How To Fix Nail Gun Not Shooting Nails? (8 PROVEN Fixes!)

nail gun not shooting nails

The nail gun is used to drive nails into the wood. It is an essential woodworking tool for many different projects such as decking, roofing, framing, siding, interior work, and exterior work. Usually working with a nail gun is easy and more efficient rather than working with a hammer. But what should we do if, Nail gun not firing or Nail gun not shooting nails?

Here’s what I learned:

Nail gun not shooting nails due to jams, improper air pressure settings, air leaks, dead battery, dust and dirt, incompatibility of nails, dry firing, and maintenance issues. Fix nail gun not shooting nails issue by clearing jams, adjusting air supply setting, cleaning the tool, and proper maintenance.

But there’s more to know about fixing nail gun not shooting nails.

So, in this article, we’ll examine deeply why does when nail gun not shooting nails or why nail gun not firing and how to fix this issue.

Plus, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions as well.

Why Does Nail Gun Not Shooting Nails?

The nail gun is able to drive hundreds of nails every single day. But there are some occasions nail gun does not fire. Several reasons cause nail gun not shooting nails. Most of them can be simply fixed by yourself with little extra time.

Here’re the main reasons that cause nail gun not shooting nails.

  1. The nail gun is jammed
  2. Improper air pressure settings
  3. Air leaks
  4. Dust and dirt build-up
  5. Using wrong, incompatible nails
  6. Insufficient fasteners
  7. Improper maintenance
  8. Dead Battery

Those are the reasons that the nail gun not firing. All the above issues can be fixed with simple techniques and even a beginner in woodworking can try them out as well.

So, let’s discuss each of the above reasons by explaining why it stops nail gun shooting and how to fix that!

1. Jammed Nail Gun

Jammed nail gun causes a lot of issues for every woodworker from time to time. A jammed Nail gun does not firing nails and it only blows out air.

You’ll never notice your nail gun is jammed until it hit a surface and deflects the resulting jam. It is important to know how to unjam a nail gun because jamming is a general thing when using a nail gun.

So, let’s find out what are the reasons that cause jammed nail gun.

Why Does Nail Gun Jam?

Nail gun jams because of several reasons. When you’re nail gun not shooting nails check whether is it jammed and find the reason for that.

Here’re the reasons that cause nail gun jams,

  • Incorrect nail loading
  • Mishandled fasteners
  • Wet paper tape
  • Bang the follower
  • Lack of lubricating oil
  • Damaged fasteners
  • Wrong size fasteners
  • Misshaped coil
  • Wrong angle and collation

When the lubricating oil or adequate oil is not sufficient, the nail gun gets jammed because the air cylinder in the nose area needs plenty of oil. Nails will feed slowly, and the machine won’t function properly due to a lack of oil.

The coil needs to be in perfect round shape. If it is squeezed or dropped the original shape will be loosened cause of nail gun jam.

When the fasteners are in the wrong size or damaged the collation and the nail’s shank diameter don’t match the usage and nails won’t feed to the machine properly.

When the fasteners are mishandled or the paper tape is too wet, that can cause the nail gun to jam.

Mostly nail gun jam because of loading nails backward.

So, let’s find out how to fix nail gun jam to get rid of nail gun not shooting nails.

How To Fix Jammed Nail Gun?

Here’re the steps you need to follow to unjam the nail gun and fix the nail gun not shooting nails.

  1. Disconnect the nail gun from the power source and air supply.
  2. Unscrew nose bolts and lift the nose latch by releasing the nose plate front.
  3. Open the barrel.
  4. Inspect for damages and identify what parts need repairing.
  5. Remove the jammed nails, and excess fasteners, and replace damaged parts.
  6. Close nose front.
  7. Refix the front nose. (Make sure the work contact tool is free.)
  8. Insert fuel cell and battery.
  9. Reload the gun with fasteners and retract the feeder mechanism.
  10. Restore power source
  11. Test with scarp wood

By following the above steps you’ll be able to prevent nail gun jamming. Generally, nail gun get jammed because of jammed nails which can be corrected by disassembling and reloading the nails correctly.

But in some cases, like damaged parts, you’ll probably have to replace them with new ones to stop the nail gun keep Jamming.  

Now you know how to fix the nail gun not shooting issue by unjamming the nail gun. Let’s focus on how air pressure settings can affect nail gun not firing and how to fix that!

2. Improper Air Pressure Settings

The improper air pressure setting is one of the main reasons nail guns not shooting nails. Usually, the recommended pressure is mentioned in the nail gun. But there are some occasions compressors don’t put pressure within the recommended range which will result in the nail gun not firing.

