Mag Nails by ChrisNik

ChrisNik’s rock hard MAG Nail has become the chosen nail among surveyors worldwide. It out performs any survey nail, period!

Benefits of MAG Nail include:

  • Find it farther​​​
  • Larger center point
  • More durable​
  • Zinc Plated ROHS
  • European Compliant


Benefits & Features

Mag nails, are used for land surveying and construction layout when critical points are needed to be set in asphalt, wood, or other such surfaces that a nail could be set into. Since most of the points we set end up in the real world, we have to be able to visually find them in the future. In addition the points set by one particular surveyor may need to be recovered by yet another.

Pound it Harder, Find it Farther!
Before mag nails was PK nails which are still available today. The creation of mag nails came from the need to find these set points by use of a locator or more commonly known by you and me as a metal detector. Since mag nails are magnetic, and larger in size than a PK they are found quicker and with greater ease using a locator. Furthermore Mag nails have a zinc coating to prevent corrosion and rusting longer than PK nails. This coating makes the nail shiny and more visible longer when set into different surfaces. However the most important improvement was the thickness of the striking head surface and the overall strength and durability of the nails; these nails are better able to withstand striking blows without the head coming off or the nail itself bending. So the slogan really means something, as the Mag’s can be struck harder with a hammer, and found farther using a metal detector.

Mag Nails at a Glance
There are many different tasks we use mag nails in the field of surveying and construction for.

Control Points
Most commonly used during a survey or for construction would be setting control. This can be achieved by using a robotic total station or a GPS/VRS unit. Typically you would set the point in location to your liking and occupy it with a GPS unit, or it could be shot in using a set instrument like a robotic gun. Once coordinates are set on the point you could move and occupy this as a known point. Since the Mag nails have a dimple or depression in the center of the nail’s head it is very easy to occupy this using a survey rod and elevation can be check or set with a leveling rod in the future. Don’t forget to ribbon up the nail and spray some paint around it so you can find it again!

Construction offsets
During construction many surveyors will set offsets to points because the original location or centerline of points will typically be where construction is taking place. Critical points include offsetting curb, manholes, underground pipes, building corners, and so on. If I was setting manholes in an existing pavement parking lot I would set a centerline of manhole point, then a 15′ offset followed by a 25′ offset in a straight line with painted instructions to the cut/fill for the manholes Rim and Invert elevations according to the engineering plans provided. This concept could potentially work for a situation involving proposed waterline underneath a road, where I would set nails online or where the waterline was purposed but also pull offsets so when the road was being dug up the contractor could use my offsets to reestablish the original center points.

Property & Boundary
This is another example of a situation where mag nails may be used. Let us say a Farmers property goes to the centerline of a road near and it then follows said centerline until it reaches the corner of his lot. This would be an example where we could use mag nails to set points along the road to depict his property. Although mag nails may not be the most permanent type of boundary point, they are called out and accepted on surveys as such.

Cross Ties & Benchmarks
Another common use for mag nails in the field of surveying would be setting cross ties to critical points and benchmarks for future purposes of construction. If you set a permanent monument in say the center of the road depicting a section corner or boundary, you could potentially set several cross ties to reestablish that point in the future using mag nails. A Benchmark is a vertical reference to elevation previously established for a survey using a level or possible GPS system. Most benchmarks like control are established for future reference concerning a construction project or topographic survey to be completed. Mag nails do a good job of establishing these points as they create a semi-permanent point of reference for the surveyor to use at his or her discretion.