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Freeman PDX50C vs PFL618BR Review

You’re a weekend warrior, you like to do it yourself. If you’ve got hardwood tongue-and-groove flooring to lay, and you want the job to go faster, you’re in the right place. Forget crawling around on your knees. These two pneumatic flooring nailers from Freeman are made to handle ½” and 23/32” (or 3/4”) solid wood. The best part is each one has a magazine that handles three different types of fasteners, from staples to T- and L-cleats. Let’s look at them both and see which one will be the best for you.

Freeman PDX50C

Freeman PDX50C

Freeman PFL618BR

Freeman PFL618BR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeman PFL618BR 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer

As mentioned above, this 3-in-1 nailer has a magazine where three types of fasteners fit. You don’t have to carry around three different magazines. It holds between 100 to 120 staples or cleats between 1.5 to 2 inches long. Generally, the hardwood manufacturer will say which kind of fastener works best with the wood you’re going to lay. The magazine and nailer are made of anodized aluminum and need no oiling.

Without the fasteners loaded, the nailer weighs 12 pounds. It has a rubber grip for comfort and it stands 22.75 inches high. Take the height into consideration because you’re going to be spending a lot of time bending over while you’re working. If twelve pounds is too much, the PDX50C described below weighs less.

Freeman includes a rubber mallet with a no-mar white tip. It’s safe to use to rack finished boards together and it stands up to beating on the hammer cap over and over to drive the fasteners. The weight of the mallet is such that it will activate the nailer without any additional force. And speaking of finished boards, be careful with this nailer on finished surfaces. It comes with two interchangeable floor plates, but it lacks no-mar protection on the bottom. Slide the nailer in from the unfinished side of the floor.

The PFL618BR works between 70 and 115psi. The flooring board manufacturer may suggest a pressure setting to drive the fasteners. Changing the air pressure is the only way to adjust depth of drive.

More features of the Freeman PFL618BR nailer

  • 7-year limited warranty
  • Steel driver blade
  • Interchangeable floor plates for either ½” or ¾ flooring
  • Uses 15.5 to 16-gauge glue-collated fasteners
  • Comes with the rubber mallet, a hard plastic case, oil (because it is a pneumatic tool and the air fitting still needs lubrication), safety glasses, and a wrench to change floor plates and open the nailer to clear jams

Freeman PDX50C 3-in-1 Flooring Cleat Nailer/Stapler with Fiberglass Mallet

The PDX50C nailer is two-and-a-half pounds lighter than the PFL618BR nailer. This can help if you’ve got several hours of work to do. Another bonus is the inclusion of no-mar foot plates with a self-leveling front foot. (Although “self-leveling” seems like a misnomer when the user has to make adjustments to it with the wrench.) The mallet is fiberglass with a white tip and it is also made to not damage finished surfaces. It weighs 3 pounds by itself so the nailer activates just with the weight of the mallet.

The two foot plates swap out depending on whether the user is laying ½” or 23/32” wood. The included Allen wrench makes the changeover quick. The wrench is also necessary if the nailer jams. Few users have this problem, but if it does, there are a lot of parts to disassemble to clear the jam.

Although the PDX50C itself doesn’t need to be oiled, the air fitting will want it after about every 600-800 strikes. Depth adjustment is done by changing the air pressure.

More features of the Freeman PDX50C nailer

  • 7-year limited warranty
  • Uses 15.5 to 16-gauge glue-collated fasteners
  • Stands 20.75 inches high, 2 inches less than the PFL618BR
  • Comes with a fiberglass mallet, oil, safety glasses, and a wrench to change floor plates and open the nailer to clear jams (no case included)

Recommendation

Someone new to laying flooring may benefit from the PDX50C nailer. It is lighter than the PFL618BR by 2.5 pounds. It also has no-mar foot plates, so it’s less likely that finished wood will be damaged if you forget and set it down on your new flooring. You may also appreciate the fiberglass mallet with a longer handle.

Besides the weigh of the nailer, consider your height. The PFL618BR is two inches taller than the PDX50C, and that could make all the difference if you’re bending over for hours at a time. The PFL618BR also comes with a carrying case.

Click here to purchase Freeman PDX50C on Amazon!

 

Click here to purchase Freeman PFL618BR on Amazon!

 

 

 

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