Roofing nailer.

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    Hello folks,
    I need to buy a new roofer nailer. What criteria should i put my attention on? Any brand suggestions: Makita or Hitachi?

    Rogers, Ohio

    I am a fan of the Max Super roofer. I have had mine for a while and it has held up very well, fires nice, rarely jams…


    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    elmwood park, NJ

    Never tried Makita. I have always used Bostitch I think I tried Hitachi, cant remember. People seem to really like them though

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I have a Porter Cable, Milwaukee and a Hitachi, I would go with the Hitachi over the other two. I do see a lot of Bostich out there also.


    I recommend Hitachi as well, although there is nothing wrong with a MAX.

    25 years ago, Bostich made the roofing gun to get, but has since changed their designs and suppliers, creating new models that do not match the reputation of older models.

    On the other hand, Hitachi’s have always been favored for their consistency, reliability, and longevity. Service parts are readily available as well, with a time tested, well proven air cylinder design.

    That design is called “Cylinder Valve Drive”. Not all Hitachi nail guns have this air cylinder design, but the nailguns that do are held in high esteem. The venerable NR83 framing nailgun has a “Cylinder Valve Drive” system. The NR83 has been around now for 40 years, and the marketing headline that HPT Metabo uses for the latest version of the NR83A5, is that it is built the same way inside as the original NR83A. So the fact that the Hitachi roofing nail gun has the same cylinder valve drive system, says a lot.

    There are a few deviations you might find with the Hitachi NV45AB2.

    One deviation is the bottom load magazine, vs the side load magazine. The bottom load has been discontinued now for several years, but you might still find one used, or as hold stock. I do not find any advantage with the bottom load, and can see why Hitachi stuck with the side load. Some older roofers wax nostalgic about the bottom load, and if that is something you are used to, then look for the Hitachi NV45AB2(S).

    Another deviation is the high power version, that Hitachi, in partnership with James Hardie Company, called the “Hardie Kit”. The Hardie Kit essentially increases the air volume held in the gun to deliver more punch to fully penetrate through fiber cement siding, without having to go back and hand tap the head flush. In the photo below, you can see what the extra air space looks like, as Hitachi did not paint the added body casting to hold the additional air. It is as cast (silver gray color) while the rest of the tool is Hitachi seafoam green.

    While the part number label on the tool in the photo above is no different than a normal Hitachi roofing nailer, the actual part number to the high power Hardie Kit roofer is NV45AB2(H), where (H) stands for high power, or Hardie, take your pick.

    Sadly, the (H) models cost 3 times as much ($600) as the regular Hitachi roofers ($200), but I think this is because no major retailer or etailer carries the (H) model. It is only available in specialty construction supply houses. Ironically, this special H model roofer used to be given away for FREE if you ordered so many units of Hardie plank materials in a given year. Hitachi/HPTMetabo also discontinued this high powered version, so whatever stock remains out there in supply houses is probably all that is left.

    I converted my newest Hitachi NV45AB2 (That I only paid $119 for on blow out simply because the name Hitachi was being replaced by Metabo HPT) into the high powered NV45AB2(H) by buying a “Power Set” kit (for 10 cents on the dollar, as it was mislabeled as a power cord by etailer, and the etailer didn’t know what it was or what to do with it. But I knew.)

    Once the kit arrived (box from Japan) I disssembled my nailgun and rebuilt it with the kit installed. Viola. A $600 roofing gun for less than $150.

    PLEASE NOTE: This post had 3 linked photos to illustrate the tools and parts discussed. It appears that since the moderation change, links to hosted photos are no longer allowed. Once the photos were removed, the post appeared.

    Pierrefonds, Qc

    No cordless roofing nailers out there?


    No cordless roofing nailers out there?

    Have you ever installed a roof?

    If not, watch the roofers on your next job.

    Or alternatively, look at these videos…

    https(colon)(two forward slashes) www(dot)youtube(dot com)/watch?v=EXNS7XdMQuw

    https(colon)(two forward slashes)www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=A2C1ysEit2s

    With that reality check, understand that the energy that actually drives a nail in a typical battery operated cordless nailgun or stapler is actually stored mechanical energy, not electrical energy.

    The electrical energy is devoted to a rotational motor that compresses a spring (or set of concentric springs). It is the mechanical energy stored in these compressed springs that drives the anvil to set the fastener.

    The time it takes the elecric motor to reclock the spring inside the cordless nailer is not conducive to the time intensive pace and endless tedium of nailing roofing shingles.

    PLEASE NOTE: Since the change in forum moderation, links to YouTube videos are apparently not permitted any longer. Hence the inconvenience of the links above.


    I’d go with Hitachi, trust it more, most tools I use are from this brand.

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