Troubleshooting Your Malfunctioning Nail Gun

The pneumatic nail gun is a regular feature of the home improvement tool kit, but it may malfunction from time to time. If you find that you are having problems with your nail gun, then you need to troubleshoot it as quickly as possible, and before you use it to install any nails into a project. Malfunctioning nail guns can be dangerous, but if you want to get the best from your tools, then a little troubleshooting can save you time and money, and you may find that you can easily solve your problem. Before you begin your troubleshooting, be sure to put on safety glasses and gloves in order to protect yourself.

Check the Compressor

The first port of call with any malfunctioning nail gun is the compressor. This little device is the power source for the gun, and is the place where the air for your nail gun comes from. If your gun is firing weakly, or not at all, then you need to check the compressor. Look first at the gauge, and see whether this has fallen below its usual strength. Check your manual for the manufacturer's guidelines on nail gun air pressure. You should consider tightening the air pressure, and seeing if this produces a good fire. If you still cannot get your nail gun to work, then try removing the compressor, and emptying the air inside the device. Check for moisture, and examine the oil levels in the compressor motor.

Check the Air Hose

This is the device which carries air from the compressor to the end of the gun. Check the valves connecting the hose to the compressor, and those connecting the hose to the end of the gun. These should be tight enough to prevent air from leaking away from the gun. Check for signs of cracking or other damage on the edge of the hose, and if necessary refit a new hose. You may also want to consider getting a hose reel to ensure that your hose does not lay on the ground while you are using the nail gun, as this is dangerous for the user, and can damage the hose.

Examine the Gun

If you have had no joy with the compressor or the hose, you should now examine the gun closely. Turn off the compressor, and remove the hose. You may need to fire the gun until it is completely depressurized, and be sure never to turn the exit point of the gun towards your face or body. You should check the gun for nail jams, which can occur when a nail gets stuck near the firing mechanism, and doesn't descend into the muzzle. You may find several nails jammed there if you repeatedly tried to fire the gun. If the gun is particularly tightly jammed, you may have to wrench it out with a pair of pliers, but be sure that the gun is directed away from you before you release the stuck nail.