A nail consists of a metal rod or shank, pointed at one end and usually having a formed head at the other, that can be hammered into pieces of wood or other materials to fasten them together. A nail is usually made of steel, although it can be made of aluminum, brass, or many other metals. The surface can be coated or plated to improve its corrosion resistance, gripping strength, or decorative appearance. The head, shank, and point may have several shapes based on the intended function of the nail. Of the nearly 300 types of nails made in the United States today, most are used in residential housing construction. The average wood frame house uses between 20,000 and 30,000 nails of various types and sizes.

Nails are divided into three broad categories based on their length. In general nails under 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length are called tacks or brads. Nails 1-4 inches (2.5-10.2 cm) in length are called nails, while those over 4 inches (10.2 cm) are some-times called spikes. These categories are roughly defined, and there is considerable crossover between them.

The length of a nail is measured in a unit called the penny. This term comes from the use of nails in England in the late 1700s when it referred to the price of one hundred nails of that size. For example, a "ten penny nail" would have cost ten pennies per hundred. The symbol for penny is "d," as in 10d. This designation is believed to go back to the time of the Roman Empire when a similar form of measurement for hand-forged nails involved a common Roman coin known as the denarius. Today the term penny only defines the length of a nail and has nothing to do with the price. The shortest nail is 2d which is 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. A 10d nail is 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, and a 16d nail is 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) long. Between 2d and 10d the nail length increases 0.25 inch (0.64 cm) for each penny designation. Beyond 10d there is no logical progression to the lengths and designations.

Nails may have been used in Mesopotamia as early as 3500 B.C. and were probably made of copper or bronze. Later, iron was used to make nails. Early nails were shaped, or forged, with hammers. They were usually made one at a time, and were consequently scarce and expensive. By the 1500s a machine was developed which produced long, flattened strips of iron, called nail rods. These strips could then be cut into lengths, pointed, and headed. Nails were so valuable in the early American settlements that in 1646 the Virginia legislature had to pass a measure to prevent colonists from burning down their old houses to reclaim the nails when they moved. Two early nail-making machines were patented by Ezekial Reed of the United States in 1786 and Thomas Clifford of England in 1790. These machines cut tapered pieces from flat iron sheet, then flattened the head. In rural areas, black-smiths continued to make nails from wrought iron right into the 20th century. The first machine to make nails from metal wire was introduced in the United States in about 1850, and this technique is now used to make most of the nails today.


Most of the 300 different types of nails produced in the United States today require no new design work. Once a nail has been designed, forming dies and processes are developed for its manufacture, and the nail is produced in quantity.

Most nails have a broad, circular head. Finishing nails have a narrow, tapered head which allows them to be countersunk below the surface of the material and covered over to produce a smooth finish. Upholstery nails have decorative heads. Double-headed nails are used to fasten wood forms used in concrete pouring. The nail is driven in up to the first head, leaving the second head protruding. The protruding head allows the nails to be easily removed and the forms quickly dismantled once the concrete has hardened.

The shank is usually designed to be round and smooth. Shanks with serrations, annular grooves, spiral flutes, or helical threads are used when a stronger, more permanent grip is required. Thermoplastic coatings may also be added to the shaft. These coatings heat up through friction while the nail is being driven, then quickly cool and set to lock the nail in place. The diameter of the shank is determined by the type of nail. Most nails, called common nails, have a relatively large diameter. Box nails, originally used to make thin-walled boxes, have a smaller diameter shank than common nails. Finishing nails have a very small diameter shank in order to make the smallest hole possible.

The most typical nail point is a four-sided tapered cut called a diamond point. Other nails may have a blunter point to prevent splitting certain woods. Chisel points, barbed points, needle points, and many others are sometimes used on specialty nails.

As new building materials become available, nail manufacturers work to develop new nails. There are special nails for tile roofing, hardwood flooring, shingles, rain gutters, wall board, sheet metal, and concrete. Some new nails are designed to be driven by air-powered nail guns rather than by a hammer. There have even been new nails designed for specific applications in the aerospace industry.

