Choosing the right type of nail for your upcoming home project is more daunting than actually doing the project. Part of the confusion surrounding the many types of nails originates at the home hardware store. You ask the nearest sales person to point you to the aisle containing nails, and it turns out there’s an entire section designated to nails, screws, and other hardware.
It is completely normal to feel confused as you browse through this section, and what you thought would be an easy decision turns out to be the most difficult part of the process. Deciding on whether to use aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, or stainless steel nails for home building is tricky. But trust us when we tell you that when in doubt, stainless steel is the way to go.
Here you can brush up on your knowledge of the many types of stainless steel nails, when to use each type, and the pros and cons of stainless steel nails.
Types of Stainless Steel Nails and Their Uses
Just as the name suggests, the most common choice for nail is the common nail. Common nails are used for a variety of projects and classified according to their size. They range in length from 1 to 6 inches and are typically bought in bulk (since they are extremely cost effective). These are used for basic construction and fastening work. If you plan on using a stainless steel common nail on delicate material, you’ll want to opt for a smaller size.
Another type of stainless steel nail is the roofing nail, also referred to as a clout. These are known for their short shanks and wide heads, making them ideal for roofing and shingling projects. They are also great for fastening sheet metal to wood. In addition to common and clout nails, here are a few more types that can be constructed from stainless steel:
- Scaffolding nails
- Brad nails
- Finish nails
- Masonry nails
Benefits and Cons of Using Stainless Steel vs Another Material
The major benefit of choosing a stainless steel nail over one made from another material is its resistance to corrosion. Stainless steel is known for its ability to resist rust and corrosion over time. This is especially important in outdoor projects, especially for homeowners living along the coast with air containing a higher salt content than normal.
Another benefit is the durability of stainless steel. They essentially last forever and have an excellent lifecycle. They are able to withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures, once again important for outdoor projects. Not to mention they are 100% recyclable so your stainless steel nail choice is better for the environment. This is why more and more environmentally-conscious people are opting for stainless steel water bottles instead of harmful plastic.
There is one disadvantage of choosing stainless steel: cost. The cost of steel is much more than the cost of materials like aluminum and copper. You can often purchase a box of aluminum nails for next to nothing, whereas the same amount of nails made from stainless steel will cost you.