Hollow Knight: Nail types

In Hollow Knight, upgrading the Nail is an essential part of the game. Without upgrades to the Nail, you will struggle to beat some of the later bosses, so you will need to time your upgrades well in order to match the game’s difficulty.

Nail is the term used to describe the type of sword in the game, which is what the main Knight character wields – known as the Knight’s Nail.

How to upgrade the Nail in Hollow Knight

You must find the Nailsmith in the City of Tears. Once discovered, you will be able to trade Geo and Pale Ore to upgrade the Nail.

If you can’t find the Nailsmith, follow this guide which shows you the exact route to take.

Nailsmith in Hollow Knight
Nailsmith in Hollow Knight

Finding Pale Ore is what will allow you to reach the third and fourth Nail upgrades, and is a lot trickier than collecting Geo, which is simply from defeating enemies. There are only six pieces of Pale Ore in the game, all of which are required to reach the final upgrade of the Pure Nail.

All Nail upgrades in Hollow Knight

The default Nail is the Old Nail, which inflicts 5 damage.

Old Nail Hollow Knight
Old Nail

The first upgrade that will be available is the Sharpened Nail, which costs 250 Geo to obtain. This Nail will deal 9 damage.

Sharpened Nail Hollow Knight
Sharpened Nail

The second upgrade is the Channelled Nail. This upgrade requires 800 Geo and 1 Pale Ore. This Nail will deal 13 damage.

Channelled Nail Hollow Knight
Channelled Nail

The third upgrade is the Coiled Nail, which will require 2,000 Geo and 2 Pale Ore. This Nail will deal 17 damage.

Coiled Nail Hollow Knight
Coiled Nail

The fourth and final upgrade is the beautiful Pure Nail. This Nail costs 4,000 Geo and 3 Pale Ore. It deals 21 damage.

Pure Nail description:

The ultimate weapon of Hallownest. Crafted to perfection, this ancient nail reveals its true form.

Pure Nail Hollow Knight
Pure Nail

All image credits to Hollow Knight fandom.

Table of Nail upgrades

Nail TypeDescriptionUpgrade CostDamage
Old NailA traditional weapon of Hallownest. Its blade is blunt with age and wear.5
Sharpened NailA traditional weapon of Hallownest, restored to lethal form.250 Geo9
Channelled NailA cleft weapon of Hallownest. The blade is exquisitely balanced.
800 Geo + 1 Pale Ore13
Coiled NailA powerful weapon of Hallownest, refined beyond all others.2,000 Geo + 2 Pale Ore17
Pure NailThe ultimate weapon of Hallownest. Crafted to perfection, this ancient nail reveals its true form.4,000 Geo + 3 Pale Ore21

Hollow Knight Nail Keychain/Pendant

If you’re looking for the ultimate gift for a Hollow Knight fan, look no further than this Hollow Knight pendant of the Pure Nail, either on a necklace or a keychain.

Weighing around 11 grams, it’s a perfect addition to any keychain or a subtle nod to Hollow Knight in your outfit, but still looks like a slick piece of jewellery.

Hollow Knight Pure Nail pendant
Pure Nail pendant

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