A nail gun that is not working properly can be dangerous to use and will make any job you are working on considerably harder. The most common issue that nail gun owners encounter is their nail gun blowing air and not shooting the nails properly.

The most common causes of nail guns blowing air and not shooting nails properly are air leaks, stuck drivers, dead batteries, and using the wrong nail size. All of these issues will cause your nail gun to blow air and have troubleshooting nails properly.

This guide will provide more details regarding these issues as well as detail some other common causes of nail gun issues. You can use the information provided for you in this guide to help you accurately identify your nail gun issues so that you can address them properly.

It is important to address any nail gun issues you have as soon as possible. Operating a nail gun that is not working properly can be dangerous and will create an unsafe work environment for you and others.

Nail Gun Just Blows Air

Common Causes Of Nail Gun Blowing Air Or Not Shooting Nails

The most common causes of nail guns blowing air and not shooting nails properly are an air leak, stuck driver, dead battery, and improper nail size. All of these issues will cause your nail gun to blow air and have trouble shooting nails properly. The list below contains more details on these issues so that you can better identify and resolve your nail gun problems.

An air leak will cause your nail gun to blow air and not be able to maintain the internal pressure needed to shoot the nails properly. Air leaks commonly occur through the exhaust vent or rear exhaust port of your nail gun.

The most common causes of air leaks are damaged or worn O-rings. The O-rings are found wrapped around the head valve at the top of the nail guns cylinder. When these O-rings become worn or damaged, they will begin to leak air through.

Air Leak

You can purchase replacement O-rings for your nail gun for around $15. These O-ring kits will contain many of the standard sizes used for most nail guns so that you do not have to worry about finding the exact size yourself.

You can save money by buying your O-Ring Kit online. The table below contains some of the most popular online vendors and their prices for nail gun O-ring kits. You can use this information to ensure that you are receiving the best deal possible on your O-ring replacement.

VendorAvg. O-Ring Kit Price
Walmart$12
Amazon$15
Home Depot$16
Lowes$11
Ace Hardware$15

Another common area to experience an air leak is through the trigger of your nail gun. This is generally caused by a damaged trigger valve. A trigger valve can become damaged and worn over time and can cause a loss of pressure that will cause your nail gun to not shoot nails properly.

You can purchase a replacement trigger valve for your nail gun for an average price of $25. The table below contains popular vendors and their prices for nail gun trigger valves.

VendorAvg. Trigger Valve Price
Walmart$22
Amazon$20
Home Depot$25
Lowes$18
Ace Hardware$25

Stuck Driver

A stuck driver will cause your nail gun to have problems shooting nails properly. The driver is what helps feed the nails into the tip of the nail gun. A stuck driver is generally caused by a damaged driver tip.

You can see if your driver tip is damaged by removing all of the nails, removing the cap head off the nailer, and using something to push the driver down all the way to the bottom.

If you find that your driver does not extend beyond the end of the nailer, you likely have a damaged driver and will need to replace it. You can purchase a replacement driver for your nail gun for around $18. The table below contains popular vendors and their prices for nail gun trigger valves.

VendorAvg. Driver Price
Walmart$15
Amazon$18
Home Depot$20
Lowes$12
Ace Hardware$15

Battery Not Charged

An uncharged or damaged battery can cause your nail gun to not shoot nails properly. Batteries have a finite lifespan and towards the end, will begin to lose charge faster. Eventually, a battery will become unable to hold a charge at all.

When this happens, you will have trouble getting your nail gun to shoot nails properly as it will not have the required amount of power to do so. A battery can also become damaged by exposure to the elements or by being handled improperly.

You should consider replacing your battery if you find that it is not functioning properly. You can find a replacement battery for your nail gun online for around $75. The table below contains popular vendors and their prices for nail gun batteries.

VendorAvg. Nail Gun Battery Price
Walmart$60
Amazon$55
Home Depot$70
Lowes$75
Ace Hardware$85

Nail Is Jammed

A jammed nail will cause your nail gun to both leak air and not shoot nails properly. When a nail becomes jammed, the nail gun will still attempt to use the pressure to shoot out a nail. This will cause air to leak but no nail will be shot out of the gun.

You can remedy this yourself but it is extremely important that you do so using the proper safety precautions. You should only attempt to unjam a nail gun while using full protective eye gear and heavy-duty gloves.

Once you have acquired and put on the proper safety equipment, you should disconnect your nail gun from any power source as well as an air source that may be feeding into your nail gun. Once you have completely disconnected your nail gun, you should remove all of the unfired nails from the magazine.

This is an important step that will prevent accidental firing that could potentially cause damage to you or others. Because the nail gun is jammed, it is primed to fire as soon as the jam is cleared. This makes it extremely important that you remove all of the nails from the magazine prior to unjamming.

You should then use the user manual for your nail gun to begin the process of removing jammed nails. Generally, this will include using a release lever to open the barrel which will allow you to easily remove any jammed nails.

Air Pressure Issues

If your nail gun uses compressed air to shoot nails, this could cause issues if the proper psi is not reached when in use. Nail guns work optimally at a psi between 70 and 120. If the psi settings are not optimized correctly with your setup, this will cause your nail gun to have issues when shooting nails.

You can resolve this problem by setting the air pressure to the appropriate settings on your air compressor. You can find more information regarding the exact psi required by your nail gun in the user manual.

Using Wrong Nails

Using the wrong nails with your nail gun can cause issues with blowing air and not shooting nails properly. Because of the wide range of nail sizes available, it is important that you carefully check your nail gun specifications before attempting to load and use nails.

The wrong nail size will cause jams and pressure issues with your nail gun. It can also create unsafe work conditions for you and others. You should check your nail guns manual for the exact specifications regarding nail size.

Improper Maintenance

A nail gun that has not been maintained properly will likely have issues with shooting nails and blowing air. If your nail gun has been exposed to the elements or has not been stored and maintained properly, it is likely that the internal components will have become damaged.

You should keep your nail gun oiled and cleaned regularly to ensure that you do not encounter these types of errors. Nail guns should also be stored indoors in a cool, dry place. This will help you avoid issues like rust and moisture build-up in the internals of your nail gun.

If your nail gun has not been maintained properly, you might need to consider replacing it with a new one if it is beyond repair.

Final Thoughts

This guide has provided you with all of the information that you need to identify and resolve your nail gun issues. The most common issues that nail guns encounter is blowing air and not shooting nails properly. All of the information provided for you in this guide can be useful when trying to resolve these types of issues.

You should address any nail gun issues that you are having as soon as possible. Using a nail gun that is not working properly is dangerous and will create an unsafe working environment for you and others. You should use this guide to help resolve your issues before attempting to use your nail gun again.