Troubleshooting Floor Nailer Problems

Fixing floor nailer issues


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Quick guide to troubleshooting floor nailer problems

#1: Air is leaking out of the nailer

Many air leaks are caused by faulty seals and o-rings. Check to see if any of these parts are damaged. If they’re worn out, buy a new o-ring kit and replace them.

Watch our how-to video on replacing the o-rings in a floor nailer:

A common cause of o-ring damage is lack of lubrication. Generally speaking, nailers need 2 to 3 drops of oil a day.

Once the new o-rings are installed, be sure to keep up with maintenance by regularly lubricating your nailer.

#2: The nailer is jammed

If the nails aren’t coming out of your tool, hopefully your problem is that you’re using the wrong type, brand, or size of nails or cleats. This is the easiest problem to fix.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that you’re using the right fastener size and type, and buy new ones if you’re not.

If you are using the right nails but you still have trouble getting them through the channel, the driving gauge might be jammed. To check if this is the case, disassemble the nail guide and look for problems. Remove any obstructions you find, then reassemble the nail guide.

Often, a buildup of glue residue and debris will also cause cleats, nails, or staples to jam.

Other causes of this problem include a loose nail channel (tighten it) or a worn-out nail gate (replace it.)

#3: Nailer does not drive fasteners correctly

There can be several different reasons why this might be happening.

Check to see if any fasteners are stuck or wedged in the driver tip or feeder. Use a small nail or cleat to remove any fasteners that are stuck.

Again, be sure that you are using the proper nails as specified by the nailer’s manufacturer. Using improper nails can damage your tool.

Using your nailer with the wrong air pressure setting on your compressor can also cause your nailer to work improperly. It can even damage the driving blade.

Typically, floor nailers operate at 90-100 PSI. Refer to your tool’s user manual for the proper calibrations. Various wood species may require a bump up in the pressure in order for the cleat or staple to be seated in the nail pocket properly.

#4: Nailer feels sluggish

The primary cause of a nailer feeling underpowered is an incorrect PSI setting on the air supply. Refer to the manufacturer’s specifications to find the correct PSI. Adjust your nailer accordingly.

#5: Driving blade does not retract, or retracts slowly

A dirty  or dry cylinder causes the driving piston to perform poorly, so lubricating your nailer might help. Much like the o-rings, you need to add an oil film on the cylinder to make sure your nailer performs at its peak.

Another possible issue is that something could be jammed or wedged in the driving blade. Check to make sure that the blade is free of any obstructions.

As you’ve probably noticed, a common theme to these problems stems from a failure to lubricate the nailer with oil. Make sure you are adding oil to your tool after a day of use.

Usually, two to three drops will do the trick. This quick and simple act of maintenance can significantly improve the longevity and performance of your nailer.

If you need a new nailer altogether, don’t pass up a chance to browse our selection and earn rewards on your purchases if you’re registered!

If your nailer is damaged and you need replacement parts, call us at (800) 737-1786 to find out what we have in stock. Our machine parts inventory is the largest in the country, so chances are we’ve got exactly what you need, whether it’s a new o-ring kit or a replacement nail gate.

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