My roofing nails are for nailing asphalt shingles to roof underlay boards.

I have been using 2.5 inch nails to nail external wall OSBs to the studs. I have been contemplating using the excess roofing nails (I inherited) for nailing the external wall OSBs to the studs.

Will there be any problems? I don't see any problems, except being a waste of money, since the OSBs would be covered by Tyvek. Are roofing nails of lesser shear strength than framing nails?

I am building a house and have decided to use metal roofing, so my roofing nails that someone gave us will be useless.

1 Answer 1


Roofing nails are a bad choice for attaching sheathing. The wire gauge is too small and the hardness of the nail shank is much less than a framing nail. I personally like to use 6d or 8d ring shank nails for OSB. 8d common nails are Ok as well. Ring nails won't loosen or back out over time as wood dries and shrinks. The heads of the roofing nails can easily break off and will offer little if any holding power. Although you may save some money now, having your sheathing loosen over time will be extremely expensive to fix later. Use the right materials now and be sure the job is done right.

  • 1
    Unless the objective is to have large chunks of roof fly away in the wind, at least. ;) Dec 19, 2011 at 13:19
  • Also, you are going to want to use the ring shanked nails because the roofing nails will not hold in the wood as well. After time they will start to slip out. I would use the 8d ring shank nails for your OSB installation.
    – lazoDev
    Dec 19, 2011 at 15:17
  • Ring shank nails and a Bostich framing nailer, only way to go. Dec 19, 2011 at 22:37
  • Love that comment Evil. lololol Dec 19, 2011 at 22:38

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