Nail Sizes for Framing: What Size Nails Do you Need for Framing?

Nail Sizes for Framing: What Size Nails Do you Need for Framing?


What nails to use for framing with a nail gun?

Well, before starting using the best nail guns, it is essential to know what size nails you need for framing with a nail gun. Using the wrong nails can destroy your work.

So choosing the right nail size for framing and have a good understanding of the types of framing nails are the first requirement for nailing because if you use a very long and fat one that can split wood.

Again if you use short nails in place of a long nail, that may not do the job.

The nail parts depend on the relationship of the lumber parts.

Considering each aspect, you have to choose the best size nails for framing.

So without selecting the right nail sizes for framing, you can’t complete your projects.

And for your benefit, here I am discussing over it to stay here with me.

Nail Sizes for Framing: what size nails do you need for framing?

Nail length

Nail length


There are dozens of different nail lengths.

The most common ones are – 16d nails, 10d nails, 8d nails, 6d nails, etc.

Nail lengths are indicated by the sizes of pennies, also the diameters.

Along with nail lengths, you should know where you are going to need to use these nails.

Building walls, roofs, sub-flooring are some parts where nails are used, and you should select lengths to continue the job properly.

In fastening sheathing, clapboard, etc., the length of the nail should be three times longer than thickness.

Sometimes long nails are useful but not always. Sometimes the longer ones can split suddenly when working.

16d Nail Length/Nail Size

16d Nail Length/Nail Size

When you are introducing with 16d nails, first to know is the types of 16d nails.

Generally, these are 3 ½ inches long.

For fastening framing materials like wall plates or rim joints, 16d is used.

There are two types of 16d nails you will find in any hardware store.

The types are common nails and sinkers.

The common nails have a smooth head, and sinkers have a textured head.

A textured head can prevent hammers from slipping.

The diameter of common nails is 0.162 inches.

But 0.148-inch diameter is better for framing which means sinkers are better when you will do the framing.

Sinkers can easily slide into the wood as these have vinyl or epoxy coating.

While you have to drive a lot of 16d nails then it is an important consideration.

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10d Nail Length/Nail Diameter/Nail Size

10d Nail Length/Nail Diameter/Nail Size


Many of the building plans, as well as truss drawings, specify 10d galvanized nails.

The length is 3 inches and the diameter is 0.148 inches.

You cannot substitute lesser diameter 3 inches nails.

Install 10d nails in such a way that no nail edge is less than ¾ inches.

For 10d nails, space should not be less than five times its diameter.

If two board faces are flat, then it is appropriate to join using this nail.

Where floor joists overlap or doubling up studs, 10d nails are best in this regard.

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8d Nail Length/Nail Size

8d Nail Length/Nail Size

When you need to attach furring strips, subfloors, or other materials, which don’t need large nails, there you can use 8d nails.

These are 2.5 inches long, and the diameter is .134 inches, the head diameter is 9/32 inches.

There are 8d vinyl-coated sinkers which are slightly narrower than other common nails.

While it demands to drive a nail at an angle to the end of a member, choose 8d nails.

For attaching studs to wall plates, rafter to wall top plates – these are the fields you use 8d nails.

You will find 8d nails in any hardware store.

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6d Nail Size/Nail Length/Nail Diameter

6d nails


6d nails have two types: 6d common and 6d box nail.

The shank length is 2 inches, the shank diameter is 0.12 inches, and the head diameter is 17/64 inches.

As these have less diameter, so these are not usually used ones.

For using in small interior works, or joining flat woods, you can use these nails instead of other large nails.

These are safe using in these cases because otherwise, the flat plate of woods can break into pieces.

So go with 6d nails in that case.

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Metal anchors

Metal anchors


For securing objects to your home walls, homeowners use decent metal anchors.

People use metal anchors for multipurpose, that’s why these have many designs.

Metal anchor design types are simple sleeve to a toggle bolt, molly bolts, bolt anchors.

Cement, wood, concrete block, and even drywalls are some different fields where you can use metal anchors.

These are best for securing places for an arbor.

Also for installing a handrail, shelving units that are large, roof rafters’ workings need metal anchors.

For using metal anchors, you need to consider the weight of the object and type of material.

These are better for heavy shelves.

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Nail measurement guide: 2d-16d

Nail SizeLength (inches)Diameter (inches)Gauge

nail size chart


When you are in need of nails, they have to know the measurements of the nails.

2d – 1-inch shank length and 0.072 inches shank diameter.
3d – 1.25 inches shank length and 0.083 inches shank diameter.
4d – 1.5 inches shank length and 0.109 inches shank diameter.
5d – 1.75 inches shank length and 0.109 inches shank diameter.
6d – 2 inches shank length and 0.12 inches shank diameter.
8d – 2.5 inches shank length and 0.134 inches shank diameter.
10d – 3 inches shank length and 0.148 inches shank diameter.
12d – 3.25 inches shank length and 0.148 inches shank diameter.

Let’s watch the video to see the different types of framing nails

Frequently Asked Questions

Question #1: How to position the wire for hanging a massive picture?
Answer: Put a fork on the nail you are using and put the picture on the wall. Then remove the fork.

Question #2: Why nails bend while hammering into the stud?
Answer: First, consider the material which you are studying. Sometimes metal depending studs possibly need in place of wood. Wood studs may cause this to happen.

Question #3: What nails can you use for joist hangers?
Answer: 16d double-dipped galvanized nails are generally used for installing hangers.

Question #4: What size of a nail can you use for 2×4 framing?
Answer: For 2×4 framing, the best is to use 3.5 inches nails, which are 16d nails.

Final Words

When your work is with various types of framing nails and nailers, then it is a must to know about the nail size for framing.

From this article, now you know specifically about multiple kinds of nails and its application.

So it is going to easy for you to choose a nail for your work.

You won’t face a problem of breaking nails if you can select the right nail for framing.

About the author

John Paterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.

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