8 Ways To Fix Nail Gun Hammer Not Returning Problem

nail gun hammer not returning
nail gun hammer not returning

A nail gun or a Nailer is a tool that is used in order to drive nails into materials like wood. It is a commonly used tool around the world as it can act as a great replacement for hammers.

However, that doesn’t mean that it is all sunshine and rainbows with these power tools.

You will still need to be mindful of the basic maintenance and care requirements if you wish to get a good response out of this unit.

Otherwise, you will just be holding yourself back and won’t be able to get anywhere with the Nail Gun.

A basic understanding of the maintenance requirements will go a long way when it comes to keeping your unit in perfect condition.

So, we suggest that you spend a bit of time with an expert as he takes you over how to best manage the nail gun hammer.

Hopefully, you will be able to avoid situations like the Nail Gun Hammer not returning that way. 

How to Fix Nail Gun Hammer Not Returning?

As a nail gun is practically a power tool that runs on some sort of power source, you can potentially run into issues every now and then.

In fact, quite a number of users have been complaining about facing issues while using a nail gun. According to these users, their nail gun hammer is not returning.

Luckily, this issue can be fixed by following a few troubleshooting procedures. Using this article, we will be mentioning some of the most effective ways how you can troubleshoot this issue for good.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s get right into it!

  1. Set the Supply Air Pressure

air pressure

In case you are facing this issue, then one of the first things that you can try in order to resolve the problem is to set the correct supply air pressure.

Basically, you need to make sure that you have selected the air pressure that is within the specified pressure range as mentioned by your manufacturer.

If you haven’t, then your nail gun won’t be able to function the way it should.

  1. Ensure the Vents Are Clear


Another possible reason which could lead to your nail gun’s hammer not returning is that your vents are dirty.

It could also be that there’s something that is blocking the vents of the nail gun. As a result, the hammer inside the nail gun is having a hard time returning.

Whenever there is some sort of obstruction inside the vents, the resistance inside the piston automatically increases.

Due to the added resistance of the vents, the piston may start having trouble returning to its firing position.

  1. Try A New Trigger Valve


The issue might even be with the trigger valve if you’ve not been able to secure a response from the unit up to this point.

The situation with the trigger valve is not only hard to fix but also brings a ton of complications that will impact the airflow in the cylinder. 

So, if you’ve missed a few maintenance cycles, and the trigger valve seems to be in poor space, you will have to replace it accordingly.

To do that, you will first have to order a new valve that can be installed in the unit. 

From there, you can remove the roll pin on the trigger and then remove the valve itself. After that, you just have to install the new valve and adjust the situation with the roll pin.


It will not be a complicated situation, and fixing the unit will come easily to you. Keep in mind that some of the models will be screwed in, and you will have to remove the screws accordingly.

So, if you’re not able to find the roll pin, there is no need to get alarmed. Just get rid of the screws and then check up on the response from the unit one more time.

Ideally, all issues will be addressed right here, and the air pressure will be perfectly governed by the trigger valve.

So, be sure to check up on the condition of this component as you’re trying to figure out the issue.

  1. Use Lubricant


Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of lubricant to address the job. If you’ve not cleaned or lubricated the unit in a while and all of the hardware is in good shape, then a simple maintenance cycle will do the trick.

So, you will have to go about fixing the situation accordingly. All that you need to do here is to remove the grime and dust particles by blasting the unit with compressed air.

From there, you can check up on the response from the unit one more time to figure out the issue.

Once you’re sure about the situation with the dust and grime, you can disassemble the unit and then lube up the pivot points.

It will take a while, but you’re not left with many options at this point. So, be sure to go about addressing the situation accordingly.

clean wipe

After that, you need to wipe away the old lube and then use a decent lubricant from the market to use on the gun.

Some people make the mistake of using grease here, and that can mix up with dust to create more errors in the system.

So, be sure to keep that in mind and rely on some of the more robust options to figure out the right fit.

Hopefully, you will not have to worry about the same error with the piston not going back after this point. 

  1. Check For Leaking Gasket

nail gun

Next, you need to check the situation with the gasket to see if it is leaking.

The whole concept behind the functionality of this unit is that the nail gun will engage the nails in the chamber with air pressure.

However, if the gasket is leaking, there won’t be any air pressure to push the system. So, if you find there to be leaks or the gasket is worn, be sure to call for a replacement component.

The good thing is that it is not that hard to replace the gasket, and installing a new one will come pretty easily to you.

Hopefully, you will not have to deal with more complications from this point forward.

It all comes down to how you’re planning on addressing the situation, and you have to make sure that the pressure is maintained perfectly in the system. 

  1. Check the Driver O Ring

piston O rings

The piston O rings are an important part of the nail gun.

If the piston or hammer is not able to return to its original position once you have fired the gun, then there are chances that you may have set the O ring too tight or too loose.

In both cases, you can potentially run into issues while firing the nail gun.

One thing to note is that you have to use little to no force while trying to push the driver back. If it’s hard to push, try replacing the O ring or the lube.

Also, make sure that the driver isn’t bent in any way. Likewise, you may have to disassemble the gun in order to check whether you have broken the O ring or not.

  1. Check the Head Valve

nail gun hammer

One last thing you can check in your nail gun is the head valve which may have gotten stuck. If so, then you will have to manually free the valve. To do this, attempt to take off the cap.

Thoroughly check the head valve and make sure it isn’t stuck. If it is, then you will have to free it. While in the process, we recommend that you clean and re-lube it.

  1. Getting it Checked

repair man

If nothing seems to work for you, then your best bet would be to get it checked by a professional. Either call in a professional or try taking it to a repair shop.

Alternatively, you can also try contacting the manufacturer’s customer support.

The Bottom Line:

Is your nail gun hammer not returning? There’s no doubt that this can be quite annoying to deal with, especially when you are in the middle of driving nails.


Fortunately, there are a number of troubleshooting steps that can help in resolving this particular problem. We have mentioned each and every one of them in detail using this article.

If you are currently experiencing the same problem, then we highly recommend following the instructions that we have mentioned.

If everything goes well, it will barely take you a few moments to adjust and fix the unit.

However, that excludes the situation with hardware issues when you can’t seem to get any response out of the system. So, be sure to keep that in mind as you’re struggling with the unit.

warranty claim

All you can do about a damaged or defective unit is to call the dealer for a replacement. Most of the brands in the market bring a decent warranty status.

So, you will be able to forward a claim and get your hands on the new unit when the current device doesn’t respond well. 

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