Roofing nails are an essential element of any roofing project, whether you're a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast. The right roofing nails can make the difference between a roof that's sturdy and weather-resistant, and one that's prone to leaks and damage. In this comprehensive review, we'll explore some of the best roofing nails available in 2023, examining their features, strengths, and weaknesses.
What to Look for When Buying Roofing Nails
Roofing nails, also known as clout nails, are a type of nail specifically designed for roofing materials. They typically have a large, flat head and a short shank, which provides more holding power. These characteristics make them ideal for attaching shingles, underlayment, and flashing to roofs.
The material of the roofing nail is a key consideration. The four most common types are:
- Galvanized Steel: These nails are coated with zinc to resist rusting. They're a common choice for asphalt shingles and other standard roofing materials. However, they can corrode over time in coastal areas due to the salty air.
- Aluminum: Lightweight and resistant to rust, aluminum nails are often used with metal roofing materials. They are not recommended for areas with high winds or heavy snowfall, as they may not provide enough holding power.
- Copper: Copper nails are highly resistant to corrosion and are often used for slate or tile roofs. They are more expensive than other types but can last for decades without rusting.
- Stainless Steel: These nails are the most resistant to corrosion and rust, making them ideal for coastal areas or roofs with a long lifespan. They are the most expensive option.
Roofing nails come in different lengths, typically ranging from 1 to 2 inches. The length you need depends on the thickness of your roofing material and whether you're nailing through just the shingle or also the roof deck. A general rule of thumb is to choose a nail that will penetrate the roofing material and go at least 3/4" into the wood deck below. Always check local building codes, as they may have specific requirements.
The head of the nail is also an important aspect to consider. Larger heads provide more surface area to hold down the roofing material, reducing the chance of wind damage. Some nails have a smooth head, while others have a ring or spiral design, which can provide additional holding power.
The shank is the long part of the nail that gets driven into the roof. There are three main types:
- Smooth Shank: These are the most common and least expensive. They're easy to drive in but provide the least holding power.
- Ring Shank: These have rings along the shank that create extra friction and holding power. They're more difficult to drive in but are less likely to back out over time.
- Screw Shank: These twist like a screw and provide great holding power. They're often used for metal roofing and in regions with high winds.
Some roofing nails have a coating that increases their holding power. The coating becomes tacky when heated by the sun, helping the nail to grip the roofing material. This is especially useful in hotter climates or for roofs with a steep slope.
Lastly, consider the reputation of the brand. Established brands often have better quality control and more reliable products. Look for brands that have positive reviews and are known in the industry.
Our Top Picks of 2023:
1. BOSTITCH CR3DGAL Coil Roofing Nail
BOSTITCH is a well-known brand in the construction industry, and their CR3DGAL roofing nails are a testament to their reputation for quality. These nails have a smooth shank and a 15-degree coil, providing excellent holding power. They are also galvanized, which means they're resistant to rust and corrosion.
These 1-1/4-inch nails are designed to be used with BOSTITCH's line of coil roofing nailers, but they're compatible with most other brands as well. Despite their excellent performance, they're also one of the most affordable options on the market.
- High-quality construction
- Excellent holding power
- Rust and corrosion-resistant
- Not as versatile as other options
2. Metabo HPT Roofing Nails
Metabo HPT Roofing Nails are known for their durability and reliability. Made with a wire collated coil, these nails are designed to reduce the chance of jamming in the nail gun. They have a large head size which delivers a solid holding power, and they're available in a variety of lengths to suit different roofing materials.
The nails are electro-galvanized, providing a good balance between resistance to rust and affordability. They're also compatible with most brands of nail guns, providing a versatile option for both professionals and DIYers.
- High durability
- Large head size for improved holding power
- Versatile and compatible with many nail guns
- Electro-galvanization is not as resistant to rust as hot-dipped galvanization
3. Hitachi 20163S Ring Shank Wire Coil HG Roofing Nails
Hitachi's 20163S roofing nails are designed for heavy-duty applications. With a 3-inch length and a .120 ring shank, these nails provide exceptional holding power. They're hot-dipped galvanized, providing superior rust and corrosion resistance.
The ring shank design allows these nails to grip the roofing material more effectively than smooth or screw shank nails. They are designed for use with Hitachi's line of coil roofing nailers, but they should be compatible with most other brands as well.
- Excellent holding power
- Superior rust and corrosion resistance
- Effective grip on roofing material
- Pricier than other options
4. Grip-Rite Coil Roofing Nails
Grip-Rite's 1-1/4-inch roofing nails are an excellent option for those on a budget. Despite their affordability, these nails are made with high-quality steel and are galvanized to resist rust and corrosion.
One of the stand-out features of these nails is their diamond point, which allows for easier penetration of the roofing material. They're designed for use with most brands of roofing nailers, providing versatility for a range of projects.
- Good quality for the price
- Diamond point for easy penetration
- Not as durable as other options
5. Simpson Strong-Tie S11A125RNBP
Simpson Strong-Tie's S11A125RNBP nails are a premium option for those who need maximum durability and rust resistance. Made from type 304 stainless steel, these nails are designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
These nails feature a ring shank for superior holding power, and they're designed for use with a variety of roofing materials. While they're more expensive than other options, their durability and resistance to corrosion make them a worthwhile investment for long-term projects.
- Exceptional durability and rust resistance
- Ring shank for superior holding power
- Suitable for a variety of roofing materials
- More expensive than other options
Choosing the best roofing nails for your project depends on several factors, including the type of roofing material you're working with, the weather conditions in your area, and your budget. While all the options we've reviewed here offer excellent performance, the BOSTITCH CR3DGAL and the Simpson Strong-Tie S11A125RNBP stand out as the best budget and premium options, respectively. Regardlessof which nails you choose, remember that quality materials and proper installation are key to ensuring a durable and weather-resistant roof.
Remember, the right roofing nail can enhance the durability of your roof, ensuring that it stands the test of time. While it might be tempting to save a few bucks on cheaper nails, investing in high-quality nails can pay off in the long run by reducing the need for costly repairs.
When choosing a roofing nail, consider the material and type of roof you're installing. Some nails are better suited for certain materials and applications than others. Also, consider the weather conditions in your area. If you live in a coastal or humid area, it's worth investing in stainless steel or galvanized nails for their superior rust resistance.
In choosing the best roofing nails of 2023, we considered the quality of the materials used, the nail design, the brand reputation, customer reviews, and price. All the nails on this list have proven to be reliable and effective in their respective applications, but the BOSTITCH CR3DGAL 1-1/4-Inch Smooth Shank 15-Degree Coil Roofing Nail and the Simpson Strong-Tie S11A125RNBP 1-1/4-Inch x .120 Ring Shank Type 304 Stainless Steel particularly stood out due to their exceptional quality, design, and value for money.
In conclusion, the best roofing nail for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. We hope this guide has been helpful in narrowing down your options and making your decision a little easier.