A lot of manufacturers are coming out with nailers that don’t use air lines or fuel, they run simply off of an 18V battery. Senco, Ridgid, Dewalt and others, just to name a few. Now it’s time to learn about the Ryobi 18V cordless nailer.
Ryobi has always been a great brand of tools, but lately they have seemed to really step up their game and make a lot more appealing and variety of power tools. The P320 Brad nailer is a prime example. This nailer which is called AirStrike is powered only by an 18V battery which means no heavy compressor to carry around, no hoses to trip over and no fuel to buy. When we first tested the Senco, I didn’t have high hopes for a nailer to run efficiently on batteries only, but I was a true believer after using that nailer for a while.
The Ryobi uses the One+ 18V battery which means if you have other Ryobi tools, you’re in luck. You can buy the bare tool and save some money. What really surprised me by the nailer was all the options you find in more expensive tools are designed in this Ryobi. First, is the bump and sequential switch which allows the users to easily adjust the type of firing mode for their application. If you want to be able to hold the trigger and fire away without having to pull the trigger each time, you can do that. If you need more accuracy and want to pull the trigger each time, you can do that too.
A plain and simple fact is that nail guns jam. Usually not the fault of the nailer, but other variables such as hitting a harder material, etc. If you do encounter a jam, you can take the battery out, take the nails out and then use the tool-less jam removal system to get the jam out. Just flip up a lever and the front comes off so you can easily access the jam. As you can see by the video below, make sure you take the nails out first. I forgot to take the nails out and you can see how they popped out of the tool.
Another cool feature is the depth adjustment. There is a large knob on the front side of the tool that lets the user adjust how far they want to sink a nail. I have to say this was fairly accurate and sank them in about the same depth each time. You will always get a little difference since wood is a natural fiber.
All these are great features of the tool, but what I really like is the LED light system. There are two LED lights on each side of the tool that help light up the area you are about to fire a nail into. To activate this, there is a simple push switch right next to the firing trigger. This is nice for two reasons. The separate switch means you can use the light by itself if you need to make sure you are firing in the right place before you fire. Another reason is the switch is positioned perfectly so you never have to think about pressing the switch before you fire. As you pull the trigger, you are naturally going to hit the light button.
On the top of the nailer, you can adjust the air regulator to increase or decrease the air. One thing that always irritates me is when nailers don’t have a dry lockout feature which means you keep firing and aren’t doing any really fastening, you just put dents in your work. Ryobi took care of that also with a dry lock out feature. Once you are close to being out of nails, the nailer will not fire anymore, protecting your work and the nailer. Speaking of protecting your work, they are two non-maring pads to help protect your work from scratches and more.
As you can see this nailer has a lot of features that you usually get with the more expensive nailers. The nailer will fire 5/8″ to 2″ nails. We didn’t count them but you can nail up to 60 nails per minute and 700 nails per charge, which is according to Ryobi.
I had a chance to use this nailer on my bathroom and it performed awesome. While it was a little heavy at first, after a little use it just felt great. I am not sure how many nails I fired, but it fired every time I pulled the trigger. I ran 1″ and some 2″ nails and it worked awesome. I did end up taking it into the garage to try and fire some 2″ nails through oak and found out that was a little too much for this tool, but how many times am I really going to fire 2″ nails through 2″ of Oak. Most of the time I am dealing with Pine and Poplar for that length of nail. The trim and quarter round was all oak. It ran through that fine. I had 3/4″ Oak trim and it did a great job. The light really helped since I didn’t have a lot of light because the lights weren’t installed yet. I was relying on some work lights which always seemed to be behind me where I didn’t need them.
All in all this is a great buy. The weight might take you back at first, but as you use the tool, you can see it has a good balance and feel. If you’re looking for lots of features at a reasonable price, this is a must have tool for anyone who needs to fire Brad nails.