roofing tools

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There’s nothing worse than showing up at work and realizing you don’t have the proper roofing tools and equipment. Good tools make roofing easier, more productive and why not, more fun.

We’ve spent hundreds of hours researching to find out what are the best roofing tools of 2019, and hope our final picks will help you out.

We selected roofers tools you can rely on to make your job easier and increase your work productivity.

Whether if you’re a roofer, a professional contractor or a DIY roofing enthusiast, this article is for you.

Below you’ll find our final roofing tools list with product recommendations, reviews, top features, and pros and cons. Let’s get this started.

P.S: If you’re specifically looking for tools to install metal roofs (cutting, bending, marking, measuring tools), check our new article on the best metal roofing tools of 2019.

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Best Roofing Tools in 2019:


Roofing Nailers

Our #1 Pick: Hitachi NV45AB2 (Metabo)

The Hitachi NV45AB2 is a popular and exceptional coil roofing nailer.

It’s fast, well-balanced, reliable, durable, lightweight, air-powered and very easy to use.

Perfect for professional contractors and for DIY-ers as well.

A roofing nail gun is a must-have tool for every roofer. Gun nailing is fast, precise, clean and gets the job done quick and efficient. Coil roofing nailers are the right choice for the job.

Even if it’s 2019, there are still lots of “Nail Gun vs Hammer” debates. While all the roofers should have hammers and nails, relying on them for everything would be a total mistake. Keep reading and you’ll find out why.

Nail guns are fast, lightweight and very easy to use. A standard coil roofing nail gun is able to drive up to 100 nails per minute, at the right depth.

Also, with a nailer, you can only use one hand to operate it.

You just need to aim the nailer at the right place, press the trigger once and done, you’re ready for the next one. It takes a second. When you’re on the roof, it’s important to put your safety first. It is ideal to have a spare hand to use it to support yourself.

With a hammer, you need both hands to drive a nail. One hand holds the nail tight in the right position, while the other hand has to hit the nail several times until it goes in.

All that while making sure the nail goes straight and not angled. There’s also the risk to injure your fingers, so you have to be careful with your hits.

Everyone wants fast and great quality work. It is safe to say that if you use hammers, the nailing process will be slow, and the result will be of average quality. These things can put you out of business straight away.

Sure, for small jobs you can go old school with the classic combination: hammer and nails. But if you’re a professional, always choose a nailer gun.

P.S: If interested, check our latest article on the best roofing nailers in 2019.

Also Great Roofing Nailers:

  • BOSTITCH RN46-1 – definitely one of the best roofing nailers out there, it’s air powered and weighs only 5.8 lbs.
  • Max CN445R3 – a fantastic and one of the best nail guns, a bit more pricey but worth the money.
  • PowRyte Elite 11– an affordable option, this gauge roofing nailer does its job really good for its price, it is air powered and has a 120 nails magazine capacity.
  • WEN 61782 – works well for the cheap price, but best to use for small projects, since it won’t last you long.

Air Compressor

Best for a Large Crew: ROL-AIR 8422HK30

This Rolair is the largest two-stage compressor available, with 20.1 CFM and 90PSI.

Comes with a reliable, powerful made to last, fuel-efficient Honda engine.

Rolair compressors are one of the most popular and trusted products in the roofing industry.

To operate your pneumatic tools, you need a reliable air compressor. You need to make sure the air volume (CFM) and air pressure (PSI) are compatible with your air tools.

Choosing the right size of your next air compressor depends on how many roofing nailers you plan to use at the same time.

If you have a large crew and you want to handle large professional roofing projects, consider investing in a wheelbarrow compressor with a high CFM, a powerful engine and reliable PSI.

Best for Small Projects (Two Nailers): Makita MAC2400

A unit with a larger air tank will allow you to complete the job faster and more effectively – perfect for job-sites.

For smaller projects, you can go with a smaller yet very effective compressor.

This Makita MAC2400 is an ideal choice for powering two nailers at the same time.

Comes with a twin-stacked tank, sustaining 130PSI, and delivering 40PSI (4.8 CFM) and 90 PSI (4.2 CFM).

It is powerful, quite and made to last in tough conditions.


Roofing Chalk Snap Line

Top Pick for Roofing Chalk Line: Tajima CR301JF Chalk-Rite

One of the most popular hand tool used to snap lines while shingling, is this Tajima model.

It will last you longer than other models, designed with a rugged cast aluminum case and with a slip-resistant rubberized grip.

This Tajima chalk line comes in different variants from: extremely bold, extra bold and ultra-thin.

