Paslode CF-325 Cordless Framing Nailer Review

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools, Product Reviews

Paslode CF325 Cordless Framing NailerPaslode CF-325 Cordless Nail Gun

Paslode cordless nail guns have been a productive tool for our crews for several years. I’m excited to report our review findings on the latest innovative cordless tool from Paslode, the new CF-325 Cordless Framing Nailer.

The Paslode CF-325 30-degree cordless framing nailer has been redesigned to meet the needs of framers. Paslode has re-designed the cordless framer in response to feedback from real professionals out in the field.

Paslode CF-325 Features

The new Paslode CF-325 features some significant improvements and features compared to the older versions of the nail gun. The new cordless framing nailer features several significant changes including:

  • All new QuickLode™ Fuel System which as been completely re-designed to make installation much easier and reliable.
  • The QuickLode™ Fuel System delivers 1,200 nail drives and a shelf life of 18 months.
  • The CF-325 has been re-designed to fire quicker that it’s predecessor which ultimately means better production.
  • The combustion chamber has been re-designed with stainless steel O-Rings which increases the time between cleanings, again increasing productivity.

Paslode CF-325Paslode CF-325 Review

I’ve used Paslode cordless nailers for several years both during construction and as a manager of construction crews. We typically use the Paslode cordless framing nailer in two situations; framing walk-outs prior to setting up temporary power on a job site and when we set trusses to eliminate dangerous hoses for workers to trip over. It’s important to realize we do not use these nail guns as a replacement for our pneumatic guns but as a supplement and additional tool in our arsenal.

One of the issues that we’ve had with the older versions of Paslode nailers was the slow response (nailing) time. In addition we also would have problems getting the fuel cell to properly seat itself and work properly. So when Paslode asked us to review the new gun I was eager to see if these previous issues had been resolved with the new CF-325.

Paslode QuickLode FuelI’m happy to say that the new Paslode CF-325 performed beyond my expectations. The new CF-325 really impressed us in several ways:

  • The new CF-325 definitely shoots nails much faster than the previous versions. In fact I was able to shoot nail after nail as fast as I could into LVL engineered lumber with no problems at all.
  • The CF-325 is much easier to “activate” with respect to the safety nosepiece. The new nosepiece requires much less force in order to engage the safety mechanism prior to shooting a nail. This reduced force requirement means much less stress on the framer.
  • The new QuickLode™ Fuel System is a huge improvement. Now all you do is drop the fuel into the gun, close the door and you’re ready to fire.
  • New and improved rafter hook is now wide enough so you can actually hang the gun on a rafter or truss.
  • The nosepiece has also been re-designed with two additional teeth to make toe-nailing much easier.
  • The Paslode CF-325 consistently drove nail after nail flush into two pieces of LVL engineered lumber. For me this is a true test of power and a huge productivity issue because of the amount of engineered lumber being used in new construction today.
  • Tool-less depth of penetration adjustment.
  • The Paslode CF-325 Cordless Framing Nailer is optimized to drive Paslode RounDrive 30o paper tape full head nails from 2” to 3.25” in length and from .113”, .120” and .131” in diameter in smooth, ring shank, brite and hot-dipped galvanized finishes.
  • Paslode has started a unique packaging concept that sells the nails and fuel cells in a single combo package. This ensures that you always have sufficient fuel for the nailer based on the number of nails that are used.

Final Analysis

Paslode has been making great cordless nailers for quite some time. I was very impressed with the upgrades that this new gun offers compared to previous versions. The new Paslode CF-325 delivers all the features that any framing crew would need in a cordless nail gun. The improved speed and handling really make this a worthwhile upgrade. If you’re in the market for a cordless framing nailer then I highly recommend the Paslode CF-325 because of the great features and trusted brand.

Where To Buy Paslode CF-325

The Paslode CF-325 is scheduled to hit stores nationally this spring. The CF-325 can be purchased for around $539  from Amazon (Paslode 902200 Cf325 FRAMING NAILER CORDLESS) and it comes with a carrying case, rechargeable battery and charger, one canister of degreaser, a tube of cordless oil and safety glasses. To learn more about the CF-325 or to find a dealer, check out www.paslode-cordless.com or call 1-800-222-6990.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the author of Tool Box Buzz and Today's Green Construction. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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21 Comments

  1. Baba says:

    Sounds Great! Wish I had one.

  2. Bobby says:

    Love love LOVE the new gun. Much more efficient on fuel and definitely drives more nails on a single cell.

    My one big gripe is that I can’t buy the fuel cells by themselves. I totally understand the concept of selling the fuel with the nails to make sure the operator has enough fuel for the nails, but it’s a tad frustrating because I bought this gun as a replacement, which means I have a fair amount of paslode nails sitting around waiting to be driven, but I can’t use them because I can’t buy another fuel cell! Ah!

    I know the paslode guys are impressed with their cleverness, but hopefully sometime soon they release the cells by themselves. What happens if I buy a box of nails and lose the cell or it’s defective? What do I do then?

