There are many kinds of nails that can be found at your local home centers such as City Mill. Galvanized steel nails are most commonly used, but nails are also made of aluminum, stainless steel, cooper, brass and bronze. Bright steel nails will rust, so they should not be used where rusting would cause discoloration or staining.

Hot-dipped zinc-coated nails have good rust protection. This method is considered the best way to coat steel nails uniformly.

Selecting the right kind and head of nail to use depends upon the hardiness of the wood, the chance of the head working through and the type of work to be done. A finishing nail, for example, must have a good holding power yet be inconspicuous.

The holding power of a nail is determined by its length, diameter and the shape of the shank. The thickness of the material to be nailed determines the length of the nail required, but the amount of stress the material will bear should also be considered.

For example, if a 1” thick board which bears no weight or stress is nailed to another 1” thick board which bears no weight or stress is nailed to another 1” thick board, use a nail approximately 1-1/2” long. But if the 1” board is to bear weight and is nailed to a thicker board, use a nail that is 2-1/2 times the thickness of the material to be fastened.

Listed below are the names of the most common types of nails and their functions.

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Common – Used in general carpentry and wood framing. Typical applications are house foundations, floor joints, rafters and internal studding.

Masonry – Used to fasten framing parts such as sills, furring, window and door trim to masonry and concrete.

Staples – U-shaped wire fasteners for securing wire fencing to wood parts.

Finishing/Casing – Used around windows, trim and paneling where nails cannot show. Its small head allows the nail to be driven into the wood so the hole can be filled and finished.

Roofing – These have large heads and are galvanized to resist corrosion. The shank is barbed for greater holding power- nails for new roofs are usually 7/8” long with 7/16” heads.

Duplex Head – Used in construction where the nail will be removed after serving its purpose. The second head’s purpose is to stop the nail during driving for easy removal.

Drywall – Used for attaching sheets of drywall gypsum board to interior wall studs. They have a countersunk head that drive just below the surface, forming a depression that is filled with joint compound.

Wire Brads & Tacks – Used for household jobs such as upholstering or tacking down carpet.

Flooring – Screw- shanked nails for laying tongue and grooved hardwood flooring.

All these tools are available at City Mill. When buying tools, look for brand name products that offer durability at prices you can afford. You can depend on hand tools made by Stanley, Cooper, Arrow and Crescent. Dependable power tool brands include Black & Decker, Delta, DeWalt, Makita, Porter-Cable, Ryobi and Skil.

Finally, your need a container in which to store your tools. Plastic or metal toolboxes are available in several sizes.