What Nails To Use For Wood Soffit (Explained)

All of the hardware stores have one big nail aisle for you to choose from. Well, it can be really confusing when this many nails are just in front of your eyes glazing.

If you are looking for nails for a wood soffit you have to look specifically. So, the real question is what nails to use for the wood soffit?

Stainless steel nails, galvanized, or Aluminum nails can be used for wood soffit. Stainless steel is great for outdoor nailing. Galvanized nails will save you from rusting. But if you want nails for aluminum sliding or screening go for the aluminum nails.

Types of Nails Used For Wood Soffit

There are a crazy amount of wood soffit nails on the market. But three types of nails are suggested for wood soffit. These are Stainless-steel nails, galvanized, and aluminum. 

Soffit is the materials finished to clever the overhang roof underside.

Nail Type Soffit Wood Type
Stainless Steel Cedar, Redwood, or any pressure-treated wood pieces.
Galvanized Douglas Fir Wood (Cedar and Redwood: exclusively for hot-dipped options).
Aluminum Redwood & Cedar Boards.

You need to choose a precise type of nail depending on your purpose. Generally, we look for nails that can hold well and minimize caulking. 

As a homeowner or a builder, you should go for the following types of nails.

Stainless Steel Nails

Using these kinds of nails is common for builders. These nails might cost you a bit more but they will also have a lasting value.

It’s great If you are using the nail for an outdoor wood soffit. Because these nails are resistant to having wood rust.

Living in an extreme temperature area? Stainless steel nails, on the other hand, are resistant to intense cold and heat.

The length of stainless steel nails varies from 50mm to 100mm. They’re also available in 304 and 316.

These nails last longer and they are stronger. If you take a better look these nails can hold up against a harsh environment.

If you live around the sea area you should go for these nails. Applying this for hardwood is optional for you.

One fun fact is stainless steel nails are totally recyclable. You easily remove rust stains from the nails and use these again.

When you are attaching these nails to your wood soffit you need to make sure the soffit is non-toxic and environment-friendly.

Stainless steel nails are probably the cheapest in the market. Just go to a nearby hardwood store and you can buy 200 nails for not more than 10 dollars.

Stainless steel is a self-healing metal. It means if the nails are harmed by anything it will naturally create a protective layer.

Now, what wood is used to make your soffit? If the soffit is made out of redwood or pressured wood you can use 8d x 2 ⅜ nails

Galvanized Nails

These are the most used nails in the market. These nails are layered with a zinc coating which is used to protect them from rust and corrosion.

The zinc will cover corrodes first so that the steel corrosion is slowed. But, the drawback of zinc-coated galvanized nails is that they may corrode with time, which will negatively impact the soffit. 

But there is another type of galvanized nail which is electro-coated. We suggest you not use it for installation purposes. Because acid materials can harm the nails.

These nails come with a large head. It can be 8d and 16d in length. The nails can look like a narrow shank.

Galvanized nails are easier to work with. There are more ductile. 

If you want to have a long-lasting nail for your wood soffit then galvanized nails should be your choice. The zinc coating not only protects it but also prolongs the lifespan.

It’s alright if you want to use galvanized nails for your wood soffit but make sure you don’t have cedar or redwood. This kind of wood is not compatible with galvanized nails.

If you are low on a budget buy the nails later. But by any means do not buy poor-quality nails. Because they will stain your wood. 

Last but not least let’s know more about aluminum nails.

Aluminum Nails 

If you want to have a rust-free nail for your wood soffit just go for aluminum nails. These nails are mostly used for aluminum sliding or screening but you can use them for other purposes as well.

The shiniest and silver nails of the aisle are the aluminum nails. These nails happen to be softer and more flexible than most nails.

But Aluminum nails offer many different sizes.. 1 3/4 cedar soffit nails are the ideal option if you reside in a high-wind area since they include annular rings that prevent withdrawal.

Standard aluminum nails are extremely rare, with a minimum length of 1 3/4″ required for soffit installation. They have a simple shank. They are also made of a high-tensile aluminum alloy.

Aluminum nails offer a wide range of colors. These nails look like a 6d thin shank with a silver coating.

So, if you are a new builder it’s easier for you to use these nails for your wood soffit. 

Aluminum nails can be a great replacement option for steel nails. These are safer and it prevents rust problems of your wood soffit.

