Types of nails


Nails, based on intended use and shape, are divided into:

  • Construction nails is the largest and most commonly used group of nails
    • round – intended for woodworking and carpentry works. Made of drawn, hard (most often steel) wire of circular cross-section. Diameters of the shank most often range between 2.0 and 9.0 mm, while its length – from 40 to 300 mm.
    • square – intended for woodworking and carpentry works. Made of drawn wire of square cross-section. Most often, their cross-section ranges from 2.0 to 8.0 mm, while their length – from 40 to 300 mm.
    • tar paper nails – mainly intended for roofing works (covering roofs with tar paper). They are characterised by a large head diameter. The diameter of the head is at least three times greater than the diameter of the shank. Large head diameter is necessary to hold the tar paper on the roof. Tar paper nails are sometimes used in upholstery works. What distinguishes them from upholstery nails is the flat head.
    • ceiling nails – intended for fixing materials of loose structure, such as cane, to wooden walls and ceilings. The nail has a shape of a hook, with a flat curved part.
    • hinge nails – what distinguishes them from traditional nails is the lack of head. They are intended for fixing old-style window and door hinges.
    • corner nails – intended for mounting window corners (which reinforce wooden window frames).
    • nails with the following types of shanks:
      • round – intended for construction works in warm countries. They have a large head cut out from a tape using a punching die, which is then riveted to the shank made of a wire of low strength properties in the production process. The nails are most often galvanised.
      • square – twisted or straight – produced in a manner similar to those with a round shank. They are used e.g. in the construction industry to fix cables to walls. They may have a smooth shank or a shank with longitudinal, rolled grooves. Grooves may also have shape of a thread. The nails are tampered. They have flat or conical heads.
    • rolled, hardened nails with a head – Intended for connecting wooden structures with brick walls. Their shanks have rolled grooves. They are hardened, tempered, and tumbled.
      • flat
      • conical
    • stiffstock rolled nails with a head – The head may be flat or funnel-shaped. They are used to nail wooden pallets together. Their shank is made of wire of square cross-section by twisting or round wire by rolling. The entire or only a part of the shank may be screw-type or rolled.
      • flat
      • conical
    • screw stiffstock square nails
  • Carpentry and general purpose nails
    • nails with semi-circular head
    • wire nails
    • carpentry nails
    • rolled ring nails with a head
      • flat
      • conical
    • hasps
    • upholstery and strip nails
    • upholstery nails made of tape
  • Cooper nails
    • cooper dowels
    • barrel hooks
  • Cobbler nails
    • tacks
      • machine-made wire nails with a square point and a flat head
      • machine-made wire nails with a sharp point and a flat head
      • handmade wire nails with a flat head
      • handmade wire nails with a flat head
    • heel nails
    • nails used to fix rubber tips and soles
    • protective nails used to fix shoeings
    • corrugated nails with a square point
    • round nails with a prolonged point and a semi-circular head
    • nails with a flat sharp point
  • Protective nails and nails for shoeing
    • nails for plates
    • nails for horseshoes
  • Special nails
    • Tempered nails for electrical installations
    • moulding nails (moulding pins)
    • nails for hangers
    • markers used to mark substrates and wooden pillars
    • nails for harmonicas
    • nails for horseshoes (horse nails)

Currently, works requiring quick hammering of large amounts of nails are carried out using electrical or pneumatic nail making machines which use specially prepared nails connected with a plastic tape or wire. This technique is called collating and is made using automatic or semi-automatic stationary collators.

Currently, nails are made using special presses – so called nails making machines, which are automatic devices that are capable of producing up to 800 nails per minute. The automaton and the product transport are driven by micro-strips made by Enitra Sp. z o.o.

Prepared by: Aleksandra Pelesz

This article uses materials from