How To Fix Power Tools
August 13, 2013 | 2:51 pm CDT
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Portable power tool repairs can be pricey. “Taking power tools to a repair center is almost as expensive as buying a new tool, and sending them to the manufacturer can take weeks,” says David Fairbanks, CEO of “Repairing them yourself is the most affordable option.”

But repairing it yourself can be daunting. Fairbanks offers some tips on common breakdowns that are relatively easy to fix.

“The hardest part of a repair is diagnosing the problem,” Fairbanks says. “Once you know what’s wrong, you can order the appropriate part and follow online repair tutorials.”

When diagnosing a tool for repair, think of it as a group of systems. Most tools will consist of an electrical system and one or more mechanical systems. Most electrical problems can be solved by doing a few tests with a multimeter. “By taking a few voltage and continuity tests, you can isolate the faulty part,” says Fairbanks. “When looking at the various mechanical systems, look for signs of wear, bearing condition and proper lubrication. Also look for damage such as cracked castings or bent parts.”

A planer, for example, “has a basic electrical system consisting of incoming power, a switch and a motor. Your planer will also have a few different mechanical systems such as the feed rollers, a cutter head and a table raising system. Isolate in which of the systems the problem exists.”

Among the most common parts needing replacement on woodworking power tools are switches, power cords and motor brushes.

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