Comparing the Paslode IM350+ and IM360XI: which nail gun is right for you?

For many carpenters, the Paslode IM350+ is one of the most reliable nail guns on the market. You’ve likely used it for many jobs, it’s never let you down and it’s something you’d recommend.

But, the introduction of the IM360XI somewhat complicates things. Is it better? Can it make your work more efficient or easier? Is it cheaper to maintain?

As Multifix, we stock both products and the nails for them, these are questions we’re asked by carpenters who are always exploring how they can do their job better.

The truth is, you might not actually need to change. With some unsure in which direction to go in, we’ve put together a comparison article that identifies the pros and cons of each product.

After reading this article, you’ll be able to identify what each nail gun does and which one is best for your needs.

The IM350+ and IM360XI – what’s the difference?

For those of you who have read our Your Paslode questions answered article, you’ll know that the long and short of it is that the IM350+ is lighter. However, the IM360XI is more powerful and much more technologically advanced. They also both require different gas cells.

Perhaps the main key difference is the type of nail, though. The IM350+ will only take clipped head nails, or D head nails. By contrast, the IM360XI will only take full roundhead nails.

Aside from that though, they are very similar. The nail length range on both is 50-90mm and it’s the same 2.1 Ah Li-ion battery for both as well, which takes 90 minutes to recharge.

Additionally, both will manage two to three fixings per second, which equates to around 1000 fixings per hour.

Now, we’ll delve into the specifics to help you understand each product better.

Weight and handling

As mentioned above, the IM350+ is a lighter nail gun than the IM360XI. There isn’t much in it – half a kilogram, in fact (3.3kg vs 3.8kg) – but it’s lighter nonetheless.

You may think half a kilogram doesn’t mean much, but it has a huge impact on the levels of vibration both emit. The vibration value in metres per second squared for the IM350+ is 2.6kg, whereas on the IM360XI it’s 3.9kg. That’s quite the difference in kickback.

The IM350+ is also smaller than the IM360XI, which makes sense given the weight difference. The IM350+ is 370 x 305 x 110mm, while the IM360XI is 381 x 328 x 127mm.

There’s also quite a difference in noise, too. The IM350+ is quieter than the IM360XI, with the sound level of the IM350+ being 89 dB (A), compared to 96 dB (A) for the IM360XI.

Taking everything into account then, the IM350+ is easier to handle, lighter, quieter and doesn’t vibrate as much.

Winner: IM350+

Power and performance

While the IM360XI isn’t as light or compact as the IM350+, it certainly makes up for that in other areas. 

With the IM360XI, you will get 1250 shots from each gas cell. By contrast, the IM350+ will give you 1100, so you get 150 extra shots with the IM360XI. 

Most impressively though, you will get 13,000 shots per battery charge with the IM360XI. This is a huge upgrade on the IM350+, which will give you 9000 shots per battery charge. 

The IM360XI is also significantly more powerful than the IM350+. In terms of impact force per shot, the IM360XI will give you 105 joules, while the IM350+ will give you 82. As far as power-to-weight goes then, the IM360 really does pack a huge punch. 

There is a slight caveat, however. The magazine capacity for the IM360XI is 47 nails, whereas on the IM350+, it’s 55 nails. 

Despite that though, the IM360XI is head and shoulders above the IM350+ when it comes to power and performance.

Winner: IM360XI

Technology, nails and cost 

Nail gun technology

Given the IM360XI is a much newer model, there’s no surprise that it comes with a few gadgets that the IM350+ doesn’t have.

Aside from the obligatory on/off switch, both also come with a rafter and belt hook. Where they differ though, is that the IM360 has a battery and fuel gauge, in addition to a Start & Go sensor.

The Start & Go sensor is essentially a power-saving tool, as it turns the battery off if there hasn’t been any movement for 60 seconds. This is great for conserving battery life.

The battery and fuel gauge is very useful as it tells you exactly how much gas and juice is left in your cell and battery respectively. For something so simple, it’s odd that the IM350+ doesn’t have this function.

Naturally, this leads to some unpleasant surprises as your IM350+ can suddenly stop working due to the battery or gas cell running out. This is at least prevented with the IM360, allowing you more control over the nail gun.

The nails themselves

Moving onto nails and as stated earlier, they are rather different. The IM350+ only takes clipped or D head screws, which allows the user to stack them closer together.

The IM360XI meanwhile, only takes full-sized roundhead screws. It is crucial to note that you can’t swap them over – IM350+ nails will not work with the IM360XI and vice versa.

On average, IM360XI nails are around £4-8 cheaper per pack than IM350+ nails. As an example, the nail/fuel pack straight shank 3.1 x 90mm for the IM360XI list price is £71.92 after VAT. The nail/fuel pack smooth shank 90 x 3.1mm nails for the IM350+ however, has a list price of £79.96 after VAT.

Despite the nails being cheaper for the IM360 though, there’s a good chance the contractor-supplied nails for a job are for the IM350+. This is because the IM350+ is still hugely popular, so the natural assumption is that it is being used for the project.

Cost of each nail gun 

As for the cost of the nail gun itself, it’s a dead heat. Both list prices are exactly the same – £527.99 after VAT. You can purchase the IM350+ here or the IM360XI here.  

Technology winner – IM360XI

 Nail cost winner – IM360XI

 Product cost winner – draw 

The IM350+ - who is it right for?

There is a reason why the IM350+ is so popular among carpenters and even with the IM360 being on the market, that won’t change.

It’s very easy to use, the nails for it are more accessible, it’s light and mobile – there are a lot of pros for using it.

It all depends on how you work. If you like something light, reliable and doesn’t kick back despite having some power behind it, this is perfect. It’s very compact, it isn’t as loud and it’ll let you get the job done quickly.

The IM360XI – who is it right for?

Equally, if you want something with more punch, then the IM360 is the best fit for you. It does everything that the IM350+ can do and does it better.

There’s more capacity, more shots per charge and cell and more power. This comes at a cost of being heavier, louder and with more vibration, but it’s also more efficient thanks to its technology.

It’s amazing how something so simple can be such a huge point of difference, but being able to see how much charge/gas you have left is very important.

What to choose?

Ultimately, this depends on preference. There’s no doubt the IM360XI is a better nail gun, but it’s also not as easy to handle as the IM350+.

Also, the accessibility point is something to consider. It would be very annoying, to put it mildly, to turn up to a job with an IM360XI and find there are only IM350+ nails supplied.

In truth, both are outstanding products. Paslode has essentially taken a great nail gun and found a way to make it better. It doesn’t mean the old one is suddenly bad, as both will be a huge asset for any project.

You are now armed with the information to make an informed decision based on your preference, though. And knowing this information, you can make a decision that’s best for your purposes and needs.

If you would like to speak to an advisor about our Paslode range, you can do so here. Equally, you can buy the IM350+ here or the IM360XI here. If you are after the nails themselves, you can find those here.