Chalk lines are the perfect way to make sure you align and install the shingles correctly along horizontal and vertical guidelines. Snap lines are usually budget-friendly and essential for a job well done, and an attractive installation.


Roofing Knives & Hook Blades

#1 Utility Knife: Milwaukee Fastback 3

This heavy-duty Milwaukee is practical, heavy can keep 4 extra blades inside the knife.

It’s easy to use, lightweight and smartly designed to make cutting easy and convenient.

One of the roofing hand tools you need to have in your roofer’s toolbox is the utility knife.

A retractable knife will do the job just right, and since you’ll be using it often it’s recommended to pick one with replaceable razor blades.

This way, you’ll only have to change the blades and not the knife.

Goes Well With: Hook Blades for Cutting Shingles

Asphalt shingles are rough and hard to cut.

To cut shingles you need durable, sharp and heavy duty hook blades that can attach to your utility knife.

These Milwaukee blades are a great addition to your utility blade.

Remember, always be careful with these sharp knives.


Roofing Ladder

Best Roofing Ladder: Louisville Ladder FE3228

Definitely, this is one of the best extenstion ladders to get safely onto steep roof.

Made of fiberglass, this sturdy ladder can hold up to 300 lbs, which is more than enough for a person carrying materials and tools.

Meets OSHA and ANSI standards. Ideal to keep you safe when working near electricity.

To safely access the roof, you will need a sturdy extension ladder, and for the best stability choose a heavy duty one. The ladder you choose should also comply with OSHA standards.

Make sure to set it up correctly and extend it long enough above the gutter. You should have it tied to the roof as an extra security measure.

When picking a ladder, check for:

  • load capacity
  • extension length
  • what material is made of

You cannot go wrong with a ladder made of fiberglass. Fiberglass ladders are safe to use around electricity and is usually made for heavy-duty jobs providing extra stability.

It is a bit heavier to carry around, so it might be hard to move it safely by yourself. Make sure to have someone with you to help you with it.


Roof Ladder Hooks

Our #1 Pick: Qualcraft 2481 Ladder Hook with Wheel

This ladder hook comes equipped with wheels and can be used with a wide variety of ladders.

It is easy to attach to the roof peak and does not damage the shingles.

Using roof ladder hooks is an ideal way to safely secure the top of your ladder to a rooftop.

The hook attaches to the peak of a roof and allows you to secure the ladder in place.

Some roof ladder hooks also have rubberized wheels allowing you to roll the ladder up to the top without damaging the shingles.

When you got it up in the desired place, you can safely use the roof ladder to help you climb the roof safely.

Shears Attachment for Cutting Metal

Our #1 Pick: DEWALT DWASHRIR Impact Ready

This attachment is a great addition to your 18V-20V drill and impact driver.

Perfect to cut corrugated metal sheets, asphalt shingles, sheet metal, vinyl sidings and more.

It cuts straight lines without destroying the protective coating of the material.

Shear attachments provide a practical, smart,quick and safe way to cut metal sheets without damaging the protective coating.

Cutting with anything producing heat, like a circular saw or a grinder, voids warranty by manufacturers.

These shears are ideal for cutting corrugated roofing in a straight line.


Roofing Shovels

Our Favorite: Bully Tools 91110 with Fiberglass Handle

This monster can remove multiple layers of shingles, flushed nails (including 16d nails) and pretty much every roofing material that stands in its way.

The handle is rugged, made of triple wall fiberglass, easy to maneuver. Made in USA and the brand offers limited lifetime warranty.

When installing a roof, you need a clean surface to work with, a surface without any old shingles, nails or other old materials.

A roofing shovel will help you tear off the existing shingles and to push them out of your way. A roofing shovel is a proper tool to remove the old shingles in order to make room for the new ones.

Roofing shovels help you to easily remove nails and to pull and rip the shingles off the roof. Since this is a hand tool, it should be lightweight, easy to use and to have a grippy, sturdy and comfortable handle.

You might like: Best Shingle Removal Tool in 2019


Roofers Hammer / Hatchet

Best Roofing Hatchet: AJC Magnet Roofing Hatchet

We recommend the AJC hatchet because it is an ideal all-in-one tool.

It comes with built-in utility blades, sliding gauge and nail claw. The hatchet is rugged and made to last.

A hammer is something every roofer should have in its toolbox. Even if you use a nail gun, there will still be times when you’ll be needing a hammer.

A roofing hatchet is a basic yet very useful tool to set or remove nails and to tear shingles with ease. Some come with utility blades included.

Also Great Roofers Hammers:


Roofing Ripper

Our Recommendation: Dasco Pro 640 Ripper Pry Bar

This tool is made for prying, ripping and pulling nails out.

