Learning from guys who had no power tools but were craftsman in the day my learning experience was not to re use nails or screws for many reasons.

Got into a huge argument with a College Grad who says, that because technology has gotten so much better screws and nails today will last much longer than the old.

Over the years have seen heads snapping off new screws the build up heat and deformation of both nails and screws. Plus it also depends on the material being used.

Is there an article or code anywhere where I might settle this once and for all.

  • 1
    It depends on what you are doing (and the tolerances allowed), but I reuse screws and nails all the time. Of course, I'm not building bridges or spacecraft. – RockPaperLizard Nov 29 '14 at 23:46
  • 2
    Reusing nails that have been bent and restraightened is a recipe for disaster. The flexing (twice) significantly compromises their strength and they are likely to snap at the most inopportune time and place. Similarly screws whose slots have started to be chewed up may strip when you most need to remove them. If the fasteners are straight, undamaged and not corroded, feel free, especially if you are trying to maintain an aged look. – bib Nov 29 '14 at 23:52
  • 4
    Back when nails were far more expensive (requiring a blacksmith to make them one by one), they used to burn down houses (presumably somewhat derelict) to recover the nails for re-use. On the other hand, some of the quality-control on modern nails is "dubious", but that does not mean new nails are any better (having had brand-new ones fail miserably.) – Ecnerwal Nov 29 '14 at 23:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.