Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: July 15, 2021
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A roofing nailer is not just your average tool since it is not every day that you will get to install a new roof. In fact, it might take you years to actually use this tool unless you are a professional or get hit by an unforeseen storm. You can decide to nail your roof manually, which is tiresome and time consuming. Or you can use a roofing nail gun that can easily handle the short and flat-headed nails that are often used in roofing. To help you find the best roofing nailer, we wrote a comprehensive review of the top tools in the market.
These devices are important as they can help you get the job done in a fast, safe and efficient manner. They also come in different shapes and sizes making it important to know their different features before buying. This review explored some of the features such as weight, speed, capacity, warranty and power source among other things. We look at how these features affect the use of the tools and highlight the important features depending on your needs.
Of course, this was not a one-day job. It may be easy to review one tool but it took us a couple of weeks to experience each machine and give a comprehensive write up. To reach an informed verdict, we tried each machine on the list, read up on their specifications and even got input from various professionals. We also structured the review well to make it an easy read. You will find a table with the list of roofers, in-depth review of each product and a well-written buying guide. We highlight some of the impressive features of roofing nailers in it to help you make the best choice.
Are you a professional that is looking for the perfect tool? Unlike other roofing nailers on the market, the Hitachi NV45AB2 is designed with protection in mind. It has two metal plates dubbed the Steel Body Wear protectors situated at the front and the back of the machine to acts as bumpers. Since roofing is done in a tricky environment where a dropped tool might shatter, it is a great option for professionals.
This model is surprisingly lightweight despite the additional protection. It is also well-balanced for easy handling, which also makes reloading hassle free. Pick this model if you would love a quiet machine that will not interrupt your work with loud pop sounds after a few seconds.
It is also popular for its depth-drive feature, which enhances its accuracy. This means that the machine is perfect for precision tasks such as flash nailing or even nailing overhangs. Furthermore, the carbide nose delivery of the NV45AB2 sits flush to the ground allowing the nose to not only deliver precise but also powerful nailing.
The handles of the Hitachi NV45AB2 are coated with a soft rubbery material that makes using the machine as comfortable as possible. It also has a decent capacity with the magazine holding a collated coil of about 120 nails. Many people prefer using this model due to its ability to work with small 7/8 inch nails. The nailer’s magazine can easily accommodate nails that range from 7/8 inches to about 1 ¾ inches.
Looking for a simple tool that will surpass your expectations? Well, this may just be what you are looking for. First thing you will notice about this nailer is its light weight. This is important since you will probably have to hold the tool for hours or even days. Its magnesium housing makes it suitable for those looking for a lightweight tool. It also has a thinner handle that is fitted with Ridgid’s Hex Grip to make it even more comfortable for users.
Unlike other roofing nailers, the depth-drive adjustment is conveniently placed near the trigger as opposed to the top of the nose. While it may not be easy to spot this dial if you are used to other models, it is definitely easy to use it once you are accustomed to it. It also has wear guards on the sides of the nail cannister that not only improve the looks of the nailer but also improve its functionality.
This nailer delivers 1 ½ to 3 ½ fasteners and also includes a dry fire lockout. These fasteners easily move off the collated coil resulting in zero misfires. It also includes a safe and simple bump fire or sequential fire selector. To change between these two modes, you have to press a safety button and move the knob. With the single fire option, you have more control especially when nailing in tight spaces. Using bump fire mode in such tight spaces may make the nailer recoil and shoot another unplanned nail.
The Max CN445R3 is a great roofing nailer for professionals. Although it comes at a slightly higher price, it is a good choice for professionals who intend to use the tool for years to come.
You probably think that 5.6 lbs is a lot of weight for a hand-tool but the Max CN445R3 feels light on the hand due to its ergonomic design. Holding and using a heavy hand tool for hours brings fatigue and stress on your hand. This is why you not only need a light but also well-balanced tool. This model is properly balanced, which makes it easy to control and drive nails with precision. Its 360 degrees swivel fitting also makes it easy to maneuver the nailer at any angle.
Durability is also an important feature of the Max CN445R3. Its cast aluminum housing allows the tool to withstand rough work conditions and adds extra durability without sacrificing its weight. The nailer’s nose is also tar resistant meaning the tool should last 8 times longer than the average tool. The filter has a self-cleaning feature that automatically ejects any unwanted substances from the nailer.
It is also fitted with an adjustable dial depth-drive control that allows you to choose how deep you want the nails to go. You can choose from three options including flush, shallow and countersink. The rapid fire trigger makes it easier to drive nails. Each time the tip bumps on a work surface, the trigger will drive a nail through the surface. Furthermore, it has a magnetic nose that prevents jamming. This feature ensures that the last nail in the nailer stays in place without making the machine jam.
