Having a solid and reliable roof over your head gives you a sense of comfort and security. Apart from keeping you dry, a properly installed roof acts as a protective envelope against several natural elements. Roofing is the process as well as the materials used for the structure that forms the roof. Roofing is an important part of the construction. Whether you are an independent roofing expert/technician (roofer) or work for a contractor, you have to deal with all kinds of roofing material. Another important thing that roofers need to know is the right set of tools and equipment. In this guide, we will see some essential roofing tools that every roofer must have and know how to use.
Roofing is a tough job that puts a lot of stress on your hands, back, and upper body. But if you gather all the essential tools and equipment, then you will not only do the job faster but with very less physical strain.
Without further ado, let us jump into the essential roofing tools list. Note that some of the tools that we mentioned here are a boon to roofers while some tools are general-purpose tools.
- Essential Roofing Tools List
- 1. Roofing Nailer (Pneumatic Nail Gun)
- 2. Roofing Hatchet
- 3. Hammer Stapler
- 4. Roofing Shovel (Shingle Removal Shovel)
- 5. Drill
- 6. Hammer
- 7. Air Compressor
- 8. Pry Bar
- 9. Reciprocating Saw
- 10. Circular Saw
- 11. Metal Cutter Shear
- 12. Tin Snips
- 13. Nails
- 14. Roofing Cement Tube
- 15. Caulking Gun
- 16. Ladder
- 17. Ladder Hoist
- 18. Safety Harness
- 19. Rope Grab
- 20. Roof Jacks
- 21. Utility Knife
- 22. Chalk Line
- 23. Tape Measure
- 24. Framing Square and Speed Square
- 25. Wheelbarrow (or Dumpster)
- 26. Broom
- 27. Toolbelt
- 28. Gloves
- 29. Hard Hat
- 30. Shoes
- 31. General-Purpose Tools
Essential Roofing Tools List
1. Roofing Nailer (Pneumatic Nail Gun)
A crucial part of the roofing is installing new shingles. A Roofing Nailer is a power tool that works on compressed air and it makes the job of installing shingles much easier and faster. Roofing Nailers can hold several nails in their cartridge and fire nails with a simple trigger.
You can use Roofing Nailer on all kinds of shingles such as asphalt, waterproof tar paper, simple building paper, fiberglass shingles, etc. There are nail guns that deliver two nails per second but you have full control over the trigger.
2. Roofing Hatchet
A Roofing Hatchet is a special tool that helps you remove nails and shingles. In addition to this, you can also cut shingles and drive nails. One end of the head is a blade or hatchet that helps you in cutting or lifting shingles from the roof.
The other end of the head is a regular hammerhead that helps you drive nails into shingles. Some Roofing Hatchets have additional features such as magnetic heads to pick up nails, shingle gauges to position them, etc.
3. Hammer Stapler
A Roofing Stapler or a Hammer Stapler (Hammer Tacker) is a special tool that helps the roofer secure roofing paper (plastic or paper sheet) to the surface of the roof. The advantage of a Hammer Stapler is that it delivers the staples at a very high velocity with a hammering motion.
4. Roofing Shovel (Shingle Removal Shovel)
Shingles get damaged over time. So, before installing new roofing, roofers must remove old shingles. The Roofing Shovel is a tool just for this purpose. As s result, it is also known as Shingle Removal Shovel.
Unlike a regular shovel, the edge of a Roofing Shovel has teeth that help the roofers in prying shingles and removing nails.
An Electric Drill, be it a Corded Drill or Cordless Drill, is a very useful tool to make holes and drive fasteners (screws). Access to electricity on top of the roof is quite difficult. So, we recommend you invest in a good quality Cordless Drill from a reputed brand.
The problem with Cordless Drills is their battery life. Depending on much you use a drill, you need a spare battery and charger so that you can easily and quickly swap the dead battery with a fully-charged battery.
While a Roofing Hatchet is technically a hammer, we recommend roofers get a regular hammer (a Claw Hammer). You can drive nails, hit stuff, and even remove nails using this hammer.
7. Air Compressor
While we listed only the Pneumatic Nail Gun or the Roofing Nailer in this essential roofing tools list, there are several other pneumatic tools that roofers can use which require compressed air.
Access to compressed air at a construction site is very difficult. This is where tiny portable Air Compressors come in handy. Air Compressor with at least a 6-gallon tank is a bare minimum.
8. Pry Bar
Pry Bars come in a variety of shapes and sizes and all of them essentially help you to remove nails on the roofing very easily.
9. Reciprocating Saw
The to-and-fro action of a Reciprocating Saw is very useful as it mimics the movements of a simple hacksaw. You can cut through wood, drywall, metal, plastic PVC, or any other material very easily.
You can get both Corded Reciprocating Saws as well as Cordless Reciprocating Saws. As the access to electricity on a roof is tricky, we recommend roofers invest in the cordless option. Nowadays, they are becoming very affordable even with the expendables (blades).
10. Circular Saw
A Circular Saw is a much more powerful option than a Reciprocating Saw. You can cut through all kinds of material including metal sheets, steel, iron bars, etc. Roofers can use Circular Saws to make precision cuts in metal roofing materials.
Even though Cordless Circular Saws are available, their price is astronomical. As you typically use a circular saw on the ground to cut metal roofing sheets and carry the roofing to the roof, you can get away with a much more affordable Corded Circular Saw.
11. Metal Cutter Shear
While a Circular Saw is the main tool to make straight cuts in large metal sheets, you can use a Metal Cutter Shear to make curved, square, or even straight cuts on all kinds of metal sheets.
Corded Electric Metal Cutter Shears are very powerful (for the job, which is small straight or curve cuts) and not that expensive. But if you want to go for a Cordless Metal Cutter Shear, then you have to spend a pretty penny.
