So, where can you buy stainless steel nails for nail gun?  Regular hard ware stores will often steel stainless steel nails separately, but for nail gun coils and strips they are usually standard electro galvanized nails.  So what options are there, when should you only use stainless steel, or can you get away with electro galvanized nails?

Stainless Steel Nails for Nail Gun

There are now some specialist online fastener companies that sells every type of nail you can imagine, and they are also available in nail gun coils and strips.  Whether you need finishing nails, brad nails, copper nails, reversible nails, upholstery staples, or hand drive nails you will have options in terms of head size, length and grade.

When to Choose Stainless Steel Nails

Standard, and cheaper nails tend to be electro galvanized nails which have some elemental protection, they won’t corrode in standard soft and hard woods and when used indoors will provide a long lasting joint that won’t discolor.  However, and you’ve probably discovered this by mistake, if you use electro galvanized nails in an outdoor piece of woodwork then you will end up with unsightly streaks of rust and discoloration, and eventually the joint will fail as the nail corrodes.

This is where stainless steel nails and screws come in.  Stainless steel is just that, it shouldn’t stain the wood and other materials it comes into contact with because the nail should not corrode when outdoor elements such as change sin temperature, rain, wind and normal levels of humidity are applied.

Choosing Between Stainless Steel Grades

But did you know that there are two grades of stainless steel from which to choose from when buying nails for your nail gun?  There is 304 grade stainless stainless which are more expensive than electro galvanized nails, and there is 316 grade stainless steel which is even more expensive again.  So why would you invest more money into these stainless steel nail grades?  Is it because they are stronger nails perhaps?

Well the stainless steel grade is a measure of how resistant that nail is to the elements, and to anti-corrosion.  The 304 grade stainless steel nails are good for standard outdoor and exterior applications.  They can be used in ACQ treated lumber, redwood, cedar and acidic or oil-based exotic woods which would usually corrode electro galvanized nails.  The water or oil in the wood would typically corrode the nail and then the nail would rust and discolor, often bleeding to the wood around it.  304 grade stainless steel nails can also be used outdoors where you expect they will be subject to fluctuations in temperature, to rain and to some humidity.

316 grade stainless steel nails are for more extreme conditions, such as tropical locations, the seaside, saltwater contact or projects close to large bodies of water where humidity is high.  They are certified marine grade fasteners so can be used in projects where the nails will be completely submerged under saltwater or fresh water.