Best Roofing Nailers: Specialized Tools You Can Count On

If you are a fan of DIY projects and love to build and fix up things, then you probably have a decent arsenal of power tools. You may even have a nail gun or brad nailer of some sort that you have used for a project or two. But if you have ever turned to roof repair, or even placing your own roof on a structure, you most likely have realized the job requires a specialized tool specific to working with those types of materials.

What you need is a roofing nailer, and the best roofing nailer is one that is powerful enough to take on the thickness of your roofing material. You also want to take into account your own preferences to how the gun works, as well as the weight and design for your own comfort.

5 BEST ROOFING NAILERS COMPARISON

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageMax Superroofer Roofing Coil Nailer
  • Firing Method: contact or single sequential
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years limited
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byb2-table__image Senco Roof Pro 455XP Nailer With Sequential Actuation Trigger
  • Firing Method: Rapid Fire Contact
  • Weight: 5.2 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 year
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byb2-table__image Senco Roof Pro 455XP Nailer With Sequential Actuation Trigger
  • Firing Method: Sequential Actuation
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years
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byb2-table__imageBOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer
  • Firing Method: contact firing
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs
  • Warranty: 7 year
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byb2-table__imagePORTER-CABLE Roofing Nailer
  • Firing Method: contact and single sequential
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 year
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What a Nail Gun Can Do for You

Man using a Bostitch Nail Gun on a frame.

Nail guns are designed to drive a nail into a work surface to connect building materials together. Their power is much stronger than your drive with a hammer and can place a nail in just one pull of a trigger- allowing you to work longer, and accomplish more in much less time. It also helps free up one of your hands, as a hammer and nail require you to hold the nail prior to hammering it in. They also are more accurate, and incredibly convenient-, especially on large jobs.

What is a Roofing Nail Gun?

Construction worker putting the asphalt roofing (shingles) with nail gun on a new frame house

So why, exactly, is a roofing nailer so different from any other type of nail gun? The answer is in the detail, as they are built to drive a nail into strong surfaces such as asphalt and fiberglass shingles. They also need to be able to push through waterproof tar paper and insulation board and adhere to the board beneath for a strong, long-lasting hold.

Roofing guns use coiled nails, which are strips of nails, usually held together by a thin wire, that are coiled up to be placed in a rounded magazine. These coiled nails last longer than straight load magazine style nails, which is ideal for roofers who spend a lot of time above ground placing thousands of nails into a roof surface. This allows them to work quickly and efficiently to get a roof securely on. Plus, this design is lighter weight, and easy to handle for ease of work.

Pneumatic Power

A Pneumatic roofing nail gun with air hose

Roofing nailers are powered by compressed air via an air hose and compressor. This provides a powerful driving force via a piston that fires upon the pull of the trigger due to the build-up of compressed air. After firing, the build-up of air resets the gun and sets a new nail.

Cordless roofing nailers are not as easily found, simply because they can rarely drive a nail as strongly as their pneumatic counterparts. The few that exist in the market are generally powered through fuel combustion, rather than a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, Dependability is a must when on the roof, and having to stop to recharge batteries, or change a fuel cell is not ideal.

Types of Firing Methods

Roofing nailers are very specialized, and so there really isn’t much variation in their design from one make and model to the next. However, there may be differences between firing methods, which may be important depending on the type of job you have. Most roofing nailers have the ability to switch between firing methods to allow for use in different conditions.

  • Contact Trigger Method

Contact trigger, otherwise known as bump firing, means you can drive a nail each time you ‘bump’ the tip of the gun against the material you are working with. This requires you to keep the trigger engaged, and allows you to work quickly when large amounts of nails must be driven.

  • Sequential Trigger Method

When precise placement is needed, a sequential trigger mode can be helpful. This is when the tip needs to be placed against a surface, and then the trigger pulled before a nail is fired. This is also considered a safer approach.

How to Choose a Nail Gun for Roofing

Assorted Tool on a table. Hammer,nail guns,screws and planer

Nail guns are a popular go-to for building projects, but what many people fail to realize is that they can be highly specialized for specific job loads. The purpose of a nailer is to drive a nail into the surface of whatever it is you are working on, and not all guns can support all sizes of nails. Therefore it is important to choose the type of nail gun that is most useful, and powerful enough to work with both the materials you are using and the job you need to be completed.

Top 5 Roofing Nailer Reviews

Our top 5 roofing nailers are compiled from some of the best consumer reviews in reference to how they work, their durability, and their ease of use. If you have been wondering what is the best nailer for your roof ( or any of your building projects) then the list provided below is sure to get you on a great start to find exactly what you need.

Hitachi Coil Roofing Nailer

Hitachi Coil Roofing Nailer
  • Firing Method: contact or single sequential
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years limited
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Hitachi is a strong brand that offers a top-notch roofer that come in either a contact or sequential firing method choice. It also has a depth firing setting so you can use it with a variety of different roofing materials to ensure an even nail drive and hold. The coil feed has a quick and easy side reload for when working on the job.

The magazine can hold 120 7/8th to 1 3/4th inch nails. The nailer is incredibly lightweight at 5.5 lbs and is easy to maneuver without fatigue. The rubberized side allow you to see it on a roof without worry of it sliding, plus it can handle some of the harshest weather conditions.

