Nail Gun Types & Features

What Makes The Best Roofing Nailer?

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Searching for the best roofing nailer can be a job in itself, but hopefully we will make things a little easier in finding the right one. It’s important to have a quality roofing nailer because when your high above ground the last thing you want to be dealing with is a faulty nail gun.

There are several features that are extremely important  when in the market for the best roofing nailer and we will go over what some of them are. When looking at nail gun reviews it always helps to look over as many of the different option as you can, and see which ones will actually benefit you. It is also important to notice the different sizes and styles of nail guns. You can see some of the smaller nail guns like finish nailers here.

Features To Look For In The Best Roofing Nailer?

Nailing Speed

Some nail gun manufacturers will list the nailing speed which is the amount of times a gun can fire and reload per second. Now this type of of information is very difficult for an average buyer to measure. Although when using different nail guns it is surely noticeable when certain guns are slower than others. Most guns can keep up with an average user especially not operating commercially. Some guns that users have reported to be on the slow side were Spotnails, Senco and the Paslode. Some nail guns not only fire faster but feel more powerful.

Best roofing Nailer

Balance & Weight Distribution

A nail gun that balances well in your hand and has good weight distribution will actually make the gun feel lighter than it actually is. For example when using a roofing nailer that is  5 lbs and has more weight in the front or nose of the gun, will actually feel heavier than a roof nailer that has even weight distribution weighing 5.5 lbs because of the extra strain on your wrist.

It’s always best to hold a gun and get a feel for it or talk to someone who has before spending the money on one and regretting it later.  Some guns that we have noticed to be a little heavier in the nose are  Grip-Rite, Senco and Spot Nail models. It may not be a big deal for a homeowner or someone doing a small project but when using all it can definitely be a bit of a  problem.

Magazines- Holders

In most cases, when loading a coil nailer it requires two separate hinges to be unlatched in order to reload fasteners (nails). When working high up on a roof  or doing other big projects – the last thing you want to be doing is messing around unlatching and reloading. Most coil nailers require you to open two separately hinged pieces to load nails. One for the magazine, and the other for the cover.

A few models have designed both pieces to swing open as one which is a great feature. These guns have fewer parts to operate which takes less time to load. These types of little advantages go a long way with many operators. One of the best nail gun manufacturers which also has a design like this is Bostitch, who made loading easier by just dropping in a coil of nails with one end of the coil over the pawls and latching shut.

Makita and Paslode also made the BEST OF list and are known for their easy loading. The majority of coil roofing nailers open from the side, but after all it is simply a preference.

The Little Things

All the best gun manufacturers try to put their mark on guns by making them a little different. Some of these thing are overlooked by many but when using them all day these minor things can have a big impact on your work performance.

TriggerA trigger that is small and rough firing will surely make your trigger finger fatigued. One of the best nail gun triggers out there can be found on Paslode. Having the ability to fit more than one finger on the trigger can allow you to work much longer and faster without the fatigue in your fingers. Dewalt and Makita are also known to have nice triggers.

Depth-of-drive  All the best nail guns have mechanisms that allow you to set the depth-of-drive —an awesome feature when several workers are using the same compressor, because the pressure that is good for one gun might cause another to over or under drive nails resulting in major problems. Usually the  simple turning a thumb-wheel is all it takes to adjust the depth-of-drive.

Shingle gauge- The best roofing guns have shingle gauges on the bottom of the magazine. This can set the gauge to the exposure of the shingle and than used to locate the edge of the next course up. This is especially handy if you install three-tab shingles. Most of these guns take an Allen wrench to adjust the gauge except for Bostitch, Ridgid, and Makita which have gauges that allow for tooless adjustments.

Anti-dry firing –  Bostitch is equipped with an anti-dry-firing device. Another nice feature because it prevents you from thinking you shot a nail when you fired a blast of nothing.

Swivel fitting- A fitting on the end of an air hose that prevents the hose from kinking.

When deciding on what the best air nailer is for you it’s important to look at all the options. There are certain features that you may never use and others that will make your life a lit easier. So the best nail for one person may not be the best for you. Take your time when deciding and look over a nail gun comparison chart. It will make it much easier for you to decide. If you have a nail gun with a feature that we didnt list than please

Power Source

Before purchasing any nail gun it is important to decide on which power source will best fit your needs. We will get into the best nail guns for each job but first here is a little lesson on the three different nail gun power sources.

Best air compressor for a top rated roofing nail gun

Pneumatic – These nailers drive nails using an air compressor and are the most powerful type of nail gun. When using these types of nailers it’s extremely important to pay close attention to the compressor you are using’s ratings. They are measured in pounds per square inch, or psi and volume, measured in cubic feet per minute, or cfm. These measurements should be equal to or greater than the requirements of the nailer. When using other tools under the same compressor those tools must be considered also. If the compressor can’t handle the combined load you will run into problems. If a pneumatic nailer is the gun that will fit your needs than check out the best pneumatic nail guns here.

Battery-powered  Battery nailers offer more mobility than a pneumatic gun because you aren’t tied down by hose and compressor. These nailers are quick to set up and put away but  they just don’t have the power of  pneumatic nailers. Battery powered nailers provide an electric charge to ignite fuel to power and fire the gun.

