A few months back, we took a look at Ryobi’s 18-gauge cordless nailer, the Ryobi P320. We gave it a big thumbs up. It’s a useful, well-made tool, selling for a reasonable price (Currently $129 at Home Depot). We gave it a workout, and the P320 did a great job on all the trim I threw at it. The ability to do trim work without dragging a hose around (and listening to my 600-db compressor) was a treat. The only drawback? An 18-gauge nail is great for lighter trim, but for hanging ¾” door and window trim and baseboards, especially hardwood trim, a somewhat beefier nail provides a more secure attachment. With the recent arrival of the new Ryobi P325 Airstrike 16 gauge nailer at HomeFixated’s global headquarters, that niche has been filled.
The Ryobi P325 looks a lot like its little brother; the color and basic layout are the same. Shooting a beefier nail, though, calls for a beefier launch system, and a closer look reveals that the P325 has definitely been bulking up. It’s about an inch taller and two inches longer than the P320, and the upper chamber is quite a bit bigger, with vents in the rear. With all that, the P325 weighs only about one pound more, 6 lbs. 3.4 oz. vs. the P320 at 5 lbs. 4 oz. without a battery. Adding a Li-Ion 4Ah battery adds about 25 ounces to the weight of either tool, but makes them much more useful.
Some other minor differences include a single LED light rather than the twin beams on the P320 (it still did a good job of illuminating the work surface); an open-sided magazine, that makes it simple to see how much ammo is left; a sliding lever to adjust air pressure, rather than a rotary dial; and a much beefier lever to open the nosepiece for jam clearance.
The Ryobi P325 also uses a different method to load nails. On the P320, you depressed a button on the top of the follower, slid the follower back, dropped nails in, and closed the follower. On the P325, you pull the follower back until it locks in place, feed a strip of nails in through the slot in the back, and release the follower.
Here are the specs and features from Ryobi, followed by a quick video overview of the Airstrike nailer lineup:
Ryobi P325, part of the Ryobi One+ System
Uses 16 gauge, zero degree (straight) nails from ¾” to 2-½” long
Open-sided magazine makes it easy to check remaining nails
Tool-free jam clearing
Tool-free depth of drive adjustment
Reversible belt clip
Easily switch between single sequential and bump mode firing
Non-marring nose pads
The Ryobi P325 – Calling In A 16 Gauge Airstrike
In trying out the smaller-gauge Ryobi P320, I tested it primarily on several household tasks featuring lighter trim. I attached door stop trim to a bedroom door frame, put some casing on around a doorway, put in a 3/8” thick piece of flooring trim, and so forth. This is the type of stuff this gun was intended for, and it does a fantastic job. I also tried it out on a job where I’m re-doing all the floors, baseboards and window trim out of ¾” oak, just to see if it had the firepower to nail the tough stuff. Amazingly, it did; it put 2” nails through oak flooring and into the subfloor, and through ¾” oak trim into the framing, and was able to countersink almost all of the nails I shot.
Impressive though this was, an 18-gauge nail isn’t really designed to handle that kind of work. The nails are relatively thin, and with a maximum length of 2” aren’t long enough to get a good grip. Put all your heavy trim up with 18-gauge nails, and chances are you’ll be re-doing some of it in a year or so, after it starts dangling from the wall. Up until now, my Bostitch 15-gauge has been my go-to trim nailer. Since I still have plenty of hardwood trim to install, what better place to see how the Ryobi P325 stacks up?!
All the trim is ¾” thick oak, applied over ½” drywall and nailed into standard 2X4 framing. I loaded the Ryobi P325 up with 2-½” nails, and tested the depth of drive on some scrap wood. I ended up setting the depth of drive and air pressure both to the max, which is what I expected to have to do; sinking the max-sized nail through hardwood, then into old framing, takes some oomph. I set the mode to single sequential; on trim work, I worry more about accurate placement than speed.
The Ryobi P325 handled all the window and baseboard trim in the room, countersinking all but two of the nails a fraction below the surface of the trim. The failure to sink happens occasionally with almost any nailer, even the pneumatic Bostitch, usually caused by hitting a knot, a nail, or just a particularly mean and nasty chunk of wood. I was able to countersink them with a nail set, and all was well. After installing all the trim in the approximately 9X12’ room, the battery still had 3 out of 4 bars of juice left!
On this same project, I’m installing lots of hardwood flooring, too. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment; thanks for noticing. Anyhow, as you get close to the wall, the flooring nailer won’t fit, so I use a finish nailer to toenail through the tongue into the subfloor, and then to face nail the final row. The Ryobi P325 did a nice job of this, too, and the ability to get into the tighter space without fumbling with an air hose was a huge plus.
