Should I Buy Porter-Cable FR350B ? Read Our Review

The Porter-Cable FR350B is used by many professionals and weekend warriors in their day to day nailing tasks. Over the years, it built itself a solid reputation as being a dependable, lightweight, and powerful framing nail gun that uses round head nails. As you would expect, it offers plenty of attractive features that do not go unnoticed. But how well does it stack up against the competition and is it worth your hard-earned money? Let's find out!

If you want to buy a nailer, here are some reviews that I recommend you to read such as Hitachi framing nailerBostitch framing nailerPaslode 902600Hitachi NR83A3Bostitch F28WW, Bostitch F21PL, Hitachi NR90AEDeWalt DCN692M1.

Porter-Cable FR350B Framing Nailer Review

Technical Features

Specifications:

  • Type: Pneumatic (Air-Powered)
  • Pressure: 70-120 PSI
  • Magazine Capacity: 60 nails
  • Angle 22-degree
  • Collation: Plastic
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs
  • Nail Type: Round Head
  • Collation: Plastic
  • Nail size: 2 - 3.5 inches
Porter-Cable FR350B

Power:

To use the Porter-Cable FR350B, you will need an air compressor since this framing nailer is air-powered. The main advantage of an air compressor is that you do not have to worry about refills. It also offers superior and more versatile penetration power than a gas-powered framing nailer like the Paslode 902600, for example.

Porter cable rates this nailer as working with an air compressor between 70-120 PSI. What this means is that your average air compressor will amply suffice to power this framing gun. You do not need a very expensive or sophisticated air compressor to get started right away.

You can easily nail 2 - 3.5 inches plastic collated round head nails in any type of material, from engineered wood, to even hardwood with this device. Since it is powered by an air compressor, you can always increase the PSI to deliver more oomph when required. Some people have even successfully used this unit with a 140 PSI, which is more than the rated pressure power set by Porter Cable.

Capacity:

What we like about this framing nailer is the versatility, specifically in terms of capacity. At this point, it is good to note that the Porter-Cable FR350B uses round head nails only. If your building code requires you to use clipped nails, then you need to go with the Porter-Cable FC350.

The magazine capacity offers a rich 60 nails autonomy. This is not as good as the clipped nail Bostitch F28WW framing nailer with its 100 nail capacity, but it is still decent. This should prevent you from having to constantly reach out for nail refills. Talking about the nails, this model accommodates 2 - 3.5 inches round head nails in a 22-degree plastic-collated strip.

You do not have to fill the whole magazine to start using this device. The magazine nail adjustment makes it easy for you to use any number of nails you wish to put in without worrying about dry-fire. You can use a single strip of 10 nails or choose to fill it up to 60 nails. We like how this framing nailer gives you options on how you want to work. It even has a low-level indicator that will visually show you the nail level in the magazine.

Plastic collated nails are much cheaper than their wire collated counterparts with a major caveat that they can cause jams more frequently than wire collated nails. If you cannot have jams while nailing, then a model like the Bostitch F21PL is better since it uses wire collated nails as well as the cheaper plastic collated ones.

User Friendly:

We cannot talk about a framing nailer without mentioning the user-friendliness side of it. This model is relatively shorter than other reputable framing nailer models by at least 1 inch as it is only 15 inches tall. This might not seem like much, but it makes it much more maneuverable especially when using this device with only one hand in tight spots.

Furthermore, at only 7.3 lbs it is one of the lightest framing nailers out there, only trounced by the excellent Paslode 902600 CF325Li at 7.2 lbs. When you are nailing in an awkward position, every ounce counts. This model feels well-balanced and has a nice maneuverability to it.

Porter-Cable FR350B framing nailer

The depth-of-drive is very easy to adjust without the need of any tools. This will allow you to adapt to the material you are nailing which gives you more versatility when working with this nailer.

A safety feature that many would appreciate in the Porter-Cable FR350B is the trigger lock mechanism. What this does is prevent the framing nailer from shooting nails randomly and it will require manual intervention for it to shoot again. This model can do both sequential (trigger press) and bump mode firing (contact) very easily.

In addition, the rubber coated handles are one of the most comfortable and softest handles out there. You can use this unit for hours without feeling hand fatigue and it allows you to work in awkward positions in full comfort.

Despite using plastic collated nails that are known for causing jams - most customers of this framing nailer have never had one. This has mostly to do with the reengineered firing mechanism that makes it more efficient than older generation framing nailers.

Other Features:

  • Slanted Magazine: The 22-degree magazine slant makes it easier to view your nailing. This translate to more accuracy on the job.
  • Rafter Hook: The rafter hook is easily adjusted and practical when you want to hang your power tool.

Price

The Porter-Cable FR350B is one of the most competitively priced and value for money pneumatic framing nailer we have reviewed so far. It offers a very nice balance between performance and versatility. It works with plastic collated nail strips which are much cheaper than wire collated ones, so it is a framing nailer that will always get the job done for cheap.

Sure, it does not have the nailing versatility of the Bostitch F21PL pneumatic framing nailer, but keep in mind that it is also cheaper. If you are on a tight budget and looking for a reliable and powerful pneumatic framing nailer, the Porter Cable FR350B offers excellent value for money. It is hard to beat it in terms of price, and it's almost impossible to find something of better quality and features at the price that this model is currently being offered. You can click below for the latest price.

Pros/Cons of Porter-Cable FR350B

  • High quality built construction. Durable.
  • Offers plenty of power and works with any air compressor that can deliver 70-120 PSI.
  • One of the lightest framing nailers out there weighing only 7.3 lbs.
  • This model is shorter than other pneumatic framing nailers. It can be comfortably be held with one hand and easily reaches tight spots.
  • Accommodates a versatile range of round head nail sizes - 2 - 3.5 inches.
  • Trigger lock mechanism is a great security feature.
  • 22-degree magazine slant offers a clear view on your nailing.
  • Depth-of-drive is easy to adjust without any tools.

Cons:

  • Works only with plastic-collated nails and not wire-collated ones.

Who Should Buy?

The price of the Porter-Cable FR350B makes it easy to recommend to anyone on a tight budget. If you are looking for a reliable and well-balanced pneumatic framing nailer that does not break the bank, then this model is an ideal candidate. It has many attractive features that make it value for money, and hard to beat on a price to performance ratio. Of course, it cannot compete with more versatile models like the Bostitch F21PL, but if you work exclusively with plastic collated round head nails then this is one of the best framing nailers money can buy right now.

Image source: Porter-Cable