You may be in the middle of your project, and your Bostitch nail gun suddenly stops working.
Your nail gun blows air out the back but not shooting nails. Despite all your efforts, it’s not firing but just leaking air.
What do you do?
Don’t worry; here in this article, I’ll discuss the seven most common problems that can occur with your nail gun and the fixes you can try when it’s not firing the nails as it should.
But before that, let’s look at how you can quickly troubleshoot your Bostitch nail gun if you think the problem is not so severe.
For a more detailed overview, just head to the section later below.
In this article we will cover:
- Minor Leaks and Problems with Bostitch Nail Gun
- Reasons for Major Nail Gun Breakdown – And Fixes
Minor Leaks and Problems with Bostitch Nail Gun
From glue guns to rivet tools, Stanley-Bostitch’s Bostitch line has got your fastening needs covered.
However, like any pneumatic nailer, regular use can result in air leaks in your Bostitch pneumatic nailers.
But before you call customer service or take it in for repairs, try troubleshooting the issue yourself first.
Many times it’s just a minor functioning problem where you can quickly troubleshoot the leaks or other issues yourself by simple lubrication.
Experts at Hunker suggest that you should be able to avoid a leak by making sure the screws on the nose are tight and checking to see if you need a new O-ring or gasket.
Before reassembling the nailer, lubricate all O-rings with Parker “O” Lube. Add a couple of drops of Air Tool Lubricant (by Bostich) into the fitting for the airline.
You may need to replace the cap spring if you can’t get your nail gun to cycle or lubricate it with oil through the airline connection.
Take apart the nail gun to see if the head valve is trapped in the cap, then oil all moving parts before reassembling it.
Also, examine your air supply equipment for any blockages that might be causing the gun to malfunction.
Reasons for Major Nail Gun Breakdown – And Fixes
Although a nail gun can shoot hundreds of nails in one day, there are still moments when it doesn’t fire.
If your tool doesn’t respond b simple lubrication, there can be faults that you need to address by knowing what is causing the problem.
The good news is that most times, these faults can be easily fixed by taking some extra time to troubleshoot the issue.
The following are the primary reasons a nail gun would fail to shoot nails, along with tips for fixing them…
1- Jammed Nail Gun
Your nail gun can get jammed because of several reasons. Some of them include lack of lubricating oil, damaged fasteners, misshaped coil, loading incorrect nails, wrong size or mishandled fasteners, etc.
Mostly nail gun jam due to loading nails in the wrong order. But if insufficient lubricating or adequate oil is unavailable, the nail gun gets clogged since the air cylinder at the nose end requires a lot of oil.
Due to a lack of oil, nails will feed slowly, and the equipment won’t operate properly.
Furthermore, if the coil is not perfectly round, it may squeeze or drop and loosen the original shape, causing a nail gun jam.
Also, if the fasteners are the wrong size or damaged, then the collation and shank diameter of the nails won’t match appropriately for usage, which will cause misfeeds to occur.
When the paper tape is mishandled or too wet, that can also cause jams in your nail gun.
Here’s how to unjam and repair a nail gun that won’t fire nails.
Step 1- Disconnect the nail gun from the electricity and air supply. By releasing the nose plate front, remove the nose bolt and lift the nose latch.
Open the barrel up and examine for damages to determine which components require repair.
Step 2- Unjam the nails, remove the extra fasteners, and fix/replace any broken parts.
Then close the front nose. Make sure that the work contact tool is available before you start working.
Step 3- Now, insert the fuel cell and battery, reload the gun with fastenings and pull back the feeder mechanism.
Bring electricity back onto the grid and test with a piece of scratch wood before using the nail gun on your main project.
2- The Build-up of Dust and Dirt
This is one common issue that is caused when you are working in a dusty environment. If there is too much dirt or sawdust in the gun, it may cause misfires to occur.
Also, dust and grime might accumulate when the nail gun is left inactive for a long time, causing your nail gun not to shoot the nails.
Inspecting for the dirt first as soon as you see any problem with your nail gun is best. Maybe getting rid of dust and dirt can help the machine function correctly.
To fix the problem and prevent future such problems, you must:
- Keep your working area and nail gun clean
- Always store the machine in a dust-free environment
- Clean all the moving parts of the machine, such as triggers, regularly
Furthermore, inspect the nail gun by removing nails and feeder to check for hang-ups – keeping the area clean is essential.
3- Improper Air Pressure Settings
The pressure recommended by the nail gun is usually listed on the product you use.
However, when compressors do not provide enough pressure in the suggested range, the nail gun will not fire.
The hammer won’t have enough energy or energy to move the nail due to incorrect air pressure adjustments, resulting in nail flaws.
