Do you plan on starting a siding project but don’t have the right nailer? Do you have a roofing nailer and need to know how to use it for your Hardie siding?

Selecting a suitable nailer for a siding project can be demanding and expensive. Knowing other choices helps you reduce your expenses for similar results.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place where I will answer your questions.

You can use a roofing nailer for Hardie siding. Using this makes installing this type of siding much easier and faster. However, remember that not all roofing nailers are a good fit for Hardie siding because of their different attributes. Using a roofing nailer for Hardie siding requires some modification and special considerations.

In this article, you’ll learn how to achieve this for your siding project. I will also take you through various important points to help you decide which nailer to use.

Ready for a Roofing Quiz?

Which Nail Gun is Good for Hardie Siding?

Can I Use a Roofing Nailer for Hardie Siding

The best nail gun for Hardie siding is a Pneumatic Framing Nailer. The air compressor draws air in, compresses it, and then pressurizes it with a certain amount of PSI. 

Pulling the trigger on the framing nailer drives the nail into the material with a quick burst of air.

The speed of the burst starts at the PSI level set on the compressor. Remember, the Hardie siding is a soft metal that does not require framing nailers.

The framing nailer’s design helps to drive large nails quickly into thick materials or thick lumber.

A framing nailer will bend the nails, so you need a nail gun to drive small nails into soft materials.

Pneumatic nail guns are designed with advanced features to provide you with as much operational support as possible.

Depending on the siding you intend to attach, you can alter the pressure to get the best results.

In addition to accepting and holding siding nails firmly, traditional nail guns are less effective than pneumatic ones.

Of course, regular nail guns can handle the task, but it would be best to employ pneumatic nail guns to ease stress.

Below is a table showing the differences between Framing Nailers and Siding Nailers:

Siding Nailers Framing Nailers 
Help connect light pieces of wood, especially for the siding of a house.Helps connect large pieces of wood, e.g., 2×4, to frame a building.
Lighter than framing nailers.Heavier than siding nailers
Uses shorter nails, typically one ¼ to 2 ½ inches, often with wider heads.Uses 3- to 4-inch nails for piercing and joining lumber.
It can’t be cross-used for framing since it uses shorter nails. It can be cross-used for siding projects.
Expensive to purchase, depending on the manufacturer and model of the nailer.Cheaper to purchase depending on the manufacturer and model.

Are Framing Nailers Good for Hardie Siding?

You cannot use a framing nailer for a Hardie siding installation because it is a soft material.

You will bend the nails, and the siding will tear when you pull them out.

Framing nailers have a long-nose design unsuitable for driving small nails into soft materials.

It would help if you had a pneumatic nail gun to drive small nails into soft materials.

 If you are installing Hardie siding, you should not be driving large framing nails into the siding. You should be installing the siding as you would shingles. 

The nail gun used to install shingles is the same nail gun you need for installing Hardie siding.

You can consider using long nails to attach your siding to the exterior wood sheathing. However, you would need to use a framing nail gun for installing siding instead.

 It is a universal suggestion to employ a siding nail gun. But you can only use a framing nailer as a last resort. A framing nailer, on the other hand, is not an option.

Since framing jobs usually require longer nails designed to connect wood, siding nails are usually inadequate.

What Nail Size Should You Use For Hardie Siding?

The nail size will depend on the manufacturer’s instructions for your installed siding. For example, CertainTeed will tell you to drive 1-1/4″ nails every 6 inches.

If you are installing James Hardie siding, the instructions say to use 1-1/2″ nails every 8 inches. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions on installing siding. 

Doing this makes sure you are following the correct installation instructions. 

Plus, each type of siding has a different nail pattern. The nail pattern is the shape of the pattern which drives the nails through the siding.

The nail pattern will ensure the placement of the nails is correct to maintain the nail pattern on the siding. 

The number of nails per square foot on the siding will vary based on the manufacturer.

Aside from these, here are some of the best nails you can use for your Hardie siding: 

These nails are renowned for their resilience and quality, as they can support heavy weight.

Each has unique characteristics and various pros and cons, making them stand out. For example:

  • They have long-term endurance because they are products of stainless steel.
  • Some are products of superior 304 stainless steel, which is powerful.
  • They have the best holding power and gripping strength of most nails.

See More: Nail Plate Thickness: All You Need To Know)

Final Words

A roofing nailer can be used for various projects and is a great tool for many homeowners.

Roofing nailers drive large nails into wood or soft material like shingles. So you will need to make some alterations to use it to install Hardie siding.

The best option for this project is to use a pneumatic nail gun designed for soft materials like Hardie siding.

For this project, you can use framing nailers, but you will need a smaller nail.

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