The B&C Eagle CN45R is a light roofing nailer with a rugged magnesium housing designed to work in any climate. Its soft ribber grip design further improves its comfort to ensure that the user of the tool can easily handle it. With a magazine capacity of about 120 nails that range from ¾ to 1 ¾ inches, the B&C Eagle roofing nailer may be the best tool for professional and even amateur nailers.
It has a built-in trigger selection that allows you to choose and switch between the single and bump fire nailing. This ensures that you can choose the perfect mode depending on the job that you will be carrying out. Furthermore, the tool has a 360 degree directional cap that allows you to direct any exhaust away from your face. This feature may not seem important but it can easily affect your work.
The B&C Eagle CN45R is fitted with a built-in air filter that traps dirt inside the tool when you are using it and expels this dirt once the machine is unplugged from the air source. This is cool feature that will save you hours of cleaning. Another convenient feature of the B&C Eagle CN45Ris its tool free depth-drive that allows you to easily choose the depth of the nails you are casting. It also has wear protection, anti-skid housing pads and a shingle guide to ensure you do not encounter problems when working.
With a patented spring loaded nail guide, the user is assured of safe nailing down to the last nail.
The Makita AN454 combines the intricacies of rugged construction with excellent performance. Weighing only 5.2 lbs model ensures that you get great value for your money while also being convenient. The machine accepts the .120 shank diameter nails with each of these ranging from ¾ to 13/4 inches.
The makita roofing nailer is quite durable thanks to its design. It has aluminum housing that not only ensures that it is light but it can also be used for an extended period. The aluminum and steel wear plates reduce any instances of tool abrasion that is prone to occur when using the machine. The cannister is easy to load and can be adjusted according to the type of work or amount of work that is being done.
Depth-drive features are also present in the Makita AN454. It has a tool-less depth adjustment that is specially designed to improve precision and to allow flush nailing. This roofing nailer also has a smooth nose design that allows users to easily remove it when cleaning. The nose design also helps to remove any tar that may buildup. It also includes large carbide inserts to ensure that maximum performance for an extended period.
An ergonomic design and rubberized grip increases comfort while using the tool while its reversible belt hook helps to increase the tool accessibility.
What are its best features?
A lightweight design
Built-in magnet to prevent jamming
Includes a reversible belt hook
What could be improved?
Might take some time to get accustomed to driving nails
The Porter cable RN175B is regarded as one of the lightest tool with a moderate price tag too. This makes it a suitable machine for both professionals and amateurs due to its ease of use and control. It accommodates ¾ inch and 1 ¾ inch wire roofing nails, making it a great tool for indoor work. The nailer’s magazine holds about 120 nails.
This machine gives you two roof nailing options including the single-sequential or contact mode depending on the requirements of your job. It is designed to ensure that it will not jam and allows easy loading. Also, its ergonomic grip allows the user to hold and use it comfortably. With the Porter cable RN175B, you do not have to worry about debris since the motor has an exhaust diffuser.
The machine is built with durable steel as well as carbide, which means that it is built to last. Its shingle guide locks to give you consistency on your roof while also having a two door nail magazine to ensure easy and safe loading. A rock-solid wear guard shields the user from the occasional wear and tear. The compact body of the Porter cable RN175B makes it easy to handle while also allowing the nailer to adjust the shingle without using any extra tools.
Are you looking for a professional roofing nailer? The AeroPro CN45N is a pro roofing nail gun that is designed to offer excellent performance. This model is great for roofing and even installation of fiber cement products.
The AeroPro CN45N has a heat treated aluminum housing that not only makes it durable but also ensures the machine has a lighter weight. This makes it suitable for use in harsh or extreme roofing environments.
This roofing nailer model has a high capacity magazine that accepts 120
It is designed with a moving cylinder engine to reduce the level of recoil once you start working. It also has a side loading magazine that makes it easy to load new magazines and reduces the time it takes to do so. The air inlet of the roofing nailer is 3/8 inches while the working pressure of the machine is 80 to 120 psi.
The roofing nailer also has a trigger lock-off system that ensures no nails are triggered accidentally. With many accidents occurring at the workplace, this ensures that there will be no workplace injury when using this roofing nailer. It also comes with an adjustable exhaust diffuser. This is an important cleaning feature that makes the tool collect any unwanted material after completion of the job.
Bostitch is a reputable company that is known for delivering professional nailing solutions at an affordable price, and the RN46 is no exception. This machine has just about everything you need in a roofing nailer and comes at a great price that won’t break your bank. What makes it a great choice?
It is easy to use on the roof due to its lightweight and well-balanced nature while also easy to load. With the RN46, you can now rip through a number of shingles and prepare easily for the next load. The machine also has a lockout mechanism that prevents inadvertent firing.
