What kind of Nails should I choose?

Nails are probably one of the first things that come to mind when the term ‘fixings’ is used. There is a huge range of Paslode nails available at Mitre 10.

Material
For most applications, you will have the choice of either bright steel or galvanised nails. It’s essential you know which ones you need, especially if working on an exterior
project.


Bright steel nails are manufactured without any form of protection and are cheaper but will quickly start to rust in an exterior environment. They are perfectly suited to interior jobs like wall and floor framing right through to smaller jobs such as shelves, chests and many other weekend projects.
Exceptions to this “rule of thumb” are in wet areas of your house like bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. In these cases the more protected electro-galvanised or hot-dipped galvanised should be considered. Failure to use protected nails in wet areas may result in unsightly timber staining.
Galvanised nails are coated with zinc, which protects the nail from corrosion, making them the perfect choice for outdoor work or interior wet areas.
Also available are stainless steel and silicon bronze nails, which are highly corrosion resistant and can be used in almost any situation. These are often used when working near the coast where prevalent conditions can cause the corrosion of other nails due to the amount of salt in the air.

Size
Nails can range in size from 150mm long down to less than 20mm, depending on which section of the store you are looking in and what you require them for.


Panel pins: Used for smaller jobs such as cabinet making or fixing thin sheets of material in place, they
can range in size from 19mm to 50mm long.
Standard nails: Available in lengths of 60mm, 75mm, 90mm and 100mm and should be selected based on the thickness of the material you are working with. For larger framing jobs, a mix of 75mm and 100mm nails
can be used.
Galvanised nails: Are available in the same size as standard nails plus 125mm and 150mm spikes, mainly
due to the larger sections of timber that are often used in landscaping and outdoor work.
To determine the correct length nail shank you should select, remember this simple rule of thumb – 1/3 to 2/3. That is, 1/3 of the nail length will pass through the material you are nailing and 2/3 of the nail will be embedded in the timber you are nailing to. To calculate this, measure the top timber thickness and simply multiply by three to get the appropriate nail length for the application.

Head

The two most common head types used in construction are jolt head and flat head but there are a couple of other types available as well. Flat head nails have a flat, circular head and are great for general-purpose tasks. However, because of the head, they are really only suitable for jobs where the nail will be seen afterwards
or where it will be covered with other material. Jolt head nails have a head that is only slightly larger than the shank of the nail itself, allowing it to be punched below the surface of the timber where it can be
covered with filler.
There are also clouts, which are shorter nails with a larger flat head and are usually used for fixing panel products to walls and ceilings. In many cases, manufacturers will make clouts to suit their own products but there are clouts available in the Paslode range from 19mm to 40mm long.

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