The Ryobi P325 is a great tool. It, like the P320, is well thought out, solidly constructed, and does a great job at what it was designed to do. It’s versatile – the ability to choose among fasteners from ¾” up to 2-½” should cover pretty much any trim situation you’ll run into. The nails are inexpensive and readily available, and no smelly and expensive gas cartridges are required. The tool didn’t jam on me at all, but if it does, it is quick and easy to get it cleared.
And hey, got all your indoor projects wrapped up? If so, you’re my hero – now get over here and help ME! After that, you can head to the great outdoors, to use the Ryobi P325 for all those outdoor projects on your honey-do list. Re-nailing all the Chinese garden trellises that self-destruct after one season, for instance… A line of galvanized nails is available from Home Depot, to help keep your outdoor trim firmly in place. A pack of 2,500 galvanized 2-½” nails is about $18, and shorter lengths are available. I bought an assortment pack of 900 nails in three sizes for eight bucks, which will come in handy for something; I’m already looking for something else to use it on!
Bottom line: If you’re a contractor, and want a tool that’s fast and easy to get into action on the job, or for punch lists, the Ryobi P325 should be able to handle crown mold, brick mold, baseboards – pretty much any trim job you come across. If you’re a DIYer that tackles lots of smaller jobs, or even bigger jobs like remodels, this tool could easily be the only finish nailer you’ll ever need. The Ryobi P325 does require a battery and charger, which are sold separately. If you have any other Ryobi One+ tools, you’ve got that obstacle met; if not, you can get a Lithium-Ion charger/battery combo for abut $60. The Ryobi P325 is available at Home Depot, currently priced at $199. Hey, Ryobi R&D people: Nice job! Now how about an Airstrike pinner and framing nailer??
28 thoughts on “Ryobi P325 Airstrike Nailer Review – The 16-Gauge Has Landed”
I just got the 16g after being very happy with the 18g.
But first thing I did was remove the plastic bumper at the business end because I need to see exactly where the nail will hit.
But the gun would only fire intermittently. I adjusted the depth setting both ways to the maximum but no joy.
With the bumper back on, no problems…
…any idea whats happening here?, I would really like to use the tool without the bumper.
That’s weird that it would get erratic just because the bumper was removed, Baz. Not sure why that would be the case. My son has mine at the moment, and I’m out of town for several more days, but when I get home I’ll try to see if mine has the same issue and let you know. Meanwhile, you could check with Ryobi support, and if anyone else has one, and you’re willing to try removing the bumper to see if yours does the same thing, please let us know.
Thanks Phil. I have been using the gun a lot last couple of weeks with the bumper back on.
I find that if I have the depth of drive adjusted to the minimum the gun wont fire at all. With it backed off about half way it goes mostly ok, but I find that I have to hold the tool at just the right angle.
Once I have this job out of the way I might take it back:)
Baz, I just picked up a P325 nailer, and note that the manual addresses the issue of not firing if the pressure is set to maximum. (They recommend to back it off a bit and try again.)
So it appears to be a function of the design, and not a fault in your particular machine. I guess I’ll find out pretty soon if mine will act the same way.
Hi everyone. Just bought one new at Home Depot. It worked for the first few shots and then it stopped firing. I’ve tried every piece of advice given on the web only to have it fire a few more times then continue to fail again and again. I’ve had good experiences with ryobi in the past but I truly feel they have failed with this nailer. I am severely disappointed with it. I’ve also notice that there is a terrible amount of refurbished ones available. That only means one thing.
This was an awesome article–thanks so much for writing this. I own both of these (newbie tool-a-holic), and I love both of them. I’m building shelves right now, and “the hulk” can sink a nail through just about anything. Anyway, I enjoyed reading this a lot–thanks again, Sherri
Glad you enjoyed it, Sherri. I get a lot of use out of my Ryobis, too; it’s so handy to be able to just slap a battery in and start nailing. Check back often, and we’ll keep you posted on the latest sweet tools to feed your addiction!
Hi, Clint –
Depending on the type of furniture you’re building, the P325 would probably work fine. You mentioned small projects, so I’m thinking end tables, shelves, etc., and with the P325’s 16-gauge nails and some wood glue, you’d be set. If you’re making a set of dining room chairs to use every day, I’d go with a beefier connection, like glue and pocket screws. As you can tell from Dr. Frank’s reply, it’s a pretty versatile tool, and once you get it, my guess is you’ll find lots of projects to keep it occupied. I do!
Thanks! I am indeed thinking end tables, book shelves, etc. And yes I would be using wood glue as well. I built a pallet book shelf a while back and it took forever because I had to nail everything together the ole fashioned way. This would be the perfect solution.
Now I wonder if Home Depot will have any Black Friday sales on these…. Hmmm…
Dare to dream! If they do, they’ll probably only have three, so to get one you’ll have to start camping out on Halloween. Could be worth it, though…good luck! Let us know how you like it, if you get one…
Found one on ebay “Like New” condition for $106 plus 90-day warranty and 30 day return policy no quetsions asked. Couldn’t pass it up, and I’m very excited to put it to good use! Thanks for the quick responses, Ryobi should mail you a check I have a feeling you are helping them sell these things 🙂
Great deal! You will ‘love’ it 😀 I was told batteries ‘could’ be on sale for that Friday. As Phil stated, we might want to camp out now. However, last year i ordered the Ridgid 18 v screw gun and got the same deal as dealing with the store lines.
