When the Paslode T250A-F16 16-Gauge Angled Finish Air Nailer arrived at our testing facility, it came in a tough blow molded, orange colored hard case. Inside the case came the nailer, extra no-mar tips, safety glasses, single fire mode trigger and the owners manual. There is even some space inside the case for a two or three boxes of Paslode fasteners. Just to make sure that we used the correct nails for this trim nailer, the folks at Paslode kindly included some 1-1/4″ and 2-1/2″ smooth shank galvanized trim nails.
When we first opened the hard case, we were pretty surprised at the overall compact size of the nailer. Right off we could see some fundamental design features that helped make this tool more ergonomic. To start with, there is the one piece plastic magazine and handle assembly. Most all other pneumatic nailers used a one piece metal body-handle design and a separate magazine. What Paslode did was take some of their know-how from their cordless nailers and incorporate it into the design of this pneumatic nailer. What this did for them is gave a more overall compact handle and magazine design that makes it an inch or so shorter then many other 16 gauge nailers. Sure there is more plastic on this tool then others, but don’t let this be a detraction since the use of plastic has played a big part in the weight reduction and yet they still used metal in all the places that required it for long term durability. The manufacturer’s claim is that this nailer is designed to give 800,000 shots. Of course for the sake of our review, we put several thousand nails though without any incident. With regard to their larger number… at the end of the day we’ll have to take their word on it!
Some of the niceties of the Paslode T250A-F16 include the rotating exhaust outlet on the back of the body; it is nice to be able to adjust the air flow so that it is not blowing you in the face every time you take a shot – plus you can turn it in the event you switch hands. When there are no more nails left in the magazine, there is a nail lockout feature that will not allow the nailer to fire. This means no more blank fires and no more surface damage to that expensive wood work. Just to make sure that you drive the nail to the right depth there is a tool-less depth change adjustment wheel that just takes a flick of your finger to change. The magazine uses 16 gauge fasteners oriented at a 20 degree angle that can range in length from 1-1/4″ – 2-1/2″ in. Don’t worry, it is easy to find these nails almost everywhere since Paslode fasteners are sold in almost every major retail outlet. At the base of the handle where the air fitting is, there is a hanging hook. This hook can be repositioned on either side simply by giving it a slight squeeze and pulling it out. We did find on a few occasions, that the hook would simply detach by itself, allowing the nailer to fall to the ground. After a quick analysis of the situation, we found that when we spread the two side of the metal that made up the hook we were able to put more tension on it which helped to hold it more securely in place.
One small item that we did find a little curious was the fact that you had to swap the trigger to change the Paslode T250A-F16 from single fire to sequential fire modes. The reason that we note this is because, in our experience in the field, when guys need to swap small parts, things get lost. While it is not often that you need to switch between nailing modes, the more convenient and trouble free the better.
Testing and Use
In our experience there is really only one way to really test out a nailer and that is out in the field. Sure we tried it on some sample pieces of wood in our shop that ranged from soft pine up to some red oak – and we found the nailer was always able to drive the fasteners home, even when we tried the long nails in the hard wood. Out in the field, however, our first task with the Paslode T250A-F16 was to do the initial assembly of a pocket door system. When putting together a pocket door system, framing nails don’t cut it because they are much too large and split out the thin 3/4″ material that is used to put it together. What we did was load in some 2-1/4″ nails and went to town. Needless to say, with the Paslode T250A-F16 16-Gauge Angled Finish Air Nailer we didn’t cause a single split in the wood and everything was tightly put together.
Our next challenge with this nailer was to join a group of other finish nailers to install about 5000 sq feet of 8″ wide tongue and grove cypress wood on the interior walls and ceiling of a home that was being renovated. The procedure of installing this material was to simply stack it up the walls with a nail shot diagonally against the tongue edge of the board into the stud that was behind. Suffice it to say that we used up every nail that Paslode sent us (and then some!) and never did we have a miss-fire or a failure to send a nail home. The Paslode T250A-F16 Nailer got a lot of praise from the guys, especially when doing the overhead wood on the ceilings. They said that they worked installing the 2200 sq feet of wood on the ceilings over the period of a week and that the Paslode trim nailer was a life saver because of its light weight and the convenient hanging hook.
Just a side note about nails. We like the 16 gauge nails for this tool because they have the holding power of the larger 15 gauge trim nail yet have head that is small like most 18 gauge brad nails. What this means in the real world is that you can have nice tight trim work yet have less touch up and puttying to do before painting.
Paslode’s T250A-F16 16-Gauge Angled Finish Air Nailer is lightweight and compact, yet hard hitting, which makes it ideal for all kinds of trim work. This tool coupled with 16 gauge fasteners pretty much means you will put to an end split out woodwork and you will have less puttying to hide the nail heads. After firing a few thousand trouble free nails, we can easily say that this product is a worthy choice if you are on the market for a new pneumatic finish nailer. For our Performance rating we gave this nailer a 9 since it has both the features and performance packed into a small package. For our Value rating we gave it an 8 because it does well to give other similar nailers a challenge but you will find that this tool might cost a few bucks more then the competition.