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Paslode Trim Nailer First Look

May 03, 2016

New design improves battery and cartridge installation. If Cordless trim nailers fit your workflow, this gun is a good bet

A little while ago, Paslode asked us if we knew anyone who would like to test drive their new cordless angled trim nailer. A lot of people either love or hate cordless nailers, so we put the new 16 gage angled finish nailer into the hands of each: one of our favorite curmudgeons—Dan Kolbert, a builder/remodeler in Portland, Maine, and Bill Robinson, a self-proclaimed kinder and gentler restoration carpenter in New Orleans. Louisiana.

Dan has a sort of love/hate relationship with everything, and cordless nailers are no different. He owns a handful of Paslode cordless framing nailers and finish guns, both straight and angled. Much of Dan's work is done where setting up a compressor is not much of a chore, and a regular part of the day anyway. A cordless gun is already fighting an uphill battle on his jobsites

Much of Bill's work is in multistory buildings with temporary power poles crowded with subcontractor extension cords and pigtails. Because compressors are heavy and competition at the power pole is stiff, Bill has moved to exclusively cordless nailers. He owns multiple Paslode nailers, but he is still looking for a cordless router.

Here are the general claims from Paslode:

  • 7.4V Li-ion Battery – provides 50% longer run time (up to 6,000 nails per charge) than NiCd battery
  • About 1200 nails per fuel cell
  • 1-hour Rapid Charger: 2 Min. Charge = 200 Shots
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs with battery
  • Nail Range: 1-1/4 inch - 2-1/2 inch length
  • Nail Angle: 20º Angled Collation
  • Nail Capacity: 100 (2 strips)

Dan Kolbert, Builder/Remodeler Portland, Maine

I used it to trim out a house with one of my finish carpenters. The trim was both pine and poplar. The new gun is definitely an improvement over the previous versions.

  • It feels more solid and reliable but only time will tell.
  • Nice sight line, more compact.
  • Decent depth adjustment, better nosing (smaller, easier to sight). Nice jam clearing.
  • The gas cartridge is much better. The collar around nipple makes installation fool-proof; used to be that you had to make sure the nipple engaged with gun—which it often did not
  • The new battery design is great—both the size and the two positions it can click to: engaged or not. The old gun would drain batteries left in it overnight, and I could not be sure if I slid it out a little that it would not slide right back in and drain the battery.

Much of the gun has not changed much from the previous version:

  • It takes same nails and it has the same short magazine, meaning that you have to add nails a lot.
  • I did not notice any major improvement in recovery time.
  • I still smell the propane after using it for a bit.

My biggest complaints with the angled and straight Paslode nailers I own and have used is reliability. I never really know when I pull it out of the case if it’s going to work this time or not. The improved battery design may improve this. Since we bought the Senco PC1010 compressor—which weighs less than a loaf of bread—we almost never use the cordless nailers that I own.


Bill Robinson and Sophie Reich, Restoration Carpenters, Train2Build and 504 Historic Windows New Orleans, Louisiana

We do historic and not-so historic window and door restoration and weatherstripping in New Orleans. Our work is a mix of occupied and unoccupied  buildings, mostly unoccupied homes under renovation. We have three challenges to tool logistics:

  1. Access to power, 
  2. Getting tools to the jobsite
  3. Theft

Many of the jobs we work on are complete renovations and the available power is a temporary power pole. The pole is never where we need it to be and when several trades are on the job the few outlets are often taken. We end up playing musical extension cords.

We now use a couple of Paslode 16G cordless nailers. One, the older style and the other the newish Lithium Ion one. Both guns do a good job, but the new one does have a few features that make it the one of choice when we reach for one.


Sophie Reich's comments:
  • Compared to the old model, this one feels lighter and more ergonomic. 
  • The depth drive adjustment feels more responsive than the older one.
  • I also enjoy that there is an actual 'Off' position for the battery on the new gun. On the old one the battery just falls out if you turn it off.
  • It seems a bit louder. 
  • Changing the gas cartridge is more intuitive.


Bill Robinson's comments:
  • Batteries are always an issue with cordless so even though this battery has the short boost charge feature, we do have a second battery.
  • The gun seems a little loud, and I have always been a little concerned about having explosive cylanders in my nail gun, but I have not had any problems yet.
  • Since we have gone cordless this 16G Paslode does a good job. This gun is an improvement over an already good nail gun. We also have a Grex 18 gage nailer, which is a great gun as well.


Video clips of cartridge and battery removal and replacement:


Bottom Line:

If you are a fan of cordless nail guns, this is a good choice. If you are not a fan, this gun will give you fewer arguments against cordless nailers.



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