6 Problems with Milwaukee Tools (Explained)

Milwaukee power tools Cutting of wood

Like any other company, Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation is always a subject of debate whether it offers quality products or not. One area that the company stands out is with the hand and power tools. 

Even though Milwaukee hand tools are very efficient compared to other brands, they sometimes face challenges that interfere with their operation. 

Here, we’ll focus on the problems that Milwaukee tools encounter. 

6 Problems with Milwaukee Tools

When you buy a Milwaukee tool, you might encounter some challenges. However, before you diagnose any potential problem, ensure you disconnect the tool from the power source. Below are some Milwaukee tool problems to look out for:

1. The Tool Won’t Start

Many online reviewers have complained that their Milwaukee power tools fail to start despite plugging them in the power sockets. If the tool isn’t starting, the cause of the problem could be a large electrical issue such as a short or part malfunction. 

  • Here, you can start by inspecting the power switch and its assembly to ensure it isn’t damaged. Water and heat damage can be potential culprits of power tools that refuse to start. You can employ a multimeter to test the voltage on the tool to determine whether power is flowing through the switch, cord, or parts of the tool. 
  • Dirt and dust accumulation in a tool can prevent it from working or starting. You should therefore consider checking springs and brushes. Brush channels that allow the routing of electricity can shorten or become worn over time. You should therefore check for any wear and replace the springs or brushes accordingly. 
  • A bad power cord will also stop your Milwaukee tool from starting. It can be linked to the fact that tears, kinks, or cust in a power cord prevent power flow to the power switch. You can assess this problem using a multimeter to determine whether the wire is broken or not. If it’s broken, you can replace it with a new one. 

2. Weakened Power

In this case, the power tool starts, but its power level is very weak to the extent that you’re better off using a manual tool. When your power tool’s power level becomes weak, the most likely problem is worn carbon brushes. You should therefore move with speed to replace the carbon brushes. 

Carbon brushes are carbon blocks that transfer current from the power source to the power tool’s motor. Carbon brushes are known to wear out with time, especially if the tool is used regularly. 

If your power tool lacks the strength or speed it should have and is losing power, it could indicate that you need to make a replacement. 

  • Just like a tool that refuses to start, you should check the carbon brushes for signs of damage or heavy wear. 
  • If the carbon brushes are fine, there could be damage to the rest of the assembly or your tool’s commutator. Signs that such parts are the root cause of the problem include buildup, melted insulation, and discoloration. 

3. Burning Smell

There have also been complaints about Milwaukee tools producing a burning smell, especially when something goes wrong. This can be attributed to a malfunctioning motor. Everything might still be spinning while the tool isn’t working. 

  • When the tool’s drive belt breaks, you’ll get a tell-tale burning smell, and the tool will stop functioning. In such a case, the motor might still be running. 
  • For other tools, including power saws, please check the capacitors and replace them if necessary. 
  • It could also result from your Milwaukee power tool overheating. Milwaukee motors emit some heat while in use. If you have been running the tool for long hours, there is a chance of overheating and causing a burning smell. For safety purposes, turn off any tool experiencing a burning smell and allow it to sit for almost 30 minutes before diagnosing the problem. 

4. Screeching Noise

While using some Milwaukee power tools such as drills, you’ll notice that they sometimes become loud. The high-pitched screaming or screeching noise is very irritating to the hears. 

  • If your Milwaukee tool starts making, you need to ensure that it’s well lubricated. You can check the manufacturer’s specifications for the best maintenance practice. 
  • Another tip for squealing tools is to check their gears. 

5. Sparks

In certain cases, you might notice your Milwaukee tools producing sparks. When such a situation happens, ensure you turn it off immediately. Avoid using power tools that are producing sparks before fixing them. 

  • The tool may be producing sparks due to debris or dust that has gotten into it. For instance, in the case of a drill, it might be due to sawdust. 
  • If the tool doesn’t have any debris or duct, remove the casing and inspect for heat damage. 

6. Chuck Problems

When a Milwaukee drill is running, the bit might get loose from the chuck. 

In such a case, you need to tighten the keyless chuck around the bit. There is also an option of replacing the keyless chuck. 

To successfully replace the chuck, follow this guide

What Do Reviewers Say?

A look at Amazon.com and Thegaragejournal.com confirms that Milwaukee tools are a trusted and reliable brand. 

Most of the Milwaukee products have a customer rating of 5 on Amazon. Additionally, tool owners at Thegaragejournal praise the company for its reputation in supplying high-quality power and hand tools. 

However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t negative reviews about the company’s products. You might encounter some of the challenges that we have highlighted above. When it happens, always feel free to ask for assistance from a professional. 


As we have seen, Milwaukee tools experience some problems that you might not know before buying the products. Some of these problems are capable of inflicting injuries. When you encounter or notice any problem with a tool, stop using it and have it fixed immediately.

Despite such problems, Milwaukee tools are among the most reliable products on the market. Apart from getting excellent service, you’ll also get a limited lifetime warranty, durability, and excellent customer support. 


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