F325R ultracompact framing nailer
F325R 513000 ultracompact framing nailer
A framing nailer is one of the most vital tools in a carpenter’s arsenal. These nailers are typically bulky and heavy, though, so carpenters often resort to hand nailing or using a palm nailer when working in close quarters. That may all change with Paslode’s most recent entry in the framing-nailer market. The new F325R compact framing nailer ($269) was designed with remodelers in mind.
The first thing I noticed about this new tool was how light it is. The F325R weighs just under 6 lb. There’s a tradeoff for reduced weight, however: reduced capacity. The F325R holds only one stick of nails, or about 42 shots. I found the lower capacity to be a nuisance at first in production-style framing such as rolling trusses or nailing sheathing. But after a few hours of use, I got into the rhythm of more frequent reloading. At the conclusion of the day, I was happy I had carried more nails in my belt instead of at the end of my arm.
Of course, my crew and I had to give the F325R the standard test of framing-nailer power: nailing LVLs. Out of the 42 nails we shot, not one was left proud, an indication that Paslode did not compromise power in reducing size. I also had a chance to use the tool to nail blocking and studs in a shower bay during a bathroom remodel. Here, closer to its intended purpose, the F325R really started to shine. At just 13 in. long, it fit in every bay, box, or hole we could think to stick it in. It easily toenailed the blocking in the 12-in. on-center stud bays, as well as the studs themselves. As we expected, the reduced weight made overhead nailing much more tolerable than it would have been with a conventional framing nailer.
The F325R does have a few downsides. Although it can be switched from sequential fire to bump fire, you have to remove a near microscopic O-ring to do that. I figure that my odds of finding and reinstalling this O-ring on a dusty, dirty job site are slim to none, so I didn’t even attempt it. Paslode touts the tool as having a “quick 2-step nail strip reload,” but I found the process to be a little less than intuitive at first. Also, as with all Paslode nailers, an air fitting is not included. When I get a new nailer, I want to put it right into service, not go looking for fittings and thread tape. I would gladly pay $5 more to have it ready to go straight from the box.
As a full-time remodeler who does very little production framing, I will only ever need the F325R. Its light weight and balance offer a welcome respite for an aging right arm. I’m afraid it has relegated my former framing nailer to second string.