Application Guidelines

When should I use a nail with a ring or screw shank?

Smooth shank nails are easy to drive - but they don't offer much holding power. For that reason, Maze Nail and Independent Nail engineers set out to design nails that would hold tighter in all sorts of construction applications.

Spiral Shank

The Maze Nails mill designed and produced the world's first spiral shank nails - also called screw thread, Screw-Down® or "drive" nails. These nails have a spiral thread which causes them to turn when they are driven - much like wood screws - and they actually form their own thread in the wood fibers. Spiral shank nails offer good holding power and are specifically designed for use with hardwoods and dense materials. Flooring, siding, decking, pallets and truss rafters are typical applications for spiral shank nails.

Ring Shank

Independent Nail, A Div. of W.H. Maze Company, developed an annular (or ring) thread on their nails that provided even better holding power in many applications. Referred to as ring shank (or Anchor-Down® nails), the threads on these nails separate the wood fibers - which then lock back into the rings - thus resisting removal. Ring shank nails are widely used in plywood, underlayment, decking, siding and roofing applications.

Fluted Shank

A third type of threading, typical on masonry nails, is a fluted shank. This thread style gives those nails excellent holding power in concrete block and masonry applications. The horizontal threads cut the masonry to minimize cracking and provide excellent holding power.

Maze Nails meet and exceed the ASTM A-153 hot-dipped galvanized specifications

Maze Nails meet and exceed the ASTM A-153 hot-dipped galvanized specifications

Use MAZE STORMGUARD® Nails which meet and exceed the ASTM A-153 specifications for hot-dipped galvanizing. All galvanized nails are made of steel and coated with zinc. But only nails that are certified "hot-dipped galvanized" have the critical alloy layers that insure long-time corrosion-resistance. Don't be mislead by nails identified only as "galv.", "hot-galv.", "tumbler galv.", "mech. galv.", or "electro-galv." (e.g.). Galvanized simply means "to coat iron or steel with rust-resistant zinc". It is how much zinc is on the nail, and how the zinc is applied, that makes a BIG difference in how well the nail will resist rust. Maze Nails has over 85 years experience in hot-dipping nails with an unmatched record for quality. Insist on MAZE STORMGUARD® nails!

When should I use stainless steel instead of galvanized nails?

While many associations specify Hot-Dipped Zinc-Coated Nails, there are certain applications where stainless steel nails are preferable to even Double Hot-Dipped Maze STORMGUARD® nails.

  • Marine Environments (within 5 mi. of the seacoast)
  • Cedar & Redwood products (siding and decking), where the wood is left natural or treated with a clear wood finish.
  • Severe or Corrosive Conditions, such as fertilizer storage buildings, salt storage building, hog confinement buildings, etc.
What are the different types of galvanized nails on the market - and why are Maze Nails' hot-dipped nails so popular?

The tremendous advantage of Maze STORMGUARD® nails lies in their superior rust-resistance. Each nail has been dipped twice in molten zinc to insure a thick, uniform zinc coating. Other methods of galvanizing are shown by lab tests to leave nails with a non-uniform coating (ex., tumbler galvanized), a very thin coating (ex., electroplated), or a coating which frequently chips when hammered (ex., mechanically galvanized). The hot-dipped coating on STORMGUARD® nails has none of these shortcomings.

HOT-DIPPED NAILS - Nails are actually immersed in molten zinc - insuring that each nail gets a thick, uniform zinc coating. THIS IS THE ONLY GALVANIZING METHOD USED BY MAZE NAILS.

TUMBLER / HOT-GALVANIZED NAILS - Nails are galvanized by putting zinc chips into a hot, rotating barrel with the nails - with the zinc then "washing" off onto the nails. Unfortunately, some nails don't get enough zinc - and others get too much.

MECHANICAL GALVANIZED NAILS - This is a cold process which hammers zinc powder onto the nails to give them a galvanized coating. This can give a uniform coating - but it often chips off when driving the nails.

ELECTROGALVANIZED NAILS - This method uses electricity and zinc anodes to put on a beautiful, shiny coating - but is also very thin. The thin coating soon oxidizes away - allowing rust to quickly start. Many trade associations warn against using these nails in exterior applications. Maze Nails recommends that when galvanized nails are specified for a project, ONLY HOT-DIPPED NAILS SHOULD BE USED. It doesn't pay to skimp on the nails - since cheap nails that rust can be a real heartache down the line for the retailer, builder and home owner.

Smooth face hammers are recommended

WARNING - Milled face hammers are not recommended for driving hot-dip galvanized nails. The highly abrasive surface of the hammer-face may compromise the integrity of the zinc-coating on the nail head... reducing its corrosion-resistance. Smooth face hammers are recommended.

Is salt spray testing used by Maze Nails?

No. Lab tests are great... for some things. But not when it comes to evaluating the superior rust-resistance of Maze Nails Double Hot-Dipped Galvanized STORMGUARD® nails compared to other types of so-called "corrosion-resistant" nails. Some lab tests, especially "salt spray", just don't accurately simulate true weathering conditions for nail applications of roofing, siding and trim.

Under the abnormal lab conditions encountered in the salt spray test, the typical "reaction product barrier" that protects hot-dip galvanized hardware is not allowed to form on the nail - as it would in the "real world". It is this oxidation barrier that allows hot-dipped products to resist nature's attacks - and ensures long-term corrosion protection. Salt spray testing doesn't allow this important layer to form - resulting in misleading results.

So, before you buy nails or screws based on lab test, find out more about the true test - actual field experience! After all, that's what really counts. And remember that Maze Nails has the best record of any zinc-coated nail producer - over 85 years of providing dependable hot-dipped nails to the building industry!