The Bostitch RN46 is a great tool if you are looking for a dependable, durable yet versatile roofing nailer. The coil roofer accommodates nail sizes of ¾ to 1 ¾ inches, which makes it a versatile option depending on your roof nailing needs.
As an air compressor nailer, the RN46 can deliver about 100 PSI of pressure and also easily hits 410 inches/lbs of force. It can shoot about 100 nails per minute, which is good enough for many hobbyists. You can also change the firing mode from bump to sequential. The latter mode allows you to experience some decent speed and accuracy. Its depth control also allows you to easily adjust between different material thickness and density with ease. Another great option is its trigger mechanism that may not seem important at first but it may make a world of difference if you need to nail in awkward positions.
What makes it stand out?
It has an adjustable depth of drive
Faster reload from the side loading magazine
Lightweight and balanced
Soft rubber for a good grip
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Limited to a .120 nail shank
Some adjustments to the trigger may be necessary
Things to Consider
There are a lot of roofing nailers to choose from and one needs to consider all their options before settling on the best roofing nailer. All the reviewed roofing nailers have different features that you should look at. With this buying guide, you will finally explore some of the unique features of the various roofing nailers. The guide also highlights why some of these features are important and how they can help you choose the perfect roofing nailer according to your needs and preferences.
Advantages of having a roofing nailer
Are you thinking of making a new roof for your home? A lot of people get confused at this point and do not know whether to use a hand nailer or a roofing nail gun. As you can guess, making the wrong choice may lead to some serious consequences. For example, your roof will be susceptible to leaks and even damage from storms or the rain if you install the roof incorrectly. With that being said, there are a lot of benefits to having a roofing nailer. These include:
You will need minimum effort to install the perfect roof when using a roofing nailer as opposed to doing it manually.
A roofing nailer generally takes less time since the nails are driven by the machine as opposed to manual installation. Remember, you can easily get tired but your roofing nailer won’t.
Roofing nailers are also known for their accuracy and precision. Unlike manual installation, a roofing nailer will do the job perfectly as long as you are skilled enough to use it. Models such as the Hitachi NV45AB2 have a great depth-drive feature that ensures a high level of accuracy.
Safety is also a big benefit of using a roofing nailer. Driving roofing nails by hand often leads to injuries resulting in missed working time. A roofing nailer minimizes the risk of these accidents.
Roofing nail gun types
Many experts assert that they would never use anything other than a pneumatic roofing nailer. However, having to endure a significantly loud air compressor all day while moving an air hose may not impress you. This prompts you to explore other roofing nail gun types on the market. Pneumatic roofing nailer are common due to their ability to push nails easily but they may not be suitable for use in other places such as under attics.
An electric roofing nailer, on the other hand, is quite silent than the air filled one. This type of roofing nailer has an extended power supply string that will have to be factored in whenever wants to use it. Furthermore, electric roofing nailers often weigh a lot more than other machines since the power cord adds some weight to it.
Another option is a rechargeable surface roofing nail gun that uses the power and presentation of an electrical nail gun. The downside to this type of roofing nailer is that you will have to spend some time charging it. You can choose to purchase additional batteries to extend the period of use.
Roofing nailers are specialized home equipment, which means they are naturally bound to be expensive. However, not all people want an advanced tool so pricing becomes an important factor to consider before choosing a roofing nailer. If you are a professional then it makes sense purchasing an advanced roofing nailers that will often cost you an arm and a leg. If not, you should try to find a tool that works for you and consider the budget too. It is, however, worth noting that cheap does not always translate to the best option.
Features to consider while buying the best roofing nailer
Since these roofing nailers have different features, it is important to review what distinguishes them. This section explores some of the features to consider when choosing the best roofing nailer.
Installing a roof is not a 5 minute job, which makes it important to choose a light weight roofing nailer. From our research, we concluded that an average weight of 5.5 lbs is comfortable enough to handle for a few hours. While looking for a good roofing nailer, it is not uncommon to find heavier nailing guns especially electric guns. At 4.7 lbs, the Porter Cable Roofing Nailer RN175B was one of the lightest roofing nailer that we reviewed. The Bostitch roofing nailer came second weighing about 4.9 lbs. The gun weight of the roofing nailer is important since it will affect other things such as the precision and total time taken to complete the job.
The nailing speed of the roofing nailer is an important feature to consider before settling on a machine. You are definitely purchasing a roofing nailer for a specific job. If your nailing gun is not fit to carry out the task you desire then you might easily get frustrated. Do you want fast contact nailing? If so, you should look for a fast roofing nailer that can fire at least 1 nail per second. In fact, it is better if the gun can fire more nails per second. It is also important to consider how fast and easy it is to change from sequential to bump mode. The Ridgid Roofing Nailer R175RNA offers a simple and safe way to change these modes to give you a faster and safer roof nailing experience.
