No announcement yet.

So many nails to choose, so little space!

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • So many nails to choose, so little space!

    We all know about the revolution in screws..spax, sharx, beaver stainless, assorted head designs, clever new thread styles etc.

    Well as I wander about at home depot and look through catalogs I see all types of nails!

    This question is specifically to boxed nails, not those we use in nail guns...

    For a typical homeowner with say limited storage, similar to the multiiple drawer plastic bins; What would a good cross section of nails be?

    I estimate some finish, some panel, some galvanized, some common, some coated etc. I also think sizes are going to be critical too.
    I estimate some 4,6,8,16, penny are a good cross section of nail sizes.
    Maybe even some dry wall, roofing nails etc.

    What would be a good top twenty [ten is not enough] of nails the homeowner should keep on hand?

    In this scenario I define the homeowner as a person who is a first or second homeowner. A person with very minimal skill levels in using tools or building things, but wants to start and learn. He has limited tools but does own a new hammer for those know! to whack the side of the tv if it acts up etc.

    Myself, I run a serious inventory of plus 60 types of nails. From the tiny carpet tack to the 20 penny common coated.
    In actual use I find the 4,6,8,16 penny size from common and finish styles to
    the galvanized ones are the nails I use most.

    OK, it's your turn...........

    Cactus Man

  • #2
    I don't stock nails. I have probably a half box or less of leftovers from projects like putting down my deck floor or those used on cross bracing, etc. Likewise there's a few roofing nails, a hand full of small finishing nails and even some box nails. Heck, I don't even remember sizes as I keep them in jars shoved away in a plastic storage box. This past spring, I threw out probably two full cartons of drywall nails because I couldn't give them away. How old those were, I can't begin to imagine, as anything I've drywalled in the last 20 years or so has been with drywall screws.

    With the exception of a small quantity of various screws, bolts, and associated hardware, I find myself buying for whatever project is at hand.



    • #3
      With the exception of my pneumatic nailer's I pretty much use screws for everything that comes up. About the only nails I have are leftovers from earlier projects and they just sit around gathering dust. I do have some spikes that I use to pierce the ends of caulk and adhesive tubes.
      I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


      • #4
        I'd have to say I'm in the same boat as CWS, I haven't bought a nail in years. But I am a pack rat so I have not as yet tossed any out as he did (shame on you CWS for throwing away perfectly good nails ). The only ones I have are what is left over from various projects going back as far as 1982. Probably the last nails I used on a project was when installing some paneling to finish off a room in the basement. I used ring shank panel nails in some places but brads fired from a gun for most of it.

        I did use a 16d nail last week, I drove it into a stud to make a place to hang something in the garage.
        "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


        1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


        • #5
          Guess I will jump in the "Don't stock nails" boat as well. I have a few left over roofing nails from the last house that I did move with me, partial box of another left over from replacing a sheet of siding, and one newer box of galvanized I got for the basement to attach the new wall frames to pressure treated wood. I do however have a HUGE box of framing nails that will probably last me the rest of my life! Otherwise I just keep a small supply on hand for the nail guns.

          I did actually use some drywall nails when attaching some beading in the basement, but just bought a bag full of about what I needed at ACE so I wouldn't have leftovers...
          Still enjoying all 10 fingers!


          • #6
            Sorry Cactus, but I just have homeowner project leftovers that I store in those nifty plastic bins. I do keep the box top in the bottom of the bin just in case I need the same size again. It's been years though since I had to buy any. Mostly use pnuematics now.

            To address your question as a 27+ year home owner. If a new airless homeowner wanted to start a supply of nails, I'd have to say they'd need
            1" Ring Shank Panel
            4d & 6d finish
            3d,6d,8d,12d and 16d Common

            I think these sizes would provide a nice range to cover trim and those small projects all the way up to that outdoor 2X4 project.

            Sure is a heck of a lot cheaper than 4 nail guns and a compressor


            • #7
              I think he's got his answer.

              Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents as I'm probably the closest to being in his boat. I'm just a homeowner who likes to try to do things himself and I couldn't imagine going out and buying a bunch of nails just to have them on hand.

              I've got a few boxes of different sized screws and drywall anchors from different projects, and one big box of nails I used to attach a few electrical boxes I put in, and then a bunch of odds and ends from years and years of packratting, but that's it.

              If you go and stock 10 or 20 different types of nails, just in case, then Murphy's Law states that when something comes up for which you need a nail, it's not going to be one of the 20 you've got.


              • #8
                Cactus: I don't know what you are trying to elicit from us. You state you have a good inventory, but ask about the average Joe Blow home owner. If you are designing a kit, I would stick to the smaller ones, including finishing nails for moldings and small headed ones for hanging a quick picture, etc. After that, if anyone has a battery powered drill/driver (which most do nowadays), screws are usually a better option.
                But, it kinda depends on where you are: For instance, in Florida or anywhere a hurricane comes in, its always good to have some good 8d or 10d double-headed nails on hand to board up before and do temp repairs after. (Quite often you do not have power available to charge batteries, so hand tool, no power options are good) I personally used screws to board up (used to live on the Fla Gulf coast) as it did less damage and was easy to predrill boards and reuse them. When power was out, I'd run the old 12v DeWalt down and then use an apex adapter in my hand socket speed wrench to pull them off. I still have about 10 lbs of the double heads that came in handy for neighbors that weren't as lucky as I was. I still use them for setting up batten boards, etc when I build a deck or shed.
                But, over the years I have collected an assortment of nails (#4, 6 , & 8 finish nails, 6, 8 & 12 Galvanized and CC sinkers, as well as the remainders of boxes of 8d and 12d cc sinkers for my framing nailer). If I buy some, I buy 1lb boxes for small finish nails, but other than that I go 5 lb box for anything #8 and above. For screws, it depends on the project (if it takes over 10 lb I go to the 25 lb box except for stainless).

                Hope this helps on what you are trying to determine

                Practicing at practical wood working