Roofing is not an easy task. It takes a lot of effort and focus to do it correctly. That is why you need a device that can make it easier. This is where roofing nailers come in.
Roofing nailers are used to driving nails into the asphalt or fiberglass shingles of the roof and make roofing much more convenient. It is specifically made for roofing purposes.
But if you want to know what the best roofing nailer is, you have come to the right place. Here, we will take a look at the top roofing nailers in the market and review each of them to expedite your search for the best one.
Our Top 7 Roofing Nailer – Comparison 2020
BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer
Weight: 5.8 pounds
WEN 61783 ¾ - 1-3/4 inch Pneumatic Coil Roofing Nailer
Weight: 5.95 pounds
Hitachi NV45AB2 7/8 inch to 1-3/4 inch
Weight: 7.3 pounds
Metabo HPT Roofing Nailer with Air Hose
Freeman PCN65 Pneumatic Roofing Nailer
Weight: 5.5 pounds
MAX CN445R3 Roofing Nailer
Weight: 5.5 pounds
HBT HBCN45P ¾ - 1-¾ inch Coil Roofing Nailer
Weight: 4.93 pounds
7 Best Roofing Nailer Reviews
In this section of the article, we will be taking an in-depth look at our top 7 roofing nailers. By reading the reviews for each of them, you will get a clearer idea of what to expect from the nailer and what makes a good one.
1. BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer
This roofing nailer from BOSTITCH is heralded for its combination of performance, convenience, and affordability. At a very good price, it gives you all the features you will need from a roofing nailer.
Let us first talk about how amazingly easy it is to use. Firstly, it is extremely lightweight and thus easily maneuverable. Secondly, it is very easy to load. It is a coil nailer, and the magazine position is very convenient.
Also, the manufacturer cares about the safety of the user. The machine has a lockout mechanism that prevents any sort of unintentional firing that could potentially endanger the user.
And the nailer also comes with a healthy nail length range of 0.75 inches – 1.75 inches, providing you enough versatility to do various types of works with the nailer. This machine can also deliver when it comes to pressure. The psi range of the nailer is 70-120, which is more than enough for your needs.
However, the only flaws of the device are in the design. The nose can be a little too touchy for some people. There are also issues with the trigger adjustment that causes some inconveniences. Customers have complained that the trigger doesn’t work as intended at times, and that adds an unnecessary hassle to the entire process.
- Affordable price
- Comes with a lockout mechanism for added safety
- Very easy to maneuver and load
- Works with nails from 0.75 inches to 1.75 inches
- Can extend up to 120 PSI
- Has a nose that is slightly touchy
- Issues with the trigger adjustment
2. WEN 61783 ¾ - 1-3/4 inch Pneumatic Coil Roofing Nailer
WEN is widely regarded for making various high-quality tools at an extremely affordable price. This roofing nailer is no different. It comes with lots of attractive features at the lowest price possible, making it potentially the best roofing nailer for the money.
But you should keep in mind that this nailer is unable to perform heavy-duty or large scale tasks. It is perfect for small scale repair works or for roofing a small section of the roof. But when it comes to roofing the entire roof, its ability is insufficient.
It is also a little heavier and thus has less maneuverability compared to other products. But for all the bad, it does make up for them in other aspects. For example, it comes with many different accessories to make your work even more convenient. These accessories include a holding case, wrenches, safety glasses, and many others.
Also, it has great versatility when it comes to lengths of nails. The range of nails it supports is 0.75 inches to 1.75 inches. And the psi range is also quite praiseworthy. It can work on any psi from 70 to 120. Just like the last product, this is more than enough to meet all your needs.
Moreover, it cares for your safety, and that is evident from the addition of the quick-release mechanism. This mechanism avoids all sorts of jamming in the nailer and eases your work.
- Very budget-friendly
- Perfect nailer for small scale repair work
- Comes with many beneficial accessories
- Has a quick-release mechanism that avoids jamming
- Heavier and less maneuverable
- Not suitable for heavy-duty tasks
3. Hitachi NV45AB2 7/8 inch to 1-3/4 inch
Hitachi is known for focusing on performance above all else. Although this model is a discontinued model, it still has enough merits to serve you well. The product really prioritizes convenience. It is extremely easy to use. And it comes with a special depth of drive adjustment feature, which makes using it easy.
It is also easy and comfortable to maneuver. The lightweight construction definitely contributes to that. But the comfortable and ergonomic rubber grip also greatly influences that. Additionally, it is also very fast when it comes to the nailing operation. It can effortlessly fire 3 nails per second on the bump/contact mode.
