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8 Roofing Tools Required To Replace Any Roof

January 26, 2023

5 minutes read

No matter the project, things go smoother if you have the correct tools to do the job. Roofing is no exception. You can hack your way through a job with tools that do not quite meet your needs, or you can get the right tools before you start.

If you are thinking about redoing a roof or have a roof installation scheduled and are wondering what tools the professionals will use, here is a list of the eight most common roofing tools used on almost any roofing project.


You cannot perform a roofing job without ladders, even a one-story roofing project. You need ladders designed to accommodate roofing work, which means they can be attached to a roof’s slope so they will not slide off. The ladders must also be rugged enough to handle a lot of weight, up to several hundred pounds at one time.

Additionally, your ascension ladders must be engineered to accommodate climbing up and down with many tools and materials. Higher jobs need extensions that can accommodate repeated trips up and down, often with heavy tools and materials. You should also insist that the feet on your ladder be wider and accommodate uneven surfaces.

Pry Bar

roofing tools using a pry bar

A pry bar is handy in multiple ways. You can use it to help dislodge shingles and remove stubborn flashing or siding. A solid pry bar can serve as a lever and is an immense aid in pulling out nails. In a pinch, you can even use a pry bar as a hammer, although it is only recommended you do so in an emergency.

More than most tools on this list, you can use a pry bar in many other applications. The most versatile is about a foot long and an inch to two inches wide. While you do not have to spend much money to get a suitable pry bar, you should avoid lower-end discount bars because the metal used is not always the most reliable.

Roofing Shovel

A roofing shovel is unlike an ordinary shovel in that its purpose is to “scoop” shingles as part of the removal process. You can use a roofing shovel to help dislodge shingles and “sweep” the surface of your roof to push shingles, dirt, and debris off the edge.

With a good roofing shovel, you can ensure your surface is smooth and cleared of any debris. A good roofing shovel also helps tear shingles and will remove many of the old nails that attached the shingles to your roof. The shovel has a serrated blade that lets you get under nails and pull them out, much like the tongs on a hammer.

Roofing Hammer

roofing tools using a roofing hammer

As with the shovel, a roofing hammer is not a typical hammer you might find around your house. However, it is one of the most essential tools you will have as you go about your roofing job. You can get away with a framing hammer to install a roof, but a roofing hammer makes the process much easier.

If your roofing job is a one-off, you should consider borrowing a roofing hammer before laying out a lot of money. Pricewise, a roofing hammer is about double the cost of a framing hammer. While it is invaluable on a roofing job, it has limited broader application, which means for most people, it will get very little use after the roofing project.

Also called a “roofing hatchet,” its head is squarer and flatter than a regular hammer, and it is magnetized, making nail management on a sloping roof a breeze. The flatter, more precise head allows the user to drive roofing nails into the single and underlayment. Other uses for a roofing hammer include cutting, prying shingles off a roof, and as a prying tool.

Measuring and Marking Tools

Measuring and marking are two functions that almost every roofing job demands. From putting on a sloping house roof to putting up something for external pet or livestock shelters, there are specific tools everyone should have, and just about everyone overlooks them until they desperately need them.

Tape Measure

A tape measure is one of the most understated but vitally necessary tools for roofing jobs and any other type of measuring project. Even people who view home improvement projects as the jurisdiction of hired help use a tape measure from time to time. Tape measures are used on roofing to measure underlayment and flashing cuts and to customize shingles.

Many people, however, try to save money on a cheap tape measure, which can backfire when you are more than a dozen feet off the ground. Making sure you invest in a solid tape measure from a reputable manufacturer guarantees you will have your measuring tool when needed. It will make the cuts you need to make with ease.

Chalk Line

roofing tools using a chalk line

A chalk line lets you create accurate markings across your roof to ensure you install plywood, underlayment, and shingles in a straight line. Straight lines are critical when putting on a roof, as if you start to deviate, you can end up with an odd-looking and pitched roof that may not provide as much protection from the elements as you need.


A tape measure is invaluable but has its limitations. Sometimes an old-fashioned ruler is needed to get the job done. A ruler lets you set your measuring tool down and provides a structure for measuring that a flexible tape measure can struggle to provide.

Shingle Saw

The right shingle saw can make your roofing experience much easier. Shingle saws are designed to cut specific roofing materials without dulling or damaging the material. If you have odd cuts, relying on your saw without worrying about it mangling what you are cutting is vital in terms of conserving resources and avoiding frustration.

Final Thoughts

These eight roofing tools are the “tools of the trade” when correctly installing a roof. Of course, you will need many other tools, but none are as important as the items on this list.

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