Paslode used to make the only hoseless framing gun available, but over the last decade, quite a few more guns have come onto the market. To compete, Paslode has once again updated its gas-powered nailer (introduced as the XP in 2015), and I’ve been using the newest version for a few months.
When I reviewed the XP nailer for Tools of the Trade in 2015 (see “Field Tested: Paslode’s Cordless XP Framing Nailer”), I gave it excellent marks because of how well it performed. In our testing then, we shot through three boxes of nails and two gas canisters without a single jam or misfire and had no trouble shooting into LVLs. For blocking and pickup work, the gun was plenty fast, and the aggressive nosepiece made it easy to toenail accurately. The latest version of the XP shares all of these characteristics.
So what’s new? Before sitting down to write this review, I compared the 2015 model with the 2021 model, and the only significant difference in operation I found is that I can load the magazine before pulling back the slide. But I’m not irritated at all to be reviewing a gun that is nearly identical to the gun I reviewed six years ago. That just means Paslode got it right then and has now made a great gun a little better.
Since this gun is gas powered, it requires fuel and a spark, but the tiny, 7-volt lithium-ion battery is very light, as are the gas canisters, which are widely available. Paslode claims that a canister of gas will shoot up to 1,200 nails, and that a battery will last 9,000 nails. What I found is that I never ran out of fuel before I used up the nails in a box and canister combo.
Performance. It is true some battery-powered nailers are very fast. Paslode claims this gun (sequential trigger only) shoots three nails per second. I don’t care what the actual number is; it shoots as fast as I nail, which is good enough for me.
What I have always loved about Paslode is the quality of its fasteners. These are the only gun nails that don’t bend when I shoot them into an LSL (don’t get me started on how much I loathe LSLs). Even when I’ve reviewed battery-powered nailers from other manufacturers, I’ve bought Paslode nails. One caveat: Check to make sure that the offset full-head nails will meet your local codes.
Weight. Even when loaded with a strip of nails, the gun weighs in at right around the 7-pound-6-ounce mark—about 4 pounds less than comparable battery-powered nailers on the market. That matters because when I hang the gun from my bags, I’m not lopsided. It means when I frame overhead, I cause less wear and tear on my shoulders, and the list goes on. And the recoil is light, so there’s little shock to my wrist when I use it.
This is important to me; I’m nearly 44 years old and have always worked in the trades, specifically framing, foundations, and siding. Choosing tools with a view to staying healthy cannot be oversold. I love this gun and recommend it.
I’ve used this gun in its different iterations for the last 20 years as a pickup framing gun, and it just keeps getting better. Consumables aren’t cheap, but then again, nothing is anymore. Online, the gun retails for $390. paslode.com
Photos by Tim Uhler.