How to Fix a Nail Gun That Keeps Jamming?

Why does my nail gun keep jamming?

The reason your nail gun keeps jamming  is because of a lack of lubrication, air pressure problems, and issues with the nails. Other possible reasons your nail keeps jamming is due to a driver unit problem or feeder assembly issues.


Nail gun jamming


Lack of lubrication

Like all mechanical tools with moving parts, you need to regularly oil your nail gun. Traditional pneumatic nail guns have seals, bearings, and air motors.

These mechanical parts will not move smoothly when you don’t lubricate your nail gun enough. This will lead to the jamming of the nails.

However, check your nail gun’s instruction manual to see if it needs to be lubricated. This is because there are now newer generations of nail guns that do not require lubricants.


Air pressure problems

There is a recommended range of pressure within which your pneumatic nail gun should be used. This can be found in the instruction manual of your nail gun. The pressure is usually between 60-90 psi, depending on the type of nail gun you have.

If operated outside this range, nails might become jammed in your gun. Sub-normal values are usually caused by air leakages. This might be from the cord supplying your gun or the interior of the gun itself.


Issues with the nails

The issues with the nails might range from a whacked-out collation to using the wrong nail gauge.

Paper tape collation is the most common type used. Odds are that is what you also use. However, leaving these out in cold weather might destroy the paper tape holding the nails together. When this happens, you have frequent jamming of your nails.

Loading the wrong nail gauge into your nail gun can also lead to jamming. Always check if your gun uses 18 or 16-gauge nails.


Driver unit problem

The driver unit consists of the piston and the driver. The driver is the rod that drives the nail into the wood on firing the gun.

Over time, this rod will wear out. The driver’s end might become rounded out from the wear and tear of use. It could also crack or break off. This will lead your nailer to keep jamming or not drive the nails completely through the wood.


Feeder assembly issues

The feeder assembly consists of a recoil spring, a pulley, a retractable cable, and a feeder shoe. They all push the nails forward on the magazine rail for the driver unit to drive into the wood.

The common problems with the feeder assembly are a broken cable or recoil spring, or damage to the mounting eyelet. This will cause your nail gun to keep jamming.


How to fix a nail gun that keeps jamming?

To fix a nail gun that keeps jamming, you can add lubrication, change the collation of nails you use, and clean out the driver unit. You can also adjust the air pressure or fix the feed assembly if your nail gun continues to jam.

Before you troubleshoot a nail gun that keeps jamming, here are some safety tips. First, remove all power sources, like batteries, fuel cells, or air cables. Also, keep the gun facing away from you.

After identifying the cause, follow the step-by-step guide below to permanently fix the problem.


How to unjam a nail gun

Before addressing the root cause of the jamming, you need to remove the nail stuck in your nail gun. Follow these steps.

  1. Loose the two screws located at the top of the nose of your gun
  2. Remove the top cover of the nose
  3. Using a plier or another nail, carefully remove the stuck nail. This might take a few minutes, depending on the shape of the nail.
  4. Secure the top cover of the nose with the screws


How to lubricate your nail gun

After removing the nail jammed in the gun:

  1. Turn the nailer so that the air inlet is facing up
  2. Put one or two drops of air tool oil into the air inlet. Never use detergent or 3-in-1 oil as they can damage your o-ring. Excessive oil will also damage the o-rings.
  3. Lubricate your nail gun before every use
  4. Add a lubricant before storing your nailer.


Fix air pressure problems

To fix air pressure problems with a nail gun that keeps jamming:

  1. If you notice air leaks in your nail gun or the tube leading to the air compressor, tighten up all the connections.
  2. If the leak is coming from the nose of the nailer, tighten the screws above the nose and the ones on the cap.


Fix nail linked problems

Your nailer might be jamming because of issues with the nail collation, type of nails, or incorrectly loading the magazine.

  1. Ensure the integrity of the paper tape collation is intact before use.
  2. If your gun uses a round magazine, ensure it isn’t bent out of shape before loading it.
  3. Always use the nail gauge specified for the model of your nail gun.
  4. Pull the feed shoe to the rear until it latches while loading the magazine


Fix a damaged driver unit

If you narrowed the cause of the jamming of your nail gun to the driver unit, follow these steps:

  1. Buy a replacement driver unit appropriate for your nailer model, they generally cost around $20.
  2. Disconnect your nail gun from the power source
  3. Remove the cap on the rear of the nail gun by unscrewing the 4 screws on the sides.
  4. Gently pull out the damaged driver unit with a plier
  5. Transfer the piston ring and the piston o-ring from the old to the new unit
  6. Place the new driver unit into the gun
  7. Secure the cap using the 4 screws you removed earlier

