Nails are one of the popular fasteners for all construction applications. They come in a range of shapes and sizes. Be it fixing planks on the garden wall, fixing a photograph or connecting two materials together inside a factory, bright nails always come in handy. Most home owners usually have a few of them in their tool kit for immediate fixes. In a world full of threaded fasteners, you might be wondering how nails still stay relevant.
Why use Nails?
When discussing fasteners, there are the superstars like bolts, nuts screw. The common factor between all of them is that they are threaded, which improves the strength of the structure. But nails outperform the screws even though the latter has more holding power, in some applications.
Screws have more tensile strength compared to nails when used with timber, credit to the threaded structure. But there is a higher chance of them breaking compared to nails, which are very hard to snap.
Where to use Nails?
There is a wide range of applications for nails, both indoors and outdoors. Different kinds of nails are used for general construction, like flooring and roofing. In the case of drywall installation, nails that are used must be of great strength while also easy for concealment. For applications like roofing, the hiding of nails is not much of a priority, but for woodwork, that’s not the case.
You do not want the head of the nails to protrude out, so you must go for lightweight panel pins while building a wardrobe or cupboard. Flat head nails are also an excellent choice in situations like these, as a coat of paint would conceal the head.
For outdoor use, the longevity of the nails is paramount. So instead of using easily corrosive materials like regular steel and iron, galvanised variants can be put to good use.
Advantages of Nails over other fasteners
It is common knowledge that nails are one of the best among the fasteners in terms of ease of installation. A hammer is all it takes to fix the nails on walls, wood, or even steel, unless you are talking about collated nails. Here are a few factors why nails stand out from the rest of the building fasteners.
Easy to install
As you have already read, most kinds of nails need only a simple hammer to install. But the reason they are preferred for lighter work compared with screws or bolts is that the latter two can damage the material if not properly installed.
For working on thin sections on wood, the screws can be problematic as the pressure may cause the wood to split. There is a limitation for screws in terms of variety. Since the nails do not need any rotation while installing, there are many shapes available in the market.
Yet another reason for the popularity of nails compared to screw is that it’s less expensive. The same number of both of these of the same length can have a price difference of more than fifty percentages at times. Of course, these will vary depending on the type of nails you purchase. The clout nails for roofing will not cost the same as the clipped head nails.
What are Bright nails?
Common bright nails are usually used for general construction and framing applications. These are not to be confused with galvanised nails that are used for external applications. Bright nails are characterised by a wider head and thick shank. Even though they are thicker compared to other nails like the box and finishing nail, there is a problem.
The strength of the fix will increase with the thickness of the nail. But there are more chances of the wood splitting in two. That is why the right nail should be used for the right application.
Types of Nails
The nails can be differentiated based on their use, as you have already read above. Based on the head, there are the round head and the clipped head nails.
Round head nails: These are the ones that you will most often use in daily life. As the name suggests, the nails will have a fully round head. As far as construction goes, these are the standard nails.
Clipped head nails: In this variety, the head would be clipped and the shape will be close to a semicircle or the letter “D”. Compared to the full head nails, there are more nails per strip in this case. There is very little need to replace nails frequently. But holding power is more for the full headed one naturally.
Common nails offer great strength to the structure they are used in. Even though they are easy to fix, removing them can be a hard task. There can be some cases where there is a considerable amount of damage inflicted on the material surface when removing nails. Also, for improved speed of installing nails, a nail gun can come in handy. This results in lesser working time and lower cost of labour.