Siding is part practical and part esthetical, so using the best siding nailer can be the key to a successful siding project. Every type of nailer has its own strengths and, let’s be honest – for a beginner things get confusing really fast. Siding is a task that some consider the most important finishing move on a house, and getting your hands on proper tools to do it is as important.
So, let us dig in and see what to expect from the siding nailers nowadays. Sometimes the differences are nuanced, and sometimes a model stands out. All in all, by going through the guide and the siding nailer reviews, you will be ready to work!
Who Needs a Siding Nailer?
This is where it gets interesting. Siding is usually observed as a finishing touch when it comes to housebuilding and repairs. However, whether or not you need a siding nailer can depend on your geo-position as well. Climate and season “intensity” are the major players here. So, besides construction workers and contractors who do siding as a profession, there is a whole other group of people that can benefit from a solid and trustworthy siding nailer.
1. House Building
The most common use for a siding nailer is, of course, the finishing touches on a house. Every wall needs some sort of outer protection, and by now, humans as builders have developed all sorts of siding that can protect a home based on the environment.
Siding nailers come with an adjustable driving force, and they often support multiple nail sizes. These two specs will help you adapt the nailer to the material, thus lowering the risk of damaging it or not putting it on properly. The quality of a new siding installation will determine how soon you will have to renew it. Not to mention that improperly adjusted siding leads to potential damages to the walls and building integrity in general.
2. Siding Renewal and Repairs
And, once the time comes (hopefully once a decade) you will have to remove the old and damaged siding and replace it with a new layer. This is not a job that homeowners do frequently, but it is a job that needs to be done perfectly, or as near to perfect as possible. The physics behind this process is simple, but there is something called too much nailing, as well as too little. With a proper siding nailer, you get to prepare upfront, knowing what to expect when it comes to the amount and the position of the nails.
Additionally, if you are living in an area with stronger winds or rough weather in general, you will have to make some adjustments and light repairs every once in a while. That being said, if you have a locked and loaded siding nailer in your garage, fixing the siding will be an easy endeavor. Which takes us to the geographically challenged housing.
3. Harsh Season Preparation
Not all locations are ideal for building a house. People who live in the areas prone to strong winds and regular storms know how important it is to have a siding nailer as a part of the standard toolkit. Some areas even have storm seasons that bring wall and window damages along. To quickly prepare for those harsh couple of days, strong plywood siding (or something even stronger) has to be installed. A hammer will do just fine if you have all that extra time to spear. But, with the help of a siding nailer, you can prepare your home for the worst in a single day.
The Advantages and Drawbacks of Siding Nailers
There is no perfect tool nailer that can provide you with every aspect of pressurized nail driving. Every pneumatic tool comes with its own set of pros and cons. A siding nailer is, believe it or not, relatively new in the game because people used other nail gun types instead of it. You could use a roofing nail gun to install siding on your house, but knowing how powerful these can be, a more sophisticated touch may be needed.
1. Upsides of Using a Siding Nailer
A siding nailer is similar to other nail gun types. However, we can sum up the other, lesser-known benefits:
- They have adjustable strength and nail-driving power
- A siding nailer, especially a coiled one, can hold up to 300+ nails in the magazine
- With a siding nailer, you can do other tasks that require a nail gun, with the exception of heavy-duty nailing like roofing
- If you have a stronger gas-powered air compressor you can use a longer hose and drive nails quickly in a succession. Do thin only if you are experienced enough because nail guns are dangerous after all
- Most commonly, a siding nailer supports all types of firing mechanism and locks that come along with them
2. Siding Nailer Downsides
When it comes to the downsides of siding nail guns, there is nothing much we could add, besides the fact that they are not exactly the most powerful among the nailers. If you need a heavy-duty nailer to do roofing or framing, you will need a dedicated gun for that.
There is another spec that can be inconvenient if you intend to work on the siding in longer time increments. Due to the number of nails a coiled siding nailer can hold, the overall weight of a loaded nail gun is higher than with a standard framing nailer. So, carrying a fully loaded coiled siding nailer might lead to some forearm exhaustion.
Best Siding Nailers Comparison Chart
BOSTITCH Coil Siding Nailer
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Metabo HPT Coil Siding Nailer
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Freeman PCN65 Pneumatic Coil Siding Nailer
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MAX USA CORP. CN565S3″SuperSider”
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Makita AN611 Siding Coil Nailer
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Complete CN565Z ProGrade Siding Coil Nailer
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Duo Fast Coil Siding Nailer
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DEWALT DW66C Coil Siding and Fencing Nailer
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Best Siding Nailer Reviews
1. BOSTITCH Coil Siding Nailer
As you may already know, Bostitch has a long history of making high-quality power tools, and this pneumatic siding nailer is no exception. It sports the traditional Bostitch black and yellow color finish, and it has all sorts of smaller quality-of-life features as well. On the bottom side of the handle, you can see a belt hook that rotates and allows you to put the nailer down easily without tipping it over. You can also use it as a belt hook. The handle is rubberized as well, which is super-convenient to people who work long hours on the construction site.
