If your roof’s shingles aren’t looking as great as they used to, you might need to replace some of them or completely replace your roof.
While this can seem like an intimidating task, you can do it yourself if you have some experience with roofing and you’re armed with a roofing nailer.
What’s a roofing nailer?
A roofing nailer is a tool that drives nails into shingles to secure and fasten them. While you might be able to nail your roof by hand, this will take more time and effort.
With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about roofing nailers and which roofing nailers are the best ones to own. Make installing your roof shingles easier and less time-consuming by purchasing the best roofing nailer on the market.
Best Overall: Makita AN454 1-3/4" Coil Roofing Nailer
This tool is fast and makes your task of removing roof nails much easier. It provides maximum performance thanks to how it’s easy to handle, with a lightweight design. It’s been built with aluminum housing so that it’s tough and rugged. It’s also easy to use when you’re up on the roof because it has an adjustable canister system that’s easy to open with just one step. This means you won’t have to waste time trying to load your nails.
This roofing nail tool is focused on providing greater user-friendliness. It has a built-in magnet that guarantees the nails will be driven successfully, and it also has a reversible belt hook that ensures the tool can stay closed. When using it for big jobs or long hours, you’ll love that it’s built with an ergonomic rubber grip.
When cleaning this tool, you’ll find the process really convenient and easy to do. It can be disassembled by removing its nosepiece. This makes it easy to maintain.
When purchasing this tool, you’ll also receive a hex wrench, pneumatic nailer oil, safety goggles, and an air fitting in the pack, so it’s the best type of roofing nailer to buy on the market, whether you’re experienced with roofing or a total beginner.
Runner Up: WEN 61783 Pneumatic Coil Roofing Nailer
This roofing nailer tool is one of the best tools to use if you need to install shingles on your roof. It comes with an adjustable shingle guide as well as depth control so you can space your shingles easily during the job. The depth guide enables you to mark where you want the nail to go, so you’ll be able to ensure the correct spacing every time in a much easier way.
It can hold 120 nails simultaneously, and to release them this nailer is built with a quick release so it won’t jam. This prevents stress, making roofing tasks so much easier.
This nailer gives you up to 430-inch pounds of force at 100 PSI (pounds per square inch) operating pressure. This ensures that it will keep your siding secure.
It can fire 11-gauge nails that are between ¾ inches to 1 ¾ inches without a problem. It comes with hex wrenches, oil, and a blow-mold carrying case so that you can take it with you whenever you need it.
If there are nails that have become jammed, you can easily clear them by using the quick-release compartment on the side of the magazine. This makes the tool user-friendly and beginner-friendly.
Best for Budget: BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer (RN46)
This nail gun is lightweight but strong, as it’s built with aluminum housing. It’s got a zero nail lockout feature, which prevents dry firing and it also lets you know when you need to reload its magazine. This roofing nailer is designed to be a siding nail gun, so you can use it to install siding on your home as well as install roof shingles.
The nail gun’s nose piece has carbide inserts to increase its performance, and for increased durability it is designed with skid pads and wear guards. These protect the roofing nailer tool from damage on abrasive surfaces, and basically means that it can handle a variety of surfaces.
With an adjustable depth guide, you’ll be able to insert the nails at the best depths for your project both conveniently and quickly. The tool comes with five settings so you can find the best driving depth for the task at hand, such as shallow driving and flush mount driving.
This tool is versatile enough to be used for a variety of DIY jobs, such as those involving roofing, insulation boards, exterior drywalls, and fiber cement applications, so you’ll definitely get a lot of use out of it around the home. It can also work with nails that have a shank diameter of 0.120 and a length of between ¾ inches to 1 ¾ inches, which makes it versatile.
Alterantive: DeWALT DCN45RNB 20V Max 15 Degree Cordless Coil Roofing Nailer
To help you start working right away, this nailer comes with a tool-free depth adjustment that enables you to get accurate nail placement every time.
It is built with a brushless motor that lasts longer and gives you a longer runtime. If the nailer becomes jammed while you’re working, you can easily make use of the tool-free stall release lever that returns the driver blade.
This nailer’s canister can hold a maximum of 120 wire collated roofing nails. With its 2 Ah battery, this nailer can fire up to three nails per second, which will reduce the time spent on roofing jobs. If you’re replacing shingles on your roof, this nailer is a must to have. Just one charge of this nailer will enable you to install one square of asphalt shingles.
When purchasing this tool, make sure that you double-check that it comes with the battery and battery charger as some retailers only sell the tool without accessories.
Alterantive: Senco RoofPro 450 Coil Roofing Nailer
If you want to buy a professional roofing nailer, this one is construction-grade quality to give you excellent results. It can drive 11 gauge roofing nails that are between ¾ inch to 1 ¾ inch smooth shanks. It comes with a durable molded grip to reduce fatigue and make you feel more in control when using this tool, so it’s ideal for professionals and beginners alike.
With its power in/power out pneumatic system, this tool has speed and delivers consistent drives. It comes with a design that’s easy to clean and service because it offers access to all parts that are susceptible to wear and tear. It’s ideal for nailing asphalt and fiberglass shingles, whether you’re installing a new roof or you’re repairing your existing roof.
