Uncover the Secret to Long-Lasting Fence Posts with The Metal Peddler

Uncover the Secret to Long-Lasting Fence Posts with The Metal Peddler

Meet Jason Fannin, the CEO and President of The Metal Peddler, Inc. In this short video, Jason sheds some light on the difference between nominal and full fence post caps. Our mission is to help you make a more informed decision when it comes to protecting and enhancing the durability of your fence posts.

Understanding the Difference: Nominal Vs Full Fence Post Caps

To put it simply, nominal sizes are “in name only” and full sizes are “actual sizes”. Many big box stores sell 4x4 and 6x6 lumber that are usually “nominal”. Their actual sizes are 3½ x 3½ and 5½ x 5½ inches. However, independent lumber yards typically sell the full sizes, so a 4x4 is truly 4 inches.

This does vary throughout the country, and it sometimes depends on whether the wood is pressure treated or not. Confusing? Yes, it is confusing to most people, so we’ve put together this guide to help you determine which posts you have, and which caps you need.

Watch the 3-minute video or continue reading below.

How to Measure Your Fence Post

One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is the accurate measurement of the fence post. We have a range of sizes; the most commonly ordered metal caps are nominal 4x4 and nominal 6x6.

Watch the video to see the comparison between the two sizes mentioned above to help you visualize. The larger fence cap represents a full 4x4 fence cap, while a nominal 4x4 cap is visibly smaller. You will see that it is possible to fit one inside the other. Remember, ordering without measuring can lead to ill-fitting caps and they will not be able to do the job they are designed for.

If your post is in between sizes, you might either have to use a shim and size up, or shave the sides of your post and size down on the cap.

Measuring a 4x4 piece of wood to determine the actual size

Installation Tips for Fence Post Caps

If you buy a copper or stainless steel fence cap from us, we advise applying a bead of silicone on all four edges of the post top. This ensures that any bugs cannot crawl up underneath the cap and cause any damage to the wood. Then, place the cap on the top of the post and give it a gentle tap for a snug fit.

To further secure the cap, there are two screw holes—one on one side and another directly opposite, the copper nails or stainless steel screws are included in the price. To avoid damaging the attractive head of the nails, use a rubber mallet or place a piece of cloth between your steel hammer and the copper nail. Once the rosebud nails are in, you can be assured that the cap will stay secure for a long time—our copper nails have a threaded shank that keeps them safely in place.

The TMP Difference: 100% Copper Caps

At The Metal Peddler, we believe in delivering nothing but the best, which is why our caps are 100% copper. These are a great weight at 21 gauge and will patina beautifully over time. The rate and level of patina will depend on your local weather and environment.

The stainless steel caps are made with 304 stainless. This is a more rust-resistant stainless for more durable caps.

We're proud to say that by choosing us, you're supporting a small, family-run, veteran business based in Western Pennsylvania.

A selection of copper fence post caps in various sizes


Proactive Measures Save Money

We've created this guide to help you avoid the expensive costs of returning incorrectly sized caps. Many people tend to overlook this essential step of measuring their fence posts and it is the number one (and virtually only) reason that customers return caps. Just a few minutes of your time can save you a lot of trouble and ensure you order the correct size.

Once installed, the caps will be at work protecting the top of the post from insects, rain, and other conditions that cause your expensive wood to deteriorate, crack, and eventually rot.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. We hope it will assist you in choosing the right cap for your project. Have a great day!


Remember, when it comes to protecting your fences, the choice of the right fence cap is crucial. Trust The Metal Peddler Inc for your fence cap needs. We're here to serve you with our commitment to quality, durability, and customer satisfaction. If you have any questions, please contact us so we can help you.


In the meantime, visit our website to see our range of metal fence post caps. https://themetalpeddler.com/collections/fence-post-protection


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