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Roofing Nailer VS Siding Nailer : 9 Factors You Must Know

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Do you need a nailer for your roofing project? Or do you need one to install siding on the exterior of your house? Then you will have to consider some aspects of roofing nailer vs siding nailer.

Initially, roofing nails were used for more than just installing asphalt shingles on the roof of a house. They’ve also been used to install roofing shingles or re-roofing materials on garages and sheds.

On the other hand, siding nails were always intended for installing thin materials like wood siding.

Knowing how nailers work, how they work, and safety measures are important before you buy one.

Roofing Nailer vs Siding Nailer

coil siding nailer

Despite their many similarities, siding nailer vs roofing nailer does have a few key differences. One of the most important things to remember is that roofing nails are designed with longer heads because they’re used on asphalt shingles.

In contrast, siding nails have shorter heads because they’re only used on thin boards. The following are some reasons why roofing vs siding nailer exists:

Intent and Design

As roofing nails are designed with longer heads to compensate for the thickness of asphalt shingles whereas siding nails have shorter heads because they’re only used on thin boards.

Therefore roofing nails have smooth shanks whereas siding nails have ridges in their heads.

Weight Differences

A roofing nailer has a slightly heavier weight because roofing nails are made with longer heads whereas a siding nailer has a lighter weight because they’re only used on thin boards.

Typically a mid-range roofing nailer weighs about 5.5 to 6 pounds, while a siding nailer weighs about 4.5 and 5 pounds.

Nails Used

The roofing nails typically come in up to 1.75 inches nails, while the siding nails only come in 2.5 inches.

With that said, it’s best to use longer nails on siding projects because they need more support than roofing.

Depth Adjustment Mechanism

trigger lock system roofing nailer

The siding nailer vs roofing nailer both have depth adjuster mechanisms. But siding nailers always have depth adjustment mechanisms that prevent nails from being exposed. Some roofing machines do not have this feature

Specifications and Brands

Siding and roofing nailers both come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but each has its own unique specs and brands.

For example, a roofing nailer typically comes with a bump feed mechanism and roofing nailers tend to last longer.

Magazine Style

Roofing nailers and siding nailers both come with most time coil magazines, but some models may come with a straight magazine.

A roofing nailer typically comes with a 60 to 120-nail capacity, whereas siding nail guns may come with a 300 to 500-nail capacity. But it’s all depending on the model and nail size.


A roofing nailer is like a framing nailer that is used for heavy-duty jobs whereas siding nailers are used to secure house wrap or other types of insulation to the home’s exterior.

Different nailer types and models can accomplish a lot of different tasks, but a roofing nailer and a siding nailer are special in that they were designed to do their respective jobs extremely well.

Safety Features

siding job nailer

Roofing nailers and siding nailers both have similar safety features, but some models may vary.

For instance, the most common safety feature is a trigger lock that prevents accidental discharge of the tool. In addition to this feature, some models may also come with an anti-dry fire mechanism for maximum productivity and durability.

Both tools do their jobs exceptionally well, but if we were forced to choose one over the other

Cost Comparison

Roofing guns and siding guns are relatively similar in terms of cost. For this reason, price shouldn’t be the main deciding factor when you’re trying to figure out which one you need.

However, a roofing nailer tends to be more expensive than a siding nail gun because they’re designed with sturdier features for, particularly tough jobs.

Similarities of Roofing Nailer vs Siding Nailer

roofing tasks nailer

The siding and roofing nailer have similar features when working on wood projects, such as:

  • Air compressors or electricity can be used to power the nail gun.
  • Both are designed with safety features to keep you protected.
  • For nailing pieces of wood together in tight spaces, they’re both excellent options.
  • They have depth adjustment mechanisms so you can control the depth of your nails.
  • Both come in a variety of sizes to suit a variety of projects.

Types of Roofing Nailers

exterior walls siding nailer

There are three types of roofing nailers based on power source:

Spring or Coil Loaded

These are the most common types of nail guns used for roofing applications. The advantage of this type is that they can produce a lot of nails in a short period of time.


