Nail guns are one of the handiest tools for a proper DIYer. They are used in home restoration projects and other tasks handled by construction workers. This is why owning one is going to be one of the biggest time savers you got in your tool shed. While nail guns are very powerful and are very useful in various situations, they often feel the effect of time quite strongly. This is something normal for tools and machines and the way you treat them is the most important factor when it comes to their longevity.
In this article we will go through some of the methods of maintaining your nailer and give you a few tips & tricks on the topic which might come in handy the next time you clean your nailer.
Before you dive deeper into this topic, feel free to check out our framing nailers Buyer’s Guide where you will find all the needed information on these tools and see which models entered out top 5 list for this year. Now, let’s just straight into it!
We have compiled a list of some of the best steps you can go through when maintaining your tool. Here they are:
- Checking The Battery
- Lubricate The Air Fitting
- Using Air Tool Oil
- Tighten The Screws And Bolts
- Clean The Feed System
Now, let’s take a look at each of those steps one by one. We didn’t rank them in any specific order so feel free to create your own cleaning and maintaining routine with your tools. Each of those methods can be done on a daily basis depending on how often you use your nailer and how much work it sees on a day to day basis.
Checking The Battery
If your nailer is cordless, meaning that it uses batteries, then this should be one of the first things you check every time you want to make sure that the tool is operational. Most fuel cells (and batteries) have a certain expiration date and after some time their power starts to deteriorate. You can either get them through a proper recharge cycle or simply swap them when this happens.
Lubricate The Air Fitting
Lubricating the air fitting is a very important step to your nailer maintenance. What you need to do is drop a few drops of oil into the fitting. If you use your tool daily then you should perform this task every day before starting to work.
If you want to go the extra mile for your nailer, you can use your finger to lubricate the O-rings inside this fitting.
Pro Tip: Make sure there are no nails in the tool when you are performing this task. Also, make sure your gun isn’t turned on (if cordless) or powered.
Using Air Tool Oil
Adding a few drops of air tool oil (or any other light oil) into the moving parts of your tool will surely make it work better and extend its life. If you nail every day, you might want to do this periodically throughout your work to ensure smooth operation.
It is a general rule of thumb that every tool should be lubricated on a daily basis. This extends its life and allows it to work better when used constantly.
Tighten The Screws And Bolts
If you are wondering which process should be done on a monthly basis, then this is the one. We recommend tightening the screws and bolts of your nail gun every month as it is a powerful tool with a lot of energy and movement involved in its usage. Even the sturdiest models can get their screws loose after continuous daily work.
Pro Tip: Always check the bolts and screws of framing nailers you buy. Sometimes they might come with not-so-well tightened parts out of the box. Either way, it is better to be on the safe side and not trust manufacturers at 100%. Even if the model was nicely made, the shipping process might have jerked it enough to have some of its parts loosened.
If you are looking for a great and reliable framing nailer, then we recommend the Hitachi NV83A4. It is reliable, sturdy, and good for any DIY projects you have in your mind.
Clean The Feed System
This is a step valid only for the nailers that work on compressed air. The best way to clean the feed system is to use compressed air to blow out any debris or dust that are stuck in it. Before going through that you can use a wet wipe or a rag to wipe up the system nicely. Use a rag that doesn’t leave any fibres as they can clog the feed system afterwards.
Want to learn how to use a framing nailer? Check out this article we’ve dedicated on the topic where we go into great detail about the craft of framing.
How Often Should I Undergo The Nailer Maintenance?
Well, there are three types of maintenance – daily, monthly, and periodically. For the daily checks, you need to clean the feed system, check all the moving parts and lubricate the tool appropriately.
Every month you should check the bolts and screws and see if they are loose. If that is the case, tighten them.
The only periodical maintenance is the one you should be doing on your battery. If its discharge has deteriorated, then you should change it.
Going through all these steps is crucial to your nailer’s longevity and if you find a broken part or something that needs replacing it is better to do it sooner rather than later as this might lead to further issues if not taken care for. Most nailers have long warranties that cover most damages done to them in the workplace but even so you shouldn’t rely on that as warranty swaps and coverage are often slow and can leave you without a nailer for some time. In other words, with proper nail gun maintenance you will be able to use your tool for years to come without any hiccups!