Pros:

  • Easy knob style nail depth adjustment
  • Great for both hot and cold temperatures
  • Well balanced and lightweight

Cons:

  • 7/8th-inch nails may not drive straight
  • The single sequential choice must be sent away for

Pro Tip

If a long-lasting, durable model for using all weather conditions is important, this is a great model to look more closely at.

Max Superroofer Roofing Coil Nailer

 Max Superroofer Roofing Coil Nailer
  • Firing Method: Rapid Fire Contact
  • Weight: 5.2 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 year
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The Max Superroofer is a professional rated gun that is considered amongst the most dependable and best rated in the business. It is durable and made to provide consistent power and ease of use when powering through shingle placement. The end cap filter is maintenance free, the plug swivels for a tangle-free experience and the nose cap is magnetized to hold the last nail so you avoid jams and misfires after a reload.

It comes equipped with rapid-fire method shooting, and the dial depth control allows you even more personalized experience when working with various materials. At only 5.2 pounds, it is incredibly lightweight and easy balance and uses while working on a roof.

Pros:

  • Low misfire and jam rate
  • Easy to adjust and easy to use
  • Swivel connection is convenient

Cons:

  • The nose may wear but can be replaced

Pro Tip

If lightweight dependability is a must, this is a great choice to consider. It has an amazing track record with professionals and is considered a standard in the industry.

Senco Roof Pro 455XP Nailer With Sequential Actuation Trigger

Senco Roof Pro 455XP Nailer With Sequential Actuation Trigger
  • Firing Method: Sequential Actuation
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years
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Senco is a popular name in the roofing industry for their powerful nailers that last. With the ability to drive 11 gauge nails at a 3/4th inch to 1 3/4th inch, you have the option to handle a wide variety of roofing materials. It also has a drive depth control for easy adjustment to ensure a tight fit each and every time. The exhaust is also adjustable with a 360-degree swivel to keep the air from blowing back on you while you work.

At 5.5 pounds, it is light enough for one-handed operation still and frees up a hand for balance and consistent nail placement. The contact actuation trigger allows for rapid firing sequences, and also provides a good degree of safety and helps with nail placement.

Pros:

  • Comfortable and well balanced
  • Very durable wear plates and body
  • Case includes all maintenance tools

Cons:

  • Depth adjustment may not be consistent
  • Occasional multiple firing

Pro Tip

If you are rough on your tools, the body of this gun is considered top notch in durability. It is lightweight and well balanced and is considered a great choice for anyone in the need of a good roofing gun.

BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer

BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer
  • Firing Method: contact firing
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs
  • Warranty: 7 year
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Bostitch is yet another leader in the nail gun industry, and their roofing nailer is no exception. Its features make it a dependable choice for a variety of other jobs as well, and can easily be used on exterior drywall work, insulation boards, and fiber cement. The drive of depth adjustment is part of the reason what makes it so versatile, and includes 5 different settings. The side load canister and zero nails lockout help you keep moving and avoids dry firing from occurring.

The gun is able to hold up to 100 nails at 3/4ths inch to 1 3/4ths inch length. These choices are excellent for flush mounting shallow driving and countersinking purposes. There are skid pads to avoid creating and marks, plus the nose guard has a carbide insert for long life.

Pros:

  • Incredibly versatile
  • Easy to balance and use
  • Easy to load and very powerful

Cons:

  • Double nailing may occur until you are used to it
  • Loud

Pro Tip

Popular with anyone who has had the opportunity to use it, this is a versatile gun that truly has a large following due to how well it can be used in other job areas other than roofing. If you need a good nail gun for other powerful jobs, this is a great pick.

PORTER-CABLE Roofing Nailer

PORTER-CABLE Roofing Nailer
  • Firing Method: contact and single sequential
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 year
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Porter-Cable is another all-around nail gun choice that many professionals and hobbyists turn to because they know they are getting a quality item. The company specialized in nailers, and their roofing nailer choices are amongst the best. This model boasts an adjustable shingle guide, and well as a depth guide to keep you consistent. These toolless features are easy to use and work well with your choice of bump or sequential firing methods that you can toggle between.

The dual door magazine allows for rapid reloading when on the job, and also has skid pads and wear resistant guards to avoid damaging surfaces, and allow it to last. Like most other roofing guns, it can fire a 3/4ths inch to 1 3/4ths inch nail with ease.

Pros:

  • Incredibly consistent
  • Incredibly durable and can handle being dropped
  • Well balanced and easy to use

Cons:

  • Does not come with a coupler

Pro Tip

If power and consistency are on the top of your list, this is a great gun to consider. Plus it has some great features for dependable use.

Conclusion

Choosing a good roofing nailer can be a difficult choice, simply because there are some seriously powerful models out there with excellent claims. Out top 5 choices help illustrate that, and all are dependable and able to get even the toughest roofing job done. In our opinion, the BOSTITCH Coil Roofing Nailer is the most versatile choice and a favorite amongst homeowners due to how many jobs it can be used for.

If you any experience with the guns listed above, or are interested in more information, please let us know below. And, as always, please share!

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