Made in United States from high carbon steel, is durable and made to withstand some harsh abuse.

Overall a practical and very useful hand-tool to remove a wide variety of shingles: asphalt, cedar, tile, wood.

Rippers are versatile roofing tools that help you remove shingles, cedar, nails without making any damage to the roof structure.


Safety Hard Hats

OSHA Approved: Safety Hard Hat by AMSTON

What we like about this hard hat is the “Keep Cool” vents that allow air to flow, keeping your head cool.

It’s breathable and comfortable to wear in a hot summer.

Most importantly, it protects your head from injuries, meeting ANSI and OSHA standards.

Safety comes first and head protection is one of the most important things to consider before climbing a roof.

OSHA regulations specifically say that you must wear safety hard hats if you work in an area where there’s a risk of being injured in the head by falling objects.

Many roofers consider that they should not wear safety hats because they think there is no risk of getting injured in the head while on the roof. That’s wrong.

You can trip and fall, you can bump your head into something, so there is a risk of head injury, meaning that you should definitely wear a hard hat.


Slip-Resistant Shoes

#1 Pick for Roofing Shoes: Thorogood American Heritage

These professional work boots are slip-resistant, extremely comfortable and made to last.

The upper material is full-grain leather, the most durable material out there.

The outsole (MAX Wear Wedge) is flexible, non-slip and gives sticky good traction on steep roofs.

A critical piece of equipment is the roofing shoes. Wearing appropriate footwear on the roofs could save your life.

You need slip-resistant shoes that will keep you from slipping and falling off the roof.

The soles of the shoes must be grippy and give good traction. Whether you install a metal roof or an asphalt roof, you need shoes with rubber outsoles.

Preferably the soles should have behind a smart traction technology like Vibram or MaxWear Wedge.

A steel toe option will keep your toes safe, but they will be heavier to carry around. It depends on you if you want your shoes to feel lighter and have more flexibility, or if you don’t mind carrying that extra weight that comes with the steel toe.


Safety Kit: Harness, Ropes, Anchors

Best of The Best: Guardian Fall Protection Bucket of Safe-Tie

This Guardian Fall Protection safety kit contains everything you need to setup your personal fall protection system.

It comes with a universal harness, lanyard, rope, clamps, and roof anchor. The most important thing is that it meets and even exceeds OSHA regulations.

The safety harness is an important piece of the safety equipment you are required by law to wear. Even if the wheater conditions are great, and even if the roof is not too steep, you always need to wear your harness.

A safety system should be a top priority for everyone getting up on the roof. Just strap on the harness and tighten the straps well for a secure and snug fit.

You will need to fasten a roof anchor to the peak of the roof, and then clip the rope to the ring of the anchor and back to your harness.

Read here our guide on how to secure yourself on a roof, where we share the very best safety equipment for roofers: harnesses, anchor points, fall protection systems, lanyards, safety glasses and more.


Seam Rollers for EPDM Roofing

Our Favorite: Nighthawk Professional Silicone Roller

Perfect for EPDM Roofing, this roller is made to compress roofing membranes.

The rolling is made smooth and easy. The seam roller is also heat resistant and can be used for a wide variety of other purposes: wall vinyl, automotive work, PVC etc.

A seam roller comes in handy, especially for rubberized roofs. Perfect for compressing roofing membranes. Look for heat-resistant rollers that roll smoothly while doing an effective job.


Moisture Detection Tools

Best Overall: General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter,

This moisture detector is very popular among roofers, contractors, homeowners, and inspectors.

It offers a perfect way to detect leaks, mold or any water damage. The device is easy to use and provide accurate data.

Moisture detection tools for roofing are extremely helpful. To find out the dryness or moisture content of a roof surface, insulation or of roofing materials, you need a moisture meter.

Moisture in any roof, or in materials is a danger because it can cause a lot of damage, and mold.


Roof Brackets

#1 Roofing Bracket: Qualcraft Adjustable Bracket

This model is compliant with OSHA regulations, stable, easy to install, no damage to the roof, perfect for steep asphalt roofing.

It offers a larger step area to walk on, increasing your work efficiency and speed.

If you need a more comfortable and safer position while roofing, then you need roof brackets.

They are often used when the roofs are steep and are made to give you a stable, larger and a safer work area.

Roof brackets are very easy to install and remove without making any damage to the roof surface. They are designed to offer flat support for your feet while working on the roof.


Magnetic Sweeper

Best Magnetic Sweeper: Master Magnetics with Wheels

Lightweight and comfortable to hold, this sweeper picks up nails, bolts, wires, staples and more.

