Graphical Construction Glossary >> Tools. >> Hand Tools >> Explosive Fastener tool

Explosive Fastener Tool
Also known as Powder actuated fastener tool. A "gun" that can fire high tensile steel nails and bolt fittings into hard materials like steel of concrete. Sometimes called direct fasteners.

a ramset gun

Above is my fairly well used Ramset Gun, which is I believe an Australian company. Hilti would have to be the world leaders in this technology. This powder actuated fastener and the box that it is kept in was in theory free. The initial purchase consisted of nails and charges and the tool was thrown in. Likewise the company did maintenance on the machines. (They didn't want us going over to the opposition:-)

  • A small box of charges can be seen, (with C22 on the top) that are .22 calibre explosives, referred to as "charges" that are loaded singly each time this particular gun is used.
  • The coloured straws in the tray contain cartridges that are loaded singly with the manual action of the breech. The cartridges are colour coded for the various strengths.
  • In the tray are also 75 mm hardened steel nails. The heads are 8 mm and the points of the fasteners have plastic spacers (also 8 mm) to hold the fastener central in the bore.
  • The position of the nail is just under the cartridge for maximum power, however pushing the nail farther down the barrel reduces the effectiveness of the change so this can also be used to control the depth of penetration.
explosive fastener charges
Explosive fastener charges
Photo thanks to Wikimedia Commons, User: Sonnet72

The explosive fastener tool above saw much of it's service on concrete formwork jobs. Shooting down sole plates and kickers to stop braces moving.

  • This meant that when the concrete was poured then the nailed pieces had to be removed. Mostly the timber would come off leaving the nail solid in the concrete.
  • Removing these high tensile nails should be done with care.
  • The usual method is to whack them backwards and forwards with a hammer a few times and as they are brittle they snap off.
  • Always wear eye protection when doing this and keep your eyes open for passers by as these things when they snap can fly off at high speed.

Other uses of these tools are permanent fixing of members directly to steel, concrete or masonry. Nails can be short, long, with different heads and with threaded ends for fixing items such as cable trays and suspended ceiling fittings with nuts and washer. The nails can also be fired though washers to increase the head size.

They must of course only be used by licensed operators and all safety measures must be complied with.

If you didn't find exactly what you are looking for try this search tool that will search the site and the web.

"What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
Adam Smith 1723-1790

"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900

coates hire
Hire Equipment
Furniture Fittings - Architectural Hardware - Electronic Locking Systems - Technical Hardware
BuilderBill sponsorship

BuilderBill Books

building maths
Building Maths

Stair Design
asbestos ebook
Asbestos Book

Calculator Pages.

Concrete yardage calculator

Reader's Questions.

Questions and answers.



Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
You must check your own local conditions.
Copyright © Bill Bradley 2007-2012. All rights reserved.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape