Vinyl Siding Tools

Vinyl Siding Tools that you need to apply vinyl siding to your house.

Common vinyl siding tools, such as a hammer, fine-tooth saw, square, chalkline, level, ladder,tape measure, and safety glasses are needed for proper installation. Safety glasses are recommended for eye protection. Other basic vinyl siding tools include:

Power Saw

A bench or radial-arm power saw can speed the cutting of the siding. A fine-tooth blade (12 to 16 teeth per inch) should be used with the blade installed in the reverse direction. Some applicators prefer a hand-held power saw. In extremely cold weather, move the saw through the material slowly to prevent chipping or cracking.

Note: A saw blade set up in reverse direction should be used only for cutting vinyl. DO NOT attempt to use it on other materials such as wood, plywood, etc.

Utility Knife

Vinyl is easy to cut, trim, and score with a utility knife or scoring tool (Fig. 6). Tin Snips Good quality tin snips or compound aviation-type snips will speed the cutting and shaping of the vinyl.

Snap Lock Punch

A snaplock punch is used to punch lugs in the cut edges of siding to be used for the top or finishing course at the top of a wall, or underneath a window.

Nail Hole Slot Punch

Occasionally, it may be necessary to elongate a nail hem slot. The hole is elongated to allow for expansion and contraction.

Unlocking Tool (Zip-Lock Tool)

Remove or replace a siding panel with the unlocking tool. Insert the curved end of the tool under the end of the panel and hook onto the back lip of the buttlock. To disengage the lock, pull down and slide the tool along the length of the panel. Use the same procedure to relock a panel.

Outside and Inside Corner Posts

Corner posts are used to provide a finished edge at an inside or outside corner. The siding from adjoining walls fits neatly into the inside or outside corner post channels. Appropriate widths of channel openings are available to accommodate various configurations of siding.

Trim and Molding

A complete line of accessories is used to give every installation a professional appearance, while providing a weather-resistant facade. Some accessories include trim, starter strips, molding, F-channels, drip caps, and J-channels. Each of these accessories will be addressed in more detail throughout this manual.

Note: Vinyl siding manufacturers produce various sizes of J-channels and corner posts. Remeber to order accessories of the proper size to match the siding panels. Consult the manufacturer for the appropriate size.


Vinyl siding should be applied over a sheathing that provides a smooth, flat surface. Consult local building codes for sheathing requirements. Vinyl siding should never be applied directly to studs without sheathing. As an alternative, installation of specific types of contoured foam underlayments for various styles of vinyl siding are available. Some manufacturers of vinyl siding do not recommend the use of drop-in backers with certain vinyl siding configurations.

Weather Barrier

Vinyl siding should be installed over a continuous weather-resistant barrier to stop the intrusion of incidental water. See your local building code official for requirements in your area.


Code-compliant flashing should be integrated with the water-resistant barrier applied around windows, doors and other openings. Flashing should also be applied to inside and outside corners, and the intersection of walls and roofing to prevent water infiltration.


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