How To Oil A Nail Gun (5 Easy Steps)

If you are not regularly use oil in nail gun. It will also cause unnecessary wear on its components and potentially cause corrosion.

We use nail guns in construction and other industries to drive nails into hard surfaces. These tools work by using an air compressor to shoot out a nail with compressed air, but they need to know how to oil a nail gun.

Many people use these nail guns without regularly lubricating them, which can cause serious problems for their companies. They also risk damaging the tool by neglecting its maintenance needs.

To avoid all those problems, simply put a few drops of nail gun oil into your tool before using it every day for best performance and maximum efficiency from your cordless nailer. 

Nail Gun Oil

The nail gun has a thin oil that lubricates its moving parts. With the use of this tool, you can work faster and more efficiently without worrying about any damage.

The oil is designed for your nail gun, and it will extend its life. One thing that you might need in your toolbox is nail gun oil. When used correctly, it can help protect your nails and prolong their life span.

Why Nail Gun Needs Oil

We all know that nailer has pistons which help the nails to go through woods. The pistons are moving parts, and they will cause frictions while working.

Therefore, regular oiling is necessary if you want to reduce the friction of those pistons. That is because, with less friction, the nail gun will work accurately.

Without oiling or cleaning the nail, it will build moisture inside the gun and damage the metal parts. The best option is to use daily oiling for your nail gun.

Each time we fired the nail it travels at high speed through a metal tube that connects to the compressor.

This tube has an O-ring seal at each end. Over time, these seals can dry out and lose their elasticity causing air leakage around the tip of your nails as they pass through this section of tubing.

This results in wasted air, loss of power and overheating which can lead to premature failure of your tool’s motor or other components like switches or wiring harnesses.

Types of Oils for Nailers

Selecting proper nail oil is the most crucial part because the wrong oil can damage the gun or reduce the lifespan. Any wrong type of oil cannot provide proper lubrication to the nailer.

Sometimes the ingredients can cause corrosion or combustion. The suitable oil will allow the smooth movement of the pistons.

This applies for all kinds of nailers like pneumatic nail guns, framing nail guns, finishing guns.

Many people recommend using transmission fluids, motor oil, or compression fluid. But they will harm your nailer instead of doing well.

Hence, follow the user manual on which you will find their recommended oil or lubricants.

Depending on the weather condition, nailer oils will also vary. In summer and winter, you cannot use the same oil in both seasons.

But nail gun owners recommend another type of oil. These are 5W non-detergent motor oil and 30W non-detergent oil, which are effective and affordable. 

Where Should You Oil

There are some specific areas of a nailer where you will need regular lubrication to maintain its performance. Trigger, feed system, and air fitting are the critical internal components. Hence, you should continue regular maintenance of these parts.


Trigger jam is a common problem for many nailers. You should check the triggers in your daily maintenance. It is because it ensures the speed that you would need to shoot the nails.

Feed System

If you don’t use nail gun oil regularly in the feed system, there will be debris in this section. Then the nails won’t be shoot properly from these power tools. It can also break the shooting function or damage the nail gun.

Air Fitting

This is the part where you need a regular lubrication schedule. It is necessary to keep the air fitting under proper lubrication. A couple of drops of lubricant will last till the next use of your gun. You cannot even work with your gun due to a lack of lubrication in air fitting.

How To Oil A Nail Gun

If you follow these steps with proper lubricating tools, you will easily complete oiling your nail gun.

Step 1) Turn off your nail gun

First, turn off the power of your nail gun. But if it comes to a pneumatic nail, turn off the air tool and release pressure from the pressure valve. Otherwise, follow the first trick which is for all common nailers.

Step 2) Remove the nail from the gun

Now, it is time to remove the nails from the gun. You might have a pin nailer. It has smaller kinds of nails, then why would you need to remove them. Well, it is for your safety or to avoid accidents.

Step 3) Place the gun in the upright position

Then you have to place the gun in the upright position. It is the best way to oil a gun. Then put oil into the critical parts of your gun. You can hold the gun in one hand and apply 4-5 drops of oil with the other hand.

