September 15, 2008

Paslode Roofer's Choice R175-C Coil Roofing Nailer - Review

Paslode_roofer_side2.jpgRoofing is probably the toughest job in residential construction. You're up and down a ladder all day long, carrying heavy bundles of shingles and equipment; when you're working, you're usually bent over; you're rarely standing on a flat surface (which is murder on the calves); when you are standing on a flat surface, it's likely that you're dealing with the face-melting chemicals involved with rubber roofing; and if you happen to have the misfortune of working up in the Northeast, there are about five days a year where the weather is perfect for working up on a roof all day. Roofing beats the tar out of clothes and tools (not to mention knees and lower backs), so you've got to have a roofing gun that you can trust. It's with this idea in mind that Paslode created their new Roofing Coil Nailer, the R175-C.

Paslode has a lot to say about this new gun. They claim that it has 20% more power than most of the guns on the market; that it can blast out 8 nails per second; and that,

With its carbide tip nose, hardened driver and wear guards, this roofing coil nailer is more durable and requires less maintenance than the competition. Just as important, the bumper has been re-engineered for extended life. The Roofer's Choice has tested to more than 600,000 cycles without failure - more than three times the life of ordinary roofing coil nailer bumpers. And Paslode engineers have made important design improvements to the upper piston valve, virtually eliminating a real job site problem: valve seizure under adverse environmental conditions such as dust, high heat and humidity.

Paslode_roofer_open.jpgWe got the chance to test out the gun and have done two small projects with it. There is a lot in Paslode's press release that we simply can't test out, the improvements to the upper piston valve, for instance. This and other features mentioned above can only be discovered after, say, a solid year of full-time abuse. But, there are some features that we were able to see in action, and for those, the Paslode worked in a manner consistent with all Paslode guns, that is to say, terrifically.

The power was the first thing that we noticed. We don't know if it was 20% more than our old warhorse of a Hitachi, but it was certainly more. Nail after nail was buried in the shingles and we never had to stop and go back over our work with a hammer in order to tap the nail heads flush. And although we don't have the technology here to measure if we could really get out eight nails in a second, we'll definitely say that this gun is fast and should have no problem keeping up with any roofing demands.

Other features on the Paslode include an adjustable exhaust and an adjustable shingle guide.

Paslode_roofer_w_hitachi.jpg

The Paslode weighs 5.8 lbs, which is just a hair more than the Hitachi (5.5 lbs) and a bit more than the Porter-Cable (5 lbs), and the DeWalt (4.9 lbs). In the hands, the Paslode felt light and was easy to control and move around.

Paslode_roofer_side.jpgThe tool is currently selling for a little under $325. This, no doubt, puts it up in the high end, which leads us to believe that Paslode's boasts on the longevity of the tool and the lack of maintenance needed to keep it running, are right on the mark. Paslode has proven time and again that they make quality guns and, after testing out what we could, we're confident that the rest of what they say is true.

At Amazon.com

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at September 15, 2008 5:22 AM

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