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Ring shank nails are used similarly to regular nails, but the unique design of these nails make them specialized for certain tasks. Softwoods sometimes have trouble with nails, because the nails frequently fall out over time, but these nails often stay in place better. Another material with which ring shank nails are commonly used is drywall, though not quite as often as softwood. These nails have better staying power, so they work very well for flooring and decking. Overall, they are best with permanent construction and should not be used for temporary projects.
When softwood has nails in it, especially if the softwood is walked on or interacted with often, the nails have a habit of falling out because of the wood weakening. One way to overcome this is by using ring shank nails. These nails are difficult to remove because of the ringed shaft, or shank, so they have a lower chance of falling out even if the softwood is used often. At the same time, these nails’ construction means they often will split the wood slightly, so they may not be useful for softwood projects that should be visually appealing.
Along with softwood, ring shank nails often are used with drywall. Much like with softwood, this keeps the nails from falling out, though there often is a lower chance of nails falling out regularly. These nails should only be used with thicker drywall, because thin drywall may suffer damaging cracks from these nails.
Flooring and decking are two projects that often employ ring shank nails. Floors typically will be walked on daily, which paces stress on the wood or floor material and can wear the area around the nails until they become loose. Decks have a similar situation, because frequent use will cause the nails to eventually loosen with time. These nails are able to stay in longer, making them safer and more durable for these projects.
These nails also can be used on many other projects, but they most often are used with any type of permanent construction. Ring shank nails should not be used with temporary construction, and doing so may make the project very difficult. These nails are difficult to pull out, so deconstruction will take longer and will be harder to finish. If the staying power of these nails is not enough for a project, then spiral-shank nails may work better.
These kinds of nails are good for replacing nails that have come loose from siding. Be sure and use a slightly different angle to attach to new wood while reusing the entry hole.
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