Due to improper air pressure settings, the hammer won’t get enough energy or too much energy to move the nail and resulting in nail defects.

So, let’s find out what are the reasons that cause improper air pressure settings.

Why Air Pressure Settings Are Improper?

Improper air pressure adjustments can occur due to various reasons. Some automatically happen over time and others happen due to human errors.

Here’re the main reasons for improper air pressure settings,

  • Nail gun pressure is too above or below the required range.
  • The Air compressor is not working properly.
  • Damaged shooting spring.

When the nail gun air pressure is too high above the required range, the nail will go so deep into the wood which can cause wood cracking. Same as when the nail gun air pressure is too low, the nails are hard to pass through the wood fibers.

So better to keep the air pressure at an average level as instructed in the user manual. Mostly compressed air nail guns recommend keeping air pressure between 70 to 120 psi.

So, let’s find out how to fix improper air pressure settings to get rid of nail gun not shooting nails.

How To Fix Improper Air Pressure Settings?

Here’re the things you need to do to maintain proper nail gun air pressure without destroying your woodwork.

  • Set nail gun air pressure as the instruction manual.
  • Dissemble the nail gun and check whether the compressor is damaged.
  • Replace the air compressor if necessary.
  • Replace the damaged shooting spring.
  • Test with scrap wood to identify the correct air pressure.

Now you know how to fix nail gun not shooting issue by fixing nail gun pressure. Let’s focus on how air leaks can affect nail gun not firing and how to fix that!

3. Air Leaks

Nail gun not shooting nails can occur due to the air leakages of the machine. When there is an air leak, the nail gun just blows air but does not fire nails properly into the wood surface.

Most of the air leaks can be fixed by ourselves. But if the issue is bigger, you might probably have to go for a professional nail gun repair center.

Why Does Nail Gun Leaking Air?

There’re several reasons for air leaks of nail gun. They are,

  • Pulling the trigger so many times.
  • The trigger valve is the culprit.
  • Worn O-rings.

When the trigger of the nail gun pulls so many times, it’ll loosen due to wear and tear forces. This can cause air to leak around the trigger.

When the O-rings that are placed around the head of the valve wear off, it’ll let the air go through the exhaust vent. This will result in air leaks. Usually, O-rings are made of rubber, and it seals the exhaust vent and prevents air from getting through.

So, let’s find out how to fix air leaks to get rid of nail gun not shooting nails.

How To Fix Air Leaks?

Here’re some fixes you can use to prevent air leaks and protect your nail gun.

  • When the air is leaking through the exhaust vent replace O-rings
  • Use a rebuild kit that matches your nail gun model.
  • If the air is leaking through the trigger, replace it with a new trigger valve.

Now you know how to fix nail guns not shooting issues by fixing air leaks. Let’s focus on how dust and dirt affect nail gun not firing and how to fix that!

4. Dust And Dirt Build Up

This is a common issue for all the woodworking tools. When the nail gun is stored for so long, it’s common to build up dust and dirt.

Better to inspect your nail gun when it’s not firing for dust and dirt. If you’ve noticed the issue in the early days, you can fix it before it becomes even worse. Because dust and dirt are harmful to the durability of eclectic devices.

Why Do Dust and Dirt Build Up?

Here’re the reasons why your nail gun is with lots of dirt and dust.

  • Working in an area with lots of sawdust
  • Dirty magazine

Building dust and dirt is not your mistake, because it is a common thing in the woodworking world. But you need to get rid of dust and dirt to keep your nail gun for so long and to function properly. So, let’s see how to do that!

How To Fix Dust and Dirt Build Up?

  • Clean the nail gun regularly.
  • Clean your working area regularly.
  • Store nail guns in a dust-free environment.
  • Inspect the nail gun magazine operation by removing fasteners and sliding the feeder back and forth. Hang-up areas should be clean with a nylon brush.
  • Clean all the moving parts. Especially the trigger.

Now you know how to fix nail gun not shooting issues by fixing dust buildups. Let’s focus on how wrong, incompatible nails affect nail gun not firing and how to fix that!

5. Wrong and Incompatible Nails

Wrong and incompatible nails do lots of trouble to your nail gun’s functionalities. They not only prevent nail gun from shooting nails but also can cause to break the tool as well.

Therefore, I highly admit not to use wrong-sized or incompatible nails for your nail gun. Each nail gun works with different nail sizes, angles, shapes, and nail collations.

