What's the Difference: Paper, Plastic, and Welded-Wire Collated Nails?comments (5) March 5th, 2009 in Blogs
by Rob Yagid
When it comes to buying nails for framing guns, you can choose among three main types of collated nails. Manufacturers use either paper, plastic, or wire to hold strips of nails together at the appropriate angle and spacing. While coiled nails are available in welded-wire and plastic collations, stick nails are available in all three versions.
Paper-collated nails are the most expensive option and have one major performance benefit. When the gun is fired, bits of paper are pushed into the wood instead of flying around the job site or into the nail-gun user. Also, paper-collated nails won't "flag," or leave collation material stuck under a nail head; it can create an uneven surface and prevent nails from seating fully.
|Pros||Less flying debris; safer; cleaner; holds more nails per strip than plastic collations; consistent nail penetration|
|Cons||Moisture can ruin collation if water-resistant paper isn't used; more susceptible to damage than welded-wire nails; typically the most expensive type of collation|
|Why use them?||They're safer than other nails, require less cleanup, and let nails penetrate properly|
Manufacturers often use the least expensive type of plastic possible to collate nails, which creates a nail that performs poorly compared with other types. When fired, bits of plastic ricochet over the job site or into the nail-gun user. Strips of plastic-collated nails are also more susceptible to breaking apart from abuse on the job site. They will save you some money, but at a cost.
|Pros||Least expensive type of collated nail|
|Cons||Brittle and the most susceptible to damage; more prone to jamming nail guns; becomes brittle or gummy in cold or hot temperatures; tendency to flag; holds fewer nails than other collations|
|Why use them?||They're cheap|
To keep each nail in proper alignment, some manufacturers tack-weld strips of thin wire to the side of each nail. Welded-wire nails are highly resistant to the effects of weather and job-site abuse. They aren't indestructible, though. Coiled nails in particular can bend easily. If a coil becomes misshapen, it could be difficult to feed into a gun properly.
Resistant to moisture; unaffected by hot or cold environments; very durable in stick form and somewhat durable in coil form
Prone to flagging; ricocheting bits of metal are dangerous; more expensive than plastic; can become misshapen
Why use them?
They're extremely durable in any weather and are typically available with high nail capacities.
posted in: Blogs, framing, nailers
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