Siding nailer vs. Roofing nailer – Key Differences


Updated on:

Siding nailer vs. Roofing nailer

People often confuse siding nailers and roofing nailers. Both are large in size and powerful in operation.

Siding and roofing nailers come with specific differences.

The key difference between a siding nailer and a roofing nailer is the nail size. Siding nailers feature larger nails compared to roofing nailers. Besides, siding nailers do not fire any flush. Finally, purchasing a siding nailer is slightly higher than a roofing nailer.

Let’s discuss all the key differences in detail.

What Separates a Siding Nailer from a Roofing Nailer?

These are the factors that separate a siding nailer from a roofing nailer. 

Siding Nailers are Used for Permanent Nailing

Siding nails are used to secure siding to work surfaces. They are not meant to be removed from the work surface after the job is done. And that’s why siding nails have more penetration than roofing nails.

Siding Nailers Don’t Fire Flush

Most of the time, roofing nailers install nails flush against the work surface. But siding nailers don’t install nails that way. When siding is installed, small gaps are left to avoid cracks caused by expansion and contraction.

Siding Nailers Come with an Adjustable Depth System

Siding installation necessitates precision and depth. Otherwise, the sidings and the work surface may get damaged.

That’s why most siding nailers come with an adjustable depth system that allows them to shoot nails at an accurate depth. 

The sidings are installed on the sides of the house or building, which are vertical surfaces. Because of gravity, they require more holding power to stay in place for a long time.

That’s why siding nailers’ nails are slightly bigger (up to 2 and a half inches longer) than roofing nails, which allows users to penetrate nails accurately.

Good for rubber or wood materials.

Sidings are typically made of wood or rubber, which is why siding nailers are designed to easily penetrate wood or rubber-made sidings. Framing or roofing nailers can also drive nails through the rubber, but they can’t do it as precisely as a siding nailer.

Comes at a higher price.

The siding nails come at a higher price than roofing nails because they have more functionality. They have features like a trigger lock system, an ergonomic grip, or a depth adjuster that allow users to penetrate nails more perfectly on work surfaces.

Saves users time

The siding nailers can use coil nails. These coil siding nailers can be stored in a magazine for 200–300 at a time. Users can use them to save refilling time.

Siding nailers also come with an additional internal air filter. This filter removes all the dust and debris from the internal components of the nailers. As a result, the siding nailers jam less than roofing nailers.


  • It comes with more penetration power.
  • Users can use coil nail strips in it.
  • Air filter to keep their internal components free of dust and dirt.
  • Can be used in different jobs like building frames, installing doors or windows, etc.
  • Can also complete finishing jobs.
  • Has different essential features, like a trigger lock system, a depth adjustment system, etc.
  • Has great mobility because of its lightweight body.
  • Can also use a variety of nails.


  • The price of siding nailers is a little bit higher.
  • It can’t install shingles perfectly.

Who Should Use a Siding Nailer, and Why?

Siding nailers are primarily used by professionals who install siding on houses or buildings. This nailer is specifically built to install siding because it does not flush while penetrating nails into the work surface. 

Its special features, like a depth adjustment system and trigger lock system, help users penetrate nails at an accurate depth with a precise shooting mode on the work surface. 

However, it can also be used by frame builders to complete framing jobs and fencing or by carpenters for building furniture. DIYers can use it to complete DIY-related jobs like building small wood projects.

What makes a roofing nailer different from a siding nailer?

These factors make a roofing nailer different from a siding nailer.

Roofing nailers’ nails are occasionally removed.

Roofing nail nails are removed pretty frequently because the homeowners change the shingles on the roofs after a specific period.

That’s why these nails have ringed shanks, which are easier to pull out. The head parts of these nails are pretty big, which allows users to grab this part when they need to remove the shingles.

Roofing nailers flush their nails.

The roofing nailers flush nails into the workspace. They provide enough power so that the nails penetrate through the asphalt shingles. As a result, these nails have enough power to hold all those shingles together for a long time.

The nails of this nailer are small.

Roofing nailers’ nails are small because the nailers do not penetrate the nails very deeply. The longest nails of roofing nailers are not more than one and three-fourth inches. However, as the nail heads are big and the pins have ringed shanks, they have good holding power.

It uses galvanized nails.

The roofing nailers can use galvanized nails. Those homeowners in harsh environments require galvanized nails, or the nails will get rusted.

It can be used on different materials.

The roofing nailer can be used on wood or hardwood surfaces. However, users can use it on waterproof surfaces like fiberglass, polyester, and bituminous material. As the roofing nails aren’t that long, the roofing nailer doesn’t damage these materials when penetrating them.

The cost of using the roofing nailer is less than the siding nailer

A roofing nailer’s price is less than a siding nailer because it can only be used to install shingles. As the nails are small, they also don’t cost much. So the overall cost of using a roofing nailer is less than that of a siding nailer.


  • Roofing nailers can install shingles perfectly on the roof.
  • They don’t damage the shingles by over-penetrating them. 
  • Can use galvanized or aluminum nails. 
  • Can be used on fiberglass, polyester, and bituminous surfaces.
  • The overall cost of using a roofing nailer isn’t that much.
  • Users don’t need to learn proper instructions to use this nailer because it is pretty easy.


  • Usually, roofing nailers can’t adjust their penetration depth. 
  • Can only use small-sized nails. As this nailer can only use small-sized nails, it cannot be used for different nailing jobs.

Who should use a roofing nailer, and why?

Professional house builders or carpenters use roofing nailers to install shingles on roofs. Almost all types of asphalt and fiberglass shingles can be installed with roofing nailers. 

Professional home builders also use this nailer to install waterproof tar paper or roof insulation boards. Most of the time, these boards are installed in a specific way so that they can be removed after a certain period. 

That’s why special roofing nails are used that are small in size and have more giant heads and ring shanks. Only roofing nailers can penetrate these nails on the roof, which is why home builders use them. 

Some people even confuse roofing nailers and framing nailers. Check our guide for roofing vs framing nailers to get clarification.

Can I use a siding nailer for roofing?

No, you can’t use a siding nailer for roofing. The roofing jobs require small nails specially designed to be removed after a certain period, as users change shingles occasionally. 
So these are small nails that the nailers don’t profoundly penetrate. As a siding nailer is more powerful than a roofing nailer and uses big-sized nails, it won’t be suitable for roofing jobs. 
Also, roofing jobs require users to penetrate nails flush with the work surface, but siding nailers can’t penetrate nails that way. 

Can I use a roofing nailer for the siding?

No, you can’t also use a roofing nailer for siding jobs because a roofing nailer isn’t that powerful. So it won’t be able to penetrate sidings and workspace together because of a lack of driving power. 
As a result, after a couple of months, the siding will start falling from the house. Also, roofing nailers penetrate nails flush, but siding jobs require nailers to drive nails at an angle. 


Roofing and siding nailers are designed for specific jobs. Roofing nailers are used for installing shingles or hardboards on the roof, whereas siding nails are used to install siding beside houses.

Roofing nailers are smaller than siding nailers, so they have less penetration power. 

Both nailers use different types of nails whose holding power is not the same. The roofing nails are mainly installed so users can remove the shingles after a certain period.

However, the siding nails possess more holding power and are deeply penetrated by the siding nailer so they won’t fall apart from the house. 

Leave a Comment