This massive, mid-19th-centvry nail cutting machine used a shearing action to cut nails from bar iron. (From the collections of Henry Ford Museum & Green-field Village.)
This massive, mid-19th-centvry nail cutting machine used a shearing action to cut nails from bar iron.
(From the collections of Henry Ford Museum & Green-field Village.)

Nails are essential to the construction of wood-framed buildings. This, however, was not always the case. Until the late 18th century, Americans built wooden buildings using heavy timber frames. At places where these massive timbers had to hold together, one end of a post or beam would be cut down to form a tongue ("tenon") and fitted into a hole ("mortise") cut in the adjoining beam. Additional strength could be added by driving wooden pegs through auger holes in the joined timbers. The skill and labor involved in such construction was considerable; carpenters had to be highly skilled individuals and, as such, commanded high prices in colonial America.

Until the end of the 18th century, nails were imported from England or made by local blacksmiths. The smithy, or often his apprentice, took a piece of bar iron maybe 5 feet long and 0.06-0.25 inch in diameter. Holding one end he heated the other, laid it on the anvil and, using the flat face of his hammer, tapered all four sides to about an inch from the end. He then used the peen, or sharpened end of his hammer, or a hardy, a wedge-shaped attachment to his anvil, to cut a notch in the rod. He thrust the sharpened end of the rod into a tapered hole in his anvil and snapped off the short nail. Then he flattened the end of the nail with four or five quick strikes of the hammer and popped it out of the anvil hole with a quick, upward strike at the point.

Between 1790 and 1830, several mechanical devices were developed in Europe and the United States to speed the production and lower the cost of nails. It is not entirely coincidental, therefore, that the balloon-framed house, which relied on two-by-fours held together by nails, was invented in the early 1830s in Chicago. The balloon-frame system required much less skill and labor in carpentry and made use of mass-produced nails.

William S. Pretzer

Raw Materials

Most nails are made of steel. Aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel, nickel

silver, monel, zinc, and iron are also used. Galvanized nails are coated with zinc to give them added corrosion resistance. Blued steel nails are subjected to a flame to give them a bluish oxide finish that provides a certain amount of corrosion resistance. So-called cement-coated nails are actually coated with a plastic resin to improve their grip. Some brads are given a colored enamel coating to blend in with the color of the material they are fastening.

The Manufacturing

Most nails are made from coils of metal wire. The wire is fed into a nail-making machine which can produce up to 700 nails per minute. The nails may then be further twisted or formed, cleaned, finished, and packaged.


Additional forming



Quality Control

Raw materials must meet certain standards for chemical composition, yield strength, hardness, corrosion resistance and other properties. These are usually certified by the company supplying the wire, and may be independently checked by the nail manufacturer.

During manufacture, nails must also meet certain specifications regarding dimensions and properties. These are achieved using a method known as statistical process control, which periodically samples the dimensions and properties of the nails being produced and evaluates any changes through statistical analysis techniques.

The Future

The demand for mass-produced commodity nails is dependent on the fluctuations in the housing market, which varies with the economy. Demand for these nails is also subject to competition from foreign manufacturers, further reducing profits.

The demand for specialty nails, on the other hand, is expected to continue to grow and be profitable. New building materials, such as composite wood-fiber and cement-based siding and roofing, require new specialty nails. New corrosion-resistant coatings for nails are also being developed.

One unique new nail market is the result of the increase in building restoration and preservation efforts throughout the country. One nail factory in Massachusetts makes old-fashioned cut nails. They estimate that 20% of their work is in producing a variety of these nails for use in authentic building restoration projects.

Where To Learn More


Loveday Jr., Amos J. The Rise and Decline of the American Cut Nail Industry. Greenwood Press, 1993.

Vila, Bob. This Old House Guide to Building and Remodeling Materials. Warner Books, 1986.


Johnson, Duane. "Nails Get a Better Grip." The Family Handyman, September 1994, p. 16.

Whorf, Amy. "A Thumbnail History of Nails." Country Living, June 1993, p. 72.