One of the things that really stand out about this machine is the fact that it is weatherproof. Most companies don’t focus on making their nailers weatherproof. But it is a real blessing in bad weather. It has a great nail capacity of 120, which means it can run longer and gets more work done.
And it also has a psi range of 70-120, which is suitable for almost any works related to roofing.
The few issues it has are related to the construction; the construction contains a few parts that are made of plastic, and they are prone to fall apart. This isn’t a huge deal-breaker or anything, but considering the high price, it is justified to expect a better construction than this.
- Easy-to-use depth of drive adjustment
- Very fast drive rate
- Weatherproof performance
- Comfortable and ergonomic rubber grip
- Lightweight and easily maneuverable
- Has a few plastic parts that are prone to falling apart
- Comparatively expensive
4. Metabo HPT Roofing Nailer with Air Hose
This nailer from Metabo (the new name of Hitachi) is known for its absolutely fantastic build quality. Of all the nailers on the list, this one easily has the best build. But despite having such solid construction, it still maintains its maneuverability. In fact, it is very lightweight as well.
It adds to the ease of maneuvering the device by giving you an extremely comfortable and ergonomic grip. Little things like these make a huge contribution in making your work easier.
The nailer is also very easy to load. It comes with a side-loading magazine that is inclined at a 16-degree angle. Thus loading the nail is very simple as you don’t even need to tilt it at a certain angle. It delivers on the pressure front as well by having a PSI range of 70-120. This is perfect for giving you enough power.
And the nail capacity is also commendable. It can fit 120 nails at a time and thus run for longer periods of time. The only massive flaw of the device is the price. Like all Metabo products, this one is quite expensive and is more of a premium pick.
Besides that, it can serve you really well for a very long time. If we compare the two Hitachi products on the list, this clearly stands out as the best Hitachi roofing nailer.
- Very solid and durable build quality
- Lightweight and maneuverable
- Ergonomic rubber grip
- Easy to load owing to its side-loading magazine
- Quite expensive in comparison to other nailers
5. Freeman PCN65 Pneumatic Roofing Nailer
The Freeman nailer gives you everything that you need from a nailer performance-wise, and it gives all of that to you at an affordable price. Convenience, performance, durability, this nailer delivers on all fronts.
Firstly, let us talk about the construction of this device. It has a magnesium construction that is, at the same time, durable, strong, and lightweight. This is owed to the compact design that minimizes the heaviness and maximizes maneuverability. It also has an ergonomic rubber grip that adds to it.
Secondly, it is very easy to load. Like the previous product, this one also has a side-loading magazine that is perfect for convenient loading while working. Thirdly, it has an absolutely astounding nail capacity. It can fit 400 nails at a time. So with just one loading, you can run the nailer for long enough to conclude most works.
Fourthly, it is very versatile, and you can use this nailer for more than just roofing. It can work well for siding, fencing, etc.
Lastly, it comes with all the necessary accessories that you might need for roofing like a holding case, safety glasses, air hose, wrenches, and many others. The main flaw of this device is its disregard for the safety of the user.
This nailer is prone to double firing or unintentional firing because of the lack of any lockout mechanism, and that can potentially be very dangerous. It also doesn’t have a quick-release mechanism and thus is prone to jamming.
- Lightweight magnesium construction
- Easy and comfortable to maneuver
- Comes with a side-loading magazine that makes it easy to load
- Has a fantastic nail capacity of 400
- Can perform tasks like fencing and siding
- Prone to unintentional firing
- Jams from time to time
6. MAX CN445R3 Roofing Nailer
This nailer from the reliable company MAX is built for convenience. The design, the construction, and the features; all of them make the nailer very easy to use. It has a swivel fitting that is unique to this nailer only. This fitting makes sure that that the air hose connected to the air compressor doesn’t make any inconvenience.
It is also very lightweight in its construction and thus very easy to maneuver. The maneuverability is accentuated by the comfortable and ergonomic rubber grip. And the operation is also very fast on this nailer. It uses a rapid-fire valve on the trigger system that fires nails faster than other nailers.
Moreover, it is also extremely versatile when it comes to both nail length range and depth adjustment. The length range is 7/8 inch – 1-3/4 inch. And the manually adjustable depth control allows you to perform a variety of functions. However, the depth adjustment can be slightly inaccurate from time to time.
