Lately we have received a few calls about 3/8″ stud guns for installing 3/8″ studs into concrete and steel so I wanted to create a little post about the tools.  Installing 3/8″ threaded studs with a powder actuated tool is nothing new but just isn’t as common as it used to be.  It still is the fastest way to suspend 3/8″ rod from concrete.  From a time standpoint, there is no comparison between shooting in a stud vs. drilling in an anchor.  While you may have some noise, it’s a short pop rather than the hammering noise that can last for 20-30 seconds with a rotary hammer.  You also have minimal dust to contend with.  For years the primary users of these types of tools were fire sprinkler installers and electricians but really anyone installing 3/8″ rod from concrete would have use for such a tool.

Click Here For 3/8“ Studs, Loads And Couplers

What Hilti And DeWalt Tools Shoot 3/8“ Studs?

Hilti still makes a few different tools that will install 3/8″ studs into concrete.  They are quality tools, and you will pay a quality price but they will hold up for years.  For many years the Hilti DX600N was the choice for shooting in 3/8″ studs.  You can still find them on ebay (see below) at a fairly reasonable price and parts are still available as it is a current tool at the time of this post.  This tool would be my preference.  With super heavy spall guard, this tool will do the job and is very well built.  The tool is actually fairly quiet.  DeWalt offers the PA3600 to shoot 3/8″ studs. I don’t have any experience with this tool but I suspect it would have a fair amount of kick as it simply doesn’t have the mass that the DX600N from Hilti has.   It also doesn’t have the heavy duty spall guard that the Hilti does.  A word of caution on the used market:  Many sellers are not quite sure what they are selling.  Some of the Hilti tools have different barrels and spall guards so make sure your are getting a tool that shoots 3/8″ studs.  A good clue is if they specifically say it will or if it has 3/8″ studs with it!

Where To Get The Tools & Supplies

We do stock the 3/8″ studs, loads and rod couplers for 3/8″ tools but we do not stock the tools themselves.  If you want to go with a Hilti tool, your options are Hilti direct or the used market.  If you go the used route, make sure you use a seller that has a good reputation and make certain they will stand behind the tool if it arrives DOA.  As for the DeWalt, it isn’t something that you can pick up at a big box stores but if you search the net for DeWalt P3600 or part number 52010-PWR you can find it.

Right Now on eBay 



If you are looking to buy an 8’ to 12’ extension  pole to fit your Ramset, Hilti, Simpson or DeWalt powder actuated tool (PAT) please consider an option that will save you money and give you the right tool for the job.  One of the major issues we see with extension poles for PAT tools over 6’ is shipping.  For instance, a 6’ pole extension pole for a Ramset Cobra may cost $50 to ship via UPS or FEDEX whereas the same pole in 8’ can cost $175 plus!  Both poles are lightweight, under 10 lbs but it’s the oversize that makes it so expensive.  So, an 8’ pole will cost you close to $500 or more and may be perfect for one job but not practical for most jobs.  Please ignore the fact that I am a salesman for just a moment and consider what I think is a better option when you need an 8’ extension pole.   Consider the STIFFY PAT tool with a telescopic pole tool.

STIFFY PAT Tool With Telescopic Pole Extension

For just a bit more than what you will pay for an 8’ extension pole with shipping for your Ramset or Hilti tool, you can get the STIFFY PAT tool and a telescopic pole tool that extends from 4’ – 12’.   If you prefer, you can get a 6’-18’ telescopic pole as well.  The STIFFY tool is a .27 caliber strip tool and is designed exclusively for overhead fastening.  In fact, the only real knock on the tool is that it will only shoot up.  The tool is lightweight and very simple to operate and maintain.  If you can work with the 4’-12’ pole, it will collapse and fit in most gang boxes with the tool attached.  One real advantage of the STIFFY/Telescopic pole combo is you don’t’ have a lever to fire the tool.  You simply press the tool against the concrete deck to fasten.  Now picture if you have a fixed length extension pole and your ceiling is just a little shorter.  You may be bending over to fire the tool!

More Advantages Of The Telescopic PAT Pole Tool

The telescopic pole tool that we recommend for the  STIFFY is the Lagmaster Plus.  In addition to fitting the STIFFY PAT tool, the Lagmaster Plus includes interchangeable plugs that allows it to not only fire the STIFFY but you can install eye lags and Sammy Screws with the tool.  Plugs are also included for hex drivers, broom thread and more.  So, with this set up, you can accomplish what you set out to do, fasten to a higher deck and have the ability to perform other tasks as well.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, my thoughts on a better option than a fixed length 8’-12’ pole tool for your Ramset and Hilti tools.  It is more than just the shipping cost, operationally, a PAT tool on a telescopic extension pole is just a better set up.  With the Stiffy & the Lagmaster Plus, you will have the right tool for the job as well as a one that adapts to whatever you run into on the next project.


