How to unjam a nail gun – Unjamming a brad nailer

A nail gun is a two-in-one tool that drives nails into different kinds of materials, mostly wood. The nail gun (also known as the nailer) is a high-powered hammer loaded with nails. Nail guns come with different power sources, could be batteries, compressed air or even flammable gasses like propane.

The nail gun has replaced the use of hammers and nails, especially in extensive constructions. Using the nail gun saves you an enormous amount of time and effort while carrying out your various projects. Just make sure you always put safety first when handling this tool.

Why do nail guns jam?

There is nothing more frustrating than a nail jam happening just when you are on a roll in the middle of your project. You almost want to throw down the nail gun and stomp your way out of there. But what caused the jam?

  • How to unjam a nail gunSometimes some nails in the strip you use to load the nail gun face the wrong direction, leading to jams when firing.
  • Another reason could be shooting a nail into a piece of wood with hidden nails. The collision between the two nails causes the fired nail to bend and get stuck, consequently causing a jam.
  • Probably your nail gun is not adequately oiled?

Safety first

You can never be too careful when dealing with power tools. Just a momentary slip of concentration can get you a spot in the hospital’s emergency room. It does not have to go that far. Here are the basic safety measures you need to take to ensure your project runs smoothly.

  1. Wear safety goggles. Nail guns usually fire the nails at extremely high pressures, meaning just a little slip of the nail on an unsuspecting piece of metal sends it flying towards your eye. Safety goggles do not do much for your appearance, but they sure score strong points on safety.
  2. Wear heavy duty gloves. The possibility of nails grazing your fingertips or even getting stick in your hand are high while using nail guns. Wearing heavy duty gloves could be what stands between you and many stitches on your hand.
  3. Ensure the nail gun is pressed firmly onto the surface. Avoid pointing nail guns at people as this is how accidents happen.

So you have fastened your goggles and put on your heavy duty gloves. Next point: how to unjam a nail gun.

How to unjam a nail gun

Unjamming nail guns is something most nail gun owners, if not all of them, go through. You do not have to worry about getting yourself out of this hole. Here is a step-by-step guideline for your convenience. Always remember to put safety first when handling your nail gun.

For this procedure, you will require a clean rag, and needle-nose pliers.

1. Switch off the power source

This means disconnecting your nail gun’s power chord from the electricity outlet. If your nail gun uses batteries, all you have to do is remove them. You have to do this to prevent the nail gun from firing on accident. Use your clean rag to wipe away the oil and dirt underneath the gun so you can clearly see the jammed nail when it is ejected. Always keep the gun facing away from you.

2. Open the nail gun barrel

Once you have done this, you can proceed to look for the release lever. The release lever will help you quickly release the jam nail. Newer nail gun models contain this release lever. If you have the release lever, your unjamming journey ends here. If you do not have the release lever, make sure you can see the jam nail and proceed to the next step.

3. Remove the jam nail

Using your handy needle-nose pliers, grab the jam nail and try to dislodge it. This process can be time-consuming, so be patient and have at it with that unyielding jam nail. If a simple tug of the pliers on the jam nail is not working, slowly and carefully twist the jam nail around until you successfully extract it.

4. Refill your nail gun

As you do this, make sure all nails are facing the right direction to avoid another possible jamming incident. Make sure to use the proper nails for the particular nail gun.

5. Re-assemble your nail gun

Re-attach the nail gun barrel and make sure everything is properly secured. Remember to oil your nail gun properly.

See Video How To Unjam a Nail Gun:

Tips for preventing jams

If you are the proud owner of a nail gun, unjamming your nail gun will be a skill you get excellent at with time. Since we cannot entirely avoid jammed nails, here are a few tips you can use to reduce the frequency of unjam a nail gun processes.

