June 16, 2009

Duo-Fast DF350S Framing Gun - Review

df_350s.jpgDuo-Fast has recently released a new framing nailer to the market. The body of which bears a striking resemblance to the latest Paslode framer (our review here). Paslode and Duo-Fast are both owned by the global company ITW so there is some serious cross-pollination going on. But still, with the similarities, there are some differences between the tools.

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One thing that we really like about the Duo-Fast is that there's no flash at all to this tool. No little gimmicks or gadgets that are going to break or cause problems. It's just a framing gun meant for the heavy abuse of framing crew nailing. In our tests, it consistently sunk nails into everything we tried, including some LVLs and other scraps of engineered lumber that we had in the shop. The gun is relatively light at 8 lbs and thankfully, it takes paper collated nails. If you're been reading the site for a while you know our thoughts on plastic collated nails and how annoying they are when little bits of plastic shoot out and hit you in the face.

The gun has a durable metal rafter hook that we liked, although we wished that it could be rotated around and back into the tool when not in use like the Paslode's (which is plastic). There's also a mean looking toe nail claw which had us driving nails at some pretty extreme angles. Also, the rear exhaust of the gun is covered with a metal plate so the gun can be used to knock around studs for small adjustments.

df_toenail.jpgdf_trigger.jpg

But like the Paslode, we had problems with the toggle between sequential and single shot. With these guns, the trigger actually has to be removed and reset in order to switch firing mode. This is done by pulling off a nearly microscopic washer that holds the trigger pin in place. Once the trigger pin is removed, you set the trigger to the new position and replace the pin and washer. If you drop the washer on a job site, we figure there is a solid 75% chance of never seeing it again.

All of these features (except the trigger toggle) lend the gun to professional use. This is a gun for someone on a crew who is going through hundreds and hundreds of nails in a day and needs something that can be dropped, kicked, and tossed in the back of a truck.

The DF350S costs a little over $300 which seems to us to be on the high side of things, but the gun does seem quite durable and likely to last quite a while.

At Amazon.com


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Posted by Doug Mahoney at June 16, 2009 5:06 AM

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