GRK Screws vs. Nails

January 16, 2017

I wanted to take a minute to talk about GRK screws versus nails when it comes to building. I believe there is a time and place for both, but the focus of this blog will be screws. Let’s get the nails conversation out of the way first.

If I’m rough framing or sheathing a wall/roof or something of that nature I will generally reach for my Paslode XE framing nailer with coated exterior grade nails. Why exterior you ask? Because they can be used on BOTH interior and exterior applications, while interior are intended for, well, interior. Once again this goes back to the common theme at Cheadle Construction of “use better material and produces a better product.” Using exterior nails ensures that corrosion won’t be an issue inside or out.


Now that’s out of the way let’s start talking about screws and the many benefits of them. I prefer to use GRK screws over any other in just about ALL applications. Even for the above-mentioned applications where the nailer is used. I say this because GRK R4 framing screws are ESR-3201 certified approved for structural applications in both pressure treated and standard timber. There are certain situations such as framing in a historic home where the ceilings/floors/walls aren't always square/plumb/level and stick framing is necessary one stud at a time and adjustments may be needed. The use of GRK screws allows these adjustments to be made much easier than nails because you simply back the screw out as opposed to prying a nail out. This also preserves the life of the wood since less work is necessary to remove the screw than the nail.

That's not all these wonderful GRK screws have to offer. They also have a line of trim screw products. Once again, there is a time and place for screws and nails. I often pick up my Paslode trim gun for running things like baseboard or shoe molding. But sometimes you need a little more compression strength and draw power than traditional nail/glue will provide.

I like to use the GRK FIN/TRIM screws for these applications. They are offered in lengths from 1-1/4” all the way up to 5”! As crazy as it sounds, sometimes you actually need 5” worth of trim screw for things like jamb extensions or exterior trim work. Like the R4 framing screws, these trim screws are rated for structural applications both interior and exterior. I don’t know about you but if I have the chance to carry one less box of hardware on the truck, I will always opt in that direction.  Out with interior-only hardware and in with the multi-application hardware. The big difference between the R4 framing screws and the FIN/TRIM screws is the diameter of the head and shank. The trim screws leave a hole slightly bigger than a trim nail but pack way bigger of a punch. 

Next time you are thinking about starting a carpentry project whether it's some shelving in the kid's room or building a new shed out back I highly suggest reaching for a pack of GRK screws. And if you are worried about not having any 6-point drivers in your drill kit they’ve got you covered! Every pack of GRK’s come with a driver and you’ll end up with a big pile of them because they never strip out! I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and urge you to leave questions, comments, or criticisms in the comment section below. I am constantly learning every day and welcome your thoughts!

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