Overhead Fastening


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 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.


Using a j-hook mounted to a multi clip or batwing as they are known in the trades is a fast secure way to suspend your cable runs.  We offer j-hooks with bat wings in 3/4″, 2″ and 4″ inch sizes.  J-hooks with bat wings are super easy to install to grid wire, pencil rod and all thread.  They are rated for up to 1/4″ all thread but I have some guys who have used them on 3/8″ in a pinch.  To install, just squeeze the bat wingJ Hooks For Grid Wire Pencil Rod All Thread and position on the rod or wire.  They will grab tight and stay in position for you.  Bat wing j-hooks are especially useful when you want to suspend multiple cable runs on one hanger.  you can space them where you need them.  If you have mounted j hooks with angle brackets on threaded rod before you know it can be time consuming to thread a nut up the rod, place the j hook and then spin another nut up to lock in place.  Now do it two more times!  So yes, j-hooks with bat wings offer a speed advantage.  Another plus is if you need to come back and add another run.  If you already have a suspended support wire in place already, you can just clip another j-hook on and you are good to go.  Below is a short video of our j-hooks with batwings.  you can also find more info and other cable supports on our e-commerce site ConstrucitonFastening.Net


The DeWalt 50213-PWR CSI Spiral Ceiling Clip/Pin is another ceiling clip worth giving a try if you are looking to improve your stick rate in tough situations.  The 50213-PWR CSI pin has a beefy .157 spiral shank.  That’s about 8 percent thicker than a standard ceiling clip which means it’s less likely to turn or fish hook.  That means a better stick rate.  The DeWalt CSI Pin/Clips are made for use in mostdewalt 50213-pwr csi spiral ceiling clip powder actuated tools including DeWalt, Hilti, Ramset, Powers, Simpson and others.  Over the years we have had opportunity to trouble shoot a lot of powder actuated tools.  What we have found is that  upgraded pins like the DeWalt CSI clips are well worth trying.  What we stock and sell locally in MN as our everyday pin is what some vendors would consider as premium.  While some jobs, like concrete over metal concrete are super easy to shoot even with an economy pin, you should have at least have a better pin on hand when your stick rate starts to drop.

Want to give the DeWalt 50213-PWR a try for yourself?  Visit our sample request page here and we will get a handful out for you to try.  Visit our e-commerce to order the DeWalt 50213-PWR ceiling clip  and find more info including performance data.


The DeWalt 50376 rod hanger is designed for use in P.A.T. (powder actuated tools) like Ramset, Hilti, Simpson and DeWalt.  The hanger features a 1/4″-20 rod coupler fastened to a ceiling clips with a 1-1/8″ pin with a .300 head installed.  This hanger works well for suspending bridle rings, drop rods, j-hooks and more.  After you shoot the hanger to the concrete deck, you have 1/4-20 female threads hanging from overhead. Whatever you have that can be attached with standard 1/4-20 hardware could ultimately be fastened to the hanger.  The DeWalt 50376 rod hanger fits most powder actuated tools.  Depending on the tool and  what you are  fastening, you may be able to pre assemble it to the hanger before you attach it.  For instance, many tools will accept the hanger with a bridle ring or threaded rod pre attached.  It really just depends on the muzzle end of your tool.  We have a brief video below and you can find the DeWalt 50376 rod hanger online at ConstructionFastening.Net


If you are using hammer on flange clips to mount to I beams or bar joists, we have them on hand.  The most common is the 1/8/-1/4″ size, meaning it is designed to hammer on to a 1/8″ to 1/4″ size horizontal flange.  Typical applications are suspending signs, fixtures, lighting, cable runs and speakers.  Really anything you want to suspend with grid wire, jack chain or cable.   We put together a conversion chart for our part #HOK24 below.  If you are using hammer on flange clips from Caddy, B-Line, Garvin or Minerallac, you will see the direct conversion on the chart below.  You can find the HOK24 Hammer On Flange Clip at ConstructionFastening.Net.

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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