Photo Gallery: Common Nails

The most widely used nail types are shown here. They may vary slightly between manufacturers.
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Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Round Head Nail

This general-purpose nail is good for joining wood. Widely used where “rough” finishing is acceptable—in studwork, for example. The round head provides a good point of contact for a hammer but may split wood if driven down too far.

Finish Nails

Finish-head nails are similar to round-head nails, but the head is much smaller, and sits flush with the wood's surface to give a neater finish with reduced risk of splitting. It can be recessed using a nail set to hide it completely.

Oval Head Nails

This nail is imilar to the round finish nail, but oval in cross-section to minimize splitting of the wood. Most of the head sits below the wood's surface without the need for setting (see opposite).

Roofing Nails

Roofing nails are commonly used to attach asphalt and for other roofing purposes. Smaller roofing nails are used to attach roofing felt. Because they are exposed to the weather, they are often galvanized to prevent rust.

Masonry Nails

This hard, thicker nail has a small head and is usually made of hardened zinc to enable it to penetrate masonry surfaces. It is generally used to secure wood to stone or brick.

Drywall Nail

Used for hanging drywall, the nail head is designed so that it does not cut the paper face of the drywall and so it sinks 1 inch (2.5 cm) into the frame.

Angular Ring Shank Nail

Similar to a round-head nail, an angular ring shank nail also has rings all along the shank, providing greater grip in wood that results in a more secure attachment.

Siding Nail

Siding nails are galvanized. There are four types of galvanization and a variety of sizes are available.