When it comes to nail capacity, we are talking about a coil that can hold up to 300 nails at a time – both plastic and wire-weld nails are fair game. The overall design of the whole nailer is lightweight, thanks to the aluminum used in the build. Additionally, you can adjust the nail-driving force and adapt the nailer to all sorts of materials, from wood to steel. The nail size this nailer supports goes from 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches.
- Trustworthy Bostitch design with lightweight aluminum used in the build
- The magazine capacity goes up to 300 nails, which is excellent for people that work long hours
- The end of the barrel has a soft rubber foot that protects soft woods from damage while you drive nails through
- The nailer can have some trouble with driving 2 ½ inch nails through harder materials. If this happens, some trial and error should fix it
2. Metabo HPT Coil Siding Nailer
This Metabo Coil Siding nailer certainly has a lot to offer. The design approach of the tool is minimalist, with no extra coloring or stripes. The handle is rubberized for extra stability and shock absorption, and the coil magazine is tilted towards the handle. This tilt enables you to quickly change or reload the magazine on the spot. This particular nailer supports both wire and plastic sheet collated nails. On the nozzle tip, you can see that there is a protective plastic shield that prevents collation materials from getting in the way of the nail.
The nail capacity of this siding nailer depends on the nail size – this Metabo support nails from 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches in length. On top of that, this particular siding nail gun support 15º plastic collated coil nails as well. For the sake of clarification, we’d like to mention that Hitachi power tools actually changed their name to Metabo. So, if you had experience with Hitachi, you know what to expect from this siding nail gun.
- The coil is slightly tilted towards the handle, making reloading and replacement easier and quicker
- This nailer has an installed plastic shield that deflects collation as an extra safety measure
- 15º are supported, ranging from 1 ½ to 2 ½ inch nails
- There is no belt hook pre-installed on this siding nail gun, so you will have to be careful with putting it away
3. Freeman PCN65 Pneumatic Coil Siding Nailer
This siding nailer with an interesting name comes with a few handy features and a lot of driving force. The manufacturer saved decided to draw back on some bell sand whistles, leaving the sole functionality in. Besides making it one of the most affordable siding nailers out there, this process also made the nailer fairly easy to use, even for beginners. The finish is black and brown, with a rubberized handle to help with stability and a belt hook to help you put the nailer down while you are not using it.
When it comes to nail capacity, the coil can handle up to a total of 400 wire or plastic coiled nails. This is more than enough to get the job done, even within larger projects. And, if you run out, the sliding coil allows you to replenish the ammunition quickly, and above all – safely. The supported nail size goes from 1 ¼ inch up to 2 ½ inches. Also, the nail magazine is see-through, allowing you to always have the info on how much nails you have left inside the nail gun.
- A larger than average nail magazine that can hold up to 400 nails at a time. It also slides to the side for quick reloading
- The belt hook on the underside is positioned just right for the people that spend long hours on construction sites
- The manufacturer claims that this side nailer can do much more when it comes to fencing and decking
- This is a 15° siding nail gun, which may come off as a problem if your job requires you a 0° nailer, which is quite rare
4. MAX USA CORP. CN565S3″SuperSider”
The super sider earned its name and its place on our list with its solid performance and ergonomic build. This red and gray siding nailer will be a worthy ally in all sorts of tasks, with the focus on the siding. Thanks to the thin, rubberized handle, the nailer is easy to grasp and it shakes less due to the shock absorption (which is more than wanted if you work all day). You will also be happy to hear that this siding nailer has a rater hook to help you rest it once you’re done. The nail sizes that this nailer supports go from 1 ½ inch to 2 ½ inches.
Besides regular safety mechanisms like the lock and the sequence trigger, the nozzle is covered with a plastic 360-degree adjustable shield that protects from excess coiling ricocheting. The nose of the nailer also has a padded tip that protects the siding from denting and further damages, especially if you opt for the contact fire mode. Last, but not least, this particular siding nail gun model comes with its own protective hard case.
