Porter Cable FR350B Framing Nailer – Is This The Best Framing Nailer to Buy?

Porter Cable FR350B Framing Nailer Review

Porter-Cable is an American tech giant that started its journey in Syracuse, New York, in 1906. In October 2004, it merged with Stanley Black & Decker, another successful U.S. power tool manufacturing firm. Today, we’re going to reviewing one of the most demanding framing nailers from that family, “Porter-Cable,” and that is FR350B.

Yes, Men! Porter Cable FR350B Framing Nailer, a newer edition of Porter Cable FR350A framing nailer, comes with more functionality and a lightweight body. This improved version has already become a preferable nailer to any serious and occasional framer.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the Porter Cable FR350B review with us.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lightweight, 7.3 pounds only
  • Powerful enough to drive up 3-1/2 inch nails
  • Selective trigger with the lockout system
  • Tool-free adjustable depth of drive
  • Low nail lockout indicator
  • Tool-free adjustable exhaust
  • Make very less sound like “pops.”

Details Features Of Porter Cable FR350B Framing Nailer

By this time, you got to know about the Porter Cable FR350B nailer’s magnificent features. This FR350B nailer is specially built to help you do your home remodeling or construction works and other woodworking jobs, including siding, wall sheathing, and subflooring or building fence smoothly. Now it’s time to explore its other jaw-dropping features in detail.

Let’s scroll below –

Ergonomically Design

When I touch the Porter Cable FR350B nail gun, the first thing I noticed its ergonomic design feature. It comes with an overmold grip to ensure extra comfort and control when nailing for a long time. This 17.76 inches high and 21.65 inches long nail gun weighs just 7.3 pounds, making it the perfect tool for your regular home DIY projects. Its precision and strength to drive nails, however, make it equally compatible for professionals as well.

Power To Support All Day

There are many power sources available to drive nail guns in the industry. Still, pneumatically controlled tools are the most reliable and useful. And Porter Cable designs the 22-degree nailer for use with an air compressor. So, you won’t have to think about power cuts in the middle of your task due to the end of the battery charge or exhausted the fuel cartridge.

You’ll only need 70 to 120 PSI air pressure to push nails with the Porter Cable FR350B. You can easily get that much air pressure from any regular pancake-style air compressor. So, you can stop yourself from investing in any costly or sophisticated compressor. If you love the Porter-Cable, you can also check the Porter-Cable C2002 air compressor on Amazon. It will give you a 2.6 SCFM @90 PSI capacity, which is enough to drive nails up to 150 PSI efficiently all day.

The wide range of pressure (70 to 120 PSI) also allows you to fire up to 3-1/2 inch long nails in different woods, including hardwood or LVL. You can, therefore, find this tool as the best nailer for both beginners and expert woodworkers.

Capacity

If you have a project that needs to drive 1,000 or more nails a day, you can use this Porter Cable nail gun effectively as it has no power issue. In addition, it comes with an easy-to-load magazine that can accommodate up to 60 nails. You, therefore, need less frequent loading of nails and time to reload.

Besides saving magazine reload time, it will also give you enough flexibility to drive 2 to 3-1/2 inch plastic collated round head nails into different wood smoothly without having any jamming problem, which is great.

If you want to drive the clipped head nails instead of the round, you can accommodate more nails per magazine. But, in that case, you may have to face restrictions on building codes in several states of America.

Lightweight

Usually, powerful nailers are bulky in size. But you will find the difference in the Porter Cable fr350b nailer. This nail gun is among the lightest on the market and weighs just 7.3 pounds. So, you can use it all day without having any fatigue or pain in your wrist. You will not feel it substantial during working over the head, too.

Depth Adjustment

It’s obvious that you need to change the depth of the drive on the go to adjust to the thickness and hardness of the wood. The Porter cable fr350b rebuild kit is born to make your job easier. You don’t need any tool to adjust the depth of the drive. It has a depth adjustment wheel with detents, which will give you a precise setting of nail head. Therefore, with this nailer, you can save your valuable time without ruin the focus of the workflow.

Trigger-Lock System

When Porter Cable switched from its old model to the new fr350b, they updated this trigger lock mechanism, which is truly remarkable. It offers you two functions – safety and the interchange of the mode of shooting. Once you lock the trigger, it will not be going to fire any nails, so you’re going to be saved from any unnecessary accident.

And on the other side, you can speed up your nailing operation by setting it in contact actuation (bump) mode or choose restrictive (sequential) actuation mode if you need precision nailing.

Another great thing is the trigger lock button located just above the trigger, not on it. This allows you to operate it smoothly without removing your hand or take away your hand gloves.

User-friendliness

If the tool you are going to purchase is not user-friendly, whatever the brand value it preserves will ultimately not work. Luckily, this will not happen in the case of Porter Cable FR350B framing nailer as it comes with many user-friendly features.

It is lightweight, easy-to-use, and secure. Plus, instead of restricting you to a particular brand of nails, it will give you compatibility to use a wide range of generic brands. You can adjust the depth and exhaust direction without using any tools in it. It has a built-in rafter hook, which helps you to hang the nailer with a beam in the break time.

The height of this Porter Cable nail gun is less than 15 inches, which means that you can handle it comfortably in any tight space. In addition, the overmolded grip can give you extra comfort while working for a long time.

It’s not going to make any irritating noise like other nailers, though. It actually makes a “pops” sound instead of a sharp “Hisses” sound during the actuation, so you can deal with it without upsetting your neighbors.

Altogether, it is one of the best pneumatic framing nailers on the market that possesses all the necessary features that you need to complete your project (home or professional) successfully.

Key Specifications:

  • Power Tool Type: Pneumatic
  • Operating Pressure: 70-120 PSI
  • Fastener Range: 2 to 3.5 in. (dia. 0.113 to 0.148 in.)
  • Fastener Type: Plastic (Round Head)
  • Magazine Capacity: 60 nails
  • Magazine Angle: 22 degrees (support 20 to 22)
  • Tool Length: 21.65 in.
  • Height: 14.76 in.
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs.

Pros Of Porter Cable FR350B Framing Nailer

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable grip
  • Powerful enough to drive nails into engineered lumber
  • Easy to switch between sequential to bump mode
  • Low nail lockout to prevent dry-fire
  • Tool-free adjustable depth and exhaust
  • Reversible rafter hook
  • Easy to load the magazine
  • User-friendly and Inexpensive

Cons Of FR350B

  • Only support round head plastic collated nails, not clipped head
  • The auto-trigger is a bit wobbly to protect accidental double click
  • All the non-major parts (nail clip, slide, hanger, etc.) are made of plastic

Porter Cable FR350A Vs FR350B: What’s The Difference Between Them?

One of the significant differences between Porter Cable FR350A and FR350B framing nailers is that one is updated, and another is the old version. And it is evident that you will get more user-friendly features in the recent addition.

Let’s check them with judgment –

Body Weight:

The weight of the Porter Cable FR350A nailer is a little heavier than the FR350B. Weighs 8.1 pounds to 7.3 pounds of the FR350B model. If you have to deal with a nailer all day long and you’re looking for a lightweight version, the Porter Cable FR350B is the clear winner that you go for.

Power to Driving nails:

Both models are capable of actuating 2 to 3-1/2 inch by .131-inch 22° plastic collated round head nails into any engineered lumber efficiently. And they can be used in the same pressure range 70-120 PSI. In this scenario, you cannot claim one winner over the other.

Depth Adjustment:

Porter Cable FR350B comes with a tool-free adjustable depth of drive with detents or presets, which makes the sinking and countersinking of nails much easier by eliminating the guesswork with the compressor. However, you will get the same feature in the FR350A framing nailer too.

Selective Trigger:

The firing mode selector button of the Porter Cable FR350B is positioned above the actuation trigger instead of on it. Because of this, you have not to face any difficulty in changing the firing mode on the go, as you can do it without taking out your hand from the tool or taking off gloves.

Air Hose Connector:

FR350B comes with pre-installed ¼ in. NPT connector. Therefore, you no longer need to purchase it separately, what you need for FR350A. However, both the model allows NPT connection.

Rafter Hook:

You will not find any rafter hook on the FR350A. But, FR350B comes with a built-in reversible rafter hook, which allows you to hang the tool either left or right side.

Exhaust Port:

To get disturbance-free nailing, the direction of the exhaust port is an important aspect. And you will find 16 position exhaust deflector settings in the Porter Cable FR350B, which is double that of the old edition.

Payload:

You will find an in-line hard-coat anodized magazine in the Porter Cable FR350A that can hold up to 64 nails, whereas FR350B can accommodate 60 nails, which is 4 less than the FR350A. Although the number is not a big deal in saving operational time, the built quality makes sense.

User-Friendly:

The handle of the Porter cable fr350B is covered with an over-molded rubber grip to ensure extra comfort that you cannot find in the FR350A. Another matter that needs to be listed is lightweight and compactness. Though this FR350B is lighter than the FR350A, it is a little oversized, which means you’ll find FR350A more compact in design than FR350B.

In addition to the above, FR350A comes with a carrying case and on-board no-mar tips that give you extra comfort. Being an old edition, you will find that the FR350A is a tested and trusted option, but in case of need, it might difficult to find parts easily.

From the above discussion, we find that the features of both versions are very similar to each other. However, as a recent addition, FR350B is definitely an improved and more preferable tool. The final decision depends on you and the essence of your project.

FAQs

Does porter cable make a cordless framing nailer?

You’ll find a wide variety of framing nailers, roofing nailers, staplers, and other nailers in the porter’s cable house that run via the air compressor and the battery. They have a nice collection of finish and brad nailers that are run by battery. However, the Porter cable has no set of any cordless framing nailer.

What size compressor is good to go with this?

This nail gun works best within the pressure range of 70-120 psi, depending on the nail length and material hardness you’re going to fasten. So, any small air compressor that can supply this much air pressure will be suitable for this fr350b nail gun. You can try out the c2002 pancake-style air compressor from Porter-Cable or choose your preferable one from our reviews on the best small air compressor for nail gun.

Can this be used with a 150 psi air compressor?

You can definitely use this framing nailer with a 150 psi air compressor. However, you have to bear in mind that this nailer works best at 80 – 100 psi pressure. So, the air compressor must have the ability to manage the output pressure. If you directly operate it in 150 psi pressure, there will be a risk that the nail over sinks into the wood. Check more on the air compressor size in this article.

Can I use 21 degree nails in this 22 degree nailer?

Though the porter cable framing nailer declares that it’s compatible for 22 degree round head nails, you can drive 20 to 22 degree nails with this.

What kind of nails fits well with it, because no Porter Cable framing nails seem to be available?

You can drive any generic brand nails with this gun. It’s going to fit best with all the high-quality nails on the market. However, several framers suggested the use of Grip-Rite 21 degree round head nails to get the most out of it.

What size and type of hose is good for this?

You can use either ¼ or ¾ air hose with this. However, the size and type entirely depend on air compressor pressure exerted on its internal wall.

Is there any carry case with it?

Nope. It has no carrying case with it.

How do you oil a Porter Cable framing nailer?

To prolong the life of an air or pneumatic tool or nail gun, it is necessary to apply the oil in it regularly. To do this, hold your porter cable framing nailer at an upright down position. Then pour 10 to 15 drops of recommended oil in the inlet air pressure port. To help disperse the oil throughout the tool, you can connect the air compressor hose to the gun and pull the trigger two or three times. This is it.

Is Porter Cable owned by DeWalt?

At the very beginning, we said that the brand Porter Cable is now operating under the big corporation Stanley Black and Decker. Like Porter Cable, Dewalt, Craftsman, Black & Decker, and a few other brands are also operating under the same umbrella. Hope you get the picture.

Can I use ATF in air tools?

No, never, ever! Do not use ATF (automatic transmission fluid), WD40, aerosol lubricant, etc. in your air tool. It might ruin the rubber O-rings. It is recommended that you use only the recommended oil for your air tools.

Final Words

In our review of the Porter Cable fr350b framing nailer, we attempted to clarify both the positive aspects and limitations to help you select the right tool for your work. We found that it’s pretty hard to find such a durable and lightweight nailer on the market for the price it offers. You’ll find all the requisite features of a good framing nailer in the Porter Cable FR350B, which makes it’s the most preferred tool for all framer levels. So, for your next home building or renovation project, you can try this nailer without much hesitation.

Related Reviews:

  1. Reviews of 10 best cordless framing nail gun
  2. Top 10 best finish nailer with buying guides
  3. Reviews of 10 best brad nailer

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Tools Mirror

Toolsmirror is a team of some co fighters with extensive experience gathering data from worldwide, testing various items, evaluating, and producing evaluations on woodworking and outdoor gear. Our goal is to provide the most up-to-date ideas and tactics, as well as true anecdotes, to assist our readers in selecting the best items for their professions.

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