Can You Use Roofing Nails for Siding? 

Yes, 1-¾” roofing nails are appropriate for installing vinyl siding as long as the nailheads are not visible on the siding’s surface.

You should not be able to see the head of the nail whatsoever. You should use ⅛’’ diameter aluminum nails and a nailhead ⅜” or larger.

Using a longer nail will be necessary if additional materials exist between the base and the siding.

If you are using roofing nails to install vinyl siding, you should drive the nails ¾” into the wooden base.

Professionally installed nails will have 1/32”-1/16” of space between the nail hem and the nail head.

Using any nail less than 1” is improper, and nails this small should never be used for installing vinyl siding.

You may have other materials between the siding and the base, and if this is the case, you want to use longer nails. It is important to nail straight into the center of the shot.

Do not tightly nail siding. Vinyl siding should always move freely, even when nailed.

Vinyl is plastic, and because it is malleable, it is at risk of warping in the intense heat of the summer months.

If you nail it too tight, then the siding will buckle and ripple. Driving in nails in a crooked manner can also cause buckling and rippling.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Here are some key considerations when using roofing nails to install vinyl siding. 

  • Do not face nails because this will cause problems to arise later
  • Crooked or damaged nails can make siding buckle
  • Panel ends require extra space
  • Heat expansion is expected and will require extra space
  • Galvanized roofing nails are ideal for installing siding

Table of Contents

Do Not Face Nails Because This Will Cause Problems To Arise Later

Faced nails are placed on the siding’s surface and remain visible after completing the vinyl siding installation. Nails placed in this manner are likely to look unappealing and cause structural problems.

Using faced nails when installing vinyl siding may cause the siding to buckle.

Fixing nails directly in the center of the openings at the end of every panel is the best way to avoid this issue. The succeeding panel will cover the previous panel and prevent warping or buckling.

Roofing nails need to enter the siding at 1/32” from the panel’s edge. However, not all siding is uniform, and you should examine the guidelines printed by the manufacturer for exact dimensions.

Regardless of the measurements, you must maintain straight nails and allow the vinyl siding to open up and breathe. These precautions will help you avoid any major repairs for decades.

Crooked Or Damaged Nails Can Make Siding Buckle

Hammering your nails in such a way to ensure they are even and level is an important component of installing vinyl siding with roofing nails. Crooked nails will cause vinyl siding to sag and buckle.

If you allow extra space for the siding to expand, then this problem could be severe.

Correctly space the nails every twelve to sixteen inches. If you add any less or any more space, then the nails could damage the siding.

Rippling and sagging can go unnoticed overtime before it is too late to repair.

Also, do not install nails in a haphazard, unorganized manner because this will cause the siding to buckle and warp.

Panel Ends Require Extra Space

If you are installing vinyl siding and it touches window trim or door frames, you need to allow extra space at these points of contact.

Every section of the vinyl siding you install requires extra room to expand due to excessive humidity and heat in the summer months.

The trim and the vinyl siding panel should have about ¼” of open space. Covering the expansion with this space will ensure that your vinyl siding does not warp in the summer heat.

Heat Expansion Is Expected And Will Require Extra Space

No homeowner wants to see rippling patterns or broken siding on their home. Warped siding can bulge and buckle, but it is not solely an aesthetic problem.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Damaged siding can trap moisture between panels and cause mold to develop. Rotting siding is also a problem in an environment with excessive rainfall.

These problems are less likely to occur with properly installed nails. Every vinyl siding panel requires space to expand.

If the vinyl siding is nailed on too tight, then ripples will arise during the summer months.

You should leave at least 1/16” between the siding and the nail head. This is enough space to prevent buckling, rippling, and warping.

Beginning a siding project in the middle of the summer is not ideal. If you begin your siding installation in the fall or spring, then you will not have to deal with the consequences of working in the heat and humidity.

Vinyl siding can contract during the winter, and you should be aware of the precautions you need to take if you plan on installing siding in the summer or winter.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Galvanized Roofing Nails Are Ideal For Installing Siding

Violent wind, pouring rain, and excessive heat can cause fasteners to rust. You need to choose high-quality, galvanized nails to prevent the vinyl siding from sailing away during a strong storm.