- The thin design of the handle makes the nailer easier to aim and use. The handle is also rubber coated for better grip and shock absorption
- Reloading is made easy with the sliding coil magazine
- You get a had case to pack and keep the nailer safe from damages in transport
- This nailer comes with a slightly heftier price, but it does make it up in convenience and performance
5. Makita AN611 Siding Coil Nailer
Makita is a renowned tool manufacturer that makes all sorts of high-quality tools for DIYers and professionals all over the world. Their angled siding nail gun is made with precision and quality materials, and it will help you get that siding in place with its high-capacity magazine and ergonomic shape. The rubberized handle will help you have a better (and safer) grip, and it will lower the shock going through to a minimum. Supported nails sizes may vary from 1 ¼ inch to 2 ½ inches, and so does the magazine capacity – based on the nail size, the coil magazine can take up to a maximum of 400 nails.
This particular siding nailer has a total of 9 modes when it comes to nail driving depth, and you do not need a tool to switch between them. The silent sheet reduces noise when you decide that the work is done and the air hose needs to be disconnected. On top of all, the package includes a tool case, an air fitting coupler, and a pair of safety goggles as well.
- A complete set of siding nail gun gear that comes with maintenance equipment and safety goggles
- You can select one of 9 nail driving depth modes (with no tools required for the switch)
- The handle of the nail gun is thin and rubberized which brings less strain on the hand while working
- Some users reported misfires on the first few dozens of nails out of the box
6. Complete CN565Z ProGrade Siding Coil Nailer
If you are looking for a beginner-friendly siding nail gun, this Complete nailer might be just the one for you. It has a user-friendly approach with no complex features to grasp on, and the overall design is on the simpler side. The white and blue design makes the nailer pretty easy to spot in a crowded work site. The handle is rubberized and the lower part has a belt hook to help you safely put down the nail gun. When it comes to the nail sizes this model supports, we are talking about 1 ¼ inch to 2 ½ inches. The capacity depends on the size you opt for, with a maximum of 300 nails at a time.
This particular siding nailer gives you the option to adapt the driving depth, thus making it more suitable for softer and harder siding materials. The versatility takes a moment or two to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes an automatic action. Professionals, of course, benefit from this feature right away.
- A 0° siding nail gun that can drive nails through all sorts of materials, from wood to steel
- The coil magazine can handle up to 300 nails at a time, depending on the nail size
- Adjustable drive depth lets you adapt the nailer to the material of the siding
- The nail magazine is not transparent, so you can’t quickly see how many nails you have left inside
7. Duo Fast Coil Siding Nailer
The Duo Fast siding nail gun prioritizes maneuverability and functionality over aesthetics, so do not let the simple looks fool you. This versatile nail gun is somewhat narrower than its competition, so getting into tighter places is made easier. The handle is coated with soft rubber that doesn’t contribute to hand fatigue, letting you hold and aim the nail gun safely. The nail sizes go from 1 ½ inch to 2 ½ inches, with the nail size affecting the maximum nail capacity, of course.
Getting around the site is also made easy with the steel belt hook, and the lightweight build of the nailer’s body. The exhaust is designed to blow away from the user, and the tip of the firing nozzle has a rubber coating to prevent material damage. This siding nail gun can also be used for fencing and decking, and the tool-free adjustable depth of drive will help you adapt the nailer to the material at hand.
- Simple design paired with excellent performance and ergonomic handle
- The belt hook is extra sturdy and compact just enough to do its job without being a nuisance
- The tip is covered with rubber as well, which prevents denting and chipping of the siding material you are working on
- The pressurized air inlet need a bit more tightening
8. DEWALT DW66C Coil Siding and Fencing Nailer
If you ever worked on a construction site, or any workshop for that matter, you have probably stumbled upon a DeWalt power tool. This manufacturer has been in the game for long, and their pneumatic siding nail guns are a fair competitor to everyone else out there. You can recognize this siding nailer by the famous black and yellow design. The handle is also coated in black rubber for stability reasons, and the rotating belt hook is attached to the bottom of the handle. With the body made of aluminum, this siding nailer should last you for a long time.
When it comes to the magazine and capacity, we are talking about a coil magazine that can hold up to 300 nails, all varying from 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches. The nozzle has a rubber foot as well, so you do not have to worry about chafing, denting, or chipping the siding materials, especially if you use the contact fire mode.
- A lightweight siding nail gun from a manufacturer with a long history in power tools
- The handle and the tip are rubberized for comfort and safety
- You can tackle concrete fiber, wood, and even steel with this siding nail gun, as long as you adjust the nail drive depth
- The tilt of the handle can be a bit uncomfortable if you have bigger hands
What is a Siding Nailer?
