Power tools work hard and go through a lot of wear and tear. Even if you maintain a regular maintenance schedule, you will eventually have to repair your power tools. First, you have to diagnose the problem. Then, once you know what is acting up, you have to choose the right replacement tool parts for your particular make, model and tool size. There are a handful of parts on your power tools that wear out or break down more often than others.
Checking these first can help save time when getting ready to repair your tools.
1. Power Cords
Power cords are vulnerable to a lot of wear and damage. The rubber insulation can become damaged or fray during use which then could expose the tool’s wiring. Exposed frayed wire is an electrical hazard and should be fixed or replaced immediately. A tool’s power cord may also become loose, or the cord protector may come off. When performing maintenance checks on your power cord, also be sure to check that the prongs on the plug have not become bent or loose.
Batteries are one of the most common replacement tool parts. Your cordless tool batteries will eventually need to be replaced, especially if you are running them every day. Heat will burn out your battery’s fuel cells. Allowing the battery to overheat or storing it in a high-heat area can cause it to burn out and die. Batteries also need some power in their cell to make a working connection with the charger. Therefore, if the battery runs out, it will likely need to be replaced.
3. Carbon Brushes
Replacing carbon brushes is very common among power tool repairs. They are the component that allows the electrical current to flow through the tool and to it’s rotating parts. Carbon brushes wear out naturally just from use. There are a few signs that your carbon brushes are just about done. Your tool may have trouble starting, run low or not start at all. Failing carbon brushes may also cause sparks inside the casing.
4. Drive Belts
Many motors use belts to operate. These are loops of rubber, like a stiffer rubber band, that circle two rotating shafts. The belt drives energy from one shaft to the other, which is what enables the power tool to run. Drive belts are common replacement parts because they deteriorate over time. They can also break down even if the tool is not in use for long periods of time. Since drive belts are made of rubber, they are prone to dry rot and become cracked and loose elasticity.
5. Power Switch
A bad power switch can keep your tool from starting or cause that on-again/off-again temperament when trying to turn it on. The power switch can burn out or wear out with use. You can usually check it by just removing the tool’s housing, though some tools may require a little digging. If your power switch needs replacing you should also check the wiring, which may also need to be addressed. Damage from heat may cause the switch to melt, burn or become discolored.
Bearings are what make the movement in your power tool possible. Your tool’s bearings will eventually wear out over time, just from standard use. Running your tool high or for anything other than its intended use could cause the bearings to wear out sooner. When bearings wear down, they may cause the tool to overheat, make high-pitched screeching noises or stop working altogether.
7. Accessories and Bits
When it comes to power tools, it is a given that their accessories will wear out. Saw blades and drill bits wear down through use until they just aren’t any good anymore. Sometimes they chip. Sometimes they snap in half. Sometimes they get lodged in a piece of wood, brick or concrete. Bits come made in several different kinds of materials. Be sure to choose the one that is right for the job at hand.
Making the Right Choice
When choosing replacement tool parts, be sure to research the right part for your particular tool. Choosing a replacement part that is not compatible with your tool could lead to further problems, safety issues and additional repairs. Contact your tool’s manufacturer if you have any questions about the right kinds or sizes of replacement parts you may need.