Ridgid

Ridgid 3-1/2 in. Round-Head Framing Nailer – #THDProspective #HomeDepot

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot

 

  I have used many framing nailers over the years but for the last 20 I have pretty much settled on  Hitachi NR83A guns which are full round head in the same 21 degree configuration as this Ridgid nail gun.  I like to use full round head plastic collated nails because they are inexpensive and offer a very secure hold because of the full round head.  In some areas they are required by code where the clipped his nails are not allowed.  Since it is a plastic collated gun the magazine is quite long to allow you to insert two complete strips nails.

  I have never owned a Ridgid nail gun before.  I’ve never even considered one before.  No particular reason.  It’s just that I found the Hitachi guns to be up to the task and I never found myself looking for alternatives.  I have done residential construction for over 25 years now.  I am not a full-time framer and lately I actually do less of it than I used to. 

  The framing I do now usually consists of restoration work on fire damaged buildings or remodeling projects and additions.  We will completely gut one to several rooms up to a full house with a burned out attic and a big gaping hole in the roof.  Because of this I probably do not need a full-time production quality framing gun.  At this point I feel that the rigid is well up to the task to fit my needs. 

  My first good-sized project with the gun was in Puerto Rico. We were there as volunteers for disaster relief from Hurricane Maria.  Our crew was framing a new home on an old foundation.  It had a new concrete floor.  Using Florida’s code for a cat 5 hurricane as a guide there was a bit of extra work we weren’t used to.  The double bottom plates were bolted with 1/2” chemical anchors between each stud. Everything was nailed normally then Simpson strong tie hurricane clips were installed at every connection.  Both sides of each stud got clips top and bottom.  Each rafter got clips top and bottom.  Beams had steel straps up one side of the studs and over the top all the way to the other side of the studs.  It was the most labor intensive small house I have ever worked on. 

 

  I was very pleased with the performance of the gun. It had plenty of power for the treated lumber we were using to build the house. We used it to frame walls and  the roof as well as all the sheathing on the walls and roof. It was almost as powerful as the Hitachi guns. All of the lumber was solid 2x. There was no LVL available there. It was so powerful that we actually had to dial the nose back to avoid over driving the nails in the 5/8” T-111 treated sheathing. 

 

Some of the younger guys weren’t paying attention and got in a hurry. We had to show them the depth adjustment and explained why we need to utilize it when switching tasks from framing to sheathing. (They also got a quick lesson on oiling the guns every day) We adjusted the depth to just barely set the nail flush. The gun was very consistent after adjustments were made. The galvanized ring shank nails should hold for many hurricane seasons.

 

One thing that I really enjoyed was how easy it was to toenail with the gun. The nose is well designed and works well even in tricky and awkward spots.

 There are a couple of standout features I really enjoyed about this gun.  One thing is the big fat rafter hook.  It swivels around the gun for great flexibility.  Next is the dry fire lockout feature.  When you run out of nails it will not keep firing.  This helps the gun last longer and it helps your quality of work.  If it keeps firing without shooting a nail you may think you’re getting work done when all you’re doing is punching holes in your work. There are many guns on the market that will keep firing even when you are out of nails. I feel very annoyed  when the gun does not have dry firelock out and I don’t catch it right away. The sound does change when there is no nail but on a noisy job site with earplugs in and sometimes hard to catch it.

  The other feature I like is the onboard switch between single fire mode and bump fire mode. It is so simple to switch between the two modes and I really appreciated not having to use tools or disassemble the trigger to make the change.  There is also an easy clear jam mechanism that allows you to pull part of the magazine back and out-of-the-way if you ever get a nail jam or something bound up between the driver pin and the nails. The depth of drive adjustment I mentioned earlier is pretty straightforward and I think most people find it easy  to avoid over driving the nails or having them stick up from your work. The magnesium body is light. The anodized magazine is plenty strong and survived being dropped. Overall it feels  well-balanced and the over molded grip is comfortable in my hands. The curved and over molded trigger feels good to me even after a long day.  Each person is different so I would suggest at least going to the store to see how I feels in your hand before making a purchase.  You may feel that it is awkward or you may find that this is the most comfortable thing you’ve ever touched.

 

About the only thing I cannot comment on at this time is durability and reliability.  So far in my use it has been flawless.  I have heard from many carpenters and “do it yourselfers” that Ridgid nail guns are  good for the long-haul and easy on the wallet. 

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36 Comments

  1. Jeff Hoepker

    I’m Jeff Hoepker from Highland IL. I used that same gun in PRand was pleasantly suprised by it. I’ve used mostly Bostich and Paslode framing guns so having a Ridgid in hand was new. It definitely has a nice feel in the hand and was very reliable. I could use on to replace my tired old Paslode frame. I’m jeff_t_dadof3 on IG.

  2. Chandler

    Mr. ToolPig, I’m from Calhoun, Georgia and I’m starting out in the residential construction business. I’m 22 years old and this would be a great addition to my line of ridgid tools. This would definitely make framing and other projects much easier and quicker. My Instagram name is @chanclements

  3. Nick Tanner

    Hey, I’m from Nova Scotia Canada and I could use this to upgrade from my old man’s old Bostitch framing nailer that dry fires more often than not hahaha.
    Instagram name is nicholas_fn_tanner.
    Cheers!

  4. Will Morrison

    I’m constantly impressed by Ridgid tools! My name is Will Morrison, I’m 19 and I’m from around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I joined a framing crew a little over 6 months ago now and I’ve learned a ton. I figured a good tool to have at this point would be a framing gun (obviously). I have an older battery ridgid saw zall that I love, a buddy of mine even gave it to me. So I am curious to see what the Ridgid framing nailer is like. willmorr23

  5. Nick

    The great review I have been waiting for! I’ve been looking at this gun for quite some time in stores but never purchased it yet. I am a 21 year old carpenter from Pennsylvania PA. I’ve been using a handy down nailer since I started at 17. We do lots of framing, decks and additions that has put my gun in need of a rebuild/replacement a few days ago. I can really use this gun and it will be put to good use! Thanks for all your great tool reviews.

  6. Nick

    The great review I have been waiting for! I’ve been looking at this gun for quite some time in stores but never purchased it yet. I am a 21 year old carpenter from Pennsylvania PA. I’ve been using a old handy down nailer since I started at 17. We do lots of framing, decks and additions that has put my gun in need of a rebuild/replacement a few days ago. I can really use this gun and it will be put to good use! Thanks for all your great tool reviews.

  7. Matt Szuba

    My name is Matt Szuba IG: @szuba333

    I’m from Melbourne, Florida but currently living in Gainesville. I have all Ridgid products and could really use this nailed for general handyman work and home improvement projects. Deck, Fence, accent wall, etc. Thanks!

  8. Jesus Salas

    Great review! I love that you are willing to take time out of your schedule to help others in need. Must feel great and heart warming to help others in need. Gun looks awesome and I’m sure it would be a great improvement from my husky.

  9. Matt

    Great review! I’d love to have one of these! We just finished pouring the foundation for a mother-in-law sweet in the back of our house. I’m doing the whole thing by myself, (minus plumbing,electrical and foundation). I had an old hitachi and it just broke a month ago so I’ve been ripping nails off one by one to hammer away at.

  10. Jonathan Cole

    I have a few other Ridgid power and pneumatic tools and love them. Would use this for a basement remodel that was finished in the early ‘70s. There’s no insulation, ceiling tiles and paneling on the walls. Live in Victoria British Columbia. Instagram @jonhcole

  11. Derek W

    Great review! My brother has an older Rigid framing nailer that he’s had for probably 10 years. I steal it from him sometimes to take on my own projects. It’s been flawless, it’s very robust and has taken a beating. Recently I used it to frame up a nice wrap around deck on my house! I hate borrowing his stuff, and I’d love a Rigid nailer for myself. I am an electrician by trade, but spent 4 years as a residential framer before I switched trades. I’d love to have this nailer when I restore the barn on my property on the Canadian prairies! Thanks for all the work you do to bring us the latest and greatest! IG: @darth_schmader

  12. tim

    Hi my name is Timothy Petteruto i am from los angeles ca. i am about to build a deck off my master bedroom and have been looking at framing nail guns. cordless? or Pneumatic?
    thanks for the opportunity.
    @kimos626garage
    Thanks
    Tim

  13. Derek Cahill

    This thing looks amazing. Love the overall look of it and really seems to have a good grip from what I can see. My name is Derek Cahill, 26, I work out of the west suburbs of Chicago and do a lot of framing for work I do. Decks, rough framing additions or remodeling kitchens. I currently have one gun with bump fire that can be awkward to use at times due to the overall design and lack of rafter hook. It would be great to have a another gun with bump fire options for my new guys who are still learning and can graduate into using it. All without changing the one they use.

  14. Andy Buehn

    @mrbuehn here from Evansville IN. I could really use this for 2 upcoming bathroom remodels as well as new kitchen we are planning after that. Layout of our 1958 Mid Century Modern House just isn’t working. Time to tear down some walls and get it put back together again. Thanks for all you do!

  15. Derek Cahill

    This thing looks amazing. Love the overall look of it and really seems to have a good grip from what I can see. I work out of the west suburbs of Chicago and do a lot of framing for work I do. Decks, rough framing additions or remodeling kitchens. I currently have one gun with bump fire that can be awkward to use at times due to the overall design and lack of rafter hook. It would be great to have a another gun with bump fire options for my new guys who are still learning and can graduate into using it. All without changing the one they use.

  16. Evan kelley

    Really great to see rigid with a nice review. Would love to try it over here in some cold climates seeing I live on Boston ma. Great review though

  17. Ramiro Pardo

    I love Rigid! Who will give lifetime warranties if their tools wouldn’t last? No one of course that’s why rigid tools are awesome!

  18. Caleb Hopke

    Nice review. I’m from Columbia, Mo. This would be a great gun to have. Would like it for building fence, decks, and light framing! @calebhopke on Instagram

  19. Eric L Faga

    As carpenter using tools is part of the business. Not keeping an open opinion on other manufacturers could pigeon hole you. Glad to here it was put through the ringer. @fagadaddy

  20. Tony Cizinoski

    I own a ridgid stapler and use it quite often. I ‘m DIYer and plan on doing reno’s in both bathrooms and main kitchen. I also need to install a front entrance storm door and garden doors for the kitchen access to a new deck. I would love to win this nice nail gun , thanks for the opportunity Paul!!! My Instagram is @cizinoski48 and I’m from Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Canada…

  21. Clayton Carley

    Love my other ridgid tools. I’m from Menasha, WI and would love to try out this framing nailer as I’m currently using a 30 degree hitachi framing nailer and could use the 21 degree! My Instagram is piocontracting. Love the reviews by the way!

  22. Caleb Hopke

    My name is Caleb Hopke I live in Columbia, MO. I could really use a framing gun to build fences, decks, and other light framing. It would really come in handy. @calebhopke

  23. I have used this once before and was surprised at how it held up doing some framing work. It wasnt to heavy so that helped .
    I’m from California, I could use this framing nailer because quite frankly I dont own one.
    @Johnnrivera22

  24. Liam

    I’m from Carbondale PA. I could definitely use the gun on an upcoming project of putting on 12×20 additions on 40 cabins. The only catch is it’s only winter work. Hopefully it can keep up in the cold. IG name is oldorchard_homes.

  25. I’m from Charlotte, North Carolina and I work for Habitat building new homes. We could always use another framing nailer!

  26. John Card

    I don’t currently have a framing nailer. This looks like a quality gun for a DIY person like me. I wouldn’t have to worry about Florida building regulations up here in Ohio where I live, but I’m glad it held up in those situations.

    Instagram name = @ohiostatebuckeyefan

  27. Tim

    Sunny so cal, building a deck for a friend soon. It would be nice to have a framing nail gun to make quick work out of it. @kimos626garage

    Thanks for the opportunity and the great reviews

  28. Josh Barton

    Looks like a great nailer.

    Would use one of these to build a few deer blinds.
    Texas
    @baldybarton

  29. Curtis

    Need a new framing nailer to build my dad a garage next spring. WinniPIG Manitoba
    @manitobacarpenter

  30. Vincenzo

    My name is vinny, Instagram name enzos_remodeling and I’m from long island New York. I could use this framing nailer for when I’m framing obviously and doing decks. I currently have an older porter cable 21° but it’s on it’s way out. I like the feature of quick jamming repair, instead of having to need Allen Keyes to open the gun open and clear the jammed nail.

  31. Jarrod Sarens

    I Need this!
    My Insta name is Jarrod_sarens
    I am from Winnipeg Manitoba
    I need this because I plan to build my own home and a tool like this will save my forearms from nailing headers all day!!
    Thank you

  32. D. Reuter

    Good review and solid work helping rebuild in PR. I did a little work in PR after Hurricane Maria plenty of work to be done.

  33. Francisco Rodriguez

    Great Review, thanks for pointing out the features like the dry fire, and the fire mode bump vs single. Another thing I learned how to oil a nailing gun or that they need to oiled everyday. I don’t own a framing gun, and I have project at home rebuilding my back fence. Part of the fence got knocked down when we removed the giant redwood tree in the back of the house. Having this framing nail gun would definitely help me tackle this project.

    power_tools_fiend

  34. This gun looks awesome, I’m a carpenter from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Would be a nice addition to my tool collection and would come in handy for a wide variety of projects.

  35. Jeff Damhoff

    Orland Park, IL
    My current framing nailer leaves a lot to be desired
    skips.shop

  36. Gabriel DeLapp - #integritycarpentry

    Great in depth prospective! I never knew Ridgid made framing nailers.

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