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A roofing nailer is the only way to get roofing work done quickly and accurately.
Whether you’re a contractor who’s going to be doing countless roofing jobs or a homeowner who needs to tackle or two projects, our best roofing nailer buyer’s guide and reviews will help you find the right one for your project.
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In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
The Best Roofing Nailer with Reviews
Here's a list of the best roofing nailers we found:
1. Hitachi NV45AB2 Roofing Nailer
Not so Good
The Hitachi NV45AB2 is designed to be quick and easy. It has a rapid fire function or 3 nails per second and a tool free depth of drive adjustment that’s as easy as turning a dial. It’s definitely a great choice for contractors but because it’s easy to use, DIYers will love it, too.
Safety is really important with a roofing nailer since you’re going to be using it to perform what could potentially be a dangerous job. This Hitachi nailer has a rubberized casing to make sure it stays put when you set it down on the roof slope. It’s also been weatherproofed so you don’t have to worry about working through a little bit of wind or rain.
This lightweight roofing nailer helps you work longer because it reduces fatigue. The comfortable rubber grip and balance of the tool mean it’s possible to use with one hand if you choose to. The carbide tipped nose helps with performance and accuracy so you’ll always land you nail right where you meant to.
While this tool is dual mode, you have to get a special trigger in order to use it in sequential mode or you’ll have to use it as an automatic. There are some plastic parts that wouldn’t survive a fall to the ground, but most of the body is made of more durable metals.
2. BOSTITCH RN46-1 Roofing Nailer
Not so Good
This powerful roofing nailer from Bostitch is aggressive and capable of driving 100 nails per minute. Zero nail lockout will prevent the nailer from firing when the magazine runs out. Then, just use the patented single-action side canister for fast loading. Just slide it open, put in a new coil of nails, and you’re ready to go.
A special thing about this nailer is it uses contact tip automatic firing. This is a great way to do large jobs because it helps you cover a lot of area by bouncing along the surface, firing the nail when the tip hits the material. The nose has a carbide insert to make sure it’s durable enough to withstand this method.
You also get tool-free depth of drive adjustments with five different pre-sets so you can quickly and easily make your selection and get on with your work.
It doesn’t come with the air hose connector, but if you have a stash of tools, you probably have one in your supply. It also doesn’t come with a case, which is a bit inconvenient when you’ve finished the job. These are minor drawbacks, however.
3. WEN 61782 Roofing Nailer
Not so Good
This is an inexpensive, use friendly roofing nailer that’s a great choice if you want something to get you through a job or two. It’s effective and will cost you less to buy than it will to rent one for the duration of the job at hand.
For the price, this is a pretty impressive nailer. It shares a lot of characteristics with some of the higher end models – 120 nail magazine capacity and it shoots the same gauge nails from ¾ to 1 ¾ inch. Its durable and can go a long time without being reloaded.
The rubber grip handle helps it stay in place when you set it down and makes it more comfortable to use. It comes with an adjustable shingle guide that will help you place each just so. A really great feature? This WEN nailer comes with a hard plastic case, something that is lacking with higher end models.
Some users called this a one-job nailer, and we mostly agree. While this tool isn’t durable enough for a professional to use day after day, it can be a great choice for one small job or as an addition to any home workshop.
4. Max CN445R3 Roofing Nailer
Not so Good
The MAX CN445R3 SuperRoofer nailer is an underappreciated tool. The people who love it gush about it, which is why we’re including in our reviews. This lightweight roofing nailer is only 5.2 pounds and, combined with the rubber grip, it’s easy to hold onto. To help maneuver the nailer around better, the tangle free swivel fitting lets the air hose swivel so you’re less bogged down by it. All of these things contribute to making long jobs more bearable. You can work longer and finish faster.
The depth adjustment is tool-free and so accurate that there’s no need to adjust the compressor. The nose is tar resistant and lasts longer than most other models and, when it does get gummed up, the contact foot is easily removed so you can clean or replace it/
The magnetized nose holds the last nail in the chamber so you lower the risk of jamming the gun and know when to change the coil. The special cap filter prevents dust and debris from damaging the inside of the motor and even has a self-cleaning feature to expel anything that it collected.
5. PORTER-CABLE RN175B
Not so Good
The Porter-Cable RN175A Roofing Nailer is a great choice for homeowners or professionals. The lightweight design and comfortable rubber grips allow you to work for long periods of time without muscle strain. The exhaust is easily adjustable so you can work without having to worry about any dust and debris getting blown in your direction.
This nailer also has a tool-free depth adjustment for straightforward changes at the turn of a dial. Another great feature is the shingle guide, which will come in especially handy for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience and has a big area to cover. It’s a great way to get consistent and fast results.
Made of durable steel and dual carbide inserts, this Porter-Cable roofing nailer is built to resist wear and tear. The motor is made to last and is designed to consistently deliver the right amount of power with every shot whether you’re using sequential or contact firing.