  • Regularly oil your nail gun. It is proven that a well-oiled machine is less likely to fail during its most trying moments. Much like the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Oiling your nail gun reduces the amount of friction while firing nail guns, making sure that each fire goes smoothly and to the required target.
  • Ensure the loaded nails on the strip are all facing the proper direction. A misplaced nail can drive the whole nail gun system into mayhem and blunder, and consequently, yes, a jammed nail. If and when that happens, just follow this guide and you will be on your way.
  • Make sure the material you are driving nails into does not contain hidden nails within it. The collision between the nail within the material and the nail from the nail gun will force the fired nail to curve on itself and eventually get stuck. Avoid firing nail guns on thick sheets of metal too.

Remember these tips the next time you are wielding your nail gun. It is much easier, less stressful and wiser to prevent problems rather than to go about your activity waiting for the inevitable. As they always say, prevention is better than cure.

How to remove a jammed nail in a Brad Nailer

Ever wondered what gives brad nailers their distinctive name? Brad Nailers use brads instead of the usual nails. Brads are much thinner than the average nail. Brads are lightweight compared to our common nails, which leads to them bending much more easily and jamming occurring.

You might be on your last stretch of trim installation, or you might have just started, who knows? Now you are faced with the exhausting procedure of unjamming your brad nailer. You might think this is a lengthy process requiring all sorts of technical know-how.

Anybody can unjam their brad nailer. All you would need is a couple of tools and patience. Trying to unjam a nail gun while in a hurry could lead to more setbacks, or accidents. Following this step-by-step guide will ensure your jammed brad nailer is ready to go in a matter of minutes.

Requirements: needle nose pliers, allen wrench, a pocket knife (or a small utility knife) 

Switch off the power source
  1. This means unhooking the power cable from any power outlet or removing any batteries.
Disassemble your Brad Nailer

(Removing the Driver Guide Cover and the Stationary Driver Guide Cover)

  1. You will use your allen wrench to dismantle the tip end of the brad nailer partially. This should be relatively easy for you.
  2. Unfasten the two allen screws on your driver guide cover and remove it too.
  3. Unfasten the three allen screws holding the stationary driver guide plate of the brad nailer and remove it.
Remove the jam nail

Most likely the jam nail is stuck along the length of the movable driver guide plate and the stationary driver guide plate. The Movable Driver Guide Plate guides and presses the nails up against the Stationary Driver Guide Plate

  1. Use your needle nose to grab the jam nail and pull.
  2. If step 1 fails, make sure you grab the jammed nail in such a way that you can gently twist it around the needle nose pliers.
  3. Sometimes a piece of the jam nail remains on the Stationary Driver Guide Plate after a majority of the jam nail has been pried out. You can use the pocket knife to gently scrape off the piece of molded nail from your brad nailer.
Reassemble your Brad Nailer
  1. Screw back the three allen screws securing the Stationary Driver Guide in place on the brad nailer.
  2. Screw back the two allen screws securing the Driver Guide Cover to the Stationary Driver Guide, and the Movable Driver Guide.
  3. Mantle the tip end of the brad nailer into position.

This is fairly easy and straight forward. If your brad nailer comes with its allen wrench, then part of your work has been made easier. When you come across this situation where you need to unjam your brad nailer, just follow these easy steps. Keep in mind the various tips of preventing nail jamming while working on your projects to ensure it is smooth sailing.

Top 3 Best Brad Nailers

These are top 3 best brad nailers comparison table which will help you to make the best choice for your woodworking projects easily:

Brad NailerImagePower SourceMagazine CapacityShippingEditor's RatingPrice
Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad NailerPneumatic100 NailsFREE Shipping4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon
DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer KitPneumatic100 NailsFREE Shipping4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon
WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad NailerPneumatic100 NailsCheck on Amazon4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)See on Amazon

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You don’t need to learn any technical tricks to use your nail gun. Just make sure you follow all safety procedures and cautiously operate your nail gun until you get the hang of it. When your nail gun jams, and it will at some point, following these few measures we have lined up for you will sort you out in no time. For all your delicate trimmings around the house, the Brad Nailer is the nail gun for you.

Say goodbye to the laborious hammer and say hello to the efficient nail gun.

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