Paslode recently released the F350-P 21-degree plastic-collated framing nailer. This is interesting because until now the company’s framing guns drove 30-degree paper tape fasteners—which typically have clipped heads but are also available with offset round heads.
There is a lot to like about this gun; it’s well-balanced and feels solidly-made. The magazine is solid too, which should translate to fewer jams over the long run.
The tool comes from the factory set to sequential fire, but can be converted to bump fire by removing a pin, lowering the trigger, and then reinstalling the pin. It took me about five minutes to make the conversion—most of it spent trying to get the tiny rubber O-ring back onto the pin.
Features include tool-less depth of drive, a heavily rubberized grip, and a nail lock-out mechanism to prevent dry firing. The oversize trigger is a plus, as it allows me to change my grip to nail at odd angles and still be able to reach it for firing. The F350-P comes with a belt hook, though you have to remove a screw to switch sides.
I like that the air inlet is angled slightly to the right, because it prevents the magazine from getting in the way of connecting the hose. One of the few things the gun doesn’t have is an adjustable exhaust port; on this model it’s fixed.
Resin Collated Nails
When Paslode introduced the F350-P it also introduced 21-degree resin collated fasteners to go with it. These are a departure from the 30-degree paper tape nails the company is known for—and from the plastic collated nails our crew is accustomed to using.
When you frame with plastic collated fasteners you are bombarded by small bits of plastic—reason enough to wear eye protection assuming you weren’t already worried about getting hit by a nail. Paslode collates their 21-degree nails with resin—and less of it than is usually the case with plastic collated nails. As a result, there is less of it to fly around or "pile up" on the jobsite.
According to Paslode the resin is more rugged than plastic and their 21-degree strips are less likely to break. That was not my experience; I found they broke more frequently than the True Spec strips we normally use. For me, breaking is less a matter of dropping strips than bashing them with the hook of the nail gun when hanging it from the pouch of my tool bags. I solved the problem carrying spare strips in the pouch on the opposite side from where I hook the gun.
I like the new nails but am not sure I’d be willing to pay what it takes to get them. At about $0.02 per nail they cost 25% more than the Tru Spec fasteners we normally use. The cost disparity is even greater if you compare Paslode nails to some of the cheap brands that can be found at many lumberyards.
The Bottom Line
The F350-P is a good gun but it would not be my first choice when getting a stick nailer. We Max high-pressure coil guns for most of our framing, though we use stick gun for hot-dipped galvanized fasteners—which we prefer not to buy in coils. The stick nailers we currently use are a Max SN883RH2 and Bostitch LFP21PL—which were among the models we reviewed in 2013. We prefer these guns to the F350-P because they’re each about a half-pound lighter. The Paslode does feel slightly more powerful than the Max, but it’s also bulkier, and the line of sight along the right is obstructed by the depth of drive mechanism—which makes it harder to toenail.
Collation: 21 degrees; resin/plastic
Nails: full round head; 2- to 3 1/2-inch
Weight: 8.1 pounds
Height: 13 inches
Warranty: 5 years