Preparing for these weather conditions is a necessity, and galvanized nails can help you keep your home secure.

Roofing nails are an excellent choice for vinyl siding installation projects. Longer shanks, flatter nail heads, and sharper points are features of roofing nails that make them conducive to installing vinyl siding.

You can easily use their extra sharp points to nail them into vinyl siding panels.

Builders suggest using nails that measure at least 1 ½” when installing vinyl siding. Roofing nail heads must have 5/16” minimum in diameter.

The nail shanks should be at least ⅛” in diameter.

Galvanized nails are often made of steel, and this is superior to aluminum. Aluminum nails may not be strong enough for installing vinyl siding.

Using roofing nails to install vinyl siding is perfectly fine if you follow the simple suggestions above.

The major problem is warping and buckling caused by expansion and heat, so you should avoid these problems by following the recommended guidelines.


— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article What’s the Difference Between Roofing Nails Vs. Siding Nails from the website www.4feldco.com for the keyword can you use roofing nails for siding.

If you’re fixing your siding or fixing your shingles, you should absolutely learn the difference between the two different types of nails used for either task.

At first, someone unfamiliar with the nitty gritty details of siding and roofing might assume the same nail is used for either project or make the mistake of believing nails are interchangeable.  However, a roofing nail and a siding nail are designed for two distinct materials, so it’s best to know which one is right for your scenario.

All About Siding Nails

Siding nails are installed by means of a siding nailer.  While a siding nailer looks quite similar to a roofing nailer, the tools use different nails.  Siding nails are of course installed into exterior walls to secure siding pieces.

These nails are designed to stay put, meaning once you’ve installed them into the siding, you won’t be getting them back out.  This is because siding isn’t meant to be replaced as often as roofing (shingles are frequently replaced).  Siding nails are ring-shanked, which gives these nails a better hold on the siding.  For the same reason, siding nails are designed with smaller heads.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Although it goes against instinct to not install a nail flush with the surface, a siding nail will require you to leave a small gap between the head of the nail and the siding itself.  The reason behind not installing a siding nail flush into the siding is because of the material’s exposure to temperature shifts and adverse weather.

Read more  Overview of Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors: Types, Treatments & ADHD Links

Vinyl siding has a tendency to expand and contract thanks to its inherent nature, which is why you’ll want to put the siding nail a little cockeyed into the surface.  By doing so, you can avoid getting cracks in the siding at the site of puncture, which can happen when the seasons swing from too hot to too cold.

You’ll also notice that siding nails are more expensive than roofing nails.  Siding nails are longer, and with more material comes a higher price.  These nails need to be longer as siding panels are rather thick.  Don’t be tempted to switch to a cheaper roofing nail to do a siding nail’s job—you could be putting your siding at risk for cracking and popping off.

All About Roofing Nails

It can be hard to differentiate between a roofing nail and a siding nail.  Although roofing nails are cheaper than their siding counterpart, they are a completely different fastener and shouldn’t be used on exterior siding.

The main difference between the two nails is that roofing nails are designed to come out, unlike the siding nail, which is meant to be secured into the siding for its lifetime.  Roofing nails will need replacing every so often, so the design of the larger nail head allows for an easier grab for removal.  The shanks of roofing nails are also smooth.  Siding nails have ringed shanks to better grip and resistance.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Also unlike siding nails, roofing nails are installed flush against the surface.  These nails are meant to punch through asphalt shingles to secure them onto the roofing system, so you won’t want this style of nail to stick out and make the roof line look uneven.

Shingles aren’t too thick, so the roofing nails are actually shorter—no longer than 1-3/4 inches.  Siding nails are much longer because they need to pierce through a thick layer of vinyl paneling. This is perhaps the most noticeable difference between the two nails—that, and the price tag.

Most people prefer to end up with a roofing nailer as opposed to a siding nailer.  Even though the two tools look similar, the nails they use are designed differently and each have their own purpose.  Roofing nails are cheaper because they don’t require as much material to make as they’re shorter than siding nails.  You can also remove roofing nails, so a roofing nailer may bring you more use for projects other than nailing in shingles.

