What Kind of Nails Should You Use to Build a Wood Fence?

What Kind of Nails Should You Use to Build a Wood Fence?

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When you're standing in front of the nails at the hardware store, they all look very much the same. However, if you're standing there wondering what kind of nails should you use to build a wood fence, there are some very big differences.

Choosing the right kind of nails can affect the longevity of your fence. Let's take a closer look at why, and what kind of nails you should use to build your wood fence.

Why Do Nails Matter When Building a Wood Fence?

We build wood fences to serve as privacy barriers around backyards and other spaces. However, when we build things to block visibility, we also build something that is very good at blocking wind.

Wind loads are a big thing in the engineering world. They have to be carefully calculated to ensure that buildings, bridges and other structures can support the physical load they will be carrying, as well as the occasional load that wind puts on them.

In the fence business, we don't usually calculate the wind load of fences - but that doesn't mean that they aren't a factor. Choosing the right kind of nails is one way to ensure that your wood fence will stand the test of time - and the wind!

What Kind of Nails Should You Use for Wood Fences?

When you are building a wood fence, spending a couple of cents more per nail can make a huge difference.

Ordinary nails are smooth, which means they slide into wood easily - but also that they can be pulled out quite easily. That's not ideal for fence boards that will need to be held firmly in place.

This is why you should always use a special nail like a spiral shaft nail or even a ring shank nail. These are nails that, as the names suggest, have spirals or rings on the shaft of the nail. As they are driven into wood, they bite deeper and secure better, which means they're much harder to pull loose.

Spiral shank nails and ring shank nails are used for things like roofing and framing, for similar reasons that we recommend them for wood fence.

Other Ways Fittings Can Improve Your Wood Fence

If you're looking to build a wood fence that will be as sturdy as possible as long as possible, there are a few other things you can do.

One is to use screws and even possibly metal hangers to mount your stringers or horizontal members of your fence. This ensures that they are much more secure, and that means your fence will last longer.

Another good idea, if you are building a treated wood fence, is to use coated nails and screws. This helps to prevent the chemicals in the wood from speeding up the corrosion of the metal. That, of course, also ensures that your fence will last longer.