December Deals - Click Here For Offers! - $1,000+ IN FASTENERS SHIPS FREE (CODE: FREESHIPPING) or 10% OFF FASTENER ORDER $500+

What Type Of Nail Is Correct For My Application?

At the end of 2013, we posted about the various components of a nail and offered some in-depth explanations as to the importance of these components. If you missed our previous posts on nail components, here is a quick refresher - with some added knowledge.

Collated nails are offered in a variety of degrees, sizes and types. This article will take you step by step in determining the classification, range, type and finish required for your application. A popular choice, check out Nail Gun Depot's SureFit nails, if you are looking for a high quality fastener at a fraction of the cost. Another popular choice, Senco nails offer a wide variety of fasteners to choose from, with genuine, time-tested durability.

The first step is to determine what collation angle your tool is designed to run. Some degrees include 20 °, 35 °, 28 ° and 15 °. The next step would be to classify what types of collation the tool handles. Collations include plastic, wire and paper - which can be used in place of plastic.


When you have completed the nail classification, you will then determine the tool range. The length and diameter are known as the range. Length is the size of the nail, each tool will have a minimum and maximum length. Note: some nails are sized in pennies (symbol, D). Diameter is the thickness of the shank or wire gauge. The bigger the number, the thicker the nail.


The type of nail can be broken into three categories; head, point and shank. Head types include duplex, headless, finish, drywall, clipped and full round which is the most common. The type of point determines how the nail will penetrate into your application and the splitting severity. The most common is chisel (diamond) point and the easiest to drive. It is ideal for soft wood applications. Blunt point allows minimal penetration resistance and is commonly used in pallet construction. Flat point, also known as chisel point, requires the most drive power and is frequently used with a screw shank nail.


The nail shank is the part on the nail which does most of the holding. The shank is one of four types: smooth, spiral, ring or screw. Smooth shank nails have exactly that: a smooth appearance and has the least holding power. Spiral shank nails have either a threaded appearance, like a screw, or they can have a helical twist to them. Screw shank nails are used in hardwood applications. Ring shank nails have a series of rings punched into the surface of the shank and offers the most holding power.


The nail finish can be bright, cement coated, electrogalvanized, hot dipped galvanized, flash-coated with zinc, hardened steel, stainless steel or aluminum. These different finishes, coatings or material of nails give different levels of protection of resistance to rusting or other special properties to certain applications.


The factors mentioned above such as degree, collation type, nail size and shank diameter can all affect the compatibility of nails with any nail gun. Contact Nail Gun Depot Customer Service to confirm compatibility and determine the best nail for your application. You can also use Nail Gun Depot's Fastener Finder Tool to locate the right nail for your tool.

~ The Nail Gun Depot Team
Leave a Reply


  • Malcolm Weir January 17, 2017 at 9:08 PM

    I am looking to make up some wooden pallets. I am thinking of using 50 x 18 gauge twist nails. Could you please advise if these would be suitable. I am also looking to use a Dewalt DWFP12231 nail gun.


  • Doug Lezman May 5, 2018 at 5:23 AM

    I'll be building a pole bard and looking for an economical gun / nail combination for driving 3.5" ring shank nails into pressure treated wood. What do you recommend?

    • Nail Gun Depot May 11, 2018 at 12:30 PM

      For pole barns, we usually recommend a nailer that can run higher than 3.5" nails. The Bostitch BRT130 is a great option for the price. You'll also find 4" ring shank nails listed below the tool, in the related products section.

  • Fernando J Llajaruna August 30, 2018 at 3:00 PM

    Hi! What would be the best kind of nails that you recommend to use with aDEWALT CORDLESS FRAIMING NAIL GUN DCN692 and can I use a 20 or 21 degree nails on this nailer or is it only compatible with 30-33 degree nails? I would really appreciate your help thanks.

    • Nail Gun Depot August 31, 2018 at 6:07 AM

      The DCN692 only runs 30-33 degree paper tape nails. However, we'll be adding a 20-22 degree plastic collated Dewalt cordless framing gun in the next few days. Please stay tuned.

      • Rickey January 14, 2019 at 3:50 PM

        Will it be made in the USA ? Thank you

        • Nail Gun Depot January 15, 2019 at 4:32 AM

          Senco nails are manufactured in Cincinnati, OH.

  • Tim September 1, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    I have an old duo fast framing nailer from the late 80 early 90's. I have a partial box of 3.25" nails that are marked 31degree and are plastic collated. I was wanting to get 2.5" and 3.25 boxes of nails can you help. Not sure but comparing mine to pics on the internet it looks like cn-325 or 350

    • Nail Gun Depot September 4, 2018 at 6:35 AM

      Duo-Fast has discontinued major segments of their product offerings. What we have listed in our Duo-Fast Nails category is the extent of what we currently stock - or have an identical interchange available.

  • Michael McCants June 17, 2019 at 1:26 PM

    I have a Ridgid R213BNE. I am going to put new pickets on my privacy fence. Can I use ring shank nails in my Ridgid 213?

    • Nail Gun Depot June 18, 2019 at 4:45 AM

      Hi Michael,

      A brad nailer will not shoot ring shank framing nails. You would need a framing gun for that. For a privacy fence, you'll definitely want a framing nailer or fencing nailer.

  • Rich November 23, 2019 at 4:33 AM

    Does dewalt make a battery operated nail gun that will shoot galvanized spiral nails for horse fence

    • Nail Gun Depot November 25, 2019 at 4:57 AM

      Unfortunately, not at this time. They are releasing a cordless coil roofing nailer Spring 2020, so it's possible they may eventually come out with something suitable for your application.

  • Anthony December 9, 2019 at 8:00 PM

    I like to know the best nail gun and nail strip to use on both indoor and outdoor stair treads. Please advise.

    Thank you ,in advance, for your input.

  • Ollie December 31, 2019 at 8:18 AM

    I am looking for a nail gun to install plastic capping to thermalite building block (breeze block). The capping is for protecting cables during electrical 1st fix. It is very thin (about 3mm) so will need a large head to hold it in place. I also need the tool to be battery operated. Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Nail Gun Depot January 2, 2020 at 5:19 AM

      Take a look at the Jaaco NPCN-7312 Coil Concrete Nailer. This nailer can run ballistic concrete pins with washer - when used with the proper attachment. If you can give us a call at 888.720.7892, we can take a closer look at your application to make sure you are paired with the best tool and fasteners for the job.

  • Diego Sarmiento April 7, 2020 at 5:18 AM

    Hi there!!!

    I ended up buying the Dewalt DWF83PL, can it shoot ring shank? Thanks

    • Nail Gun Depot April 8, 2020 at 12:38 PM


      If you look under the tool, we list the compatible fasteners we offer. Ring shank is no problem for that nail gun.

Copyright © 2021 Nail Gun Depot All rights reserved. All trademarks and brands are property of their respective owner | Privacy Policy