Air nailers vs hand nailing

The thought of hand nailing absolutely terrifies most roofers. This roofer started with Paslode and Senco staple guns in 1977. Switched to Bostich then Bosch coil guns in the 80’s. Decided to separate from the pack and become a real roofer. You know, do it right, to code, to shingle manufacturers instructions and specifications. What a concept ! Behave in a professional fashion !
Guns are fast, also inconsistent. Not possible to correctly fasten an entire roof with a gun. After thousands of inspections can confidently say that. Too many variables. Temperature, humidity, how many air lines, how long are those air lines, are guns in good condition or gummed up and treated like tearoff debris. A good compressor, 2 guns, hose, oil, and 5 boxes of 7,200 count garbage electro galvanized nails will set you back a good $2,800 while a shingling hatchet costs about $22. Then there’s the talent and integrity of the shingler. Paid piecework? Bad nail job. What nailing line? See, on every shingle wrapper there is this little diagram with 4 nails in it. Over driven? Angle driven? Under driven? Misplaced? Who cares, the homeowner will never know and THAT is what counts ! Nail driven straight with head flush to shingle surface? Get outta here ! I’m in too much in a hurry. Piecework requires that. Manufacturers don’t provide this because they have nothing better to do. Proper fastening is crucial and a requirement by manufacturers and code. Yes there are codes. Homeowners don’t seek an improperly installed roof. They expect quality and professionalism. Guns are slap it on production race to the next job while hand nailing is craftsmanship. With hand nailing every nail is correct. Not so with guns. Tileman is getting a real bad headache about now. Probably voted for Plugs. With guns you stand and stoop all day. Hard on the back. With hand nailing you can sit down. With guns you can’t hear the radio. By the time you set up your compressor, run out your air lines, oil up and load your guns, I’ve got 1-1/2 squares on, got my stair step in place, got my shingles peeled and placed ( unless it’s too hot ). A good hand nailer can keep stride with a gun guy…. Whose nailing is piss poor and mine is 100% correct. I dare the 99% of you who are terrified of hand nailing to try it once. Homeowners who love their homes are more than willing to pay extra for it. Quality has a price see. No, I double dog dare you, make that triple dog dare you to try it. You just might learn something.

I actually somewhat agree with what your saying, and by that I agree a roof isn’t worth it’s weight whenever it’s not fastened properly, However thats about as far as it goes. Yes there are times I prefer hand nailing, and if the situation arises where hand nailing is better that’s what I’ll do, but a trained roofer that knows the equipment he/she is using there’s no reason a coil nailer couldn’t be used. Yes you have to pay attention and adjust accordingly throughout the day but most anyone with proper training and experience should be able to operate a nail gun without any trouble. I can’t speak for anyone else on this forum or how there crews work but I can assure you I don’t believe that most would allow the substandard quality your seeing. I have a feeling that no matter how great a job anyone does your going to find fault regardless. That’s ok because no matter how perfect you claim you are I’d bet there’s plenty of errors on your side of the fence also. I hope you have a safe and merry Christmas my friend, and I do hope some day you will find peace with whatever is getting the better of you.

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