DIY Dictionary: Ring Shank Nail

Updated: Feb. 07, 2024

What is a ring shank nail?


What is a Ring Shank Nail?

Ring shank nails are those with ridges or spirals around the shank; those little ridges can increase the holding power of the nail by 40 percent or more. The ridges on the ring shank nails act as little barbs or wedges that lock the nails firmly into the wood once it’s driven.

Perhaps the most commonly-known ring shank nails are those used to secure drywall—you want those nails to stay put since any “pop” will create a pimple on the wall surface. Nails used for building pole barns or installing siding, metal roofing and deck boards—scenarios where lumber is more likely to shrink and expand due to extreme temperature and moisture changes—are also often of the ring shank variety.

This tenacity comes with one disadvantage: Ring shank nails can be a bear to pull; often the head will pop off before the nail can be extracted. And if you are able to yank one out, they leave a pretty nasty looking hole.