Why Can’t You Use Any Nails in A Nail Gun?

You cannot use any nails in a nail gun due to the following reasons,

  • Nail gun firing pin will bend
  • Fire hammer into the wood without a nail
  • Nails will not pass through the gun

So, let’s find out how to fix using the wrong nails to get rid of nail gun not shooting nails.

How To Fix Using Wrong Nails in Nail Gun?

  • Check the nail size before loading to the magazine
  • Load the magazine properly
  • Read the instruction manual to get aware of the correct nail types

6. Insufficient Fasteners

There should be a minimum level of fasteners inside the magazine of the nail gun. If the fastener amount is not sufficient to fire, that’ll lead to dry firing.

Why Does Nail Gun Dry Firing?

Here’s how insufficient fasteners cause nail gun not shooting nails,

  • Dry firing destruct the nail gun
  • Strain the internal parts of the nail gun.
  • Dry firing makes workmanship issues.

So, let’s find out how to fix dry firing to get rid of nail gun not shooting nails.

How To Fix Dry Firing?

Add enough fasteners to the magazine

  • Reload the magazine
  • Identify black firing earlier
  • Test with scarp wood after fixing the issue.

7. Improper Maintenance

Proper maintenance is a must when working with a nail gun to keep its flawless efficiency. Proper maintenance will increase the lifetime of the nail gun and protect it from environmental elements, such as moisture.

Why Does Nail Gun Need Proper Maintenance?

Nail gun needs proper regular maintenance because of the following reasons,

  • To stop breaking the tool
  • To prevent dust buildup
  • To protect the magazine
  • To prevent air leaks
  • To prevent shooting blanks

So, let’s find out how to fix improper maintenance of nail gun to get rid of nail gun not shooting nails.

How To Fix Improperly Maintained Nail Gun?

  • Replace the damaged parts
  • Clean dust and dirt
  • Clean the magazine regularly
  • Seal air leaks
  • Store in a clean environment

8. Dead Battery

Most nail guns are battery-powered. When the battery is dead nail gun not shooting nails. Some nail guns use both battery and fuel cells. This is useful because you’ll be able to use a nail gun even when the battery is not charged.

Why Does Dead Battery Stop Nail Gun Shooting?

  • When the battery is so old, it doesn’t hold much charge
  • When the battery is new, and you haven’t charged it properly
  • When the fuel cell canister is empty

So, let’s find out how to fix the dead battery of the nail gun to get rid of the nail gun not shooting nails.

How To Fix Dead battery?

  • Replace the battery with a new one to fix the nail gun not shooting.
  • Charge the remaining battery well before use
  • Check and full the fuel cell canister.

That’s it, folks! Now you know what causes a nail gun not firing and how to fix when nail gun does not firing nails in 8 different methods.

Read: Can You Screw into Wood Filler? (Do This FIRST!)

So, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about nail gun firing.

Why Does Your Nail Gun Keep Jamming?

Nail gun keeps jamming because of using wrong fasteners, dust and dirt, incompatible nails, incorrect nail loading, and lack of adequate oil.

You can fix a nail gun that keeps jamming by replacing damaged parts with new ones and loading nails correctly, cleaning the tool, and using correct nail types.

Why Does Your Nail Gun Misfire?

Nail gun misfires because the piston is not lubricated properly. Unscrew and disassemble the nail gun and apply 10 drops of lubricant oil into the air line to void the nail gun misfire.

Why Does Your Nail Gun Shoot Two Nails?

Nail gun shoots two nails when the trigger is worn out. Recoil when nail gun double fires when shooting nails.

Replace the nail gun trigger with a new one to avoid the nail gun shooting two nails rapidly.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Nail Gun Not Shooting Nails Fixes!

In this article we have deeply discussed conditions that nail gun not shooting nails and what should we do in that kind of situation to fix that. We talked about 8 different simple and accurate methods how to fix nail gun not shooting nails and how to get rid of nail gun not firing issues in the future as well.

Mostly nail gun not shooting nails due to jamming and worn-off parts such as trigger and O-rings. By replacing those parts and cleaning and maintaining the nail gun properly, you’ll be able to minimize nail gun not firing issues and use it for any woodworking project for so long. Furthermore, I have answered some frequently asked questions as well. Hope you have gained pretty good knowledge about nail gun not shooting nails causes and fixes. Next time when you face any issue with the nail gun, try to fix the nail gun by using the methods that we have talked about in this post. Have fun in woodworking!


About Walter Parker

Walter Parker is a father and woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking!

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