Guide to Screws and Nails

There are many different types of nails and screws available. Choosing the correct type for any particular diy project can make a big difference to its success or failure.


countersunk headCountersunk Head

Used for general joinery. Ideal if you need the nead to be flush with the material.

Raised Countersunk Head

Normally used in ironmongery or if screwcups are going to be used for a cleaner finish.

Dome Heads

Used for fixing mirrors and plastic sheets or panels. Head can be topped with a decorative dome or plastic clip-on cover.


Generally used for fixing sheet material which is too thin to be countersunk.

Star Head

Require special screwdrivers to tighten and undo. The additional slots improve contact and make it less likely the screwdriver will slip and damage the surface.


Also called a double spiral thread screw. Screw in very quickly and hold much better than normal threaded screws. Ideal for fixing chipboard, fibreboard and blockboard.

Clutch head

Tamper-proof wood screws. These screws have a head designed in such a way that they cannot be easily removed once screwed in.

coach screwCoach Screws (or coach bolts)

Generally used in heavier construction. Coach screws are driven into a prepared hole and then tightened with a spanner. Often feature a squared off head.


round wire nailRound Wire Nail

This large headed nail is good for strong fixings in most carpentry jobs.

Oval Wire Nail

Good for general carpentry tasks. Oval shape reduces the chance of splitting the wood.

Round Lost Head

Again, good for general joinery. Perfect if you want to be able to punch the nead below the surface of the material.

cut claspCut Clasp

All purpose carpentry nail.

Cut Floor Brad

All purpose nail. Strong and secure if used correctly.

Panel Pin

Ideal for very fine joinery. The thin gauge and small head means it can easily be driven below the surface and out of sight.

Hardboard Pin

Self countersinking nail. As the name suggests, ideal for use with hardboard (and plywood, blockboard, etc).

Screw Nail

Used to attach sheets of material to timber. Used in wooden floor construction.

Helical Threaded Nail

Specialist nail used for sheet roofing. Threaded to give extra grip.

Plasterboard Nail

For attaching plasterboard to studs. Jagged sides to improve grip.

Clout Nail

Use in fencing and roofing.

Large Head Clout Nail

For fixing roofing felt or other external fabrics.

Pipe Nail

Used for fixing pipes and guttering into masonry and brickwork.

Masonry Nail

As the name suggests, used for tasks when a material needs to be attached directly to masonry. Made of hardened steel.

Cut Tack

Generally used for fixing carpets and flooring.


Headless tack for holding glass into wooden frames. Sprigs are then covered with putty.


U-shaped wire staples are used for attaching wire to timber.