What's the Difference: Galvanized nails
Which type of zinc-coated nail is the best at preventing corrosion?
To prevent rust, nail manufacturers apply zinc to steel nails using three fairly distinct processes: hot-dipped galvanization, hot galvanization, and electrogalvanization. Each treatment offers a different level of corrosion protection with price tags to match. No nail on the market—except, ironically, those coated with zinc—can ruin stainless-steel hardware. Never use galvanized fasteners to attach stainless hardware, or vice versa.
During this process, nails are immersed in kettles of molten zinc at 860ºF. The zinc and steel form an alloy coating extremely resistant to chipping during handling and installation. The coating is about 85 microns thick, of which some 40 microns is chip-resistant zinc-iron alloy. These nails may be quenched, too, yielding a somewhat shinier product that some builders prefer. Hot-dipped nails are typically the most-expensive type of galvanized nail.
Uses: Hot-dipped nails are rated for use wherever corrosion is a concern, except in coastal environments where stainless-steel fasteners reign supreme.