Q. What’s the scoop on joist hanger nails? Are they as strong as full-length nails? Can you use them to attach the hanger to the beam?

A.Dave Utterback responds: The short joist hanger nails supplied by hanger manufacturers come in 8d and 10d shank size (10d is the minimum you should use for framing) and are 1 1/2 inches long. They’re designed to attach the hanger to the joist without protruding through the other side of the joist.

You may also use them to attach the hanger to the beam where the hanger allows the use of a 10d or 12d nail ( usually single joist hangers), but if you do so you can only use 77% of the hanger’s rated load capacity. These short joist hanger nails may not be substituted for nails in double-shear hangers or for face-nails on skewed hangers.

Dave Utterback, of Overland Park, Kan., is a certified code inspector and a former builder.