Knowing the Differences

You’ll need different nails and different tools for nailing in shingles or siding.  Roofing nailers and siding nails aren’t the same tool and require their own nails for these two distinct jobs.  Both of these tools are coil nailers that are designed to punch nails through materials, but whether you’re securing siding or a roofing shingle will determine which one you’ll need to be successful.

Roofing nails are:

  • Designed to be removed
  • Have a larger nail head for the purpose of removal
  • Have a smooth shank for removal
  • Are no longer than 1-3/4 inches
  • Are meant to be installed flush against the shingle surface

Siding nails are:

  • Meant to stay in place
  • Have a smaller head to secure them in place
  • Have a ring shank to help them remain in place
  • Are up to 2-1/2 inches long
  • Are meant to be installed at an angle—not flush against the siding

At Feldco, we provide breakthrough design and triple layer protection to keep your roof insulated throughout the year. For a roof replacement, our installers are factory trained, experienced and professional to get the job done correctly. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote today.


— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article Why Proper Nailing Is So Important for Vinyl Siding from the website modernize.com for the keyword can you use roofing nails for siding.

Homes function best when every element works in perfect harmony. Even the smallest parts, like nails and screws, make a difference. But the type of nails you use—and your nailing technique—is extra important when you install vinyl siding on your home.

Vinyl is a plastic product, so it’s a little bit more malleable than aluminum or wood—particularly when the sun is shining overhead. Unfortunately, that means it’s easy to get the nailing wrong. If you mess up and nail it too tight, the siding won’t have room to expand when the weather heats up. Likewise, if you don’t drive the nails in straight, the siding can buckle and ripple, as well.

Don’t let that put you off of vinyl, though. If you take care to install it properly, it can be a durable, attractive home cladding for years to come. Here’s how to do it right—and avoid any buckles or ripples along the way.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Galvanized Roofing Nails Are Your Best Bet for Siding Success

It’s not surprising to hear that you need a galvanized nail on your home’s exterior—after all, regular fasteners could rust when exposed to the elements. Still, you’ll want to make sure that the nails you choose are strong enough—and long enough—to keep your siding from lifting off when the wind blows.

Most builders agree that you should opt for roofing nails for this sort of project. Roofing nails have longer shanks—between one and two inches—and a flatter nail head to keep the material below held securely in place. They’re also extra sharp, so you won’t have to work as hard to nail them in. Most contractors agree that nails used in siding projects should measure at least 1 ½ inches long—or up to 2 ½ inches if you’re installing backerboard with the siding. Nail heads require a 5/16 inches minimum in diameter. Nail shanks? At least ⅛ inches in diameter.

Additionally, a lot of contractors say not to use aluminum nails, since these may eventually bend. Galvanized nails are typically made from steel, which is a stronger material overall.

Leave Some Room for Heat Expansion

Gently rippling waves may be nice in a reflecting pond or a lake, but they’re no good for the side of your home. Siding that buckles and bulges isn’t just unsightly, it makes you more vulnerable to moisture intrusion, mold, and rot as well.

While there are a lot of reasons siding may start buckling, one of the easiest to avoid is improper nailing. Vinyl siding that’s nailed on too tight doesn’t leave room for the materials to expand and contract, and that causes ripples to form come summertime. For the best results, leave at least 1/16 inch between the nail head and the siding to give it some room to grow.

Additionally, unless you have to make an emergency repair, it’s best to begin a siding project in spring or fall, when the weather is milder. That way, your siding won’t be slightly expanded (as it would be in summer) or contracted (as it would be in winter).

Allow Space At Panel Ends, As Well

You’ll also need to leave a little extra room in spots when your siding abuts up against window trim, door frames, and other accessories. It’s all due to the same principle: the siding needs a little room to spread out during the high heat of summer.

In this case, leave about a ¼ of an inch between the end of the siding panel and the trim. That will leave you with plenty enough room to cover the expansion.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Crooked Nails Cause Siding to Buckle

It’s always important to drive your nails in straight and level on any construction project. However, when you’re putting up siding, a nail that’s crooked will cause your siding to buckle and sag—especially if you leave room for extra expansion.