The blade driver of the nail gun is tar-resistant, and that makes this device especially suitable for putting waterproof tar paper on the roof. It also has a satisfactory nail capacity at 120. The only other drawback that this device may have is its price. It is quite expensive, and it can also be argued that it is overpriced.
- Comes with a swivel fitting that keeps the air hose away
- The trigger system has a rapid-fire valve for faster operation
- Comes with a manually adjustable depth control
- Perfectly lightweight and maneuverable
- Tar resistant blade driver
- Comparatively expensive
- Slightly inaccurate depth adjustment
7. HBT HBCN45P ¾ - 1-¾ inch Coil Roofing Nailer
The last nailer on our list is special because it goes the extra mile when it comes to convenience. It also puts a huge focus on versatility. This nailer comes with actuation options that are already built-in. This makes it very easy to alternate between the single action firing mode and the bump/contact firing mode.
And the depth adjustment control is completely tool-free and with little to no complications. It greatly increases the convenience of the work. The front of the nailer is made of skid-resistant materials. It adds another layer of convenience and also adds an element of safety to the device.
Among all the nailers on this list, this one weighs the lightest at only 4.8 pounds. Thus, it is very easy to carry it around. Additionally, the construction is also firm and durable. The range of the nail length makes the nailer very versatile. It is intuitive from the title of this review, but the length range is 0.75-1.75 inches.
Lastly, it comes at a fantastic price, and judging from all the features above, you can easily say that this one has a great value for money. You get more than what you pay for in many ways. The considerable flaws on this machine are related to speed and safety.
In terms of speed, this device has a comparatively slow operation. But the bigger flaw is the safety risk as the device is prone to unintentional firings.
- Allows you easily alternate between single action and bump/contact mode
- Tool-free depth adjustment
- Front made of skid-resistant material
- Lightweight and durable magnesium construction
- Versatile length range
- Prone to double firing
- Very slow operation
How to Pick the Right Roofing Nailer
We hope our best roofing nailer review gave you some perspective on what makes a good roofing nailer. Now we go into details about that very subject matter. In this section of the article, our goal is to look at all the features that you need to consider before buying the roofing nailer.
Type of Roof
This is the first thing that you will have to take into consideration. You need to know and understand the specifications of your roof. This includes the size and area of your roof, the materials used in your roof, the shape of the roof, etc.
Based on the size of the roof, you will know how much power you really need. For example, if your roof isn’t too big, a WEN roofing nailer will serve you just fine. But if your roof is quite big, you will need something that is a bit more heavy-duty.
The same goes for the materials. A nailer that isn’t tar resistant will not work well with tar paper. Some nailers are good for asphalt shingles, while others are better for fiberglass shingles. You have to take all of the above factors into considerations first.
Pneumatic vs. Cordless
Pneumatic roofing nailers are nailers that are powered with the help of air. These nailers are connected to an air compressor through an air hose, and then it is to be used. These nailers offer more consistent performance. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about changing gas canisters or batteries.
But there is a certain element of danger in taking an air compressor that high. It is definitely possible. But it does add some difficulty to the process.
On the other hand, cordless roofing nailers do not need to be connected to an air compressor. They use butane gas canisters in an internal chamber as its power source. Thus they have much greater range and aren’t restricted by an air hose.
There is, however, an additional hassle of constantly needing to change the canisters or batteries.
There are multiple layers to the versatility of a nailer. For example, a nailer should be versatile when it comes to the materials it is used on. A nailer that can work seamlessly on asphalt, fiberglass, tar paper, and other materials only deserve the moniker of best roofing nailer on the market.
Again, the nailer should also be versatile when it comes to the length. It should be able to fire nails of various lengths. The ideal range is 0.75 inches to 1.75 inches. But if it can go higher, that is even better.
Easy to Load
As we have mentioned multiple times in the article, roofing is a difficult task, and the purpose of a roofing nailer is to make it easier. But a difficult loading process does the opposite and adds to your list of hassles, which is counterproductive.
So before you buy a roofing nailer, always make sure it has an easy loading process. To that end, try to look for nailers with side loading magazines or try to purchase a coil nailer. Both of these options will make it much more comfortable for you to operate the nailer.
Weight and Comfort
Maneuverability plays one of the biggest roles in making the performance of a nailer satisfactory and worthy of purchasing.
For maximizing maneuverability, you have to make sure that the nailer is lightweight enough. But at the same time, you should be careful that the nailer isn’t so lightweight that the construction is weak as that may create problems in other areas.
