Whatever your project, there is a screw or nail for the job. You need to understand how these fasteners are sized so that you may determine which type best suits your application.
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Nail sizing method
Nails are sized by length. The unit of measure is called a "penny" and is expressed with the lower case "d." As the nails get longer, the gauge (the thickness of the shaft) gets thicker.
Nail sizing begins at 2d, which is 1 inch long, and increases sequentially by one through 10d. Generally, each "penny" through 10d increases in length by 1/4 inch. After 10d, nails progress to 12d (3 1/4 inches), 16d (3 1/2 inches), 20d (4 inches), 30d (4 1/2 inches), 40d (5 inches), 50d (5 1/2 inches) and 60d (6 inches).
Nail counts per pound
Nails are sold by weight. You can expect approximately 850 nails per pound of 2d nails; 540 of 3d; 300 of 4d; 250 of 5d; 160 of 6d; 150 of 7d; 100 of 8d; 90 of 9d; 65 of 10d; 60 of 12d; 45 of 16d; 30 of 20d; 20 of 30d; 17 of 40d; 13 of 50d, and 10 of 60d.
Screw sizing method
Screws are sized by length and gauge. They usually are 1/4 inch to 4 inches long and have a gauge between 2 and 24. The larger the gauge number, the larger the screw. Therefore, a box of screws labelled "3/4-10" indicates a 10-gauge, 3/4-inch-long screw.
Screw counts per carton
Screws can be sold by either weight or quantity. Typically, you can expect to purchase speciality screws (such as self-tapping and sheet metal screws) by a specific count, and bulk construction screws (such as decking and drywall screws) by the pound.
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