The first generation Ryobi 18V cordless framing nailer is powerful
Over the past few years, Ryobi has introduced a variety of 18V cordless finishing and brad nailers for handling finishing and finishing jobs. Now they are focusing on heavier framing applications with the first generation cordless 21° framing nailer. Can it replace your trusted pneumatic framing machine with the performance, drive power and runtime? Let's find out.
- Nail Range: 2 in.-3 1/2 in. Round Nails
- Nail Gauge: 0.113 – 0.131 inches
- Runtime: 750 nails per charge on 4.0Ah battery
This is the first time the Ryobi has run on a full-size framing nailer, and for us, the performance met our expectations. A launch control slide switch lets you easily toggle between single-shot and bump-fire modes, plus there's no launch delay like we've seen from other cordless models. This makes the nailer feel like a pneumatic nailer without the annoying air hose getting in your way.
The Ryobi does a good job of controlling recoil, but it's still more noticeable than some air nailers we've tested. While it's not too difficult to control the recoil, it's important to monitor your technique to avoid lifting your nails, especially in denser materials.
Turning to the business end, the Ryobi includes a detachable non-marring tip that won't damage delicate materials. For toe nails, remove the plastic cover to expose the claw tips. This allows the nailer to really "bite" into the material at a better angle, so there is less chance of slipping while you work.
This framing nailer is unique in that it has an on-board air tank that the user can refill via the standard air valve. If you start to notice that your drive is consistently unsuccessful, just top up the tank to the recommended maximum of 125 PSI. From our past experience with this style, you should take about 50,000 shots before needing to add any air.
Ryobi 18V Cordless Mounting Nailer Design
- Model: Ryobi PBL345
- Power supply: Ryobi 18V battery
- Magazine inclination: 21°
- Magazine Capacity: 33 Staples
- Weight: 9.3 lbs. (naked), 10.9 lbs. (with 4.0Ah battery)
Ergonomically, the rubber overmolded handle is larger on one side compared to some of the aero models we've tested. However, since this nailer is heavier, this larger grip does provide more control and helps minimize fatigue.
As far as configuration goes, there aren't many surprises. It measures 15 inches long from head to tail and stands 13-3/8 inches tall. As a bare tool, it weighs 9.3 pounds, and adding a 4.0Ah high-performance battery brings that figure to 10.9 pounds. Arguably, that's a lot heavier than most air-powered models, but it certainly lives up to what we've come to expect from a battery-operated nailer.
One little surprise we came across was the jam clearer. Instead of a tool-less system, Ryobi uses a more traditional system. You first need to loosen a few screws and slide the magazine down to access the firing chamber. Ryobi includes a built-in hex key so you can quickly clear jams without running to the toolbox.
Some standout features of this nailer are the flat head design that allows you to stand the tool upright and the shock-absorbing battery plate. Spring-loaded battery plates help reduce wear and tear on the battery connections, ultimately helping to extend its life.
- dry fire lock
- Tool-less depth drive adjustment
- rafter hook
- belt hook
- Compatible with all Ryobi 18V batteries
Ryobi 18V Cordless Framing Nailer Price
The Ryobi 18V AirStrike Framing Nailer is currently available for $389 in a kit or $329 bare. The kit includes a 4.0Ah high-performance battery, a single-port charger, and a 3-year warranty on the tool and battery.
the bottom line
As a first-generation tool, the Ryobi 18V Cordless Framing Nailer is up to par in many ways. Its confident drive and solid feature set really helped this nailer earn high praise from our team. There's still a little room for improvement in terms of weight and ergonomics, but for now, we really like what we've seen from the Ryobi.
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