I am replacing some bad sizing of the house using this siding



Bevel Siding Cedar Aye/Clear Kiln Dried Vertical Grain 1/2x6-16

enter image description here

What would be the ideal nail size/type to install using this Hitachi nail gun?

enter image description here

(I think it is the Hitachi / Metabo HPT KNR9050A 3-1/2" Framing Nailer and 2" Brad Nailer Combo Kit)


  • Be aware that the shank surface area of a nail, which directly impacts holding power, decreases exponentially with diameter. Cedar siding is usually installed with dedicated ring-shank nails of about the same diameter as a 7d nail--slighly less than 1/8", in round numbers. Using trim nails from that brad gun, even of the heavier 16 gauge variety, pale in comparison. As cedar moves quite a bit seasonally, they'll be working out in no time. tl;dr... don't use the brad nailer. Pre-drill for nails near board ends and use suitable nails.
    – isherwood
    Jan 21, 2020 at 21:45
  • Here's an example of the nail I mentioned.
    – isherwood
    Jan 21, 2020 at 21:50
  • 1
    @isherwood since the cedar is vertical grain, the movement will be minimized. The siding HP chose is good stuff. Nailing the ends the way you mention is the best way to go. But I have seen older installs done with hand bang finish nails that worked. If he gets a siding gun those nails are ring shank, I have not been able to find any suitable coil nails that will work in the framing gun. Not saying there aren't any out there...
    – Jack
    Jan 22, 2020 at 5:18
  • HP, wil you have help or will you do this on your own? If you have help, consider using what I call "preacher blocks"/siding gauge, to gauge the siding. If you are doing it by yourself which can be done, bend up a piece of metal packing strap so a small bend goes over the top of a piece of siding and a larger bend holds the bottom edge of the next coarse up. That way you can nail the end butting the last piece and if it cracks then, it is simple to recut. If the last end splits, that can be recut in place....with care....
    – Jack
    Jan 22, 2020 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


Since it is cedar It needs to be fastened with stainless steel nails or otherwise you will have issues with the tannins in the cedar. It will bleed gray if galvanized nails are used.

I would do this by hand to keep from cracking the siding, but if you want to use a nail gun, you will need a siding nail gun. The framing gun you have pictured will not be nice to the siding, it will set the nails way too deep. 2" nails will hold what you need as long as you have OSB or plywood subsiding. If your house is older and has 3/4" 1X laid diagonally it will work too. In any case nail into the studs. Set all your joints on the studs as well. Some folk set a piece of flashing under the joint, over the lower piece to redirect any water from getting too far into the joints. Tar paper strips have worked in the past as well but it was a very heavy grade of paper, 30lb felt at least.

To minimize splitting keep the nails about 1" up from the bottom, the lap of siding should be about 1 1/4", do not nail above the top of the lower piece for it will readily crack the siding. At least with hand nailing it is prone to, perhaps not so much with a nail gun.

Again I always nailed this by hand and if a piece cracked, it was cut shorter to eliminate the crack, which is a PITA, so that's why the hand nailing, for once a nail gun's trigger is pulled, what's done is done. Good or bad....

  • It sounds like you’ve done quite a bit of this.
    – Lee Sam
    Jan 21, 2020 at 4:25
  • 1
    @LeeSam Yup vertical cedar and redwood act the same, I got a lot of practice over the past 47 years
    – Jack
    Jan 21, 2020 at 4:38
  • What is the nail diameter required for this? How far is the spacing?
    – HP.
    Jan 21, 2020 at 4:57
  • 1
    The spacing is, whatever the stud spacing is, nail only in the studs. If you nail in the sheathing only, the nails may start backing out. If you use the finish nailer at the ends, do your best to keep the nails 1" from the ends, and angle them into the stud, this will help eliminate splitting. If you use 18Ga SS nails for the ends, I wil go out on a limb and say that any coil nails marked for use in siding will be narrow enough to minimize splitting.I have always used hand driven nails for this so I am at a bit of a loss to tell you exactly what to go for other than the thinnest nail possible.
    – Jack
    Jan 21, 2020 at 5:08
  • I checked the coil siding nails they appear to readily available in 15 degree, not the 21 degree needed for the framing gun you are considering. I do see the framing gun can set nails flush, so it is a plus. Most siding nail sizes I spotted are anywhere from .08-.09 in diameter. and have a smaller nail head which is typical of siding nails.
    – Jack
    Jan 21, 2020 at 5:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.