We know just how handy a nail gun is for a DIYer. While you can use a hammer to drive in nails, you’ll simply never be as fast as a nail gun. These are essential tools when you’re undertaking a big project. Construction workers use nail guns on a daily basis, and they know how to maintain them properly, so they last for years.
We’re going to provide you with a nail gun maintenance guide that every DIYer must read.
Use Air Tool Oil
When using a Hitachi nail gun, we always add a few drops of oil to the tool prior to use. Normally, this is in the fitting at the bottom of the nail gun, but you’ll want to drop a few drops of air tool oil (or any light oil for that matter) to the gun’s moving parts.
If you’re going to be nailing all day, you’ll want to do this periodically throughout your session to ensure that the gun moves effortlessly.
The general rule of thumb is to oil any moving parts to ensure that the nail gun is properly lubricated.
Tighten All Screws and Bolts Monthly
Every month, we recommend tightening any screws or bolts on your nail. All the vibration and heavy use of these guns has a tendency to loosen screws over time. You may want to go as far as checking your nail gun immediately after unpacking to see if the screws are tight.
In some cases, screws and bolts will loosen during shipping.
If you notice any screws or bolts are loose during operation, take a minute or two to tighten them accordingly. Remember, nail guns can be very dangerous if they’re not properly maintained. You don’t want a screw or bolt breaking off, causing you to lose control of the nail gun in the process.
Clean the Feed System
A must for any pneumatic nail gun. Daily maintenance is needed for the feed system. What you’ll do is use a can of compressed air to blow out any dust or debris that may be stuck inside of the feed system.
You can also use a rag to wipe off the system prior to using the air. We highly recommend using a rag that does not leave behind any pieces of fabric that can jam the feed system.
Why don’t we recommend using oil?
A major issue is that lubricants attract dirt and debris, which can hinder the feed system’s operation.
Lubricate the Air Fitting
We mentioned that you need to oil up your nail gun, but you also need to lubricate the air fitting. All you need to do is put a little bit of oil, 4 to 5 drops, into the air fitting per day. There are several O-rings inside of the air fitting, and you can use your finger to lubricate these rings appropriately.
Note: Never leave nails in the gun or have the gun powered during this process. You always want to make sure power is cut off to your nail gun when putting your finger anywhere near the air fitting.
Check the Battery
If you’re using a cordless nailer, inspect the battery every few months and look for an expiration date. Many fuel cells or batteries, depending on the model, will have an expiration date or start to lose their charge capacity after a while.
This is something that you should be doing on a routine basis, especially if you notice that your nail gun isn’t holding a charge like it used to.
Wrapping up, you’ll need to follow these basic maintenance procedures:
- Daily: Oil moving parts, clean the feed system and lubricate the air fitting.
- Monthly: Tighten all screws and bolts.
- Periodically: Inspect the battery (where applicable) and replace.
Of course, if you find that your nail gun has a broken part, you want to replace this as quickly as possible. With the proper maintenance, you’ll be able to keep your nail gun operational for years to come.