    Oh well, just a minor flaw in a fantastic tool made by a wonderful company. I may complain but all in all, I wouldn’t trade my cordless framing nailer for any other nailer I’ve owned or used.

    Keep up the good work fellas!

  3. Streve says:

    I bought the new Paslode cordless CF-325 a month ago when my 10 year old cordless Paslode impulse framing gun broke.

    I like the new gun. I like how the fuel goes in and does not come loose like in the old gun. I bought mine on ebay for a great price after a lot of research on the web. It came with 2 fuel cells, so I was good to go with my 10×16 shed I am building. I already had new nails when I started and my old impulse nailer broke.

    Yesterday the new gun ran out of gas, so I drove 20 minutes to the nearest building supplier In Big Pine Key, only to find that they closed 6 minutes before I got there. So, I drove another 25 minutes to the nearest Home Depot in Marathon Key. Nope, no fuel cells for my gun and they have never heard of the CF-325.

    I tried exchanging tops from the orange CF-325 fuel cell to the red impulse cell when I returned home. No go, as the oulets are different sizes. Bummer.

    This morning I went back to Big Pine Key to try the two building suppliers there. Nope, no fuel cells and they also have never heard of the CF-325. One of them was going to call the manufacturer on Monday though because he wanted to stock teh fuel cells and get information about the new cordless framer. I did a little sales pitch at each place, explaining the features of the gun and why it is a newer and better product.

    Leaving there I decided to call Key West and find out if the building supplier there had the fuel cells…the orange ones, not red. They assure me they do, so, I drive into Key West, a 45 minute trip. Oops. They did not actually have the orange fuel cells for the CF-325 and they have never heard of the CF-325 nail gun. These folks cell a fair number of guns and sold me my impulse nailer 10 years ago when I was working as a carpenter for a construction firm. Geeze. So, I go home and have spent 3 1/2 hours on the road and burned over $40 worth of gas on a wild goose chase.

    I am dead in the water on my project, so I search online for the fuel cells. Bad news. They only come in combo packs with nails. I already have plenty of nails. Why on earth can’t I just buy the fuel cells? My only choice was to hand nail plywood on a 7/12 roof hooked into a safety harness I had rigged up. What would have taken about 20 minutes with my nail gun took about 1 1/2 hours. I have a knee that I recently injured, so hand nailing was really a royal pain! Not to mention that I am 53 years old and no longer work in construction, but am back in the field that I got my undergraduate Master’s Degrees for, so this huffing and puffing is taxing me greatly without having to hand nail.

    I am pretty ticked off at Paslode. Their marketing and sales suck in the Florida Keys. I guess the guy would have to come from Miami, a 3 1/2 hour trip each way, so he probably does not come. None of the building suppliers selling Paslode guns in the Keys have heard of the CF-325. I like the gun, but I really hate the unavailability of fuel cells, even in a combo pack. So, I now have the opportunity to pay shipping for fuel cells and more nails, which I do not need. The shipping is going to be outrageous. I am deeply regretting “upgrading” to the CF-325. I would have been better off to buy a pneaumatic gun at home depot.

    • Todd says:

      @ Streve – I can completely understand why you’re so frustrated. My only gripe with the new gun is the fact that they want to see the nails and fuel together. I don’t think we are the only ones to complain about this. I’ll certainly pass your comment on to them as well. I have a feeling they will change this new approach after getting everyone’s feedback.

      • don says:

        Hi my father in law recently bought one of these nailers that takes a CR175C cartridge, is there anywhere i could get some of the cartridges separately? I live close to wiinnipeg manitoba (canada). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

        • Todd says:

          Don – The cartridges are only sold with the nail packs. The cartridges almost always last longer than nails so they also sell nails separately.

    • Gorilla5598 says:

      I know this response is coming pretty late to this initial comment. However i thought to be very important to let all those who have been complaining about the fact that the new cf325’s fuel cells are only available in the “combo nail+fuel” packs.
      I was at home depot today to see if they had the larger size combo packs available when, like a gift from God, there were the new fuel cells just sitting there on the shelf like they had been there the whole time.
      I bought a couple and immediately thought that i had to make this discovery known to everyone. I am in the Nashville area and have not yet checked any other home depot, but am hoping that they are now all stocked and ready to solve the major (and seemingly only)problem that so many people have had with this new gun.
      I hope that if the separate fuel cells are not yet available in all areas, this gives hope to those lying in wait.

      • Mike says:

        I live in winnipeg manitoba and purchased one of these 325’s at Menards grand forks a week ago. My fuel cell just konked out and I didn’t realize what a pain it was to get a orange fuel cell. I have 4 boxes of nails and don’t want to get the cell/nail combo, just doesn’t make any economical sense. My wife is heading to vegas this weekend and I hope she can make it to a home depot to buy some, however don’t think she will be able to fly with them… help, otherwise this gun is going back to the lowes shelf.

  4. Keith Dundas says:

    I totally agree with the complaints expressed here. We all wish to buy fuel cylinders without buying nails. I am a do it yourselfer. I may not use the whold fuel cylinder before it goes out of date and will no longer fully drive naile. What do I do then? Let us manage our inventory of each, not Paslode! I do love the CF325 gun though. It is great!

