Ring Shank, 10d and Stainless Steel Nails for Fences: What to Know

Aug 11, 2023 | NEWS

When building or repairing a fence, you have many choices for nails beyond the basic galvanized options. Nail styles like ring shank, larger sizes like 10d, and stainless steel can offer benefits depending on your application and priorities. Here are the key details to know about these alternative fence nails.

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Ring Shank Nails

Ring shank nails have spiral grooves cut into the nail shank that provide a tighter grip in wood compared to smooth shank nails. They help resist pullout, making ring shank nails a more durable option for fencing.

The grooves on ring shank nails effectively increase the nail diameter while inside the wood, providing more surface area for holding power. When driven, the grooves compress the wood fibers around the nail to lock it in place. This resists uplift forces from wind, tension between boards, and movement over time.

However, because the grooves cause the nail to flare out inside the wood, ring shank nails cannot be driven completely flush like smooth nails. They will protrude slightly above the wood surface.

Ring shank nails are well suited for fence applications that see heavy loads or tension, like shadowbox privacy fences or gates. They are also a good option for pressure-treated lumber that can swell and contract with moisture. The additional grip helps compensate for any looseness that develops.

While commonly available as coil nails, ring shank nails also come in staples and square nails for pneumatic nail guns. Choose the appropriate length and gauge for your specific fence boards and materials.

What Are 10d Nails Used For?

A 10d nail refers to the nail size according to standard wire gauge measurements. The “d” stands for “penny,” a historical unit of measurement. A 10d nail has a 0.120 inch shank diameter and is roughly 2.5 to 3 inches long.

10d nails are larger and heavier duty compared to more common 8d and 6d sizes. They are suitable for joining thicker or denser wood in fences, like pressure-treated pine. The larger diameter and length of 10d nails provide greater bearing area and penetration for a more secure fastening.

While primarily used with pneumatic nail guns, 10d nails are also available in coil form for manual nailing. They work well for joining horizontal 2×4 fence boards, Cross lap joints between rails and posts, and securing trim moldings.

Stainless Steel Nails

Stainless steel fence nails for fences provide the best resistance to corrosion and staining compared to standard galvanized or ceramic coated steel options. They maintain their appearance and structural integrity the longest in outdoor, wet environments.

However, stainless steel nails also have some disadvantages. They cost significantly more than galvanized nails due to the higher material costs of stainless steel. Stainless nails are also slightly less rigid, which can reduce their holding power in wood to some degree.

For fences where aesthetics and long-term durability are top priorities, stainless steel nails can be worth the investment. They will ensure your fence remains fastened securely with minimal discoloration for decades.

Conclusion Of Ring Shank Nails For Fence

For fences where extra strength and durability are needed, ring shank, 10d and stainless steel nails provide noticeable benefits compared to standard options. Ring shank and 10d nails offer greater bearing area and holding power, while stainless resists corrosion the best. But they also come at higher material costs.

When deciding between these alternative fasteners, consider your specific fencing needs and priorities. Larger ring shank nails may suffice for durability in place of 10d sizes. Or a combination of stainless and standard galvanized nails could optimize cost and performance based on visibility and load requirements. By understanding the tradeoffs, you can specify the right fence nails for long-lasting results.