Direct stenting may reduce costs, procedure times, and injury to the vessel wall, positively influencing acute and late results. This study was designed to demonstrate 6-month clinical outcome equivalence between direct and standard stenting techniques. Four hundred eleven patients (425 lesions) were randomized in 7 sites to undergo direct (210 patients, 216 lesions) or conventional (201 patients, 209 lesions) stent implantation. Lesions with severe calcification were excluded. Angiographic success rate was 100% in the direct stent group (2.8% requiring balloon predilation) and 98.6% in the predilation group (p = 0.12). Direct stenting was associated with decreased use of balloons (0.15 vs 1.09 balloons/lesion treated) and with a trend toward a reduction of procedure time (22.7 +/- 15.0 vs 25.6 +/- 18.2 minutes; p = 0.073). Fluoroscopy time and contrast volume were not different between groups. At 6-month follow-up, the incidences of death (direct [1.4%] vs predilation [2.5%]), myocardial infarction (5.3% vs 5.0%), and target vessel revascularization (8.2% vs 10.5%) were similar in both groups. Major adverse cardiac event-free survival rate was 87.5% for those who underwent the direct stent technique and 85.5% for patients who underwent predilation (p = 0.0002 for equivalence). In conclusion, direct stenting is at least equivalent to the standard technique in terms of 6-month clinical outcomes when performed on selected coronary lesions without significant calcification. This strategy is associated with decreased use of balloons, but, in general, does not significantly reduce procedure times.