Difference Between Nails in The Head: Clipped Head Vs Round Head Framing Nailers

It may come as a surprise to many that there are differences to nails. Most people just want something to hold together wood and cardboards, but when it comes to carpenters and artisans, they get in a bit deep and even differentiate nails depending on how they can.

They believe that it is a very real rivalry and a difference in functionalities which is why it’s the clipped head vs. round head to see which one takes the day. Understanding the functions that the nails perform best will shed some light on why they are different. They may be very similar but very different at the same time.

To understand why people are making such a fuss about clipped head vs round head nails, we take a look at each one to get to understand their similarities, differences, and preferences. The first step is knowing what a nail head is.

Clipped Head Vs Round Head Framing Nailers

Nail Heads

What is a nail head?

A nail head is the top part of the nail that even after most of the nail preferable deep in the wood, you can still see the head. According to the ongoing debate, the nail heads now have influences on how for a nail is, it’s not just about a nail company deciding to style up their nails. This debate has been joined even by governments to show its seriousness.

Types of nail heads

There are two main types of nail heads. The clipped head nails that have a D shape because part of the head is not rounded but chipped then there is the round head nails that are round on the head. These are the two most important and most debated upon nail heads the world over.

Difference Between Clipped Head vs Round Head Framing Nailers

Clipped head nailer

Clipped head nailer use nails that have very many names because of the shape. One side of the nail is round while the other end is cut making it a D shape. When using a clipped head nail, you can keep your nails spaced out very well, and you can also fit many more nails in your nail gun.

A clipped head nail can also be wedged deeper than a round head nail because the clipped side is able to dig deeper into the wood. Many contractors believe that the clipped head nail is as strong as the round head nail. It is, however, imperative to ensure that the building code permits the use of clipped head nails for the kind of construction you engage in at the time.


  • With clipped head nails, you can pack more nails into your nail gun
  • A clipped nails job is neat
  • They are cheaper since production cost is low


  • They are prone to jamming
  • When wrongly hammered, it’s hard to get out a clipped head nail

Round head nailer

Round head nailers use full head nails which are completely round. Most people prefer these nails sighting that they have more holding power especially in areas that experience hurricanes. Some building codes in the world recommend the use of round head nails for construction.

When using a round head nail, there is no risk of the nail being wedged too deep into the lumber and it carries a stronger hold too. The biggest problem is the size, not too many round head nails can fit into the nail gun at once and therefore; you are to constantly reload the nail gun.

In areas that experience tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes, the round head nails are more recommended because of their hold.


  • They have a higher holding power making them better for hurricane areas
  • They can be pulled out easily in the case of an error in nailing
  • Their round head prevents them from digging too deep into wood and causing shears


  • The holding capacity of a nail gun is minuscule because round head nails are large.

Top 3 Best Framing Nailer

These are top 3 best framing nailer comparison table making the best choice for your projects easily:

Framing NailerImagePower SourceMagazine CapacityShippingEditor's RatingPrice
BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing NailerCordless-Electric60 NailsFREE Shipping4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon
Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer, 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Plastic Collated Full Head NailsPneumatic64 NailsFREE Shipping4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)See on Amazon
NuMax SFR2190 21 Degree Framing Nailer Ergonomic & Lightweight PneumaticPneumatic55 Nails_4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon

Related Posts:


Clipped and round head nails have caused such a stir, and while the debate is ongoing, we can set one thing straight, both nails have their advantages. The clipped nails are more favored by contractors while the round head nails are preferable because of their stronghold.

Before picking the nails that you will use, it is important that you have a list of factors that you consider. The first being efficiency, you need to know how effective and efficient your choice of nails will be, have your research and pick, do not be swayed by what others say.

The other crucial issue is knowing the building codes of the area that you are in so that you use the required materials by the area. Since everyone has their opinion and the debate keeps getting heated. The best solution is to let people decide by themselves in silence what they find best for them.

5/5 - (5 votes)

Speak Your Mind