You’ll also want to make sure you space nails regularly, every twelve to sixteen inches. More or less space between nails could cause sagging or rippling, as well, as can irregularly-spaced nail patterns.

Don’t Face Nails to Avoid Problems Down the Line

Nails that are “faced”—meaning nailed directly on the surface of your siding—will be visible when you’re finished, which just doesn’t look all that nice. Plus, they can cause siding to buckle as well. Nails should be fixed squarely in the middle of the slots at the end of each panel. That way, they’ll be covered by the next panel’s overlap.

Ideally, nails should go in about 1/32 of an inch from each panel’s edge, although you should read the manufacturer’s guidelines for the proper measurements.

Keep your nails straight and give your vinyl siding a little room to breathe and you should be covered for the next 20 to 40 years—all for the price of a little elbow grease!


— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article Can You Use Siding Nails In A Roofing Nailer? from the website homedecorbliss.com for the keyword can you use roofing nails for siding.

You are about to start installing siding in your house but notice that you only have a roofing nailer. So, can you use siding nails in a roofing nailer? We did the leg work and researched this question to find an answer for you. Let’s get right into it!

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Generally, you cannot use a siding nail with a roofing nailer and vice versa. The nails are different sizes and may not fit each other. Using a siding nail in a roofing nailer can pose risks to the device, your home, or even you.

Continue reading as we discuss why you can’t use siding nails in a roofing nailer and the risks of doing so. We will also discuss their differences and how to use them properly.

Read more  Can You Use Siding Nails in a Roofing Nailer | Helpful Guide

Can You Use Siding Nails In A Roofing Nailer?

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Although roofing and siding nailers look the same, they have different purposes, which is why they are termed differently. That is also true for roofing and siding nails.

A roofing nailer should only use roofing nails designed primarily to nail roofs, while siding nails should only be used for a siding nailer.

Siding Nails Versus Roofing Nails

Can you use roofing nails for siding

One of the main reasons you cannot use siding nails for a roofing nailer is that they have different nails. Siding nails have thin to no heads. Because they don’t need to be changed as frequently, they are designed to remain in place.

Can you use roofing nails for sidingCan you use roofing nails for siding

See these galvanized siding nails on Amazon.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

On the other hand, roofing nails have larger heads because they need to come out when you need to replace your roofing. Their heads make it easier to grab them out.

Another difference is the length of roofing and siding nails. Since the side panel is thick, a siding nail is longer than a roofing nail. This is why you cannot use a siding nail for a roofing nailer because it will not fit.

However, for one reason or another, if you insist on using a siding nail in a roofing nailer, ensure to accept the risks that it may give you.

One is that the siding is not attached tightly, and there can be some movement. This is because the nails do not perfectly fit the nailer. It can also damage the nailer if the nails get stuck.

Can you use roofing nails for sidingCan you use roofing nails for siding

Click here to see these roofing nails on Amazon.

Siding Nailer Versus Roofing Nailer

Can you use roofing nails for siding

As the name suggests, siding nailers are great for siding jobs. They come in different types and sizes, and they make the siding installation easier. They come with an air filter, so there is no dust when working with them.

Moreover, they have depth-drive adjustments that are perfect for different kinds of siding installation. You can adjust this option to achieve the depth that you need for your project.

They are also safe for children because they have a lock system to avoid accidental shooting.

Can you use roofing nails for sidingCan you use roofing nails for siding

Click here to see this siding nailer on Amazon.

However, a siding nailer is unsuitable for hard materials since they are mostly lightweight. They are also not ideal for long work hours because they do not have a coil-nail feature.

This means you need to refill many nails to the nailer while working.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

On the other hand, a roofing nailer is a device you use to nail roofing. They also come in different types that you can choose from. They are perfect for heavy-duty work, and their nails are durable for roofing applications.

Can you use roofing nails for sidingCan you use roofing nails for siding

Click here to see this roofing nail gun on Amazon.

However, one of its main drawbacks is that it is more expensive. They are also not suitable for tight spaces and are prone to jamming.

How Do You Use A Siding Nailer?

