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Some jobs are remote enough to make carrying an air compressor problematic — for instance replacing a few slats at the back of your wooden fence or building a shed in the back forty. That’s when the Paslode CF-325 Cordless framing nailer shines. It drives nails just like your standard pneumatic nailer — but without all the extra gear.

Read on past the jump to find out how this sucker turns butane and battery power into nail-drivin’ fury.

Unboxing

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We’ll start with the most important bit: the battery ships fully discharged. You’ll need to charge it for at least two hours before you start driving nails. That’s ok, though, because you can use the two hours to check out the instructions, and (ahem) safety tips. You’ll learn all sorts of useful information, like why you shouldn’t puncture or burn the gas canisters even when they’re empty. (They still contain propellant even after the butane is gone.)

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The case comes crowded with goodies, including some that don’t really have a storage spot in the case — like the lubricant and cleaner — but do physically fit in the case using the “cram it in there” method. The case does offer storage for two batteries and two gas canisters along with the standard charger, extra bump tip, and a few loads of fasteners — in case you need to grab it and head to the middle of nowhere.

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A charge indicator light near the nailer’s grip flashes constantly whenever the battery is installed, so you’ll want to remove the battery if you’re not planning on shooting nails soon. Otherwise you’ll spent another two hours recharging. The belt hook is spring loaded for comfort — or perhaps to combat plumber’s crack.

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A sliding lock mechanism holds nails tight and makes loading simple. The action that feels much like loading a sub-machine gun.

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The gas canister loads into a space via a hatch located along the bottom for the spine at the back of the nailer. The battery slides into a slot along the nail sleeve, and the nails load into the back of the nail sleeve. Now you’re armed for construction.

Read on to page two to hear about our fun times in testing.

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19 Responses to Hands-On: Paslode CF-325 Cordless Framing Nailer

  1. Old Coot says:

    If I need to work on a fence/shed located in the boondocks, why wouldn’t I use my Milwaukee cordless drill and screws? Or my old fashioned hammer. Maybe somebody needs one of these pricey gadgets, but me, I’ll take the $340 and buy something useful with it.

  2. Putnameco says:

    Re:
    Old Coot Says:
    If I need to work on a fence/shed located in the boondocks, why wouldn’t I use my Milwaukee cordless drill and screws?
    —–
    If you where a pro and that tool could save you an hour or two a day(especially if it’s you paying an employee), you would quickly see its value.

  3. Bart'sDad says:

    Old Coot Says:
    May 16th, 2008 at 5:14 pm
    Maybe somebody needs one of these pricey gadgets,

    Last time I checked Milwaukee cordless drills were pretty pricey gadgets.

  4. Old Coot says:

    “Last time I checked Milwaukee cordless drills were pretty pricey gadgets.”

    ….That do lots of things well and seem to last forever. Got mine on eBay for

  5. Old Coot says:

    Don’t know why my last comment was truncated. To conclude: Got mine on eBay for less than $100. I’ve always considered a good drill/driver an essential tool, not a “gadget”, nor $100 “pricey”.

    I didn’t mean to stir up a fuss, just don’t see how a $340 butane-powered tool that only slams nails would make sense for me. I’ll somehow find a way to repair a fence or build a small shed without one. But I do hope they sell a bazillion of them…the economy needs help.

  6. Zathrus says:

    Whoever said that this was a tool for the DIYer? It’s not, plain and simple. Sure, some would buy them, but most would be far better off with a pneumatic nailer.

    And no, a screwgun does not replace a nailer. Anywhere that you can expect sheering forces instead of pulling forces (like, oh say, putting together walls, or stair stringers, or…) requires nails by code because nails bend where screws will simply break. Plus nailing is a lot faster than screwing, especially with a nailgun.

    Yeah, you could go back to a hammer, but if you want to put up that shed in a couple hours rather than all day, then guess what the best choice is?

    Oh, and I’ve seen Paslode nail guns on Craigslist for $150-ish. So you can either compare apples to apples ($370 for the Paslode at Home Depot vs $300 for the Milwaukee 18V Hammer drill or $200 18V drill) or oranges to oranges (~$150 used vs ~$90 used).

    And it’s not just a “middle of nowhere” tool — there are many situations in construction or renovation where dragging around an air hose and compressor don’t make sense or just isn’t possible.

    As for me? I’m a DIYer… I’d like to see more competition to the DeWalt compressor-less nailers, or just go with a compressor.

  7. fred says:

    We don’t have cordless framing nailers – but have a dozen or so Pasload impulse trim nailers. Except for some customers complaining about the smell of the Mapp gas – these are great time saving tools that pay for themselves on the job – but they need some maintenance from time to time.
    We have a regular schedule for breaking them down and cleaning the piston.
    We like them particularly for use in tight spaces indoors – like for triming out powder rooms – where the air hose would be a real pain.

  8. Angelo says:

    A plumber buddy of mine inherited these from his dad’s business and we used them while we framed his upstairs.

    It made me never want to pick up a hammer again. It took longer to measure twice, cut once and set the studs in than it did to nail the whole thing in.

    If you’re doing a good amount of framing, even for just one job, I could see this thing paying for itself in time saved. It’s awesome.

