Siding Nailer vs Roofing Nailer

When it comes to home improvement projects, there’s always debate about which type of nail is best suited to drive a particular task. For example, when you’re hanging a picture or mirror, you’ll want a siding nail—they’re designed to be used in dry, in-surface applications. Roofing nails, on the other hand, are for driving into a substrate (like wood) where they will be covered by a layer of tar or other substance that will protect them from the weather.

There are many other differences between the two types of nails as well—and this guide is not meant to be an exhaustive explanation of the pros and cons of each. No, this is just a quick reference guide to help you decide which type of nail you should use for the project at hand.

Overview of Siding Nailer

A siding nailer is a machine that is used to fasten wooden boards to the sides of your home. The device uses a drill to drill holes in your siding, then applies nails through these holes to secure them together. A siding nailer comes with many attachments that allow you to use it for different tasks. You can use it to fix trim, decking, window sills, and more.

A siding nailer is a device used for applying nails to the side of the house, in order to secure the exterior siding against the home’s walls. It can be mounted on a pole or wall, and can be operated with remote control, or manually.

There are three primary types of siding nailers:

  1. Bench-mounted
  2. Handheld version
  3. Cordless version

The most common one is the bench-mounted unit that sits on your workbench. This type of nailer has an extendable steel probe that you push against the wall, and then use a hammer to drive the nail into the wood.

The second type of nailer is the handheld version. You hold this tool in your hand and use it like a pogo stick to drive the nail.

The third type of nailer is the cordless version. This is similar to the handheld version, except that you use a small battery-operated motor instead of your hands to drive the nail.


In order to drive nails on the targeted surface, the siding nailer uses a reciprocating saw blade. You can use it for hardwood floors, molding, and trim. As this tool uses a saw blade, it works quickly.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of siding nailers,

    • Siding nailers are much more efficient in what they are built for. In terms of perfection and accuracy, no other tools can beat siding nailers.
    • Different sizes of siding nailers are available – lightweight, medium, and bulky. It would be best to choose the size based on your work nature.
    • Dust and debris can’t ruin your work when working with a siding nailer. The good news is that most of them consist of an air filter.
    • One of the best features of a siding nailer is the depth-of-drive adjustments. You will be able to pierce to the exact depth you require.
    • The trigger lock system is another impressive feature of a siding nailer, letting you avoid accidental shooting of nails.
    • A siding nailer allows you to work in tight areas conveniently.


You can accomplish a lot of nailing tasks using a siding nailer. But there are a few disadvantages. What are these? Let’s figure it out,

    • Coil-nail feature is unavailable in siding nailers. Frequent refilling is mandatory when you work for long hours.
    • This tool can’t penetrate hard materials.
    • It doesn’t have a wide nail tip. As a result, they cannot hold the surface rather than attach a wood piece to another surface.

Overview of Roofing Nailer

A roofing nailer is an electric tool that uses a magnet to drive nails into roofing shingles with great force. This allows you to get the job done quickly and easily without having to use a hammer or pry bars. It also ensures that your roof is properly fastened so that it will last for decades to come.

A roofing nailer is a small, handheld device that uses compressed air to drive a nail into the roofing material. This is especially useful when you are driving a long set of roofing nails, and it allows you to do so with less effort. It is also very useful for finishing up loose or protruding nails too because you just need to tap the nailer against the rough spot, and it will finish the job.

A roofing nailer is a tool that allows a homeowner to drive a roofing nail into a roof deck with greater force than can be achieved by hand. It is an electric or pneumatic tool with a rotating or reciprocating hammer that is powered by an internal or external power source.

When using a pneumatic nailer, the user must have an adequate supply of air (at least 15-pounds per square inch) to function properly. In addition, the tool must be equipped with an air filter to ensure that it remains effective. A battery-operated nailer does not require as much air as a pneumatic unit, but they are not as powerful. They can be used for small jobs around the house, or as a starter unit for more complex roofing projects.


