Common Problems with the nail gun

It can be a frustrating experience when you have a beautiful woodworking project in hand but your nail guns stop working properly. It can feel worse if you are in the middle of your task and suddenly you observe the malfunctions in your nail guns.

You will have Common Problems with the nail gun even when you have the best nail gun. There are several common problems with the nail gun you may face. Along with that, a few unusual issues can cause you trouble without any apparent reasons.  

In this article, we will try to solve your common problem with the nail gun you struggle with every time. The nail gun is not a complicated tool to handle. So if you encounter any problem with your nail gun, you can easily get rid of it. 

Common problems with the nail gun and their Solutions

You may face several common problems with the nail gun you have. Let’s discuss the solutions to the problems and make your woodworking projects easier. 

Nail gun jams

Nail gun jamming is a common problem. We have a complete guide on how to unjam nail gun. You can check that out for better idea and solve jam problem.

Air leaks somewhere on your nailer

  • Faulty or damaged seals and o-rings can cause air leaks in your nail gun. 
  • O-rings of the nail gun might be damaged due to a lack of oil. 

Solution- Check your nail gun if there are any broken seals or 0-rings are present. If you see damaged o-rings, it is recommended to purchase an o-ring kit and replace them. When the new rings are placed, follow the proper maintenance. 

Besides, you need to pour 2-3 drops of oil every day into 0-rings so that your nail gun can function properly. 

Driving blades retract slowly or do not retract at all 

  • Driving blades can often become dirty which causes them not to retract properly. 
  • If anything is wedged in the driving blade, it may retract slowly or not retract at all. 

Solution- First of all, make sure that there is nothing jammed in the driving blades. Secondly, if you see dirt and sludge there, clean them in the right way. It is noteworthy that driving blades also need lubrication to function properly just like o-rings. 

Nail gun hammer does not return after firing 

  • If the fastener is jammed in the driver’s tip which obstructs the nailer from operating. 
  • If you do not set the air pressure of your compressor to the right PSI, it can damage the driving blades of your nailer. 

Solution: Remove the stuck fastener with a small cleat. You should use the particular nail size and shape for your nail gun. Otherwise, improper nail size can cause damages to your nailer and driving blades. 

Typically the right air pressure of the compressor is between 90-100 PSI. Follow the nailer’s manual to set the proper PSI. 

Air leak through the trigger

  • Due to a defective trigger valve
  • Damages and tear because of pulling the trigger multiple times
  • If the trigger valve is not cycling

Solution: If you observe that air is leaking around the trigger, you have to buy a new trigger valve and replace it. Follow the instructions for the brand of nail gun you are using before purchasing a new one. 

Nail gun not shooting nails

  • It happens if your nail gun can not supply sufficient power. 
  • Lack of lubricant or oil 

Solution: You can solve this problem by raising the air pressure. You can use a low-volume air compressor, as nail guns don’t require a lot of air pressure. 

If dust and dirt hinder the movement of the nail gun, clean the power tool and lubricate the parts. It will ensure the smooth movement of the hammer and driving blades of your nail gun. 

The nail gun is making a loud noise

  • When a bent probe does not allow the fan motor to work properly. 
  • Loose wire or disorganized circuit or dirt can be responsible for this 
  • Damaged terminal board

Solution:  Firstly, detach the fuel cell and battery. Then remove the 4 screws of the cylinder assembly and carefully pull out the cylinder. Check the o-ring and the fan motor on the top plate. If the fan motor looks good, reinsert the battery and assemble it again. Check for the loose wire and the circuit. If you find any broken wires or circuits, repair them. If they are not damaged, then maybe the terminal is causing trouble. Look over it and get it fixed. 

The nail gun makes a dent but shooting blanks 

  • The pressure range is not accurate 
  • The nails may not be loaded properly
  • Nails are not compatible with guns 

Solution: It happens frequently when the air pressure is too low and the hammer does not get enough power to move the nail. So check your air compressor and make sure it is within the right range.

Secondly, if you observe that the nails are not loaded into the line of the hammer properly, then fix it. First of all, ensure that the nails are placed toward the edge of the gun. Slide the nails into the place and unlock the slide by pushing the spring with nails. Your nails are perfectly loaded for the nail gun. 

Make sure that your nails are compatible. Open the top feeder of the nail gun and check if there is any jammed nail. 

There are some other problems as well. If you are interested to know about these problem, please comment below. We will provide a details guideline on it.

Nail gun not shooting nails

Nail gun just blows air

Nail gun shooting blanks

Nail gun hammer not returning


A nail gun is an efficient tool kit for those who regularly accomplish woodworking projects. However, people often face common problems with the nail gun which need to be fixed as quickly as possible. Before diving into a project, make sure that your nail gun is working properly otherwise it can cause you troubles. 

Malfunctioning nail guns might be dangerous until you take care of them cautiously. You can save your precious time as well as money by a little troubleshooting. After going through this article, you may find the best solutions for the common problems with the nail gun. So get ready with your nail gun and start working on your favorite woodcraft project. 

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