We are very proud to share the great review of our 3-in-1 slick Systainer system by Andy King from Get Woodworking!
Carting compressors and air-powered nailguns around can be back-breaking work, but thanks to this nifty 3-in-1 system from SENCO that makes use of a series of Systainers, things just got a whole lot easier 3-in-1 slick Systainer system indicates the tank pressure with the second gauge adjusted with the regulator to set the pressure being released through the hose. This allows you to quickly and easily set up the compressor to the requirements of the tools being used. In the case of the nailguns in the kit, they all operate within a range of between 70-120psi and with each gun having its own depth of drive adjustment on board, a combination of the pressure supplied by the compressor and the guns’ own depth control allows you to tweak the setup in order to get the best results.
FiP18Mg, FiP35Mg & SLS18Mg-L Systainer set
Moving on to the guns, the bases are well covered in terms of what can be fixed. At the thicker end of the wedge the FinishPro35Mg knocks in 15-gauge fixings from 32-65mm long, so it works well for second-fix applications, such as architraves and skirtings. For beading or similar work the finer 18-gauge FinishPro18Mg fires 16-50mm finer head brads, with the trio completed by the SLS18Mg. This gun fires narrow crown staples rather than brads for maximum holding power with a length range of 9.5-42mm. The amount of fixings fired before the tank reservoir is depleted enough to kick in varies with the size and gauge of the fixings being driven along with the density of the material, but in general tests the FinishPro35Mg was booting the compressor after around five or six fixings and the 18-gauge FinishPro18Mg was around a dozen or so, meaning it will be significantly operational on more demanding jobs.
The long hose does help keep the noise at bay to a degree, however, which allows the compressor to be sited away from the work area. Despite kicking in at short intervals, the compressor kept up with the demand when I tested the guns in sapele, both on single fire and bump modes, with each setting the fixings below the surface. All three guns have a bump fire option to allow faster fixing if needed; this is normally at the expense of accuracy, so any finer work is best done in single fire mode. My first attempts with the stapler left the heads up, but a swift adjustment to the air supplied by the compressor allowed the extra power needed and I could tweak the depth with the gun’s on-board depth adjustment facility. Batteries may well be the powerhouse of many a toolkit nowadays, and with nailguns now driven by such technology they offer a lot of freedom, but up against an air-driven gun the weight of a battery option can be around three or four times more – good reason, then, to consider air if you can work with the need for a compressor and hose.
All kit in one Systainer But carting a bulky compressor around isn’t ideal, so how clever of SENCO to shoehorn a 4l capacity compressor into a Systainer and stick it on its own trolley complete with additional Systainers housing three guns, a whole gamut of fixings, air hose and accessories! Better still, all the relevant controls for the compressor, such as the air pressure regulator, tank pressure and air pressure gauges, hose connector, plus the drain valve, are all positioned on the front panel so there’s no need to go inside the Systainer for normal day-to-day operations.
SENCO PCS1290 Systainer Mini Compressor
The compressor is oil-free and will supply pressure up to 8.6 bar with 90 litres per minute air displacement, which lends itself well to less demanding tools such as air nailers but won’t supply air quickly enough, or have a big enough tank for spraying, for example. But this compressor has been designed to fit into the Systainer and work with the tools in the kit, and it adds that extra bit of class to the setup. Sticking with the compressor, it runs pretty quietly against some others I’ve looked at in the past, and the Systainer helps deaden the sound a little as it cranks up that bit further, but it still does grate after a while, although that’s the nature of the beast.
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