Can you use roofing nails for siding

The key to properly installing siding is using the nailer. Here are the steps:

  1. Before starting the job, check if your device is in good condition.
  2. Prepare yourself and take preventive measures by wearing the right gear to avoid untoward incidents, such as a mask and goggles.
  3. Load the nailer with the correct nails by pressing the magazine and securing it.
  4. Using the depth-drive adjustment, set the correct depth to complement the depth of the siding you need to nail.
  5. Turn on the device and start the nailing process. Always exercise caution when working.

How To Use A Roofing Nailer

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Roofing nailer makes the roofing installation easier and more durable. Here are the steps:

  1. Wear protective gear, especially eyewear.
  2. Use the right compressor that will keep up with the roofing nailer. Use a larger compressor if you use two or more nailers simultaneously.
  3. Open the nailer magazine and load it up with nails. Secure it in place until you hear the clicking sound.
  4. Set the firing mode. Some nailers have two modes which include the single and bump modes.
  5. Once you find the proper firing mode that fits your needs, you can start nailing.

Can you use roofing nails for sidingCan you use roofing nails for siding  

See this compressor and nailer combo kit on Amazon.

What Are The Best Nails To Use For Siding?

In installing a new siding, choose the correct nails to make your project long-lasting.

One of the best nails to use for vinyl sidings are galvanized nails, aluminum, and any other type that are corrosion-resistant. They are very durable, which makes them ideal for installing sidings.

Can You Use Roofing Nails For Vinyl Siding?

Most homeowners wonder if they can use roofing nails for vinyl sidings. The answer is yes. One of the best roofing nails you can use for vinyl sidings is galvanized roofing nails.

They are durable, rust-resistant, and strong enough to withstand weather disturbances like storms and strong winds.

Is It Better To Use Nails Or Screws For Vinyl Siding?

Most homeowners cannot decide whether it is better to use nails or screws in their vinyl siding.

Nails are better options for vinyl sidings. Aside from its smooth body that can penetrate the vinyl siding quickly, you can use a hammer to nail it.

A screw, on the other hand, tends to lose its hold on the vinyl siding if it is installed too tight. They are easily influenced by pressure which makes them let go of the siding. Lastly, screws are more expensive than nails.

How Should You Nail Vinyl Sidings?

Vinyl sidings are one of the most popular choices for home sidings because they offer exceptional durability. Their correct installation can also add to how resistant they will be to damage.

One way to install them is by using a siding nail.

Here are the steps on how to properly nail vinyl siding:

  1. In every installation, whether it be sidings or roofing, you should allow a space for expansion and contraction. This is because the materials you use are sensitive to weather changes, including wood and metals.
  2. Choose the right nails. Siding nails come in various sizes; You can use galvanized roofing nails with a length that will not be too short or too long.
  3. If you want everything to stay in place, do not tighten the nails. Allow expansion between them, so you will not damage the nails and the siding.
  4. Target the correct location of the nails. Do not go too high or too low. Go in the middle for balance.
  5. Put a space between the nails, ensuring they’re not too far or near each other.

Final Thoughts

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Whether renovating or installing new siding, using the right materials is very important. Remember not to use a siding nail in a roofing nailer and vice versa. Although they look similar, they have different profiles and purposes.

A siding nailer should be exclusively used for sidings and roofing nails for roofing purposes. These devices use nails that differ in length that may not fit the devices.

If you don’t have siding nailers and you’re tempted to use siding nails in your roofing nailer, be aware of the risks involved.

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— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article Can You Use Siding Nails in a Roofing Nailer | Helpful Guide from the website www.roofcalc.com for the keyword can you use roofing nails for siding.
Can you use roofing nails for siding

The issue of “Can You Use Siding Nails in a Roofing Nailer” is one that many people are concerned about. There are some differences between these two types of nails, but they are both used to secure materials together.

So when it comes to using one type in place of the other, there will be some trade-offs with regard to performance and functionality.

However, if you’re looking for something less expensive than traditional roofing nails, then this might be an option for you!

What Is a Siding Nail?

A siding nail is made of thinner wire than a roofing nail, which means it won’t be able to hold as much weight.

