How to Get Nails in Project Zomboid

Nails are one of the stable building materials in both real life and in Project Zomboid. When you’re either trying to level the carpentry skill in the game, or building a base you are going to need a lot of nails. Like other resources, they can be hard to come across at first. This page will show you some of the ways you can get nails for yourself in Project Zomboid so you can build to your heart’s content.

Project Zomboid is in early access and still under development. for the latest news check the official site.

How to Get/Where to Find Nails in Project Zomboid

There are two main ways that the player can find nails in Project Zomboid:

  1. By finding them as loot in certain containers around the world.
  2. By breaking down furniture and objects and collecting them as a crafting resource.

Whilst breaking down furniture isn’t always guaranteed to yield nails, (especially at low levels), it’s preferred as finding them as loot depends on chance. Both of these methods are the only way to get nails in the base game. There is no crafting option for nails at all so if you want them you are going to have to recycle them or find them.

Finding nails on a steel shelf at the mechanic in Project Zomboid
Finding a box of nails in the mechanics workshop

Nails can also be found and crafted into complete boxes of nails. A box of nails is an entire pack of 100 nails. You can take the nails out of the box by either right-clicking on the item and selecting Open Box of Nails or selecting the option through the crafting menu. You can combine 100 nails into a box of nails using the crafting menu. There are a couple of different benefits to having 100 nails into a box instead of loosely in your inventory. The first is the organizational benefit. It is easier to just drag and sort a whole box of nails. Secondly when 100 nails are on their own they weigh 1 unit of weight. Whilst in a box they only weigh 0.3. So, if you have a lot of items on you it’s best to back them up.

Where to Find Nails in Project Zomboid

Although finding specific items can be a little bit random and down to luck in Project Zomboid, there are a few specific places you can look for nails. Like most other items, there are only specific places that nails will spawn. For example you would never find a box of nails sitting in a bookcase in someone’s house. Nails can be found in most places you’d expect. Check in places like hardware store and general tool shops. In the image above, you can see that I found a box of nails on a steel shelf in a mechanic’s workshop.

A player standing next to a garage in Project Zomboid
Garages and sheds sometimes have nails inside

If you find yourself searching around a residential area for nails, garages and garden sheds are a great place to look. Specifically looking in wooden crates and on steel shelves would be your best bet. Obviously, there isn’t any 100% chance for anything to spawn anywhere. That being said, you are bound to come across nails eventually if you are looking in the right places. Loot also depends on your world settings. If you simply want to give yourself a better chance at finding nails out in the world you can start a custom sandbox game. in a custom sandbox you can tweak the world settings and give materials a better spawn rate.

Taking the Lucky trait will also improve your chances at finding nails out in the world.

Disassembling Furniture to Get Nails

You can also make use of the carpentry skill in order to get nails in Project Zomboid. The best way to get almost guaranteed nails is by breaking down old furniture and items you don’t want anymore. This recycling method is used to not only get nails, but also some usable wood. Depending on the type of furniture you break down, you will get yourself some nails. To disassemble a piece of furniture, right-click the piece and go down to the disassemble order at the bottom of the menu.

Trying to get nails by disassembling a lazy brown couch in project Zomboid
Need nails? Break down that old couch in the corner!

As you can see in the image above, this screen will tell you which tools you will need. You can’t just break apart old furniture using your bare hands after all. The screen will also give you a percentage chance of success when your character is breaking down the item. This chance depends on your character’s relevant skill in this area. For wooden and general items this is the carpentry skill. If you are breaking down metal items, your metalworking skill will govern your chance of success. The item you are disassembling will also change the chance of success, with more elaborate pieces obviously being harder to disassemble.

Nails on the ground in Project Zomboid
Break down old furniture to get nails

Once your character has successfully disassembled an item, the materials recovered will be seen on the ground. You can loot them straight off the ground once you have finished. The nails that are recovered using this method depend on the item that you are disassembling and your carpentry skill. The good thing is you will be leveling your carpentry skill while you disassemble things so you should just be getting more and more nails as you do this. In the image above, I broke down an old yellow armchair and only received 1 nail. The more things you break down, the more nails you can get.

Disassembling crates to find nails in Project Zomboid
Dismantling crates is one of the best ways to find nails

One of the best places to find if you want to disassemble items to get nails is a warehouse. In most warehouses there are a ton of wooden crate with items stored in them. by disassembling these crate you will gain carpentry skill and have a chance to get some nails at the same time. This is one of the places I generally go when I want to find a lot of nails. Even if you don’t manage to break down too many items and get nails, there are bound to be some in these storage buildings.

What Are Nails Use For?

You might be wondering what exactly you need nails for in Project Zomboid. Well there are a few things that you will need to collect them for. We will start with the obvious, building. If you plan on building a base or improving an existing building in Project Zomboid you are going to need a lot of nails. Every wall that you make and just about every piece of furniture requires nails in order to build it. Building a house from scratch is one of the easiest ways to quickly run out of nails in Project Zomboid. One tip for trying to limit the amount of nails used in base building is to use the log walls instead of wood walls.

Crafting a wooden wall in project zomboid
Building and improving wooden walls requires nails every time

You can also use nails in order to improve some weapons.

By combining nails with a baseball bat you can significantly improve the damage that the bat lands with each strike. The is one of the two weapons that can be improved by the use of nails. You can also turn the plank into a deadly nail plank by crafting the two together. To create either of these two weapons, make sure you have them and some nails in your inventory. Then, go to the crafting menu and look for them under the Carpentry menu. You will need the base weapon and 5 nails to make these deadly makeshift weapons.