We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Galvanized Nails?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Galvanized nails are a special type of nail used in construction. They have undergone a special galvanization process, which involves covering them with a zinc coating in order to form a protective barrier. This barrier also works as a sacrificial anode, which means the coating will dissolve before the metal inside does, if the barrier itself becomes damaged.

Zinc oxide, which is a fine white dust, is used to coat nails because it does not breakdown the surface of the metal beneath and does not destroy the integrity of the nails. The protective barrier that the zinc provides has many advantages, including preventing oxidation from occurring. In this way, galvanized nails are highly resistant to rust and corrosion.

Many galvanized nails receive a thin layer of galvanizing through a process called electroplating, which is also referred to as electro-galvanization. With this process, the electrically conductive metal is galvanized with the help of an electrical current. This results in a smooth and even coat of zinc. Nails that have been galvanized through electroplating, however, are not capable of withstanding continual exposure to corrosive materials such as saltwater. Therefore, nails needed for this purpose should be created with the hot dipped process, which results in a much thicker layer of zinc.

Traditionally, the method used to test the effectiveness of a coating of galvanization is to determine its resistance to a salt spray. Galvanized nails with thin coatings are unable to withstand these types of surface abrasions for long periods of time, but they are generally all that is necessary for most residential purposes, though a few precautions should be kept in mind.

Galvanized nails are typically used by homeowners for outdoor projects, and those made with electroplating are often bright and shiny. They are not a good choice to be used with redwood, cedar, or treated lumber, because the acids and chemicals in these woods will eat away at the zinc coating. This will cause the nails to rust and leave black streaks around the nail in the wood. Instead, mechanically galvanized nails, which are dull gray, should be used.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon241496 — On Jan 19, 2012

Zinc electroplated nails are not galvinised nails.

By anon129984 — On Nov 26, 2010

does zinc prevent salt corrosion?

By anon90684 — On Jun 17, 2010

The A 153 spec applies to a broad range of hot dipped products. The Class D rating applies primarily to driven fasteners. Each hot dip product has its own class.

By anon83544 — On May 11, 2010

Oxygen321- I will use zinc and copper nails in my science project! Thanks for the help!

By anon72354 — On Mar 22, 2010

If you put galvanized nails into salt water the salt in the water will break down the zinc oxide and make the nail rust.

By anon68523 — On Mar 02, 2010

No rust!

By anon58083 — On Dec 30, 2009

does galvanised steel make a difference when you make a DIY battery?

By anon13093 — On May 19, 2008

hey dude are the nails an alloy thingy ma bob or what? peace out

By anon5981 — On Dec 11, 2007

Is it true that the zinc reacts with oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide to form zinc carbonate, which makes up the tough, impermeable coating on galvanized nails?

By mjweirich — On Nov 29, 2007

With the new chemicals in pressure treated wood and the higher corrosion factor, I see that the rating of G which used to be G-85 with CCA was raised to G-185. On the Hot-Dipped nails box, it is rated as ASTM A 153 Class D. Is the 153 the G rating and what does the class D mean?

Thanks

Mike

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.