Which is better for building a fence? Nails or Screws? The answer, surprisingly, isn’t clear-cut. It might seem like screws are the more reliable option because they won’t bend, and nails can pop out when hit with enough force, but in fact, it’s not that simple.
For one thing, there are different types of nails or screws for fences to consider; some are stronger than others. Steel screw-in bolts can be particularly good at holding wood together securely (although they will require drilling into the wood). In contrast, steel spikes aren’t as likely to work well on anything other than soft materials like soil.
That said, if you’re looking for something less permanent, you could always try using nails – both galvanized and stainless steel ones are good for this.
How To Use Nails And Screws For Fencing?
It can be tricky to hammer in screws into wood that’s been glued because the wood has no give. Similarly, nails may pop out or bend when hit by a tool like a hammer if the wood they’re being hammered into is too hard. It might seem like nails are better for Fencing – but there are times you might need to use screws instead.
For instance, if you want something temporary and will never need to remove it or take it apart (i.e., moving house), then nailing your fence together with nails would be fine – although we’d recommend using stainless steel ones, as they won’t rust.
We wouldn’t recommend this method for those who intend on making their fence permanent as removing them later will likely not be possible. If you opt for screws, make sure you drill pilot holes in wood before putting screws in. You can drill without power if the screw head is flat enough for your bit to get a good grip.
Even though it feels stiffer, this is because there’s less surface area between the top of the thread and bottom of the shank, making them more difficult to remove than nails after they have been hammered into place. Try using short screws instead of long ones so that more of their shank stays above ground level when hammered into place. Also, remember that very small finishing nails are more likely to bend or break than standard finishing nails.
Irrespective of whether you opt for nails or screws, it is crucial to make sure the wood is as dry as possible before embarking on construction; this will help ensure that your fence ends up with fewer gaps and splits. If you’re building a fence in wet weather, consider using pressure-treated softwood: not only does its increased density reduce chances of warping and rotting over time, but it also increases strength and reduces the chance that planks will split when nailing them together.
When installing fencing posts into the ground to support your fence, remember to dig them at least 45cm deep (18 inches) if planning to install concrete around their base. Without that extra height underneath to anchor into, the posts will stand less chance of withstanding high winds or heavy snowfall.
Which Type Of Nail Should You Use?
There are several different types of nails to consider. Steel nails and galvanized nails look very similar, but the latter feature a zinc coating, which prevents them from rusting in wet weather. Stainless steel nails won’t rust either – so if you’re building a fence out of softwood planks, they might make more sense, as screws can be hard to hammer into hardwood.
If you want to do things on the cheap, L-brackets are probably your best option for getting around where one fence section abuts another or meets with your home’s exterior walls or fencing panels; they will hold together everything while looking better than nailing guy ropes on!
Nails And Screw Sizes For Fencing
Here are some guidelines on choosing nails or screws for your fencing project. Note that actual product packages will include nail lengths as well as the screw sizes. Here we’ll just list general categories of nail/screw length and the kind of fence they’re used for. Use these as a starting point to determine what’s best suited for your installation:
For wood fences up to 4 feet high: 16d common nails (3-1/2 inches), 10d common nails (3 inches), or 8d common nails (2-5/8 inches). You can also use galvanized casing nails or ring shank nails, each one inch in length. For wood fences from 5 to 7 feet high: 16d common nails (3-1/2 inches) or 10d common nail (3 inches).
For wood fences from 7 to 9 feet high: 16d common nails (3-1/2 inches), 10d common nails (3 inches), or 8d common nails (2-5/8 inches). You can also use galvanized casing nails or ring shank nails, each one inch in length. For wood fences 7 to 12 feet high: 16d common nails (3-1/2 inches), 10d common nails (3 inches), or 8d common nails (2-5/8 inches). You can also use galvanized casing or ring shank nails every 1 and 3/4 inches in length.
For wood fences over 12 feet high: 16d common nails (3-1/2 inches), 10d common nails (3 inches), or 8d common nails (2-5/8 inches). You can also use galvanized casing or ring shank nails every 2 and 1/4 inches in length. For metal fences up to 4 feet high: 1-inch x 6 gauge common steel nails. For metal fences from 5 to 9 feet high: two-inch x 6 gauge ring shank nail or two-inch x 8 gauge ring shank nail.
Ensure the fencing material you’re using is thick enough for these longer fasteners to punch through without bending too much, or use a thicker gauge nail to prevent bending. For metal fences from 10 to 12 feet high: two-inch x 8 gauge ring shank nails or 3 1/2 inch exterior screws.
Ensure the fencing material you’re using is thick enough for these longer fasteners to punch through without bending too much, or use a thicker gauge nail to prevent bending. These larger diameter fasteners will also require pre-drilling pilot holes before screwing in place.
