Types of Nail Heads

finishing nails

We discussed the different types of nail guns used in home repair projects. But what about the nails themselves? Did you know there are many types of nail heads to choose form for a woodwork and DIY project?

We will explain in detail each kind of nail head and what type of project you should use each one for:


This is more of an all-purpose nail head. A round head nail is often used when precision isn’t required. The large, round head creates a larger target for the head of the hammer.


This type of nail features a small head that will sit flush on the surface of a wall or the piece of wood. You are unlikely to split wood using this type of nail head and you will often see a much more polished finish. This is a good nail head for hanging picture frames in your home.


This type of nail head is similar to a finishing nail only it features an oval-cut cross center and is even less likely to split the wood.


A roofing nail is used for attaching asphalt or roof felt on roof. The construction is galvanized to reduce the chance of rust from harsh outdoor weather.


This type of nail and nail head is made of zinc and is able to penetrate brick and metal. The construction is very hard and thick and features a small head.


This nail is specifically used for hanging drywall onto studs and wood frames. The head of the nail does not cut the paper construction of the surface and sits 1-in. deep from the surface.


A siding nail has a galvanized finish for outdoor use to prevent rust. This type of nail head is used to attach siding materials to the wood exterior of a home.

You will use finishing and round head nails for most general home repair projects and woodwork around your home but it is good to know there are better and more-specific types of nails to use for more specialty projects around the house.

Types of Nail Guns

nail gun

There are must-own tools for DIY enthusiasts and one is a nail gun. Home repair projects and woodwork projects will require the use of a nail gun. You want to be sure you own the correct nail gun for the job you are doing.

There are five common types of nail guns and two types of firing mechanisms (dual-contact firing and sequential firing). We will explain each model of nail gun and which one to use for specific home repairs.


A finishing nail gun is the best all-around nail gun of the five options and the one most amateur handymen will own in their home. A finishing nail gun use nails that are shorter and low-gauge.

You will use this type of nail gun for trim and baseboards as well as cabinetry, moulding and chair rails. The nail gun is available in both cordless and air pressure models.


This is the most heavy-duty of the five types of nail guns and is often used for construction projects and wood framing. The tool uses much longer and heavier nails and is available with both sequential and dual-contact firing.


This nail gun uses shorter nails with large heads for siding and roofing materials. The nails are strung on a coil for use. You will find roofing nail guns with both dual-contact and sequential firing mechanisms.


This is a specialty tool used for tongue-and-groove floorboards. This is a much less manual way to install floor nails and will save your back and knee joints from a lot of pressure during floor installation.


This is the lightest of the models and often used for smaller woodwork projects that require more precision. You will use a brad nail gun for nailing upholstery to wood furniture frames. The nails are very small but do hold strong. You purchase this type of nail gun in cordless models for more convenient use.


Be careful using a nail gun. Wear protective eye gear and be sure to leave your finger off of the trigger of the nail gun until you are ready to press and release the nail into the wood.