Laurel M. Sheppard

User Contributions:

Wayne Tustin
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 11, 2009 @ 11:23 pm
I need a high-resolution photo of a ringed nail, said to bedifficult to remove.
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 17, 2009 @ 2:02 am
please give the detail prodution process of nail to start the tiny plant
Report this comment as inappropriate
Sep 3, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
hello sir,

i deal on nail and other building materials, and i need to start up a plant for the making of nails(3",4",5",), please i need a little detail of how to start it up and also i would like to know h
ow to manufacture tiwisted nail(3" only)..
Report this comment as inappropriate
Apr 12, 2012 @ 4:04 am
Please give the detail prodution process of nail to start the tiny plant

How nail is made - material, manufacture, making, history, used, dimensions, composition, industry, machine, Design, Raw Materials, The Manufacturing Process of nail, Quality Control & which made machine is mostly used in the market.
adekanbi israel
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 20, 2012 @ 9:09 am
impressive.. can i get a proposal on the production of nails. i need more info
adekanbi israel
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 20, 2012 @ 9:09 am
impressive.. can i get a proposal on the production of nails. i need more info.Please give the detail prodution process of nail to start the tiny plant

How nail is made - material, manufacture, making, history, used, dimensions, composition, industry, machine, Design, Raw Materials, The Manufacturing Process of nail, Quality Control & which made machine is mostly used in the market
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 20, 2014 @ 2:14 pm
please send me more details on how to start this plant and the whole machones used for different types of nails
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 16, 2017 @ 12:12 pm
Revolutional update of SEO/SMM software "XRumer 16.0 + XEvil 2.0":
captchas recognition of Google, Facebook, VKontakte, Yandex, Solve Media,
and more than 8400 another categories of captcha,
with highest precision (80..100%) and highest speed (100 img per second).
You can connect XEvil 2.0 with all most popular SEO/SMM programms: XRumer, GSA SER, ZennoPoster, Srapebox, Senuke, and more than 100 of other programms.

Interested? Just Google for "XRumer 16 + XEvil 2.0", or you can find intro movie in YouTube: "XEvil: new OCR - captcha solver"
Good luck!
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 16, 2017 @ 6:18 pm
ыуч-кфюсщь дешево
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 21, 2017 @ 11:11 am
Я решила, своему мужу, что ему нужно купить коллекционную игру, только свободных денег не было и я обратилась сюда Может и вам повезет! Оформление заняло 5 минут и сразу на карту
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 22, 2017 @ 1:01 am
I procure a blog send for that’s individual, so no individual else views it, but I still call for to coerce it look nice. How do i personalize my blog with broken fucking the total up?
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 22, 2017 @ 7:07 am
Picking The Largest Entanglement Hosting Service Provider instead of 2017

To pull down superb utilization you need to pick the best spider's web hosting provider benefit of 2017. Snare hosting is purely described as a place that manages the websites of individuals and organizations.

So what exactly is entanglement hosting overhaul, well, it is a band that offers a lacuna on a server (computer) where they can landlord your website files and produce Internet connectivity to consider other computers to get further access to the files on your site.

On a routine footing, thousands of people are registering field names and hosting their websites seeking their personal turn to account or their advanced business. At any rate, how do you non-standard real know where to show your realm reputation and what use provider to beckon up with after your web hosting services.

Is that unequivocally understandable?

Perhaps not everything is unblemished, except if you be sure that your website consists of a variety of computer files like images, videos and HTML files, surrounded by others, that are incorporated in it. To be talented to assault up your website and share your files on the Internet, you be short of a wonderful computer or server that has a high-speed Internet connection.

The Difference between Entanglement Hosting and Figures Center

When we get wind of the time "spider's web hosting" this is commonly referred to the server hosting your website. This can also absolutely not the hosting firm, which rents the server space. On the other convenient, statistics center is the facility that houses the servers. This could be as small as a extent or as socking as a race or a stupendous building that has respective power supplies, matter communication connections, assurance devices or environmental controls like puff form and put to the torch suppression.

