Feather edge fencing is a popular and cost-effective method for creating a robust, durable, and private boundary to one's property or garden space in the United Kingdom. Although visually similar, there has been a long-standing debate on whether to use nails or screws to secure the feather edge boards. In this article, we will provide an overview of feather edge fencing, discuss the pros and cons of using nails and screws, and give our verdict on which fastening method to choose.

What is Feather Edge Fencing?

Feather edge fencing, also known as closeboard fencing or featherboard fencing, is composed of vertical overlapping timber boards, with one end wider than the other, attached to horizontal rails and supported by wooden or concrete posts. The feathered edge – which means the tapering of the board's width – leads to a tighter weather-resistant structure that allows water to run off more easily.

Pros and Cons: Nails vs. Screws

When debating between nails and screws for securing feather edge fencing, you should consider several factors, including the ease of installation, durability, and maintenance.



  • Faster and easier to install: Nailing is, in general, faster and easier than using screws, making it a popular choice amongst DIY enthusiasts and professional fence installers.
  • Cost-effective: Nails are a cheaper option in comparison to screws.
  • Discreet: Smaller nails can be less noticeable than screws when securing the boards, providing a cleaner finish.


  • Challenging to remove: If you need to carry out repairs or replace individual panels, the nails can be difficult to remove without damaging the boards.
  • Prone to rust: Nails are more susceptible to rust over time, which can lead to reduced structural integrity of the fence.



  • Stronger, long-lasting hold: Screws offer a more robust connection with increased holding power, leading to a longer-lasting fence, especially in high-stress situations such as gusty or exposed areas.
  • Easier to maintain: When the time comes for repairs, maintenance, or board replacement, screws are easier to remove, saving time and effort.
  • Rust-resistant options: Stainless steel or corrosion-resistant screws are available to prevent rust and weather damage.


  • More time-consuming: The process of screwing each feather edge board can take longer than simply nailing it in place.
  • Higher initial cost: Screws tend to be slightly more expensive than nails.

The Verdict

Ultimately, the choice between using nails or screws for your feather edge fence depends on your individual priorities, budget, and overall aims for your fencing project. While nailing can be quicker and cheaper, it may compromise the fence's long-term durability, whereas screwing may take longer to install but offers increased strength and easier maintenance.

In conclusion, if you prioritise ease of installation and cost-efficiency, nails might be your best option. However, if you are willing to invest in a longer installation time and a higher initial cost for a more durable fence with easy repairs, screws are the way to go. By considering your unique requirements and weighing the pros and cons of each option, you can choose the most suitable fastening method for your feather edge fencing project.