Clearing a nail gun is time-consuming, and it’s the last thing a DIYer wants to do in the middle of a tedious project. But when nails get stuck, there’s no other option but to clear the jam and proceed. Nail guns can break if cleared improperly, so follow these steps to remove jammed nails from a nail gun the right way.
Before starting to remove a jam, you need to practice proper safety.
Safety Items Recommended to Clear a Jammed Nail Gun
Jammed nail guns can misfire, causing serious injuries to the user. Clearing a nail gun properly requires the user to wear:
- Safety goggles that protect the eyes and hopefully deflect any flying nails.
- Heavy-duty gloves that will act as a slight protective barrier against injury.
Common sense is also required. Nail guns should never be facing a person’s body part or upward towards a person’s face. Point the jammed nail gun away from the face and body to lower the risk of potential injury.
Once all safety items are procured, it’s time to proceed to the first step in clearing a jammed nail gun.
1. Remove All Power Sources
Even when following the strictest protocol, accidents and injuries can occur. Nail guns can be very dangerous, and limiting your risk of injury is of the utmost important. A user should do the following:
- Remove the electrical cord from the wall (when applicable).
- Remove the batteries from the unit (when applicable).
- Pull the trigger to try and remove any trapped air.
If the unit still has power, there’s a chance it will discharge and cause severe injury.
2. Locate the Release Lever
Nail guns are designed with a release lever that allows for easy nail jam release. The lever is located in the barrel of the nail gun. Open the barrel of the nail gun and search for the release lever, remembering to keep the barrel pointed away from the face and body.
Older models may not have a release lever, but most new models will.
In the event that no release lever is found:
- Examine the barrel for any backward or misaligned nails.
Practice caution so that the nail doesn’t disengage and cause injury.
3. Dislodge Jammed Nails
Nails that are stuck, and when a release lever isn’t present, need to be removed with one of these two items:
- Another nail.
- Needle nose pliers.
Needle nose pliers are thin and small enough to work their way in between stuck nails and remove them. The goal is to use the pliers to pry the nail out of the barrel. This is a tedious process and will take some time to complete.
Nail guns with a release lever don’t need to follow this step.
4. Refill, Close and Try the Gun
Once you are confident that all nails are properly unjammed, remove all of the remaining nails and ensure that the nail gun is refilled with nails all facing in the same direction. Close back up the barrel of the nail gun and put the power source back in place.
Remain cautious when first trying the nail gun to ensure that no jams are left.
The nail gun should fire without the risk of jams or other damage occurring. If the nail gun fails to operate, inspect the power source again to make sure that power has been properly restored to the unit.
Once powered up, test the nail gun and repeat the four steps above if an additional jam occurs.
Clearing a nail gun is fast and easy, but always remain cautious. Nail guns can misfire, causing serious injuries. If proper safety is exercised, clearing a nail gun will become a routine task that poses little risk of injury.