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General troubleshooting

Some common causes and corrective actions for common power tool issues.

Pneumatic tools

Air leakPoor inlet connection when tool is runningApply pipe tape to fitting
Leak is coming from toolCheck throttle seat and valve
Tool runs ON
No air enters the toolBlocked screenRemove fitting and gently clean screen
Tool runs slowly or not at allDry and/or stuck vanesOil. Operate in short bursts
Locks up or stalls at free speedAir motor is damagedLook for damaged vanes, bearings or scored motor surfaces
Locks up or stalls under loadImpact/working mechanism is damagedLook for broken, cracked, or worn parts in the impact mechanism

Impact wrenches

Runs slow or free speed is reducedAir motor is dry, worn, or scoredReplace vanes and bearings and llok for scored metal surfaces
Runs well at free speed but locks up under loadBroken impact mechanismInspect anvil and hammers
Noisy under loadWorn hard parts
Losing power but runs well at free speedImpact mechanism is worn or needs lubricationInspect anvil and hammers and lubricate
Sockets fall offImpact mechanism is wornReplace anvil clip and ring


Motor spins but drive turns erractically or not at allWorn teeth on yoke or pawlReplace head kit and/or yoke
Tool tension is looseReplace worn tension springs or add or replace wave washers


Motor runs fine but chuck does not hold stillSeal is brokenLoosen a few threads, apply Loctite, and retighten
Motor runs slow with little powerDry and/or worn motor partsOil or replace vanes and bearings
Drive is locked upBroken gears and/or motor vanesInspect and replace parts as needed


Tool runs slow and wheel can be stopped by handAir motor dry or worn outOil and/or replace vanes and bearings
Excessive noise and vibrationGears and/or bearings are worn or damagedReplace gears and/or bearings


Excessive vibration under loadCheck for warped padReplace pad
Drive bearings are defectiveReplace drive bearings
Tool runs slow and/or stops under loadAir motor is dryOil the tool
Muffler is cloggedRemove and clean muffler and reduce muffler material if needed

Air hammers

Blows air but no hammer actionBarrel seal has brokenSpray a small quantity of parts cleaner down barrel and hold trigger to blow out
Tap piston free with a long punch
Bit stuck in nozzleCarefully unthread barrel, inspect valves, add Loctite, and tighten

Cordless/battery powered tools

Motor runs well but no output rotationBroken drive partsInspect and replace parts
No motor actionWeak battery chargeCheck Battery
Broken motor or switchReplace motor assembly and/or switch

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