The Right Nails for Framing and Building

Nail Type Matters To Home Improvement

As you examine construction projects and home improvement projects, you will see that most are planned with several different types of nails. The nail that is used on the drywall is not the same as the one that is used for hanging a picture. It is important to understand the types and how they work so that you can select the right one for your project. There are several different kinds of nails, all of them can be classified according to their material, characteristics or function and finish utilized in their manufacturing. Some of the major types of commercial, residential and construction remodeling nails are discussed below.

Box Nails

These are the most common nails utilized in construction. They are available in a large variety of shapes and sizes and are often used for both drywall and wetwall applications. This type of nail is usually referred to as rough work because it is used for a specific purpose such as for the start of framing a room or for attaching a piece of trim.

Duplex Nails

A duplex nail is a special design that consists of two adjacent strips that are designed so that they overlap each other. The overlapping strips are referred to as a tongue and groove, which is necessary for proper installation. They are sometimes also referred to as Amazon or tongue-and-groove nails. These are stronger than normal masonry nails and are commonly used for ceilings, walls and floors. They are also widely used for exterior construction.

Chain Nails

Also known as chain drive or screw fasteners, these are heavy duty fasteners that use a tungsten sleeve with holes that are drilled directly into the wood. Unlike regular screws, they do not have a head that extends beyond the hole. These types of fasteners are typically used for strip construction, corner construction and window construction. They are often used for applications where there is a need for a relatively large amount of fastening capacity and strength.

Box Nails

Also known as tapered box or tongue-and-groove nails, these are the most common types of fasteners and are often used to build walls and support beams. The tapered design makes it ideal for applications where there is a high degree of density. They are also commonly used to install interior trim. They have slightly higher minimum required springiness than other finishes. It is very common to find applications where box nails are used along with other finishing methods.


Like box nailing, butterers are also common nails used for strip construction and are the cheapest of all types. However, they have a much smaller footprint than some other types, such as full-face screws and full-face nails. They are most commonly used in home construction, although they are suitable for industrial applications, such as airplane bases and marine applications. Butterers are available in different sizes and may have different head options.

Stain Nails

These are nails that are used to color or decorate wood. Stencils are popular, but these nails are not. Stencils are also called iron on strips, but when you apply an iron nail, it is a stencil – it has a hole and when the nail is removed, it becomes the stencil. Using stencils for nail application is common for home applications and for commercial applications, making nails from stencils can be difficult and possibly dangerous. For this reason, it is very important to make sure you know what kind of stencil you are using.

Butterers and steners are just two common nails used in construction. These two common nails are also used in home construction. Each of these types has different uses and can pose different safety hazards. It is important for home and commercial construction workers to use the appropriate equipment to apply the proper type of nail, which is based on the situation. All construction work should be completed using professional grade equipment and supplies to avoid accidents, costly damages and/or injury.