Fuel-driven– Another great nailer which uses a disposable gas cartridge that charges into a chamber to drive nails.. Also no cords or hoses are necessary, giving this type of nailer good mobility like the battery powered.  The difference being fuel-driven nail guns have the power for heavy-duty jobs, and driving nails into hard materials.

Choosing The Best Nail Gun For The Job

The value of a nail gun to both professionals and DIYers is absolute; it simply is a must-have for myriad uses – ranging from framing to finishing and everything in between. The good news is that they come in a variety of sizes, styles, functionality, and price ranges. The problem is that with so many options available, garnering the right nail gun can be a little tricky, if not overwhelming.

If you are looking to add an excellent nail gun to your toolset, then you have come to the right place. Herein, I will walk you through common types of nail guns available in today’s market.

Framing Nail Guns

Framing nailers are ideal for heavy-duty projects. Why is that? They have a good grip, great holding power, and can utilize nails up to 2.8mm. That means you can work on any wood, including beams and posts. As you might expect, there are two types of framing nail guns: those that use clipped head nails and those that accommodate round head nails.

Framing nailers are best suited for decks, framing houses, wooden siding, fences, room additions, and so forth. The Paslode 902600is a prime example of a top selling framing nail gun.

Finish Nailers

If you are doing furniture works or home remodeling, finish nail guns are your best shot. They have become particularly popular among professionals who use high-gauge nails. Most manufacturers make 16-gauge finish nail guns but 15-gauge ones are also available. Their allure lies in the fact that they are small enough that holes will vanish with a little putty but also are sturdy and large enough to handle large pieces of wood. In this category, Hitachi NT65MA4 takes the prize home.

Brad Nailers

Brad nailing guns are ideal for intricate woodwork projects. Designed to use 18 or 23 gauge nails, a brad nail gun is a tool on its own league. These nails are tiny, making them hard to drive using only elbow grease. That is why brad nailer is an indispensable tool for those are working on furniture upholstery and delicate home renovation. According to most Amazon users’ reviews, DEWALT DWFP12231 makes for a good brad nail gun.

Flooring Nail Guns

As the name suggests, these nailers are intended for flooring installations, primarily hardwood. Available in two versions, electrical and pneumatic, flooring nail guns get the job done efficiently and fast. Pneumatic nail guns use air compressors to execute nail drive. Freeman PFBC940 Mini flooring nailer which is available from Amazon seems to be turning heads among ardent users.

Top Features to Look for in the Best Nail Gun

Cordless nail guns are portable, sturdy, and, well you guessed it – have no messy cords/cables. Instead, they run on rechargeable batteries, typically 18V NiCAD or LiON batteries. Like most power tools, they come in a variety of sizes, makes, and price ranges. The good news is that there are top-notch cordless nailers by popular brands like Hitachi, Senco, Bostitch, Dewalt, and others. There are, however, a few shoddy products out there.

So, when looking for a cordless nail gun, it sure pays to consider certain essential features.

Trigger Size

As trivial as it sounds, the size of the gun’s trigger plays a crucial role in making your work easier and safer. Apart from firing nails in designated direction, the trigger also influences how maneuverable the nail gun is. In practice, a sensible trigger should be large enough to operate while wearing heavy-duty gloves. Plus, it should be comfortable to handle.

Nail Depth

A nail gun with adjustable nail depth is ideal for multipurpose use. This way, you can switch between nail depths without any hitch. Building codes have changed dramatically for the past two decades or so. That means you might do a job that requires “countersinking.” Of course, no one wants protruding nails. They are simply an eyesore.

incorrect nail deth most likely done by hammer. Using one of the guns on the best roofing nailer list avoids mistakes like the one pictured.


Most manufacturers deliver the nailer with a case. It’s a sign of a forward-thinking manufacturer. Why you need a case? A case protects the nailer, ensuring that it lasts for a long time which also make moving, organizing, and cleaning easy.


The best cordless nail gun should allow for quick loading without any difficulty. Most magazines allow for you to load quickly and without much hassle. Also, magazine capacity is paramount. A gun with large magazine capacity allows you to work for long without reloading nails. This way, you can dwell on what matters most: work.

Clearing Jams

Believe or not, jams can occur on even some of the most well-designed cordless nail guns. It is, therefore, crucial to use a nailer that makes clearing jams effortlessly easy. Some of them have tool-less jam release mechanism to help you with that. Clearing jams can be dangerous, to learn more about the most dangerous tools than check this out.

Size Adjustment

A good nailer should offer enough flexibility to hold different nail sizes. And that shouldn’t be all. The nail gun should also make switching between different sizes easy. Some require the use of tools, but there are those that offer tool-less adjustment feature. The last thing you want is to delay your project while switching between nail sizes.

Hopefully this article helped shed a little light on choosing one of the best rated roofing nailer and what they’re all about. Now when you make your decision on which nail gun to purchase you should hopefully be ready to make a sound decision. If  you have a gun that you believe to be the best roofing nail gun that isnt on out list or that has  an option or feature that isnt listed in this article we would love for your to share it with us in the comment box below.  Happy nailing!




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