How to Fix Orbital Sander Not Spinning Issues

An orbital sander is a power tool that is used on wood for polishing, reshaping, and many other purposes. Like many other power tools, this one is quite handy but also includes some technical issues.

One of the common technical issues for an orbital sander is that it stops spinning all of a sudden. There are some particular reasons for it. I have discussed them thoroughly in this article. So, if you are willing to know why is an orbital sander not spinning stick with me till the end.

Orbital Sander Not Spinning

How an Orbital Sander Works?

Before knowing about why your orbital sander is not rotating smoothly or at all, first you have to know which components are responsible for the spinning. Here’s a quick brief for you.

Orbital sanders are usually of three types. (a) Air Powered (b) Electric Powered, and (c) Orbital Floor Sanders. Among these types the air and electric powered are handheld. On the other hand, an orbital floor sander is a large machine that can roll.

However, the basic mechanism for any of these orbital sanders is that their sanding disc is spanned simultaneously. For spinning, they have a motor inside their bodies.

If you disassemble an electric orbital sander, you will find a few components inside. The main component is a motor that is connected to the power cord. The motor is inside a stationary housing.

But the rotor of the motor can rotate or spin to make the sander disc spin. The rotor has bearings connected to it. The bearings are rotated by the rotor and these bearings help the disc to spin.

For an air-powered or pneumatic orbital sander, the inside components are a little different. Here you will find a shaft which balances the rotor that has some blades on it. When air is supplied, it hits the blades, and the blades make the rotor rotate.

Just like I said before, the rotor is connected to some bearings, and the disc rotating mechanism for a pneumatic orbital sander is as same as an electric orbital sander. This is very important to know because if your orbital sander is not turning, you have a problem either in the rotor, the shaft or in the bearings.

Why is Orbital Sander Not Working or Stopped After a While?

Now that you are familiar with how the rotor (for electric orbital sander), the shaft (for pneumatic orbital sander) and the bearing (both air and Electric orbital sander) are responsible for the sander to spin, let’s see why is an orbital sander not rotating due to problem in the rotor, blades, and the bearing.

#1.The problem in the Rotor (for Electric Orbital Sander)

The rotor has wires winded inside it. These wires carry electricity which leads the rotor to rotate. However, if the voltage applied is too much or if the motor undergoes a heavy-duty work, these wires can get burned.

If for the above reasons the wire winding is burned, then the whole motor becomes useless. In this situation, the orbital sander will not spin at all. Because the burnt wires will resist electricity to pass through.
Electric Orbital Sander Rotor

#2.The Problem in the shaft (for Pneumatic Orbital Sander)

I have already said that the shaft balances the rotor and the bearings. The air hits the blades of the rotor to rotate the rotor. Sometimes, because of rust or heavy-duty operations, the shaft gets damaged. It gets bent in a certain shape, and the shape gets deformed.

Air Orbital Sander Shafts

For this reason, the shaft can no longer balance the rotor and the bearings. Hence air flow cannot affect much on the rotor or in other words, the rotor rotates slower than usual. This makes the orbital sander to stop spinning eventually.
Air Sander Rotor And Blades

#3.The problem in the Bearing (both air and Electric orbital sander)

The bearing located in the bottom plate is the one that helps the disc to rotate. Other than that there are more bearings inside the sander body. These bearings transmit force on the bottom bearing to rotate. However, if the bearings get damaged due to rust then the disc will not spin properly.

Usually, bearings get rusty when water enters the sander. It can also get rusty if it is not used for a long time and is exposed to weather where there is more humidity.

Air Orbital and Electric Orbital Sander Upper and Lower Bearings

How to Solve Random Orbital Sander Not Spinning Issues:

The main reasons for a sander not spinning are due to the problems in the bearing, the motor, or in the shaft. You can solve it by replacing these components. Here are a few ways to solve this problem.

#1. Replacing the Motor:

If there is a problem in the motor, (like I’ve said earlier), your sander will not run at all. If you have an electric orbital sander and if it stops spinning completely, this is an indication that the motor is not working at all.

In this case, you can disassemble the sander and replace the motor to make it work again.

#2. Replacing the shaft:

If you have a pneumatic orbital sander, and if there is something wrong with the shaft, the sander will stop spinning or sander will spin very slowly. In this case, you can replace the shaft to make your orbital sander work again.

#3. Replacing the Bearing:

The bearing is a common component for both an electric and a pneumatic orbital sander. When the bearing is damaged, the sander may or may not spin.

Even if it spins, the speed will be very slow. By disassembling the sander, you can see if the bearing is damaged or not. If it is damaged, you can simply replace the bearing with a new one.

Which Brand of Orbital Sander Causes the Problem?

There are many brands of air or electric orbital sander in the market and their functionalities almost same. For instance:

  • Dewalt
  • Ryobi
  • bosch
  • Milwaukee
  • Makita
  • Festool
  • Black & Decker
  • Porter Cable
  • Craftsman
  • Dewalt random orbital sander
  • Ridgid
  • SKIL
  • iBELL

More [if you know]

If you use other brands and face the rotating problem, you should try the above methods. So, you can repair any types of brands by replacing the motor, rotor, bearing and shaft.


My final tips for you would be to use the sander carefully so that the motor or the bearings don’t get damaged easily. Use the recommended voltage supply and also keep it safe from water or humidity. Even after being careful about these, damages can still occur. If so, I am sure the next time when you see your orbital sander not spinning properly, and you will know what to do.

Last Updated on July 11, 2020 by Rogers Weber

[As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *