Do you struggle to know which method of fastener to use on your construction or DIY projects?

Nails, screws, or even using a senco model stapler

Thinking about what type of fastener to use on a variety of projects can be quite daunting, but making the right choice is important to make sure you pick the most effective option possible.  So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of fasteners?


Staples, the advantages of using this method are that they are quickly installed, easily removed and they can be a good temporary fastener.  They can also and be used to bridge seams if a senco model stapler is used.  Disadvantages of this method are that they are easily loosened, they are not load bearing and can rip through lighter types of materials.


Advantages of screws are that they provide a secure hold, they seldom loosen, there are a large variety of styles available and they are easily removed.  Disadvantages are that it can be hard to hide the screw head and it can rip and tear some types of materials.  Also, the heads can strip.  This type of fastener is ideal for deck assembly and for use in roofing.


Nails are easily installed, especially if used in an air gun and they are easy to countersink into materials.  A further advantage of them is their low cost, unless the copper variety are used. Disadvantages of nails are that they can work loose, they can split some material, and some varieties are susceptible to corrosion and rust.  They are often used in cabinet construction, shelving and wood trim.  They are also favored by some for roofing projects.

Nuts and bolts

The positives of using nuts and bolts are that they are extremely secure and they are high load bearing.  In addition, they are easily removed and range in size from the very small to extremely large.  Disadvantages of nuts and bolts are that pre-drilled holes are required to install them and a range of tools are needed to tighten them.


Dowels have a very strong holding ability and they are easy to install.  They also present an out of sight attachment.  Disadvantages of this method is that they are irremovable, they need precise matched holes to be drilled and glue drying time is required.


Advantages of rivets are that they are irremovable and are tamper proof.  They are quite inexpensive and they are durable.  Disadvantages of rivets are that high quality tools are required to fasten them securely and pre-drilling holes are needed.  Also, they are very hard to move.


Pins can be very easily installed and can be removed quickly.  Pins also provide a good temporary fastener solution.  Disadvantages of pins are that they require holes to be drilled to accommodate them and it is very hard to achieve a tightly fastened connection.

There are both advantages and disadvantages for a all types of fasteners.  Regardless of whether you are a professional construction specialist or a DIY enthusiast the method of fastener you choose to use needs some careful consideration to make sure you get the best solution for each project.