Why Does My Nail Gun Spark?

Whether you are new to using nail guns or not, it can be quite a shock when sparks go off and you don’t expect them! Thankfully, in many cases, there is no need for concern, and this is entirely normal. However, there are certain precautions that you should take to ensure your safety and that your nail gun is not working abnormally. 

If your nail gun is sparking, don’t worry, it is usually caused by a metal-on-metal reaction. However, it’s still a good idea to check everything’s in place, that you’re using the right nails, and that you’re protected just in case.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the various reasons why your nail gun could be sparking, then at what you should do to ensure your safety and that of those around you. 

Are you using the proper nails? 

One of the main causes of sparking in nail guns is due to the use of improper nails. Many of us tend to assume that any nail should be able to fit and work in our nail gun, however that isn’t the case. 

Choosing the correct nails depends on the size of the nails and the nail gun head, and whether or not they have clipped heads. Clipped heads are common for nails in nail guns as it allows for the nails to stack closer together on the strand (of plastic, paper, or even wire). However, it is not always regulation. In some cases, too, you’ll need a specific size of nail for specific jobs. The nail size you need for baseboard trim, for example, may differ to that you’ll need for plaster walls.

In certain circumstances, clipped nail heads are not permitted; however, this usually applies to professional construction only. 

Either way, should you be unsure in any way regarding the perfect nails for your nail gun, then you should consult a professional in your local hardware store. They will be able to equip you with the materials that you need that will work best for your nail gun. Of course, reading the manual never hurts – something we always recommend!

How old is your nail gun?

Many have found that sparking can occur in new nail guns, as the metal from the nails and the inside of the nail gun head rub together as they shoot out, thus causing it to spark. This is also why the nail gun tends to stop sparking after a while and, on the whole, the more that you use it. It is, therefore, nothing to worry about and is most likely to stop sooner rather than later.

However, in order to ensure that this is the cause of the sparking, always make sure you’re using the right nails for your gun, and that you’re using it correctly.

How to protect yourself when your nail gun sparks

Whether your nail gun is sparking or not even at all, it is always recommended that you wear protective goggles during use. Nail guns are obviously very helpful tools, but they are also very dangerous. If you’re using the wrong nails, if you’re shooting at the wrong angle, or the gun itself is no longer up to standard – safety becomes an issue.

Whether or not your nail gun is emitting sparks, always make sure to store it in a cool, dry place. Additionally, it makes sense to unplug and power down your device before you start adjusting it – again, that’s if it’s sparking or not!

Whether your nail gun frequently sparks or not, you should never use the nail gun near flammable liquids or gases. Even one spark can lead to a dangerous fire. Therefore – while a spark itself is unlikely to cause you any concern or harm, be sure to keep it far from anything that could catch fire.

Should I fix my nail gun myself?

Even the best electric nail guns, and those that are built to an incredibly safe standard, shouldn’t be toyed with. Not only are you at risk of causing yourself and others harm, there’s also the risk you could invalidate your warranty. In which case, only ever inspect and adjust your nail gun as your manufacturer and manual recommend.

Unless you are a trained professional when it comes to making repairs to nail guns, you should never make altercations to your nail gun beyond the manual’s recommendations. It is always best to send your nail gun to a professional for repairs to ensure that it is as safe to use as possible. 

If your nail gun is sparking, there’s a good chance it’s just a quirk of the machinery, or that you’re using the wrong nails. Ultimately, metal on metal is always going to react in some shape or form – it’s really nothing to worry about unless it happens a lot. Chances are, it’s also something your nail gun’s going to ‘grow out of’.

Other problems, such as your nail gun not firing properly, will need closer investigation – and again, it really doesn’t hurt to get an expert opinion.