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Stiffy Tool Powder Actuated ToolThe Stiffy Tool has been around for a while, and we have just added it to our site.  Let me share a few things that we really like about the Stiffy Tool and why you may want to consider it for your next powder actuated tool for overhead work.

When I say the Stiffy Tool (sorry that is its real name) has been around for some time, I am not kidding.  The tool itself goes back decades.  First it was red in it’s Steelcon version, then Ramset grabbed it and turned it orange.  CEAS attachments has this old standby in gray.  It is a time proven time-tested design that is quiet, lightweight and super easy to service in the field.  So here is what we like about the Stiffy Tool.

First and foremost, the tool is time tested and reliable.  The fact that it is lightweight, quiet, and easy to service when need are all real plusses.  To see what I think are a couple of the big advantages of the Stiffy Tool, you have to look  a little deeper.  First, it is a bump fire tool.  That means there is no trigger, you simply deliberately raise the tool up to the work surface and push up and the tool fires.  It is a true bump fire tool as there is no trigger slide like on the Ramset Viper 4 or a lever like some other tools that can be adapted to a pole tool.   That means you can mount the tool to a telescopic pole tool.  The telescopic pole tool means you can collapse the tool to 4’ and fit it in your gang box.  When needed, you can extend the pole tool up to 12’.  Or you can get a 6’-18’ telescopic pole if you have taller ceilings.

We recommend the Lagmaster Plus pole tool that has interchangeable heads.  So, while you would have a telescopic pole for your Stiffy Tool, you could change the head and now you can install eye lags into wood or steel, install and tie bar joist and purlin clips as well as Sammy Screws from the floor.  The combination of the Stiffy Tool and the Lagmaster Plus will allow you to handle most any type of ceiling  you are suspending  grid wire.  Of note as well is the manual load advance which will cut down on you skipped load count.

Shooting wood with the Stiffy Tool.  By switching to the wood nose piece (sold separately) you can suspend from wood structure with the tool.  The special timber clip and pin is ring shanked and is designedStiffy Tool Ramset Timber Pins specifically for this application.

Cons for the tool.  I would be hard pressed to offer any complaints on the Stiffy.  Yes, it is only an overhead tool, but that is what makes it so good at what it does.  The piston is a gravity return so you will need to clean the tool a little more often, but it is easy to do.  The load advance is manual which some see to not like but truly it lowers your skipped load count and really is a simple thing.

You can find the Stiffy Tool along with the Lagmaster Plus pole, clips, pins, loads and parts online at ConstrucgtionFastening.Net


If you are installing fire alarm cable or other life safety systems, the HPH series of j hooks in red may be just what you are looking for.  These red j-hooks are available 1″ and 2″ sizes and a variety of pre assembled styles.  Espeically popular is the Red HPH 1″ j hook with a multi clip or “bat wing” attached.  These clips will clip on to pencil rod, grid wire and 1/4-20 all thread and stay put.  The built in closure keeps the cable in place and can be reopened to add more cable.  The Red HPH j hook cable supports are UL listed, TIA compliant and approved for use in air handling spaces.  The standard HPH hook in red is a good choice for running the wall.  You can mount them with any number of screws depending on the wall.  The mounting hole in the hook will accept up to 1/4″ standard hardware.  For concrete walls, you can use nailin anchor, blue cones, Tapcon or if you have a Hilti or Ramset tool, you can shoot them up with a pin.  I would go with a 1″ pin with a washer.  If you are mounting direct to the ceiling, the j hooks can be assembled to an angle bracket and the screw or fastener of your choice.

While red j hooks may not be a requirement, they will not only keep you cable separate but will make your install stand out from the others.  Some low voltage contractors who are running multiple systems will utilize the same support rod or wire and split the systems out by color.  Maybe using the blue HPH j hooks for voice and data, a white HPH j hook for sound masking or other applications and then adding the Red HPH j hook for alarm work.

The HPH series of j hooks offers the best fit and finish in the industry and continue to grow in popularity.  If you would like a sample of the Red HPH j-hooks, click here and fill out our sample request form.


From time to time we have our customers request white j hooks.  While we don’t we don’t offer a white j hook per se, we do handle the HPH series of j hooks that are for the most part white.  While you can see the metal backbone of the j hook, they are white for the most part.  If your customer is asking for a white j hook because they want a nice clean finished look in their exposed application, the HPH series of j hooks may fit the bill.  They are available in 1″, 2″, 3″ and 4″ sizes and are offered with a variety of attachements pre assembled to speed your install.  The HPH white j hooks are UL listed, TIA compliant and have a built in retaining latch.  A key feature of the HPH hooks is that they are ready available.  If you have tried shopping for white j hooks, you were likely as shocked by the lead time as the price!  You can find more info here on our ecommerce site.  Would you like a sample?  Click here and fill out our sample request form.