For example, if you’re using the nails for an application that requires something like laying shingles or building framed walls, then they should work just fine.

However, if your project involves things like heavy roofing materials, then you should probably stick with roofing nails.

What Are Roofing Nails?

Roofing nails have thicker heads and stronger shafts, so they can hold more weight compared to siding nails.

Plus, you’ll find that these particular types of nails come with a variety of features like corrosion resistance or hot dipped galvanization to protect them from the elements.

If you’re going for something reliable, then you should definitely go with roofing nails.

What Is the Difference Between Siding Nails and Roofing Nails?

The main difference between siding nails and roofing nails is the length. Siding nails are shorter, so they’re not good for holding large pieces of material together.

Roofing nails can hold up to several pounds at a time, making them perfect for securing materials like shingles or sheathing panels in place on your home’s exterior.

In addition to that difference in size and weight capacity, these two types of nails are also made from different metals – which means they have a slightly different working temperature range.

Read more  How To Repaint Acrylic Nails [Step By Step Guide]

Roofing nails tend to be hotter than siding nails because steel is a better heat conductor compared to aluminum.

This means that siding nails will begin to lose their strength at a lower temperature than roofing nails, which is something you should be aware of if your project could end up in the heat for an extended period of time.

What Are the Different Types of Roofing Nails?

Roofing nails are typically categorized by the type of material they’re made from, so you’ll find stainless steel roofing nails as well as galvanized roofing nails.

They can also be divided into smooth shank or ring shank types based on their profile – which means that some have a full rounded head while others will come with grooves in the shank.

The most common type of nail is the cut head, which has a flat top that allows for easy nailing into wood.

However, there are also spiral shank nails with sharp point tips that can pierce through various materials.

Can You Use Siding Nails in a Roofing Nailer?

Roofing nails are acceptable for fastening shingle panels together, but it is not advised.

Siding nails will probably bow out at the tip when you begin nailing with them because they are thinner than what’s used for installing shingles or sheathing on a home’s exterior.

The best way to attach your paneling securely using a roofing nailer is to use stainless steel ring shank siding nails.

This type of fastener will be able to hold more weight and won’t deform like standard cut head or smooth shank types might if you try using them in your nailing gun.

You can also go with galvanized finish nails, which are another option that’s suitable for securing paneling in place.

You’ll find that these types of nails are available with either smooth, ring shank or cut heads – so you should be able to find something that will fit your needs when it comes time to start nailing the boards into place.

Step by Step Guide in Using Siding Nails on a Roofing Nailer

You’ll want to use a roofing nailer with your siding nails for this project.

First, you need to place the shingle in the correct location on top of your house – so make sure it’s positioned correctly before nailing it down securely.

Then, go over each one and drive two or three nails into each side that is being held in place.

You should also make sure that you stagger the nails when going over each board – this will help protect your home from any kind of water damage or rot since it allows air to flow through easily instead of becoming trapped between boards.

If you need a little more support, then there are certain types of sheathing panels that have a support strip on the back to help hold them in place without having nails go through.

Remember that there are different types of roofing nails available for your fastening needs, so don’t be afraid to experiment with what you already have before going out and buying siding nails just because they might look similar from a distance.

As long as your roofing nails are smooth shank and ring shanked, you should be able to use them for securing panels in place without any problems.

Final Thoughts

Finally, is it possible to utilize siding nails in a roofing nailer? Yes! As long as they are the same gauge (or close to it), then you should be able to use them without any issues.

However, if they’re different sizes or made from different metals – there could definitely be some problems with performance and durability!

Can you use roofing nails for siding

— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article Siding Nailer vs Roofing Nailer: Which is Best for Your Needs? from the website housegrail.com for the keyword can you use roofing nails for siding.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

They look similar and they perform the same task, but that doesn’t mean that siding nailers and roof nailers are the same tool. Both tools are coil nailers that are built to drive nails into wood, but you can’t use them interchangeably. You might have noticed the price difference between them already, but it’s the reasons for the price difference that really separate these two types of nail guns.

