The Paslode 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nailer is a very different tool than traditional pneumatic tools powered by an air hose from an air compressor. Of course, the power needed to drive nails of up to 2-1/2 inches requires a total re-engineering of the pneumatic tool design. To provide the requisite driving power, the PPaslode 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nailer uses a type of internal combustion motor (the principles of which are very similar to the engine in your car) powered by fuel from a fuel cell which is ignited when you depress the trigger to drive the nail. An on-board NiCad battery provides the electrical charge to the cylinder's spark plug.
To the operator, the Paslode Cordless 16-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer works just as one would expect a typical pneumatic finish nailer would operate, without the need for a compressor and hose.
This makes the Paslode nailer much more portable, since one doesn't need the tether to the power source. Of course, the long-term costs of using this cordless nailer will be higher, as each fuel cell can drive about 1200 nails, but if portability is a major concern, the price for fuel cells will be of lessened consequence.
The Paslode Cordless 16-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer includes 2 no-mar tips, one NiCad battery, battery charger and power cable, a belt clip for carrying the nailer, safety glasses, 9/64 Hex wrench manuals and hard-shell carrying case that can also store extra fuel cells.
The nailer weighs (including battery): 4 lbs. 14 oz., and measures 11-1/2 inches in height by 10-3/4 inches in length. The internal combustion motor has a cycle rate that allows for intermittent operation of 2 to 3 nails per second.
The NiCad battery charges in two hours or less using the battery charger included with the nailer. When the battery is inserted into the handle of the nailer, a battery indicator light on the side of the handle will indicate the current condition of the battery.
If the indicator light blinks green, the battery is charged and ready for use, but a blinking red light means that the battery needs to be charged. Each full charge of the NiCad battery will allow for driving up to 4000 finish nails.
The Paslode Cordless 16-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer requires Paslode’s short yellow fuel cells (Paslode Part #650039), which contain enough liquid hydrocarbon fuel to drive approximately 1200 fasteners. For high-altitude applications (between 4,000 and 9-000 feet above sea level), Paslode recommends use of their short blue metering valve and fuel cells (Part #219247).
One area where Paslode truly excels is in the documentation that accompanies their tools. The Paslode Cordless 16-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer includes an operating manual, illustrated quick start guide, tool schematic & parts guide, registration documentation, a guide to service center locations and a manual covering cleaning procedures and maintenance tips. The guides are all well-written and easy to follow. Other tool manufacturers could certainly learn a lesson from Paslode and apply it to their documentation.
How It Works
The internal combustion motor that drives the fasteners is powered by compressed liquid hydrocarbon from the Paslode fuel cell. When the work contacting element on the nose of the nailer is depressed, a fan motor at the top of the motor housing starts and a small amount of liquid hydrocarbon fuel is injected into the combustion chamber along with fresh air provided by the fan. When the trigger of the nailer is squeezed, a spark plug inside the combustion chamber (powered by the NiCad battery) sets off a charge and ignites the fuel and air mixture, driving the piston down the chamber to drive the nail. When the trigger is released and the tool is lifted (releasing the nose of the nailer), the combustion chamber opens, allowing the fan to vent the hot gases from the chamber.
Much like a car engine, the fuel burned in the combustion chamber of the Paslode Cordless 16-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer releases Carbon Monoxide as exhaust. As such, the nailer should only be used in well-ventilated areas to avoid exposure to carbon monoxide.
As with any power tool, when using the Paslode cordless nailer, be sure to read and follow all of the safety precautions you would with any woodworking tool, including wearing appropriate safety equipment, including safety glasses and hearing protection as well as wearing appropriate clothing.
The Paslode Cordless 16-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer has a unique lockout feature that prevents the nailer from firing if less than ten nails remain in the magazine. This lockout feature can help prevent jams in the nose of the nailer and can help prevent misfired nails. Should the nailer become jammed, remove the fuel cell and battery, then open the jam clearing latch at the nose of the nailer and remove the jammed fastener. Because of the heat generated by the combustion chamber, the nose of the nailer can become hot to the touch, so be careful when opening the nose of the nailer.
Using the Paslode Cordless 16-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer really isn’t all that different from using a typical pneumatic finish nailer. The major advantage over traditional nailers is that this tool doesn’t need to be constantly connected to an air hose and air compressor to operate. Of course, that portability and convenience comes at a cost, that being the price you would pay for fuel cells.
At the time of this Paslode Cordless Finish Nailer Review, a four-pack of Paslode short yellow fuel cells (enough to drive about 4800 fasteners) cost about twenty dollars. If portability is a major concern, then this tool would certainly be a good choice to consider for your finish nailing needs.