The 7 Best Siding Nailers
7. DeWalt DW66C-1R
- includes a hard plastic case
- slim grip fits nicely in the hand
- has been know to jam
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
6. Max CN565S3 Supersider
- effective anti-double firing device
- comes with a belt clip
- maintenance-free filter
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
5. Hitachi NV75AN
- drives up to 3 nails per second
- rarely ever jams
- heavy but well balanced
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
4. Bostitch N66C-1
- allows for simple jam removals
- 515 inch-pounds of power
- feels a little bulky in the hand
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
3. Makita AN611
- adjust to different nail sizes
- nine depth settings
- low-noise coupler disconnection
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
2. Freeman PCN65
- trigger lock for safety
- transparent magazine
- comfortable padded grip
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
1. Hitachi NV65AH2
- selectable nailing mode
- wire collation deflection shield
- 200 to 300 nail capacity
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
The Right Tools For The Job
Walking down the aisle of a hardware store’s power tools department can be a confusing experience. There’s a wide range of almost any kind of tool, from drills to wrenches, with an even broader selection of brands and price points. It’s hard to know which among all these options you really need.
For serious craftsmen and women, a garage or basement will eventually contain pretty much every kind of tool. That’s not because these people get greedy or don’t know how to make use of one tool for a variety of jobs. It’s mainly because, to do a job right, you have to use the appropriate tool.
With that in mind, it would seem like a pretty bad idea to approach a siding project with a finishing nailer, much for the same reasons that it would be a bad idea to add American cheese to a pasta dish.
It’s important, then, to understand what separates a siding nailer from similar nail guns that could, in theory, provide a similar service. To understand that, however, it helps to understand what a good siding job can do for your house.
Siding on a house protects the lumber out of which the home’s frame is built. Anything from heavy rains to gale force winds can wreak havoc on a home, with the former posing particular threats in the form of rot and black mold. Good siding is like a firm layer of skin there to protect your house from the elements.
When applying siding, as with almost any other nailing job, the fewer nails you need to perform a task, the better. Piercing any material is liable to weaken it, so littering a piece of siding with too many holes can put the infrastructure of a home at risk. Fewer nails also means time saved in the siding process. If you’re a professional, that can save you money in man hours (some of which savings you can pass on to your customers, which, by word of mouth, should result in repeat business). If you’re doing your own siding, then you’ll have more time to spend doing anything else, while also appearing far more capable around the house.
What allows siding nailers to perform more quickly and efficiently than comparable nail guns has to do with the size of the opening through which a siding nail fires. In order to anchor your siding firmly against wind and rain without increasing the number of nails required to install it, siding nails come with much wider heads than those used in other nail guns. As a result, you need fewer nails to secure more surface area of the siding material, both speeding up your process and ensuring greater durability in the work.
What To Look For In A Siding Nailer
Fortunately for anyone in the market for a siding nailer, there are fewer variables among them than many other nail guns. While a large number of nail guns on the market offer different magazine styles, siding nailers universally utilize barrel magazines that make the units resemble the Tommy guns of the 1920s. If your child is hard-pressed for a Halloween costume, you can spray paint an old siding nailer, draw a line down his or her cheek and send them out trick-or-treating as Scarface.
Siding nailers also relieve you of the decision among pneumatic, corded, and battery-powered options, as the pressure needed to successfully drive a siding nail necessitates the use of a compressor. That does limit your maneuverability somewhat, but most siding jobs don’t put your gun at strange angles. When it’s time to reach the upper portions of a building, however, make sure you have a strong ladder or scaffolding at your disposal.
What you do need to consider when purchasing a siding nailer has mostly to do with the size of your average job. If you routinely work on large structures, siding them in their entirety, you’re going to want a gun that can accommodate you. That means it will need to be lightweight and capable of accepting a large-capacity magazine of nails. As far as weight goes, a nailer under five pounds would be ideal to reduce user fatigue.
Features like a light weight and a large magazine that isn’t prone to jams don’t come cheaply however. If you’re less likely to finish a whole siding job, and you need a gun more for the maintenance of your own home (which shouldn’t’ require more than the occasional siding replacement in the event of damage), you can get away with a heavier unit that can’t quite hold as many nails.
A Brief History Of The Nail Gun
Great men and women throughout history have had visions for the future of technology, the execution of which has brought about incredible inventions along the way. Often, when an idea is grand enough, an entire industry has to adapt to realize it. Such is the case with the nail gun.
Howard Hughes, noted filmmaker and aviator, envisioned a gigantic airplane made entirely out of wood. He called it the Hercules (though most know it as the Spruce Goose), and it was incredibly challenging to engineer and build.
One of the biggest challenges in the design was the weight of the rivets, which threw off the balance and lift capabilities of the plane. To solve this, Hughes’ engineer Morris Pynoos invented what we now know as the nail gun. The device operated by pneumatic force, just like the guns on our list. With it Hughes' engineering team nailed the body of the plane together while glue between the wooden elements set. Afterward, they removed the nails, and the plane was light enough to fly, though it was never deployed as intended. Iterations of the nail gun entered the market soon after, and countless thumbs were henceforth spared the agony of a poorly aimed hammer.