Nail Gun Hammer Not Returning (Know Why And How to Fix It)

The nail gun hammer may get jammed because of a few issues. Identifying exactly what is causing the issue is the big problem here.

Are you worried about why your nail gun hammer not returning

There are two reasons that cause this problem. Either there is wear and tear in your trigger valve assembly. Your O rings may also be faulty in that case. Another reason could be that the driver cylinder is out of place and has been damaged. 

Once you identify which one is faulty, you can easily fix the problem at home. You might not even have to spend money at the repair store. Intrigued to know how to fix the issue? 

Then, read through the whole thing. It will only take a few minutes! 

Reasons Behind Nail Gun Hammer Not Returning

nail gun hammer not returning

Many of us don’t know how to properly use a nail gun. Due to mishandling, we often get it damaged. 

Oftentimes, the issues are very obvious and can be deduced easily.

As mentioned earlier, first we need to find out whether the trigger valve is faulty or the driver cylinder. Once we find that out, we just need to follow some steps to fix the whole thing. 

Many times, just oiling the nail gun helps get rid of internal jamming. For that, we need to pick good oils or lubes which would do the work efficiently. 

Here are some of the best products to help you choose from: 

These products will give you the best service possible. They are of high quality and provide excellent performance. 

Now, if lubricating does not do the thing, we need to follow other steps. Now the big question is, how can we identify which one is causing the problem?

What to do after we have successfully identified the cause? That one is broken down for you in detail in the next section! 

Reason 1: Trigger Valve is Faulty

The valve as well as the O rings have to be thoroughly inspected. We need to check for any wear on the rings. We also need to look for any cracks or splitting up in the plastic valves. 

If the trigger valve seems fine, then we need to move on to inspecting the driver cylinder. But if faults appear, then these problems need to be fixed. Let us look at how to do that in the next section. 


The trigger valve can be fixed in two simple steps. And even if the O rings are faulty, all of the parts can be fixed through these 2 steps. Now, let us look at them: 

Step 1: Replacing the Faulty Parts

The valve may appear undamaged. If at this point the trigger returns to its original place easily after firing, then only the O rings should be replaced.

However, if the trigger malfunctions, then the entire assembly has to be replaced. 

Step 2: Oiling And Placing the Replaced Parts

The new O rings need to be inserted into the valve body. With the help of a cotton swab, the rings should be oiled. 

If the entire assembly is replaced, apply oil to the rings on the new valve. The valve has to be fitted back into the nailer handle by properly aligning with the grooves. Make sure to press the valve all the way inwards. 

Then realign the whole thing and you would be good to go. 

Reason 2: Defective Driver Cylinder 

If you find no fault in the trigger valve,  check the driver cylinder thoroughly. The inspection process is completely the same as that for the trigger valve. 

In addition to those steps, also check the metal drivers. Look for grooves, rough edges, or bends in it. 


Replace either the O ring, the O ring, and cylinder or the driver and the O rings cylinder. Do this work according to the damage created in the parts. Oil the replaced parts accordingly. 

Then reinsert the cylinder into the gun. Realign the parts accordingly. Finally, reinstall the whole setup of the gun back to its original form. 

Checking these two factors would surely solve the issue. After the issue is solved, make sure that the gun does not get jammed. For that, regularly service the equipment. This can be done by opening the parts and lubricating them. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why is my nail gun only shooting air?

Answer: If there is an issue in the sealing of the O rings, this issue arises. You need the O ring to be stretched on the firing valve. Then you need to grease it. This would solve the issue and help you to properly run the tool.

Question: How do you fix a nail gun that won’t fire?

Answer: You need to check some very important aspects when this happens. The air supply needs to be inspected. The jam needs to be cleared. The tool needs its seals and O rings to be replaced. 

Question: Can you over oil a gun?

Answer: It is really great if you oil the nail gun regularly. But it won’t be a good idea if you over oil it. If you do that, then your nail gun would become too slippery. Also, it would keep leaking oil, making the situation all messy.  So, that would make it difficult to work with.

Wrapping Up

Now you know all about how to solve the problem of the nail gun hammer not returning. So, this would save you the money you would have to spend if you took it for professional repair. 

We hope that these solutions come in handy for you. But even if it does not, then don’t hesitate to take it to the mechanics. 

Let us know how it goes for you. Best of luck!

Kevin Smith

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