Okay, here is the deal. If you read our review of the Paslode CF-325, you know we love this nailer. In fact we even named it the best nailer of 2011. Well one thing we know about Paslode is they listen to the consumer.
Manufacturer – Paslode
Model – CF-325 LiCF325Li
This is just one bad *ss tool. It is tough, well balanced and is a true workhorse. So when we first heard Paslode upgraded this tool, we were a little sad. We were amazed why someone would take an incredible tool and make changes. Once we wiped our tears away and read through what changes were coming, we actually became very excited. What we saw was Paslode left everything that was great about this nailer in place and made three major changes. The type of battery, the depth of drive adjustment and the battery usage.
The biggest change in this nailer is the battery type. As you can probably guess by the model number, this is now a Lithium-ion battery. What does this new battery mean? Actually it does a couple things. First is weight. With the new battery the tool with the battery weighs 7.25 lbs where the CF-325 model weighs 7.5 lbs. Okay you are right, not a huge deal, but everything does help. But here are the two things that make this change worth it. First, you can drive around 6,000 nails per charge instead of the 4,000. That is a huge increase in our books. But wait the fun doesn't stop there. The new Lithium battery will let the user put this battery on the charger for 2 minutes and then be able to drive another 200 nails. Again pretty impressive, 2 minute charge for 200 nails. A couple other huge advantages of this new battery is a quicker full charge cycle, plus it can hold a charge longer. With the NiCad it took two hours to charge a battery, now it only takes an hour.
The second biggest improvement they made with this nailer was the depth of adjustment. There are two orange prongs you can press in and adjust your depth. This is very cool and allows you to dial down precisely to get a good shot.
The third thing is battery usage. In the older model, you just push the battery in the nailer and you're off. Now with the new battery there are two positions. The first is basically the secondary position where the battery is sitting in the tool, but not making contact. This is the first click. Click it down one more time and the battery is in place and the nailer is ready to use. So what is the advantage to this? First, it extends your battery life. Why have the battery engaged and drawing down the battery power? Second, you can prevent yourself from accidentally firing the nailer. Just with a click, move the battery back to the off position when not in use. Now you know where the battery is when you pick it up and start working. You are not trying to play easter egg hunt and trying to figure out where you set the battery. Another cool feature is this protects your tool. With the battery in the off position, it prevents dust and debris from getting in the battery compartment and decaying the contacts.
One thing we would like to address is the magazine. We have seen a lot of people complain that the magazine is too small. If you are using this for a big job, then yes the magazine is too small. However we don't really feel it is designed for bigger framing jobs, the cost wouldn't even be worth it. It is designed for the smaller jobs, quick jobs, jobs where a hose would get in the way or cause a bigger hazard.
On the left you can see the difference from the CF-325 battery and charger to the new CF-325 Li. The battery and charger are both much smaller. You can even mount the new charger to an object of your choice.
There is not much to hate about this nailer. It is solid and tough. The tool is very well balanced and just one of those tools that is a true workhorse. This is one you don't have to worry about quitting on you.
Is it worth it to upgrade from the NiCad to the Lithium?
If you do not use your nailer much, we wouldn't recommend upgrading to the new CF325Li. As you know the NiCad does not hold a charge as long when sitting around, so just be aware of that issue. We would suggest looking online and see how much the NiCads are going for on places like eBay. If you can still dump your old CF-325 and can get some good money, where the upgrade isn't much, we would suggest that route.
If you use your nailer often, we feel the upgrade is well worth it for a couple of reasons. First you get 200 more shots with just a 2 minute charge. So say your battery dies 20 minutes before break or the end of the day. Just do a quick charge and you have time to do a little more work before break or the end of the day. Second reason is the CF-325Li charges a battery in 1 hour instead of the two hours. Perfect for a quicker charge during lunch or if you forgot to charge the battery at the end of the day. Third item is you get 50% more shots with this gun per charge. We would suggest dumping your old one on eBay or Craigslist and use that money for the new framing nailer. Just make sure you put your nailer on when you don't see a lot available, you should get a premium. This way your upgrade isn't too bad.
Paslode Li-Ion Cordless Framing Nailer Includes
- CF325Li Cordless Framing Nailer
- Rechargeable 7.4V Li-Ion battery
- Li-Ion battery charger
- Rugged carrying case
- Owner's manual
- Safety glasses
- 5/32″ Hex Wrench
Tool – 1 Year Full, 5 year limited