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Copper Nails vs. Steel Nails: Which Should You Use for Your Next Project?

Whether you work in construction for a living or take on DIY building projects for fun, you know how essential nails are in creating the highest quality product. But when it comes to popular choices, likecopper nails andsteel nails, how can you be sure you’re picking the best nails for your project?

In this quick guide, we compare the key differences between copper nails and steel nails and the common uses of each to help you make the best nail choice.

Comparing Copper Nails and Steel Nails


Copper nails

Copper nails offer a level of corrosion resistance that steel nails can’t beat. This inherentdurability ensures that copper nails maintain their integrity over time, providing a long-lasting solution in environments where steel might degrade.

Steel nails

Steel nails are invaluable for their robustness and structural reliability. They are the most common nail type in the construction industry because they offer a significant holding capacity. While they don't have the same resistance to corrosion as copper, galvanized steel nails are an option that balances strength with some rust protection.


Copper nails are low-maintenance because they are corrosion-resistant, whereas steel nails benefit from regular checks and are more likely to need replacement, particularly in areas with high humidity.

Pro tip: Store your nails in a dry, well-organized place to avoid corrosion. While copper nails won't rust, they can still lose their vibrancy over time. Untreated steel nails are very likely to rust without proper storage.


Copper nails have agreater market value, so they are usually more expensive than steel nails. The price difference between the two options can be a significant deciding factor, especially with large-scale projects.

Environmental Impact

Both nail types are notable for their recyclability, with steel being the first and copper the thirdmost recyclable metal.

Health and Safety

Safety and health considerations are also notable; copper nails do not pose a significant health risk, whereas galvanized steel nails, treated with zinc, can emit harmful fumes when cut or welded.

Common Uses of Copper Nails and Steel Nails

Copper nails:

Steel nails:

  • Framing and Construction
  • Roofing
  • Drywall Installation
  • Pallet Making
  • Woodworking and cabinetry

Final Words

With this information, you can buy the high-qualitycopper nails orsteel nails your project requires!Shop Wild West Hardware today for all your nail needs.