Improper air pressure adjustments can have many causes. While some occur over time, there can also be human errors. Generally, these are the main reasons for improper air pressure settings:
- There is damage to the shooting spring
- The Air compressor isn’t functioning as it should be
- Nail gun pressure is too high or low compared to what is needed
If the air pressure is too high in the nail gun, the nail will go deep into the wood to cause wood cracking, or the gun may shoot two nails at a time.
Similarly, if the air pressure is too low, the nails are difficult to get into the wood as desired or don’t get fired at all.
Keep your air pressure at an average level, as the user manual advises, for the best results.
Most air compressor manufacturers typically recommend a range of 70 to 120 psi for compressed air nail guns.
So, it’s better to check with your specific Bostitch nail gun model to get an idea about this.
To maintain proper nail gun air pressure and avoid damage to your woodwork, here are a few tips you can follow…
- Check the air pressure on your nail gun according to the instruction manual.
- Take apart the nail gun, dissemble it and see if the compressor is damaged. If necessary, replace the air compressor.
- Put in a new shooting spring if yours is damaged beyond repair.
- Finally, test the machine on some scrap wood first to determine what air pressure works for your project.
4- Air Leaks Through the Trigger or Vent
When there is an air leak inside, your nail gun will merely spit air but does not fire nails correctly into the wood surface.
There are a variety of causes for nail gun air leaks.
Generally, the trigger valve is to blame. But pulling on the trigger too much and maybe wearing out O-rings can also be a problem.
When the trigger of the nail gun is pulled multiple times in a short time, it will loosen due to faster wear and tear, which can gradually cause air to leak around the trigger.
Additionally, there are O-rings made of rubber; that act as barriers that seal exhaust vents and prevent air from passing through them.
When these rings around the exhaust vent wear off, they let the air go through the vent causing frequent air leaks.
To fix the issues and prevent air leaks, replace O-rings (if the air leak is through the exhaust vent) and/or replace the trigger valve (if the air leak is through the trigger).
Also, ensure to use a rebuild kit compatible with your nail gun model to get the best results.
5- Using Wrong, Incompatible Nails
Not many people realize this, but using the wrong nails with your nail gun can cause many problems, including the complete breakdown of the machine.
For example, using too long or too short nails can cause the nail gun to jam.
If the nails are too thick, they might not go all the way into the wood, or if they are too thin, they might bend while being shot into the wood.
Different nail sizes, angles, shapes, and collations are needed for each nail gun.
If you use the wrong nails in the machine, a nail gun’s firing pin will bend, or the nails will simply reject to pass through the machine. This will also cause fires in the wood without any nails.
Therefore, to avoid such problems, make sure you use only those nails that are meant to be used with your nail gun model. You can find this information in the user manual of your nail gun.
After checking the instructions manual, get the correct nail types, double-check the size before you load them to the magazine, and always load the magazine correctly.
6- Insufficient Fasteners Causing the Problem
There should be a minimum number of fasteners in the nail gun magazine. If there aren’t enough fasteners, the firing will be unsuccessful or can cause dry firing issues.
This will strain the nail gun’s internal part and cause the machine to overheat. As a result, the fasteners might deform, and ultimately, the whole magazine assembly can get damaged.
To fix and prevent dry firing or backfiring issues, always keep the minimum number of fasteners in the magazine as specified in the user manual.
You can check the minimum fastener requirements on the manufacturer’s website if you don’t have the user manual.
Then reload the magazine as suggested and test-fire the nail gun before you start your main project.
7- Dead Battery in Your Nail Gun
Nail guns are almost always battery-operated. When the battery runs out, the nail gun will no longer fire nails.
Some nail guns utilize batteries and fuel cells which is advantageous because you’ll be able to use a nail gun even if the battery isn’t charged.
If you find your Bostitch nail gun tool not working as expected, it can be an old dead battery that cannot hold a charge. Or maybe check the fuel cell canister, which got empty.
If the battery is still new and is getting problems, check if you have charged it or not.
When you are sure that your nail gun is not shooting nails because of the old battery, try to charge the battery before using it for one last time.
If it doesn’t work, it is time to replace your battery with a new one.
These were some of the most common problems that people face with their nail guns. I hope this guide will help you troubleshoot and fix your nail gun issues.
Remember that when operating a nail gun, it is critical to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance.
Maintaining the tool correctly will extend its life and protect it from external factors like humidity.
By far, most air leaks and other problems may be repaired by simply following the steps above.
However, if the problem is more significant, you may need to visit a professional nail gun repair shop.
Hi, I am Mark Garner a professional carpenter, woodworker, and DIY painter. I live in the small city of Peoria, Arizona as a semi-retired woodworker. I have started this blog with a simple motive to help you with my wood experience in this sector. If you like to know more about what I love doing and how it all got started, you can check more about me here.