Best Roofing Nailer Reviews


As you continue to build your collection of tools up, one of the items you will eventually need to have is a roofing nail gun.  This kind of tool is not used for only roofs, despite what the name says.  There are many different applications and projects where this kind of tool will allow you to be more efficient and effective in completing the task you are working on.  You might be wondering, though, what is the Best Roofing Nailer out in the marketplace today?

Within this guide, we’ll go over some key aspects of what you should be looking for, as well as offering you reviews of five different roofing nail guns.

What makes a Great Roofing Nailer Gun?

When it comes to picking out the right Roofing Nail Gun for you and your needs, there are many factors to take into consideration.  Here are a few of those.

Layout of Nailer Gun

There are two varying types of nail guns in the marketplace.

The first is a Strip-Style gun, where the nails are forged together in a stick or a strip style, and they slide into a predetermined rail.  They are typically held together using wire, plastic or paper.  This kind of gun tends to be more balanced, as the weight of the nails is evenly distributed throughout the gun.

The second type of nail gun is a Coil-Style, where the nails are kept together in one big coil.  They are typically held together using wire, and the coil of nails are housed within a round storage space on the gun.  They do hold more nails at one time compared to a strip-style, but the weight is all centered in one place on the nail gun.

 Source of Power

There are three different types of fuel most commonly found with nail guns.

The first kind of power source we’ll review is the battery powered nail gun.  This kind of power source is excellent for those places where you need to get into which are a little bit more cumbersome, or if you do not have an electrical outlet nearby.  The battery powered units will be ready a lot faster than other power sources, but they are not as powerful as the other types of power.

The second type of power source is the pneumatic power.  This is when you have a nail gun hooked up to an air compressor.  The pressure this generates is based upon cfm (Cubic feet per Minute) and psi (pounds per square inch).  You should ensure you have a tank which can meet the requirements of the gun you have, as they can be purchased separately.  This kind of power is almost limitless, but it does take a little bit of time for it to build up the necessary pressure, and you are limited in how far you can travel with it by how long both the power cord and the rubber coil which attaches the gun to the air compressor is.

The third type of power is known as fuel-driven.  This power source is coming from gas cartridges which are disposable.  There is an internal battery which helps provide the spark necessary to help the nailer drive the nail into any material you are wanting.  The nailer can be as powerful as a pneumatic, and as portable as a battery charged nail gun.  The only drawback is how often you have to buy new gas cartridges.

Method of Delivery

There are four different ways you can fire the nail gun to get the result you are wanting.

The first way is using a single-sequential method, which will prevent you from firing nails out by accident.  You have to push down the safety tip and then pull the trigger, in order to utilize the gun at first.  If you are working on one surface, you can move the gun while keeping the safety tip down and can fire as many times as you want.

The second method is the single actuation.  This is very similar to the single-sequential; however, you do not have to go in any specific order to get a nail out.

The third kind of firing is the contact method.  This method allows you to fire as many nails as you want at once.  If you are holding down the trigger button, as soon as you bump the tip of the gun against a surface, it will fire into it.

The fourth type of delivery is full-sequential.  You cannot utilize the bump-fire method with this kind of delivery, as you must bump against a surface, and then pull the trigger.  This is the kind of delivery system needed for those with a high amount of safety needs.

Top 5 Roofing Nailer on The Market

Here are reviews of five different pneumatic and coil house models of nail guns within the marketplace today.

Bostich RN46 Coil Roofing Nailer

Bostich RN46 Coil Roofing Nailer

This nail gun from Bostich comes with the capability of holding nails which range from ¾” up to 1 ¾” nails in a coil manner.  This nail gun comes with a component which prevents you from firing when the coil chamber is empty, so you don’t think you are firing nails when in fact you are just shooting blanks.  It comes with a control gauge which allows you to change the depth the nails go into the surface with.  You can also load the nails into the coil housing from the side, rather than attempting to maneuver the coil nails into a small area above the housing.  The coil housing will allow you to have up to 120 nails at once and operates off of pneumatic power, which means you will need to buy the air compressor separately.

