Back in 2012 I reviewed the Paslode and Bostitch fuel powered framing nailers. At the time, I could take or leave cordless framing nailers, and didn’t end up using them after writing the article. In 2014 I reviewed the DeWalt cordless framing nailer. This gun doesn’t use an internal combustion engine, but the rotor of the brushless motor acts a flywheel. We ended up using this gun quite often, especially for pickup work.
Paslode recently reengineered the vent design for their cordless framing gun, which increased power, and has also re-formulated the fuel used in their cordless guns to allow them to be used in colder weather.
Features. The XP comes with a 7v lithium-ion battery, which Paslode claims can last long enough to shoot up to 9,000 nails before needing to be recharged. The battery registers into two slots, allowing for standby and ready modes. The depth of drive can be adjusted quickly and without any tools by squeezing the two buttons on the nosepiece. The belt hook is large enough to hook on 2x material (when it's positioned opposite the battery) and is also adjustable.
The nosepiece is very aggressive and makes it easy to toenail accurately, even in engineered woods like LSL. We found we could only fit one strip of nails at a time in the magazine unless we cut a stick in half, but the trade-off was that this gun will fit into a standard 16” o.c. stud or joist bay. It is impossible to dry-fire the gun, too, based on the nail lockout on the magazine.
Performance. I was very happy with how this gun performed. After shooting through three boxes of nails and two gas canisters, we did not have one jam or misfire. We purchased the gas + nail combination boxes at Lowes and have found that the gas lasts a little longer than the box of nails, so over time we accumulate gas canisters, which is a good thing.
We had no trouble shooting into LVL and often had to back the depth of drive off when shooting into Doug fir. This gun also shoots pretty fast; not as fast as our Max High Pressure guns, but plenty fast for pick-up work, blocking, and other light framing (non production).
The Bottom Line. For us, this gun has proved to be very useful. We’ve been using it every day since we got it. More and more, we are able to go cordless and now hoseless, and it is making life very easy. For example, we had a 500-sq.-foot deck to frame recently and the site was all mud and deep puddles. We framed the whole thing using the Paslode XP and didn’t have to drag hoses through the mud.
We are currently using this gun and the DeWalt to frame a 2,100-sq.-ft. floor. Because there is a lot of blocking and nailing the I-Joists over girders, we don’t need a fast gun, and going hoseless in the rain is a luxury.
After using the DeWalt cordless and Paslode side-by-side for the last month or so, I slightly prefer the Paslode. It is lighter and little faster. The DeWalt is so convenient, though, and we’ve been using it since the review with zero problems. I highly recommend the Paslode to any framing crew. It is great for rolling trusses, pick-up framing, blocking, etc. I think it edges out the DeWalt (barely) because of its lighter weight and faster firing speed. Paslode also offers a 2-Year Service Promise guarantee that offers free reliable service and repair for this gun. That tells me they have confidence in this nailer, and after using it, I can see why. I found it online for $399.