Best Nails for Fence Pickets – 3 Top Picks

A fence is as strong as the nails that hold it together. Thus, it is crucial to choose the best nails for fence pickets. Not all nails are suitable for every fence, as each type of nail has distinct characteristics. In addition to that, there are several different kinds of fences, and each style requires a particular type of nail.

Some fences have rails that require a specific type of nail to hold them together. Some companies treat wood fences with chemicals to prevent damage from insects. The humidity and weather of the area can also significantly affect the nails.

If you use the wrong type of nail, the construction of your fence may fail. For example, wooden fences will contract and expand as the weather and temperature change. This can also contribute to the loosening and splitting of fence rails, causing them to look unsightly.

This article will cover a variety of different nails you can use and when you should use them.

Top 3 Best Nails for Fence Pickets

Choosing the right kind of nails to use when building your fences can be a daunting task, especially with so many brands available to choose from.

Though nails are small and may seem insignificant in appearance, they are crucial to the construction and reliability of the fence. After all, the nails hold everything together.

Hence, choosing the right kind of nails is essential in maintaining the beauty and longevity of your fences. In addition, you will want to make sure they work with your nail gun and also see our best cordless nail gun for fencing rankings.

After conducting thorough research and putting the chosen brands through rigorous testing and experimentation, we have achieved a list of some of the best nails for fence pickets:

1. Metabo HPT Siding Nails

Metabo HPT makes nails with the highest quality material and exceptional craftsmanship. These nails are galvanized-coated and made with steel to provide durability and sturdiness.

Metabo HPT nails eliminate the accumulation of rust over time. This means that the nail is less likely to bend or break. Thus, a one-time investment can go a long way. These nails are the most ideal for wooden fences, especially those made of cedar.

Metabo nails are compatible with any nail gun that can handle 21/4 inch nails. The design of these nails reduces downtime and boosts efficiency. In addition, these nails are most suited to a nail gun with a jam-proof design, which will save you time and effort.

These nails stay comfortably in wooden fences. They will not split the wood or dislodge the fence pickets and rails.




Do not rust

Do not cause jamming


Work best on wooden fences only

2. Grip Rite Prime Guard MAXC62878 2” Ring Shank

Grip Rite Prime Guard nails have a round head and are made with premium 304 stainless steel. These nails ensure excellent performance and durability and also guarantee the longevity of your fence pickets.

These nails are galvanized, which means that they will not rust or discolor over time. In addition, the ring shanks minimize the movement of the nails, even when the weather changes and the wood expands or contracts.

Grip Rite nails are perfect for large cedar fences as they stick tightly to cedarwood. These are also compatible with the majority of nail guns. The manufacturers ship the nails in a plastic bucket, which prevents them from being smashed or disfigured during shipping.




Durable and rust-proof

No discoloration


Lower holding power than competitors

3. Hitachi 2” X 0.113 Ring Shank Nails 20171S

The manufacturers use a combination of steel, stainless steel, and plastic to manufacture these nails. They are effortless to use and work efficiently with nail guns, and so far, no jamming or miss fires have been reported by users.

Hitachi ring shank nails are the perfect choice for those looking for quick and efficient fence installation. Compared to most nails, Hitachi’s nails have extreme holding power.

These nails are hot-dipped galvanized, making them entirely rust-proof. This ensures the appearance or durability of fence pickets. They pass through the wood smoothly without leaving dents or damaging the fence, providing an excellent finish.

These nails are most suitable for cedar wood fences. They are also perfect for salt-treated fences and shed sidings.


Easy to use

Strong holding power

Rust and damage-proof

Do not dent wood


Might have the occasional feeding problem

Buying Guide — Choosing the Best Nails for Fence Pickets

Purchasing the correct type of nails is vital to the structural integrity of your fences. If you do not consider wood-nail compatibility before purchasing nails, you may end up losing a lot of time and money when your fences don’t hold together as well as they should.

Before buying nails to build your fence with, consider the following factors:

Type of Wood Your Using

The type of wood you are using for your fence is one of the first things you should consider before buying nails. Not every nail will be compatible with cedarwood, for example. While aluminum nails are preferred for chemically treated wood, galvanized nails are most compatible with cedarwood.


Another essential factor you should consider before buying nails is what size nails you will need. There are a variety of differently-sized nails available to choose from. The size you will need will probably depend on the type of fence you are putting together.


Before buying nails, be sure that the company you’re buying them from is well-reputed and uses high-quality material. Purchasing nails from poorly reviewed companies using cheap materials won’t benefit the reliability and vitality of your fences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

best nails for fence pickets installation

How does rust damage nails?

When people use low-quality nails to put together their fences and come into contact with moisture, the nails oxidize and rust. The rust damages the nails by weakening the metal, making them more prone to breaking or bending.

What is the difference between galvanized steel nails and stainless steel nails?

Galvanized nails are made by dipping regular steel nails into molten zinc to form a coating around them. This zinc coat makes them resistant to oxidation, preventing them from rusting and weakening.

On the other hand, stainless steel nails are steel nails that have ten percent molten chromium incorporated into them. This process also prevents oxidation and rusting.

Stainless steel nails require a rigorous manufacturing process, making them more expensive than galvanized nails.

What are ring shank nails?

Ring shank nails have ridges or spirals to promote friction, making them sturdier when fired into wooden fences. This significantly increases their holding power and the structural integrity of your fence.

Which nails are the best option for chemically-treated wood?

Manufacturers will treat wood with chemicals to prevent insect damage and corrosion. However, nails made of plain steel or aluminum will often interact negatively with these chemicals. Thus, hot-dipped galvanized nails are suitable for chemically treated wood since they resist corrosion more than any other type of nail.

What is the difference between hot-dipped galvanized nails and electro-galvanized nails?

Hot-dipped galvanized nails are made by dipping steel nails into molten zinc to create a corrosion-resistant layer. Electro-galvanized nails, on the other hand, are made using an electric current. This current creates a zinc coating, which also creates a resistant layer. Though electro-galvanized nails are cheaper than hot-dipped galvanized nails, the corrosion-resistance layer is much thinner.


Choosing the correct type of nails is as important as the nailer kit or the wood, if not more. The nails you choose will impact the durability and structure of your fences. Therefore, we do not recommend you pick up just any package of nails and start building your fences.

Instead, the nails you choose to make your fence with should depend on certain factors, such as the climate you live in, the type of fence you want, and the wood you will use. By referring to this article, you should select the best nails for you and your building needs.