Pro Tool Reviews
Ridgid’s latest framing nailer finished 4th overall in our shootout, scoring 89.7 points out of 100.
Overall Score 4.3 Pro Review
It seems like everyone has new pneumatic framing nailers this year. Ridgid has updated their popular R350RHE (along with their roofing nailer) with several points worth noting. The new Ridgid R350RHF certainly shares similar characteristics to its predecessor, but it’s more than just a new model number with a slightly different design.
Editor’s Note: The ratings reflect Ridgid’s performance in our framing nailer shootout. This review originally published on December 1, 2016.
What’s the Same?
Many of the features we loved on the previous model (and expect on a Pro level nailer) are still here. Ridgid’s HexGrip overmold covers the handle with only a slightly different design. You still have a dry fire lockout, tool-free actuation selection switch, toe nailing claw, tool-free jam clearance, and no mar pad.
The magazine has a bit different look, but features the same 2-step rear loading style. Fastener length and capacity remain the same as well. The depth of drive adjustment is found in the same place with a slightly lower orientation. You still have a solid belt hook and the unit comes with a swivel coupler.
You Still Get
- Ridgid HexGrip Overmold
- Dry Fire Lockout
- Tool-Free Actuation Switch
- Toe Nailing Claw
- Tool-Free Jam Clearance
- No Mar Pad
- 2-Step Rear Load Magazine
- 2″ – 3-1/2″ Nail Length
- Thumb Wheel Depth of Drive Adjustment
- Belt Hook
- Swivel Coupler
One of the biggest changes you’ll notice as soon as you pick up the nailer. The Ridgid R350SHF features magnesium construction that drops the weight down. There’s also a new driver system that allows Ridgid to claim the fastest driving speed in its class at 8 nails per second. I don’t know many people who will be able to fire a nail every 0.125 second and have much in the way of quality. We’re just taking this to mean there’s no way I’ll be trying to work faster than what the nailer can keep up with.
Though the fastener length range is the same, the upper size has shifted down from 0.162-inch to 0.148-inch diameter.
The magazine’s change is more than just a different look. The pusher has a new design that’s easier to pull down for loading and I’m hoping will help deal with the jamming issue I found with smaller nails in the last model.
The air diffuser gets a new look with a 3-way exit and there’s a new trigger design to go along with the slightly less contoured handle.
New or Improved
- Lower Weight with Magnesium Construction
- 8 Nails Per Second Firing Rate
- 0.148″ Max Diameter (down from 0.162″)
- Adjustments to Magazine, Pusher, Air Diffuser, Trigger, and Handle
Do Those Changes Result in Better Performance?
If you read my review of the R350RHE, you probably know that the first thing I needed to find out was if I was going to get jammed between strips of 2-inch framing nails. That’s what I decided to tackle before looking at anything else. With some changes to the magazine, pusher, and drive system, I had high hopes this model would be up to par.
As I came up to the end of the first strip I held my breath, waiting for the jam. It didn’t happen.
Strip after strip was fired with no delays other than the dry fire lockout kicking in to tell me to reload. The problem has clearly been solved.
The Secret Project
Lots of people have secrets. Some are in their heads, others are in their homes. I had a small project to work on for a client who needed a hidden door created to close off an area of the basement where items would be stored away from the reach and curiosity of grandchildren (not to mention anyone else who might be uninvited to the home).
I built a frame for the concealed door to fill the entry way using 2 x 4’s along with three-inch nails. Firing straight on and toe nailing were easily accomplished. The only issue I ran into was that I could have used a more compact framing nailer to get into the tight spaces.
Once the frame was built and hidden hinges were installed, I switched back over to two-inch nails to attach plywood that serves to camouflage the new door against the rest of the unfinished wall. By extending the plywood well beyond the dimension of the entryway, it just looks like another sheet of plywood mixed in with the rest.
Ridgid R350RHF Framing Nailer Key Features
- Magnesium metal housing provides lightweight and durable construction
- Tool-free selectable trigger lets you conveniently and quickly change between contact and sequential firing modes
- Rear-loading magazine with bypass pusher for quick, 2-step reloading
- Powerful motor can drive 3-1/2 in. by 0.148 in. framing nails (16d common) into the hardest engineered lumbers
- Dry-fire lockout extends the motor life, prevents misfires and prevents marring of the work surface
- Over-molded handle and trigger: rubber over-mold interlocks with the metal housing for maximum durability and prevents the grip from twisting
- Exhaust diffuser with muffler automatically directs exhaust away from user
- Tool-free jam clearing door provides easy access to clearing infrequent jams
- Aggressive “toe-nailing” claw reduces slipping during angled nailing
- No-mar pad keeps work surface clean of tool marks
The Bottom Line
I’ve used the Ridgid R350RHF on other work – it’s just more mundane than a hidden door. With the nailer properly oiled prior to each use, I haven’t run into any problems. The jamming issue I had on the previous model hasn’t shown up at all.
With the weight reduced, high firing rate, excellent performance so far, and a few minor changes making for a better experience, I can easily recommend Ridgid near the top of the list for full-size framing nailers again.
Ridgid R350RHF Framing Nailer Specifications
- Model: Ridgid R350RHF
- Power Source: Compressed Air
- Nailgun Angle: 21
- Loading type: Strip
- Maximum Fastener Size: 3-1/2″
- Minimum Fastener Size: 2″
- Minimum Recommended Operating Pressure (psi): 70
- Warranty: 3 years limited, Lifetime Service Agreement
- Price: $229
- Available Combo Kit: R350RHF-R175RNF (Framing and Roofing Nailer) $428
- Available Combo Kit: R350RHF-R350PNF (Framing and Palm Nailer) $289