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The Nail vs. Screw Showdown: Why Ring Shank Hot-Dip Galvanized Nails Rule the Fence

The Nail vs. Screw Showdown: Why Ring Shank Hot-Dip Galvanized Nails Rule the Fence

Building a fence is a fantastic way to add privacy, security, and definition to your property. But before you grab your hammer and get started, a crucial decision awaits: nails or screws? While both options can secure your fence, understanding the advantages of ring shank hot-dip galvanized nails (not your average smooth nail) can make your project faster, more durably, and more cost-effective.

This article dives into the great fastener debate, exploring the key differences between ring shank hot-dip galvanized nails and screws for fence building. We’ll uncover the advantages of nails, focusing on the benefits of ring shank design and hot-dip galvanization for long-lasting fence performance.

Holding Power: Nails Prove Their Worth

The primary concern for any fence fastener is holding power. You want your fence to stand strong against wind, rain, and other elements. Here’s where ring shank nails shine:

  • Grip Like a Vice: Ring shank nails feature ridges along the shank that bite into the wood fibers. This additional grip provides excellent holding power, ensuring your fence pickets remain securely fastened to the rails. These are not your average smooth nail!
  • Wood Movement Accommodation: Wood naturally expands and contracts with moisture changes. The ring shank design allows for some flexibility within the wood, preventing the nail from popping out due to seasonal movement.

While some might argue that screws offer superior holding power, studies have shown that ring shank nails provide adequate strength for most residential fence applications. Additionally, screw heads are prone to failure at the point where the head meets the shank. This is less common with ring shank nails.

Cost-Effectiveness: Nails Drive Down Expenses

Building a fence can be an investment, so keeping costs under control is essential. When it comes to fasteners, nails offer a clear advantage. Ring shank hot-dip galvanized nails are significantly cheaper than screws. You can expect to pay roughly 1-1.5 cents per nail compared to 6-7 cents per screw. This cost difference translates to substantial savings, especially for larger fence projects.

Here’s a breakdown of the cost factor:

  • Nail Gun Efficiency: Pneumatic nail guns can fire nails rapidly, allowing for quick and efficient fence construction. This is a stark contrast to the time-consuming process of manually screwing each fence picket into place.
  • Collated Screw Guns Can’t Keep Up: Even when using a commercial screw gun that feeds and loads the screws each time giving the installer the best amount of time efficiency, unfortunately experience has taught us that even these tools can’t keep up with a nail gun.

Durability: Hot-Dip Galvanization Protects Your Investment

Fences are exposed to the harsh elements year-round. To ensure your fence lasts for years to come, choosing the right nail material is crucial. Here’s where hot-dip galvanization enters the picture:

  • Zinc Coating for the Win: Hot-dip galvanized nails undergo a dipping process in molten zinc. This creates a protective zinc coating that shields the underlying steel from rust and corrosion. This additional layer significantly extends the lifespan of the nails, preventing them from weakening and failing prematurely.
  • Superior Weather Resistance: Hot-dip galvanized nails are perfect for outdoor applications, including fence building. They can withstand harsh weather conditions, including rain, snow, and intense sunlight, without sacrificing their structural integrity.

While stainless steel nails offer the ultimate in corrosion resistance, they come at a significantly higher cost. Hot-dip galvanized nails provide a fantastic balance between affordability and long-lasting performance for most fence projects.

Additional Benefits of Ring Shank Hot-Dip Galvanized Nails

There’s more to love about ring shank hot-dip galvanized nails than just cost, speed, and durability. Here are some additional advantages:

  • Reduced Splitting: The ring shank design helps minimize wood splitting during installation, especially compared to thicker screws. This maintains the integrity of your fence pickets and improves the overall aesthetics.
  • Cleaner Appearance: Nails offer a more traditional, visually appealing look for wooden fences. The smaller head profile of nails blends in better with the wood compared to larger screw heads, creating a cleaner finished look.
  • Less Probably of Streaking: Hot Dip Galvanization is much thicker and protective than an electro -galvanized nail. As this nail is driven into the fence board there is little to no damage done to this protective coating. In comparison- with a deck screw there is more marring and damage to the coating on the screw head that over time will cause corrosion and streaking.

When Screws Might Be a Better Choice

While ring shank hot-dip galvanized nails are fantastic for most fencing projects, there are situations where screws might be a better option:

  • Removable panels: If you need the ability to remove sections of your fence for repairs or maintenance, screws offer a clear advantage. They can be easily unscrewed and re-screwed, while removing nails often leads to damage to the wood.
  • Steel posts: When connecting rails to steel fence posts, screws provide a more secure connection due to their superior grip on metal.

Conclusion: Ringing in the Victory for Your Fence

Building a fence is an investment in your home or business. As professional fence installers we are always wanting to install the best products for a job at the most affordable cost. There are clear advantages to using a hot dip ring shank galvanized nail for a fence project including holding power, durability, ease of use, and lower cost.

So who is the clear winner of the Screw versus Ring Shank Hot Dip Galvanized Nail Debate? 

The winner is: Ring Shank Hot Dip Galvanized Nails!

Contact Us

With expert guidance from Sacramento’s Fantastic Fence company, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your local fence experts will build your fence the right way! Contact Fantastic Fence today to embark on the journey towards a quieter outdoor retreat. Contact Fantastic Fence at (916) 790-7100 or send us a message.