This rolling tool can collect up to 1.6 lbs of metal at a time, which makes it very practical to do a full cleaning around the house. It rolls over grass, dirt, driveways and other difficult terrains.

Every professional roofing contractor should leave behind a clean lawn and a clean roof. After any roofing job, it is normal to have a lot of nails and staples around the house.

A great roofing tool that will help you clean up all the metal debris is the magnetic sweeper. A rolling magnetic sweeper tool does its magic by picking up nails, screws, staples and any other metal debris.


Retractable Steel Tape

Best Measure Tape: Stanley Powerlock

We like this tape mostly because of its high-impact ABS case, which adds extra durability.

The end hook is Tru-Zero, making the measurements always accurate.

Excellent for roofing and for framing jobs.

If you’re a roofer a retractable measure tape is a must-have tool in your toolbox.

Everyone should own a measuring tape, from professional construction workers to DIY-ers.

You will use it more than you think to measure everything you need fast and easy.


Multi-Purpose Cutters

Our Favorite: Wiss MPX5 MaxCut

This cutter is designed for cutting sheet metal, roof shingles, vinyl, gutters and more.

It is multi-functional, including a wire cutter, bottle opener and wire bending feature.

Ideal for any type of roofing.

If you don’t like utility knives, you can choose a more comfortable option like a cutter with rubber handles.

A good cutter speeds up your roofing projects, can cut through composite shingles and even metal sheets.


Caulk Gun

Best Pick: Newborn 930-GTD Drip Free

This model is extremely popular because it simply does what it’s supposed to do.

You won’t experience any dripping, because it stops as soon as you let go of the trigger.

The handle is ergonomic and comfortable.

A caulking gun tool is mostly used for roofing repairs. You will need it to distribute caulk from tubes.

It should be lightweight and designed to prevent any dripping. A good caulking gun should also be comfortable to use.


Ladder Hoist | Shingle Lift

Best Ladder Hoist : TranzSporter TP4000 Honda Motor

TranzSporter has a wide variety of high-quality, reliable and durable ladder hoists.

With this model, you can safely and easily lift materials of up to 400lb.

The Honda engine is proven to be reliable and long lasting. We highly recommend this product to every roofing contractor.

This is a large tool, that in our opinion, every professional roofing company should own.

One of the most dangerous operations is getting materials (like shingles) on the roof.

Often workers are manually carrying the products while climbing a ladder. This process is against OSHA regulations and not to even mention, it is very dangerous.

A safety ladder hoist automates the process and lifts your materials safely from the ground up to the roof.

These lifters are perfect for moving shingles, metal materials, insulation materials, solar panels etc.

Ladder hoists are not necessary if you already have all the materials placed up on the roof before starting the job.


Electric drill

#1 Top Pick: Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Cordless 

This Dewalt Drill will fit any roofer’s needs.

The drill is lightweight, and comfortable to operate with one hand.

Plus it has a powerful 300-watt motor.

You will need an electric drill, especially if you do commercial and metal roofing.

It’s the obvious tool to drill holes in metal or concrete, and of course to install screws.

For the safest and the fastest installation, go with a battery powered, cordless lightweight drill.


Metal Snips

Most Popular: Midwest Aviation Snip Set

The set comes with both left and right shears.

We like that the blades were crafted to provide maximum durability.

The ergonomic handles are comfortable and protect your fingers from slippage.

Excellent choice for sheet metal work.

When working on metal roofing, you will be needing good metal snips to safely cut materials. They are hand tools used for cutting and manipulating metal sheets.

The snips are made from a light yet durable material and can cut through aluminum, flashings, or any other metal materials. Usually, they are available for both left and right cuts.


Tile Nibblers

Best Overall: M-D Building Products Tile Nippers PRO

A basic yet useful tool, this nibbler is extremely versatile.

It can cut really well and also reach difficult places to remove nails or debris.

This hand-tool can be also used to bend the metal sheets.

A useful and versatile tool is the tile nibbler, that has the purpose to grip, pinch, cut or pull materials like nails, sheet metal, screws or debris.

It is very convenient when you need to pull something from tiny, awkward spaces.


Tool Belt

#1 Top Quality: Occidental Leather Seven Bag Framer

If you want the best of the best, you should go for an Occidental Leather Tool Belt.

The belt is made in USA, and it’s the most comfortable, practical and durable model on the market.

One of the most practical pieces of roofing equipment is the tool belt.

In order to be practical and to increase your work speed, you need to hold your tools safely using a comfortable tool belt with bags and pouches.

If you’re interested in purchasing a new belt, read here our article on the best roofing tool belts in 2019.


Conclusion: We hope our roofing tools list helped you choose the right items. Remember, put your safety first and leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

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