Click To View
Click To View

Looking for a the best price point and options on a UL listed j-hook for you install?  Check out our JH series of j hooks.  The JH series of j hooks is available in 3/4″, 1-5/16″, 2″ and 4″ sizes.  The 3/4″ has a built in closure and the 1-51/16″ and 2″ are now packed with a cable retainer that easily snaps in place.  Check out our catalog for a huge selection of pre built hooks!


You may be familiar with the Rack A Tiers cable dispenser.  These handly little spool supports have been around for years and are favorite of many tradesman in the electrical, security and voice/data fields.  They are super simple and knock down to an easy to store rack, especially important as many service vehicles get smaller and smaller.  But there is so much more to the Rack A Tier line of products.  Their catalog is worth a look for not only some standard tools like fish tapes, fish sticks, benders and drivers but some other really cool items.  For instance, the dust bowl.  A simple flexible bowl that catches debris as you drill overhead.  Or the Ferret Pro camera that will mount on a pull rod to help you see what you are dealing with in confined areas.  The Bumper Balls I didn’t quite grasp until I saw an image of just what they do.  They keep your flexible bits where they belong inside the wall!  A simple but affective solution.

Now I will admit, some of the items in the catalog just don’t do it for me or seem like they are trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.  Still, the catalog is worth a look through.  We will be stocking some basic Rack A Tiers items on our website and will add as the demand is there.  Browse through the Rack A Tiers PDF catalog below and let us know if there is something we can help you with.

Rack A Tier Catalog
Click to view.


Most cordless tool manufactures are offering a cordless band saw tool kit now.  While some of the smaller units are great for cutting strut ladder rack, rod and small pipe sometimes you need something a little bigger.  The DeWalt deep cut cordless bandsaw offers a 20 volt unit that will cut up to 5”.  This makes it perfect for cutting 4” EMT, schedule 40 PVC up to 4” and more.   These deep cut saws are more money yes but they simply can do more and do it more efficiently.   Consider the blade for instance.  The deep cut DeWalt uses a 44-7/8”  .20 blade.  One complaint we here on the smaller saws is the blade don’t last that long.  Well that is true; the blade is shorter so the teeth have to cut more material each revolution.  Add to that the smaller diameter of the wheels that the blades are turning around and it’s just harder on the blade.  To give you an idea of the blade size, 44-7/8” is the size most cordless portable band saws use.

DeWalt Deep Cut Band Saw
Available at Amazon

You can buy the saw as a kit or as a bare tool if you already have a stack of DeWalt 20 volt batteries lying around.  While we are on the subject of batteries, keep in mind cordless band saws tend to suck a lot of juice.  If you have an option on battery size, lean toward the larger mah battery packs.  Remember while voltage represents power, mah is you gas tank.  So a 2.0 mah battery will give you the same amount of power as an 8.0 mah battery but the 8.0 will run much longer.

If you have been thinking about a cordless band saw, make sure you consider a deep cut like the one DeWalt offers.  They are a little more but when you come up a little bigger cut, you will be glad you did!


The Ramset series of disc tools proved to be a real work horse for years. The D-60 tool kit was
the choice of many electricians as it was quiet and featured a power adjustment. The D-45 tool
was a real brute. With its super tough front end, it was a great tool for general work and held up
very well in difficult situations like shooting foam to concrete foundations, or 2x to steel. The
Autofast tool was a favorite of many framers. The disc series of tools from Ramset has been
out of production for some time and many of the parts have become obsolete. But the old
Ramset guns just keep going! Sadly though, we are coming to the end of the load supply for
the tools. We still have a fair supply of the yellow, but we have exhausted our source for brown,
green and red disc loads. So now what? Below find our recommendations for replacement
tools. You can also shop them at our ecommerce site here.

Ramset Cobra
The Ramset Cobra is a solid time proven design. It is considered a clone of the Hilti DX-350 tool and is fully serviceable. That meansRamset Cobra parts, all the parts are readily available. Please don’t confuse it with the Cobra Plus models you find at the big box stores. Finding parts for these tools is not easy at all. We have the pistons but that is about it. The Cobra tool is a good allaround tool that will handle up to a 3” pin with a washer. Pins and loads are readily available. One application we do not recommend for the tool is fastening foam to foundations. A tool like the Ramset XT540 has a much stronger front end that can handle this overdrive application. The Cobra can be mounted on an extension pole for overhead work but if you shoot any number of hangers overhead, consider the Ramset Viper 4 tool below.

