A Brief Guide to Nails and Some of its Types

At least 3,000 years ago, bright nails were used as a sort of fastening in buildings. When a screw is superfluous, it may be used to unite pieces of wood or to secure other materials to timber.

A broad array of nails are available for a wide range of applications and finishes. They are available in a variety of lengths and diameters (gauges).

Nails must be strong enough, with a long enough shank, to ensure a secure connection. With certain nail designs, the shanks are roughened, twisted and/or grooved to enhance the grip.

Nail Types 

When it comes to nail type, the most prevalent ones include:

  • Common nails

Framing, building, and carpentry are among the most common applications for this product. The round head is visible on the surface, so the thick shank offers solid support for framing and other tough work where strength and function are more essential than looks.

  • Box nails

The shanks of these nails are much thinner than those of bright nails, making them less prone to split when driven into thin wood. They’re also weaker because of the shaft’s thinness. Galvanizing them helps to keep them from corroding.

  • Clout Nails 

Nails known as clouts are long, heavy nails used to fasten sheets of paper or other material to wooden frames or sheets. Roofing felt is a common use for this tool. Timber fence palings also employ clouts. Galvanized mild steel is the most common material, however, copper clouts may also be found.

  • Finishing naill 

Finish nails, also known as finishing nails, are sturdy enough to keep door jambs, crown moulding, and baseboards in place. In addition, they’re sleek and thin enough to avoid splitting these slender hunks of lumber. Countersink the nail using a nail set when using finishing nails. 

  • Collated nails

Stacked nails are fastened together by glue, plastic tape, and/or paper. These strips may be put into the magazine of an air-powered nailer to enable fast driving of nails of a range of sizes.


  • Flatheads

All-too-often because it is resting on a nailed surface, the head may be seen. Flat head nails provide a big-hitting area and enhanced gripping force. 

  • Clipped heads 

Some of the nail’s spherical head has been snipped off, resulting in this appearance. Clipped head nails cover more than a semi-circle. 

  • Checkered flat heads

These tools are intended to keep the hammer in place when pounding at an angle.

  • Countersunk heads

Countersink or shove out of sight below the surface with a conical form. Finishing nails have a narrow cupped head, whereas drywall nails have a wide saucer-like cupped head. 

Wrapping Up 

Steel nails are the most prevalent. Nail lengths are cut from a piece of steel wire fed into a machine. With a hammer, one of the wire’s protruding ends may be flattened to make the head. After that, it’s trimmed to the desired size and shape. Hardened zinc is used to strengthen masonry nails, and many nails (especially roofing nails) are galvanized to prevent corrosion.

It’s vital to keep in mind that nail providers often offer them by weight rather than quantity when making a purchase. Overbuying is typically encouraged, although a reasonable estimate of how many are needed is adequate.

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