Paper vs. Plastic Collated Framing Nails: Understanding the Differences

Dec 4, 2023 | NEWS

paper vs plastic collated nails offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, catering to different construction needs and environmental conditions. By understanding the key differences between these two types of nails, professionals and DIY enthusiasts can make informed decisions that optimize project outcomes.

Understanding Paper Collated Framing Nails

Paper collated framing nails are held together by a paper strip, which acts as a carrier. The paper collation method allows for easy loading into nail guns and reduces the risk of nail jams. These nails are commonly available in 21-degree and 30-degree angles, with various lengths and gauges to suit different applications.

Advantages of Paper Collated Framing Nails

  1. Cost-Effective: Paper collated framing nails are generally more economical compared to plastic collated nails.
  2. Widely Available: Paper collated nails are readily available at most hardware stores and construction supply outlets.
  3. Compatible with Various Nail Guns: Many nail guns on the market are designed to accommodate paper collated framing nails, making them a versatile choice.

Disadvantages of Paper Collated Framing Nails

  1. Susceptible to Moisture: Paper collation can be affected by moisture, causing the nails to stick together or become difficult to separate.
  2. Potential for Nail Gun Damage: In humid environments or with prolonged exposure to moisture, the paper collation can swell and damage the nail gun’s internal components.

Understanding Plastic Collated Framing Nails

Plastic collated framing nails are held together by a plastic strip or coil, which provides a more secure and durable bond compared to paper collation. These nails are also available in various angles, lengths, and gauges, catering to different construction needs.

Advantages of Plastic Collated Framing Nails

  1. Moisture Resistance: Plastic collation is not affected by moisture, making these nails suitable for outdoor applications or areas with high humidity.
  2. Reduced Nail Gun Wear: Plastic collated nails are gentler on nail guns, causing less wear and tear on the internal mechanisms.
  3. Enhanced Durability: The plastic collation provides additional support to the nails, reducing the risk of bending or breaking during installation.

Disadvantages of Plastic Collated Framing Nails

Slightly Higher Cost: Plastic collated framing nails are generally more expensive than paper collated nails.

Potential for Nail Gun Compatibility Issues: Some nail guns may not be compatible with plastic collated nails, so it’s important to check compatibility before purchasing.

Applications of Paper and Plastic Collated Framing Nails

Both paper and plastic collated framing nails are widely used in various construction and carpentry applications, including:

  1. Framing: Securing structural components such as walls, floors, and roofs.
  2. Decking: Attaching deck boards to joists.
  3. Fencing: Installing fence boards to posts or rails.
  4. General Construction: Fastening subflooring, sheathing, and siding.

Considerations When Choosing Framing Nails

When selecting framing nails, consider the following factors:

  1. Project Requirements: Assess the specific needs of your project, including the materials being fastened and the desired holding power.
  2. Environmental Conditions: Consider the moisture levels and exposure to the elements to determine whether paper or plastic collated nails are more suitable.
  3. Nail Gun Compatibility: Ensure that the framing nails you choose are compatible with your nail gun to avoid operational issues.