DeWalt DW45RN Coil Roofing Nailer
Performance has been outstanding with the DeWalt DW45RN Coil Roofing Nailer and the light weight design is intuitive. Even though it lacks a sequential fire mode, this model is one of the best I've used.
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Like its cousin the framing nailer, the roofing nailer has increased the speed of construction work 8 to 10 fold. But unlike the framing nailer’s collated nail stick, most roofing nailers like the new DeWalt DW45RN Coil Roofing Nailer use a coil of wire-collated nails in a round canister. Whereas the framer is used almost exclusively for framing, the roofing nailer is a little more versatile around the jobsite being used on roofs, siding, and anywhere a relatively short, large-headed nail is needed to hold thinner materials in place.
All things equal, we prefer the roofing nailer for its larger nail capacity which allows us to do more work with fewer reloads. It also tends to fire quicker and come in lighter than framing nailers. The larger nail capacity of a coil magazine adds to the weight, so stick nailers remain popular in framing where a lot of the work is above the shoulder. Roofing nailers are rarely enter overhead use, so capacity trumps the lower fastener weight.
There is slightly more differentiation in design of roofing nailers compared framers, but in the main they function fairly similarly with a few key differences to bring them into their respective niches. I took the new DeWalt DW45RN onto the jobsite to see what it had to offer. We had some shingles, siding, and house wrapping to install.
The most important consideration for any nail gun is the weight. Securing shingles and siding is an all-day or multiple day job and if the tool is heavy, the work is brutal. It’s not only the tool weight, but picking up and holding heavy materials in place adds to the fatigue of the job, so having a light nail gun is a big advantage. Fortunately, the 5.2 pound DeWalt coil roofing nailer is quite light in this class.
The nailer feels comfortable in the hand with the overmold grip and trigger placement but, of course, the real test is on the jobsite over hours and days.
Several features that you may find on other nailer classes aren’t present like a jam release latch, no mar pad, dry fire lock out, and adjustable exhaust vent. These are hardly industry standards for roofing nailers and honestly aren’t that big of a deal. It’s always good to look for them since sooner or later, someone is going to start making tweaks in these areas if users feel they will be beneficial.
One feature you do find on some roofers is an actuation selection. The DeWalt DW45RN is designed to bump fire only. The vast majority of users will rarely – if ever – use a sequential mode on their roofing nailer, but it’s worth noting since some may look for it.
Siding With The Nailer
The nailer accepts 120, 0.120-inch diameter, 15-degree roofing nails ranging from 3/4-inch to 1-3/4 inches long. Manufacturers have used various mechanisms on the nail canister to adjust for the nail length and sometimes those mechanisms are not very user-friendly. The DeWalt’s nail basket easily adjusts to accommodate the different lengths of nails, going up and down without a problem.
The nail depth gauge adjustment is easy to access and operates as smoothly. So does the shingle guide adjustment, which is like a handy, built-in jig that allows consistent shingle spacing.
I was impressed with the nailer’s smooth operation. Sometimes coil roofing nail guns will jam or misfire but I haven’t had that happen so far. Needless to say, fighting these jams in the middle of a job is annoying, but this nailer seems to pull the nails very smoothly off of the coil.
Its light weight was the big advantage I expected it to be, but just as importantly, the gun is well-balanced and comfortable to work with for longs periods of time.
It’s always wise to check the tool before use to be sure it’s ready to operate properly. Properly maintain it by oiling as DeWalt suggests so you won’t blow the seals and always use at the manufacturer-recommended 70-120 PSI.
Pro Tip: Always read the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to oil your nailer and how much to use. Be the expert on site and remind greener crew members of important maintenance to keep your tools working well.
The only improvement that comes to mind is the addition of a belt clip. It is a big tool to carry around your belt, but being able to hang it there for just a moment while you reposition materials or climb would make the job easier.
The Bottom Line
Performance has been outstanding with the DeWalt DW45RN Coil Roofing Nailer and the light weight design is intuitive. Even though it lacks a sequential fire mode, this model is one of the best I’ve used.
One interesting fact is that the nailer is capable of firing 10 nails per second. I don’t know many people that can work effectively at that pace, but it is good to know it will work faster than you need it to.
I certainly recommend the DeWalt coil roofing nailer to my fellow Pros. The light weight and smooth operation make the repetitive task of nailing shingles, siding, and house wraps much easier. At around $225, it’s a pretty solid value and the 7-year warranty shows that DeWalt has confidence in the longevity of the build.
DeWalt Coil Roofing Nailer Features
- High speed valve technology drives over 10 nails per second.
- Ergonomic design is lighter than leading competitive coil roofing nailers.
- High life engine, seals and feed system for durability and long life.
- Steel skid plates with rubber inserts protect the tool and help to stop it from sliding.
- Depth adjust wheel with numbered detents helps drive nails to the proper depth into a variety of materials.
DeWalt DW45RN Coil Roofing Nailer Specifications
- Model: DeWalt DW45RN
- Power Source: Compressed Air
- Collation Type: Coil
- Fastener Angle: 15-degree
- Fastener Diameter: 0.12″
- Fastener Length: 3/4 – 1-3/4″
- Magazine Capacity: 120
- Actuation Mode: Bump
- Operating Pressure: 70 – 120 PSI
- Height: 10″
- Length: 12″
- Weight: 5.2 pounds
- Warranty: 7 years
- Price: $224.99