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Setting up a new roof isn’t really a common occurrence, so you wouldn’t have to be using a roofing nailer that often –unless you’re a professional, that is.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for the best roofing nailer when you decide to use one instead of manually pounding the nails.
If you’re not sure what constitutes a good roofing nailer or how to choose one, I’ll help you make a decision with this comprehensive guide.
Our Top Picks
|Milwaukee 7220-20 Coil||70||70-120|
|Senco Roof Pro 455XP||120||70-120|
The 7 Best Roofing Nailers for 2020
1. Hitachi NV45AB2 Coil Roofing Nailer
Hitachi is a giant Japanese company that brought us the NV45AB2. This roofing nailer takes 7/8-inch or 1-3/4-inch coils and operates at a pressure of 70 to 120 PSI.
You can easily adjust the depth at which the nails are driven thanks to the tool-free depth adjustment feature, which allows you to do your flush driving and nail roofing with absolute precision.
Moreover, the Hitachi NV45AB2 is pretty lightweight at around 7 pounds. This allows you to move it across your roof and reload it easily whenever you need it, which isn’t going to be that often thanks to the 120-nail magazine capacity.
However, sometimes 7/8-inch nails come out crooked, which isn’t the safest or most secure to leave in your shingles. If that happens, make sure you redo the nails to ensure a perfectly intact roof.
- Accepts 7/8-inch and 1-3/4-inch coils
- Instant firing by touching the nose to the application
- Side-loading feature for quick reloads
- Tool-free depth adjustments
- Lightweight design
- Sometimes produces crooked nails
Although the Hitachi NV45AB2 can sometimes produce crooked nails when working with shorter coils, it does a great job in general. It’s quick, efficient, and durable.
2. Bostitch RN46 Coil Roofing Nailer
Like the Hitachi NV78AB2, the RN46 operates at a pressure of 70 to 120 PSI and has a 120-nail magazine capacity.
Its operating spectrum is a little wider, however, as it accepts ¾-inch to 1-3/4-inch coils.
Moreover, the clever contact trip firing works on making the nailer bounce between locations, giving you the ability to nail across large areas very swiftly.
To prevent overheating or over-exhaustion, the RN46 comes with a zero nail lockout feature that disables firing when the nailer is empty. Not only that, but it also comes with a patented side load canister that makes loading a quick and easy task.
The only downside to this nailer is that it can sometimes fire multiple nails at once, which means that you will waste a couple of nails. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that the warranty will cover, and there’s simply no way around it.
- Can fire up to 100 nails per minute
- Accepts a wide range of coil sizes
- Contact trip firing
- Zero lockout feature to prevent overheating
- Tool-free adjustments
- A tendency to fire two nails at the same time
Apart from the issue of firing multiple nails at once, I can’t really find anything wrong about this roofing nailer. If you don’t mind wasting a few nails every now and then, I’d highly recommend the Bostitch RN46.
3. Wen 61783 Pneumatic Coil Roofing Nailer
How versatile the Wen 61783 is, makes it one of the most popular roofing nailers on the market. It enables you to finish many jobs, including insulation boards, nail shingles, fiber cement roofing, waterproof tar paper, vinyl siding, and much more.
This tool can deliver up to 100 PSI while keeping the siding in place. Its magazine capacity is 120 nails at a time, which means you don’t have to stop and reload it often.
Moreover, it enables you to work with different nail sizes ranging from 3/4-inch to 1-3/4-inch ones as well as adjust the depth at which you want to fire these nails. The quick-release compartment enables you to reload the tool pretty quickly and get back to work as soon as possible.
A very helpful feature on the Wen 61783 is its adjustable shingle guide that promotes quick and easy spacing of shingles, and the rubber grip handle makes it easy to hold and maneuver as well as minimizes fatigue.
To make transportation and storage more convenient and easier, this tool comes with a carrying case.
However, this nailer has a tendency to jam and shoot blanks, which can be frustrating for beginners. It also may need some repairs from time to time as its parts aren’t the most durable and may malfunction after some heavy-duty use.
- Great value for the price
- Excellent performance
- Versatile operation
- Comfortable and safe to use
- Sometimes shoots blanks
- Occasional jamming
- May need lots of maintenance
While it’s true that the Wen 61783 can fire blanks sometimes, I think it’s still better than firing multiple nails and wasting some, as is the case with the Bostitch RN46. But this nailer also requires frequent maintenance. Apart from that, it does provide excellent value for the money.
4. Freeman PCN45 Pneumatic Coil Roofing Nailer
The Freeman PCN45 is more or less a fully integrated roofing nailer. And although it’s very affordable, it still suits professional-grade work as well as DIY jobs.
It has an easy loading mechanism, a 120-nail magazine capacity, a lightweight body, a comfortable grip, and high power capacity.
The fact that it can operate at a 70 to 110 PSI pressure means that you can use it on asphalt and cedar shingles, roof and wall sheathing, siding, fences, and flooring underlayment with consistent results.
Furthermore, it accepts nails from ¾” to 1-3/4″ 15-degree nailers with 0.120” diameter.
Moreover, it’s equipped with a secure grip and anti-vibration handle that delivers accurate placement with an adjustable shingle guide. However, despite all of this, it’s not as accurate as the Hitach NV45AB2 or the Bostitch RN46.
The oil-free design minimizes the need for lubrication and maintenance, making the operation of this tool a lot easier than other options. It also has a safety trigger lock that you can use to prevent firing on accident and a 360-degree adjustable exhaust.
To protect both your nailer and what you’re working on, the Freeman PCN45 comes with a belt hook and a ¼” NPT fitting, anti-dust cap.