You should also look for nailers with comfortable grips. Some nailers come with ergonomic rubber grips, and that is what you should focus on while buying a nailer.
The importance of this feature goes without saying. You absolutely need to have a satisfactory nail capacity in a roofing nailer.
If your nailer doesn’t have enough nail capacity, then you have to repeatedly reload it. That means, you either need to repeatedly go down to reload it or bring a huge amount of nails with you to the roof. Both of those scenarios are very problematic.
That is why you must make sure your nailer has sufficient nail capacity. The ideal nail capacity is somewhere around 120. But you can never go wrong with more.
The pressure is measured in the PSI unit, and it is better if a nailer supports a healthy range of PSI. The ideal range is 70-120 PSI.
How to Set up a Roofing Nailer
By this point, we have discussed everything there is to discuss about roofing nailers except for one very crucial aspect. That is, how a roofing nailer is set up and used. This topic will require lots of details. So it deserved a separate section of its own.
The following steps will illustrate how the roofing nailer should be set up.
Step-1: Setting up the Air Compressor
If you are using a cordless roofing nailer, you can skip this step and the following one. But for a pneumatic roofing nailer, this is very important.
A pancake air compressor is usually good enough for a nailer. But if your work demands more power, speed, and efficiency, you should get a hotdog or twin-stack air compressor instead.
Step-2: Connecting the Compressor with the Nailer
This is usually done with the help of an air hose. You should make sure the air hose is long enough to be able to make this connection. Connect one end of the hose with a coupler of the compressor and the other with the nail gun.
Step-3: Load the Nailer with Nails
To load the nailer, you should follow the following steps.
- Open the two doors of the nailer, i.e., the feeder door and magazine door.
- Separate the retainer from the coil of nails. The amount of nails depends on the capacity of the nailer.
- Insert the coil of nails into the canister.
- Lastly, shut both the feeder door and the magazine door, and you are good to go.
Step-4: Adjusting the Exhaust Deflector
The exhaust deflector is a part of the nailer generally located at the back of the nailer. When you fire a nailer, the residue energy is eliminated from the internal body of the nailer through this exhaust deflector. Position it in a way such that it doesn’t hit your face or cause any other inconveniences.
Step-5: Choosing the Firing Mode
There are two firing modes in a nailer. They are single-action mode and bump/contact mode.
In the single-action mode, only one nail is driven when the trigger is pulled. But in a bump/contact mode, the nails will be fired if the trigger is held as long as the nose is depressed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the best roofing nailers:
Can you use a finish nailer for roofing?
You can use a finish nailer for roofing. And by that, we mean it is possible. But just because it is possible doesn’t mean it is recommended. Finish nailers are great for adding final touches to the roofing process after using a roofing nailer. But as a whole, we don’t recommend it for roofing.
Can a roofing nailer be used for Hardie siding?
The answer to this question is similar to the last one. You can use a roofing nailer for Hardie siding if you want to save costs. But it is not recommended. Siding has different requirements from roofing, and that is why there are specific nailers for each function.
What type of nail gun do I need for roofing?
The answer to this question is very simple. Roofing nailers are the best roofing coil nailers. They are specifically made for roofing by taking the unique requirements of roofing into consideration.
So you should always go for a roofing nailer for roofing. Even if other nailers are functional, they will never be as efficient as a roofing nailer.
Which is better, nails or staples?
This is a very common question. Both nails and staples can work when it comes to roofing. But nails are generally much more effective and easier to use than staples. If staples are installed properly, then they can be just as effective as nails. But only professionals can properly install staples. It is not meant for beginners.
What size compressor for roofing nailer?
Roofing nailers don’t have that high of demand in general. But the answer usually depends on the type of work you need it for. The air compressor should have a psi range of 70-120 and a CFM range of at least 2-2.5. In some cases, the CFM range needs to be higher, but that depends on the context.
Roofing nailers are absolute necessities for roofing. In a difficult job like roofing, you should do everything you can to make it easier. Getting a roofing nailer is the first step for doing that. The next step is making sure the nailer is the best roofing nailer possible.
Among the 7 roofing nailers we have reviewed, there are a lot of attractive options. The BOSTITCH, Freeman, and Metabo nailers especially stand out among them. And the Freeman nailer delivers a fantastic performance but falls short in the safety department, and the Metabo nailer is a relatively pricey option.
But the BOSTITCH roofing nailer has the perfect balance of functionality, affordability, and safety that makes it our top pick.