Best Roofing Nailer – Shooting From the Hip
Choosing the best roofing nailer for your next job can make life a lot simpler. Getting shingles on quickly and easily means your roofing job can be completed much quicker. Having the best tool for the job means picking a roofing nailer that is easy to use, reloads quickly and leaves a clean finish.
Pretty much every decent roofing nailer out there is going to be air powered. There are a few battery powered ones available but they pale in comparison to a good air powered nailer.
With your air compressor cranked up to 170 psi you should have no problems covering large areas of a roof compared to a battery operated nailer.
Every user will have different needs and there is a model to suit all tastes. What's right for a full time roofer is not necessarily the right option of a first timer. Any nail gun used for roofing can be used by just about anybody but in the hands of a professional that can make light work of very large areas of roofs that need to be finished.
For the Pro
Looking for a high end roofing nailer that can handle just about anything you can throw at it? Then the Hitachi is a clear winner. A full time roofer needs a much hardier and more durable nailer than a home build who needs it for a one off job.
It is easily the best quality roofing nailer here and is packed with all of the features you would expect for a high end model. It has built it's reputation on being extremely durable and can take a lot of abuse week after week in all weather conditions.
For the Amateur
One off jobs or some light repair work don't require an expensive nailer. What you are paying for in these tools like any other tool be it a saw or drill is quality. If you are looking for a cheap roofing nailer that still gets the job done then perhaps the Wen is your best bet.
However if you are an occasional user that does put big demands on their nailer then the Dewault is probably a safer bet. It delivers almost the same specs and quality as the Hitachi yet manages to do so at a cheaper price. The Wen is fine for a once off but it may not stack up to too much rigorous use.
There is no need to buy an expensive model that once you are finished with on your current project is just going to gather dust for months on end.
Roofing Nailer Reviews
Best Roofing Nailer
Hitachi NV45AB2 Nailer
The Hitachi NV45AB2 is loved by professional roofers and amateurs alike thanks to it's extremely durable construction, generous capacity and best in class reliability.
With a body built from steel it can withstand a lot of abuse on site. The body has numerous rubber coated area's on it increasing the grip when left down on a steep roof and reducing the chances of slipping.
- Toothless drive depth adjustment
- Weighs 5.5 pounds
- 5 year limited warranty
- 120 capacity side loading magazine
- Operating pressure 70-120psi
- Accepts 7/8 inch to 1-3/4 inch log nails
The NV45AB2 packs a serious punch too. Capable of driving nails up to 1-3/4 inch at a max pressure of 120 psi it can handle just about any modern roofing material.
Depth control is adjustable via a conveniently placed knob just behind the trigger. Having a quickly accessible depth controller makes switching between materials a cinch.
Capable of holding up to 120 nails in it's side loading magazine means fewer reloads and better efficiency on the job.
The Hitachi has a carbide nose the can withstand years of abuse. It sits perfectly flush so you can be sure that nail delivery is accurate and powerful on every touch.
Priced at the upper end of the spectrum the Hitachi is a serious workhorse. If you are looking for an ultra reliable, precision roofing nailer that can handle the requirements of all day professional use then the Hitachi NV45AB2 is the best roofing nailer for the money.
Dewalt DWFP12658 Roofing Nailer
Dewault have built up a solid reputation in the power tools market. They have built that reputation on designing durable, powerful and accurate tools at a decent price point.
The DWFP12658 is no exception and delivers an easy to use, reliable and powerful nailer.
The Dewault is a very compact easy to you nailer that can withstand quite a lot of abuse. Although it's not quite up to the Hitachi in terms of durability it is not far off and is slightly cheaper. So if you can't quite stretch your budget to the Hitachi rest assured you can still get your hands on a very capable roofing nailer.
The DWFP12658 is very easy to use. The depth of drive is located close to the trigger so you can switch things up pretty quickly. Choosing between sequential and bump firing is just as easy which means little or no interruption as you work through the day.
Any good rooking nailer should be easy to reload and the Dewault is no exception thanks to its side-loading canister that only requires undoing a latch.
- Operating pressure 70-120 psi
- Anti-slip padding on exterior
- Tool-free shingle guide
- Selectable trigger
- Quick-set depth drive
Senco Roof Pro 455XP Roofing Nailer
The 455XP roofing nailer from Senco is a pretty no nonsense nailer that although lacks the high end features of some of the others nailers listed here it is however well made and very comfortable for extended use.
This may not be a model for a hard working pro roofer but it is more than adequate for occasional use.
The Senco features an adjustable exhaust that can be rotated through 360 degrees, so if you are left or right handed you can easily choose which side you would like the exhaust on.
