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Roofing Nailer Vs Siding Nailer : Which Nailer Should I Choose?

Hover is a handyman who recently got a contract to fix some roofing and siding problems. He’s new to the craft, and has been confused on which nailer to use for the different jobs. He’s torn between using a roofing nail gun and a siding nail gun. Which is better for the different jobs? We’ll be taking a closer look at these nailers, their differences and special features so as to help Hover make a more informed decision.

Top 2 Roofing & Siding Nailer Comparison Table

  •   Product Name
  •   Type
  •   Power Source
  •   Magazine Capacity
  •   Warranty
  •   Weight

Top Roofing Nailer

MAX CN445R3 Roofing Coil Nailer
  • MAX CN445R3
  • Roofing Coil Nailer
  • Air Powered
  • 120
  • 5
  • 5.2 pounds

Top Siding Nailer

BOSTITCH N66C Coil Siding Nailer
  • BOSTITCH N66C Nailer
  • Siding Nailer
  • Air Powered
  • 300
  • 1
  • 4.08 pounds

Meaning Of Siding Nailers & Roofing Nailers

The names of both nailers should give you a good idea what they are used for. As the names imply, one is used for siding (siding nailers) while the other is used for roofing (roofing nailers).

OK, that sounds simplistic.

Let’s break it down further, shall we?

What Are Siding Nailers?

Siding is the protective material fixed to the exterior side of a wall, house, or roof. Siding nailers, therefore, are nail guns used to attach wood siding to the exterior of a home.

What Are Roofing Nailers?

Roofing nailers are used to attaching roofing materials to the deck of a roof. Since most roofs are made of fiberglass and asphalt, these nailers are designed to drive nails through these materials.

Differences Between Roofing & Siding Nailers

1. What they are used for

Roofing nailers are used for attaching roofing materials to a roof while side nailers are used to connecting materials like wood, to the exterior of a house. It could be the window or close to the ceiling.

2. Size of the nail heads and length of shafts used

Roofing nailers have bigger and wider heads and are shorter, compared to siding nailers. The wider heads in these nails are so they can hold two materials together, temporarily. Also, the wider heads makes it easier to remove the nails when you want to. The length of the shank (the body of the nail) is shorter in roofing nailers because they are needed to hold relatively thinner materials like fibreglass. For siding nails, their shank are sometimes longer than those used in roofing nailers.

3. Materials they can be used on

Roofing nailers are designed for use on fiberglass asphalt, which means they aren’t as strong as Siding nail guns. Siding nailers, on the other hand, are primarily used to nail woods, usually hardwoods and rubber. The nails used are stronger and longer.

4. Multiplicity of usage

Roofing nailers are designed solely for roofing issues — fixing and removing nails from the roof — while siding nailers can be used for siding and sometimes for roofing. With siding nailers, there’s also the option of it being used for framing. Although it’s not perfect, still most handymen prefer using it because of the versatility in usage.

5. Use of coil nails

Roofing nailers, unlike most nail guns, can drive coil nails. Coil nails have a large number of nails on the coil, usually around 120 nails. Siding nailers can’t use coil nails, instead some use T-nails.

6. Ease of use

Roofing nailers are easier to use. With coil nails, you don’t have to refill every time; you can climb up the roof once and complete the nailing without having to climb down to refill the nailer. Siding nails don’t have the option of cool nails, which makes it quite tedious to use because you’ll have to constantly add extra nails.

7. Trigger lock mechanism

With siding nailers, there’s the option of a trigger lock system to avoid you shooting unknowingly or a kid playing with it and shooting himself/herself. It is safe to use for siding. Roofing nails don’t have this option.

8. Jamming problems

With roofing nailers, there’s the problem of it getting jammed. And this could be a significant problem when you’re roofing or de-roofing. You could be stuck on the roof of your roofing nailer gets jammed while you’re working. And this can be frustrating. Siding nailers, on the other hand, don’t suffer jamming problems as regularly as roofing nailers.

9. Weight of nailers

The use of coil nails in roofing nailers makes them relatively heavier than siding nailers. Due to the lesser number of nails that can be used on a siding nail gun, the weight is lighter than roofing nail guns.

10. Depth-of-Drive Adjustment

Roofing nailers do not have depth-of-drive-adjustment. This makes it impossible to drive nails deeper, therefore making them unsuited for other nailing jobs like framing. On the other hand, siding nailers can be used for a variety of other nailing jobs, thanks to their high drive adjustment, and adjustable depth-of-drive.