6. Senco Roof Pro 455XP
Not so Good
Thanks to Senco expanding their RoofPro series, we have the 445Xp. This is a really versatile nailer that can handle waterproof tar paper plus asphalt and fiberglass shingles right out of the box. With the right attachments, you can use this for vinyl and aluminum siding, too.
While this Senco nailing roofer shares a lot of features with others in the RoofPro line, this one is more lightweight and uses less air to get the same results. The power in/power out design seals off the exhaust to reduce air consumption without compromising any power. The depth of drive adjustment is tool-less, which is convenient but can at times be inaccurate just because you don’t have as much control as you would if you were doing it manually. This is true of all tool-less depth drive adjustments, though, not just with this particular tool.
The aluminum housing is what keeps it lightweight and durable. It’s light enough that you can use it with one hand if you wanted to. Wear plates protect the nailer from abrasion damage and a bi-metal driver blade gives you more time before it needs replaced. If you do need to do maintenance, you can access everything easily from the top of the tool.
How to buy a roofing nailer
Before buying a roofing nailer, it’s important to determine what you’ll be using it for. Obviously, you’ll be using it for roofing, but in what capacity? Are you just doing the roof of your shed or addition to your house? Or are you a contractor who’s going to be doing countless roofing jobs with your nailer? While a budget roofing nailer might get you through one or two small jobs, it’s likely not going to be enough to take on job after job after job. With that in mind, here are some other things you should consider.
This is especially important if you’re a contractor because you want a tool that will last. There are a few factors to consider when thinking about durability.
Because they are designed to be used outdoors, most roof nailers are designed to be able to withstand some exposure to the elements. They’re typically constructed of aluminum and steel so they’re highly durable.
It might sound silly, but you can generally tell how solid a roofing nailer is just by how it feels. Although they’re all pretty lightweight, you should feel like you’re holding a tough piece of equipment when you pick it up.
Some nailers will come with added features to protect them from wear and tear, like filters to keep dust and debris out of the motor or wear plates to protect from abrasion. The better your roofing nailer is made, the longer it will last.
There are two things to consider when it comes to versatility. First, can you use the nailer for anything other than roofing? You will be able to find some that offer attachments that allow you to use them for other outdoor tasks such as putting up siding.
Second, what materials can you use your roofing nailer on? Some are very versatile and will allow you to use them on waterproof tar paper and asphalt and fiberglass shingles as well as vinyl and aluminum siding.
Weatherproofing is something else to keep in mind. It would be nice if all roofing jobs were done during warm, dry months but that isn’t always the case. While you should never work on a roof when it’s pouring down rain, it’s likely your roofing nailer will be exposed to some precipitation. It’s even more likely that you’ll need to use it during colder months. Make sure you nailer can handle at least a little bit of water and won’t freeze up in the cold.
Obviously, the more things you can do with you roofing nailer, the better a buy it will be. This is something to keep in mind especially if you are investing a lot of money in your purchase.
Safety is always important when you’re working with power tools, but the fact that you’re using this particular tool on a roof adds an extra element of danger and requires special attention.
One small thing that actually makes a big different is rubber grips. Not only will these help make the nailer easier to hold and control, they also provide some friction when placed on a slanted roof. The grips actually help prevent the nailer from sliding and getting away from you, possibly falling. A fall can irreparably damage your tool but it also a huge safety risk to anyone in the area below.
Unfortunately, foot and hand injuries are common around nail guns. Use a sequential mode when you can and always wear protective gear, especially safety glasses.
There are a few things that don’t really affect your nailer’s performance but are just nice to have:
- A case. Having a hard plastic storage case is always a good thing. It gives you a place to keep your gun when you’re not using it, even if it’s just somewhere to keep it nice and dry at the end of the work day until you come back to use it the next day.
- Directional Exhaust. This is one of those things that you don’t realize is great until you use it. Being able to keep the debris and air out of your face makes your work a lot more enjoyable.
- Tool-less depth adjustment. Turn a dial and you’re done. While you may not get results that are as accurate as a manual adjustment, some of the top nailers have developed tool-less adjusters that are actually pretty right on.
- Jam clearing. While good quality guns shouldn’t jam often, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to deal with one eventually. Have a simple way to clear a jam helps lower your frustration and get back to work quicker.
While all of the roofing nailers we reviewed are excellent, we have to recommend the Hitachi NV45AB2 as our favourite. It’s designed to be fast and accurate while still being straightforward and user friendly. It’s weatherproofed so you can use it even when the sun isn’t shining plus it’s lightweight with a nice rubber grip so you won’t have to deal with extreme muscle fatigue. It’s carbide tipped nose helps with accuracy and it’s light enough to use with one hand.
If this Hitachi isn’t the one you’ve been looking for, use our buyer’s guide and reviews to find the one that is. We’ve given you a wide range of options, one of them is sure to fit the bill.