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How To Choose Nails & Screws - Part 2

 

Nail Construction:

Nails have three parts, as shown in Figure 1:

parts of a nail - head, shank, point

Figure 1 - Parts of a nail - head, shank, point

Table 1 provides a listing of the different styles of nail heads that are available along with the features of each.

Table 2 provides a listing of the different styles of nail shanks that are available along with the features of each.

Table 2 provides a listing of the different styles of nail points that are available along with the features of each.

Table 1 - Nail Head Styles
Appearance Name Features

brad nail head

Brad

The brad head is primarily used with in finishing work, such as nailing trim and molding. The smaller head reduces the holding power but makes it very easy to countersink.

countersunk nail head

Countersunk

The countersunk head provides the nail with the ability to break the surface tension of the wood and recess itself into the top of the wood.

deep countersunk nail head

Countersunk - Deep

The deep countersunk head is primarily used with casing lumber. The smaller head, makes it easier to countersink it below the surface of the wood. It has less holding strength than the standard countersunk head.

cupped nail head

Cupped

The cupped head nail is primarily used to secure drywall to wood studs, rafters or joists. The cupped head helps to prevent the paper surface of the drywall sheets from tearing around the nail.

duplex nail head

Duplex

The duplex head is primarily used for nailing forms and other work that is temporary in nature. The second head makes it relatively easy to remove the nail.

flat nail head

Flat

The flat head is the most common nail head produced. The larger head surface area makes driving the head relatively easy.

flat - checkered nail head

Flat - Checkered

The checkered head helps to prevent the hammer head from slipping off the nail as it is being driven. Commonly used on nails used for rough carpentry.

flat - large nail head

Flat - Large

The large flat head is generally used to hold softer or thinner materials such as shingles, insulation and tar papers. The large head will not penetrate or tear the material. It is also used when material is pre-drilled to allow for expansion such as siding.

oval nail head

Oval

The oval head helps prevent the hammer from making contact with the material during driving. Commonly used on siding nails.

 

 

Table 2 - Nail Shank Styles
Appearance Name Features

ardox nail shank

Ardox

Twisted square wire results in the threads extending from the point to the head. The most common use is nailing hardwood lumber. Nail turns as it is driven in, similar to a screw.

barbed nail shank

Barbed

Better holding power than a smooth shank.

fluted nail shank

Fluted

The fluted shank has vertical threads designed to enter block and mortar joints without spitting the holding material.

ringed nail shank

Ring

The ringed shank has a series of concentric rings around the shank of the nail. The nail does not turn as it is driven in. The ringed nail provides the best grip in soft and medium density lumber.

smooth nail shank

Smooth

The most common of all nail shanks, as it is the least expensive to manufacture. It also provides the least amount of grip compared to other shanks.

spiral nail shank

Spiral

Nail turns as it is driven in, similar to a screw providing excellent holding power in all high and medium density wood.

 

Table 3 - Nail Point Styles
Appearance Name Features

blunt nail point

Blunt

A blunt point reduces the potential of splitting the wood when driving the nail, but it requires more force to drive the nail than a diamond point.

diamond nail point

Diamond

The most common of all the nail points. Used for nails designed for soft and medium density woods. The diamond point helps prevent wood splitting.

diamond - long nail point

Diamond - Long

Primarily used for drywall. The long point helps prevent the surface paper on the drywall from tearing.

Continued......

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