Criteria To Consider When Selecting Nailers

Hover doesn’t have to stay stuck in his dilemma. He should take into consideration these two factors before selecting a nailer to use.

  • The type of work to be done: Nailers are designed to help workmen complete different jobs. Before going out to get a nailer, Hover should ask himself, “what do I want to do with this nailer?” The different nailing works requires different nail guns.
  • The type of nails available: Nailers work with nail! Knowing the types of nails to use and which nailers allow these nails is imperative in doing a splendid work. It could be roofing or flooring or finishing, whatever the job type, they require different nail types and sizes.

We have looked at the two major criteria Hover should look at, let’s see the types of nails that are available to him.

How To Use Siding Nailers

You just bought siding nail guns for that job, and you don’t know how to go about using it. We would unload useful tips on how to use siding nailers, so you don’t remain in the dark. Let us get to work!

If you are ready, let’s roll!

  1. Buy the nails: There are specific nail lengths for siding nail guns, and you need to get the right type for the job you want. The adjustability of the nailers means you can use an array of nails, so get the nail for the job you want, either long nails or short ones.
  2. Load the nails into the guns: Siding nailers do not work with coil nails, so you have to load the nails carefully into the magazine.
  3. Get safety equipment: Protection comes first! Get yourself hard hats, eye protection, and glove protection. Don’t start work until these protections gears are worn.
  4. Set the depth: Set the depth of the gun, depending on the kind of job you want to do. Let your nailer’s depth match the job—deep or shallow depths; it all depends on you. If you don’t set the right depth, you’ll do a poor job.
  5. Connect to a power source
  6. Shoot your nails: Hold the bottom of the nailer with one hand and hold the handle with the other. Now, shoot your nails!

How To Use Roofing Nailers

  1. Get safety protections: Like with siding nailers, getting safe is most important. Eyes protection, gloves, and heard hats are compulsory.
  2. Get the right compressor: The speed at which roofing nailers shoot nails (ten nails per second) makes it imperative for you to have a good air compressor in place.
  3. Load the canister: Open the feeder door and the magazine door. After removing the retainer, insert the coil into the cartridge. The nails should be pointed down and positioned in the barrel.
  4. Adjust the exhaust deflector: Adjust this to avoid air from the nail gun blasting in your face while you shoot.
  5. Set the firing mode: There are usually two firing modes—single action and bump action. With single-mode, one pull of the trigger releases one nail, while with bump mode, nails are shot as long as the trigger is held down, and the nose is pressed to the surface of the material you’re nailing. To be one a safer side, use the single mode.
  6. Pull that trigger: You can fire away now.

Types Of Nails

Nails, their sizes and types are the major determinants when choosing a nailer to use. The various nailers: roofing nailers, siding nailers, framing nailers and finishing nailers all require different sizes of nails.

Based on shank length, nails are classified into three basic sizes:

  • 15mm nails: These nails are bigger, longer and stronger. These nails are users for joining two hardwoods together. They are not appropriate for soft woods, fiberglass and asphalt. When using these nails, it is for construction and things that’ll last a long time.
  • 16mm size nails: They are also big nails, with long shank and relatively wide heads.
  • 18mm size nails: These are smaller nails with wider heads and shorter shanks.

Other types of nails are: roofing nails, common nails, box nails, finishing nails, masonry nails, double-headed nails, drywell nails and a host of other types.

When we talk of nailers, we have three that are commonly used, especially with siding nailers guns and roofing nail guns.

These nails are:

  • Coil nails: Contains small nails in a coil. These nails, if they have short shanks, can contain up to 120 nails in a coil. There are others that have up to 250 nails in a coil.
  • Stick nails: These nails contain fewer nails compared to coil nails. The nails are longer and stronger. The tools used for this kind of nails are lighter, making them easier to use while up the ladder. There are three collation types of stick nails: wire weld, paper and plastic.
  • Finish nails, “T” nails and Pins: These nails have rectangular heads with shorter diameters. They are used for finishing in constructions.

Conclusion

Whichever nail guns Hover decides to use –siding nailers or roofing nailers — is good as both nailers can be used for the two jobs. If the siding nail guns is what he’s comfortable with, then he should use it. If the roofing nailers fits the job description, by all means use it. Both nailers are designed for different purposes and are great at what they do. Go nail those things together, will you?

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Frederick McHale
 

Hi! I'm Frederick, a passionate blogger. I have work-experience in many fields. Professionally I'm an Engineer. I have over 15 years of experience working with different power tools.

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