I’m interested in doing fiber cement board siding. I only have
15 square, my own house. I thought a pneumatic nailer would keep
things consistent. Now I see there are roofing nailer and siding
nailers. The only difference I see is the length of nail roofing
goes 1 ¾ siding will go to 3 inch. I would use the 1 ¾ length…
Anyone know if the siding nailer performs better than a
roofing gun? I’m wondering also if there are special nails
needed for cement plank siding. Stainless, ring shank, etc.
I'm doing fiber cement siding (and new windows) on my house now. I opted to
hand nail... 2" roofing nails. The long length is because the house is
sheathed with 3/4" Johns-Manville Weatherite Sheathing (the brown fiber
sheathing commonly used a half century ago). One of my associates did his
house in fiber cement last year. He used a siding nailer with ring shank
siding nails. I trust his choice of pneumatic nailer as he is the long time
hardware manager for a family owned chain of home improvement stores. Part
of his rationale in using the siding nailer was that the ring shank nails
would hold in the sheathing (he used plywood rather than OSB) pretty well
even if he missed a stud. For cutting the siding he used a cordless tile saw
with carbide blade. I borrowed his tile saw last year to cut the fiber
cement trim (5/4 X 4). The slow speed of the saw resulted in little airborne
dust. BTW, he trimmed with white pine.
I went the hand nailing route as I'm working alone and figured that I'd
spend more time measuring, climbing up and down from the pump jacks, and
cutting than I would actually nailing--that has proven to be the case. For
cutting the siding itself I'm using Porter Cable fiber cement shears--no
dust. For the trim I'm using my angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut
the fiber cement trim--lots of dust.
Regarding the nails, if you blind nail galvanized are fine. If you face nail
I'd go with stainless. I'm blind nailing with galvanized and use stainless
siding nails in the cases where I need to face nail (e.g., under windows,
the occasional butt joint where the siding will not lay tight due to wavy
You should check the manufacturer's specs for the type of nails they
recommend for their product. You may want to follow their instructions
to maintain the warranty. I've been looking into fiber-cement siding
and just bought a Porter Cable Coil 350 nailer. It shoots 1 1/2-3 1/2
nails. I'm planning on using 2" hot dipped galvanized ring shank nails.
I've looked at the Hardiplank and Certainteed products (check their
websites) and they recommend either hot dipped galvanized or stainless
steel nails. I'm not a pro but I believe most roofing nailers shoot
electro-galvanized nails. I went for the PC Coil nailer instead of a
conventional framing gun for a couple of reasons- 1) It offers me most
versatility because I can use this gun for framing, siding, fencing,
etc. and 2) I was worried that a conventional framing using plastic
strip collated nails might leave bits of plastic under the nail heads
when doing siding. The PC Coil nailer has an adjustable depth feature
to keep the nail heads flush with the siding and uses wire collated
coil nails. I haven't loaded it with nails yet but it is quite a beast
of a nail gun. I definitely wouldn't want to do siding with it for a
living. They do make dedicated siding nailers that might be a little
lighter and user friendly but again I opted for versatility. You also
may want to check on availability of nails for the particular gun that
you chose. At this point I'm planning on ordering nails from Tool Crib
(Amazon) as I haven't seen nails for the PC Coil nailer in my local
Borg or builder's supply store. Good luck with your project.
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