Despite the name being self-explanatory, nail guns, aka nailers, are not that simple. At its core, a nailer is a device that launches nails and drives them through the material you want to attach to the frame or other bearing construction. This driving force is achieved through the power of an air compressor. Of course, you can find siding nailers that operate on electricity, and some people might find this to be more practical for their conditions. But, the truth is that pneumatic nailers often provide to be more reliable and overall more practical.
So, what makes siding nailers stand out from the sea of other pneumatic nail guns? Siding nailers have are usually distinguished by the amount of “ammo” they pack and the adjustable force they can exert. As you probably already know, siding materials come in a wide variety of thickness, firmness, and density. From basic one-layer plywood to stainless steel covered in synthetics, siding has a role similar to our skin – it protects the outside layer of a wall. This is the reason why siding nailers need to have adjustable strength – they need to be strong enough for the nail to drive through and hold, but not too strong to destroy the siding material.
Some people use roofing nailers to install the siding in their projects. This is not necessarily wrong, but it does come with the risk of damaging the siding material, or in some cases damaging the frame, because the roofing nailers are stronger.
Siding Nailers Buying Guide
Since we have general info covered, now it is time to get into the finer details. Getting around the market and buying the most-valuable siding nailer that can fulfill your requirements can be somewhat harder than you might initially think. This is why we encourage you to make a checklist of features you’d like to get and go through our reviews to make a proper choice. Keep in mind that the features we are going to touch upon are essential, and the order doesn’t matter all that much. Let’s dig in!
1. Trigger Style
While every nail gun has a similar trigger mechanism, it is important to get to know how a nail is fired, all to stay safe, and to utilize the maximum potential of a nailer. We have mentioned that siding nailers often do not pack the same punch as a roofing nailer, but that doesn’t mean that this tool isn’t dangerous on its own. That is why you should always look for a nail gun that at least has a sequential firing mechanism. So, how do we distinguish trigger styles?
1.1. 2-step fire
The two-step firing mechanism is the most intuitive to use, and we could safely say that it is the most popular way of using a nailer. This type of trigger requires you to press the safety switch (usually located on under the thumb of the right hand) and fire the trigger under your index finger. With this mode, you decide how often the gun fires, with the option to adjust the angle while you work.
1.2. Contact trigger
As the name suggests, a contact trigger is just that – a trigger mode that allows the gun to fire a nail as soon as it touches the surface. We’d like to urge you to be extra careful if you decide to get and use a siding nailer with this mode as a main firing more. Usually, we’d be against it, but experienced handymen can reap a lot of benefits from this type of trigger. Firstly, by setting the nailer to contact fire, you get to focus on holding and aiming better. And secondly, if you use the contact firing mode, you can absolutely dictate the firing rhythm.
1.3. Sequence trigger
We can say that the sequence trigger is somewhat between contact and 2-step fire. It involves the safety of a 2-step trigger by requiring you to hold the safety down with your thumb, and it depends on the contact as well. So, to put things in perspective, this is how the sequence trigger works (a full sequence):
- Depress the nailer against the siding and pull the trigger to drive the first nail
- While holding the trigger, lift the tip of the nailer from the materials
- Release the trigger to drive the second nail, thus completing a single sequence
2. Coil – Yes or No?
Whether or not you want a coil on your siding nailer depends on the number of nails you want to drive through. So, should you get a coiled siding nailer or not? In its essence, the collation of nails your gun uses as ammunition brings two things to the table. The upside is that you get to use the gun for longer periods at a time because the coil can hold up to 300 (or sometimes even more) nails that are ready to go.
The other side of the collation story is weight. Collated nails are bulks of nails that are ready to be used, yes, but when we combine their number with the weight of a single nail, we can conclude that nailers with a coil weight significantly more than nailers with a standard magazine that holds less than a hundred nails. All in all, the choice is up to you, and the decision should be made based on the workload. If you find the nailer too heavy, go with a non-coiled siding nail gun. And, if you need to use a lot of nails at once, a coil nail gun will be your best ally.
3. Nail Sizes
As nails go, you surely know that sizes vary. But, when it comes to siding, we need to be extra careful not to damage the material, which kind of defeats the purpose. So, a standard siding nailer should support the standard siding nail sizes. We are talking about a range from 1-inch nails to 2 ½ inch nails, with everything in between (e.g. 1 ¼ is a popular shorter nail used for siding).
Before you get a siding nailer, double-check the supported nail size. If we are talking about a coil nailer, the chances are that there is not much room to wiggle around sizes. Standard magazine nailers, on the other hand, support even longer nails than 2 ¼-inch ones.
