Porter Cable FR350AFraming Nailer Review, Way More Fun Than a Hammer

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The Porter Cable FR350A makes swinging a hammer almost quaint. I decided to buy a framing nailer a couple years ago since I have lot more faith in my ability to aim and shoot than to skillfully swing a hammer. I settled on the Porter Cable FR350A due to favorable reviews and my obsessive need to have all my air tools be from a matching brand. One thing this tool is not, is small. I was surprised by its heft. However, most people should be able to operate it with one hand without much trouble. If you are shooting several hundred nails at a time, your arm will get tired. I have shot a variety of nails with it and it has easily sunk all of them (an adjustment knob helps to fine tune depth). Power is consistent. If you have used finish or brad nail guns, be aware this gun is different. It is heavy, loud, sizable, and has a little kick (coincidentally, all traits many gun enthusiasts crave). While we are on the topic of guns, you definitely do not want to reenact the scene in Lethal Weapon where Danny Glover uses a nail gun to dispatch evil-doers. This is a powerful tool, and should be treated with the respect you would a gun. Read the safety precautions, and keep in mind nails can become projectiles if they are shot at too steep an angle or if the bounce off a harder object in the wood. Keep your non-trigger hand away from where you are nailing. The gun also has an optional touch firing mode which I find a little scary. I prefer to line up the gun, pull the trigger and shoot, rather than hold the trigger and have it fire as soon as it makes contact with something (eg. my foot). Also, this is not a tool for tiny air compressors. It eats air, and if you have a micro compressor it may run constantly and/or slow down your shooting pace. Overall, I have found the FR350 to be a huge time and elbow/thumb saver. Available from local and online retailers including Amazon for about $200.

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About Marc Lyman

Marc grew up under a brave single mom who "encouraged" home improvement on the family home. Early toddler gifts included a tool set, and even a cordless Bosch drill when cordless drills first came out. In grade school (give or take a few years), Marc's mom said, "We need to cut down some trees. . . . here's a chainsaw." A father figure also involved Marc in many home improvement projects, including a summer of home remodeling in Palo Alto, CA. Toss in some Obsessive Compulsive personality traits researching everything home improvement related. The end result: a genetically pre-disposed, socially sculpted home improvement machine! For his complete profile, please visit our About page. Really, it's worth it.

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