MASONARY NAILS: Masonary nails are used primarily as a fastener that you drive into concrete (or some other stone-like surface). To facilitate this, the nails themselves are thicker, and are generally fluted -- this means that they have grooves that run the length of the nail. The thicker shank means that they are less likely to bend when they are struck and driven into the hard surface. This is important, as usually a normal hammer is not enough to drive nails into concrete. Instead, it is common to use a 3 lb. or 5 lb. hammer for the job.
A recent addition to this job is the power assisted fastener. This is also often a sort of masonary nail, though usually without the grooves in the shaft. They are loaded into a "gun" of sorts, at which point a charge is triggered that drives the pin into the concrete. The nail has a plastic collar so that it fits into the gun, and this collar is usually crushed as the nail is driven.
There are two basic types of power drivers for these nails. One is trigger actuated, and the other is hammer actuated. The trigger gun is somewhat easier to use, though its greater number of moving parts can sometimes be a liability. With this gun, you simply load the charge and the pin into the gun, pull the trigger, and BANG, the pin is driven. In the hammer actuated driver, you still load the charge and the pin into the driver. Then you simply place the tool in the right spot and strike the end with a normal hammer. The hammer blow drives a bolt that sets off the charge, and WHAM, the pin is set.
We stock 1 1/2" through 3" masonary nails, and sell them by the pound or by the 50 pound box.
We stock 1" through 2 1/2" power drivers and loads, and sell them by boxes of 100 pieces each.
RING NAILS: Ring nails are generally of three kinds: siding, decking, and underlayment.
Siding nails have rings so that the siding does not shift overly much when there are changes in temperature or humidity. They still shift, but the nails maintain their superior grip. Siding nails also tend to have smaller heads, so that they are less obvious after a top coat is applied to the siding.
Decking nails sometimes are ring nails for reasons similar to the ones for siding nails. The teeth on the shank of the nail grip better, and so are less likely to pull out as the deck boards dry and weather. Where a normal smooth shanked nail might pull out over the months as a deck board dries and cups, ring deck nails hold fast. Of course, if you break a deck board, those same nails will not want to let go enough for you to do an easy repair job.
Underlayment nails are used for subfloor. (That's literally what "underlayment" means.) Since few people want their subfloor to move very much, the teeth on the shank help keep the plywood (or other subfloor material) in place. Underlayment nails also tend to have a larger head, insuring that they will not pull through the material they hold in place. The larger head also helps to keep the subfloor more stable through changes in humidity and temperature.
We stock duplex nails in a 10D and 16D size. Both are available either by the pound or in 50 pound boxes.