What Size Nails for Framing?

Man has created many technologies or tools to make human life easier. They ever keep themselves in trying of making these technologies or tools better. One of these tools is the hammer that is used to push the nails into the object. You can use a nailer also instead of this hammer tool to do the task faster and easier. Now, finally come to the main point that is these tools are used in framing. Framing is a structural arrangement that supports other elements of physical construction that limit the scope of construction. So, in this case, you may want to know what size nails for framing?

This stage involves making it 2 inches long. With the help of 2×4, one can build walls, and you can join 2 × 8 or 2 × 6 together to create a roof and floor. Therefore, the nails should be stiff enough so that the shear can stand firmly against the force. Constructors usually use ordinary nails rather than box nails because of their thickness. As mentioned above, nails change their shape. In addition, if you use a nail gun in place of a hammer, you will need framing nails designed specifically for the nail gun.

We know, framing is very essential to the rough construction of a building. Although the walls that ended with a new coat of paint may seem like it was framed relatively easily, the truth is that a lot of labor has gone into this project. You must keep in mind that, framing requires knowledge, planning, and the right kind of tools, including framing nailers and nails. So, you must be conscious about the nail size.

 Nails for Framing

As you know, framing is very essential for a wooden project. That’s why it must be done perfectly. And for doing this job in a perfect way you have to choose a perfect tool for it as well as a nail also. You must be conscious about the structure of the nail, if it is much longer than it should be then it may spilt the lumber and if it is short than it should be, then it will not hold the frame together. It means you have to find the proper length or size of the nail to do the job. This is especially true when securing frames with 2x4s.

So, that’s the reason you should have to get knowledge of different nail sizes for framing and be careful. If you make a wrong choice, the nails will split the frame or wood seamlessly. Forget about taking long, short, or thick nails. Select the perfect gauge properties and go perfect with the load. Let’s know about the best nails for framing below.

What Gauge Nails for Framing: Framing Nails Size

Gauge and Length

If you want to get the job done right, you need to choose the perfect nail length. Here, it is better to use the thumb rule, which says that the length of the nail you choose is three times greater than its thickness. Meanwhile, long nails even split into the wood. For this keep a note about the connection of the wooden elements.

Using 16D and 8D nails 2x4s will cover most of your framing work. Most professionals agree that the exact length of the main nail is 3 ½ ″ and the size of the gauge is 16 d. Sometimes called 16 penny nails, these are the perfect nails to use for 2x4s. Two types of 16D nails are used for framing, common and sinker. Here, the letter ‘D’ indicates a penny. The diameter or size of the penis varies with the size of each nail. So, you may want to know how to differentiate between different nail lengths.

Now, check out the different nail sizes for framing below-

16d Common Nails

16D nail has a gauge diameter of 0.162″ and a length of 3 ½″. This nail type has a smooth body and head. The advantage of ordinary nails is a large, flat head that is easy to remove if you put the nail in the wrong place or if the nail itself is damaged. And while the thickness gives it good holding capacity, it suffers from more frequent slips when hammering into the wood.

16d Sinker Nails

These nails are 0.148 in diameter and 3-¼ inches in length. Unlike ordinary nails, sinker nails have a textured head and coated cone. The sinker nail is reasonably good for 2 × 4 framings because the textured head does not allow the hammer to slip when hitting the nail. Also, they have a coating made from epoxy or vinyl that allows you to run the nail in 2 × 4 more than a normal nail.

16D nails or 16 penny nails are the most used. Such nails are three and a half inches long. One can use 16D nails to perform construction-related projects like framing. Meanwhile, there are two types of 16D nails, which are Sinker and Commons. So, let’s clear up this difference!

A 16D sinker produces 0.148 inches in diameter and 3.25 inches in length. On the other hand, a 16D common length goes up to 3.5 inches with a diameter of 0.162 inches. There are many similarities between the two in terms of physical dimensions. The main difference between these two nails is that the top of the sinker nails has a waffle-like style and the common ones have a smooth top. Of these options, 16D sinkers are great for framing. When they come with vinyl, cement, and epoxy coatings, these nails slide better into the wood.


Both types of 16d nails are used for framing-related projects such as fastening wall plates. Sinkers feature a vinyl cement coating, which makes their structure most suitable for framing them as they easily slide into the wood, especially when you need to drive a large number of nails.

The textured head, on the other hand, helps prevent the nail gun from slipping. It is also important to note that the Commons is not coated. As such, they should not be used in areas with high humidity or in areas where they can easily rust.

When framing interior walls, you will need a nail size that is not too long or thick so that you do not have difficulty running it. Also, it should not be too small or thin. This makes 16d sinkers the best option for creating interior walls.

For external framing, you need to use galvanized nails to prevent rust. 16d is the best nail size for installing 2 × 4 framing and zest hangers.

10d Nails

If you are looking for something to trim the door, 10d nails will be the best nails for it. These nails do not penetrate deep into the attached boards. Meanwhile, you can use these 10d nails next to the flat board surface. These nails are about 3 inches long and 0.148 inches in diameter. No one with a diameter smaller than this can replace these nails. If you use 10d nails, the area should be three times the diameter of the nail. However, you should not install these nails in such a way that they do not go more than 6 inches.


If you are looking for the right nail size for roof truss framing then, 10d nails are best. These are also used on framing studs such as when you are doubling wall studs or floor joists that overlap.