Hitachi NV45AB2 Coil Roofing Nailer

Hitachi NV45AB2 Coil Roofing Nailer

This roofing nail gun from Hitachi will allow you to house nails in length between 7/8” to 1 ¾” in length.  The nail gun itself only weighs 5.5 pounds, which makes it very easy to carry to each project you are working on.  The coil housing will allow you to load the nails from the side, which makes it very easy and convenient anytime you need to put new nails into the gun.  The design of the nail gun allows you to operate this within any kind of weather environment; even in rain, as the rubber guards along the side ensure it will not slide on you.  You can put up to 120 nails in the housing compartment at once.  The power source is a pneumatic power source, and best operates between the range of 70 and 120 psi.  The air compressor needed for this type of nail gun needs to be purchased separately, as it does not come with the compressor.

Porter Cable RN175B Roofing Nailer

<em>Porter Cable RN175B Roofing Nailer</em>

This nail gun from Porter Cable is a pneumatically powered nailer and comes with a coil housing unit for your nails.  This coil based gun can house up to 120 nails at one time, and these nails can range in length from ¾” up to 1 ¾”.  The best nails to use are ones which are angled at a 15-degree angle before they are fired into the material you want to bind together.  It comes with two different firing methods for you to choose from when using, which are contact and single-sequential.  There is a guide for your shingles with this pneumatic nail gun, so you can easily and securely nail down every shingle you need to in an efficient and effective manner.  This nail gun does not come with an air compressor, and you would need to purchase that separately.

Max CN445R3 Superroofer Roofing Coil Nailer

This pneumatic nail gun from Max has a housing unit which is in a coil style.  This coil housing will hold up to 120 nails at once, which are angled at 15-degrees, and are in a length between ¾” and 1 ¾”.  This nail gun has a swivel fitting, which will allow you to turn the nail gun with ease if you need to have a different leverage point when firing.  The various parts of this nail gun are easy to take apart, which allows you to easily clean and maintain the unit as needed.  You can also buy various kits with this nail gun which will help you execute a large variety of different jobs, including vinyl.  The nose of the nailer is also magnetic, which helps ensure it will not jam up that often while in use.  This nail gun does not come with an air compressor, so you will need to buy one separately.

WEN 61782 Coil Roofing Nailer with Magnesium Housing

This pneumatic nail gun from WEN comes with a coil housing unit.  This housing unit will hold 15-degree nails, up to 120 at a time, in lengths which vary between 7/8” and 1 ¾”.  There is a quick release mechanism which will allow you to easily clean out any jams which may occur.  There is also an option for you when it comes to firing the nails, where you can set it to auto-fire and you can fire multiple nails at one time (contact firing method).  You can adjust the depth of the nails and how far they go into the surface you are firing into using a very easy to use control knob.  The best operating power is when the air pressure is between 70 and 120 psi.  It does not come with an air compressor, so you will need to purchase one separately.

Comparison Table

FeatureBostich RN46Hitachi NV45AB2Porter Cable RN175BMax CN445R3WEN 61782
Nail Size¾” up to 1 ¾”7/8” up to 1 ¾”¾” up to 1 ¾”¾” up to 1 ¾”7/8” up to 1 ¾”
Nail Housing TypeCoilCoilCoilCoilCoil
Method of DeliveryContact MethodContact MethodSingle-Sequential or Contact MethodContact MethodContact Method
Source of PowerPneumaticPneumaticPneumaticPneumaticPneumatic
Best FeatureWon’t fire when chamber is emptyWill operate in any weather conditionComes with a Shingle GuideSwivel Fitting allows you to fire from any angleEasy to use knob to control the depth of the nails

Roofing Nailer Gun Safety Tips

One of the fastest ways to put on a new roof is thru the use of a Roofing Nail gun.  This gun will ensure the nails go in very easily, quickly and efficiently and overall ensure that you are safer than when you use a typical hammer and nails.  However, even with this being the case, you always have to be aware there are some inherent dangers with roofing nail guns.  Within this guide, we’re going to review some of the roofing nail gun safety tips you should adhere to while utilizing this tool.