Roofing nailers are the go-to tool for accomplishing any tasks related to roofing. It is the best solution for attaching insulation, metal flashing, and roof sheathing. Let’s look at the benefits of roofing nailers,

    • Driving coil nails is the biggest feature of roofing nailers. Coil nails can accommodate a large number of nails, roughly 120. Thus you don’t need to refill nails frequently when working on a larger project.
    • Redoing your roof becomes incredibly comfortable with roofing nailers.
    • A few models of roofing nailers can hold and drive different sizes of nails.
    • Many roofing nailers come with waterproof nature. This allows you to work with this tool during the rainy season.
    • This tool is stronger compared to other nailers, allowing it to handle heavy-duty applications.
    • The head of a roofing nailer is larger; it can’t be pulled out easily from a wood piece.


If you need the best solution for any roofing situation, roofing nailers are the best option. However, like other tools, they also come with flaws. Here are the drawbacks,

    • You will experience occasional jams in roofing nailers. Also, oiling is a must before each session.
    • Since roofing nailer can hold coil nails, making the tool bulky and unhandy.
    • Sometimes, this tool double-shoots.
    • Unavailability of depth-of-adjustment.
    • Roofing nailer can damage the targeted surface if you are not careful.
    • Expensive than siding nailers
    • Required more force to drive nails in a wood piece
    • This tool has a learning curve. Mistakes and damage to the project can happen if an inexperienced person uses this tool.

Difference between Siding and Roofing nailer

When you are selecting a power tool for your workshop or garage, there are many things to consider. First and foremost, you should be very clear about what you will use the power tool for. Will it be for general carpentry work? Or, will it be for a highly specific purpose, like making picture frames?

If it is the latter, then you should absolutely go with a high-precision tool, like a roofing nailer. If it is the former, then you should go with something less precise but more versatile, like a siding nailer.

Feature Siding Nailer Roofing Nailer
Mechanism Claw type Hammer type
Nail Size Up to 2.5 inch Up to 1.75 inch
Nail Type Permanent Removal
Nail Head Smaller Larger

Siding Nailer over Roofing Nailer and Vise versa

  1. The roofing nailer is the most common type of roofing nail. They are used for attaching shingles. The siding nailer is the most common type of siding nail. They are used for attaching siding.
  2. Siding nailer is easy to install, can be left in place for years, great if you’re planning on replacing old siding or have a large project. The roofing nailer requires a big hole, may need to remove and replace wood, and the roof needs to be replaced.
  3. Roofing nails are longer than siding nails and have a more rounded, blunt end. This makes them easier to drive into the wood but harder (often impossible) to remove. On the other hand, siding nails have a pointy, sharp end that makes them easier to pull out but harder (almost impossible) to drive into the wood.
  4. Siding nailer, use this type of fastener when you are nailing pieces of siding to the side of a house or similar construction. Roofing nailer, use this type of fastener when you are nailing pieces of shingle to the top of a house or similar construction.
  5. Roofing nails are usually sold at a higher price than siding nails. However, they have two major advantages over siding nails: roofing nails don’t rust, and they work better on roofs.
  6. Siding nailing, driving nails into wood siding with a hammer. NOT using a drill to speed up the process. Roofing nailing, using a power drill to drive nails into shingles. using a hammer to hit nails with a rubber-faced hammer.
  7. Siding nails are smaller than roofing nails, making them easier to install.
  8. Roofing nails tend to be longer and wider, which makes them more stable and less likely to split your shingles.
  9. Siding nails tend to be stronger, but are harder to drive into wood because they’re smaller.
  10. Siding nails have a long, thin point to get into the surface and stop moving. oof nails have a long, thin point to get into the roof and stop moving.


When looking at roofing nailers, there are two primary types – siding nailers and roofing nailers. Both are used to secure roofs and siding, but the difference between them is what type of nails they use.

In general, roofing nailers tend to be more powerful than siding nailers because they can use longer, thicker, and more powerful nails.

For roofing purposes, it’s usually recommended to use roofing nails, as they tend to be stronger and won’t crack or peel as easily as siding nails.

When choosing a roofing nailer, you need to pay close attention to the power settings. If you go too low on the setting, you might not be able to drive the nails deep enough to hold the boards securely. On the other hand, if you set the power too high, the hammer may shake and vibrate, making the job take longer than necessary.


