3/4 inch).

This does give you a little bit of versatility because you can install the thinner 3/4-inch boards using the shorter 1.5-inch cleats, or the thicker 1/2-inch boards using the longer 2-inch cleats.

Ease of Use: Quick Loading

Loading the Bostitch MIIIFN is a very straightforward process that requires you to insert the nails then pull the pusher assembly backward, which should engage the pusher to strip off the nails. Once this is done, you are ready to go.

Apart from this, replacing the baseplate is also an easy process that requires you to first disconnect the tool from the air supply then press the trigger to get rid of any excess pressure.

Set the tool on its side then undo the base plate screws, remove the installed plate, and fix the other size in place.

That said, there are certain precautions that you need to take generally for safety purposes.

  • Never point the nailer’s nail discharge area to anyone or any part of your body.
  • Never pull the trigger unless the nose is pointing towards the work area.
  • Do not pull the trigger when loading.
  • Handle the tool with care.

Price: Worth the Price  

With a price tag of over $300, this flooring nailer is not exactly cheap. However, due to its high-quality design and high-speed operation, it is worth the price. The manufacturer produces two more nailers and both are cheaper than the MIIIFN.

The Bostitch MFN-201 is the cheapest option but it is a manual nailer that requires no compressor to drive in the fasteners. Instead, it has selectable modes for single or multi-blow drive options for manual driving.

On the other hand, the Bostitch BTFP12569 is slightly more expensive than the MFN-201 and this is because it is a pneumatic nailer. It is also very versatile because it can be used to drive in staples or L cleats.

However, it does not reach the level of the MIIIFN because it is less powerful. Having an operating pressure range of 70-100 PSI, it does not produce high-speed pneumatic operation as the MIIIFN does.

Verdict

A powerful high-speed pneumatic flooring nailer that delivers high-quality finishes and is ideal for professional use. 

With a high operating pressure range that goes up to 120 PSI, Bostitch’s MIIIFN delivers a high-speed pneumatic action that punches L cleats with extreme force to set the floor firmly in place in no time.

Though expensive, this enables professionals to work at a faster rate while producing a high-quality finish at project completion. However, if you are a beginner or DIYer and you don’t mind the price, go for it.

Specs

  • Product Name: Bostitch MIIIFN
  • Product Brand: Bostitch
  • Operating Pressure: 70-120 PSI
  • Fastener Gauge: 16 GA L-cleats
  • Magazine Capacity: 110
  • Driving Power: 420 inch-pounds
  • Fastener Range: 1.5-2 inches
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 3.13 x 11.5 inches
  • Weight: 11.2 lbs.
  • Warranty: 7-year limited

Key Features

  • Powerful, high-speed operation.
  • Durable aircraft-grade aluminum construction.
  • Extra-wide composite base plate.
  • Ergonomic long reach handle.
  • Pre-finished floorboard adapter foot for no-mar finishing.
  • High capacity magazine.
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