Copper vs Steel nails for horses
Horseshoe Nails News

Copper vs Steel vs Endura horseshoe nails – which is best?

Copper vs Steel horseshoe nails – many people wonder what factors farriers take into consideration when deciding which nails to use on the different types of horses they shoe.

Mustad has been making horseshoe nails since 1832 and it is the company’s mission to ensure we are continuously ahead of the industry by offering unique product technologies in our farrier supplies, such as coated horseshoe nails.

The Coated Horseshoe Nail ranges that Mustad offers are:

ENDURA, available in HammerHead, ESL Pitch.

COPPER, available in HammerHead, ESL Pitch and Concave.

The Endura and Copper nails are provided with a coating that gives additional benefits to our already premium nails.

When do farriers use Endura Horseshoe Nails?

Endura Nails is a coating that provides up to 30% additional strength, so you can use a slimmer nail where needed, and improves nail driving and reduces hoofwall damage.

Endura horseshoe nails are designed for use in demanding circumstances.

What are the benefits of Endura Coated Horseshoe Nails?

We proudly work with other industries to improve our products and when we came across a coating that NASA uses for tools that is non-toxic and FDA approved, we saw an opportunity to collaborate.

You might think: how does a NASA coating improve shoeing for a horse? We will tell you – there are a lot of benefits!

The Endura coating was developed for space sterilisation purposes and acts like a shield stopping any bacteria from attaching to the surface. This coating essentially makes any tools antibacterial and because of that feature this coating is also perfect for tools used during food preparations.

This made us think… could this coating be the solution to help prevent as little bacteria as possible entering the hoof wall during shoeing? The answer is yes. After an intense process we learnt the nails helped to reduce the amount of bacteria found in the hoof and that the coating also protected the steel, which made the nail more resistant to shearing.  We found the ideal thickness of the coating for our Premium Mustad horseshoe nails and how to get the coating on the horseshoe nails without compromising any of our premium quality.

What research has been done on Endura Coating?

In testing we found the following :

  • A coating that provides 30% additional strength means you can use a slimmer horseshoe nail
  • Improves nail driving and reduces hoofwall damage
  • Enhanced durability and stronger clinches
  • Leaves clean hooves without oxidation marks
  • Incredibly smooth drive

Direct responses from our group of testers in the market were:

  • Protects the shoe, good fit
  • Neck of the nail looked clean after 8 weeks
  • Noticeable difference
  • Never tried anything better!
  • Stiffer, but good! Stiffer gives more control
  • Best innovation I have seen for a long time

So when would you use it?

  • For horses used in demanding circumstances
  • When using pads or studs
  • Dry hooves, frozen hooves
  • A nail with extra strength when needed
  • A thinner Endura coated horseshoe nail has a similar strength as a thicker standard nail so your standard horseshoe nail can be thinner
  • No oxidation, keeps hooves clean​
  • Does not rust, suits well in wet and moisture

What types of horses are best suited to Copper Horseshoe Nails?

When looking at copper vs steel nails, farriers tend to use copper when:

  • Horses live in wet and humid environments where there is increased risk of infection
  • Under normal conditions if the hoof has issues with bacteria or disease.

For years Mustad had been producing copper coated nails for specific regions but due to demand from the market, Mustad developed the technology to expand the range further to cover all market needs.


The quality of the copper nail coating is above industry standards with an outstanding layer of copper material. As a result, these nails are more capable to reduce oxydation in the nail holes thanks to the natural anti-rust properties of copper. The surface is very clean and smooth, compliant to the original Mustad polishing standard ensuring a better and more precise drive.


The copper nail coating is a thin layer of copper applied on a standard steel nail. We apply about 10 microns, which is above industry standards. This ensures higher quality and better effect of the copper in the hoof.

The coating is done in Sweden under environment friendly circumstances so we can guarantee a clean process.

What type of horseshoe nails come in coated versions?

The Coated horseshoe nails come in the following innovative premium Mustad nail ranges:

HammerHead  – specifically designed to fit all race plates. The distinct neck and head waffle design, combined with the exclusive Mustad Pitch™ technology, provides a safe locking solution into the shoe crease. It has a long and slim shank to drive high when needed, it provides an easy and strong clinching. The sharp, exact point ensures a consistent drive thus keeping the hoof wall impact to an absolute minimum.


ESL Pitch – combines unique and innovative features with the reliability of our E-slim nail allowing us to develop a superior nail fit. The ESL Pitch drives and sits in line with the natural hoof wall angle without adding unnecessary pressure. It is ideal for horses with thin hoof walls to make your work easier and more efficient.


Concave – has a special head shape that prevents the nail from twisting in the fuller and nail hole. The concept of the PITCH ™ offers a small angle between the nail head and the shank of the nail which supports nailing on with a correct angle which reduces possible pressure on the hoof wall.

The longer slim and strong shank gives the option to nail higher when this is preferred or necessary.


All Mustad premium and coated nails are made in the Mustad factory in Sweden and are then distributed to our dealer network in over 100 countries around the world.

Mustad has applied innovative technology to its premium horseshoes nails without compromising any of their unique qualities and brought 21st century innovation to farrier supplies within the hoofcare industry.

To view all the coated horseshoe nails we offer go to our website,

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1 comment May 13, 2024 at 9:10 pm

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