15 Types Of Nails – Woodworking Tools Guide

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When you first got involved in woodworking, you probably didn’t realize just how many different types of woodworking nails there are. A screw seems to be a more robust option. However, you can use nails in many projects where you don’t need an excessively strong grip. It mainly applies to join wood pieces, which you are likely to reinforce with glue.

We use each nail for a specific purpose. Depending on that purpose, we may choose a particular type of nail. Hence, by knowing the different types of nails and the use of each one, you can select an appropriate nail for the job at hand. That way, you can ensure the proper strength of each joint and maintain the right aesthetics for your project.

Nails. Image Credit: Chris RubberDragon

Different Types Of Woodworking Nails

What we have listed here today isn’t an all-comprehensive list. However, in this article, we attempt to cover the most commonly used types that you can use in woodworking. So, let’s get into the heart of the matter.

Round Head Nail

Linwood Small Smooth Round Head Nails Multi-Purpose for DIY Decorative Pictures Boxes Household Accessories 200pcs (0.04x0.23inch, Bronze)
Linwood Round Head Nail. (Amazon).

The round head of these nails also has a rather large diameter, which makes it easy to hit them with a hammer. You have to be careful in choosing the diameter of these nails to avoid splitting the wood into which you are driving the nail. Although these nails do not have perfect aesthetics, they are excellent for general-purpose use.

Masonry Nail

NATIONAL NAIL 93098 Pro-Fit 0093098 Square Cut Masonry, 4D X 1-1/2 in L, 0.109 in Shank Hardware-Nails
National Nail Masonry Nail. (Amazon).

You can get the best out of masonry nails if you need to attach wood to masonry structures. Masonry nails have a content of zinc to make them resistant to corrosion. The reason for this is that there is a high tendency for these nails to rust inside the concrete. The zinc also imparts a certain level of hardness to the nail.

Cut Clasp Nail


Fixman 980602 Cut Clasp Nails 50 x 3mm 1kg Pack
Fixman Cut Clasp Nails. (Amazon).

This nail looks somewhat like a crude metallic stake. Rectangular in cross-section, the cut clasp nail or cut nail does not have an anti-corrosive coating. Due to this reason, it imparts a rather antique appearance to the metal. Thus, these nails are a popular choice for restoring old properties to retain the original look. However, do not underestimate the strength of this category of nail. It takes a particular level of skill to drive a cut clasp nail into wood. But these nails provide an incredibly powerful grip, once in place.

Oval Head Nail

Oval Lost Head Nail Bright Finish 100mm Bag Weight 2.5kg
Forgefix Oval Head Nail. (Amazon).

The head of this nail has an oval cross-section. The purpose of this oval shape is to reduce the tendency of the wood to split while hammering it in.

Cut Flooring Nail

2.25" Cut Flooring Nails (1 lb)
Cut Floor Nails. (Amazon).

The cut floor nail has a similar crude construction of the cut clasp nail. However, the difference lies in the head. Unlike the cut clasp nail, the cut floor nail has a flat head. You will find this type of nail beneficial for use on floorboards.

Finish Nail

DEWALT Finish Nails, 1-1/2-Inch, 16GA, 2000-Pack (DCS16150)
DeWalt Finish Nail. (Amazon).

The purpose of the finish nail is to impart a pleasing look to the completed project. This nail will be flush with the wood surface, or you can push it into the wood for it not to project outwards.

Annular Ring Shank

Simpson Strong Tie S70ACNB 70D Roofing Common Annular Ring Shank Type, Stainless Steel, 7-Inch and 4-Gauge, 25-Pound, 250-Piece
Simpson Strong Annular Ring Shank. (Amazon).

As the name of this kind of nail suggests, it has annular rings along the length of the nail. These annular rings provide an exceptional grip, once driven into the wood. Therefore, we consider these nails as among the best in woodworking nails.


National Hardware V7700 #22 x 1-Inches Cut Tacks, Black
National Hardware Tack. (Amazon).

We use tacks to attach textile materials to wood. For example, you can use these nails to fix upholstery to furniture. Tacks are short nails with a square cross-section and an extremely sharp point. The head has a wide diameter and is quite flat.

Spiral Shank Nail

MAZE NAILS T449S-5 Double Dipped Spiral Shank Pressure Treated Lumber Nail, 5-Pound 10D 3-Inch
Maze Nails Spiral Shank Nail. (Amazon).

These nails enjoy a prominent position in the construction industry. We use them to join wood frames and shelves to masonry. The spiral groove along the length of the nail provides extra grip when you drive the nail into the job.


This unique form of nail does not have a head. It is just a metallic wedge that we use to fix glass panes in wooden frames.

Lost Head Nail

Lost Head Nail Bright Finish 65mm Bag Weight 500g
Lost Head Nail. (Amazon).

If you want to hide the head of a nail, then you will need to use a lost head nail. This nail is a headless nail. You drive this nail into the job with a hammer in the usual way. However, once flush with the surface, you can use a punch to drive the nail slightly below the surface. These nails help us to fix laminate to wood.

Roofing Nail

BOSTITCH Roofing Nails, Wire Collated Coil, 1-1/4-Inch, Smooth Shank, 15-Degree, 7200-Pack (CR3DGAL)
Bostitch Roofing Nail. (Amazon).

If you are doing extensive work on roof building or repairs, you will need these nails. Roofing nails are typically galvanized, given that they are likely to be exposed to the elements.

Siding Nail

Metabo HPT Siding Nails | 1-3/4-Inch x .092-Inch | Collated Wire Coil | 15 Degree | Full Round-Head | Ring Shank | Hot-Dipped Galvanized | 3600 Count | 13363HPT
Metabo HPT Siding Nail. (Amazon).

Also useful for working on roofs and walls, siding nails will help you as you work on siding. There are various types of siding, but the nails that you use are likely to be the same, which are siding nails. These nails usually have a galvanized coating for corrosion resistance. We typically drive siding nails into the job with the help of a specialized siding nail gun.

Corrugated Nail

Corrugated Fasteners 3/8" Length 1" Width for DuoFast Atro Spotnails Paslode
Corrugated Nails. (Amazon).

These nails don’t look like nails, but they are, and we drive them into place with the help of a hammer. Corrugated nails, also known as corrugated fasteners, are flat, corrugated strips of steel that have a bevel at one end. We use these nails to make wood joints, particularly for mitered wood joints, to make a frame. You will find corrugated nails extremely handy for assembling plywood frames where you can’t use regular nails.

Drywall Nail


Drywall Nails, Diamond Point, Annular Threaded, 1-5/8"
Drywall Nail. (Amazon).

A drywall nail is a nail that you can use to penetrate a wall without damaging the wallpaper. These nails have a round and flath ead.


As we mentioned earlier, we have just highlighted a few of the nail types – the commonest ones. What are the nail types you need to use? And, where will you use nails and screws? Your choice will depend on the kind of project. By knowing the different types of woodworking nails, you will now be able to make an appropriate choice.

We hope that by reading this article, you can identify the main types of nails. You should now be in a better position to use nails to the maximum benefit, and showcase your skills to the maximum as a competent woodworker.


Featured Image: Craig Dugas