May 28, 2008

Paslode T250A 16 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer - Review

Paslode_finish.jpgPaslode has always been on the edge of air gun advancements, so it's no shocker that they're one of the first companies to release a 16 gauge angled finish nailer. Combining the smaller sized nails with the compact "fit anywhere" principals of the angled magazine, they've produced a gun that is, well, small. Very small. But is it powerful? Who cares how compact a gun is if it can't shoot a nail into mahogany? We've been testing out this gun for a few weeks now, and here's what we thought.

At first we were a bit surprised at how much plastic is on the gun. The entire nail magazine is plastic and a good portion of the handle as well. This serves to make the gun lighter and, as we found with a few test drops, the plastic is quite durable. There is also a metal bar that runs along the front edge of the cartridge for added strength.

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Along with being lightweight, the gun is very compact. We put it along side our old warhorse of a Senco (15 gauge) and the differences were obvious. The Paslode is thinner, shorter, and stubbier. It doesn't even weigh 4 lbs and the balance is great. Because of it's compact size, there is no problem working above your head or in cramped spaces.

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And while this may be a small gun, it's plenty powerful. The depth gauge is easy to use and it was no problem driving nails deep into various hardwoods. Every nail we drove ended up right where we wanted it. The Paslode also has a dry fire lockout feature, so we didn't have any unwanted surface marring either.

In addition to the size, weight, and power, there are a few features that really stand out with this gun. The first is the horseshoe shaped no-mar tip. This gives a much higher level of visibility, allowing you to look directly at the nose of the gun as it touches the work surface. Also, the sides of the tip have little markers indicating where the nail will end up.

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Secondly, although we had no problems with jammed nails, Paslode has equipped their gun with a tool free way to get at the nose. You just flip the plastic part of the nose up and the entire piece disengages. For someone on a work crew, this little feature could potentially save a lot of time. And as we all know, time equals money.

The Paslode also has a nice belt hook as well as an adjustable exhaust and it comes with a compact carrying case and some safety glasses.

Paslode_finish_trigger.jpgWe did find one drawback to the tool. Changing the trigger from sequential to successive is a bit on the tedious side. It's essentially the same as their framing gun with the itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot washer that needs to be removed and then replaced once the new trigger is aligned. But also, like with the framer, we do applaud Paslode for not making the operation too easy. A successive trigger is a dangerous thing and we like how Paslode makes the change over a very deliberate operation, but having to deal with that little washer is a pain.

All things considered, this is a pretty minor negative and overall this is a fantastic gun. It's light, powerful, and very accurate. It costs about $200 which is about right, if not a little more expensive when compared to other high end finish nailers. But The Paslode offers more than the others with the flip-up nose, the compact design and the smaller gauge nails. It's a great gun and if you're in the market for a finish nailer, we highly recommend giving this one a try.

At Amazon.com

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at May 28, 2008 5:09 AM

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