Choosing the Right Trigger Type

There are four different methods of firing mechanism’s when it comes to your roofing nail gun.  Each type of mechanism will allow you to fire nails in a certain manner, while also keeping you either more protected or put you more in danger.

The most dangerous method of a trigger is the contact method.  This method will allow you to shoot out numerous nails at once, once the bumper has been activated.  Although this makes it very efficient, it can also mean that you can shoot out nails even when you are not intending to.  This can lead to injuries to your hands, feet, or other body parts.

The next dangerous method is the single actuation.  This method will allow you to fire a nail out of the gun when you pull the trigger and when you bump the safety tip on the gun.  These two actions can be done in any order, which means if you bump the safety tip by accident, and then pull the trigger, the gun can fire when you don’t intend to.

The second safest method is the single-sequential method.  This method means that you have to do things in a certain order in order for the gun to operate correctly.  This ensures you know the exact method in which to fire the gun, so you can get the nail out properly.

The safest method when it comes to finding the right trigger for your nail gun is the full-sequential.  This method will not fire unless the safety tip is bumped up against a surface which can accept nails.  This method is the safest method in order to use your roofing nail gun.

No matter which trigger system you choose, you need to ensure that everyone who will be operating any nail gun is fully trained on the trigger system, so they do not fire nails out by mistake.  The knowledge of the trigger type is vital towards operating any nail gun safely and securely.

Training Classes

Even if someone has used a roofing nail gun before, it is important that they review everything with a new nail gun to ensure they know how to use it properly.  Every type of nail gun will have its own quirks and will feel differently within each hand.  Plus, the trigger button will fire differently with each type of gun, so it needs to be tested out before being used.

When it comes to training, there are certain aspects which should be covered with everyone, every time.

These topics include:

  • How does this Nail Gun work?
  • How do I inspect the Nail Gun?
  • What risk is associated with this Nail Gun?
  • What kind of injuries should you be aware of with this Nail Gun?
  • How do you properly load nails into this Nail Gun?
  • What kind of power source does this Nail Gun utilize?
  • How should I carry the Nail Gun to ensure it does not fire by accident?

Other topics which can be covered include knowing how to recognize surfaces which could cause your nail gun to ricochet.  Additionally, what is the proper form for when you fire a nail gun, and if you are off base, what will that mean for when you fire the nail gun.

Setting up Proper Procedures

Not only is training necessary, but it is very important to setup proper procedures for everyone who uses a roofing nail gun, so they understand how to use the nail gun without harming themselves.  These procedures should include having the following available.

  • Roofing Nail gun manual, so it can be reviewed before each use.
  • All aspects of the nail gun need to be looked over and analyzed before each use.
    • If there is a dent, gouge or a malfunction with the nail gun, it needs to be taken out of service immediately.
    • This includes checking over the power source, to ensure it will not give out on you during use.
  • You need to state how far away your hand should be from the area where you are nailing. The standard practice is 12 inches, but whatever is decided, it needs to be stated and adhered to.
  • You should always fire the nail gun away from your body, to ensure there is no chance of injury.
  • If you are using an electrical nail gun, you need to unplug the nail gun from the electrical cord when it is not in use.
  • If you are using a pneumatic nail gun, then you need to disconnect the nail gun from the rubber hose so you will ensure the nail gun will not fire on you by accident.
  • You should never carry the nail gun by holding it by the trigger button.
  • The nail gun should never be taken apart, especially out in the field. If a gun misfires or breaks while in operation, then it needs to not be used.
  • Always have a hammer and some nails with you, so you can hand nail certain areas where it is not wise to use a roofing nail gun.


When it comes to finding the right roofing nail gun for you and your needs, there are many different options within the marketplace.  Depending upon how many different nails you might fire in a day, and how often you will be firing the nails, should determine what kind of roofing nail gun you should go with.  As you can see from the reviews, there are a lot of variations even among nail guns which might at first glance seem more similar than they really are.  We wish you good luck in finding the right one for you to tackle all the different projects you have with your own house, or with where you work.

Philip Moffitt

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