- Lightweight design
- Requires minimal maintenance
- Powerful operation
- Comes with a belt hook
- Works for fencing
- Has a large footprint
- Consumes lots of energy
- Frequent jamming
- Doesn’t work with shorter nails
If you want to work on fencing as well as roofing and won’t be needing to work with shorter nails, I’d recommend the Freeman PCN45 for its affordability, power, and lightweight design.
5. DeWalt DW45RN Pneumatic Coil Roofing Nailer
DeWalt is well-known for producing high-quality tools, and the DW45RN is no exception. It’s made from plastic and metal parts that firmly protect it and make it a great nailer for the money.
Its magazine holds 120 nails ranging between ¾” and up to 1-3/4” in length. The side-loading mechanism makes it easy to reload and start firing again right away. Moreover, the depth adjustment knob allows you to fire the nails at the exact depth that you want according to your roofing material.
This pneumatic nailer has a high-speed valve technology that enables it to fire up to 10 nails per second –making it one of the fastest roofing nailers on the list. It also operates at a pressure of 70 to 120 PSI.
Finally, it’s equipped with anti-skid plates that prevent it from sliding off the roof and keeps both you and your tools safe.
- Very quick operation
- Fast nail depth adjustment
- Decent value for the price
- Discards the last nail
- Tendency to jam
- Doesn’t have a sequential firing mode
- Exhaust is fixed
If you’re looking for the fastest operation and finishing your roofing as quickly as possible, you’ll find none better than the DeWalt DW45RN.
6. Milwaukee 7220-20 Coil Roofing Nailer
The Milwaukee 7220-20 is designed with high-quality materials and maintains a lightweight body.
An impressive feature that is exclusive to this model is the self-cleaning air filter that minimizes the maintenance you have to provide. It’s also equipped with a magnet that holds the nails in place to prevent jamming.
The 120-nail magazine capacity with Load-N-Go mechanism and accepts nails from ¾” to 1-3/4” in size. You can be sure that your gun will shoot nails at a consistent depth once you adjust it.
You can also adjust the firing mode to either sequential or contact firing. If you don’t need shingle guidance, you can remove the guide.
Moreover, the Milwaukee 7220-20 comes with rubber guards that keep your tool in top condition for many years while the air deflector comes with a muffler that also reduces noise and vibration.
- Removable shingle guide
- Equipped with a magnet to hold nails in place
- Self-cleaning air filter
- Not prone to jamming
- A bit heavier than the average
- Less durable than aluminum models
While the Milwaukee 7220-20 isn’t the most durable or quickest roofing nailer on the list, it has the edge over almost all the roofing nailers on the list in that it is not prone to jamming.
7. Senco Roof Pro 455XP 3D0101N Nailer
Similar to the Hitachi nailer, this one weighs around 5 pounds and is easy to handle as well as move from one spot to another or even work with using only one hand.
It accepts nails ranging between 3/4” and up to 1-3/4” in size and has an adjustable depth drive that is tool-free, which means consistent control over your nails.
Moreover, the Senco 455XP comes with its own carrying case to make storage and transportation a lot easier. In the case, you’ll find Allen wrenches, a connector, and oil.
In terms of size and weight, the Senco 455XP is quite similar to the Hitachi NV45AB2, but it’s considerably less expensive.
However, like the Bostitch RN46, the Senco 455XP has an issue with firing multiple (up to two or even three) nails at once around every 20th or 30th nail.
- Quick side-loading
- Tool-free depth adjustments
- Lightweight design
- Comes with a case and goods
- Affordable price
- Prone to firing multiple nails at once
- Occasionally bends nail heads
While the Senco 455XP is a great budget roofing nailer, it’s not the most efficient. If you’re looking for an affordable option and are willing to compromise a little on quality, it’s a good choice.
How to Choose a Roofing Nailer?
You should take your time deciding which roofing nailers best suits you as these tools are pretty expensive, and they serve a crucial function. Here are the things you should mind when shopping for one:
Your Roof Type
The first thing you should know in this process is what kind of roof you have. The size of your roof and how accessible it is can make a whole lot of difference as to which roofing nailer you should get.
Pneumatic vs. Cordless
There are two types of roofing nailers: pneumatic and cordless ones.
The former use compressed air to drive nails in and thus requires a hose to connect the gun to the source of compressed air.
Contrarily, the latter use canisters of butane gas to fill the internal chamber and spark to ignite it quickly and push a piston onto the nail head.
I’d recommend pneumatic ones for a more consistent pressure over extended periods of time. They don’t require battery changes or gas canisters. However, if you’re working at higher altitudes, the air compressor may perform awkwardly or even become dangerous.
On the other hand, cordless roofing nailers provide a greater range of work, which can be a huge advantage if you’re working on a large roof. However, you’ll have to swap out batteries or gas canisters as you work, which can be a little time-consuming.
It’s always a better idea to get a nail that isn’t a pain to load as this process usually takes some time, so the easier it is, the better. This is also why a larger magazine capacity is more helpful –especially that you’re working at a height, so you don’t have the freedom to pick up things you’ve dropped.
Weight and Comfort
You should always look for a compact tool that is lightweight enough to work and move with on a rooftop easily. A comfortable grip also adds to the ease of handling and makes your job a lot easier.
While each of the roofing nailers I’ve mentioned can be considered the best roofing nailer on the market, I’d still recommend a couple of them over the rest.
For example, the Hitachi NV45AB2 definitely takes the cake in terms of the lightweight design, amazing performance, and premium results delivery.
A good runner-up is the Bostitch RN46, who would have made it to the top if it weren’t for how it tends to fire multiple nails at once, thus wasting your nails.
Finally, the Wen 61783 is a great choice that is budget-friendly yet quite effective at what it does.
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