This best roofing nailer gun has many other uses, which makes it a versatile tool to own. It’s ideal for fastening vinyl siding and you can attach waterproof tar paper with it. You can also use it on insulation boards as well as metal drip edges, so if you regularly do DIY projects you should definitely put it on your to-buy list.
One of the best features about this roofing nailer is that it has a 360-degree adjustable exhaust. This increases your user-friendliness while preventing debris in your work area, therefore minimizing the cleanup operation after you’ve completed your roofing work.
Roofing Nailer FAQ
If you need to drive nails into roof shingles to install them, you need to ensure you get the best gun for your needs.
But, which one should you choose and how do you even nail shingles? What is the best roofing nailer on the market?
These are some of the questions we explore in this section so you can learn more about roofing nailers and how they work.
What kind of nail gun do roofers use?
Pneumatic roofing nailers are said to be the best tools for professional roofers. This is for various reasons. For starters, they use compressed air to work so they don’t rely on electricity. This makes them portable so roofers can carry them around to various job sites. Not having to plug in the nailer tool helps to prevent roofing installation from being a hassle. A nailer that can work with ¾ to 1 ¾ inch nails is perfect for roofing purposes.
That said, battery-powered nail guns are also a viable option. They are convenient when you need to get into difficult-to-reach areas of your roof. The battery power enables you to reduce the cost of using fuel for a fuel-powered nail gun, while also giving you greater freedom during your roofing tasks.
If you’re doing larger DIY projects, you should invest in a pneumatic nailer because it costs less than a battery-powered nailer and also weighs less so it’s easier to handle for long periods of time. However, battery-powered nailers are good for helping you move through your DIY project faster, so they’re ideal for smaller tasks.
Can a finish nailer be used for roofing?
A finish nailer can shoot 14-, 15-, and 16-gauge nails. This type of nailer is tough and powerful. This nailer is the best one to choose if you need extra durability for your task.
A finish nailer is ideal for jobs such as indoor trim, mouldings around windows or doors, chair rails, and cabinet making. When it comes to roofing, a finish nailer isn’t your best bet. This is because this type of nailer is meant for small, detailed work. It provides a bit of power to ensure the smallest nail can be used without splintering materials, such as wood.
The problem with a finish nailer is that it works with barely-there nails and it’s perfect for jobs such as paneling, decorative trims, and small DIY projects. This type of nailer isn’t useful for larger work and construction. For roofing, you’ll do well to get a stronger nailer.
What nail gun do you use for shingles?
If you want to work on your roof shingles, such as if you want to repair or replace them, you should get your hands on a roofing nailer. This tool makes installing shingles much easier, and it’s usually powered by an air compressor.
It can hold up to 120 nails simultaneously for increased ease of use during the installation process, and can fire over 100 nails per minute. This reduces how much time it will take you to install new roof shingles.
As we’ve seen in our list of reviews, some of the best roofing nailers on the market are designed to make them easier to use so you don’t have to feel stressed out during the DIY project, even if you’ve never done roofing work before. You should look for some important features when choosing a roofing nailer, such as an adjustable shingle guide and depth control. It’s also good to look for a roofing nailer that can hold lots of nails to make it easier to work on your shingles.
A roofing nailer can be used to roof or reroof a variety of roofing materials, such as fiberglass, insulation board, and asphalt. It’s a versatile tool that you’ll need to buy if you want to replace shingles on your roof or do other DIY projects around the home. Many nailers are perfect for completing a variety of tasks, such as working on your home siding, which guarantees they’ll get a lot of use.
Do you nail shingles?
When you install roof shingles, you will have to ensure that the nail penetrates into the roof deck to keep both the nail and shingle secure.
You have to be careful not to nail your shingles too low or high. If you nail too low then the nail heads will be exposed and this makes it easier for water to enter. If, on the other hand, you nail too high, the nails could miss the top of the next shingle underneath, bearing in mind that every nail will be used to secure two shingles. The nail has to be at least a ¼ to ½ inch below the top of the shingle below otherwise it will tear.
Asphalt shingles have what’s called a nailing line. This is a line made out of sealant that is meant to bond with the next row of shingles you place on the roof. You have to ensure that you place your nails below this line, not over it.
Never try to nail through the strip itself as this could affect how the water flows over the roof. You must also ensure that the nails are driven straight and not at an angle. This prevents sharp edges of the nail heads from cutting into the shingles.
If you want to install your own roof shingles, such as if some need to be replaced after a bad storm, you need to buy the best roofing nailer.
This is an essential tool to make the process much easier, less time consuming, and help you achieve a more professional result.
In this article, we’ve looked at some of the most effective roofing nailers on the market. We’ve also featured some information you need to know about roofing nailers, such as how they work and which nailer is the best to pick when you want to do your roofing tasks faster and more efficiently.
Since roofing nailers usually have many features, they can be used for a variety of other DIY projects around the home, which makes them an essential tool to keep in your garage.