How to Decide Between a Nail and a Screw

When it comes to home renovations and handyman projects involving wood, nails and screws are staple supplies to have on hand. But how do you know which one to use and when? Although the debate is ongoing, there are some facts and considerations that can help you decide which fastener is best for your particular home improvement application.

Continue reading to learn a few pointers for choosing between a nail and a screw, as well as, what to do if you are stuck making progress on your home repair or project.

Indianapolis Handyman 317-454-3612
Indianapolis Handyman 317-454-3612

Nails or Screws?

The truth is, both nails and screws are excellent fasteners for wood so they can usually be incorporated interchangeably. So long as you size your unit correctly and install it properly, you should have success with either one. Ultimately, the unit you choose to use on your particular application depends on personal preference and availability of tools and supplies.

First, consider how strong and lasting you need the connection to be. Screws are stronger by nature of installation, and therefore, are good choices for heavy or large items, such as drywall. Nails are slimmer, but come in very long size variations, making them good choices for aesthetic applications, thinner materials, and lightweight items like picture frames.

Next, think about the tools you have on hand. You want to match the type of screw or nail with the proper tool. If you only have a hammer, you may want to stick with nails, but if you have a power drill or screw driver, you can choose screws. Likewise, if you only have a Philips Head screw driver, you would need to use Philips screws. Phillips screws deliver a tighter fit compared to flat head screws, making them more popular among factories and handymen.

Third, take into consideration the size and shape of your wooden building materials. Screws tend to have more tensile strength, while nails have shear strength. Nails, although can bend under pressure, are quite strong and rarely snap. Screws are more brittle, but they connect wooden boards together, tighter and stronger. Screws also work better with wood’s natural structural propensity to expand and contract.

Common Nail Applications:

▻ Roof and Wall Framing
▻ Plywood Sheathing
▻ Hardwood Floors
▻ Siding/Roofing
▻ Interior Moldings
▻ Solid-Wood Edgings for Plywood Shelves
▻ Stiles and Rails for Cabinets
And anywhere else you don’t want to damage wood with a screw.

Common Screw Applications:

▻ Drywall Hanging
▻ Wood Deck Fastening
▻ Cabinet Installation
▻ Wooden Toys
▻ Bookcases
And any other wooden connection that you wish to take apart.

Stuck on a Home Renovation Project?

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Recommended Safety Gear for DIY Home Repairs

When you are taking on household repairs or home improvement projects on your own, it is important to put safety first. This includes using sturdy equipment, choosing the proper materials, knowing how to operate your tools, and more. In fact, one of the most neglected safety factors is taking the proper precautions to protect yourself from harm. In fact, it only takes a handful of items to do so successfully.

Continue reading to learn the top recommended types of personal protective gear to have for your home repair projects.

Home Remodeling and Renovation 317-454-3612

Home Remodeling and Renovation 317-454-3612

Whether you are after a leaking faucet or in need of some seasonal window washing, using safety gear is gravely important. Even just a pair of gloves and safety goggles will get you started on the right track. In fact, those are the first two items recommended for personal protective gear!

Safety Goggles

The eyes are inexpressibly important, so you want to always have them protected when you are working with your hands. This is especially true for projects that involve any sort of heat, sharp objects, shards, or dust. Best of all, safety goggles are very inexpensive. You can get a quality pair for as little as a few dollars. And with good care, they will last forever.

Work Gloves

You use your hands for almost everything, so it is very inconvenient when they are scraped, burned, punctured, or hurt in any way. If you are going to partake in at-home repairs and renovations, it is wise to invest in a quality pair of work gloves with good lining and thick, waterproof material. Expect to pay anywhere from $6 to $22 for a good pair of work gloves.

Ear Protection

In addition to work gloves and goggles, it is best to protect your ears from flying shards and ultra-loud noise. You can do this by using earmuffs and ear plugs while you work. You see, your ear drums are more vulnerable than you think. Not only are they sensitive to loud noises, like those produced by your power drill and scroll saw, they are also bothered by airborne debris. Look for earmuffs with a decent noise reduction rating (NRR).

Knee Pads

Projects that require a lot of kneeling and floor time can lead to aches, pains, and bruising on the knees and joints. You can help alleviate these symptoms by using knee pads or portable floor mats. These items can be found in the gardening section of your local home improvement store. Your knees and legs will thank you the next day!

Steel-Toe Boots

If you ever intend to do projects that require heavy lifting or materials, like concrete, masonry, or appliance replacement, you will benefit from protecting your feet. A good pair of steel-toe boots will do the trick! Not only will they protect your toes, they will also protect your feet from orthopedic and dermal injuries. Be prepared to pay between $80 and $200 if you want a quality pair that will last.

And When the Job is Just Too Big…

Residential and Commercial Remodeling 317-454-3612

Residential and Commercial Remodeling

Call Restoration By L&B LLC at 317-454-3612 for Indianapolis handyman and remodeling services at competitive prices. Owner and general contractor, Lee Elliot, is happy to answer all your questions about home remodel planning, prices, and process. And don’t forget; we guarantee to BEAT any prices quoted by our competition! Request a written estimate, today.