Best Roofing Nailers in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Roofing Nailer 2020 - Buyer's Guide

Whether you are a professional r a hobbyist, you will want to buy an excellent roofing nailer. If you are a professional, you are going to be looking for specific features that are not as important for a hobbyist as they are for you. 

Similarly, if you are a hobbyist or a homeowner who just needs to buy a roofing nailer to maintain simple stuff at home, you may not need an expensive, high-end roofing nailer just to throw it at your workshop. 

In this article, you’ll find the best roofing nailer among the seven best ones I have managed to compile just for you. 

Our Top Picks:

Nailer Weight Dimensions Magazine Capacity Power Source
Hitachi NV45AB2 7.32 lbs 6.3 x 13 x 13.4 inches120 Air-Powered
BOSTITCH  RN46 5.8 lbs 13.4 x 14.4 x 5.1 inches120 Air-Powered
Max CN445R3 5.2 lbs 12.2 x 10.5 x 4.5 inches120 Air-Powered
PORTER-CABLE RN175B 5.7 lbs13.6 x 13.2 x 4.7 inches 120 Corded-Electric
Senco Roof Pro 455XP 5.51 lbs 15.3 x 5.9 x 14.8 inches120 Air-Powered
WEN 6178211.45 lbs 5.5 x 17.5 x 16.3 inches120 Air-Powered
DEWALT DW45RN 5.2 lbs 11.3 x 5.5 x 10.7 inches120 Corded-Electric

The 7 Best Roofing Nailers in 2020

1. Hitachi NV45AB2 – Best Overall 

Hitachi NV45AB2

This lightweight and durable roofing nailer is great for contractors and DIYs alike because it is durable and easy to use.  

Hitachi NV45AB2 is a very rapid roofing nailer that can drive 3 nails per second. Also, it comes with a tool-less depth of drive adjustment, so you will just need to turn a dial. The 7/8-Inch to 1-3/4-Inch Coil Roofing Nailer’s magazine capacity is 120, which is large.

Moreover, it is well-balanced, lightweight, and has a comfortable grip, so say goodbye to fatigue even if you will use it for long hours. Besides, its carbide-tipped nose will ensure you land the nail where you exactly need it to be. 

Having a rubber case and being able to withstand the cold are from its most impressive features, I would say. The rubber grip enables you to put it on the roof without having to worry about it slipping, which is especially dangerous because it has some plastic parts so that it can get broken. It also protects anyone in the area below the roof.

Furthermore, its ability to withstand the cold weather and rain is exceptional because it means that you can use it in winter and it will not freeze mid-use. 

Although it comes in dual mode, you have to buy a special trigger in order to use it in sequential mode; otherwise, you will use it as an automatic. 

Pros:

  • Rubber grip 
  • Speed
  • Dual-mode
  • Lightweight
  • High-capacity side-load magazine
  • Hassle-free reloading 

Cons:

  • It has some plastic parts 
  • Must purchase additional trigger if you wish to switch to sequential mode
  • Expensive 

Bottom Line

The lightweight, durability, rubber grip, huge magazine capacity, and ability to withstand the cold weather contribute to making Hitachi NV45AB2 very appealing to most contractors and DIYs alike. 

You should note, though, that it is so expensive, and has some plastic parts. Also, you must buy a special trigger if you wish to use the sequential mode, so you will pay some extra money. 

2. BOSTITCH RN46 – Runner Up 

BOSTITCH RN46

This powerful roofing nailer is extra serious. It can drive up to 100 nails per minute. Not just that, it also uses contact tip automatic firing, which means that it is suitable for large projects. This method helps with covering a large area in relatively no time because it fires the nail when the tip hits the surface. Moreover, it comes with a carbide-tipped blade that is durable enough to withstand said bouncing. 

Besides, there is a tool-free depth of drive adjustment that helps you quickly finish your tasks thanks to its five different pre-sets that you can select from and get on with your work. Also, it has a 120-magazine capacity, which is pretty large. 

Regarding the safety features, it has a zero nail lockout, which prevents the nailer from firing when the magazine runs out. You can easily reload it by using the patented single-action side canister. All you need to do is to slide it open and then put the new coils. 

Sadly, it has some minor drawbacks such as lacking an air hose connector, and a case. 

Pros:

  • Zero nail lockout 
  • Fast and durable 
  • Contact tip automatic firing to cover large surface areas in a short time

Cons:

  • No air hose connector 
  • No case
  • Jams occasionally

Bottom Line

BOSTITCH RN46 is a sturdy roofing nailer. Its safety features, contact tip automatic firing, and other attractive features make it one of our most recommended roofing nailers. Plus, its drawbacks can be easily overseen. 

3. Max CN445R3 Coil Roofing Nailer – Best For Its Ease Of Maintenance

Max CN445R3

At 5.2 pounds and a rubber grip, this great roof nailer is easy to hold and maneuver. To help it be more maneuverable, there is a tangle-free swivel fitting that allows the air hose to swivel so that it does not hold you down.

Furthermore, it has an accurate tool-free depth adjustment so that you will not need to adjust the compressor. Its nose is tar resistant, which helps it last longer than other models, and if it gets gummed up, you can easily clean it thanks to the easily-removed contact foot. 

Moreover, Max CN445R3 does not get easily jammed thanks to the magnetized nose that holds the last nail in the chamber. 

You also won’t have to maintain so often because it has a special cap filter that prevents debris and dust from damaging the inside of the motor. It even comes with a self-cleaning feature that gets rid of anything that it collected.  

Pros:

  • Tool-free depth adjustment
  • Self-cleaning feature
  • Special cap filter
  • Tangle-free swivel

Cons:

  • Manual depth adjustment may be slightly inaccurate
  • Expensive 

Bottom Line

The lightweight and rubber grip handle of Max CN445R3 make it comfortable to hold to the extent that it is going to be extra comfy if you use it for long projects. Moreover, you will not have a hard time maintaining it thanks to its self-cleaning features and special cap filter. 

4. PORTER-CABLE RN175B –  Best For Its Adjustable Exhaust

PORTER CABLE RN175B

This roofing nailer is suitable for professionals and hobbyists alike. It is a great tool to use for long projects thanks to its lightweight, comfortable rubber grip, and 120 magazine capacity. 

The exhaust is easily adjustable, so you can rest assured that no dust or debris will get blown in your direction. 

Moreover, you can adjust the depth by turning a dial because it is tool-free. Also, for hobbyists or anyone who does not have much experience in this field, PORTER-CABLE RN175B comes with a shingle guide to help you if you have a big area to cover. 

The motor will work with the right amount of power, whether you are using the sequential mode or contact firing mode. 

Moreover, its motor resists wear and tear thanks to its durable steel and dual carbide inserts. 

Pros:

  • Adjustable exhaust
  • Shingle guide 
  • The motor is made of durable steel and dual carbide inserts 

Cons:

  • Does not come with air hose attachment
  • Difficult to clean the jams 
  • Tool-less depth drive can have inconsistent results

Bottom Line

An excellent tool to use for covering big areas, especially if you are still an amateur thanks to its shingle guide, lightweight, and rubber grip. 

5. Senco Roof Pro 455XP – Versatile and Easy To Maintain 

 Senco Roof Pro 455XP

This ¾ to 1 ¾ inches fastener-length roofing nailer is extra lightweight to the extent that it can be used single-handedly. It is also durable thanks to its wear plates that protect it from abrasion damage and its bi-metal driver blade that does not require replacement very often. 

Besides, since maintaining your roofing nailer will definitely extend its lifetime, Senco Roof Pro 455XP allows you to access everything from the top of it easily. 

Moreover, Senco Roof Pro 455XP is a versatile nailer that can handle waterproof tar paper plus asphalt and fiberglass shingles right out of the box. You can even use it for vinyl and aluminum siding if you add the right attachments.

It also uses less air than its fellow nailers without compromising the results. The power in/power out design seals off the exhaust to reduce air consumption without compromising any power. 

In addition to the practical features above, this 120-magazine-capacity roofing nailer also comes with a tool-less depth of drive adjustment. 

Pros:

  • Comes with a case
  • Easy to maintain 
  • Versatile 
  • Uses less air and produces excellent results

Cons:

  • Depth of drive adjustment can be inaccurate
  • May double fire 

Bottom Line

Senco Roof Pro 455XP is lightweight and versatile, so you can use it to work on many projects without getting tired. Moreover, its large magazine capacity, use of less air, and tool-less depth of drive adjustment are some great features. Take care, though, that it double fires sometimes. 

6. WEN 61782 – Best One For Homeowners 

WEN 61782

WEN 61782 is a recommended roofing nailer for hobbyists and homeowners only. It does not suit professionals since it is not durable. However, it is pretty cheap and does an excellent job if you do not use it frequently. 

It comes with a 120-magazine capacity, so it takes a lot of nails. It shoots the same gauge nails from ¾ to 1 ¾ inch and does not require a lot of reloading. 

It is comfortable to use thanks to its rubber grip handle that also helps it stay in its place when you set it down. Besides, it comes with an adjustable shingle guide. 

When you finish the job, you can safely put WEN 61782 in its hard plastic case until you use it again. 

Pros:

  • Great price 
  • Holds a variety of nail sizes
  • Comes with a plastic case

Cons:

  • Not suitable for professionals 
  • Relatively heavy 
  • May jam a lot 

Bottom Line 

Buy this roofing nailer if you are just going to use it around the house. Its large magazine capacity and ability to hold a variety of nail sizes are really appealing to hobbyists. 

7. DEWALT DW45RN – Lightweight 

DEWALT DW45RN

You can easily adjust the nail basket of this 120-magazine-capacity roofing nailer to accommodate various nail lengths. The nailer accepts 120, 0.120-inch diameter, 15-degree roofing nails ranging from 3/4-inch to 1-3/4 inches long.

It is also very fast as it fires 10 nails per second. Besides, there is an easy-to-access-and-operate nail depth gauge and shingle guide adjustment. 

One of the drawbacks of it is that it is corded, so it needs an air hose and an air compressor, which compromises its safety. Climbing up the roof with a nailer and the material you want to nail is dangerous enough, so hauling everything associated with a pneumatic nailer up to the roof is a needless risk.

Adding to its drawbacks is the absence of a safety hook and a sequential fire mode, increasing the risk of inadvertent firing.  

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Fires 10 nails per second 
  • Accommodates various nail lengths

Cons:

  • No sequential fire mode
  • No safety hook
  • Pneumatic

Bottom Line

DEWALT DW45RN accommodates different nail lengths. It is also durable and speedy. However, it comes with many drawbacks that you should consider if you want to buy it. 

How To Choose a Roofing Nailer

Weight

Buying a lightweight roofing nailer is an essential feature you should consider; otherwise, the work is going to be a lot like torture. 

Why exactly is lightweight that important? It is because, when you use a roofing nailer, you will also be holding the materials that you want to nail, which are usually heavy.  

Another reason is that roofing nailers have a double-edged weapon; that is, they have a large fastener capacity than other nailer types. As much as this is great because you will not need to refill very often, it adds extra weight to the roofing nailer, so the nailer itself has to be as light as possible. 

Balance  

A good roofing nailer should be balanced from its head to its handle. If the roofing nailer is forward-leaning, it won’t be an issue with roofing but will be a problem with siding. So it is better if you get a well-balanced one. 

Ergonomics 

Some people use roof nailers for short periods of time, while others may use them for an extended period of time. 

If you are from the latter, then you must hold the roofing nailer before you actually buy it to make sure that it has a comfortable grip. Otherwise, you will just spend hours with fatigued hands while working, and the after-work hours will not be any better. 

Also, if you will not use it for a long time, try to get a comfortable one. I mean, why would buying a comfortable roof nailer be an issue for anyone, anyway? 

Drive Adjustment Depth 

The fastener depth should be easily readable and changed. It would be great if you can easily dial in the nail depth. 

It is also vital to ensure that the thumb wheel -if any- works with and without gloves. 

Magazine Adjustment 

The magazine of a roofing nailer is also known as its basket. It should be able to move up and down freely. This adjustment is important because it ensures that the nails feed smoothly and in alignment with the firing mechanism.

Dry Fire Lockout 

The presence of a dry fire lockout means that the roofing nailer will not fire when it does not even have a nail to drive. This feature will prevent the tool from wear and tear as well as prevent you from firing a sequence of nails only to discover later the board, shingle, or material isn’t actually fastened.

Firing Mode

Some nailers have a single action mode- where a nail is driven for each trigger pull; whereas, some other roofing nailers have a bump fire mode. The bump fire mode allows the nailer to drive a nail whenever the nailer’s nose is depressed while the trigger is pulled. 

The bump fire mode helps you finish your work faster; however, it is not as safe as the single-action mode because the increased speed might lead to jamming as a result of shooting multiple nails in the same hole. 

Trigger Pull Force 

At the lowest estimation, a roofer may drive hundreds of nails per day, so if the trigger is not easily pulled, it will strain your hands.

This is especially true with the single action firing mode where you will pull the trigger for each and every nail.

Regarding the bump mode, the spring of the trigger should be comfortable, too, because you will be holding it down the whole time. 

Versatility 

Versatility is double-branched regarding roofing nailers. If your roofing nailer is versatile, it can either mean that it can be used for something else other than roofing, or that it can be used on a variety of materials or both!

A roofing nailer can be used for other outdoor tasks such as putting up siding if you attach the right attachments.

It can also be used on different materials like waterproof tar paper and asphalt and fiberglass shingles as well as vinyl and aluminum siding.

Having a roofing nailer that can be used in the winter is super glamorous because you will need to use it during the cold season. Moreover, even if you are using it in warmer seasons, the roofing might have precipitations, still. 

Safety 

Working the roof is dangerous, so you would better buy a roofing nailer that has some safety features. 

One of the most important safety features is the rubber grip, as it adds comfort for you and produces friction when you place it on a sliding roof. 

Is It Better To Get a Pneumatic Or a Cordless Roofing Nailer?

Roofing nailers come in pneumatic and cordless models. Each of these models has its advantages and disadvantages. 

To ensure that you will make the most suitable and most comfortable choice, I will discuss them in a little bit of detail below. 

Pneumatic Roofing Nailer 

A pneumatic roofing nailer uses compressed air in order to drive the nails into the roof, or whatever material. They, of course, require a hose to connect them to the source of the compressed air. 

The great thing about having a pneumatic nailer is that it will offer a consistent pressure as long as it is connected to the compressed air. 

However, since you are going to be working up the roof, having to drag the hose and the air compressor up with you can be a lot dangerous. Moreover, they do not offer enough mobility, so you will stay limited to a particular area unless you want to expose yourself to the unwanted risks of moving them around while you’re up there.  

Cordless Roofing Nailer 

Conversely, a cordless pneumatic roofing nailer does not require any hoses or air compressors. It only uses canisters of butane gas to fill an internal chamber and a spark to ignite it so that the rapidly expanding gas pushes a piston onto the nail head.

You will only need to swap out batteries and gas canisters, which takes time, but offers a lot of advantages in return. It is needless to say that cordless models are a lot safer than pneumatic ones. Plus, they offer a lot of mobility, so you are never limited to a specific place, nor do you have to worry about the location of the hose. 

Different Types Of Roofing Nails: 

1. Aluminum Nails

Aluminum nails are as sturdy as steel nails. They are usually used for metal roofs, asphalt shingles, or composite roofs. Whoever uses them can rest assured that the material will not loosen or rot. However, do not use them in a place near the coastline because the salt in the air will lead to their corrosion. 

2. Stainless Steel Nails

Unlike the aluminum nails, stainless steel ones can withstand saltwater, so they are the type you should use near a coastline. Since they are very durable and withstand harsh conditions, they are also commonly used in places far away from the coastline. However, they are pretty expensive, but I would say they are worth the investment anyway. 

3. Copper Nails 

I highly recommend these for securing slates or roofing tiles. You can use copper nails in a variety of environments without having to compromise their level of performance. They are durable and remain fixed in their place for a very long time, even in the worst weather conditions; therefore, they are very cost-effective.  

4. Galvanized Roofing Nails

These are steel nails in disguise as they are coated with a layer of zinc. They are usually used for roofing projects that have asphalt shingles. They are known for their ability to withstand rust for extremely long periods. They are also used because they rarely crack or shrink with the passing of seasons. All these features, along with their versatility and ease of use, make them popular among roofers. 

5. Sheradised Nails

Like the Galvanized nails, these nails are coated with zinc, so they are extra corrosion-resistant. Their durability and strength make roofers use them for fencing and decking jobs, along with a variety of other outdoor applications. They withstand harsh weather conditions as well. 

How Can Roofers Work Safely?

To avoid tripping and falling, damaging your roof nailer, or harming another person, you have to ensure that you know all the safety measures before using a roofing nailer. 

The following points state some of these safety measures: 

  • Read the instructions manually thoroughly
  • Wear steel-toed boots to protect your foot and toes
  • Wear a hard hat to protect your head from any possible injuries 
  • Wear safety glasses so that no nail or debris get into your eyes
  • Wear hearing protection to avoid any hearing loss
  • Do not point the tool at yourself or anyone ever
  • Remove finger from the trigger when not driving fasteners
  • Make sure hose is free of obstructions
  • Disconnect the tool if you are not using it 

Final Thoughts

I assume you have found the best roofing nailer for you already. If not, here are some recommendations: 

If you need a roofing nailer that you can use in the cold weather, get the lightweight Hitachi NV45AB2. Moreover, its dual-mode, rubber grip and large magazine capacity render it a great roofing nailer. 

In case you are not a professional, go for WEN 61782. It does a great job if you occasionally use it. However, steer away from it if you are a professional who needs a very durable roofing nailer.

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