These are the most powerful and popular types of roofing nail guns. You will need a compressor handy when using this type of roofing nail gun because the roofing nailer special features are powered by compressed air.


These roofing nailers are powered by batteries. The upside is that you can take them anywhere, but they’re less powerful than pneumatic or spring-loaded types of roofing nailers.

Types of Siding Nailers

Siding nailer for diy projects

Depending on the power source, a siding nailer falls into three categories:

Coil Loaded

The maximum siding nailer uses a coil magazine to hold nails. Coil siding nailer type of magazine is very popular because it can hold a lot of nails and typically doesn’t need maintenance.


The pneumatic siding nailers use a compressor similar to the pneumatic roofing nailer, but they are much smaller for greater maneuverability, which is a siding nailer special features.


As the name implies, electric nailers are powered by batteries that you must keep charged to use them.

Electric nailers are great for small projects that don’t require a lot of nails. They’re also perfect for applying for vinyl siding jobs in hard-to-reach places because they can fit where other types of nail guns won’t.

How to Use Roofing Nailer and Siding Nailer?

How to Use Roofing Nailer and Siding Nailer

Using a roofing nailer and siding nailer can be intimidating because these tools are designed to fire nails repeatedly. Some steps are given below:

Step 01: Secure the Work Piece

First, you want to secure your workpiece to a sturdy surface like a ladder or sawhorse. Make sure that the material is completely flat and there’s no risk of it moving when you start nailing.

Step 02: Wearing Safety Equipment

Wearing safety glasses and ear protection is always important when using tools like this, but it’s especially important with a roofing nailer because they can shoot nails at a phenomenal speed.

Step 03: Clean the Surface

Before nailing anything into your workpiece, you want to give it a good cleaning. Dust and debris can get trapped between the wood and the nails, which could prevent them from securing properly or cause the wood to split.

Step 04: Prepare the Nailer for Use

Make sure that your roofing nails are loaded into the magazine, then attach the correct tip to the end of the barrel that best fits your project.

Step 05: Set the Depth

Set the depth on your nailer to the thickness of your wood. The nailer will only go into the wood that far, so set it appropriately or you risk damaging your workpiece or hitting something underneath.

Step 06: Fire the Gun

Pull back on the safety lock and fire your roofing nailer to fasten your nails in place. The safety mechanism will keep the gun from firing until you’re ready.

Step 07: Clean Up

When you’re done nailing, make sure to clean up all debris and store your nailers safely and out of the way.

Now that you know how to use a roofing nailer and siding nailer, get out there and start using them!

Beginners Precautions

While these tools are designed to help people save time and energy, they can also be dangerous if not handled correctly. To protect yourself while working with nail guns, it’s important to follow some basic guidelines including the following:

  • Never point a nail gun at anyone or anything you don’t want to damage. Always make sure that your siding nails and roof nails aren’t loose.
  • Nails should be tight and secure in your nail gun’s magazine so they don’t fall out when you’re working with them.
  • Don’t turn the tool on until you’ve finished all of your preparations for using it, such as loading it with nails and setting the depth to fit your project.
  • Keep your eyes focused on what you’re doing when you use a nail gun.
  • Don’t let yourself get distracted because if something goes wrong, you could end up with a tool in your hand and no way to operate it.
  • You should care for your nailers after using them so they last longer. Make sure to replace damaged or worn-out parts.
  • Also, always use the correct nails for your gun so you don’t have issues with jams or misfires.

If something goes wrong while working on a roofing job or siding project, it’s best not to try fixing it yourself unless you know what you’re doing. Call an expert to help you as soon as possible so the problem doesn’t worsen.


Each nailer is a great tool that helps in doing the work faster. They come with different types of mechanisms and each type has its own working style.

Hope now you have a complete idea about roofing nailer vs siding nailer. Make sure you know how to use roofing nailers and siding nailers before doing a project because these nailers can be dangerous.

You need to know about the use and care of the tool if you want it to stay for a long time and serve your purpose well. However, the most important thing you should do is find out what your project needs before choosing a particular model or brand.

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