Common Types of Nails for Home Use – Dengarden

Dry Wall Contractor

Bert spent 25 years working as a home-improvement and residential construction contractor in central Florida.

A few different nails from the author’s toolbox.

Understand the Nail

All types of nails have three parts: the head, shank and point. A nail uses either a standard flat, checkered or countersunk head. A checkered head limits slippage when the hammer strikes. The dimple on a countersunk head holds a trim carpenter’s countersink tool in place during final installation. Choose a countersunk head when the project requires finish work and either a standard or checkered head for ruff work.

The shank of the nail extends from the top of the point to the bottom of the head. Shank styles most homeowners use include: the smooth, ringed, spiral or twist, and fluted. The typical smooth shank nail works well with most projects. Ring shank nails grip the wood better than smooth shank due the wood fibers filling the ring crevasses. The spiral or twist shank works well with hardwoods and fluted use vertical grooves to help it drive into concrete.

The point on a nail generally looks either flat or pointed. Most projects use nails with a diamond point; some, such as masonry work, require a blunt tip.

Does the project require a nail with a weather resistant finish? If so, choose either a galvanized coated or stainless steel nail. A galvanized coating, sometimes called hot dip galvanized, works for most non-marine projects that require a weather resistant fastener.

Three different common nails.

Common Nail

Carpenters choose the common nail for framing and general construction due to its sturdy design and wide size selection. The heavy shank provides sturdy support for framing and other rough work. Its large round head remains visible on the surface. This type of nail works best when strength and function are more important than appearance.

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