Learn How To Load Porter Cable Nail Gun With A Few Simple Steps

If you have ever wanted to know how to load a Porter Cable nail gun, this is the article for you. We will go over all of the basics that you need to know in order to get started. This guide is perfect for beginners who have never loaded a nail gun before.

Porter Cable nail guns are one of the most popular types of nail guns on the market. They are known for their durability and reliability. Many people choose to use Porter Cable nail guns because they are easy to use and they are very versatile.

How To Prepare For Loading A Porter Cable Nail Gun?

Choose The Right Tools:

In order to load a Porter Cable nail gun, you will need to have some basic supplies. These supplies include:

  • Nail Strips (As per manufacturer’s recommendation)
  • A Porter Cable nail gun
  • Power supply/Air compressor
  • Safety glasses (with side shields)
  • Ear protection

Once you have gathered all of your supplies, you are ready to begin.

Choose The Right Size Nails:

The first step is to choose the right size nail for your project.

Usually, Porter Cable pneumatic framing nail gun uses 21-22 degrees round head plastic collated framing nails that are 2 to 3-½ inches (50-90 mm) long and 0.113–0.148 inches (2.87–3.76 mm) in diameter. You can use Grip-Rite or Senco framing nails in the Porter Cable nail gun.

Never use any rusted or dirty old nails. It may cause a jam to the nail gun.

Check The Checklist Below:

After choosing the right kind of nails, you have to check the following points carefully.

  1. Read the “Important Safety Instructions” of Porter Cable nail guns completely before starting to load fasteners or use them to ensure your safety.
  2. Prior to usage, confirm that the air compressor tank has been thoroughly drained. Condensed air may cause the nail gun’s interior components to rust.
  3. Lubricate the tool with pneumatic oil that is recommended by Porter Cable or SAE-20 grade non-detergent oil. Never use any additives or detergent oil in your tool as they may harm the O-rings.
  4. Check to see if there are any fasteners on the tool tip or the magazine.
  5. Verify that the contact trip is effective and efficient. If you discovered the contact trip constrained in the activated position, refrain from utilizing a tool.
  6. Verify that all of the parts are in good working order, that there are no audible leaks around the valves or gaskets, that the air compressor pressure is within the acceptable range, and so on.
  7. Keep the space where you’ll be working tidy and clear of debris.
  8. When the tool is connected to the air supply, the tool driving mechanism may cycle. So, before loading fasteners, connect the tool to the air supply to avoid an unintended fastener discharge during the hookup.

Take Proper Safety Measures:

After performing all checks, it’s time to put attention to your personal safety. Let’s follow the following precautions for your personal safety.

  • Put on safety gear including eye and ear protection, gloves, and a helmet. Wear eye goggles with side shields to get complete guard from the flying plastic particles.
  • Do not cover the nail discharge area of the tool with your fingertips while loading or adjusting the nailer.
  • Never aim the nail gun tip at yourself or your co-workers. Do not horseplay with it.
  • Always disengage the tool from the air supply or other power sources while loading unloading or doing any adjustment work.
  • Do not attempt to load the nail gun by keeping the contact trip or trigger activated.

Once all check is complete, the next step is to load the porter cable nail gun.

Read Also: What is the best framing nailer for home improvement projects?

Steps Of Loading A Porter Cable Nail Gun

Loading nails into the Porter Cable 22° plastic collated framing nailer is a simple task. Nothing but practice the methods for loading a nail strip below and adhere to the safety recommendations and pre-preparation indicated above.

Step 1

Assumed, you’ve already unplugged the tool from the air supply or taken the battery pack out and checked the magazine for fasteners. Hold the tool now with the front facing down.

Step 2

Insert the nail strip through the T-shaped opening of the magazine which is located at the end and past the nail stop (you’ll not be required to pull the pusher latch before entering the nails like other nail guns). To avoid damaging the gun, make sure the nails are pointing in the appropriate direction. You can load two complete strips in the Porter Cable framing nailer magazine if it is in full empty condition.

Step 3

Pull the pusher latch up to the end of the magazine and release it. The pusher stop will fall behind the nail strip automatically. As the pusher is spring-loaded, it will push the nail strips forward to the nosepiece and tightly hold them in place.

In order to complete the process, connect the air supply and turn on the contact trip or trigger.

Note: Avoid allowing the pusher to snap forward into contact with the nail strip as this could harm the nail collation.