For metal fences over 12 feet high: 3 1/2 inch exterior screws or 4 1/2 inch structural steel bolts with washers and nuts because no standard fence materials are thick enough to handle the stress of such long fasteners. Again, make sure your materials are thick enough for these fasteners to go through without too much bending, or use a thicker gauge nail or screw.
Which Type Of Screws Should You Use?
There are 3 types of screws – Sheet Metal, Machine, and Cap Screw. Out of these, which type should you use for Fencing? Although Cap Screw is the least expensive among the lot, it is the weakest. This grade of screws is used only in places where nuts and bolts cannot be used.
If there were no galvanization process involved in screw making, several types of screws would have corroded quickly due to exposure to the environment. The best choice for Fencing is Machine Screws. These are cheap, rust-resistant, and strong enough for holding wooden components together.
They are what one should use when building a fence or gates or sheds that will come under heavy load-bearing conditions.
Advantages Of Nails Over Screws
Nails are cheaper than screws; they can easily be found in homes, whereas the same is not the case with screws. They hold materials together better than nails. Look at houses built 50-100 years ago.
You will see wooden beams being held together by just one nail on either side of the beam. There were no nuts and bolts used back then to lock pieces of wood or other material together!
Not Using Screws For Fencing Makes Sense
The less you use nails for fence construction, the longer your fence will stay strong. Using nails results in weak joints between boards, which are fixed by nails only.Nails also come out over time due to wind pressure or after moving components apart during seasonal changes.
Although, there is a rubber wedge available in the market, which can be pushed in between two wooden components after nailing them together.
Once in a while, when you find your boards falling out of shape or moving apart because of seasonal changes, pull these wedges out and push them back from inside before screwing the boards. This will add extra strength to the fence posts.
Advantages Of Screws Over Nails
Here are some advantages screws have over nails: You can take them out easily. If you are not pleased with the position of the fence, or if you want to remove it for some reason, you can do it without too much effort.
They are less visible than nails. Screws are thinner and shorter, which makes them much more discreet. The effect is that they look like one continuous piece with the material surrounding them, which is wood. They will last longer. This is because screws tend to be made from stronger metals than nails; hence they don’t break as fast under pressure.
Screws also have a smaller head than nails; therefore, they tend to go deeper into the wood, holding more weight. This results in your fence being more stable when they are in. You can use them on almost any surface. Nails need the material to be smooth enough for them to go in without bending or breaking.
Screws, on the other hand, will go into the wood, concrete, masonry, and even metal surfaces with ease. They tend to look better than nails, especially if you plan on using exposed materials that you want people to see, such as cedar shingles.
Disadvantages Of Nails Over Screws
Nails have a few advantages over screws which may make them seem more attractive. Here are some disadvantages of screws:
They will not hold heavy materials easily. This is true, especially if you plan on using nails to attach two relatively thin pieces of wood. If a screw’s head hangs too low, it might pull through the other side or even bend before going all the way in. When using several nails, it can sometimes cause your material to split if they are not long enough and have a small diameter.
This happens because you need just as many nails as there are distances between them for it to work properly. Otherwise, one nail alone will only do half the job. Therefore, it won’t be able to hold the entire weight. They are not as strong as screws. As mentioned above, nails have a small head which makes them susceptible to breaking under heavy pressure.
Screws, on the other hand, have a smooth cylindrical shape that slides easily into the wood; therefore, they can hold more weight without bending or breaking. They will leave visible holes in your material if you plan on using your fence for decoration purposes, such as cedar shingles painted in different colors that stack one over the other. This is true, especially with high-quality materials where you want people to see them clearly (such as cedar shingles).
Disadvantages Of Screws Over Nails
The disadvantages of screws over nails are:
Screws, by their nature, tend to become loose over a while and can lead to fence failure. To avoid this, special locknuts have been developed with a nylon insert that presses against the wood fibers as the screw is torqued down. The major annoyance with these fasteners is that they require drilling pilot holes slightly smaller than the screw size itself.
If the pilot hole is not drilled correctly, you will damage either the head or shank of the screw as it shears its way through the hardwood grain structure. Not only does this waste money from having to replace those improperly installed screws, but it can now cause a splitting situation at each end of a board where a pilot hole was not drilled.
Screws tend to bend under pressure, especially where a large wood area has been attached. If the screw bends too far, it will snap off and leave you with a damaged board that can no longer be used because of splitting or other problems associated with having an improperly installed fastener.
Nails sometimes also snap but replacing them is much easier than removing and replacing screws as they are deeper penetrating and do not shear as easily as screws do under pressure. When attaching fence boards to posts its important to make sure that all joints line up correctly, and then fasteners should be staggered from one end to the other on the side of each post.
This minimizes splitting at the ends because nails better do not tend to bend as easily as screws. In addition, the boards should be spaced equally from one another, and each board attached on an angle (perpendicular to the post) with two nails per end. This again minimizes splitting because of how pressure is distributed at each end of any given board on both sides of your fence line.