But the drawback of these nails is you should not use these on redwood or cedar. As we mentioned before they are soft so they will easily break down if you hammer down harder.

Make sure your wood is not that old if you are using aluminum nails.

We have mentioned the three most used nails for wood soffits. Now buy your chosen nails and nail your wood soffit.

How to Nail My Wood Soffit

Most of the time nailing wood soffits don’t get enough priority as they are the last segment to get concentration.

The soffit is the part where your roof protrusion and the walls connect. And guess what creates a strong wood soffit? Nails.

But before you start nailing your wood soffit you need to prepare.

Preparation Phase

When it’s time for the nailing process, take the nail box you bought. Keep extra nails as you also need to consider the waste.

You can use a nailing strip for this process. Use a nail gun to do this. The most common nail gun used for this is Dewalt DCN660.

Make sure to measure and mark the wood to nail correctly. You should have a  soffit panel in between the receiving channels.

The gap should not be more than 1 to 4 inches. If the weather in your area is colder than normal you can go up to an 8-inch gap.

You can use a cutting machine or a heavy-duty saw for all the wood-cutting work. Whatever you choose to use, make sure it has a fine-toothed blade.

Make sure you are wearing hand gloves and safety goggles before you move on to the next step.

Nailing Phase

Place the wood soffit and put a square mark on the areas where you need to nail. The wood soffit shouldn’t have extra length or width.

Use a ladder to nail. Now place the wood soffit and use a drill machine to nail it. Try not to use any ancient motors like lathe for woodworking. There are better replacements than lathe now. 

You can use a hammer to do it manually but it is not efficient.

Use a saw set tool and a screwdriver to remove the loose nails. And then you can nail it securely.

When you are done nailing the wood soffit look out for the loose areas.  If the loose part is because of the nails that nail might be faulty or it did not place correctly.

But make sure you are not nailing too tightly. You need to give the wood soffit a way for expansion and contraction.

By following these two phases you can easily install your wood soffit. Take enough precautions when you are going through this phase. You should maintain all ladder safety rules.

How Can I Replace My Wood Soffit?

Your wood soffit can be damaged or rusted. It can also rot because of the weather or other occurrences. Water damage can stain your wood soffit for good.

Don’t worry! Because we know the ways to replace your wood soffit. 

Firstly, use a flat bar to open up the mold of your soffit. The rotted parts of the wood or fascia will expose themselves.

Now you need to remove the wooden soffit. To remove the soffit you can use a screwdriver to unscrew all of the old nails. 

You can reuse the soffit later but throw the nails in the bin. But make sure you have cut off the rotted part of the soffit.

Before replacing your soffit you can add a cleat. The recommended size of a cleat is 2×4. This cleat will give support to your soffit.

If you want to use your old soffit then you need to cut off some parts. Remove the rotted parts of the soffit by using a saw. It’s best if you get a new soffit.

Now, Attach the soffit and use a nail gun to put the nails. 


What nail size should I use for the fascia board? 

You can use 2-inch or 16-gauge nails when you are attaching the fascia board. The nail size should not be more than this. Otherwise, the nailing would be too tight. Hardie Trim suggests flushing the final nails when using pneumatic nailing.

Which structure of nails is best for wood?

When nailing wood, you should use chopped nails or hard-cut nails. Cut nails have a four-sided form that makes them difficult to remove and resists bending. They have a blunt point and tapered shank to avoid splitting.

What nails should I choose for a trim?

Interior and exterior trim demand finish nails. They’re also useful for anchoring baseboards and crown molding. Finish nails can also be seen in light carpentry and cabinetry, as well as on stair treads and risers.

Can I nail the soffit tightly?

Do not nail tightly. If the eave span exceeds 16″, nailing strips, as well as receiving channels on the nailing strips, must be installed. Nailing too tightly will cause damage to the wood you are using.

Are Galvanized nails toxic?

Around the steel in galvanized nails is a zinc covering. As a result, certain zinc and lead particles may detach from the metal surface over time. Zinc is a poisonous metal. So, galvanized nails have some sort of health effect. Especially for outdoor activities in the home.


Now you know all about what nails to use for wood soffit. Not only this, we have discussed each nail deliberately and the process of installing your wood soffit.

Take enough precautions when you are going through the phases.

We hope you have a wonderful building journey.

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