Fences: staples or nails?

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Fences: staples or nails?

Post by LouiseD »

We have contacted some contractors about putting a privacy fence around our backyard. I've always heard that for a long-lasting fence, you want to attach the pickets with galvanized nails, not staples. But the contractor my husband likes uses heavy-duty staples to individually attach the pickets, and claims that is better than than nails, because nails can split the wood. He says he'll use nails if we want, but doesn't think that's the best method. ( The contractor does avoid the use of cheap pre-made panels.)



Re: Fences: staples or nails?

Post by hb »

Staples are much quicker than nails, although if you blunt the tip of the nial with your hammer before putting it in it will be much less likely to split the wood.

If you look at a nail and compare its thickness to that of a staple, you will see that there is much more material there. That means that the nail will take longer to corrode than the staple ASSUMING that they are made of the same material.

I suspect that you will pay a premium for the nails because of the extra labor involved, and it may be a really big premium if he planned to use a nail gun instead of a hammer.

Think about it or even go look at a fence he did a year or two ago with staples and see how it's holding up.

Good luck.



Re: Fences: staples or nails?

Post by farmgirl »

Hi-I agree with hb on this one. Fence staples are generally made for putting up a wire fence. We had a fence put up using nails and a nail gun. Oak boards on locust posts. That was 12 years ago and it still is in decent shape. I would go with the nails.


Brickman House

Re: Fences: staples or nails?

Post by Brickman House »


It depends on how heavy your contractor's "heavy-duty" staples are. In certain applications, staples are more secure and long-lasting than nails.

For example, many roofers are now using power staple guns instead of nailers for sheathing, finding that the staples have more holding power and are less likely to fail.

I think that staples can be an option equal or better to nails, depending on the quality of materials used.

Brickman House


Re: Fences: staples or nails?

Post by Joel »

I'll throw my 2 cents in. The last two board fences I put up, I used deck screws for the board fasteners. It's been ten plus years on one section and not one fastener has failed. And it's easier to put up as a one man operation - just keep your cordless drill battery charged!


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Re: Fences: staples or nails?

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