Read Also: How To Load A Dewalt Cordless Nail Gun?

Steps Of Loading A Porter Cable 16 Gauge Nail Gun

Usually, all Porter Cable pneumatic finish nailers follow the load and lock method. It is very simple to cope with, however. Follow the steps below for that.

Step 1

Lock the trigger mechanism. It is located just above the trigger assembly. To stop the gadget from activating, turn the switch in the right direction. Disconnect the tool’s air supply as well.

Step 2

Insert the fastener stick through the nail slot located rear of the magazine. Use your thumb to move it forward.

Step 3

Pull the pusher up to the end of the magazine and gently release it. It will then automatically push the fasteners forward and hold them snugly for firing.

Steps Of Loading A Porter Cable 18 Gauge Nail Gun

You can load a Porter Cable 20v 18 gauge nail gun by simply following the steps listed below –

Step 1

Press the knob on the pusher latch, and pull the magazine down.

Step 2

Insert a nail strip through the magazine’s side. Make sure the fastener points are positioned toward the front of the magazine, under the nail guide, and in the nail channel.

Step 3

Inverting the magazine will allow the nail strip to freely move in the direction of the tool’s tip. Push the magazine to close until it makes a click sound.

How To Unload Porter Cable Nail Gun?

Unloading a Porter Cable framing nailer is just the reverse of the process shown above. To unload a Porter Cable framing nailer –

Depress the pusher release and slide it all the way forward to the tip of the magazine.

Press the nail stop and slide the remaining nail strips toward the back of the magazine and remove them.

Check the nosepiece is clear of any fastener after unloading. You can do that by detaching the magazine from the nail gun by using a screwdriver.

Read Also: How To Load A Bostitch Nail Gun?

Troubleshooting & Maintenance Of Porter Cable Nail Gun

It goes without saying that you experience some difficulty using nail guns. But you shouldn’t worry. In order to ensure that you can use your Porter Cable nail gun without hassle, we’ll go over some of the most typical troubleshooting problems and regular maintenance procedures.

How To Unjam A Porter Cable Nail Gun?

Jam is caused when a nail becomes lodged in the nosepiece. You can unjam the nail gun by taking out the bent or trapped nail. You must first empty the magazine before you can remove the stuck nail. You can do that by going through the aforementioned unloading procedure. After unloading the magazine, remove the jammed nail by using a plier.

You must next disconnect the magazine from the tool if the jam still persists. To dismantle the magazine, remove the screws which are located at the head section and at the handle area. Then, use a plier if necessary to free the stuck or bent nail, and put the magazine back together.

How To Oil Porter Cable Nail Gun?

Lubricating a Porter Cable nail gun is rather a simple task. You have to just put 5-7 drops of Porter Cable pneumatic oil into the air fitting. Oiling your tool will help to keep the O-ring safe and fire nails smoothly.

However, do not use any detergent or additives to lubricate your tool. Only use Porter Cable pneumatic oil or SAE-20 grade non-detergent oil.

How Can I Prevent The Dry Firing Of A Porter Cable Nail Gun?

The Porter Cable framing nailer has an integrated low nail lock-out technology that stops the last four fasteners from being fired. Therefore, you won’t need to take any action on your own to stop the tool from firing dry.

What Daily Maintenance Should I do For Porter Cable Nail Gun?

You can get a smooth performance out of your Porter Cable nail gun by performing the daily maintenance listed below.

  • Every day, add 5-7 drops of pneumatic oil to the air intake.
  • Each day, drain the hose and tank of the air compressor.
  • After each usage, clean the pusher latch, magazine, and contact trip.
  • After regular use, check that all the nuts and screws are secure and that all the parts are in good shape.

Read Also: How To Maintain Your Pneumatic Tools In The Winter?


The process of loading a Porter Cable nail gun is not complicated. You can quickly understand the steps after going through the ones we’ve outlined above. This article also demonstrates routine maintenance procedures and problem-solving strategies so that you won’t run into difficulties while using your Porter Cable nail guns. We hope the conversation above was useful.

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Tushar Mirror

Toolsmirror is a group of co-fighters led by Engr. Tushar is dedicated to gathering information, analyzing & test various items, and releasing reviews on various woodwork and outdoor tools. Our mission is to provide our readers with the most up-to-date ideas and approaches, as well as reveal the genuine features that will assist them in selecting the best items for their professions and DIY projects.

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