Fix feeder assembly issues

If the feeder unit is the reason your nail gun is jamming, follow these steps:

  1. If you further narrow it down to the recoil string or retractable cable, buy a replacement piece, they  cost around $15.
  2. If not, you need to buy a replacement feeder unit appropriate for your nailer model. These cost around $25.
  3. Remove the rail cover; it is held in place by a hinge screw
  4. Remove the feeder drum from the rail by removing the nut used to secure it
  5. Lightly tap out the small roll pin that holds the feeder cable in place
  6. Install the new feeder unit, secure it with the nuts
  7. Connect the feeder cable to the small pin that held it in place
  8. Use a punch to tap the pin back into position
  9. Secure the rail cover with the hinge screw


How to fix a Dewalt nail gun that keeps jamming?

The primary cause of a jamming Dewalt nail gun is the wear and tear to the driver unit. Air pressure problems and issues with the nail collation could also cause this problem.

  1. Ensure there is no air leakage from any part of the connection to your nailer. If there is, fix it using the steps mentioned above.
  2. Experiment with paper-taped collated nails if the problem is specific to plastic types.
  3. If none of these steps work, disconnect your nail gun from the power source.
  4. Remove the cap on the rear of the nail gun by unscrewing the 4 screws on the sides.
  5. Gently pull out the driver unit with a plier.
  6. Clean this unit out with an electrical engine degreaser and blow it out with compressed air
  7. Allow to air dry and re-couple the driver unit and cap.
  8. If the driver unit is completely whacked, follow the steps mentioned above to replace it with a Dewalt replacement part.


How to fix a Paslode nail gun that keeps jamming?

The commonest reason your Paslode nail gun keeps jamming is lack of lubrication. The nailer requires regular maintenance and lubrication using the Paslode air oil.

  1. Remove the cap at the rear of the gun by removing the 4 screws that keep it in place.
  2. Unscrew the 2 screws at the top of the nose of the nailer
  3. Remove the handle component
  4. Push the driver unit forward
  5. Clean out with an electrical degreaser or the provided Paslode cleaner
  6. Wipe with a clean, lint-free cloth piece
  7. Evenly add the air tool oil to the back of the driver unit
  8. Manually move it up and down to circulate the oil around the moving pieces
  9. Reattach the handle unit
  10. Secure the cap and nose using be screws you removed earlier


How to fix a Bostitch nail gun that keeps jamming?

Lack of lubrication is the major cause of repeated jamming in your Bostitch nail gun. This could damage the pin assembly or the o-ring in the compressor unit.

  1. Apply air oil to the moving mechanical parts of your Bostitch nailer before every use
  2. Follow the step-by-step guideline above to accomplish this
  3. If the damage has already been done to your pin assembly, you will need to replace it.
  4. The pin of the Bostitch nailer costs around $30 while the rebuild kit for the whole pin assembly costs around $60.
  5. Follow the steps highlighted above to install a new driver unit


How to fix a Porter Cable nail gun that keeps jamming?

Lack of lubrication and broken pieces of nails are the reasons your Porter Cable nail gun keeps jamming. Follow these steps to fix this:

  1. Disconnect the air cable
  2. Use an Allen wrench to loosen the screws at the top of the nose
  3. Remove the nails inside the magazine
  4. Use a nail to remove any piece of metal lodge at the head of the driver pin.
  5. Secure the nose with the 2 screws
  6. Follow the guidelines above to apply air oil to your nail gun.


How to fix a Milwaukee nail gun that keeps jamming?

Your Milwaukee nail gun may be jamming because of a gearbox issue or mechanical obstruction with nail pieces. Follow these steps to fix this:

  1. Remove the battery from the back
  2. Remove the magazine
  3. Reinstall the battery; use a fresh one if you have
  4. Power it on
  5. Open the latch at the nose of the machine
  6. With a little bit of pressure, press the nailer against a scrap wood
  7. Dry fire the nailer. The pin should return to its position
  8. If this doesn’t work and you are still within the warranty period, take it back for repair


How to fix a Senco nail gun that keeps jamming?

The reason your Senco nail gun is jamming is due to a lack of lubrication or a damaged driver set. To fix this, follow these steps.

  1. Disconnect from the air cable
  2. Unjam the nailer to remove the stuck nail
  3. Add a few drops of air tool oil to the air inlet
  4. Do this before you start using your Senco nail gun.
  5. If it is not firing nails at all, the lack of lubrication has probably damaged the driver set. You will need to do a rebuild of the driver set.