Galvanized Vs Non Galvanized Nails – Everything You Need To Know

Galvanized Vs Non Galvanized Nails

Galvanized nails are very common – mainly because they can be used in many different situations.

But for the average DIYer, it can be confusing which nail to use for your project.

And if you are considering galvanized nails for your upcoming project, you may be a bit hesitant because of their upfront price.

While it’s true that galvanized nails will cost more than regular nails, they offer some distinct benefits that we will be discussing in today’s review.

We will also be talking about how they are most commonly used and which applications they can’t be put to. To find out everything you need to know about these kinds of nails, read on.

Galvanized Nail Overview

Galvanized Nail

“Galvanized nails are coated with zinc oxide. This coating adds good protection against oxidation. It also makes these kinds of nails more resistant to water abrasion.”

Pros of Galvanized Nails

  • Water Resistance – The zinc oxide coating that goes on these kinds of nails effectively protects them from water abrasion.
  • Longer Lifespan – Galvanized nails can last anywhere from 5 years to 15 years. They may last even longer than 15 years if they are used in ideal conditions.
  • They Don’t Degrade Easily – Galvanized nails are made from steel which is susceptible to degradation over time. However, the zinc oxide coating not only makes them water-resistant; it also protects the steel from degradation.

Cons of Galvanized Nails

  • Harder Driving – The outer layer of galvanized nails is rougher than a regular nail because of the zinc coating. This makes driving them a bit harder and may actually cause you to split the wood.
  • More Expensive – In general, galvanized steel nails cost more than regular nails so they could add to the total cost of your project.
  • Bad for Certain Woods – Galvanized nails should not be used with certain woods like cedar because the natural chemicals in cedar can neutralize the zinc coating.

When Should you Not Use Galvanized Nails?

You should not use galvanized nails to drive into cedar, treated lumber or redwood.

These kinds of woods have chemicals that render the zinc coating useless. Galvanized nails should also not be used in areas that are exposed to salty air (area near the ocean).

You should also avoid using galvanized nails with copper flashing as these two metals can corrode each other when they are exposed to moisture.

How Do You Know If A Nail Is Galvanized Or Not?

Galvanized Nail1

You can tell if a nail is galvanized or not by running your finger along the shaft of the nail. Galvanized nails will have a rough texture while regular nails will  have a smooth texture.

How Long Do They Last?

Depending on atmospheric conditions, galvanized nails can last as long as 15 years.

Galvanized Nails Vs Stainless Steel

In general, stainless steel nails will be stronger than galvanized steel nails. They have a higher tensile strength but they don’t stand up to rust as well as galvanized nails. And because galvanized nails are more ductile, they may be easier for some people to work with.

Galvanized Vs Non Galvanized Nails

Non-galvanized nails lack a zinc coating that protects them from water abrasion and rust. Non-galvanized nails are mainly used for indoor applications while galvanized nails can be used for most outdoor applications.

What Are Electro Galvanized Nails?

Electro Galvanized nails are cold steel nails that undergo a liquid chemical treatment. The treatment is similar to the zinc oxide coating of galvanized nails; but it  is meant to wear away sooner.

What Are Hot Dipped Galvanized Nails?

Galvanized Nail2

Hot dipped galvanized nails are essentially rolled around in a hot barrel so that zinc chips can melt onto them. They are similar to galvanized nails because they are appropriate for use in moderately corrosive conditions.

Galvanized Vs Bright Nails For Framing

You can essentially use either kind of nail for framing. Galvanized nails will cost more than bright nails; but keep in mind that you need to use galvanized nails if you are using PT wood for your framing.

Galvanized Nails Vs Deck Screws

Deck screws will cost you more but offer better corrosion resistance than galvanized nails. You can also use coated deck screws if you are looking for a cheaper option.

Do Galvanized Nails Rust?

Yes, eventually galvanized nails will rust. However, they will not rust as soon as non-galvanized nails will. They offer better durability than non-galvanized nails but they can start rusting after 5 years or more.

Do Stainless Steel Nails Rust?

In general, stainless steel nails offer the best rust protection. However, cheaper stainless steel nails are likely to rust over time. 304 stainless steel nails offer the best rust protection.

Galvanized Nails Uses

  • Fencing – Using galvanized nails for fencing is a good option as they won’t rust quickly when exposed to the rain.
  • Decking – You can use galvanized nails for decking; but deck screws would be the better option.
  • Treated Wood – You should not use galvanized nails on treated wood as the treated wood can neutralize the zinc coating.
  • Nail Guns – You should only use hot-dipped galvanized nails in a nail gun as they have a smoother coating.
  • Outdoors – Galvanized nails are appropriate for most outdoor applications.
  • Indoors – Galvanized nails can also be used for indoor projects as well.
  • Sheathing – It would be best to use hot-dipped galvanized nails for roof sheathing.
  • Roofing – Galvanized nails are very commonly used for roofing. You can certainly use them for most roofing applications.

Galvanized Nail Reviews

Simpson Strong Tie 10D5HDG Structural Connector Nails

Simpson Strong Tie 10D5HDG Structural Connector Nails

These are hot-dipped galvanized nails so you can use them in a nail gun. They are 3” 9-gauge nails and you get about 50 of them in a single pack.

They may have a bit of a casting issue but overall these are affordable nails that you can use in many different situations. They will be good for most outdoor structures.

Overall Score: 96/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Hillman Fasteners

Hillman Fasteners

These Hillman Fasteners would be ideal for roofing applications. They are 1 inch nails and they are not very hard to drive at all.

They work really well for when you just have to replace an asphalt shingle or too. However, you can also use them for other things like securing flooring.

Overall Score: 96/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


National Nail Corp 57118 LB 5D Hot Galvanized BX Nail

National Nail Corp 57118 LB 5D Hot Galvanized BX Nail

The great thing about these nails is that you can use them for pretty much anything a galvanized nail can be used for.

They are hot galvanized so they offer really good rust protection. Plus, this is an affordable pack of nails. However, you might save even more money if you buy a larger pack.

Overall Score: 95/100

Check Out More Reviews Here: