Everyone seems to have a new pneumatic framing nailer this year. Ridgid has made updates to their popular R350RHE (as well as their roof nailers) that are worth noting. The new Ridgid R350RHF shares similar characteristics with its predecessor, but it’s more than just a new model with a slightly different design.
What are the similarities?
Many of the features that we loved about the previous generation model (and appreciate in pro-grade nailers) are still present. Ridgid’s HexGrip still overmolds the handle, albeit with a slightly different design. The dry fire lockout, tool-less start selector switch, toenail claws, tool-less jam removal, and no-damage pads are all still available.
The magazine may have a slightly different appearance, but it still features the same two-step rear loading. The fastener length and capacity also remain the same. The depth of the drive adjustment is in the same location, though it’s slightly lower. The solid leash hook is still there, and the unit comes with a swivel coupler.
You still get:
- Ridgid HexGrip Overmolding
- dry fire lock
- Tool-less start switch
- Toe claws
- Tool-less jam removal
- No-Mar pad
- Two-step rear loading magazine
- 2″ – 3-1/2″ nail length
- Thumb wheel drive depth adjustment
- belt hook
- Rotary joint
What is different?
As soon as you pick up the Ridgid R350SHF, you’ll notice one of the biggest changes: its magnesium construction, which lowers its weight. There’s also a new drive system that allows the Ridgid to achieve the fastest drive speed in its class at 8 nails per second. I don’t know how many people are able to shoot a nail every 0.125 seconds and have made significant improvements in quality. We just figure that it means I can’t work faster than the nail gun can keep up with.
While the fastener length range remains the same, the upper dimension has been reduced from 0.162″ to 0.148″ in diameter. The changes to the magazine are more than just cosmetic. The pushrod has a new design that makes it easier to pull off for loading, which should address the sticking issue with the smaller pegs on the previous model. The air diffuser now features a 3-way outlet with a new design, and the trigger has been redesigned to complement the slightly less contoured handle.
New or improved:
- Magnesium structure is lighter
- 8 nails/sec rate of fire
- 0.148″ maximum diameter (was 0.162″)
- Magazine, pushrod, air diffuser, trigger, and handle adjustments
Will these changes lead to better performance?
If you read my review of the R350RHE, you probably know that the first thing I needed to figure out was if I would get stuck between the 2″ frame stud strips. That’s what I decided to address before looking at anything else. With some changes to the magazine, thruster, and drive system, I had high hopes for this model.
When I got to the end of the first strip, I held my breath and waited for a jam. It didn’t happen. Strip after strip was fired with no delay, other than the dry fire lockout telling me to reload. It seems that the problem has been resolved.
Many people have secrets. Some keep them in their heads, while others keep them hidden in their homes. I have a small project for a client who needs a hidden door to close off an area of the basement where items will be stored away from the grandkids’ reach and curiosity (not to mention anything else that shouldn’t be in the house).
I built a frame for the hidden door using 2 x 4 dimensions and three-inch nails to fill the entryway. Direct shots and toenails are easy to accomplish. The only issue I had was that I could have gotten into tight spaces more easily with a more compact framing nailer.
Once the frame was built and the hidden hinges installed, I switched back to two-inch nails to secure the plywood that was used to camouflage the new door with the rest of the unfinished wall. By extending the plywood beyond the dimensions of the entryway, it looks like another sheet of plywood blended in with the rest.
Ridgid R350RHF Framing Nailer Key Features:
- Magnesium metal housing provides lightweight and durable construction
- Tool-less selectable trigger allows you to quickly and easily switch between contact and sequence firing modes
- Rear loading magazine with bypass push rod for quick two-step reloading
- Powerful motor drives 3-1/2″ x 0.148″ framing nails (16d common) into the hardest engineered woods
- Dry fire lockout extends motor life, prevents misfires, and protects work surfaces
- Overmolded Handle and Trigger: Rubber overmolding interlocks with the metal housing for maximum durability and prevents twisting of the handle
- Exhaust diffuser with muffler automatically directs exhaust away from the user
- Tool-less jam clearance door easily clears occasional jams
- Positive “toe peg” prongs reduce slippage during angled pegs
- No-mar pads keep work surfaces clean of tool marks
The bottom line
I’ve used the Ridgid R350RHF in other jobs, not just a hidden door. I have had no issues with properly oiling the nail gun before each use. The interference issues I experienced with the previous model didn’t show up at all.
With the reduced weight, high rate of fire, and great performance, I can easily recommend the Ridgid again as one of the top choices for full-size framing nailers.
Ridgid R350RHF Framing Nailer Specifications:
- Model: Ridgid R350RHF
- Power source: compressed air
- Nail Gun Angle: 21
- Loading Type: Stripe
- Maximum Fastener Size: 3-1/2″
- Minimum Fastener Size: 2″
- Minimum recommended working pressure (psi): 70
- Warranty: 3-year limited, lifetime service agreement
- Price: $229
- Available combo kits: R350RHF-R175RNF (framing and roof nailer) $428
- Combo kits available: R350RHF-R350PNF (frame and palm nails) $289