Thousands of fences are built every year, but only the high-quality ones will stand the test of time. If you’re building a fence, you want to ensure you use the best materials and match your wood and fastener. That means you can’t just use any nails or screws. It’s important to use fasteners that are right not only for fencing but for the specific wood you’re using.

So what types of nails and screws are best for fencing? Here’s what you need to know.

Using Nails

Nails are the preferred fastener for many fence builders because they are fast and easy to use. However, the hold is not as strong as a screw. Nails are ideal for connecting pickets to rails, for instance, while many builders use screws in other areas.

Choosing weather-hardy nails is important when building a fence. Stainless steel or coated metal are common options. Be sure to avoid magnetic materials, as reactions with other metals can damage the fence.

You’ll want 8d to 10d nails for attaching pickets and 18d to 20d nails for attaching rails to posts. You also need to think about what nail is best for the wood you’re building with.

1. Cedar Fences. Cedar fencing is attractive and durable. It’s essential to avoid zinc-plated nails, as the zinc can react with the cedar fence and create corrosion streaks. Instead, use stainless steel, polymer-coated, or double hot-dipped galvanized nails.

2. Pressure-Treated Wood. For pressure-treated wood, make sure your nails are compatible with the chemicals used in the wood. Certain nails will corrode if they come into contact with preservatives. The end tag will tell you what chemicals your wood contains, and you can then determine the right nails to use.

3. Non-Pressure-Treated Wood. If you’re using a wood that hasn’t been pressure-treated and isn’t cedar, you can use zinc-plated steel or any other type of nail that works for you. There aren’t any special considerations or concerns as long as you use a durable outdoor nail.

Building a Fence With Screws

Many builders use screws because they are more effective and last longer. However, they are also more expensive and take more time to drill into the wood. When building your fence, consider using screws for connection to fence posts, while using nails for the pickets. You can also use screws around doors and gates since these sections move often and need a durable fastener.

Deck screws are a good choice for pressure-treated wood as well as woods that cannot tolerate zinc. Silicon bronze screws are good in high-moisture areas, such as near a lake or creek. Galvanized screws are coated with zinc and can be used on non-pressure-treated woods like pine.

Using a combination of nails and screws gives you the best opportunity to build a durable fence at a reasonable cost.

Your Austin Fence Experts

Fences add security, privacy, and a strong boundary to your property. They can help protect your pets and family while allowing you to enjoy your yard free from outside distractions. If you’re ready to build a fence, we’re here to help. The fence building experts at Discount Fence will work with you to determine the best material for your perimeter fence and build a fence that not only meets your needs but exceeds your expectation.