Milwaukee m18 framing nailer problems and troubleshooting

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We shall look at how to troubleshoot the popular Milwaukee m18 framing nailer problems (the most basic) in this guide..

Read it to the end if you have been having some Milwaukee m18 framing nailer issues and you want to try and repair the nailer yourself (you’re probably out of warranty):

Milwaukee m18 framing nailer problems and troubleshooting

The first problem we shall look at in this Milwaukee m18 framing nailer troubleshooting guide is the issue of not sinking nails


M18 30 framing gun not sinking nails

Sometimes the gun won’t sink nails in even if you are nailing in soft pine.
I have to say that you must begin by checking the battery charge because the problem is, 90% of the time, due to low battery power.

So pop in a new battery and see if the issue will be solved.

Otherwise, this problem can be due the following:

Incorrect depth setting

The other potential reason is incorrect depth of drive always have to adjust it according to  the size of nail and the work-piece material.

If you suspect that this might be the issue, turn the nailer’s depth selector (the little black dial just above the trigger) right or left to decrease or increase the driving depth.

Keep turning it either way you get your desired depth.

Un-recommended nails

Next, check your nails again because these nail guns don’t work well with most off brand nails.

You want to be sure that you’re using designated framing nails (including the right angle) as Milwaukee recommends.

Leaked nitrogen or Failing seals

It is also likely because the nitrogen in the gun’s sealed compressed nitrogen cylinder has leaked (the seals could be failing).

When that happens, your nailer is likely to have just sufficient oomph to drive its striker but not good enough to properly drive a nail.

The sad part is that it is not very easy to fix the nailer’s sealed nitrogen system and you need to send it for fixing at an authorized Milwaukee nail gun repair place (if you are no longer under warranty).

Otherwise, the warranty department at Milwaukee usually replaces the entire nitrogen canister assembly once you send it to them (if your warranty is still valid).

Side Note: The nail could just be in need of recharging (yes, if it’s not sinking nails all the way when it has warmed up, you may need to recharge the nailer). As mentioned, these Milwaukee guns are nitrogen-charged and it gets drained over time. The annoying bit is that up to now, you can only have it recharged at their service center (they, of course, replace the whole nitrogen cylinder thing, if defective)..

Battery wont charge

If the battery won’t charge –and you have the designated charger and battery packs- check the battery connection.

Needless to say, even a little rust on the contacts could prevent charging.

Also, if the battery keeps coming on despite having charged the battery fully, again clean the contacts (on its battery pack).


Milwaukee m18 nail gun not firing or constant nail jams

If you’re having constant misfires or proud nails, you could once more be using the wrong batch of nails.

Indeed, jams are the commonest causes of a nail gun not firing

There’s no workaround for this and your only solution is to put in correct fasteners.

Additionally, the driver mechanism could be in need of some lubrication and you can just pray WD-40 lubricant in there(you’ll have to open the nailer up)

Just to be clear, it is obvious that the nailer may not fire if the battery is low so I hope that you have already checked it for a possible low battery condition.

Resetting the striker

If after a jam or low-battery issue the striker does not reset, you will need to go ahead and reset the striker yourself.

Follow these steps:

  1. Remove the battery pack.
  2. Remove the fastener strip from the magazine.

Safety tip: Always point the nailer away from yourself (and others) when putting in or removing fasteners to avoid injury.

  1. Check for in-correct striker position.
  2. If it does not seem that the striker requires a reset, try to clear the jammed nail.
  3. Otherwise, to reset the striker, you re-install battery pack then hold open the fastener pusher (this overrides the Reload Indicator).
  4. You then press the work-piece contact against a work-piece and pull the trigger.
  5. The striker should now retract.

Be sure to test if everything is alright before restarting nailing.


Clean the gun

If the gun is firing but fasteners aren’t feeding, you should inspect your magazine.

You see, over a period of time, especially if you are working on sites with loads of sawdust and dirt, the magazine might become dirty leading to the feeder mechanism becoming stuck.

So try to clean it up with things like a nylon brush or canned air.

More about cleaning

Clean debris and dust from vents too- and you should always keep the handles clean as well as dry (you also do not want oil or grease on the handles).

I should add that you can just use a damp cloth and mild soap to clean these as some cleaning agents /solvents can harm the plastics or other insulated parts.


Milwaukee framing nailer red light

This most likely indicates that you need to reload the nailer.

Do so and retry nailing.


Milwaukee m18 framing nailer maintenance

Proper maintenance is key to having your tool operating flawlessly and avoiding the most basic Milwaukee m18 framing nailer problems.

Here is the suggested maintenance program for this nailer (nail gun, battery pack+ charger) according to the Milwaukee m18 framing nailer manual:

  • Periodically inspect it for any undue noise, mis-alignment/binding of the moving parts, breakage of parts, or other conditions that may hamper the tool operation.
  • After six months- 12 months(1 year) depending on how heavy is the use, return your nailer, the battery pack and the charger to your most convenient MILWAUKEE service center for inspection.
  • If the nail gun won’t start or run at full power and you have a fully-charged battery pack installed, clean the battery contacts.
  • If the tool starts to behave weirdly (showing a red light randomly, constantly jamming, making funny noises, etc),  return the set (nailer, charger, + battery pack) to your most convenient MILWAUKEE service center for repairs.

Fixing Milwaukee m18 framing nailer problems -Final thoughts

As I have mentioned above, you will need to send your nailer over to Milwaukee for further repairs if none of these solutions work.

In fact, do not attempt to repair it (and certainly you should not try to pull it apart) whatsoever if it’s still under warranty because you will void it.

Good luck and I hope that this helps!


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