Each nailer is named for the job they fill. Siding nailers are for installing siding and roofing nailers are meant for installing roofing. But did you realize that different nails are used for each task? Let’s take a closer look at each of these useful tools and see which one is the best choice for your situation.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Siding Nailer Overview

At its heart, a siding nailer is a coiler nailer designed for installing siding onto exterior walls. They look the same as roofing nailers, and they even operate in the same basic fashion. The main difference between these two types of nail guns is in the nails they use.

Can you use roofing nails for siding
Image: Pixabay

These Nails Don’t Come Out

Nails meant for holding up siding are intended to stay put. Siding isn’t meant to be replaced as often as roofing, so the nails are ring-shanked to provide a better hold. They also have small heads for the same reason.

Don’t Fire it Flush

Most of the time when you install a nail, you’re going to install it flush with the surface. But that’s not the case with a siding nail. Since siding is susceptible to the whims of nature, it’s going to experience a lot of expansion and contraction. Because of this, siding nails aren’t installed flush. Instead, a small gap is left between the head of the nail and the siding to allow for normal expansion and contraction. Otherwise, your siding would crack. 

Adjustable Depth

Since siding is installed on a vertical surface, holding it up requires a lot more force than holding on roofing that’s laying on a horizontal surface. As a result, siding nails are much longer than roofing nails; often as long as 2½ inches. To account for this, siding nailers have adjustable depth controls to allow you to alter how far the nail is being driven.

Longer Nails, Larger Price

Siding nailers tend to be quite a bit more expensive than roofing nailers, driving many to look at roofing nailers as an alternative. But if you need to drive long nails, only the siding nailer will let you do it.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Roofing Nailer Overview

Looking at them side by side, it can still be difficult to tell a roofing nailer apart from a siding nailer. Since roofing nailers are much cheaper, many would prefer to purchase one to perform the job of a siding nailer. But these fire completely different fasteners, so that’s not going to work the way you might hope.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

These Nails Need to Come Out

Unlike siding nails, roofing nails need to come out. Roof shingles need to be replaced occasionally, so the nails have larger heads that are easier to grab. They also have smooth shanks that will pull out much easier than the ringed shanks you’ll find on siding nails.

Punching Through Asphalt

Roofing nailers have to punch their nails through asphalt shingles; an arguably more difficult job than nailing through siding. But since these nails have to hold the shingles flush to the roof, the nails are installed flush as well.

Shorter Nails

Installing shingles doesn’t require long nails since they’re thin. Therefore, roofing nails are generally no longer than 1¾ inches. This is the most glaring difference that sets a roofing nailer apart from a siding nailer. Siding nailers use much longer nails that basically start where roofing nails end.

Smaller Nails, Smaller Price Tag

Since they use smaller nails, roofing nailers tend to also come with a smaller price tag. This is probably the most appealing aspect of a roofing nailer and why some people would prefer to purchase a roofing nailer if it will serve their needs.

See Also: 

  • 10 Best Roofing Nailers

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Quick Look: Our Top Choices

Our Favorite Siding Nailer: DEWALT DW66C-1 15-Degree Coil Siding and Fencing Nailer

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Weighing in just under five pounds, this DEWALT siding nailer is built to work all day long. It works with nails from 1.5-2.5 inches long and features a tool-free depth adjust that makes it easy to dial in the perfect depth on the go. It holds 300 nails at a time and comes with DEWALT’s 3-year warranty, making it a great choice for any type of siding work.

Our Favorite Roofing Nailer: DEWALT DW45RN Pneumatic Coil Roofing Nailer

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Priced lower than the siding nailer, this roofing nailer is also from DEWALT and features the same quality build and feel. It weighs a bit more at 5.2 pounds and is able to drive up to 10 nails per second. There’s a depth adjustment wheel with numbered detents to help you set the right depth no matter what materials you’re using. It can use nails up to 1.75 inches long.

Can you use roofing nails for siding

Conclusion

While both of these tools could be used for jobs other than originally intended, they’re best-suited for specific situations. Just keep in mind the main difference between them; the fasteners they use.

If you’re installing siding, you want a siding nailer. For installing roofing, a roofing nailer is the best choice. If you’re doing something else, pick the tool that uses the fastener that will work best for your needs.

References

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About the Author: Tung Chi