When choosing a siding nailer or roofing nailer, it’s important to keep in mind that each tool has its own unique accuracy and speed.

Most of the siding nailers we’ve tested are capable of nailing at a speed of between 45 and 70 nails per minute, with the majority of them falling between 50 and 60 nails per minute.

Some roofing nailers can achieve speeds between 90 and 110 nails per minute, but they may not be able to deliver every nail perfectly.

The best siding nailers are those that have a straight and consistent nailing path and a sharp point. A good roofing nailer should have a high rate of penetration and can deliver nails at a consistent pace.


A siding nailer has the same type of functions as a roofing nailer, but with a few differences. The first difference is the size of the nails. Siding nails are much smaller than roofing nails, and this makes them easier and faster to use. Siding nails also have a different shape, which makes them less likely to come loose from the wood siding.

The second difference is the type of driving mechanism. A siding nailer uses a claw-like device to grab the head of the nail, while a roofing nailer has a hammer-like mechanism to drive the nail into the wood. This makes a siding nailer more versatile because you can use it for both siding and roofing applications. On the other hand, a roofing nailer is designed for one specific purpose, so it has a few minor advantages in versatility.


A siding nailer and a roofing nailer are both used to install a variety of roofing materials like shingles, wood shakes, and tiles.

They both use similar types of nails, but they differ in terms of design, size, and overall performance.

A siding nailer is generally a small, lightweight device that uses a smaller size nail with a pointed tip and is powered by either battery or gas.

It’s used to install small-scale siding materials like shingles and shakes, or even to attach metal flashing around a chimney.

A roofing nailer is much larger than a siding nailer and uses a different type of nail (a roofing nail) with a flat head and a pointed tip. It has a much larger power source and is meant to work on larger-scale materials such as shingles, shakes, and tiles.

Side-by-side comparison between siding nailer vs roofing nailer

siding nailer roofing nailer
The most common type of siding nail. They are used for attaching siding. The most common type of roofing nail. They are used for attaching shingles.
Siding nails are best for roofing or interior applications where access to the side is not possible. Roofing nails are good for most situations.
For siding nailers, choose a tip that’s rated for wood. For roofing nailers, choose a tip that’s rated for use on concrete.
For building a small home, choose a siding nailer over a roofing nailer. For a large project, use a roofing nailer.
Siding nailers last longer. Roofing nailers are more durable.
For a traditional look and feel, use a hammer and siding nails. For a modern look, use a roofing nailer.
Siding nails are meant to hold the wood up against the wall. Roofing nails are designed to tear through roofs.
Siding nails are stronger. Roofing nails are more powerful than siding nails.
Roofing nails are the most versatile. Siding nails are best for small jobs.

Cost Comparison

Whether you need to buy a tool or another product, price is always crucial.

The average price of a siding nailer is $150. On the other hand, for a roofing nailer, you have to pay a minimum of $200.

Siding Nailer vs. Roofing Nailer – Which One to Choose?

You will find a nailer in every tradesman’s toolbox. Investing in a required tool can create a lot of difference.

Choose a siding nailer,

  • For hardwood, molding, and trim projects.

Choose a roofing nailer,

  • For insulation, metal flashing, and roof sheathing projects.

Make sure to choose the tool based on the type of work. Also, use caution when using a specific type of power tool.

Final Words

You can choose from a variety of roofing nails that will ensure a solid and water-resistant finish. However, if you choose wrong, you will have a tough time keeping the roof waterproof. Siding nails are usually made of steel, and the roofing ones are usually made of copper, aluminum, or titanium.

The main difference between the two types of nails is their shape. Siding nails have a flat, rectangular head, while roofing nails have a round or tapered head. A roofing nail is also known as a roofing shank. The length of the nails will also differ. For a typical, wooden roof, the length of the nails should be about 1/16-inch. For an asphalt roof, the nails should be shorter. The thickness of the nails will also differ. For a siding roof, the nails should be thicker. This allows the nails to penetrate the surface of the roof better.

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