How to Maintain a Nail Gun (2-Minute Guide)

Like many other tools in the workshop, a pneumatic nail gun needs to be well-maintained. It is a small effort that you make, but for which you get a lot of benefits in return. But what is the right way to maintain a nail gun? How do you start this?

To maintain a nail gun, there are a few steps that you perform each time you store the tool. Start by removing the nails and cleaning the feed system. Then you can use appropriate oil to lubricate the parts, and you can remove dust and dirt with a clean cloth. During maintenance, it is also good to check the seals and power supply.

In this article, I will explain in a few minutes how you can turn nail gun maintenance into an automatic action that is easy and quick to perform. Read these steps carefully and apply them every time you have worked with your pneumatic nail gun. With the tips in this article, a long lifetime and well-working nailer is guaranteed.
PS, Use This Nail Gun Guide to Find the Right Type of Nail Gun for your workshop.

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Why Do You Need to Maintain a Nail Gun?

A well-maintained nail gun will not only work better, but it will also last longer. A nail gun may look like a clumsy piece of material, but there are a lot of small parts inside that can quickly be disrupted if dirt is present.

When these parts cannot move smoothly, the nail gun will not work as well, problems will pile up and increase the risk of injury while working. By learning how to properly maintain a nail gun, you will achieve many benefits with only small efforts.
Related article: 9 Important Nail Gun Safety Tips You Must See

How Often Should You maintain a Nail Gun?

If you want to keep your nail gun in good working order and have it last as long as possible, you must maintain a nail gun on a regular basis! This is true not only for nail guns, but for any other power tool in your workshop.

In order to give your nail gun the best maintenance, it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions. In there you will find how often to maintain your particular nail gun. Personally, I make it a habit to maintain it every time I store the nail gun with the tips that you will find further in this article. If you are going to do an extraordinary amount of nailing on the same day, it is recommended to apply extra nail gun maintenance halfway through the day.

Cleaning your nail gun is easy and takes no more than 1 or 2 minutes. Make sure you have everything you need in the place where you store your nail gun, that will only make nail gun maintenance faster.

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How to Maintain a Nail Gun?

When it comes time to maintain your pneumatic nail gun, you can do so in a matter of minutes if you follow all of the steps below.

To ensure proper nail gun maintenance, I will go over each step in greater detail so that you understand exactly how to do it. When performing nail gun maintenance, it is best to follow all of these steps and not skip any of them.

Clean The Feed System

The feed system of a nail gun must be cleaned on a regular basis for it to function properly. The magazine where the nails are stored and the nail gun barrel are referred to as the input system.

Cleaning the feeding system is simple and should be done at the end of each day after use. Remove all nails from the magazine and blow dirt and dust out of the feed system with compressed air. Learn how to load and unload a nail gun properly in this article.

The system can then be cleaned with a cloth before storing the tool. Just make sure to use a clean cloth that doesn’t leave any dust behind that could clog the feed system.

Lubricate With Air Tool Oil

Note: Some pneumatic nail guns do not require oil, so read the owner’s manual before applying oil. In case no oil is recommended by the manufacturer, and you would do this anyway, this can have adverse consequences for your nail gun.

Do You Have to Oil a Nail Gun?

When lubrication is recommended, proper lubrication will keep the tool running smoothly. A smoothly operating nail gun will be less prone to jamming, shooting double nails and many other problems. In addition, the life of a well-lubricated nail gun will extend considerably.
Related article: Why Does My Nail Gun Shoot Two Nails & How To Fix It

What Kind of Oil Do You Use in a Nail Gun?

Use only lubricating oil designed specifically for pneumatic tools and/or recommended by the manufacturer. Other oils lack the necessary viscosity or contain ingredients that can destroy seals, disintegrate O-rings, or even cause combustion.
Because this is a large topic to discuss here, I wrote a separate article about all you need to know about air tool oil, which you can check out here.

WD40, engine oil, transmission fluid, and aerosol lubricants should never be used. Many common lubricants eat away at rubber over time, causing more harm than good.

How Do You Lubricate a Nail Gun?

Lubrication with oil is actually quite simple. Most manufacturers recommend adding 4 to 5 drops of air tool oil before using a pneumatic nail gun. Oil the moving parts of the gun as well as the fitting on the tool’s bottom where you connect the hose. Just release the drops of oil into the air intake, and you are done. Before storing the nail gun, it is also recommended that you lubricate a nail gun with a few drops of oil.

How to maintain a nail gun - lubrication
How to maintain a nail gun – Lubrication

Store Your Nail Gun Correctly

This is an often forgotten step in maintenance, but a properly stored nail gun when not in use will last longer than a nail gun lying around on the workbench.

How to properly store a nail gun is a broader topic that I discuss in detail in my article, How to Store Nail Guns? Best Advice to Keep Them as New.

Inspect the Power Supply

Whether your nail gun has an independent power supply, such as a battery, or is hosed to an air compressor, you must inspect the integrity of the power supply. Check the battery to see if it is still solid when it is attached and/or if there are no other irregularities with it. Also, make sure the battery has not passed its expiration date to ensure it is still safe to use and can power your nail gun adequately.

If the nail gun has a hose, check for tears or holes in the hose. Loss of air pressure can damage the moving parts of the nail gun. Always make sure that you have a suitable air compressor. You can find more information about it in my article, What Is The Best Air Compressor For Woodworking? 7 Things To Look For

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Check the Seals

The seals of a pneumatic nail gun need to be replaced from time to time. A poor seal can cause the tool to lose power and can damage the nail gun if left in poor condition.

Check the seals before each use. If you notice that they are dry, cracked, or crumbling, you should replace them as soon as possible.

Clean Your Nail Gun

The last step on how to maintain a nail gun is cleaning it. Cleaning the nail gun on a regular basis can keep dust, dirt, and other debris from damaging or clogging it.

After each use, wipe the tool down with a clean, soft cloth. Some nail guns may include an air filter. If you use the tool on a daily basis, the air filter should be removed and cleaned every few days to keep dust and dirt out.

For more information on cleaning filters, refer to the user manual. The majority of them can be cleaned with a simple soap and water solution.

There are various types of nail guns, as explained in my article, How To Choose The Right Nail Gun For Your Projects. A Complete Nail Gun Guide. Some will necessitate special care. As a result, before using the gun, it is critical to read the owner’s manual.

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