Clint – That’s a great buy; it does pay to shop around! Clint and Frank – Earlier this year, our local Home Depot had a two-pack of the high-capacity Li-Ion batteries for $99, which is the normal price for one battery; if you need batteries, you might check it out and see if your store has that deal. Happy nailing!
Final question – any specific brand of nails work better than others in this gun? How do you go about deciding on the length of nails for non-trim work projects?
Any name-brand nails should work fine. My local Home Depot stocks Porter-Cable nails in 16 gauge, and they work great. As for nail sizing, I figure you can’t have too much holding power – I always use the biggest nail I can, without blowing through the other side. Let us know how your projects turn out!
I’m looking at the p325 for some pallet projects: small furniture and decor items. Do you think this would do the trick?
I used it to install 1/2 plywood, build shelves (cedar) in a closet, and install 8″ T&G cedar, build a door our of cedar, for an addition. Plus built all of the sills and trim around the windows and doors. If you are doing a large project, ensure you have two batteries for the tool. My only complaint (but it is the nature of the tool) is the size. I was building some shelves that are 10″ wide and the gun was too big for to nail the cedar to the inside of the wall cavity. Other than that, this tool is amazing. Low noise, fast cycle time, and ‘light weight’.
I bought one a few months ago to put baseboards in. I was using it yesterday and had a jam which I clcleared, however found the magazine cover stuck and i can’t find any info on how to open it. Does anyone here have ideas on getting it open?
I’m not sure exactly what part is stuck, Dave; the magazine follower, that pushes the nails forward? Unfortunately, mine is at my son-in-law’s, so I can’t look at it. Here’s a link to the parts diagram for the nailer; maybe that will help you see how it’s put together, and figure how to free it up. http://manuals.ryobitools.com/system/files/8524/original/P325_871_r.pdf?2014 If that doesn’t work, here’s a link to contact Ryobi’s support center; hopefully they can help you get it going again. Good luck, and let us know what you find out; maybe you can help out the NEXT person who has the problem. http://ryobi.custhelp.com/app/support/ask/incidents.c$enquiry_type/8
I agree about having the right tools! 😀 My next item – small table saw and the 12 in Rigid saw –
Dr. Frank – One bit of wisdom I’ve acquired over the years is that having the right tool for the job makes that job much more enjoyable to do (and usually faster and with a better final result)! The sooner I can finish up the task at hand, the sooner I can get on with other, more important things–hanging out with my grandson, for instance! Glad you enjoy the site; thanks for reading, and good luck with the rest of your project!
Does this do 16 ga too? I’m trying to decide if I need both the P325 and P320.
Hi, William –
The P325 uses only 16 gauge, and the P320 only uses 18 gauge. I don’t know what kind of projects you normally do, but if I were only getting one nailer, I’d choose the P325; it can use a wide variety of nail lengths, and the 16 gauge has a bit more holding power. If you do primarily lighter-weight finish work (furniture, etc.), the P320 leaves a smaller nail hole when it goes in. Let us know what you decide, and good luck!
I’m going to purchase this and sell my Pass load cordless nailer. That thing is so damn loud!
I was at my sister-in-law’s last week, helping them with a bathroom remodel. My nephew and a family friend used my Ryobi P325 to install wainscoting and some trim. It made the job a lot easier, as the room was small, and dealing with an air hose would have been a pain. They both loved the nailer, and my nephew, who is a bit of a tool snob (think Festool wherever possible), is planning to add one to his collection. Thanks for your comment, Gregg!
Great reviews on both items – this is my project – finish plywood for floor 1/2 inch birch or similar over an old porch floor (good condition) – cedar siding (interior) directly on the stud – I am leading on the larger of the two for future use but I am wondering if you think the original smaller version will work. thanks! frank
I would lean toward the P325. Either would be fine for the siding, but a beefier nail in the flooring would hold up better. With the P325’s range of fastener sizes it can use (down to 3/4″, which I bought a box of to use on a project at my daughter’s, and which work great), you should be able to find a nail for pretty much any project. Make sure for the porch floor you use galvanized nails. Good luck–let us know which you choose, and how it turns out!
Hi! I went with the P324 and used 1 1/2 in nails in the flooring (with glue). Wow! Is all I can say – it made the nailing so much faster/easier than I could ever imagine. I don’t want to think about all the hours spent (in many renovation projects) putting finishing nails in by hand. It should be a breeze boxing in the windows and hanging the cedar. (I didn’t mention in the first note that we enclosed the porch so the floor is now inside.) Great site! thanks for the tips!