In overall, there are 4 types of net hosting, namely: Shared, Dedicated, Practical Own Server (or VPS) and the best Cloud snare Hosting 2017. All of these hosting servers go as a center to cumulate your website. They conflict in the storage sense, complicated familiarity requirements, server further, oversight and reliability. Discharge c emit's take a deeper look into the differences among these different types of network hosting:

Shared Hosting

It is called shared hosting since a website shares the unmodified server with numerous other sites, which commonly reach from a few to thousands. All domains may dispensation the nonetheless collect of server resources like the CPU and RAM. Since this comes at a very sorry appraisal, the the greater part of websites that pull someone's leg unobtrusive conveyance levels using client software opt to be hosted on this type of server. This is also an entry-level different, since it lone requires littlest mechanical knowledge.


This category of server provides maximal charge on the network server where the website is stored. So, you comprise the server all to yourself since your website is the barely individual hosted there.


VPS hosting splits a server into unique understood servers, where every website is hosted on its own server but in reality, it is sharing the notwithstanding server with a few users. With this hosting, users suffer with their completely own virtual elbow-room as luxuriously as a safer hosting environment. This is win out over for the benefit of websites that press for more supervise at the server with, but do not like to waste more on a dedicated server.

Cloud hosting

This type of hosting provides immeasurable cleverness to arrangement with aged traffic. In cloud hosting, a grouping of servers (cloud) conspire to hotelman sundry websites. It lets numerous computers work simultaneously to manage elevated freight spikes in support of any explicit website.
Opposite types of Shared hosting services

Nowadays, there are divers t (...)
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 22, 2017 @ 12:12 pm
Индивидуалки в Киеве дорого на везд
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 25, 2017 @ 7:07 am
This is the best way to lose weight by 15 kg in just one month:
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 26, 2017 @ 7:07 am
Долго искали где можно бесплатно скачать пиратку CS: GO через торрент, еще и полностью рабочую сборку со всеми скинами оружия, перчаток и лаунчером с системой автообновления? Специально для вас мы создали уникальную оригинальную сборку Counter-Strike: Global Offensive со всеми скинами и оружиями! Просто скачайте наш лаунчер и запустите, последняя официальная версия игры скачается и установится автоматически напрямую со Steam серверов!

CS: GO - многопользовательская игра в жанре экшн от компаний Valve и Hidden Path Entertainment. На данный момент является последней игрой в линейке Counter-Strike. Как и все прошлые игры, она посвящена бесконечному противостоянию между двумя командами: террористами и спецназом.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive официально вышла 21 августа 2012 года, а анонсирована была еще в 2011 году. До официального выхода игры никто не возлагал на нее особых надежд. Однако, сразу после релиза, КС: ГО стала стремительно набирать обороты и уже очень скоро стала одной из самых популярных игр в Steam. На данный момент, в среднем, в нее одновременно играет более полумиллиона человек! Это абсолютный рекорд для игры серии Counter-Strike.

Так чем же CS: GO так привлекла игроков? Ответ прост. Значительно обновленная графика и физика, новые карты, новое оружие, новые режимы игры и система матчмейкина, которой так не хватало в играх прошлой серии. Также, не стоит забывать и про тысячи различных скинов для оружия в CS: GO, многие из которых не так просто получить, и за ними идет своего рода "охота". Плюс ко всему, новая часть игры стала снова актуальной в мире киберспорта. Неудивительно, что на данный момент КС: ГО является одной из самых популярных киберспортивных игр в мире!

Однако, многие игроки сталкиваются с проблемой перед тем, как познакомиться с игрой. К сожалению, она платная. Поэтому найти место, где можно скачать бесплатную пиратку КС: ГО, не так просто. Но к счастью, наш сайт и посвящен именно бесплатной сборке этой игры. Кстати, в нашей сборке игроку доступны абсолютно все существующие скины оружия, перчаток, предметы и кейсы, поэтому, даже если вы уже имеете Counter-Strike: Global Offensive в Steam, рекомендуем вам скачать нашу бесплатную пиратную версию сборки, чтобы можно было насладиться всеми существующими скинами ору (...)
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 26, 2017 @ 5:17 pm
Prostitutki #проститутки Киева для секса и досуга. #ИндивидуалкиКиева для секса #раком и в других позах камасутры. Рекомендую для досуга по взрослому.
Report this comment as inappropriate
Mar 27, 2017 @ 5:05 am
Открылся новый женский интернет магазин цифровых товаров, все по 30 рублей:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: