Dan Eifes was a Civil Engineer in the Navy when he had his “Aha!” moment. During a safety stand-down, one of the presenters demonstrated a chisel with a grip that would keep the hammer from hitting the hand. Dan thought about how many more people get injured hammering in nails than working with a chisel. He got right to work, and he had perfected the design for the Safety Nailer and secured a patent by the time he was medically discharged from the Navy.
When his buddy from his days at Old Dominion University, Drew Zirkle, also an engineer, stopped by, he stepped up to bring Dan’s design to production. And that’s how Dan’s wife, Kristen, a civilian accountant for the Air Force, and Drew founded Safety Nailer, LLC.
The Safety Nailer keeps fingers safe from the hammer, keeps nails straight to prevent them from buckling upon impact and holds nails and screws in place so they do not keep falling as they do from your fingers. Dan had thought of everything:
- The device is made of impact-resistant ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic to take the hit should you miss the nail head.
- Neodymium magnets keep the nails in place and keep them straight to avoid those buckled nails. The magnets also work for non-ferrous nails, such as stainless steel or copper, since they are designed to attract each other.
- There are multiple grooves to hold nails of various sizes and diameters.
- An attached elastic strap fits around your index finger (for both righties and lefties) to keep the device handy and keep your hands frees, as you use your thumb to open and close the nailer.
- A hinge that rotates 180 degrees allows you to grab a nail out of a bag or off of the ground right into the groove.
The Safety Nailer makes nailing in tight spots easier. The inclined face enables toenailing (driving a nail in at an angle). The chamfered edges eliminate those sharp edges that also can affect safety or cause damage. It also allows the kids to start building earlier without having to worry about them mangling their hands.
There are two models available: the Framing Nailer and the Finish Nailer.
The Safety Nailer won one of the top three prizes at Start Peninula, an annual event in Hampton Roads, Virginia, that brings together new entrepreneurs and business leaders.