The Ultimate Guide to Nail Sizes, Brands and Types - Packaging Inc. Packaging Incorporated – BlackHawk Packaging

Your Guide to Everything Nails

Your Guide to Everything Nails

Buying nails can be a little muddy instead of straightforward. Is there a difference between brands? What does collated mean? Do I need a coil or a strip? What size do I need? Sometimes, you just have to call in the experts.

Here is your guide to everything nails!

What does collated mean?

The word collate is a verb meaning “collect and combine.” So, collated is just a fancy word for attached to each other in some way. Nails in strips or coils are collated, whereas nails that come in a box aren’t.

Strip vs. Coil Collation

Different fastening tools require different collations. While fasteners used in general construction generally require strip collation, coils are more common for palleting, installing siding, and fencing. Your fastening tool will take either coil or strip collated nails, not either or.

Nail Composition

At Packaging Incorporated, our paper strip collated nails, for instance, come in brite wire, galvanized, or stainless steel.

Galvanized nails are steel nails that have been coated with zinc to keep them from rusting as quickly. They stand up a little better to water and abrasion.

Brite wire nails haven’t been treated to stand up to weather, so they’re used for indoor applications, such as trim, carpentry such as kitchen cupboards, flooring and more.

Stainless steel are nails made of stainless steel that aren’t galvanized. They’re often used in decking, roofing, outdoor trim, siding, and many other applications.

Brad vs. Finishing Nails

Finish nails are thinner nails with smaller heads that are used in finishing work, where they’d be showing. These nails can be driven below the surface of the wood, then filled over with putty and/or paint so that they’re not visible. So, they’re often used for paneling, molding, and other interior jobs.

Brad nails are often referred to as finishing nails, because they’re very similar! However, most brad nails do have small heads that aren’t sunken into the wood, so it’s more likely that they’ll be visible on the finished product.

For more on the differences between finish and brad nails, check out this article on

Specialty Fasteners

Sometimes, what you can find on the market doesn’t completely work for your unique application. That’s where specialty fasteners come in. If you’re trying to work with fasteners that aren’t quite working, you should definitely reach out to Packaging Incorporated. We can design something just for you!

Contact Us for more information!

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