What Size Nails for Fence Pickets?

What Size Nails for Fence Pickets?

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What Size Nails Should You Use for Fence Pickets?

Before we can talk about the size of nails you need for attaching fence pickets to the horizontal rails, we first need to know how big those pickets and horizontal rails are.

The vast majority of fence pickets will be 5/8-inch thick, so this is what we are going to work with. Yes, there are 1/2-inch pickets, which are much cheaper, but also not as durable. There are also 1-inch pickets, which are much more durable, but also more expensive. The average size is 5/8-inch, and in terms of the horizontal rails, we will assume that you are using the standard 2 x 4.


In terms of nail length for this purpose, a 2-inch nail should be rather perfect. A 2-inch nail will protrude through the picket and into the 2 x 4, over a full inch into that backboard, yet it won’t go all the way through the 2 x 4. For the record, a 2-inch nail is technically referred to as a 6D nail.

The D is an abbreviation for Pennies, which is the standard way in which nail length is measured. Yes, we know that “pennies ” starts with a P, not a D, but this is just the way it is.


If you are going to be using a nail gun, consider using a coil siding nail gun or a framing nail gun. Both釘子的類型應該能夠處理非常適合這項工作的指甲的大小。

4 Things to Consider When Choosing Fence Picket Nail Gauge and Length

There are a few very important considerations to keep in mind when choosing fence picket nail length and gauge. Two of these factors are crucial to the overall success of the project, while the other two are ones that you may or may not ignore, depending on the circumstances.


In terms of nail length, the most important consideration is how thick the pickets and the backer are. Once again, we assume you are using 5/8-inch pickets with a 2 x 4 backer. A 2-inch nail is ideal for this.

但是,如果您使用的是較厚的背襯,或者可以是1英寸的糾察液,那麼指甲需要更長,最好是2-1 / 2英寸。它需要長時間才能使其至少進入背包中,但沒有穿過另一方的情況下。

You do also need to keep the weight of the material that the fence pickets are made of in question. If you are using very heavy and dense hardwood, you will need relatively long and thick nails that are able to take that weight. Using a nail that is far too thin puts the fence at risk of falling apart because the nails just cannot take it.

If a nail is too thin and weak, it may bend or break under the weight.

2. Fence Picket Material – Hardness and Split Resistance




You do also want to consider whether or not you already have a nail gun, and whether or not you are willing to purchase one. For instance, if you already have a nail gun that can handle nails up to 1-3/4-inch, but you want to use 2-inch nails, then you have a choice to make. Technically speaking, 1-1/2-inch or 1-3/4-inch nails could work for this purpose.


4. Visibility

The other thing to consider here is how visible you want the nails to be. The thicker the nail, the more visible it will be. That said, whether you want to trade visibility for strength and durability is questionable.


Using nails that are too small to attach pickets is not going to end well. At the very least, if they are too short, they just won’t produce the hold that you need. The fence pickets may pull right out of the backer if the nails are not long enough. The hold just won’t be good enough.

Moreover, if you use nails that are too thin, they may bend or break due to the weight of the fencing material.

What Are the Risks of Using Too Large Nails to Attach Fence Pickets?

If the nails that you use are too long, they will protrude out of the backing being used. Of course, protruding nail tips do not look very nice.


2 Alternatives to Using Nails for Attaching Fence Pickets

There are two possible alternatives to using nails to attach fence pickets that are worth considering.

1. Screws

If you want maximum hold, there’s really nothing better than a screw. That said, drilling dozens or even hundreds of pilot holes is no easy task, or at least not a fast task. In terms of quality and strength, screws are oftentimes better.


2. Heavy Duty Staples