8D Nails

So we know, 2x4s are the most common wood for framing in walls, they are generally not used for attachments such as subfloors, furring strips, and sheathing. Therefore, the 16d nail that is 3 ½″ long is too long and too large for attachments. That’s why the 8d nail at just 2 ½″ is recommended. They also come in common and sinker styles, in such cases. And the sinker nail is coated which makes it easier to drive into the attachment and therefore a superior choice over the common nail in most circumstances.


For all kinds of siding materials, 8d nails are ideal. These nails are used to attach subfloors, sheathing, furring strips, and other materials that do not require large nails.

However, the nails should be spaced in such a way that they will enter the stud. These are also used to attach to toenails as well as wall plates.

6d nail size

These nails are great for the surrounding flat wood. To get this kind of work done, you don’t need other big nails. 6d nails are suitable for small interior work due to their 0.113-inch diameter and 2-inch cone length. The diameter of the head of this nail is about 17/64 inches. Since 6d nails are characterized by low diameter, these nails are not commonly used. On the market, there are two types of 6d nails. These categories include box and general. So, according to your needs choose the type.


These nails are mainly used to join the flat woods and nails on the finishing floor and subfloor. Their small size and diameter make them less likely to ruin the surface. So, you easily use it on small interior projects.

Framing nail size chart

Penny NailDiameter (Gauge)Length
16d Common0.162″3 ½ -inches
16d Sinker0.148″3 ¼ -inches
10d0.148″3 -inches
8d0.134″2 ½ -inches
6d0.12 inches2 inches

Types of Framing Nails

There are different types of nails based on their characteristics for framing. They are in different lengths and sizes. Note that the width of the nail is usually described as a penny nail or 16d for example.

  • Common Nails: These are flat heads and wider nails than sinker nails. Ordinary nails do not have a coating that makes them more difficult to run in wood.
  • Sinker Nails: Such nails have a textured head. But more importantly, coated so the nail slides easily into the project.
  • Deck Nails: As the name suggests, these are the nails that are commonly used to frame decks. Most nails of this type have a diamond shape and look like spikes. These are further 4 ″ to 12 and a snug head.

Stainless Steel & Galvanized Nails

There are several advantages to using stainless steel and galvanized nails. Steel nails that are not galvanized or made of stainless steel are prone to corrosion or rust. The nail itself may corrode while in the material due to the moisture or environment of the wood. This may cause due to expansion or the nail itself may just rust and therefore the type it provides goes away. Stainless steel and galvanized nails are not prone to rust because the surface has a layer that resists moisture. This means that the nail will not rust even in humid conditions unless the surface is compromised.

Now you have a preliminary idea about the type of nails that are often used for framing. Be sure to check the size and thickness of the wood to make sure you select the right nail for the job.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Size Nail for Framing with Nail Gun?

Also we know a nail gun needs specific nails that go perfectly well in its magazine. Framing nails tied in rows together so that the magazine can go. If your nails are not the ideal size, they will not fit well in the magazine. This is why you should always make sure the nail size of your nail gun when shopping. It’s best to carry nails of the same brand as your nail gun. This way, you will not face a compatibility problem.

On the other hand, several nail gun magazines have steep angles towards the tip. This enables the nail gun to be positioned in a hard place. To fit, the nails should have a cut head. This is why you should check once and for all whether these nails can be used for specific framing and structural applications.

What Size Nails for Framing Walls?

It is very important to consider the size of the nail when framing the interior walls. If the nail is too thick or too long, you may have difficulty driving it and it may even split the wood. Meanwhile, thin or short nails will not be able to perform the task. If you are looking for the best framing nails, you need 16d or 3½-inch nails.

Here, 16d nails are of two types, which are common nails and sinker nails. Ordinary nails have a smooth top, while sinkers have a textured top that helps prevent hammers from slipping. Also, ordinary nails come with a 0.162-inch diameter while sinkers have a 0.148-inch diameter.

Ordinary nails are strong and sturdy, but a 16d sinker is needed for framing. These sinkers have an epoxy or vinyl coating, which helps them slide through the wood easily. This is an important fact to consider because you have to run a lot of nails. 

Meanwhile, you can even hire 8D nails for framing. These nails are used to add 2 × 4 lengths. You do not need large nails for the adjacent furring strip, subfloor, sheeting, and other such materials. To perform these tasks, 8D nails come in handy, which is 26 inches long. In some stores, you may even come across vinyl-coated 8d sinkers, which are a little narrower than the usual ones.

Can you use screws for framing?

For framing both nails and screws can be used. Nails are generally preferred for structural joining because they are more flexible under pressure, where the screws are sensitive to snapping. 

However, for 2 x 4 framing, thicker threads in the screws can hold better than nails, and the wood is less likely to protrude from the surface when compressed or stretched. If you decide to use screws, you may need to use pilot holes to prevent splitting, and it will usually take you longer to install these than nails.

Why nails bend while hammering into the stud?

First, consider the material you are studying. Sometimes metal-dependent stalks may be needed in place of wood. This may be due to the wood stud.

What nails can you use for joist hangers?

You can use16d double-dipped galvanized nails, that are commonly used for joist hangers.

What size nails for 2×4 framing?

For 2 × 4 framings, it is best to use 3.5-inch nails, which are 16d nails.


Now, after reading the above statements properly, you can choose the best nail size for framing your project. So, we must be conscious about the nail size while using them with both hammer and nailer. However, newer may find it a little difficult while choosing the exact nail size. But, don’t be worry about it, as we have given answers to all questions related to framing nail size.

If you have even any queries or questions about nail sizes for framing, then let us know by the comment section below. I hope this article was enough helpful to understand nail sizes for framing.

Leave a Comment