Ramset Viper 4
Ramset Viper 4The Ramset Viper 4 is a powder tool and more of a specialized tool. The tool will only fire to the ceiling and must be used on a pole. If you are an electrician, acoustic contractor, or a low voltage contractor, this would be a good choice for you. Any time you are needing to suspend ceiling lights or cables, this is the way to go. While it can only fire up, you can always add an inexpensive Cobra Ramset when you do need to shoot to the wall or floor. It will use the same pins and loads as your Viper 4.

Ramset RA27
The Ramset RA27 is a production-oriented tool that is a good choice for work like drywall track or other applications where you will be shooting the same size pin over and over again. The optional magazine will handle pins up to 1-5/16”. If you are shooting without the magazine, the RA27 will handle up to a 2” pin with washer. The tool has a power adjustment feature and is nicely balanced for all day use. The tool will also shoot clips and assemblies and can be used on an extension pole. This tool is designed to compete side by side with the popular Hilti DX351 too

Ramset XT540
Ramset XT540This Ramset XT540 tools is a heavy duty tool that can stand up to a lot of hard use. What constitutes hard use? In my experience two applications come to mind. One is shooting a lot of steel. The XT540 has a very strong front end that can take the heavy hit of red loads day in and day out. The second and one that seems to be even harder on a powder actuated tool is shooting foam to concrete. Typically, in this scenario the pin free flights through the foam and you can have a lot of overdrive. This is even more exaggerated when the concrete is very green. The front-end design of the XT540 is made to handle these applications. The tool features a power
adjustment and can be outfitted with a magazine. The longest pin is a 3” with a washer. The longest pin when using the magazine is 1-5/16”.

In Conclusion
So when you finally have to part with your Ramset Disc tool, you have choices. Hopefully one of the tools listed will fit the bill for your application. Visit or e commerce site for a replacement for your faithful old Ramset Disc Tool as well as pins loads and accessories. If you are a contractor and not sure what the best option is, give a call toll free at 1-877-212-2377.


New for your direct fastening application, the Ramset T4SS Tool Kit.  The T4SS replaces the T3SS tool from Ramset, the industy leader.  The T4SS single shot tool uses the same clips and assemblies as the T3SS but the fuel cells and the batteries are a little different.  The  tool features a battery and fuel level monitor so you know where you stand.  The batteries are lithium ion and offer more than 3,000 shots per charge.  The fuel cells are smaller but their size will offer you a little more control over the usage.  Like the T3SS, the Ramset T4SS tool can be used on a pole tool for overhead applications.  Another improvement is a depth adjustment.  A wide variety of pins and assemblies are offered making this the go to tool for electrical, mechanical and low voltage contractors.  No licensing is required to operate the tool.  Add a magnetic probe to shoot the mechanical pins, the fastest way to attach duct strap.  Visit our e-commerce site to shop the tool and supplies.

Learn More About The Ramset T4SS Tool Kit

Learn More About The Ramset T4SS Tool Kit


While you don’t use them as much, 4″ j-hooks are a must have in many data cable installtions.  Many times coming out of the telecom closet you have such a large amount of cable that is simply more4" j-hooks economical to use a larger single hook over a couple of small ones.  The JH hanger series are all UL listed and stamped as such.  Some j-hooks you will see on the market will claim to be UL compliant.  That’s not the same thing.  You will find the JH64 is sturdy enough to handle your larger cable runs, rated at 50lbs.  The hook is available in a variety of different versions including the basic 4″ j hook that has a 1/4″ mounting hole that you can easily mount to many different attachments.  It is also availalbe mounted to a 1/4″ angle bracket and both hammer on and screw type beam clamps for fast secure installations.  The JH64 is also designed to fit with the HPH rail system so you can build j hook trees to your specifications on the fly.  You end up with the configuration you want for your install.  For instance.  Rather than four 4″ j hooks on a tree, you could have a couple of 4″ on the bottom and a couple of 2″ on the top.  You can see a videof how quickly you can build what you want below.

4 inch j-hookWe have always been a company that sells on service and innovation, not price.  But I think you will find the four inch j-hooks we offer fit a very nice price point in comparison to the competition.  The biggest complaint we have had with our j hooks, or for our company for that matter is that we only have the one location!  That is true, however we are still finding that we can often times provide better service across the county than many local suppliers offer.  J-hooks tend to be a last minute thought on many jobs and we get that.  By offering a quality, UL listed 4″ j-hook, the abiltity to customize your install on the fly and offering true customer service, our goal is to make it as easy as possible to have what you need for the job.  See the complete line up of JH series j-hooks here.

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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