Why Does My Nail Gun Keep Jamming?

When you’re in the middle of a nailing job, one of the most annoying – and dangerous – things that can happen is your nail gun jamming. Suddenly, all work comes to a halt, and you find yourself at a loose end. But why does my nail gun keep jamming?

There are a few simple reasons why this may be the case. It could be due to the nails you use, oil level, or could even be a pressure issue. That said, there are things you can do to remedy the problem.

Is your nail gun not shooting nails? Is it just seizing up altogether? Here are a few reasons why your nail gun could be jamming, and what you may wish to do to fix the issue.


Check the nails that you are using 

One of the most frequently seen reasons for nail guns jamming is due to the fact that the user has inserted the wrong kind of nails. If the nail gun does not have the proper nails for the nailer in question, then it is bound to jam at one point or another. 

In rare cases it is as simple as you using clipped nails instead of rounded ones – always check the manual in the first instance of this being an issue. The best course of action is to prepare ahead of time – and don’t just put any old nails in your gun!

Air pressure may be the answer

In some nail guns the air pressure can be adjusted easily – and this can lead to nasty nail jams. If your gun does not have the right air pressure for the nails that you are using, then it will jam. 

You can always check the manual that came with your nail gun for tips about how to change the air pressure, however, before taking a look into the tool yourself, be sure to approach a professional.

Adjusting or modifying the nail gun yourself could lead to more serious problems in the future – unless you’re a professional and you know what you’re doing, and you’re out of warranty, it’s worth looking for help.

When was the last time you remember oiling up your nail gun? 

Some nail guns also get jammed because they lack oil. Again, check your manual! You may need to oil up in the outlet.

If your nail gun has never been oiled, then this could all the more be the cause of the problem. However, before applying any kind of oil, be sure to consult your manufacturer. Once again – the manual will help here.

What do I do if my nail gun is jamming? 

If your nail gun is jamming, then the first thing that you need to do is power down, unplug it, and disconnect the air pressure. 

If enough pressure builds up in the nail gun, then it could misfire, thus becoming a safety hazard. Power down and disconnect – always.

Then, providing your manual tells you to, you should be able to open it up and take a better look at the problem. You will then be able to determine whether or not you have chosen the right nails, if the nail gun needs oiling, or if the problem could be to do with air pressure. 

That said, you should never try to adjust or modify a nail gun unless you have been professionally trained to do so. It is essential to understand that these tools are indeed very dangerous, and can be perilous. 

If you’re really not sure about inspecting your nail gun or are worried about voiding the warranty, be sure to take it to a specialist, or to arrange a repair with your manufacturer.

A nail gun jam is, hopefully, a temporary issue that can easily be fixed. However, it’s really important to get it checked out as soon as possible. Whether your nail gun fires two nails at once or jams up altogether, stop using it!


Nail guns can and do jam – even the best nail guns for baseboards and otherwise – it’s a fact of the manufacturing, unfortunately. It doesn’t have to be a big problem, that said – and often these problems can be fixed very swiftly. 

However, given the dangers that can come with jammed nail guns, it is essential to learn about which nails your gun takes, and what you need to do should there be problems in the long run. Is there a number you can call if you need your nail gun repaired? Your manufacturer is there to help.

It is also essential to keep your nail gun safely in its box or case, and as far away from children and animals when not in use. Even if the nail gun is jammed, there is no guarantee that it could not harm someone, and it is not worth taking the risk. 

Nail guns are complex pieces of kit – meaning they will need you to take good care of them over time. The alternative – you could end up doing serious damage – and not just to your projects!