12. Tin Snips
Another useful hand tool to cut metal sheets is Tin Snips. Whether you are cutting flashing or any fittings for drip edges or gutters, Tin Snips allows you to make quick and easy cuts to the metal.
Every roofer must have a good collection of Nails as they are the main fasteners that hold the shingles to the roof. Some of the common types of nails are Aluminum Roofing Nails, Galvanized Roofing Nails, and Rubber Gasket Nails.
If you are using a Pneumatic Nail Gun, then special roofing nails are available as coils that you can insert into the nailer and press the trigger.
14. Roofing Cement Tube
If you want to fill the gaps between shingles or flashing or any small holes in the roofing, then a simple Roofing Cement Tube is one of the effective solutions. Apart from filling holes and gaps, you can also patch leaks, and repair cracks or splits using Roofing Cement.
15. Caulking Gun
An alternative to Roofing Cement Tube is a Caulk Gun. Use a Caulking Gun to spread the caulk around cracks, gaps, or holes to seal them off.
One of the essential tools that any roofer needs is a ladder. As roofing is a job that requires easy access to the roof, the ladder is the only way to climb up. There are different types of ladders and depending on the type of job, a simple Straight Ladder might be sufficient or you need to get a Platform Ladder.
17. Ladder Hoist
Roofers who often work on the roof must carry heavy items to the roof. A Ladder Hoist is a simple yet useful device that helps roofers in carrying heavy times such as roofing shingles, plywood, or other heavy materials to the roof.
You can get Ladder Hoists in both manual as well as motorized versions. Depending on your budget and weight-carrying capacity, you can choose either one of these.
18. Safety Harness
As roofers, you have to take safety as a high priority. You will spend most of the time on the roof and even a small jerk or slip can be catastrophic. So, Safety Harness is a very important safety tool for all roofers. You can secure the Safety Harness to a safe point using lanyards.
19. Rope Grab
In addition to the safety harness, roofers can use a rope grab as a vertical safety accessory. If you accidentally fall from the roof, the rope grab mechanism locks the cam and holds you in that position.
20. Roof Jacks
If you are using a Roofing Ladder (a special ladder that sits on the roof), then Roof Jacks allow you to secure the ladder. You can use Roof Jack to maintain your footing without any chance of slipping.
21. Utility Knife
After you carry a box of shingles to the roof, you can use a simple Utility Knife to cut open the box very easily. You can also cut other small and similar things. Choose a retractable Utility Knife so that you can place it in your tool belt and access it when in need.
22. Chalk Line
In order to give a nice look to the roofing, the roofer has to make sure that all the shingles are perfectly aligned. So, how do they do that? Very simple. With chalk markings.
One of the simplest ways to do this is by using a box of Chalk Line or Chalk Powder. Roofers use metal strings to make straight lines and pour the Chalk Line over them to mark the lines. Using these lines as reference, they can then lay the shingles, flashing, drip edges, gutters, etc.
23. Tape Measure
This is a no-brainer. What to measure something accurately? A Tape Measure is a simple solution. Whether you are cutting metal sheets, measuring shingles, or flashing, you need to take all dimensions accurately so that the fit and finish of the roofing job are perfect.
24. Framing Square and Speed Square
When cutting shingles or flashing, you have to shape them as per the shape of the roof. Sometimes, these shapes can be pure right angles but some they can be random cuts.
In any case, you can use a Framing Square and a Speed Square to precisely mark the shape and make necessary cuts.
25. Wheelbarrow (or Dumpster)
If your job involves removing old roofing or shingles and replacing them with new roofing, then you have to deal with a lot of debris from the old shingles. Use a Wheelbarrow to carry the old shingles or better lease a temporary Dumpster and put all the waste in that.
After removing the old shingles, you have to clean the roof and prepare it for installing new roofing. A Broom is a simple and efficient tool to clear all the dust. Even after you finish installing new shingles, you can use the Broom to clean up after yourself.
Once you climb the roof, you don’t want to get down frequently to get a tool or something else. You have to carry all the necessary tools with you while you can. This is where a Toolbelt comes in handy. You can place all the essential hand tools in your tool belt and use them whenever necessary.
Protect your hands from sharp objects, nails, shingles, metal objects, or any other sharp things. Always carry a pair of Construction Gloves with you while roofing.
29. Hard Hat
Even though you stand on the roof while roofing and there is nothing above you, there is a chance that debris falls from the roof while you are on the ground. Another worst-case scenario is if you trip and fall accidentally.
Without proper head protection, this will cause severe damage to your head or brain. So, always wear a proper Hard Hat, whether you are on the roof installing something, climbing up the ladder, or on the ground while roofing is going on. Never take chances with your head.
To remove or install roofing, roofers have to stand in tricky places, slanting roofs, uneven surfaces, etc. Anti-Slip Shoes are your companion here. They will give the grip you need to stand on such surfaces and at the same time, they are very tough (they will protect your feet).
31. General-Purpose Tools
Apart from the essential tools that we mentioned here, you might need to carry some additional general-purpose tools. These include Screwdrivers, Pliers, levels, etc. Additionally, you might also need Rakes, Magnetic Sweepers, Safety Goggles, Toe Boards, Sawhorses, Tarps, etc.
Roofing is a tough job. Roofing Technicians or Workers (simply Roofers) must look after safety while working on the roof and at the same time, use all the necessary tools to get the job done.
Speaking of tools, in this guide, we saw some of the basic and essential Roofing Tools. All Roofers must know how to use these tools and at the same time, possess them to use on the job.
We hope that this Essential Roofing Tools List helps get an idea about the basic tools for Roofing. If you feel that we missed something or want us to add a tool or two, do let us know in the comments section below. It will not only help us but also our readers.