It is designed to be very comfortable to use and has a comfortable rubber material on the handle that makes for a very ergonomic grip position. And at 5.5 pounds it is not a bulky unit so you can handle it for extended periods of time.
The supplied case is also a nice tough and means transportation to and from a work site is easy.
- Accepts 3/4 inch to 1-3/4 inch nails
- Tool free depth of drive adjustment
- Case included
- 5 year warranty
Note that is model of Senco is manufactured in China so for some that may be something to consider before buying.
Bostitch RN46-1 Coil Roofing Nailer
Another workhorse for the roofing pro the Bostich is packs a mean punch, delivering 410 inch-pounds of force at only 100 psi.
It is a very well designed, ergonomic and reliable roofing nailer. At 4.8 lbs it's also one of the lightest models listed here so extended use is not an issue.
The Bostitch is however one of the slower firing models in this list of best roofing nailers. It can shoot roughly 100 nails in a minute. For the amateur that is more than enough, for a seasoned pro however that might be a little too pedestrian.
Despite not being the fastest it is however very easy to use. So much so that is makes for a great first time roofing nailer. It has a single action side-loaded canister that makes reloading a dream.
- Magnesium housing and carbide tip
- Single-action side load canister
- Accepts 3/4 inch to 1-3/4 inch nails
- Lockout mechanism prevents empty firing
- Seven year limited warranty
Wen 61782 Coil Roofing Nailer
The Wen 61782 may be the cheapest model in this list but it is still a very capable roofing nailer.
Despite it's low price point it has a lot of the features of the more expensive models listed above.
However it can still be considered a quality tool and for the occasional roofing job or the first time roofer that need something reliable that won't break the bank.
If you are a full time roofer that makes big demands from their tools the the Wen is probably not the best option. Considering it's price point it can still deliver a pretty good user experience as long as you don't intend using it all day long day in day out.
If used lightly the Wen is still a perfectly good nailer just as long as you are aware of it's limitations.
- 120 magazine capacity
- Accepts 3/4 inch to 1-3/4 inch nails
- Quick-release compartment for clearing jammed nails
- 100 psi operating pressure delivers 430-inch-pounds of force
- Operates at 70 to 120 psi
- One year warranty
Best Roofing Nailer Buyer's Guide
What to look for in a roofing nailer?
The are plenty of features available in the most popular models. However you should always try to choose a roofing nailer that has the following features/attributes as standard:
You need something that can withstand a lot of abuse. The casing should be metal and capable of taking a lot of force. The less plastic components the better on these types of tool. However, when it comes to the grip you would expect a high quality ergonomic design that is easy to hold for extended periods of time.
Being restricted by the speed at which your nailer operates can be very frustrating if you need to cover a large area of roof. You should be looking for a fire rate of at least one nail per second as a minimum. Switching between modes from bump mode to sequential is also a consideration, lucky most decent nailers these days have the controls relatively close to the trigger.
Spending hours on a roof holding and reloading a roofing nailer should cause a huge amount of fatigue. If the nailer is built though but light and has a comfortable design then you should be fine to use it for extended periods of time.
Although overall weigh is an issue so too is that weight distribution. A properly balanced nailer will mean that you can quickly and accurately fire the nails without having to compensate for an unbalanced tool that is difficult to control.
Depth of Drive and Mode
The more jobs and roofs you end up working on the bigger the range of materials you will need to be able to work with. Ensuring that your roofing nailer has an easily adjustable depth of drive is crucial. The best roofing nailers will have an adjustable know close to the trigger that is convenient to use.
On the top rated roofing nailers switching between sequential and bump mode should also be easy. Having to stop and make adjustments to any tool as you use can interrupt your flow. As long as these features are easy to with through you should not feel like your work is being interrupted.
- Capacity - You should expect to be able to hold at least 100 nails. The better models can hold slightly more at 120.
- Ease of change - Being able to quickly and simply switch out an empty magazine is one of the most important features of a roofing nailer. Wasting time fiddling with a tricky release mechanism is not something you would expect to find yourself doing with a quality nailer. Generally a single piece coil cover will be quicker than any other design.
- Side loading - This is the preferred design as it is much more convenient to simple switch a magazine out from the side than any other way.
Although a trigger on any power tool is a pretty simple part of the design it is however one that has a big contribution to how easily it is to safely operate the tool. A trigger that is easy to press time and time again will make for less fatigue.
Lets face if a any kind of nail gun be that either a finish nailer, framing nailer or even a brad nailer in the wrong hands has the potential to be a very dangerous weapon. Used incorrectly then consequences can be serious. The safer triggers will generally have a longer travel distance on them before the nailer fires, this lessens the chance of accidentally firing the nailer.