Why does my drill stop spinning?

Why does my drill stop spinning? - Fix It Cape Town


Drills are one of the most essential tools for any DIY enthusiast or professional. They are designed to provide power and precision for a variety of tasks, from drilling holes to driving screws. However, at times you may encounter a frustrating situation where your drill suddenly stops spinning during use. In this article, we will explore the potential reasons behind this issue, ranging from power problems to mechanical malfunctions. By understanding these causes, you can effectively troubleshoot and rectify the problem, ensuring your drill remains in optimal working condition.

Common Causes of a Drill Stopping During Use

1. Power Issues

  • Dead Battery: One of the most common reasons for a drill to stop spinning is a dead or depleted battery. If your drill doesn’t have sufficient power, it won’t be able to rotate the drill bit. Make sure to recharge or replace the battery as needed.
  • Faulty Power Cord: If your drill is corded, a defective power cord can interrupt the power supply, causing the drill to stop spinning. Check the cord for any visible damage or loose connections. Consider replacing the cord if necessary.
  • Tripped Circuit Breaker: If you are using a corded drill and it suddenly stops during use, there might be a chance that the circuit breaker has been tripped due to an overload. Check the breaker box and reset any tripped breakers if applicable.

2. Mechanical Problems

  • Jammed Drill Bit: A common mechanical issue that can cause your drill to stop spinning is a jammed or seized drill bit. This can occur if you’re drilling into a particularly tough material or if the drill bit is dull or damaged. Remove the bit from the chuck and inspect it for any signs of damage or wear. Replace or sharpen the bit as necessary.
  • Overheating: Continuous drilling can cause the drill’s motor to overheat, triggering a thermal overload protection mechanism that automatically shuts down the drill to prevent damage. Allow the drill to cool down before using it again. Consider using cooling measures such as a fan or intermittent drilling to avoid overheating.
  • Clutch Setting: Some drills come equipped with a clutch setting that allows you to adjust the torque level. If the clutch setting is too low, it may cause the drill to stop spinning under heavy resistance. Increase the clutch setting to allow for more torque and check if this resolves the issue.

3. User Errors

  • Improper Grip: Incorrectly holding the drill or applying excessive pressure can cause the drill to stop spinning. Ensure that you have a firm grip on the drill and are exerting a steady but not excessive amount of pressure.
  • Incorrect Speed/Drive Mode: Drills often feature variable speed settings and different drive modes for specific tasks. Using the wrong speed setting or drive mode for the task at hand can lead to the drill stopping during use. Make sure to select the appropriate speed and drive mode for the material and task you are working on.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How can I determine if the battery is dead or depleted?
A: If your drill suddenly stops spinning, remove the battery, and try using it with a different power source or charger. If the drill operates normally, the battery is likely the issue.

Q: How do I choose the correct clutch setting for my drill?
A: The clutch setting depends on the task you are performing. For drilling into softer materials, a lower clutch setting is appropriate. For driving screws or drilling into harder materials, a higher clutch setting is necessary. Adjust the clutch setting gradually until you find the right balance.

Q: What should I do if my drill bit is jammed?
A: If your drill bit is jammed, switch off the drill, unplug it (if corded), and carefully remove the drill bit from the chuck. Inspect the bit for any damage or debris, clean it if necessary, and replace with a new bit or a properly sharpened one.


A drill that stops spinning during use can be frustrating, but understanding the potential causes behind this issue allows you to troubleshoot and resolve it effectively. By addressing power issues, mechanical problems, and user errors, you can keep your drill in optimal working condition. Remember to always follow safety precautions and consult the drill’s manual for specific troubleshooting tips. With the right knowledge and maintenance, you can ensure a smooth and uninterrupted drilling experience every time.

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