How to Oil a Nail Gun (Stepwise Guide)

Nail guns are quite an investment for home users or contractors.  It provides speed accuracy and efficiency which makes it a working man’s best friend. So, it is very imperative that they should run well to keep your working life hassle free.

But like any other machine they get old and need proper maintenance to keep them running smoothly to get the desired result every time. Oiling is the major maintenance work which is mandatory to keep a nail gun working.

Without oiling in no time your valuable nail gun can get rusty and which can cause jamming, improper firing or air leaking. For this reason, every owner of a nail should be oiling their nail gun properly. Today we will discuss all your basic questions about oiling a nail gun and finally guide you with proper instruction so that you can easily oil your nail gun. 


Why do you need to oil your nail gun?

Like any other power tool, a nail gun needs proper maintenance to function properly.  It allows your nail gun to function properly and increases its lifespan. Now let’s know why it needs oiling. Basically oiling is necessary for any tool if it has a moving part. All types of nail guns have a piston which moves along a blade and puts the nails through. Like any other piston it needs oil to run properly and reduce the friction to keep it accurate. If the oil is not added then the friction of the moving piston will increase and gradually reduce the smoothness due to abrasion. Oiling also allows a reduction of heat which occurs due to rapid firing of a nail gun.

Other joints in a nail gun need oiling too. This allows proper and smooth functioning of the gun. Like the trigger will jam and will not respond properly if you don’t oil it. Along with all these without oiling and cleaning particles may stack up which may cause build of moisture and rust the metal parts. All these will finally result in the breakdown of your valuable nail gun.

What kind of nailer needs oiling?

All types of nail gun whether it is pneumatic, cordless or corded needs oiling to run it properly. As we have discussed before proper lubrication is needed for a nail gun to perform perfectly. All nailers basic function includes a piston to drive the nails so oil is needed for every type of nail gun to keep the piston friction free. This extends the lifespan of the moving parts and thus gives you a long lasting nail gun. Out of all the nail guns, a pneumatic nail gun needs oiling the most. Without it, the air chambers may leak and nailing would not be perfectly done by the gun.

How frequently do you need to oil your nailer?

Answers to this question may vary depending on your use of the nail gun.  But the general answer is that you need to oil your nail gun daily if you’re using it daily. You will need to oil it at the start of the work and oil it at the end of daily work too. You may have to oil it during mid-day if you are using it for an extended period of time. 

If you are not a daily user and have kept your nail gun idle for quite some time then you must oil it before using it. It is always a good idea to oil it periodically for such cases. Regular lubrication for all types of nail guns is always suggested by manufacturers. Some of you may own a nail gun that has a self-oiling valve design. In that case, read the user manual properly to find out when you should oil the nail gun to keep it running. 

What kind of oil do you use for a nail gun?

Choosing the right kind of oil for your nail gun is very crucial because the wrong oil can cease the life of your nail gun. Any type of wrong oil does not contain proper viscosity to properly lubricate the moving parts. They may contain ingredients that can damage the rubber seals, create corrosion in the moving parts or create combustion.

Types of Wood Oils

Follow the guide or user manual strictly to choose the right oil for your nail gun. Do not use any other type of oil especially motor oil, compression and transmission fluid. If you are using a pneumatic nail gun then you should use pneumatic oil only. Depending on the type of your gun you may have to use different oil for winter or summer season too. Special oils are formulated for colder regions that contain antifreeze to keep the oil from solidifying. 

Steps To oil the nail gun

Follow the steps accordingly to perfectly oil your nail gun as given below

  • Turn the power off of the nail gun. If you are using a pneumatic one then the air tool off and release the pressure valve.
  • Then for ensuring safety remove all the nails from your nail gun. It does not matter whether it is in the cartridge or chamber. It ensures safety from a certain accident and allows to oil the gun easily.
  • Place your nail gun in the upright position. This is the best position for oiling a nail gun. Hold your nail gun with one hand and use the other to oil your gun. Apply the on in all the necessary places.
  • Then you have to connect the power of your nail gun and pull the trigger several times. This will spread the oil throughout the gun.  If you observe closely then you will see that oil is coming out from your nails. If the oil is dirty then you have to oil again your nail gun and continue the process until the oil is clean. 
  • Oiling the nail guns magazine can adhere dirt and dust to it and this may cause it to jam. So it is a good idea not to oil it.

Final Thoughts

Proper maintenance is necessary for a nail gun to work properly and efficiently.  It will keep your work hassle-free and longer the lifespan of your nail gun. So never forget to oil your nail gun accordingly to have an easy and fun day with it in work space.

Jerry Jhonson

Jerry Johnson is a tech & tool geek who loves to talk, discuss and review different tools used for our day to day life. All the tools reviews and guides described in this site are completely from his personal experience and own observations.