8d nail diameter and other questions about 8d nails answered

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We will be looking into 8d nail diameter and other important information about 8d nails including their recommended uses

You probably know this: The right nail for a given project should have the right length and perfect thickness (a few other design features may be important too depending on the project you have in mind).

Now, in this article, we will be looking into 8d nails right from their diameter, lengths, all the way to their different types (because there are several types).

We shall also look at the specific projects you can use them for.

Let’s get started…

What is a 8d nail?

Before touching anything on 8d nail diameter, it is important we define what 8d nails are for the benefit of beginners..

Now, the letter “d” stands for penny so an 8d nail simply refers to an 8-penny nail.

I know that can be confusing so I will explain the term penny further..

In short, the term penny was the classic measuring convention of nail length so it is from the past.

Here is the thing: Nowadays, we use “d” to represent penny.

You now get why I called it 8-penny nail.

What is most important to keep in mind is that an 8d nail is any nail that has a length of 2.50 inches.

Let us speak about the diameter.


8d nail diameter

First, unlike what most of you think, 8d does not actually designate a standard diameter.

Instead, different types of 8d nails have varying diameters.

That being the case, below is a brief look at some of the most common 8d nails together with their diameters.


8d metal connector nails

These are perhaps the thickest 8d nails out there and they typically come in two distinct diameters (depending on the type).

These diameters are 0.148” and 0.162”.


8d common nail diameter

8d common nails also come in 2 dissimilar diameters: 0.113” and 0.131”.

I should add that the diameter usually depends on the exact type of 8d common nail you have- remember that there are  2 distinctive types of common nails with the main difference being their head types.


8d sinker nail diameter

8d sinker nails are ordinarily manufactured with a diameter of 0.113 inches.


8d box nail diameter

Turning to 8d box nails, I should begin by saying that they’re, in general, thinner than the corresponding penny size in common nails.

Besides, they are about ⅛” shorter than their nominal size.

Finally, with regard to diameter, they are between 0.092” and 0.113” again depending on the head type.


8d finish nail diameter

When it comes to 8d finish nails, there are two categories of finish nails: 15 gauge and 16 gauge nails and they’re no different if you’re speaking about diameter-  they still vary.

To be specific, 15 gauge 8d nails have a diameter of 0.072” while their 16 gauge peers come in a diameter of 0.063”.


8d brad nail diameter

Brad nails are among the thinnest nails you will ever come across..

Indeed, 8d brad nails come in diameters ranging between 0.0468” and 0.0475” (based on the brand).

Now that you’re familiar with the diameters of a variety of 8d nails, we will turn our attention to the most common uses of 8d nails.


What are 8d nails used for?

Below are some of the projects 8d nails are used for:

Baseboard installation

This is a popular use of 8d finish and brad nails since they do not split baseboard material mainly thanks to their thin nature.

To be clear, 8d nails are most suitable for installing thicker baseboards(from ¾” to 1”- your final choice is influenced by the hardness of the material used to make the baseboard you bought).



When framing, you often have to attach furring strips, subfloors, and sheathing boards.

Now, these materials do not really need 12d or 16d nails as they’re not that thick.

However, they still do require strong and long enough nails and that’s precisely where 8d nails come in.



When toe nailing 2x3s and 2x4s, you may use 8d nails.

That said, it is good you know that this is likely to result in you using more nails than 10d nails(10d nails are the most popular choice for toenailing).

Something else: Bear in mind that some states only allow 10d and 12d nails for toenailing projects so be sure to check with your local building codes before you go the 8d route.


Furniture construction

8d common, box, and sinker nails are quite good if you’re into the construction of different furniture.

You may particularly want to take the 8d nail route if you’re using thicker lumber such as 1 ½”x dimension(and we know that these are normally for weight-bearing furniture/furniture legs).


Cabinet installations

When you are installing your cabinets, say in the kitchen, you will want them firmly attached to the walls.

8d nails are just long enough to penetrate the drywall and attach to the wall studs without damaging any cables/plumbing in your walls.


Building displays and shop fittings

If you own a shop, you will presumably want to display some of your merchandise, which makes having a good display essential.

Now, if you opt for a wooden display, you will need 8d finish or brad nails especially for nailing the frames and legs of your display.


Installing Joist hangers

An 8d metal connector nail will be perfect for your joist hangers installation job.


Hurricane straps

You can as well use 8d metal connector nails to hold hurricane straps into place.

But be careful because some local building / construction codes require you to nail hurricane straps with 10d metal connector nails (check the code to be certain).


8d nail diameter and 8d nail size – recap

8d nails are nails that have a length of 2 ½”.

In terms of diameter, 8d nails have different diameters depending on the type as shown below:

8d nail type Diameter
Metal connector nails 0.148” and 0.162”
Common nails 0.113” and 0.131”
Sinker nails 0.113”
Box nails 0.092” and 0.113”
15 gauge finish nails 0.072”
16 gauge finish nails 0.063”
18 gauge brad nails 0.0468” to 0.0475”


Shop 8d nails


15 gauge nail diameter and other questions answered


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