Ryobi Improves Power on Latest AirStrike 18-Gauge Brad Nailer
Since its original launch, Ryobi’s AirStrike cordless nailers have been an excellent balance of performance and price. It was clear there was room to improve, though, and advances in both battery and motor technology paved the way for a new generation. We got our hands on the Ryobi 18V One+ HP Brushless AirStrike 18-Gauge Brad Nailer to get some trigger time and see the improvements for ourselves.
- Lighter and more compact than the P320
- Brushless motor drives stronger with more runtime
- Much better visibility with AccuDrive nose design
- Dry fire lockout and low nail indicator
- Bump and sequential fire modes
- Slight firing delay
- Nose blocks the LED light
Ryobi 18V One + HP Brushless AirStrike 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Performance
HP Brushless upgrades have been pushing many Ryobi cordless tools to a whole new level of performance and allowing for more compact sizes. That’s definitely the case for the Ryobi P322 brad nailer. Thanks to its HP brushless motor and High Performance battery pairing, Ryobi’s cordless brad nailer is now able to drive nails in hardwood more confidently than ever—even up to 2 1/8-inch lengths.
We tested with 2-inch nails and had no trouble sinking them into our oak test block with or against the grain.
Unlike some brands, there is a slight firing delay when you pull the trigger. While it doesn’t give you the instant feel of a pneumatic nailer, we don’t expect it to have a massively negative effect on your workflow.
With a 4.0Ah High Performance battery, expect up to 2250 nails on one charge. With that kind of runtime, it’s no problem to drop some weight and go with the smaller 2.0Ah High Performance pack.
Ryobi 18V One + HP Brushless AirStrike 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Design Notes
Size and Weight
The size and weight of this nailer drop from the P320 it replaces. The bare tool is 5.5 pounds and a 4.0Ah High Performance battery brings it up to 7.1 pounds. With the runtime the brushless motor offers, we recommend the 2.0Ah High Performance pack, making the total package 6.5 pounds.
If you ever got your hands on the original Ryobi AirStrike 18-gauge brad nailer, you’ll be impressed with the visibility of this update. By name, it has an AccuDrive nose. What that means is it has a narrower tip with outstanding visibility. Once you get used to the placement of the nail driving from just above the tip, even a novice can fire accurately within a millimeter or two with just a few minutes of practice.
Setting the Drive Depth
Setting your drive depth is based on the hardness of the material you’re using and the length of the nail—that’s nothing new. There’s a two-step process to dial it in on this nailer, though. First, you have a typical depth thumbwheel on the front of the tool. Then there’s a pressure dial on the back of the tool.
Start with the pressure dial when you’re taking your first test shots. It’s very possible to get the depth you need from that alone. If it’s still not quite sinking the way you want, then turn to the thumbwheel.
- Tool-free selectable fire modes (bump/sequential)
- Simple tool-free jam access with a latch above the magazine
- Spare no-mar tip stores on the magazine
- LED light activation with a secondary trigger just below the main trigger
- Dry fire lockout and low nail indicator
Ryobi 18V One + HP Brushless AirStrike 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Price
The Ryobi P322 runs $179 as a bare tool and includes a 3-year warranty. Currently, there are no kit options available. If you don’t need quite as high of a performance level, the brushed P321 has a very similar design and is coming soon and we expect the price to run $129.
Ryobi Airstrike Cordless 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Quick Comparison
|Ryobi P320||Ryobi P321||Ryobi P322|
|Bare Weight||6.0 lbs||5.0 lbs||5.5 lbs|
|Max Nail Length||2 in.||2 in.||2 1/8 in.|
|Runtime (4.0Ah)||700 nails||1900 nails||2250 nails|
The Bottom Line
Adding a brushless motor and improving the nose design makes the Ryobi P322 cordless 18-gauge brad nailer leaps and bounds better than the P320. Consistently powerful driving in hardwoods and more accurate firing highlight a thoughtful redesign along with a price tag that offers an excellent value compared to premium brands.
- Model: Ryobi P322
- Power Source: Ryobi 18V One+ battery (High Performance pack recommended)
- Nail Size: 18-gauge
- Nail Length: 5/8 to 2 1/8 inches
- Capacity: 105
- Weight: 5.5 pounds bare
- Length: 11.7 inches
- Price: $179 bare
- Warranty: 3 years