Nail gun nails not going all the way in [Fixed]

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We all want our nailers to drive fasteners flush with wood.

So, what should you do if your nailer is unable to fully sink the nails?

Well, in this post, we will be looking at exactly what to do if your nail gun is not driving nails all the way in.

Let’s dive in:

Nail gun nails not going all the way in [causes and recommended solutions]

We shall begin by looking at some of the general problems that can cause your nailer not to flush drive your nails.


Depth adjustment set too shallow

This is typically the first thing you should check.

You see, nailers come with a depth adjustment knob that allows you to set how deep you want nails to be fired and if it is set to shallow, it could result in your nail gun not sinking nails.

Now, to change your depth adjustment, first locate your depth adjustment knob/slide(check your owner’s manual but it’s mostly found on the nose of the nailer).

And perhaps the best approach is using a scrap piece of lumber to test drive your nails as you make adjustments until you achieve perfect nail depth.


Air pressure delivered to the gun could be the issue

The recommended air pressure for nailers is usually between 70 and 120 psi.

Indeed, anything less than 70 psi will not provide enough force for the nailer to drive in the nail.

So verify that your pressure is within this range.

That aside, the fact that your air pressure is in this range does not necessarily mean it will sink the nails all the way.

That’s because other variables – think of the length of your fasteners and the hardness of your lumber- could cause a problem.

To be clear, the longer the fasteners, the more the air pressure needed to flush drive it.

Subsequently, slowly increase your air pressure as you test the nailer on a scrap lumber until your nailer starts to drive in the nails completely.

Likewise, the harder the wood, the more the air pressure the tool will require for a flush driven nail.

Now, what happens when you reach 120 psi yet the nailer isn’t flush driving the nail?

This simply means that you need a more powerful nailer.

In other words, the nailer you are using isn’t suited to fire into lumber that hard.


Low battery charge or damaged battery (cordless nailers)

As we have previously seen, nailers do require significant power to flush drive the nails.

So, if you are using a cordless nailer, it could be that your battery is low on charge or even faulty(meaning that your nailer isn’t getting enough power to sink nailers).

To fix this, first fully charge your battery and then continue nailing.

If this doesn’t fix it, you will have to check whether the battery is faulty.


Using wrong nailer for wrong purpose – material too hard

There are hundreds of nailers available.

Not only is each nailer made to fire specific fasteners but also to fire on specific materials.

In short, nailers are designed with specific projects in mind.

For instance, brad nailers are made for delicate works such as molding and trimming.

On the other hand, framing nailers are made with tougher tasks- such as framing- in mind.

For that reason, if you use a nailer on a surface not meant for it, it might be difficult for it to drive in your nails all the way.

A good example is if you’re trying to use a finish nailer for framing- chances are it won’t be able to drive your nails much into the lumber.

So it’s important to be sure that you’re using the right nailer for your project.


Nailer not firmly pressed to the workpiece

Nailers are also made with user safety in mind and wont fire strongly if not firmly pressed to the work surface.

With that in mind, you might want to firmly press your nailer to your surface then see if it will sink your nails deeper.

Fast firing with a thin hose

At times, you might be firing your nails at fast speeds.

The thing is if you are using a thin hose to deliver your air, the nailer can fail to powerfully fire your nails due to the insufficient air pressure(for fast driving).

Here you should replace your air hose with a thicker hose.

In a nutshell, shift to a thicker hose for fast/bump firing modes.


Damaged or worn driver blade tip

Due to frequent use, your driver blade tends to eventually wear out, causing firing problems including failure to sink nails.

So disassemble the nailer and check if the driver blade is worn-out or damaged- replace it(with a blade meant for your nailer), if yes.


Nail gun nails not going all the way in – how to troubleshoot the issue on specific nailers

Dewalt nail gun not sinking nails

Dewalt dcn692 not sinking nails

First try the above steps.

If they don’t work, you can try the following:

  • If you are using your nailer with the no-mar tip in place, remove it and then try firing.
  • The Dewalt dcn692 will tend not to fully sink long nails if used in bump mode. Therefore, for long nails, select and fire using the sequential mode.
  • The nailer is not yet run-in. According to Dewalt, a new dcn692 requires firing between 500 and 1000 nails before the parts mash and wear in together. Therefore, if your dcn692 is pretty new, you can be firing shorter nails before achieving this threshold.

Dewalt dcn660 not sinking nails

First, try troubleshooting it as discussed above.

Otherwise, disassemble your nailer to check whether your driver/return assembly is worn or damaged- you need to replace them, if so.

Dewalt brad nailer not sinking nails (brad nails not going all the way in)

First, you will want to troubleshoot it as above.

If they do not work, disassemble your nailer and then locate your driver and return assembly(check your manual).

Check if any on them is damaged or worn-out and replace accordingly.


Paslode nail gun not sinking nails (Nail gun nails not going all the way in)

Now, if you have tried all of the above troubleshooting options and still nothing works, the best step to take is to take your Paslode nailer to a reputable repair person or an authorized Paslode service center.

Ridgid cordless nailer not sinking nails / Ryobi nail gun not sinking nails / Hitachi nail gun not sinking nails

The troubleshooting options above should help.

If not, take you nailer to an authorized Ridgid / Ryobi / Hitachi service center for further repair.

Nail gun nails not going all the way in – wrapping it up

If your nailer is still under warranty, avoid disassembling it no matter what as this would void its warranty.

Instead, contact your manufacturer or their local dealer for further assistance-they may even replace your nailer if it’s faulty.

P.S: Be sure to properly maintain your nailer as this prevents some of the problems we have discussed above.



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