Standard Nail Size Table Chart and Nail Terms

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Box nail size indentification chart and nail types, uses and definitions"

Nails not Shown Actual Size

Types of nail include:

  • Aluminum nails - Made of aluminum in many shapes and sizes for use with aluminum architectural metals .
  • Box nail - like a common nail but with a thinner shank and head
  • Brads are small, thin, tapered, nails with a lip or projection to one side rather than a full head or a small finish nail
    • Floor brad ('stigs') - flat, tapered and angular, for use in fixing floor boards
    • Oval brad - Ovals utilize the principles of fracture mechanics to allow nailing without splitting. Highly anisotropic materials like regular wood (as opposed to wood composites) can easily be wedged apart. Use of an oval perpendicular to the wood's grain cuts the wood fibers rather than wedges them apart, and thus allows fastening without splitting, even close to edges.
  • Tacks are short, sharp pointed nails often used with carpet, fabric and paper. When pushed by hand called a thumb tack or push pin .
    • brass tack - brass tacks are commonly used where corrosion may be an issue, such as furniture where contact with human skin salts will cause corrosion on steel nails.
    • canoe tack
    • carpet tack
    • Upholstery tacks - used to attach coverings to furniture
  • Casing nails - have a head that is smoothly tapered, in comparison to the "stepped" head of a finish nail . When used to install casing around windows or doors, they allow the wood to be pried off later with minimal damage when repairs are needed, and without the need to dent the face of the casing in order to grab and extract the nail. Once the casing has been removed, the nails can be extracted from the inner frame with any of the usual nail pullers .
  • clout-nail - a roofing nail
  • Coffin nail - general name for a nail used in a coffin, slang for a cigarette.
  • Coil nail - nails designed for use in a pneumatic nail gun assembled in coils.
  • Common nail - smooth shank, wire nail with a heavy, flat head. The typical nail for framing.
  • Convex head (nipple head, springhead) roofing nail - an umbrella shaped head with a rubber gasket for fastening metal roofing, usually with a ring shank.
  • Copper nail - nails made of copper for use with copper flashing or slate shingles etc.,
  • Corrugated fastener (wiggle nail) - a corrugated shaped piece of metal driven into miter joints in some furniture.
  • D-head (clipped head) nail - a common or box nail with part of the head removed such as when assembled into a "stick" for some pneumatic nail guns.
  • Double-headed (duplex, formwork, shutter, scaffold) nail - used for temporary nailing; nails can easily pulled for later disassembly
  • Dowel nail - a double headed nail without a "head" on the shank, a piece of round steel sharpened on both ends.
  • Drywall (plasterboard) nail - short, hardened, ring-shank nail with a very thin head.
  • Fiber cement nail - a nail for installing fiber cement siding .
  • Finish nail (bullet head nail, lost-head nail) - A wire nail with a small head intended to be minimally visible or driven below the wood surface and the hole filled to be invisible. has the same diameter as a box nail.
  • Gang nail - a nail plate
  • Hardboard pin - a small nail for fixing hardboard or thin plywood, often with a square shank
  • Horseshoe nail - nails used to hold horseshoes on hoofs
  • Joist hanger nail - special nails rated for use with joist hangers and similar brackets. Sometimes called "Teco nails" (1-1/2 x .148 shank nails used in metal connectors such as hurricane ties )
  • Lost-head nail - see finish nail.
  • Masonry (concrete) - lengthwise fluted, hardened nail for use in concrete
  • Oval wire nail - nails with an oval shank
  • Panel pin
  • Plastic strip
  • Gutter spike - Large long nail intended to hold wooden gutters in place.
  • Ring (annular, improved, jagged) shank nail - nails that have ridges circling the shank to provide extra resistance to pulling out (for example, the HurriQuake nail)
  • Roofing (clout) nail - generally a short nail with a broad head used with asphalt shingles , felt paper or the like.
  • Screw (helical) nail - a nail with a spiral shank.
  • Shake (shingle) nail - small headed nails to use for nailing shakes and shingles
  • Sprig - a small nail with either a headless, tapered shank or a square shank with a head on one side
  • Square nail - a cut nail
  • T-head nail - shaped like the letter T.
  • Veneer pin
  • Wire (French) nail - a general term for a nail with a round shank. These are sometimes called French nails from their country of invention.
  • Wire-weld collated nail - nails held together with slender wires for use in nail guns.

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