How to Change 3D Printer Nozzles

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written by:

Updated January 18, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder how to change 3D printer nozzles. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers, and these models use high-grade nozzles to extrude filament and resin, though they require replacement over time. So how do the best 3D printers work, when should you change a printer nozzle, and how to do it? Keep reading to find out.


  • Printer nozzles extrude resin and filament to create high-quality 3D models and physical objects.
  • Change out nozzles when the old one malfunctions during a 3D printing job or if you want to try out a new shape or nozzle size beyond the stock nozzle.
  • The process here is rather simple, requiring just channel locks/heater blocks and a crescent wrench.

How Do 3D Printers Work?

Before diving into the world of nozzles, it is helpful to learn how printers work, such as learning how to connect a 3D printer to Cura. These printers make 3D models using filament and resin, so you might want to learn how to change 3D printer filament. The filament is extruded via the printer nozzle even if you just learned how to 3D print metal.

Insider Tip

When heating up the nozzle for removal, don’t overheat. Just heat it up slightly to avoid any burns.

The filament extrudes onto a print bed, layer by layer, until the object is created. This print bed attracts plenty of debris, so be sure to learn how to clean a 3D printer.

When to Change the Printer Nozzle?

Printer nozzles are constantly extruding various filaments and resin, so they can certainly get gummed up and malfunction over time. If you notice the nozzle is not performing that well and cleaning is not solving the issue, it is time for a replacement. Also, printer nozzles come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to suit different print jobs, so swapping out the nozzles is necessary in these cases as well.

How to Swap 3D Printer Nozzles

Much of this process depends on your actual printer and the nozzle itself, but we have tried to keep these steps as universal as possible.

  1. Read the instructions and gather tools – Each printer is unique and may require unique tools to complete this process, so read the instructions. In most cases, you will need some channel locks and a crescent wrench.
  2. Heat it up – Heating up the nozzle slightly will make it easier to remove, and this tends to loosen the thread.
  3. Remove the old nozzle – Use the channel locks to grip the nozzle and the wrench to twist it for removal.
  4. Install the new nozzle – Install the new nozzle according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You may need the wrench to tighten it as a final step.

STAT: While most stock nozzles are brass and have a 0.4mm diameter, nozzles come in a huge variety of materials and sizes. (source)

Changing Nozzles FAQs

How do I choose the best nozzle size?

This depends on your printer and what you are looking to print. Installing an improper nozzle, no matter the size, will only lead to issues later on.

Why change the nozzle?

If your current nozzle is experiencing issues, purchase a pack of nozzles and some nozzle wrenches, and swap out to a spare nozzle. This will ensure you can keep on printing. You may need a pair of pliers for the installation process.

Are expensive nozzles worth it?

If your printer can integrate with them, high-priced nozzles like brass nozzles are worth it as they resist abrasive materials and allow for a wider variety of nozzle size settings and nozzle heat settings.
Lawrence Bonk Profile image