Nail Gun Not Shooting Nails | Causes, and Solutions

Not shooting nails is the most common problem a carpenter comes across each day. Jamming, inadequate air pressure, and incompatible pins are the most common among the reasons. Indeed, a minor carelessness during repetitive usage can cause imperceptible issues. 

These are some issues that ultimately act as culprits and stop the nail gun from shooting nails. Such possible problems and their suitable solutions are what I’ve dealt with throughout the article.

nail gun not shooting nails

Solving the Nail Gun Not Shooting Nails Issues

Though nail guns are built sturdy enough, nothing is perennially durable. Everything perishes over time.


The most probable reason for not shooting nails is jamming. When fasteners or other stuff are stuck inside the nailer, it causes a jamming problem. And then, jamming impedes the nailer from firing nails. Here I described some steps briefly to unjam your nail gun. 

Firstly, be aware of safety issues. If you do not wear protective goggles and heavy-duty hand gloves, you might injure your eyes or fingers.

Step 1: Disconnect the Power Source

Your main priority while repairing or maintaining any machine should be disconnecting from its power source. Otherwise, if a smaller amount of charge still exists, it may cause a severe mishap.

Step 2: Strips of Fasteners

After disconnecting from the power source, the next important task is to remove any unfired nails or strips from the magazine. The firing order given before the jamming will try to execute as soon as the jam clears. So, disengage the nailer by removing the remaining nails. Otherwise, one misfire can harm you.

Step 3: Removing Stuck or Jammed Nails

Different nailers suggest different removing processes. Depending on various features, the cleaning process varies. So, follow the instructions while cleaning diverse feature models.

  • Open the Barrel by Using the Release lever.

Find out first whether your nail gun is with a release lever or flip-style feature. If your nailer has a release lever feature, clean the jammed nails and stuck stuff. By using this feature, cleaning will be flawless and secure. However, if your nailer has a flip-style mechanism, follow the following instruction.  

  • Dislodge jamming Nails

The flip-style mechanism allows the magazine to slide open. If your nailer has a flip-style feature, slide the magazine free with a hammer or a pair of pliers. After that, dislodge the magazine by using the tip of the nail or the claws of a hammer. If it does not work, do not create pressure to remove it. It may take some time to dislodge. Remove all the remaining nails after prying out the stuck nail. 

Remove Stuck Nails

Step 4: Organize and Reload the Magazine

After the unjamming process, insert a new strip of nails and slide the pusher back over the nailer. Ensure that you keep the strip in the right direction.

Step 5: Restore Power Source and Test

After reloading your magazine with new strips, reconnect the power source. Be careful while you are powering up. Restoring the power source is not the last step of your nail gun unjamming process. Check the nailer whether it works or not. If it is still not working, follow the above instructions again.

Adjustment of Air Pressure

70 to 120 PSI pressure is the requirement for firing the nailer appropriately. If the air pressure is less than that, it may fire but not shoot nails. Furthermore, if the pressure is more than the requirement, nails dig too deep into the wood. 

This problem is easy to solve. Inspect whether the air pressure is normal or not. If the air pressure does not comply with the requirement, adjust it. Generally, air pressure depends on the nailer model. So, check out the required air pressure from its manual.

Adjust Air Pressure

The Battery Is Not Charging / The Fuel Cell Is About to Drain

The old battery cannot hold a charge. Sometimes a new battery faces a holding charge capacity problem. In both cases, there is a chance of not shooting guns.

If your nailer is defective that cannot retain power even after full charge or cannot operate for optimum time, it is better to replace the battery with a new one.

Sometimes nail guns use both batteries and fuel cells. In that case, inspect whether the fuel canister is full or empty. If the canister is vacant, it cannot shoot nails. 

Using Wrong Nails

There are various types of nail guns in the market. Different nailers require different sizes, shapes, and collations of nails. 

So, before loading the magazine, check which nail is suitable for your nailer. If you insert the incompatible nails, it jams your nailer. And as you already know, jam is the reason for not shooting nails. 

Some Other Issues for not Shooting Nails

  • If your nailer is not well-lubricated, it impedes the movement of the nailer’s parts. So, lubricate your nail gun regularly.
  • If the nail gun’s loader is weakened, twisted, torn, or frozen, it may pause the shooting of nails. In such a case, replace the loader.

Frequently Asked Question

Why is my nail gun just shooting airs?

When air leaks through pumping valves of a pneumatic nailer, your nailer only shoots air instead of shooting nails. Once you press the button to fire, the air gets pushed into the fire valve, forcing the valve upward. Besides, it opens the main cylinder sleeve, allowing the air to move the nail. But if the O-Ring dries out and fails to seal the valve properly, air leaks right away and makes a hissing sound after pressing the trigger. To solve this problem, keep the O-Ring lubricated. 

Why does my nail gun shoot two nails?

When a successive nail hits onto the head of the first one while pressing the trigger once, it is called double firing. If you do not apply enough pressure to the nailer when pushing the head down on the surface, it may shoot two nails. Leaking air is also a severe reason for shooting two fasteners successively. 


It is no rocket science to solve if your nail gun is not shooting nails. But there are some crucial steps and precautions to bear in mind. If you do not follow them, you may get injured. Furthermore, inefficiency while repairing may make the condition of your nail gun even worse.

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