DEWALT DCN660 Finish Nailer Problems

The advancement of tools and their talents and strengths is pretty remarkable in the time we’ve been involved in woodworking.  It was hammer and arm strength/fatigue we dealt with when I was framing back in the late 60s and early 70s.  The job still got done, of course, and houses were built and lived in, including my own.  And yes, we were tired when we went home at night.

Key Points:

  • Identify and record the symptoms so you can adequately diagnose a problem if you need to have your tool examined.
  • If you believe you can follow the manual that came with the DEWALT DCN660 to make your own repairs, do so, but don’t hesitate to use a licensed service center, too, if needed.
  • Be ready to enforce the tool’s warranty that you paid for when you bought it.

Today, framing and hanging plywood go a lot faster thanks to cordless framing nailers, of course.  Still fatigued, I imagine, but the job moves along much faster as a result.  My old friend, “Custom Cal, the carpenter’s pal,” would love to have had a finish nailer for his work as a finish carpenter, and at his 1970s price of $10 per opening, would have sped along in what he could accomplish in a single day.

Nail guns are cool, fast, and easy to use, except when they are not working.  That’s what we want to talk about today. In particular, we want to talk about the DEWALT dcn660 nailer and some of the problems and complaints we’ve noticed on Internet bulletin boards.

DEWALT and Its Line of Power Tools

DEWALT is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker.  It was formed in 1924, and its first power tool was a radial arm saw.  Its tools today are manufactured in the US and Canada, and it is known for producing high-quality, industry-leading tools.  

Its tools are at a higher price-point than most because of its reputation for high-quality tools.  Its cordless tools are powered by a Flexvolt system of battery packs that adjust voltage use automatically to meet the power needs at the moment.

DEWALT has a varied and extensive line of power tools, both corded and cordless, and among its offerings is the DEWALT DCN660 20v nail gun.  Lately, we have come across a number of bulletin board entries from owners/users of the nail gun and have looked into those complaints. 

We’ve moved away from nails somewhat as our woodworking skills have advanced (or at least such as they are, anyway), and don’t use this particular gun.  But, having used a cordless framing nailer in the past, as well as a finish nailer, we understand the nature of the complaints and questions and want to help.

Complaints About The DEWALT DCN660 Nail Gun

DEWALT 20V MAX* Finish Nailer, Angled, 16GA, Tool Only (DCN660B)

We’ve found a number of varied complaints and problems reported, and some of them involve replacing parts, while others involve what we consider to be regular and best practices power tool maintenance.  In no necessary order of importance or frequency, they include:

Faulty Drive Blade Functionality

The driver assembly of the nail gun houses the driver blade, the part that “drives” the nail into the wood.  If it becomes misaligned in some way, the gun will not push it against the head of the nail squarely, and the gun will malfunction.  If you are patient and can read manuals well, replacing the driver blade in the driver assembly is only a moderately difficult task.  The part is not expensive, but having a qualified repair service center take care of it for you will run a few bucks.

Check to see if there is a licensed service center near you and get a price; if the measure of pain you will experience replacing it yourself is less than the cost, pick up the part and DIY; if the pain will be greater, bring it to the service center for the work.

Jammed fastener

When the light on the DEWALT DCN660 begins to flash during operation, that’s a signal your fastener is jammed.  Of course, make sure the fastener is compatible with the tool (use the DEWALT-branded battery) and the fit is proper and tight.  

Less Than Complete Nail Depth

We should also mention too deep here and not simply not deep enough.  The DEWALT DCN660 has a depth adjustment dial.  Make sure it is set properly for your desired depth, depending on the nail you are using.  This can be as simple as a slight adjustment, frankly, so check this first.  The rest of the diagnosis, though, if the setting on the depth adjustment wheel is correct, might be a bit more than you will want to tackle.

That service center call might be needed again, at least for the diagnosis.

Jammed Nails

This one likely requires the DEWALT DCN660 to be opened up to un-jam the nail.  It’s sort of like the jammed piece of paper in your copier – you open up the machine, remove the jammed piece of paper, close it back up, and keep copying.  The manual that comes with the nailer will point you in the right direction on how to do this.  If it happens consistently, though, once again, you should keep that service center number handy.

A Faulty Magazine

Part of tool ownership is proper maintenance.  Faulty magazine performance may be nothing more than it’s dirty and needs a cleaning.  This should be a regular part of ongoing power tool care.  You run the risk of personal injury, whether from a saw blade, a drill, or a nail gun.  Follow the manual’s recommended cleaning suggestions, keep your power tools in good working condition, and these issues won’t arise for you.

Dirty Nails

Yes, dirty nails.  If you use dirty nails, you’ll get a faulty magazine.  Everything in your DEWALT DCN660, as well as in every other power tool, works together in unison to make the whole tool function well.  If you load dirty nails into your gun, you’ll clog the magazine; refer back to the previous section on faulty magazines, and you’ll see the point.  So, don’t use dirty nails.  Simple.

The Battery

It may seem obvious to state, but be sure you’ve checked the battery pack.  Your gun is not going to work with a dead battery pack.  Just as a test, install a fresh battery pack in the gun and give it a test.  If the gun still fails to work, then you can move on to other diagnostics.  It’s no different than making sure the toaster is plugged in, and the outlet isn’t faulty.  If you are still stumped, reach for that service center number and give it a call.

Warranty Claims for Your DEWALT DCN660 Nail Gun

We always stick our purchase receipts on a corkboard in the shop to keep them handy.  This enables us to know the date of purchase for all of our power tools so we can ascertain when the warranty began to toll.  

If your tool is still under warranty protection, don’t hesitate to contact DEWALT with your complaint and insist the warranty be honored.  It may mean having to send the tool to DEWALT for that warranty work, or it might involve taking the tool to a licensed service center for repair at DEWALT’s expense.  

You paid for the warranty when you purchased the tool, so you should not hesitate to get your money’s worth for that investment.  

Video Review of the DEWALT DCN660

For those of you not familiar with this particular tool, here’s a review from one of us – a woodworking enthusiast in his home woodworking shop.  We could have chosen a repair video, but thought it would be better to introduce you to the tool itself with a first-hand review.

Check the obvious first – the battery.  Give the tool a good cleaning, and make sure the nail racks you load are also clean.  Then, dig in deeper with the manual handy.  Finally, don’t hesitate to use the service center for at least a diagnosis, if not the actual repair work itself.  It might help save your tool.

4 thoughts on “DEWALT DCN660 Finish Nailer Problems”

  1. I have a DCN660B and the tension spring that goes into the magazine to feed the nails is bent and causes frequent jams. I don’t have a service center around my area and have tried to buy a new tension spring but there is no part number for it. I ordered a whole new magazine because I was told it came with the spring and pin that holds it into the magazine but I was told wrong. I purchased it through service net and I would definitely not recommend using them ever. Can’t get anyone to contact me back and when they do it’s the same email about looking at the diagram and finding the part number which doesn’t exist. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


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