Paper Collated Nails

By Robert Robillard on Uncategorized

Paper Collated Nails

Reasons to Use Paper Collated Nails

Not All Pneumatic Nails Are the Same: An Argument In Favor Paper Collated Nails

The term collated means: assembled in a standard order.  For pneumatic nailers, collated nails are “nail assembled in strips.” These strips hold a certain number of nails and are designed easily insert into pneumatic nailers.

Using inferior nails or nails not specific to the nailer usually means more nail jams, and also premature wear and tear on the tool.

Today, Building inspectors have been known to question the structural integrity of nail connections.  Examples of this are using non-shear nails in joist hangers and clipped head nails in sheathing and framing.

With today’s “race to the bottom” mentality there are a ton of lesser quality nails to choose from. High quality, code-recognized nails have an ASTM stamp or the ICC-ES stamp on the nail box.

ICC-ES-stamped nails not only meet ASTM standards but also have a third-party ICC-ES evaluation report, which provides evidence that the nails comply with structural integrity codes, and building inspectors like to see that stamp. Just ask!

3 common types of collated nails

1. paper-tape collated

2. plastic collated

3. coil collated

Paper-tape collated and plastic collated nails are the most popular in my area and also make up approximately 80 percent of the collated nail market.

Plastic collated nails still have 55 percent of that market because they are CHEAP! Plastic collated nails are less expensive to manufacture, and cost less than paper.

In years past, paper collated nail strips were affected by damp weather which would damage the integrity of a paper tape and inevitably caused tool damage or discarded nails.

Today reputable nail manufacturers make paper tape collated nails that are resistant the weather and wet conditions.

Paper Collated Nails

Companies like Paslode have perfected manufacturing a paper-tape collated nails for 30 degree framing nailers. These nails have a propriety high performance tape adhesion so they don’t fall apart in hot, colt or wet weather and a special process to make the paper very rigid, meaning they shear consistently when fired creating less jams and wear on your pneumatic nailer.

My experience with these new paper collated nails is that you can drop these strips in water and they won’t fall apart; of course if they sat submerged in water for hours they might eventually have issues.

Back to cost, the bottom line is: You Get What You Pay For! The paper collated nail process costs more than the plastic process but paper tape collated nails have a productivity and quality advantage over plastic that easily outweighs the difference in price.

Pneumatic framing nailers using paper tape nails jam less, don’t break when dropped, and cause less wear and tear on the tool resulting in less down time for maintenance.

Paper collated nails have better holding power.

One thing many people don’t know is that manufacturers don’t clean the oil off the nails before putting them in the plastic collation. Paper collated nails must be clean to collate them with paper. A clean nail and a tip coating mean better holding strength because there’s no oil on the nail to lessen its holding power and the heat generated by driving the nail helps bond the polymer coating to the wood.

Many manufacturers, like Paslode, also add a proprietary polymer tip coating to the cleaned nail for easier penetration. They also offer the RounDrive® nail which meets all building code requirements of a round head nail, which, until these nails came along, could only be delivered by a 20 degree framing nailer.

Nail Quality

Nail quality and the type of collated nails used can affect productivity and a tools longevity.

Considering this:

1) Plastic collated nails frequently jam, and liter the jobsite with plastic shard debris.

2) Plastic shards often fly out of the tool and can injure the user’s eyes.

3) The brittle plastic often breaks before the nail strip can be placed in the nailer, resulting in wasted nails.

4) More frequent maintenance – Plastic collated nails jam pneumatic nailers more often.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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