Vertical flange clips are used for by the trades for suspending ceilings, electrical and cable runs, lighting, signage and more.  There are a couple of different types, this post is will cover the C clip purlin.  A C purlin has a vertical flange that sticks straight up 90 degrees.  The VOH14 C Purlin Clip will work on C purlins of up to 1/4″ as well as the vertical flange on a bar joist up to 1/4″ thick.  Applications for a c purlin clip include suspending cable, j hooks, grid wire, jack chain and more.  You have a couple of installation options to consider including options to install the clip from the floor.  There are even installation options that will allow you to install the clip and tie ceiling grid wire to the clip while installing the clip, all from the floor.

C Purlin Clips

Installing The C Purlin Clip

Installing a C purlin clip can be as easy as placing the clip over the flange and hammering it on.  The real beauty of a c purlin clip though is being able to install the clip from the floor.  I can’t tell you how many thousands of c purlin clips pre tied to ceiling grid wire we have sold allowing installers to install cable runs and more from the floor or even a more manageable lift height.  Installing the clip from the floor is made easy with a simple installation tool, part number HOIT-AL  You basically attach the installation tool to the end of a 1/2″ EMT with a 1/2″ set screw connector and you have a 10′ extension.  You can couple two pieces of EMT if you have to.  The other option is to mount the installation tool on a telescopic pole tool.  The video below on the left will give a quick run through of the way it works.  Now if you want to see something really cool.  Check out the Purlin Master Plus Tool.  This handy little tool will not only set the c purlin clip but it will twist ceiling grid wire on it for you!  The video on the right show how the tool works.

Installing C Purlin Clip With HOIT-AL Tool

Installing C Purlin Clip With Purlin Master Tool


The DeWalt DCN890 battery concrete nailer is a great tool and it becomes even more useful if you add the the Stick E contract trip or probe to the tool.  With this probe, you can shoot up the DeWalt series of Stick E clips which include MC straps, EMT straps, rod hangers, ceiling clips, lathing discs and more.  Check out the video below and see how simple it is to add the probe.  You can find the DeWalt DCN890 tool, pins, clips and more online at ConstructionFastening.Net


The Vortex series of drill bits from Norseman have a few unique features that you may find helpful in your install and fabricating work.  The most noticeable feature of the bits it the point.  The step shank point serves a few purposes.  First off the shape reduces friction and thus heat which increases tool  life.  Norseman is claiming the bits can last up to four times longer than standard bits.  The tip is also useful when enlarging existing holes.  The bit will center nicely and drill through without damaging the tip of the drill bit.  The step on the smaller bits, say 1/8″ and under is hard to notice so not sure if it is a benefit at the smaller size.   The Norseman Vortex Drill Bits are recommended for cast iron, brass, sheet metal, acrylic, mild steel, copper, and hard steel.  I have heard from a few of our customers that the bits do a nice job on stainless steel as well.

Norseman Vortex Drill Bit Indexes

Norseman Vortex Drill Bits are available on our site as single bits as well as in a couple of different drill bit indexes.  The most popular is the bigger 29 piece set that goes from 1/16″ to 1/2″ by 64ths, part number 22913.  The real draw to the bigger index is the index itself.  One, the blaze orange is easy to find.  Second the Ultra Dex cases from Norseman offer a real advantage over the metal bit index.  They don’t dent or rust like the metal indexes and it is so much easier to get the bits out.  The index seals up tight and has a rubber gasket to keep debris and moister out.  We do stock the smaller 21 piece index as well with sizes 1/16″ to 3/8″ x 64ths.  Most of our customers are buying the 29 piece and then replacing common single bits as necessary.  As for the price; yes they are more expensive than a standard bit, but those that have bought the bits come back for more!  Norseman has always made top quality cutting tools right here in the USA and the Vortex line of bits is no exception.


The MCS11 hanger is designed for MC or BX cable and will also work with armored fiber and data cable.  You have likely seen a few different mc cable hanger supports on the market.  The MCS11 is really one of the most basic and versatile designs.  With it’s 1/4-20″ mounting point, you can add a beam clamp, hammer on clamp, shooter clip, bar joist clip or a Sammy Screw threaded rod hanger and support the hanger from just about anything.  You can see a few samples in the image..  As an added bonus, you will find it very competitively priced compared to what is currently offered.  The overall dimensions of the MCS11 MC Cable Support Hanger is 11″ and will hold up to 10 cables.   Visit our site for more information.  You can see them at ConstuctionFastening.Net


The Hilti ® SD5000-A22 Screw Gun is cordless drywall screw gun typically used for attaching drywall to metal and wood studs.  Adding a magazine and collated screws can really increase the speed of the tool.  Typically a seasoned drywaller will scoff at collated screw guns but they have their place.  There are times when you simply don’t have both hands available to load screws until you are tacked off.  One of those times maybe overhead.  If you are looking to make your Hilti SD5000-A22 screw gun even more useful, check out the SGP Screw Gun Pole.  The tool is designed to reduce common fatigue from overhead drywall installation, in particular your neck and shoulders.  Check out the flyer below or click here to learn more and see a short video of the tool in action.

Construction Fastening Systems, Inc.

Specialty tools & fasteners for the trades.
952.230.7725Toll Free 1.877.212.2377



Serving the entire U.S.

Based In Twin Cities, MN

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