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Hurriquake Nail

Stanley-Bostich’s Hurriquake nail incorporates features that enhance its ability to resist both the side-to-side shearing action of earthquakes and the uplift caused by high winds during hurricanes.  But designing stronger nails is easy.  Bostitch’s real engineering feat is designing stronger nails that still fit in any modern nail gun.

It’s a ring-shank nail, which helps to keep the nail and whatever it’s holding down from parting company.  A wide screw-shank section under the head of the nail compensates for the wider hole made by the barbed ring and adds more holding power, while a larger nail head provides 25% more area to prevent pull-through.  And a huge amount of metallurgy research went into making a carbon steel alloy with the proper stiffness while remaining pliable enough to prevent shear.

The bottom line: plywood sheathing attached with Hurriquakes has a much better chance of staying put in adverse conditions.

And while the Hurriquake does cost a little more than standard nails — they run $40 per 5,000 — that translates to something like $15 more per house.  That’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Note: The Hurriquake was PopSci’s Best of What’s New grand award winner last year.  Check out their video interviews with Ed Sutt, the Hurriquake’s inventor and Stanley-Bostitch’s “Dr. Nail.”

Hurriquake Nail [Bostitch]
Street Price [GoogleProducts]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]


3 Responses to The Bostitch Hurriquake: A Good Nail for a Bad Day

  1. mel ezzo says:

    I heard about these quite awhile ago and was unimpressed then and still am. I think they are a answer to a question that wasn’t asked. So I should pay more, and then use less to end up explaining to inspectors its ok? i just don’t think they will make it in todays extra tough market.

  2. Chuck Cage says:

    Mel: When I was researching these last year, it was my understanding that it’s not meant to be a cost saver — in other words, you don’t use less. You use the same amount, and end up with sheathing that’s much less likely to rip off in high wind.

    While nothing’s going to hold a house together in strong enough wind, there’s a lot of damange to homes on the edges of storms — those that see high sustained winds, but not high enough to move the largest debris — that’s preventable.

    I don’t know if Bostitch offers it on their website, but one of the most compelling arguments for this nail is a video they made during their initial testing. A university (I forget which now) built a machine that applies suction to an entire 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood sheathing attached to a correct rafter structure — enough to suck the plywood right off. They ran tests with a wide variety of available nails, including the Hurriquakes, and the results were telling. The nails really do hold better.

    And the cost per house is surprisingly little. I spoke to a contractor who’d installed them, and they estimated around $50/house. When Eric wrote this post, I noticed that the price per box seems to be the same or lower.

    Anyway, just my $0.02 as someone who spent some time researching.

  3. Here is a link to the video – the testing demo starts at about the 3 1/2 minute mark.


    According to the video, it costs $15 extra per average 2000 sq foot house to use the Hurriquake nails instead of conventional ones.

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