    • Todd says:

      @ Keith – I’ve passed along the concerns of many people including myself about this issue. Apparently they are hearing this quite a bit from consumers (acknowledging that fact) and I have a feeling that this will change at some point. The gun is fantastic, just a strange way to market the gas and nails.

  5. George Latta says:

    I was going to upgrade to the CF-325 this year, but I plan to hold off until I can buy the fuel cells without the nails… To bad, I like the upgrades.

    • Todd says:

      @ George – The new CF-325 is a huge improvement on an already great gun. However, we tend to agree with you that the nails and fuel must be sold separately. I have a feeling this will be corrected in the very near future.

  6. Don says:

    Have tried the gun and it is a tool we wish to purchase for the additional convenience it affords and for safety issues associated with work where dragging an air hose is a serious liability. Having four Paslode pneumatic framers on the current job and purchasing dozens of cartons of nails, we need to be able to buy orange fuel cells without the nails, before we invest in this tool.

    Have recommended to every construction person and retailer I know to be boycotting Paslode on this model until they release fuel cells from the nail packaging sales scam. Who do they think they are fooling with the marketing ploy of “ensuring that you have an adequate supply of fuel.” What a demeaning and insulting portrayal of those of us who regard ourselves as professionals. The individual or committee who came up with this disingenuous sales ploy should be immediately sacked from Illinois Tool Works.

    • Todd says:

      @ Don – You’re not alone in this assessment and I’ve passed this along to the folks at Paslode. I do hope to speak with them more about the issue next week at the International Builder’s Show in Vegas. I’ll keep everyone posted. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Skip says:

    My wife bought me the CF-325 for Christmas. I love the gun but hate the fact that I have to purchase a case of nails just to get a cylinder of orange fuel. This needs to be changed!!! I hope someone from the Paslode company is viewing these complaints..

    Skip From St. Louis

  8. mick says:

    Paslode states the older fuel cells “Wont be discontinued anytime soon”, i wonder what soon is? I have an IMCT i use for house work. Given the amount of use it gets i would expect that it should last me 10-20 years. I bet they will now discontinue the fuel cells before my unit breaks. Also, to not sell the fuel cells separately is ridiculous. I know they want to sell nails but tethering the fuel cells to the nails ensures i would never buy the nailer. What happens if you buy a box of nails use half then 3 years later you want to use the remainder? You have to buy another box of nails because you can’t get fuel cells, nice! Pat the manager on back for me who thought up this tethered approach to marketing the consumables and changing the fuel cell design ensuring the obsolescence of the IMCT nailers. Will they find some way to retrofit the new fuel cell with the IMCT? I bet they wont, as it seems it was designed in a way to purposely make them incompatible.

    • Todd says:

      @ Mick – I don’t think you have to worry about having fuel available for that gun as there are hundreds of thousands of them still in use today.

      I recently traveled to the International Builder’s Show and discussed the new fuel/nail combo issue at some length with the Paslode reps. As it stands now the nails typically run out before the gas cartridge does. You can still buy nails separately. The thinking is that you’ll always have plenty of gas left over. If you go through a couple combo sets and you’ve got extra gas you can just go out and buy the nails separately. Seems to make sense. I think the issue is far from over and time will tell how they react to the negative push back that we’ve been hearing.

  9. George Latta says:

    You said “As it stands now the nails typically run out before the gas cartridge does.”

    Not true. My uncle picked up 10-new CF-325 for his crew and has found when he works in the mt area of upstate NY in the cold for 4 months of the year, he has used about 3 fuel cells to one box of nails. He said he will have all 10 for sale on ebay before the end of the year.

    Like I said back on December 28, 2009… I have NO plans to buy until the fuel cells are sold separately…. In fact I have told everyone I know to keep their old unit….

    • Todd says:

      George – Sorry to hear that. We’ve actually been using the CF-325 for almost a year now and we’ve never run out of gas before the nails. We’ve got several extra gas cartridges. It’s interesting to hear that maybe it’s an issue of elevation. Do you know what elevation your uncle is working at? Cold weather can certainly be an issue for this gun but we find that if you keep the gas cartridge in your pocket when you’re not working it keeps it warmer and the performance is better.

  10. Lee says:

    @Lee-I have not used the new cf-325 yet. I can tell you that being in buisiness 22 years I started using all air tools untill about 15 years ago. Since then Paslode Framing and trim guns have been in my life. I love the portability of these weapons (tools). These tools have saved me hundreds of precious hours of work over that period of time. At this current point my guns are working but if an expensive repair comes up I will definitely purchase one of these bad boys. These are some of my favorite tools in the truck.

  11. anthony says:

    I have had the same frustrations,
    I picked up a pasloade at lowes ask a few questions and decided to put it back and do more homework.

    also 400 is hi anyone out there know of any promotion for a passload 30 degree framing gun gas selling at lowes?
    I have an account with lowes so I am purchasing from lowes, any help on a savings coupon or other sale on the passload please let me know , I plan to pick one up in the next few weeks.

    thank you all!

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