RIDGID Framing Nailer R350RHD
RIDGID R350RHD Round Head Framing Nailer
By Will Endicott
I have been around the trades my entire life. My father has owned a construction company, and for as long as I can remember, I have been wandering around job sites playing, learning, cleaning and building things.
My first ‘full-time’ job was framing houses. I would spend my summers throughout high school and college working with our framing crew, and after college, I framed for several more years. However, as I learned more about the trades and took on more responsibility in the company and in my life (wife and kids), I spent fewer and fewer hours framing.
The everyday rigors of running a construction company have basically removed me from everyday framing, so when RIDGID Tools sent me their round head framing nailer, I was excited for the opportunity to just get back out there with the guys and ‘bang out’ some walls.
• Carrying bag with shoulder strap
• Eye protection
- Full strike drive system gives maximum power in a compact size
- 16% lighter and 22% more compact than before
- Rear-loading magazine with by-pass pusher for quick 2-step reloading
- powerful motor is able to drive 3-1/2 in. long x 0.162 in. diameter nails (16D common)
- Automatic magazine adjustment allows for larger fastener diameters (up to 0.162 in.)
- Dry-fire lockout feature extends motor life and helps prevent empty drives
- Tool free selectable trigger to change between contact or sequential actuation modes
- No-mar pad helps keep work surface free of tool marks (shown in storage position)
- An internal piston catch for consistent driving power
- Aggressive toe-nailing claw for precise fastener placement during angled niling
- Rubber over-molded handle and trigger for increased comfort and grip
- Adjustable exhaust port
- Fastener depth control
- Assembled Depth: 22.2”
- Assembled Height: 6.3”
- Assembled Width: 17.7”
- Tool Weight: 8.4 lb
- Plastic Collation Fasteners
- Fastener Type: full round head
- Fastener Diameters: .113 in. – .162 in.
- Fastener Range: 2 in. – 3-1/2 in.
- Magazine Capacity: 60 – 70 nails
When I received the RIDGID Framing Nailer R350RHD, I immediately was impressed with the carrying bag. It was well constructed, and very convenient to have around. I provide tools to our employees, but I know a lot of framing crews who insist upon you bringing your own nailer and saw. The heavy duty bag appears to be able to stand up to the abuse, as well as keeping your nailer and accessories organized.
The nailer, with FastenEdge technology, was well balanced and noticeably lighter than other options, most likely due to the magnesium housing. The prevalence of magnesium housings has revolutionized the tool world. More durable than aluminum and lighter than steel, magnesium has made lightweight, tough tools a reality.
The handle was over-molded and felt great in the hand. I liked that the grip felt like it would hold up well, as I have had nailers in the past that the grip wore out and fell off. In the hot summers here in Missouri, those nailers basically could not be used as they were too hot to pick up.
The nailer has an aggressive safety claw which is essential for toe nailing and comes with a ‘no-mar’ pad for more delicate projects.
The by-pass feature on the magazine is becoming very common and is a great feature for a nailer. The switch for ‘single-shot’ or ‘contact’ modes is tool less and handy to get to.
I loved the pivoting quick-connect air hose connection. This all but eliminated tangled hoses which is extremely handy when there are several scattered around on the job site. This is a wonderful feature.
I also thought the spring loaded access to the driver was great in case of a nail-jam.
The fully rotating rafter hook is nice to be able to hang in all directions.
My biggest gripes about the round head nailer were the plastic cover that showed the firing modes, and the plastic, adjustable exhaust port. I am hard on my tools, especially framing tools, and they get dropped, kicked and swung around by their hose. Plastic parts ALWAYS get broken on our jobs.
I enjoyed the adjustable port, but if it ever gets broken, it just exhausts in your face. I also thought the placement of the no-mar head storage in the handle could be improved upon. I knocked it off with my leg a couple times before just sticking it in the bag.
Using the RIDGID Framing Nailer R350RHD
To test the nailer, I decided the best way was to go ahead and frame with it for a couple of days. I immediately loved the pivoting air hose connection. This really is a wonderful feature and hope that it holds up well over time. The nailer had no issues driving 3.5” nails. I nailed down subfloor, studs to the plates, and joists. The R350RHD never missed a beat.
On this particular job, there was no large engineered lumber to test it on. I decided to use a couple scraps from another job and rapid fire 3.5” nails into two 1.75” LVLs. The nailer drove all nails in completely and had no issue keeping up.
After two days of testing, I was definitely more worn out than the nail gun. The RIDGID R350RHD nailer did exactly what you want from a professional quality nailer and more. I was impressed with the quality and performance of the tool, and throw in the remarkable price point (under $200), and you have a winner with this nailer.
Will Endicott is principal of B & J Construction LLC. in Joplin, Missouri. He oversees the daily operations of the business and its staff and sub-contractors. He enjoys all aspects of construction, but particularly enjoys using his knowledge and experiences to help and educate people on the correct practices of the construction trade. Will and his wife Ashley, have 2 children. You can learn more at www.bandjconstruction.com