Roofing is one of those professions that need very specific tools in order to get the job done right. There are some tools that can be used for other things, but the ones made for roofing are quite essential. The issue is that there are so many to choose from and it can be hard to figure out exactly which one is the best value to meet your needs. With so many options, it's extremely important to do your research and learn as much as you can before you actually make a purchase.

Regardless of how many tools you already have or whether or not you think you'll use certain ones frequently, you should build up a collection and get as many roofing tools as you can. There are a few reasons for this. For starters, you never know when you'll need certain tools on a job you're on. There could be some underlying work that needs done, so making sure you have the tools is essential. Another reason is because you never know when a tool could break. If you only have 1 of a certain tool, you're pretty much out of luck for awhile if it breaks. If you have multiples, you can run to your truck or toolbox and grab the other one.

You'll also want to make sure you have the tools for various types of materials. Some tools do great with wood and shingles, while others are made to work with steel. Having the correct tools could mean the difference between getting the job done on time and having to wait for the new tools to come in. You never know what kind of job you'll have to do, so having these tools can cut down on time and work.

Since it can be hard to figure out exactly what tools you need, especially if you're just starting out, we've put together a list of 16 of the most common small roofing tools that roofers use. Remember, make sure you check out all of your options before making a purchase and make sure you get more than one type, if possible. These tools are just the most common and you want to make sure you get any tool you might need. It might seem like it costs a lot, but it'll save money and time in the long run. You'd be surprised about what kinds of jobs you might end up doing.

Roofing Nailer

One of the most important tools to have is a roofing nailer. While you could get away with using a normal hammer, it's going to take a lot more time. With an automatic nailer, you can get the nail in quickly and efficiently. These tools are very durable and do a great job at getting nails all the way in. You could actually shave off a lot of time just by using one of these instead of a normal hammer. Remember, though, it nails quickly and is very powerful, so you want to be as careful as possible.

Air Compressor

You also want to make sure you have a decent air compressor. Not only are these needed to power the nailer, they can be used to power other tools as well. If possible, get one that's small but powerful. This will help ensure that you aren't lugging around a huge piece of equipment and you should be able to easily get it on the roof with you. Many of these come with wheels as well, so you can easily move it to the exact place you need to without worrying about tearing up any of the roof.

Roofer's Hammer/Hatchet

Even if you usually use a nailer or nail gun, there's going to be some instances where you need to have a hammer. You'll also want to make sure you have roofer's hatchet to ensure you can cut away any parts or materials you need to. The good news is that many of these come together in one tool. One side is the hammer and the other side is the hatchet. This saves spaces and helps make lugging your tools around much easier and more convenient.

Multi-Purpose Cutters

There are many reasons why people don't like utility knives and there is a pretty decent alternative: a pair of multi-purpose cutters. Not only can they be used for multiple different things, but they usually have handles that are very easy to grip and feel quite comfortable in your hand. They are also a lot faster than a utility knife because they can be used in one swift motion. In fact, they can cut through a lot of materials that utility knives have trouble with, such as shingles and metal.

Roofing Shovel

The next tool you should have is a roofing shovel. These are made like a normal shovel, but the actual shovel part isn't the same. These particular tools are used to rip off any old shingles and push them out of your path. They can also be used to rip up any old nails or screws that were holding the shingles in place. The blade part is usually made from a high quality and durable metal, while the handle is usually made from something strong, such as fiberglass.

Caulking Gun

Another tool that many roofers have in their tool box. While this tool is usually used for various roofing repairs, it's something that's needed in order to actually push the caulking out of the tube. The good news is that the majority of these are high quality, even the ones that are a lower price. You also want to make sure you get one that's comfortable to hold and use. You can get one that has many bells and whistles or you can get one that's simple and not flashy. Regardless of what you choose, you should make sure you get one that will prevent dripping and can be used without too many issues or complications.


A ripper, or pry bar, is needed for many different things, including ripping up old materials and getting nails to come out. These work so much better than a normal hammer because it can be used quickly and easily. These tools also make it so you don't have to use as much effort as you do with a hammer. Often times, the pry part of the bar has much better range than a normal hammer, which means you can get almost any nail out without having to worry about the position.

Moisture Detector

A moisture meter is something that many roofers swear by. It gives accurate data and lets you know if there's any moisture, mold, leaks or water damage. The reason this is so important is because all of these things can mean disaster for any roof and you don't want them to interfere with the new roof you just put in. By using this tool, you'll be able to do what you need to in order to take care of the problem before you ever start laying the new roofing materials down.

Ladder Hooks

Ladder hooks might seem like a small tool that doesn't matter much, but they can make your job so much easier. You clip one part onto your ladder and the other part on the house. The part on the house has a wheel and you can move the ladder to the exact position you want without having to go all the way down and climbing back up. Since this is the case, you want to ensure it's made from strong and high quality materials to stop any potential accidents or dangerous situations from happening.

Seam Roller

While a seam roller can be helpful for any type of roof, it's best used for those that are made with rubber. In order to have a roof that holds up and works well, you need to make sure that the seams are sealed tightly and they are as flat as possible. You can use this tool to achieve that. In addition, most rollers are heat resistant and made with materials that don't easily break down. The roller is smooth, which means you can do the rolling without too many hangups or issues.

Shear Attachment

You can put a shear attachment right on your drill or impact driver. It's great for cutting many things, including: sheet metal, shingles and vinyl siding. It can cut lines that are straight without completely destroying any of the protective metals on the material. Since cutting with anything that produces heat, such as a circular saw, automatically voids any warranty, this is a great option. It can cut through quickly and efficiently. While they are relatively safe, you want to make sure you're paying attention because it can easily cut you if you aren't careful.

Retractable Tape Measure

This is one of the most common and simple tools in a roofer's toolbox. In fact, most people who aren't in this profession have at least one. They are extremely easy to use and don't take up much space at all. When using it with roofing, you want to make sure you find one with durable and strong materials. You also want to make sure the hook on the end is even. Roofing is all about getting correct measurements, so a retractable measuring tape can help ensure you get the exact measurements needed to get the job done.

Tile Nibblers

A pair of tile nibblers are extremely simple, yet useful. It can also be used for many different purposes, including: cutting and removing nails. The blades are very sharp and have great grip, so these things can be done quite quickly. The handles are also usually ergonomic and comfortable in your hand, which makes using them much easier. The size makes it possible to pull out objects in small areas too. This is essential for those that have big hands and just can't get to these places.

Chalk Snap Line

Along with an adjustable tape measure, you can also use a chalk snap line. These are one of the most common tools used in shingling and the majority of them are made from materials that are high quality and durable. Most of them will also have many options, including: extremely bold, extra bold and ultra-thin. This means you should have the perfect width for whatever job you're doing. Using this to make straight chalk lines will make lining and installing your shingles much easier. It will also give less room for critical errors.

Hook Blade

Many utility knives that are used for roofing have hook blades built right in. If you can't find one, you could find some that can clip right onto your utility knife. These blades are used to cut asphalt shingles because they are so tough and hard to cut. A hook knife can make this process much easier. Not only do they get through quicker and easier, but they also help make sure the lines you cut are straight. Keep in mind, these are extremely sharp, so it's important to use as much caution as possible.

Roof Bracket

One final type of tool you want to make sure you have are roof brackets. It's a good idea to have several, but you could get away with having just a few. These are used on the roof to give you a large work area that you can easily step on. Not only is it very easy to install and sturdy, it also doesn't do any damage to the roof. These give a little extra security and helps ensure that you don't slip or fall, especially on roofs that are quite steep.

As you can see, these tools are pretty common and standard. Most roofers will know how to use these and if they don't, they'll need to learn before they actually start working on a roof. Most of these tools are in every roofer's tool box and you'll want to make sure you have them as well. Remember, it's important to have multiples in case something happens or breaks while you're on a job.

Another thing to remember is that these aren't the only tools you'll need. This is just a short list and you want to make sure you get any other tools you might need. This includes some that you think you might only use a few times, as well as ones that are new to the market. Both of these reasons will help ensure that you have any tool you need regardless of what kind of job you're at. If you aren't really sure what else you should get, you could either do an internet search or talk with other roofers to see what they have in their tool box. They'll also be able to tell you what tools they think are a waste of time and which ones they get the most use out of.

Regardless of what you decide to get, the items on this list should be the bare minimum of what you should have on hand. Remember to get doubles if possible and try to cover all of your bases. It's much better to have too many tools and not need all of them, than it is to not have what you need and end up having your timeline thrown off. You also don't want to risk having to special order the tool because the stores don't have it in stock. Just get whatever you can and get yourself a nice little collection.