How to Oil a Nail Gun
Tips & Tricks

How to Oil a Nail Gun

Nail gun provides accuracy and efficiency; that’s why it’s the best working tool.  The tool is an investment to any contractor for making work more comfortable.  But like any other machine, the device needs proper care and maintenance to remain in good working condition.  Oiling is one of the main maintenances works to keep your gun functional.  Oiling will cause rusting, which leads to jamming, improper firing, or air leaking. Let’s find out how to oil your nail gun.

Steps to Oil the Nail Gun

  • Switch off the nail gun’s power or remove the batter for battery powered nail guns. If you are using a pneumatic type, then air off the device and release the pressure valve before disconnecting it from the air compressor.
  • Remove all the pins from your nail gun for safety measures. It is irrespective of whether it is in the cartridge or chamber, but ensuring safety from a particular accident and oiling the tool quickly.
  • Set your nail gun in the upright position, which is the best position for oiling the tool. Hold your machine with one hand and use the other to lubricate your nailer. Apply the oil in all the necessary parts.
  • You have to connect your nail gun to power and pull the trigger several times to allow the oil to spread.  With keen observation, you will note the oil is coming out from your pins. If the oil is dirty, you have to oil your nail gun again and continue the process until the oil is clean.
  • Oiling the nail gun magazine can adhere dirt and dust to it, and this may cause it to jam. Therefore, it is wise to avoid oiling it.

Some critical areas that need to oil nail gun include:


Your device fails if the trigger gets stuck, you mustn’t let that happen. The device’s performance and your speed in getting the work done rely on the trigger, not jamming. Check the trigger routinely to ensure it moves at the right pace, and if anything is amiss, you can oil it or tighten the screws.

Feed System

Frequent cleaning keeps this part in good condition. Oiling is also easy, but ensure you don’t leave debris using the right type of oil.

Air Fitting

It is the central part that requires regular oiling for the best performance of your nail gun. If using your nail gun daily, then oil it every day.  At least two drops are enough to get your gun working for long hours until the next time you oil your nail gun.

Draining your air compressor to ensure it delivers air with less moisture will also make your nail gun lubrication efforts worthwhile.

Why You Should Oil the Nail Gun

Oiling is vital to the nail gun as it has moving parts that require lubrication for smooth movements. Nail guns have a piston that moves along a blade and puts the nails through. Like any moving part, it needs oiling to run correctly, reduce friction, and keep it accurate.

 If you fail to oil, then the moving piston’s friction will increase and gradually reduce the smoothness due to abrasion. Oiling helps reduce heat, which occurs due to the rapid firing of a nail gun. Other reasons for oiling include;

  • Removing build-up on components
  • Preventing rust build-up
  • Creating smooth starts and stops
  • Preventing moisture build-up
  • Removing sludge and calcium deposits
  • Preventing O-ring breakdown

How Often Should You Oil the Gun

The frequency of oiling your nail gun depends on the tool’s specs and the application of using it. The best practice is to oil regularly for high-speed, high-cycle applications. For every cycle, there is the air that passes, and that’s why the tool needs oiling.

Manufactures recommend often oiling throughout the day rather than applying excess oils at the end of the day. It’s best to oil the gun at least 2-3 drops at the start of every shift.  If you store the tool for a long time without using it, you should oil it before using it.

What is the Best Oil for the Nail Gun?

Use the type of oil that’s recommended in the user manual for your nail gun. Using the wrong kind of oil destroys some parts of the nailer like the rubber seals, creates corrosion in the moving sections, or even combustion.   If you have a pneumatic nail gun, then you should use pneumatic oil only.

However, depending on your gun type, use different oil for the winter or summer season. Special oils have formulations for colder regions that contain antifreeze to keep the oil from solidifying.

Look for best-quality oils, easy to apply, combat rust, resist blowout, dissolve gunk, and won’t harm your rubber seals. It’s best to avoid using WD-40, compressor oil, three in-1 oil, or those lubricants not explicitly designed for pneumatic tools.

Be keen not to spill any oil on the floor. If you do, you can use our guide on cleaning oil stains to restore your garage floor


Oiling a nailer gun is an easy maintenance practice that you should carry out for your device. It’s an easy practice that only takes less of your time in a day. If you fail to oil it, the tool will rust and fail to function correctly.