Ranking the Best Types of Roofing Nails (2022 Update)

Types of Roofing Nails - Blog Cover

As a roofing contractor, you probably know the value of using the proper roofing nails for the project. But all too often, these unsung heroes of the industry go overlooked. The types of roofing nails you use may not be a deal-breaker for your customers, but your reputation is on the line if you use the wrong kinds. 

While your customers will likely be more concerned with the kinds of shingles and vent caps used in the project, as a contractor, you must know the best types of roofing nails to use for each job. So today, Roofer’s Guild closely looks at some of the best roof nail types in 2022. 

1) Stainless Steel Roofing Nails

Our list starts with stainless steel roofing nails because they are a happy medium between more expensive galvanized steel roofing nails and less expensive aluminum nails. Plus, they have some unique advantages. 

First of all, stainless steel holds up very well to corrosion and rust, making it a reliable choice in many different climates. In particular, stainless steel roofing nails are probably your best option if you are working on a property in an area with a lot of salt in the air (properties near the beach, for instance). 

Stainless steel roofing nails are also a solid choice when corrosion is a factor, but you must keep project costs low. 

2) Metal Cap Roofing Nail

Metal cap roofing nails or steel-capped roofing nails are a good choice if installing rolled roofing systems. The main advantage of metal cap roofing nails is that they have a larger head, allowing more surface area to hold on to materials. 

These types of nails offer a very reliable hold which is why they work great for heavier roofing materials. In addition, they typically have a heavier shank gauge, which also improves their holding power over typical roofing nails. 

If your project requires even more protection, these roof nails can also be electro-galvanized to make them more corrosion-resistant. 

3) Galvanized Coil Roofing Nails

This is probably the most common type of roofing nail. Galvanized coil nails are so common because they tend to be the most affordable kind of roofing nails. In addition, galvanized coil nails have a zinc coating that allows them to stand up to corrosion reasonably well. 

The drawback to these kinds of roofing nails – what makes them the most affordable option – is that the zinc coating is not made to last forever. Therefore, these kinds of nails typically have a shorter lifespan than others we will mention in this list. 

Eventually, the zinc coating strips away, exposing raw steel. The raw steel will then begin to rust, and replacement will likely be required. 

4) Copper Roofing Nails

Moving down the list, we have copper roofing nails. You will want to use copper roofing nails if you are installing slate tile roofing and copper sheet metal roofing systems. 

Because slate roof tiles are held only by roofing nails, you need to ensure that you use at least copper nails instead of galvanized nails. 

Copper nails will also make your job easier if a slate tile needs to be replaced in the future. You will also need to use copper nails to install copper valleys. If you install any copper roofing components, you must use copper nails. 

Copper isn’t indestructible, though. Like galvanized coil roofing nails, copper roofing nails have an outer layer of zinc to prevent corrosion. The copper nail will be exposed to the elements when the zinc layer erodes. 

5) Plastic Cap Roofing Nails

While plastic cap roofing nails aren’t the most rugged and durable kind of roofing nails on our list, they certainly have their place. That’s why you will likely see these nails on most roofing job sites. These are ring shank-type nails typically made of high carbon steel. 

Plastic cap roofing nails are typically used to hold lighter roofing materials in places such as underlayment, vapor barriers, base sheets, or soundproofing materials. 

These are ideal for when you are at the stage of installing the roofing felt but don’t have the shingles yet. In addition, plastic cap roofing nails can hold materials in place and prevent leaks. 

6) Ring Shank Coil Roofing Nails

As the name implies, ring shank coil roofing nails are threaded. This is a very durable and reliable type of roofing nail because when you drive them, the threading creates a locking effect with the wood fibers you are working with. 

They cannot be removed easily and hold up very well in high-wind areas. 

Ring shank coil roofing nails are also ideal when working on a property where expansion and contraction are factors. You can also use them effectively when working with softwoods or roofing materials that might split if driven with a regular nail. As a result, they are an excellent choice for underlayment, asphalt shingles, and even siding.