Step 4) Power up gun again

Power up your gun and pull the trigger to let the oil spread out all over the gun. If you notice dirty oils coming from inside, you need to clean them with clean tools. Repeat the process until you see the oil clean.

Step 5) Recheck the gun

Recheck the parts of oiling. You might think, why not use oils for nail and nail magazines? That’s a terrible idea. It is because the oil will catch dirt, or the magazine might get rust. Hence, try to avoid it. 

Now, you can use your oiled nail fun easily and enjoy your work. 

How Often Should You Oil Your Nail Gun

The answer will be based on your use. Did you get confuse? Let us explain then.

Suppose you are a carpenter and you have to use your air nailer every day. Then the best option is to oil the nailer right before starting your work and at the end.

Don’t worry about wasting oils because it won’t cost a bottle of oil. Just a few drops can do the trick. 

Usually, tool lubricant or oil is not much costly. But simple maintenance will save your precious gun. If you do not want to use your nail daily, then it is a must oil the gun before using it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Important Is It To Oil A Nail Gun With Every Use?

If you oil your nailer after every use, it will allow your gun’s smooth and proper functioning. Every type of nailer needs to lubricate its joints and other parts.

Without proper cleaning and oiling, many-particle will be stuck inside the gun. It may lead to the degradation of the tool or any component of the tool.

Suppose you ignore oil your gun. In that case, the friction will gradually damage the parts through abrasion and reduce smoothness. It could be the reason for tool failure.

If you think you would buy some oil-free tools, know that they will take a massive bite from your wallet. Wouldn’t it be wise to use oils in the nail gun to keep it fit rather than buying oil-free nail guns?

What are the Oil-Less Pneumatic Tools?

There are many oil-less tools out there. The most common ones are BOSTITCH air compressor kit, California air tools, CRAFTSMAN, Kobalt, etcetera. You can also find some oil-free nailers on the market.

Where I’ll find the 16 Oz. Air Tool Oil?

You will find the oil in any hobby shops or E-commerce site. The lubrication from the oil will protect your tools.

Can I Use WD40 on My Nail Gun?

No, you can’t. WD-40 is like other transmission fluid or motor oils which is not suitable for your nailer. You might know it as a cleaner, but it won’t work as a lubricant for the nailers.

What Can I Use Instead Of Air Tool Oil?

You can use hydraulic oil instead of air tool oil. It will adequately do the job as long as the nail gun is truly dry. But other ATF will catch moisture and get corroded.

Do All Air Tools Need Oil?

Experts say that lack of oil and grease will be accounted most for damaging the air tools. Daily lubrication is recommended if the oil is suitable for the job. Others say that maintenance through lubrication is probably the best way to keep the functioning of the tool.

What happens if I don’t use tool oil?

The O-rings in the tool will dry up, causing the tool to malfunction. It will also cause unnecessary wear on its components and potentially cause corrosion.

What Oil Is Best For Air Tools?

Mineral oils, as well as synthetic oils, are the best choice for air tools. It is because petroleum lubricants will create a residue of gummy nature which will disintegrate your traditional tools. 

Can I Use 3 in1 Oil For Air Tools?

Yes, you use the 3in1 oil. A couple of drops of oil are enough for the tools. But excess oil will damage the tools. Otherwise, it will work just fine.

Can You Over Oil Air Tools?

If you are using pneumatic tool oil, it would be wise not to over-lubricate your tool. That is because extra oil will attract moistures and dust, which will damage them.

How Nails And Screws Are Held In Wood By Friction?

When the nails are driven inside the wood, the fibers bend and hold down the nails. The friction between the nail surface and fibers is enough to hold the shank of the nails.

If I Scratch My Scalp And Afterwards Look Under My Nails There Is This White Greasy Substance Is This Normal And How Can I Get Rid Of It?

Yes, that is pretty normal. It might be the sebum mix along with your dead skin cells.

You can get rid of the scalp by maintaining some regular use of shampoo and conditioner, clearing the brush regularly, using scalp removing products, or rinse thoroughly. 

Bottom Line

Nail guns are a useful tool to have around the house. In order for them to work properly, they require learning how to oil a nail gun!

The lubricant prevents friction between moving parts inside the tool while simultaneously displacing any moisture that could be present in order to prevent rusting and help.