4. Drive Strength and Consistency
The power of pressurized air is not to be undermined – the force is significant and it is dangerous after all. When it comes to siding installation, having a nailer that has adjustable drive strength can be a life-saver. Some materials need an extra punch, and some need a gentler touch – both of these are manageable with a nail gun that allows you to adjust the pressure on the go.
Another important feature is the nail driving consistency. If you are working on a larger piece of siding that requires a lot of nails to be driven through, you want each and every nail to go in the same way, with the same amount of force. That is why it is important to have a siding nailer that doesn’t need extra time to build the pressure up. While this is yesterday’s problem, some nailers still have a cooldown timer, so keep your eyes open.
5. Safety Features
The reason why we are talking about safety so much, always mentioning how powerful nailers are (no matter the type) is the fact that a lot of people get hurt from accidental nailer fire. Believe it or not, a large percentage of workplace injuries are from, you’ve guessed it – nail guns. That is why it is important to get a nailer with a reliable 2-step safety system.
As mentioned in the section above, a triggering system requires you to perform two or three separate actions to drive the nail:
- A finger on the lock mechanism, usually located under the thumb
- An index finger on the trigger, similar to a handgun
- Direct touch with the tip of the nailer (optional)
Some siding nailer models even have a total lock system that doesn’t allow nail driving unless it is toggled off.
One of the lesser thought of features is the regular exhaust vent. To drive the nails, a nailer needs to utilize a quick burst of pressurized air. This air has to leave the nail gun at the same moment the nail leaves the nailer. Now, this might seem like a harmless part of the mechanism, but if the exhaust isn’t turned away from the user, the pressurized air can throw dust, sand, or other grainy material into your eyes, nose, or mouth. This is also the reason why you should always
7. Ergonomics and Extra Features
Lastly, if you do not have any extra requirements in terms of sole performance and nail magazine, you should look for extra features like:
- A rubber contact tip – this is installed specifically with siding in mind. By depressing the nailer into the material, you risk damaging it. Maybe not for the first few nails, but once the rhythm starts and you get experienced, the pace won’t allow you to track every single time you pressure the siding board. That’s why a rubberized tip is a wanted feature, to easy and absorb the shock.
- Multi-layered handle – holding a power tool like nailers is a tiresome job. We think that every nailer should have additional layers of softer material to absorb all the shock that your wrists may endure while driving the nails into the siding.
- A rotating air intake – if you tend to move a lot around the work site, a rotating intake will help you turn around and maneuver with ease. This is not a must-have, but it will certainly spare you from untangling the air intake hose.
FAQ About Siding Nailers
1. Can you use a siding nailer for other tasks?
The short answer is – it depends. We are aware that not many people can, or should, get every type of nailer out there. But, if you decide to get a siding nailer, you should know that it can be used for other tasks. Works around the house and smaller fixing jobs are possible with a siding nailer that has adjustable pressure. But, on the other hand, you cannot do roofing, or other heavy-duty nailing jobs, because, as we mentioned, siding nailers are not as strong, and they shouldn’t be because siding can be sensitive.
2. What kind of nails do you use for siding?
As siding shouldn’t be nailed as tightly, the nails used to do it vary from 1-inch nails to 2 ½ or even 3-inch nails in some cases. The nails should be driven 3/4 inch into the base – if a nail goes in deeper you risk integral damage, and if it doesn’t go as deep as needed, the siding will remain flimsy. This is, of course, a general rule which is open to adjustments.
However, if you plan to install an extra layer of material between the siding and the base, a longer nail will be needed. Always double-check the measures before you start driving nails with your siding nailgun. Every siding task is somewhat unique and the corrections should be dealt with on the spot.
3. Can I use other nailer types for siding?
Even though this seems like a logical thing to do, we do not encourage using other nailers for siding. The reason for this is – siding nailers are designed to handle the nail size and the pressure that siding materials handle. People used to do the siding with a roofing nailer, which is possible but is a hard task due to roofing nailers being more aggressive.
There you have it – everything you need to know to get the best siding nailer among all the various models. Siding is a crucial part of a building, and you need the absolute best tools to do it. Whether you are a professional contractor or a newbie builder, one thing is certain – you need decent tools to get the job done. Some cultures even believe that a handyman is only as good as his tools, and we think there is truth to that. We encourage you to make a checklist of things you need and go through our siding nailer reviews to pick the most fitting model for you.
Lastly, if you have any dilemmas or questions, feel free to contact us and we will gladly return to you with the info – ASAP! Get your tools, materials, and plans ready and start building!