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We took the Milwaukee 16 GA Angled Cordless Finish Nailer 2742-21CT to our jobsite and used it to install 2-inch 16-guage fasteners into ¾” exterior trim, pvc window surround units and interior trim casing and window sill fastening.
How It Performed
Installed nails consistently at the depth you set at. The only time I noticed a nail not set was when I did not have the tool pressed against the surface being fastened – operator error.
On the job site the nailer performed flawlessly with no jams or misfired nails. We immediately noticed that there is no “ramp up time,” to this nailer meaning that the tool does not pause to recharge itself – it placed a nail as fast as I was able to accurately aim, set and pull the trigger.
It has a slight kick in the tool, but did not bother me. I used the nailer for two days, and installed 760 nails before recharging the battery was needed.
It has a fastener range of 1-1/4” to 2-1/2.”
Depth of Drive and Fastener Penetration
The depth of drive is easily adjusted and straightforward to use by turning a thumb knob at the tools nose contact.
One thing I immediately noticed was that the nailers firing pin does not over penetrate and leave awful looking “T” shaped scar in the wood.
Continuous flashing green for contact actuation operation.
Milwaukee claims this nailer will fire 3 nails per second. We fired this nailer both in single sequential actuation and contact actuation and were impressed with the speed that your able to install fasteners. This nailer is not designed to be operated non-stop machine gun fastening, not too many people would need to operate in this fashion.
Doing so will cause the tool to shut down to protect the tool from excessive heat. Having the tool internally protect itself is a huge advancement when it comes protecting, and managing battery life. Longer battery life means more runtime and increases the performance of the nailer.
While speed may be fun to talk about and interest some production trim carpenters, the real test on the job site is than fastener placement, line of sight, accuracy and doing quality work.
Milwaukee 16 GA Angled Cordless Finish Nailer 2742-21CTWeight and Balance
At 6.3 lbs this nailer is not as light as my pneumatic nailer, but it’s not that heavy either and is fairly well balanced. The nailer measures 5.5”w x 11.9”h x 11.9d.
Line of Sight
The tools line of sight is decent, you can expect the fasteners to be embedded dead center and 5/16” below the contact tips center line. Like any nailer, once you learn this, your fastener placement will be dead-on with placing straight on shots.
The no-mar contact tip is black, as is the nosing of the tool. It would be nice if a contrasting color were used, for us hard to see, old timers! Maybe a different color no-mar tip or positioning guide line could be used.
The LED light is located low on this tool and I did not find it overly useful unless your operating in a super dark area, like closet baseboard trim.
This tool is oil free, gas cartridge free and maintenance free. It was designed to run almost 90-95,000 cycles before needing maintenance or replacement, that’s a design spec none of its competitor can boast.
The Milwaukee 16 GA Angled Cordless Finish Nailer 2742-21CT has been seen to range from $349 for the bare tool and $399.00 as a kit.
Room for Improvement?
The Milwaukee 16 GA Angled Cordless Finish Nailer 2742-21CT nose is BIG and gets in the way of some fastening applications. I found that when nailing trim against a wall, the tools sweet spot is either canted on its side or against the top edge.
Milwaukee no doubt beefed up this nose piece to increase durability to of the firing pin mechanism, a feature that adds to infrequent jambs, the tools longevity and time required between servicing.
Bringing the weight down on this tool would be great and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a 12-volt version some day!
Overall this is an excellent finish nailer and I would recommend it over the Paslode solely because it does not use gas cartridges. In my line of remodeling and carpentry work I am never doing the same tasks for long and often find myself using an array of different tools. As a result my finish nailer may sit for a day, week or even a month between uses.
Having a battery operated nailer, on the battery platform that I use other tools on, makes complete sense and increases my efficiency. It allows me to pull out the nailer when I want and not worry about setting up a compressor, hose or gas cartridge expirations, fuel levels or cartridge cost.
The most impressive feature of the Milwaukee 16 GA Angled Cordless Finish Nailer 2742-21CT is the rate of fastening that is achieved with zero ramp-up time. I am able to install accurate fasteners at a decent rate of work with no disruption in my work speed.