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 Ring Shank Nails?

Mary McMahon
By
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.

Ring shank nails, sometimes called deformed shank nails, are nails with ridges or grooves along the shank, the part of the nail that penetrates the wood. These nails have a much better holding power than nails with a smooth shank because the rings act as wedges to keep the nail firmly in place so that it cannot pop out. For this reason, these nails are commonly used in construction, especially for roofing, and they are readily available at most hardware stores in the form of boxed loose nails and strips for use with nail guns. Some stores also sell them in bulk bins so that customers can purchase just a few at a time.

The design of a ring shank nail looks a lot like that of a screw, except that the head is flat. The pattern of ridges along the shank of the nail can vary, depending on the manufacturer and the intended use of the nail. Some brands have very shallow rings that provide a small amount of extra grip, while others have much larger ridges. Some have spiraling grooves, while others have a neat set of ridged rings.

Like other nails, ring shank nails are not designed to be easy to remove — they are used for permanent construction. The shanks make these nails even harder to remove than conventional ones, and their removal will leave a large and ragged hole behind. Although the nails may look like screws, they are not designed to function in the same way, and this is important for the people using them to remember.

When working with softwoods, ring shank nails are extremely useful. Conventional nails under pressure tend to pull out easily from woods like pine, which is not desirable. The deformed shanks keep the nails in position, even under intense pressure. Enough weight or pressure will eventually cause either the wood or the nails to fail, but nails with a ring shank will provide around 40% more holding power than those with smooth shanks.

It can be useful to keep a box of ring shank nails around for various home improvement projects. It is possible to find galvanized and treated nails that will resist corrosion, along with basic steel nails. Nails that have not been treated may be oiled for storage so that they do not rust, which explains why nails sometimes have a strange texture when they are taken out of the box.

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.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a About Mechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon264749 — On Apr 29, 2012

By all means, use wood screws. One day individual steps may need repairing, and the screws can be removed without tearing up the rest of the structure.

By PelesTears — On Feb 21, 2011

@ GiraffeEars- I would recommend framing nails. Screws have less shear strength than nails, and will only last about a couple of years. This is especially true if you live in cold climates. Cold and hot weather will cause wood to expand and contract, causing a screw to pull out of the wood. This leaves a void in the wood where moisture can build up, causing premature rot in the wood. Nails can withstand more abuse, especially on stairs, than screws, and your project will last much longer.

By GiraffeEars — On Feb 20, 2011

What a great article. I am working on a set of stairs for my patio (wood). Should I use ring shank nails or should I use a wood screw?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
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.