The firing of your roofing nailer is also important. However, firing ultimately depends on the trigger mechanism of your nailing gun. You should ensure that your roofing nailer trigger should not have any obstruction. This will allow you to freely press the trigger and fire the nails. A smooth and long trigger press is most ideal. Avoid short triggers since most of them are quite unsafe. They have caused many injuries since any slight touch on the trigger can shoot unwanted nails.
A comfortable grip goes hand in hand with the weight of your nailing gun. You will have a great roofing experience if you have a light weight roofing nailer that has a comfortable grip. A good grip will improve control of your tool while also making it easier to hold the machine for longer hours. A rubberized grip is the best choice when looking for a nailing gun that is comfortable. The Makita AN454 is an example of a roofing nailer fitted with a rubberized grip to improve comfort.
Precision is critical when using a nailing gun. This is because any errors when roofing may lead to other unprecedented problems such as leaks. This makes it important to choose a nailing gun that can shoot with great precision. The depth-drive feature in many roofing nailers improves the accuracy of each nail. Furthermore, a good roofing nailer should have a magnetic nose that ensures all nails are released accurately without any nails being left at the working place.
Nail compatibility ultimately depends on the size and type of nails that you want to use. A quick look at the reviewed tools shows that the average nailer uses ¾ to 1 ¾ inch nails. However, the Hitachi NV45AB2 offers users the chance to use smaller nails ranging from 7/8 to 1 ¾ inches.
You definitely want a tool that allows easy loading to ensure that you do not get disrupted when working. Using the one-step nail loading mechanism will allow you to reload faster when you need to install shingles. The RN46 has this option and also allows for side loaded coils to ensure you can easily handle the gun even when loading.
An amateur user may not need a large magazine capacity if they intend to purchase a roofing nailer for home use. Professionals, however, work on a lot of roofs in a year and may need a bigger magazine capacity. Most of the reviewed nailing guns have a magazine capacity of about 120 nails. Anyone that wants a higher magazine capacity should look for advanced roofing nailers.
A warranty gives a buyer a peace of mind. It is not uncommon to purchase defective products or those that break during transportation. The Bostitch Roofing Nailer RN46 stands out in this regard with a 7 year warranty for buyers. The B&C Eagle CN45R and Makita roofing nailer also have 3 year warranties. Good warranty terms always improve buyer confidence.
Roofing nailer safety tips
It is always important to address safety concerns when working with power tools. It is even more important to consider your safety when you are using such a tool on top of the roof. Here are a couple of safety tips to consider
Use rubber grips – A rubberized grip allows you to hold and control the tool easily. These safety grips also provide some frictions preventing the nailer from sliding or even falling.
Always opt for the sequential mode and wear some protective gear such as safety glasses.
Avoid inadvertent firing – This is a major cause of injury for roofing nailers, which makes it important to take care when dealing with contact triggers. Accidental firing occurs when a user places their finger on the trigger or when the nose piece touches the body of the users/coworkers.
If you have a bigger house, you will need to purchase a powerful roofing nailer that allows you to work faster and with greater precision. The Bostitch Roofing Nailer RN46 can come in handy if you are looking for a great tool that will surpass your expectations.
A roofing nail gun uses air pressure to press nails on your roof. While the roofing nailer may work well even in bad weather, it is generally not advisable. This is because of the safety concerns of working in bad weather. It may be easier to slip and fall when working on bad weather. You are also prone to making some mistakes such as driving the nails wrongly leading to severe problems such as leaks.
Roofers are specifically designed to work with roofs. With that being said, using a nail gun on a roof will present problems. If one uses a nail from a nail gun, the shingle might not fasten properly. It is also impossible to determine whether a nail hits solid wood as most roof decks are also covered by felt paper.
Trying out the top roofing nailers and writing the review was quite enjoyable for us. We were faced with some tough choices but we had to choose the best product out of those we included in our review.
At the top was the Hitachi NV45AB2 that impressed us because of its side loading magazine, open nose jam cleaning, carbide tipped push lever etc. This machine will definitely not disappoint you if you are looking for a powerful roofing nailer.
At second place is the Ridgid Roofing Nailer R175RNA that impressed us with some of its features. These include a replaceable nose piece, a magnetic nail holder, exhaust diffuser and a dry-fire lockout.
Our budget pick is Bositich Roofing Nailer RN46, which stood out due to its ease of use, versatility and excellent performance. With this comprehensive review, you can make an informed decision when finding the best roofing nailer.