One of the most commonly used tools within the home is the hammer. But what would a hammer be without its counterpart, the nail? Absolutely nothing! The duo has been around for thousands of years and will continue to be a construction staple until the end of time.
It is inevitable that you or your handy partner will need to use the hammer and nail combo at some point in your lives. The hammer is easy, but deciding on the type and size of nail to use is another story. Whether you’re searching for top brad nails for sale or a coil nail suits your needs better, follow this guide.
Nails on the home hardware market are made from a variety of materials, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and brass. They can also be galvanized and metal-plates. They most common nail material for construction is steel and often coated with a lubricant to help drive the nail in evenly. Sometimes they are coated with zinc to allow for better weather resistance.
Maybe you have heard your nail referred to as 10d or 16d. These number and “d” letter pairings are the old-English penny system for purchasing nails. “D” is a representation of the Roman coin “denarius”, so nails in the past labeled with 10d meant it was 10 pennies for a pack of 100 nails.
Now the system has changed slightly. It is still called the penny system and the number followed by the letter “d” is the same, but now it refers to nail size instead of cost. It is not commonly used in modern hardware stores, but instead you’ll see your nails labeled with ½, ¼, ¾, ⅝, and so on.
One of the most commonly-used nails for construction is actually called the common nail. This makes sense since it is so frequently used, and here’s why. They are used for framing houses and buildings since their thick shank and diamond-shaped point makes them ideal for structural work.
If you aren’t an experienced framer or carpenter, be careful with these since their large size makes them more likely to split would. You can’t go wrong with the sturdiness of common nails for framing, but it is unlikely that you’ll use common nails within the house for your DIY projects. Other commonly-used nails include:
- Box Nails – Similar to common nails but are thinner, so less likely to split wood. They work well with lumber and exterior trim.
- Duplex Head Nail – These are for temporary construction projects, something like formwork for concrete pouring or temporary roofing solutions.
- Annular Ring Nail – These nails have rings along the entire shank, allowing for a better grip on the building material. These are ideal for flooring projects to prevent squeaky or loose floorboards.
- Finish Nail – Also called brads, finish nails have a small head only slightly larger than the shank. These are great for more delicate projects like trimwork.
If you have no idea which nails to use for your upcoming project, ask your local home hardware specialists for help. That’s what they are there for.