When To Use Nails Vs. Screws
When To Use Nails Vs. Screws


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Nails and screws are historical wooden-fastening know-how that nevertheless get the work completed nowadays. But how do you know which one to use for any provided job?

That concern was really easier to reply a couple of many years back for the reason that now there are lots of far more forms and sizes of nails and screws offered, and many more—and better—ways to generate them in.

So let’s talk about the variances and similarities concerning nails and screws, so you can figure out the suitable a person for the task.

Nails vs. Screws: A Background

Let us get started by expressing that both nails and screws are great wooden fasteners when they’re sized effectively and set up thoroughly. And in numerous situations, you can use possibly a nail or a screw for a solid, lasting link. The suitable decision often comes down to the resource utilised to travel in the fastener, the dimensions of the wooden parts getting fixed alongside one another, and no matter whether you’re constructing a home or making a woodworking job.



At one time, nails were desired above screws due to the fact it was much much easier and a lot quicker to hammer in nails than to use a handbook screwdriver or spiral-ratcheting screwdriver (e.g.: Yankee Screwdriver) to drive in slotted screws.

The arrival of the Phillips-head screw in the 1930s altered every thing and commenced the gradual movement from hammering nails to driving screws. Phillips screws were being quickly and quick to push in, as opposed to slotted screws, which were—and are—painstakingly gradual and hard to set up. As electrical and pneumatic screwdrivers grew to become additional commonplace, the recognition of screws grew exponentially.

But the true quantum leap for ability-driving screws coincided with the introduction of the cordless drill/driver, the most well known moveable ability tool ever invented. Shortly arrived the subsequent introduction of cordless effect motorists and effects wrenches permitted electrical power-driving even the extremely longest, thickest screws.

So substantially nails correct? Nicely, not quite.

Nails once once more became the fastener of option for numerous work both small and significant at the time men and women found out the velocity and simplicity of employing air compressors and pneumatic nailers, and a lot more not long ago, battery-powered cordless nailers match cordless drill/motorists with the convenience of becoming untethered from a compressor.

A person of our beloved YouTubers, The Essential Craftsman, offers a fantastic rundown on some of the similarities and variations in between our two favorite wooden fasteners:

How To Decide on the Proper Just one

When determining among nails and screws, retain in head that nails are fewer brittle, so they give greater shear power. They may well bend beneath strain, but they rarely snap.

Screws, on the other hand, may not be as forgiving, but their threaded shafts keep improved in wooden and attract boards together substantially extra tightly and they have increased tensile power. Screws also do a much better career of keeping limited through wood’s organic expansion and contraction.

As talked about before, the two nails and screws are superb fasteners and you can frequently use them interchangeably, depending on the work at hand. Normally talking, nails are preferred for standard carpentry positions, this kind of as:

    • Securing plywood sheathing
      • Putting down hardwood floors
        • Setting up siding and roofing

          Tiny-diameter nails, which includes finishing nails and brads, are best for:

          • Nailing up interior moldings, such as baseboard, chair rail and window and door casings
            • Installing exterior home trim, including rake boards, fascia, frieze and corner boards
              • Attaching stiles and rails to cabinets
              • Good-wood edging to plywood cabinets
                • Anywhere you don’t want to mar the wood’s surface area with the head of a screw

                  Screws are most well-liked for these kinds of duties as:

                  • Hanging drywall
                  • Attaching ledger boards
                  • Putting in cabinets
                  • Fastening wood decking
                  • Fabricating cabinets, wood toys, bookcases, and other woodworking tasks
                  • For any wood-to-wooden link that you may perhaps will need to take apart

                    The base line is that selecting the ideal fastener—nail or screw—comes down to deciding upon the appropriate measurement fastener and then making use of the most-ideal tool for driving it into the wood. And right after you’ve acquired some arms-on knowledge as a result of trial and error, the suitable option will come to be crystal distinct.



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