Tips On How To Choose Nails And Screws When Building Your Fence From Scratch
If you’re building your fence, it can be really handy to know what’s the difference between nails and screws before you go shopping. It’s also important to know which wood works best with which fastening method. For example, nail guns or screwdrivers work great for boards attached at an angle to the sides of your fence posts.
This is because this kind of wood binding lends itself well to sideways pressure when sturdily nailed in place. Screws are ideal for boards that run straight up and down against your post – especially if they’re long lengths of timber because screws grip more than nails do.
Nails hold tight when the points pierce the pre-drilled hole in your board but may slip out of place. If you’re using screws, make sure the head of your screw is big enough for you to get a decent grip with an Allen key or socket spanner. You can choose larger heads designed for extra grip, but this will be at the expense of any aesthetic quality – they’ll stick out more prominently against your boards. If appearance is important, you might want to opt for nails instead.
Nails are great if you’re not bothered about having protruding bits on the outside of your fence panels because it’s inevitable that there will be some nail points sticking up beyond the face of your boards after hammering them in place. Nailed boards look much neater than screwed ones do when fully installed by comparison, and if you’ve nailed them correctly, they’ll be flush with the surface of your fence board.
Choosing the right fence for your home can be a daunting task. But don’t be concerned, we’re here to help out. One of the best fence options is pressure-treated pine. It’s a popular choice because of its durability and low cost. Plus, it’s easy to install – so you can get your fence up quickly and without hassle. Just be sure to use the correct screws for pressure-treated pine – corrosion-resistant screws will help your fence last long term. So what are you waiting for? Get started on choosing the perfect wall today!
When it comes to fence construction, many homeowners turn to pressure-treated pine. This type of wood is substantial and lasts long, making it a popular choice for fence construction. However, if you’re looking for an economical and durable fence solution, non-pressure treated pine is the right choice!
It needs to stain or be painted with a standard wood finish, but other than that, it’s pretty simple to care for. Plus, non-pressure treated pine is an affordable option that offers good quality. So if you’re in the market for a fence, don’t hesitate to choose non-pressure treated pine!
What Is Best For Metal Fencing – Nails Or Screws?
If you’ve got a metal fence, you might be wondering if nails or screws are the best types of fastening method to use.
Usually, it’s up to your preference which one you choose BUT a word of warning: don’t use nails for metal fencing. It’ll probably hold together OK for a short while, but eventually, the pressure from weather and wind forces will work against it. Your boards could end up popping out! Metal fencing is heavy enough – no need to add extra strain by using nails instead of screws.
Which is better – nails or screws?
When it comes to fencing, the choice of nails or screws largely depends on the type of fence installed and the conditions under which it will use. Nails are better for fences used in dry or sandy soil, while screws are better for fences used in wet or muddy soil.
Additionally, screws require less maintenance over time, making them the preferred option for fence posts that will use intermittently. However, nails hold better in wet or sandy soil, while screws can tighten up more quickly than nails. Ultimately, the choice of nails or screws largely depends on the fence’s specific requirements.
Nails or screws? It’s a hard decision to make if there’s no wrong answer whatsoever. Whether it’s nails or screws for the fence that you choose ultimately comes down to what sort of work needs doing and any other considerations you might have.
But don’t let us pressure you one way or another, if possible, we recommend opting for both so you can get the best out of whichever ones suit each task better. I hope now you know nails or screws for fence. After all, nothing ever hurts having a bit of insurance, whether it be with nails or screws.
Frequently Asked Questions
Few frequently asked questions about Fencing with nails and screws.
1.What Screws To Use For Fencing?
Ans. It’s always best to choose screws designed for Fencing because they will have been made with Fencing in mind. They’ll be tough enough to withstand the pressure of constant outdoor exposure and won’t snap or break off during installation as cheaper ones can.
2.What Nails Should I Use For Metal Fence Panels?
Ans. It comes down to whether or not you want the aesthetic quality of having nails protrude on the outside of your fencing panels. This is why it’s best to use screws.
3.How Many Screws Do I Need For Fence Panels?
Ans. To be honest, it will depend on the length and position of your fencing boards. There is no hard and fast rule to say you can use five screws per meter of Fencing. It will depend on where they are positioned and how many boards you have to work with. Be sure to leave a little bit of room on each side of the screw head so it won’t snap off.
4.What Nails Should I Use For Wood Fencing?
Ans. Hardwood fencing will be more resilient than softwood, so you could choose to use nails instead of screws. There’s no harm in giving it a go if you’ve got the right nails to use! If not, go ahead and buy some screws instead.
5.Do Nails Work As Well As Screws?
Ans. It will depend on the location of the screw and how much pressure is bearing down on it. If hung properly, nails can hold up well to most forces.