  9. Tracy S. Fitch says:

    I like paslodes and the recall I’m posting about isn’t an indictment of the brand — just a bad lot. But since this was still on the RSS feed, I thought folks might want to know.

    Fuel Cells Used With Framing Nailers Recalled by Paslode for Fire Hazard

    NEWS from CPSC
    U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
    OfÞce of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 15, 2008
    Release #08-269

    Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 222-6990
    CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
    CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

    Fuel Cells Used With Framing Nailers Recalled by Paslode for Fire Hazard

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the Þrm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

    Name of Product: “Tall Red” Fuel Cells

    Units: About 86,000

    Manufacturer: Paslode, of Vernon Hills, Ill

    Hazard: The fuel cells used to power cordless framing nailers can leak fuel, posing a Þre hazard.

    Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

    Description: This recall involves “Tall Red” fuel cells designed for use in Paslode cordless framing nailers. The fuel cells have part number 81600 printed in the upper right hand corner of the product’s packaging. The recalled fuel cells have the following date and manufacture codes.

    Best-Use-Before Dates – located at the bottom of each fuel cell: 09 AUG 2009 10 AUG 2009 11 AUG 2009

    Manufactured Dates – located on the outside of master cartons: 11 FEB 2008 12 FEB 2008 13 FEB 2008

    Sold at: Construction supply and home center stores and by construction supply dealers nationwide from February 2008 through April 2008 for between $11 and $14.

    Manufactured in: United States

    Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the fuel cells and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund or credit.

    Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Paslode at (800) 222-6990 between 7 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the Þrm’s Web site at http://www.paslode.com (PDF). Consumers can also email the Þrm at productsupport@paslode.com

    To see this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to:
    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08269.html

  10. ryan says:

    I agree with Coot, not much of a DIY’er tool. Every DIY’er should and most have a cordless drill for fences and such. And a hammer for nailing. But on the other hand, this looks like a good tool for a business trying to save time. Heck, I could save time with this putting up blocks as an electrician.

  11. Mel E. says:

    This is a definite pro tool. As a pro I have used it and its is ok. Not quite enough power to really do all you want. I have had poor results using it in treated lumber. Usually assembling with it then having to go back and hand set the nails flush or counter sunk. The dewalt cordless line beats these hands down in the finish nailer area, but I really don’t think anyone has a real frame gun that is cordless without a lot of compromise. Additionally the Paslodes require a lot of maintenance. Much more often than pneumatic tools and can be fairly costly to take in for a rebuild.

  12. fred says:

    RE Mel E. Says:
    As a pro I have used it and its is ok.

    Mel – where did you get yours. I’ve looked on-line and only see the older model Paslode framing nailer available. Nail Gun Depot advertises it – but I can’t actually find it on their site nor on Amazon. The Lowes near us seems to be clearing out the 900420 models.

    I’m in the market for 4-5 new nailers and was thinking about an Hitachi coil loaded gun – or maybe this cordless to replace a few of ours that have seen some hard knocks and either need repair or replacement – and a couple that recently evaporated off the jobsite.

  13. Putnameco says:

    Re:
    fred Says:
    I’m in the market for 4-5 new nailers and was thinking….
    ———
    Paslode is not selling their new gas cartridges separately from their nails. You’ll need to use the new cartridges with the CF-325. I’m not sure that I like having to be forced to buy their nails.

  14. fred says:

    Re:
    Putnameco Says:

    From what I can tell from my usual suppliers – Paslode is not selling this tool yet at all – but its a fair warning that you may need to buy a packaged deal.

    On the other hand, I’ve had some problems with off brand nails over the years and have recall one instance where we scrapped several cases of junk flooring staples that were supposed to be identical to and work in our Bostitch staple guns – but did nothing but jam. Taught me not to buy where returns were not practical.

  15. Guy Thornton says:

    I write from UK. I called Paslode and asked where I could buy the CF-325. I saw it on their website but all google/Amazon, etc referred to an older IM325CT which is a different animal. Paslode said it was being rolled out in a few selected areas of the USA and referred me to their distributor in NYC, Kass Industrial. Who in turn told me it was only being sold in Long Island. Strober Building Supplies of Long Island was one. I also learned that the fuel cells aren’t allowed on aircraft, so they can’t easily be shipped by courier, so the exercise was informative but otherwise a waste of time for me. I want to do a self build straw bale house in Spain this summer and the notion of nailing a lot of timber in the summer heat calls for an instrument more advanced than a hammer.

  16. PutnamEco says:

    Vaporware 😐

  17. jason p says:

    I own an the current model on shelves now. I am very pleased with it. And yes, it is one of those tools that an occasional user doesnt need to shell out 350 bucks for. But if you would use this tool a couple times a week such as a framer or a carpenter would do, then its a very handy dude. Not noisy compressors, not heavy compressor to carry to job site, not heavy cords to run in the morning and roll up in the evening, no hoses to lug, not even the worry of a hose catching and making you trip. Yeah, I own two, and one of the better tools that i have shelled out money for.

  18. neil says:

    What happened with this tool….its like it does not exist anymore?

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