How to Clear a Jammed Nail Gun

How to Clear a Jammed Nail GunYou’re pulling the trigger and to your surprise, nothing is happening. You have a jam. When nail guns are oiled properly, these jams are less frequent, but they happen to even the most diligent owners.

Nothing is more frustrating than a jammed nail gun mid-project.

We’re going to show you how to unjam your nail gun the right way without having to worry about breaking your gun in the process. And as always, we’ll put safety first.

Safety First: Suggestions Prior to Following the 4 Steps Below

You risk nails flying up and catching you in the eye. Even if you try to be as safe as possible, the nail can still pop up and hit you in the eye. We recommend wearing safety goggles (even if they look dumb) to protect your eyes.

Heavy-duty gloves are also recommended.

There is a risk that a nail will catch you in the hand or even cause you to need stitches – or worse. Heavy-duty gloves lower these risks and provide you with ample protection when unjamming a nail gun.

Unjamming a Nail Gun

There are four main steps that you’ll need to follow to unjam your nail gun. The steps that we recommend are:

  • 1)Turn Off the Power Source: Always turn off the power source first. Remove the cord or batteries as needed so that there is no risk of firing on accident. Using a rag, clean underneath the gun so that when the nail that is stuck is finally ejected, you’ll be able to see it. Note: Keep the gun facing away from you.
  • 2)Open the Barrel: Open the barrel of the nail gun. Try and locate a “release lever.” This lever will allow you to release the jammed nail, but not every model has a lever present.

If the lever is present, you’ll be able to release it and stop here. If there is no lever, search for mis-positioned nails in the barrel, and proceed to step 3.

  • 3)Remove the Stuck Nail(s): Using a nail or a pair of pliers, try to dislodge the stuck nail(s). This is a process that can take quite some time, so be diligent and keep at it until you’ve dislodged the nails.
  • 4)Refill: Remove any nails that are not properly facing, and refill the unit.

The final step in the process is to close up the unit and restore the power source. You’ll want to check to ensure that the jam has been cleared and that the unit is working properly. Unjamming a unit is something that you’ll need to get used to if you use nail guns on a regular basis.

Most new nail guns have a nifty lever that allows you to clear jams quickly and easily.

If your unit does not have a lever, you’ll soon find that you’ve mastered the art of unjamming your nail gun: it’s something professionals expect to happen. Just remember, you always want to be safe when removing any jams as caught nails will go right through your skin, causing serious injury.

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