4 Nail Shank Types to Use for Your Construction Project

Choosing the right nail shank depends on what you are building, where you are building it, and the strength required to support the application. Having the proper understanding of which nail shank to use is critical to preventing a damaged roof, a squeaky subfloor, or any other defective, unwanted result. It is also helpful to know the appropriate level of strength. Even if you are a seasoned construction worker, pulling nails can be a frustrating process. You may even have thought, "how strong do my nails really need to be?"

Smooth Nail Shanks

The most popular shank nails used for construction are smooth shank nails. Because they are quick and easy to drive and have no threading, they can be easily driven into most surfaces. From framing to siding to finishing, smooth shank nails are an excellent solution for many construction projects. While they are strong, smooth shank nails do not quite have the strength of the other shank nail types in this list, so you wouldn't use them for a roofing project. While they aren't as strong, they are, however, quite versatile. Smooth shank nails are one of the easiest types of shanks to manufacture, thus they are among the most affordable on the market. Please note: Prior to beginning your construction project using smooth shank nails, be sure verify that you will meet building codes and material manufacturer guidelines

Smooth Shank Nails come in Bright Common general interior construction and framing purposes, Galvanized (HD) for exterior projects. Also Vinyl Coated Sinker Nails for general interior construction. Vinyl coating makes it easier to drive nail into wood and coating helps holding power. Flat Checked Head for less hammer slippage.

Best Used For:

Framing applications and interior finish work. Galvanized for exterior work, pressure treated wood, carpentry and framing

Smooth Nail Shank Applications:

  • Framing
  • Siding
  • Trim
  • Finishing
  • General Woodworking

Ring Shank/Annular Ring Nails

What is a ring shank nail? With twice the strength of a smooth shank nail, the rink shank nail effectively penetrates into the wood, resulting in a tighter grip that can withstand powerful weather like strong winds or constant exposure to moisture. The strength of the design comes from when the fibers of the ring shank nail lock into each groove in the shank. Because of their strong holding power, ring nail shanks help prevent a squeaking sound in your floors. In addition, their tight grip allows excellent resistance to popping out of the wood. These are particularly effective for soft woods.

Please note: removing a ring shank nail will likely leave a ragged hole in the wood. Since these nails are quite hard to remove, we recommend utilizing ring shank nails for use when building permanent structures.

The International Code Council (ICC) identifies ring shank nails as a "deformed" type of nail, which means that they have a unique, annular (or ring-shaped) design, with a specific purpose to have a stronger, locking effect. Typically, the "deformed" ring shank nails are best used for high-wind areas and possibly for some subfloor assemblies. Shop for ring shank/spike nails on JakeSales.com today!

Best Used For:

Siding, decking, sheathing roofs and walls (particularly for areas of high winds), nailing plywood to floor joists

Ring Nail Shank Applications:

  • Pole Barns
  • Beam Construction
  • Siding
  • Roof decking
  • Asphalt roofs
  • Underlayment
  • Sub floors
  • High-wind zones

Box Nail Shank vs. Common Nail

Whats the difference between a box nail and a common shank nail beside cost?

Box nails generally have a smaller diameter shank than common nails of the same "penny weight" Common nails can handle heavier loads and better for general carpentry and framing. Box nails are not as strong as common Nails and are designed to reduce wood splitting and used with lighter woods and non-structural in use. Commonly used to assemble boxes also good for installing Clapboard as they tend to crack the product less.

Nail Shanks: Conclusion

Depending on your project, you will want to choose the most effective shank type that will drive into the material for the proper and long-lasting grip you're looking for. At Jake Sales, we provide nail shank types for roofing, decking, siding, flooring, and other applications.

Jake Sales has been open for business since 1981, and ever since then, we have been a trusted source of many different types of nails, including ring shank/spike nails, bright common nails, sinker framing nails, finish nails, and roofing nails, among others. We currently provide FREE shipping on any order to any location in the USA (including Alaska and Hawaii). For more information about nails, please contact our friendly experts by giving us a call at (406) 752-5253 , or by emailing us at tom@jakesales.com.