Tag Archives: 10d common nails

Why 10d Nails?

Readers: This is another one of those “Dear Pole Barn Guru” questions where the answer is so lengthy it deserves an article all of its own!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Why 10d nails?

Do you know how difficult it is to get 10d nails? Every hardware store in my area has big boxes of 8d, 16d, and even 12d, but NONE of them have 10d.

I was able to find them in the small 5 pound boxes, but those are over $15 a box! A large box was a special order. I got them, but what a pain in the butt. SAM in PORT ORCHARD

Dear Sam: Nails are sized by engineers in order to get the most strength value out of a connection, without resulting in failures usually due to (in the case of nailed connections) wood splitting.

Most building plans and prefabricated truss drawings will specify 10d galvanized commons for framing installation. These are three inches long with a 0.148” diameter. Because we know not every lumber yard or hardware store has them in stock, Hansen Pole Buildings does offer, for purchase, competitively priced “strip” type framing nails which fit many common power nailers.

Lesser diameter 3 inch nails (typically referred to as “box”) cannot be substituted.

Nails greater in length than 3 inch, used for general framing, can cause lumber splitting with catastrophic results.

Researchers have found when a nail is driven into a board, further than the lumber face width, the board will likely split (example: driving nail 2” into 1-1/2” board face).

The building plans have specified 10d common (3” long, 0.148” diameter) framing nails. Proper nailing technique use is essential for ideal results and adequate building performance.

Nails distances are measured in several ways:

  • “Edge distance” is the distance from member edge to nearest fastener center, measured perpendicular to wood grain.
  • “End distance” is the distance measured parallel to grain from the square-cut member end to nearest fastener center.

In photo below, board “end” has white tag stapled to it. “Edge” would be either of the long sides.


  • “Spacing” is the distance between fastener centers measured along a line joining their centers.
  • For ideal results, install 10d common nails so no nail edge or end distance is less than 3/4”.
  • Space nails no less than five times the nail diameter (with 10d common nails 5 X diameter is roughly ¾”) while 1-1/2” is preferred.
  • In any case, edge distances, end distances and spacings shall be sufficient to prevent wood splitting.
  • When a bored hole is desired: To prevent wood splitting, bored hole diameter shall not exceed 75% of nail diameter.

EXAMPLE:     For a 10d common nail, maximum bore hole would be 0.111” (7/64” bit would be safe).

  • Install nails perpendicular to member surface.

I hope this answers your question about 10d nails… and a whole lot more.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru