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Galvanized Nails vs Stainless Steel – What’s the Difference

Galvanized Nails vs Stainless Steel

If you’re in the market for nails, you may have noticed that there are several types of nails available on the market. One common type is galvanized nails, while another is stainless steel. It can be confusing to decide which type of nail is right for your project, so let’s explore the differences between galvanized nails vs stainless steel to make sure you purchase the best option for your job.

What Are Galvanized Nails?

Galvanized nails are coated with zinc to protect them from rusting or corroding due to exposure to moisture or other elements. These types of nails are ideal for outdoor projects such as building decks and fences, as well as for protecting wood against rot and decay. Galvanized nails come in a variety of sizes and shapes to meet any project needs.

What Are Stainless Steel Nails?

Stainless steel nails are also corrosion-resistant, but they do not require a coating such as zinc because stainless steel itself does not corrode or rust easily. Stainless steel nails are best for interior projects where moisture won’t be an issue and where aesthetics are important—such as crown moulding or trimming around windows and doors—as stainless steel offers more visual appeal than galvanized options. In addition to their aesthetic benefits, stainless steel nails also don’t leave behind any unsightly discolouration on painted surfaces as galvanized nails do.

Difference Between Galvanized Nails and Stainless Steel


One of the primary differences between galvanized nails and stainless steel nails is their composition. Galvanized nails are made of steel that has been coated with a layer of zinc, while stainless steel nails are made of steel that contains chromium.

Corrosion Resistance

Another key difference between these two types of nails is their resistance to corrosion. Galvanized nails are more resistant to corrosion than stainless steel nails due to the zinc coating. However, stainless steel nails are still resistant to corrosion, making them a good choice for use in outdoor applications.


Galvanized nails are typically less expensive than stainless steel nails due to the fact that they are made of less expensive materials. Stainless steel nails may be more expensive, but they offer better corrosion resistance and durability.


Galvanized nails are commonly used in construction and home improvement applications, as they are less likely to corrode than other types of nails. Stainless steel nails can also be used in these applications, but they are often chosen for their superior corrosion resistance.


Installing galvanized or stainless steel nails is generally the same process. However, it is important to note that galvanized nails should not be used in applications where they will be exposed to salt water, as this can cause the zinc coating to break down and allow the nail to rust.


When deciding between galvanized and stainless steel nails, it is important to consider both the intended use of the nail and the desired aesthetics of the finished product. Galvanized nails provide superior protection against moisture damage, while stainless steel provides an attractive finish that won’t leave any evidence after use. DIYers, contractors, and homeowners alike should consider these differences when selecting which type of nail is best for their project needs.

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