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Round Wire Nails

Planet Earth's most popular nails.

  • Low cost
  • Quick to use

Oval Nails

As round wire nails, but:

  • Less likely to split wood
  • Cost a bit more

Ring Shanked Nails

  • More resistance to pullout.
  • Used for wooden flooring

Carpet Tacks

  • The thin point on carpet tacks bends over when inserted, giving pullout resistance.
  • The dark head gives minimum visibility
  • The sharp point goes through carpet easily.
  • Tacked carpet has a vertically wavy edge.
  • Tacks can pierce wires or pipes
  • Tacks are cheaper to buy than gripper rod, but fitting is slower
  • Gripper rod is normally preferred.


Masonry Nails

These can be hammered into masonry, unlike most other nails. They are hardened steel.

There is one problem with these. The masonry is hard, and does not want to be nailed. The Nail is hardened, and does not want to bend. Something has to give. What usually happens is the nail flies off repeatedly at unpredictable angles and at high speed. Eye protection is a must.

Some of the time they fly away with almost no resistance, so the travelling hammer head continues onto your fingers at almost full speed. Bear in mind these nails need to be hit relatively hard to get anywhere, and you can see why masonry nails are unpopular.

The solution is easy enough. Always hold the nail in pliers, always use eyewear, and don't let anyone without eyewear in the room when you're nailing.

Using pliers gets your hands out the way, and it also impedes the flying habit of the nails. They will still fly sometimes, but the friction from the pliers makes them fly slow instead of going off like unguided missiles.

Hammering a hardened nail hard against a hard substrate is also a recipe for splintering of the hammer head, another good reason for eyewear.

Bent Nails

One trick for fixing to masonry is to drill a pilot hole and knock in a bent nail. The more bends in the nail, the better it'll grip.

  • Very effective for loads at 90 degrees
  • Pullout load resitance is lower


Screws are not designed to be nails, but can be used as nails.

  • Damage the wood to some extent
  • Good pullout resistance compared to most nails
  • Harder to drive
  • Prime app is nailing down chipboard flooring. The soft chip makes them hammerinnable, and the pullout resistance helps avoid creaking and lifted boards.


U shaped nails and [ shaped nails

  • Used primarily for wire fencing