Rebuild a Framing Nailer

New life for an old tool

Keep your framing nailer in top working condition and save time and money with a framing nailer rebuilding kit, which includes all the parts that commonly wear out.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Rebuild procedure

Nothing beats a top-quality nailer for cutting hours out of a framing project. But all that heavy-duty nailing depends on a handful of rubber O-rings. When they fail, your project grinds to a halt. You don’t have to wait a week for the shop to rebuild it. You can do the entire job yourself in about two hours and save money in the process. I’ll show you how to rebuild a Bostitch framing nailer with a master O-ring kit and a trigger valve assembly. If you have a different brand, don’t worry. The rebuild is similar for others.

Framing nailers usually fail in one of these ways: deteriorated O-rings that cause air leaks, a trigger valve that won’t fire, or a leaking cylinder seal or a worn driver bumper, which prevents the gun from making a complete stroke. A complete rebuild fixes all those problems. Buy the rebuild kit at a local service center or online. It’ll come with all the O-rings and seals. If you’ve put a lot of nails through your gun, buy new bumpers and a trigger valve at the same time. Then download the gun schematic from the manufacturer (bostitch.com, senco.com or, for Duo-Fast and Paslode brands, itwserviceparts.com).

Start the disassembly at the cylinder cap (Photo 1). Lay out the pieces on a spotlessly clean workbench in the order you removed them. Then remove the old O-rings using a blunt, straightblade screwdriver (Photo 2). Apply O-ring grease (usually included in the new kit) to the new rings, then replace the rings one at a time, matching each one to its replacement. Install the new bumpers, piston seals and piston stops and reinstall the cap. Then replace the trigger valve (Photo 3).

Prolong the life of your air nailer by using only nail gun oil.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Allen wrench

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Framing nailer rebuild kit
  • O-ring grease