A cement nail is a self-explanatory piece of carpentry hardware. They are nails that are specifically designed to be driven into concrete. Because most nails are not strong enough to penetrate such a hard surface and would bend, there is a need for these types of nails for various applications. One of the common uses for cement nails is to tack down flooring materials installed on a concrete slab. These nails are widely available and specially designed for use with various jobs that involve cement.
Cement or concrete nails have to extremely strong to stand up to being driven into such a hard substance without bending or breaking. These types of nails are specially designed to hold up to the abuse though heat-treating that strengthens or tempers them. To add additional grip inside cement fixtures, many of the cement nails are designed with grooves in the shaft to help them keep a grip on the hard material.
Cement nails have to be hard. They are usually made of high carbon and galvanized steel. The heat tempering increases their strength and makes them hold up to the tasks for which they are designed. Cement nails are also made thick and short for added strength that is ideal for fastening to hard or firm surfaces. The most common nail material used in other types is iron. Although still strong, iron nails do not have the ability to drive into cement.
Like other nails, cement nails come in a variety of sizes to fit all sorts of needs. The common diameter of many cement and concrete nails is between 1.7 and 5.0 millimeters with lengths ranging from 16 to 50 millimeters. Variations on the standard sizes exist for other applications.
In order to secure cement nails into the surfaces they are hammered into, sometimes an accessory known as an anchor is required. Anchors are inserted into pre-drilled holes and the cement nails are hammered into the sheath-like anchors, making them expand and adding more grip to than the nails would otherwise have in the wall, floor or other concrete surface.