Today, let's take a look at one of our frequently asked questions, "what's the difference between a siding nailer and framing nailer?" When it comes to applications, such as siding or roofing, customers often don't understand why framing guns aren't the best tool for the job. Don't get us wrong, framing nailers are extremely versatile in purpose, and can definitely pull their weight for more than framing [framing nail guns are also great for decking, sheathing, subflooring and more]. And, in appearance, a coil framing nailer and a siding nailer look nearly identical. But, when it comes to siding installation, investing in a siding nailer may be worth the expense - and here's why.
The primary difference between a coil framing nailer and a siding nailer is nail size. Where framing requires much larger nails that penetrate deep and offer greater holding strength, siding does not require nearly as much support. Think of it this way, connecting 2x4 boards to frame a building requires much more holding power versus simply attaching thin planks to a wood base. Typically, you'll see siding nails range anywhere from 1-1/4" up to 2-1/2" in length, whereas framing nails can go 3-1/2" or more.
PRO TIP: If installing siding for the first time, be sure to research installation tips based on the type of siding you're using. Siding nailers are popular for use with fiber cement and wood siding applications. On the other hand, vinyl siding is typically hung rather than nailed, as it needs to expand and contract.
With some overlap in nail size, you may wonder whether framing nailers can be used for siding? The answer is, yes.
Framing nail guns can be used for siding installation, if the nail being used is long enough to attach the siding firmly to your exterior wood sheathing. While it's recommended to always use a siding nail gun for siding installation, in a pinch, you may be able to use a framing nailer instead. However, the same cannot be said inversely. Since most applications in framing require longer nails that are specifically intended to join lumber together, more often than not, siding nails will not be enough.
You may also find that siding nailers are a few pounds lighter than framing guns. The average siding nailer weighs right around 5 LBS., while coil framing nailers typically run 8-9 LBS. minimum. For those installing siding, this makes the siding gun that much more desirable, as it should be less fatiguing to operate.
As far as cost goes, you're looking at roughly the same price range on either tool. On Nail Gun Depot, you'll find an average range of $250 to $350 for either type of coil nailer. As with anything, build quality, brand preference and product features will all influence each tool's price.
~ The Nail Gun Depot Team