Nail Gun Maintenance Guide: Must-Follow Rules for Longer Life
When you’re working with a tool that shoots out sharp nails, it’s obvious that safety is your top priority. This means you need to use your nail gun properly, and you also have to take care of it.
Proper maintenance for your nail gun doesn’t just prolong its life, but it also prolongs your life as well.
If your nail gun isn’t properly maintained, you’re more likely to experience nail gun mishaps that can be extremely dangerous for you and the people around you.
Here are some tips that should help:
Table of Contents
- Nail Gun Maintenance Tips
- How to Oil a Framing Nailer
- How to Service a Framing Gun
- How to Clear a Jammed Nail Gun
Nail Gun Maintenance Tips
Just to be safe, you nail gun should be turned off when you clean it.
Add a Bit of Oil
Plenty of machines need oil for their moving parts to make sure they function smoothly, and the nail gun is no exception to this rule. You should use a few drops of light oil to the moving parts and through the fitting at the bottom of the nail gun. Air tool oil works best.
Do this periodically during the day if you’re going to use the nail gun the whole day. Add the air tool oil every day as part of your nail gun maintenance routine.
Oil the Air Fitting
Just put in 4 to 5 drops of oil in the air fitting every day. You can use your finger to make sure that get some oil on the O-rings inside the air fitting. Do this as part of your daily nail gun maintenance as well. Just make sure that there aren’t any nails in the nail gin when you stick your finger into the air fitting.
Clean Out the Feed System with Compressed Air
Don’t use lubricants for the feed system. Oil tends to attract debris, and that’s what you’re trying to get off your feed system.
If you have a pneumatic gun, you should first wipe off the feed system with a rag. Just make sure that you use a rag that doesn’t leave some bits of fabric when you use it. Then use a can of compressed air to blow away any debris or dust inside the feed system. Do this every day as well.
Tighten the Bolts and Screws Regularly
Your nail gun vibrates when you use it, and these vibrations tend to loosen the screws and bolts over time. That’s why you need to tighten them up regularly. You should do this every month to be sure.
If you notice any loose screws or bolts when you’re using the nail gun, just tighten them up right away. In fact, you ought to tighten the bolts and screws right before you first use it. The screws and bolts may have loosened on the way to your home.
Check the Nail Gun Battery
You’ll need to do this if you have a cordless nail gun, as it uses a rechargeable battery instead. It’s not enough that you make sure you’ve recharged fully so you can use it for the maximum time allowed. You also have to make sure that the nail gun battery hasn’t gone past its expiration date.
Sometimes even when it’s not yet past the expiration date the battery may not be functional as well as it did when you first had the cordless nail gun. You’ll then need to make sure that you’ve recharged the battery fully. If that doesn’t solve the problem then you need to switch to new rechargeable batteries.
Replace the Broken Parts ASAP
If there’s a broken component on your nail gun, it’s best if you have it fixed or replaced as quickly as you can. Delays may just make the problem worse, or you might forget about the problem. Don’t use the nail gun until everything’s fixed.
Lots of nail guns have long warranties, but sometimes it’s not practical to rely on the warranty if you have a small problem. You may have to return the faulty nail gun and it may be some time before you get it returned to you. That’s a problem when you need your nail gun frequently.
How to Oil a Framing Nailer
If you have a framing nailer, you need to oil this every day. This is especially true when your nail gun has an older design, as you may end up with more misfires without the frequent lubrication. The lubricant also reduces the friction and heat that can affect and damage the moving parts.
Here are the steps you need to take:
- If the air hose is still connected, disconnect it first.
- Use one hand to hold the framing nailer, while you use your other hand to hold the air coupling. Pull on the outer part of the coupling, while you get the framing nailer away from the coupling. Eventually, these will become separated.
- Find the air nipple, which comes out of the bottom of the handle. Position the framing nailer so that its air nipple is face up.
- Aim the oil bottle tip right over the opening of the air nipple.
- Give the oil bottle a gentle squeeze so you get a single drop of oil. This should then fall right on the air nipple opening. Give it about 3 drops of oil, and then you’re done oiling your framing nailer.
Now you can get back to work!
How to Service a Framing Gun
When a framing gun is working perfectly, your DIY projects can go by in just a short while. Roughing in frames is just so much easier with the framing nailer. But when you have problems, the job can take up a lot more of your time.
In general, you’re likely to encounter these 2 problems: either you have an air leak because the O-rings in the framing nailer have deteriorated, or you’ve got problems with your trigger valve.
Here are the steps you need to take when you have any of these problems:
Replace the O-Rings
Look over the back of the framing gun just over the handle, and you’ll find the mounting screws that hold the vent cap. Remove these screws using an Allen key, and remove the cover from the rear of the framing gun.
Remove the plunging cylinder from the nailer. This looks like a white plastic disc. You may have to lever it up by using a small flat screwdriver.
Now you’re able to look over the O-rings and see if they’re already worn. These are the round black gaskets that go around the plunger cylinder. If there are any signs that they’ve deteriorated, then just replace them. In some models these O-rings also come with washers, and you will need to replace them too.
Replace the Trigger Valve
First find the 2 roll pins that hold the trigger of the framing nailer. One of these roll pins is right behind the trigger. The other one is the last roll pin right over the trigger.
You can shift these roll pins by using a ball peen hammer and a small metal punch. Just give it a few taps until the roll pins come through to the other side. This will loosen the trigger, which lets you pull the trigger from the framing gun.
Now you’re able to see the valve assembly, which looks like a white or green disk. You should be able to see this now as the trigger has been removed. Pry the trigger valve out using a small screwdriver.
Make sure you put in some oil on the O-rings of your new valve assembly. Slide the replacement into the hole, with the notch of the outside lip aligned with the roll pin. Gently tap the roll pins into their proper places using the punch and the ball peen hammer. Don’t tap too hard, so that you don’t damage and bend the pin.
How to Clear a Jammed Nail Gun
When you press the trigger on your nail gun and nothing comes out, your nailer has jammed. Here’s the list of steps you need to take to unjam it:
- Wear safety goggles and heavy duty gloves. It may look and feel stupid doing so, but your safety is more important.
- Turn off your nail gun. Unplug the cord or remove the batteries.
- When you work on the nail gun, make sure that the nailer is always facing away from you!
- Clean the underneath the nailer using a rag.
- Open the barrel of the nailer. Find the release level that lets you release the jammed nail.
- Some models don’t have this convenient lever, which means you’ll need to take out the jammed nails using a pair of pliers. This can take a bit of time, so be patient.
- Take out any of the other nails that aren’t facing properly, and then refill.
- Close up the nailer, and then put back your power source.
A nail gun is probably most noted for how it makes your DIY projects much easier. But your safety is still your most important factor. Proper maintenance is about your safety and the safety of others, as much as it is also about making sure that your nail gun works perfectly for a very long time.