DIY How To

DIY Projects - Types of nails and their uses

Nails are made in different lengths and gauges (thickness). The longer the nail the greater the thickness although some nails can come in different gauges. Nails are made from different materials depending on what characteristics are required and are designed around strength, corrosion protection and gripping capabilities.

A nail relies on the friction between itself and the surrounding material for its holding power, therefore a long nail will have more holding power than a short nail of the same gauge.

If a nail bends while it is being hammered, it can be tapped sideways to straighten it and then hammered home. If a nail buckles then it needs to be removed, sometimes a nail will buckle if it hits a solid object such as another nail or a knot in the wood. If this is the case then reposition a new nail.

Round plain head nail
Round head nails

Used for general woodwork, made with smooth or chequered head.

Can split the wood.

Round lost head nail
Round lost head nails

Used for joinery, head is punched below the surface for a better finish.

Oval brad head nail
Oval brad head nails

Used for joinery and flooring, to avoid splitting the wood, the long oval side should follow the grain of the wood.

Lost oval head nail
Lost oval head nails

Used for joinery and flooring, to avoid splitting the wood, the long oval side should follow the grain of the wood.

Smaller head than Oval brad head for a neater finish.

Cut floor nail
Cut floor nails

Used for fastening down floor boards, the blunt tip punches a hole which helps to stop the wood splitting.

Clout nail
Clout nails

Used for sheet material and roofing felt and tiles.

Plasterboard nail
Plasterboard nails

Used for fixing plasterboard sheets. Has jagged edges to give very high resistance and holding power.

Masonary nail
Masonry nails

Used for fixing to masonry, very hard to prevent bending or buckling.

Duplex head nail
Duplex nails

Used for temporary fixing such as shuttering. End head is used to pull nail out.

Annular nail
Annular nails

Used for general woodwork, shank has annular rings for high resistance and holding power.

Twisted nails
Twisted plain head nails

Used for general woodwork, twisted shank for increased resistance and greater holding power.

Panel pin
Panel pins

Fine nail used in cabinet and joinery work.

Hardboard nail
Hardboard nails

Used for fitting hardboard, has a diamond shaped head which is buried in the board.

Tacks
Tacks

Used for upholstery and carpeting.

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