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Air Orbital Sander Not Spinning: Reasons with Complete Solutions

air orbital sander not spinning

Possible reasons for your air orbital sander not spinning could include insufficient air pressure from the compressor, trigger not engaged properly, air hose connections issues, internal mechanical problems, or worn-out sanding pads.

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Your air orbital sander not spinning too fast if the pad isn’t at all or not enough touching the work surface or if the sander’s pad and disc are clogged with wood fibres, dust, and metal shavings.

To slow it down, you can do one of two things. You can put more downward pressure on the sander to keep it from spinning so fast, or you can lower the setting on your orbital sander to slow down the speed of its pad and disc rotation.

Why does my air orbital sander not spinning?

The air pressure that provides RPM to your sander can be one of the reasons so, first, check your air pressure. An orbital sander is a powerful tool that uses sandpaper discs to smooth rough surfaces and make them flat.

Using an orbital sander is extremely effective when removing paint, glue, or coatings. This sanding technique allows you to adjust speed based on how well you want to remove the material and if you need a fast or slow rotation.

Before using an orbital sander, it’s important to understand how it works to ensure optimal performance and avoid injury or damage. 

How to Fix Air Orbital Sander Not Spinning?

There are many reasons why the air orbital sander is not spinning, but below are some of them.

1: Make sure you have assembled the air orbital sander properly, and also double-check for any broken parts, including rivets and screws on both sides of the sanding pad.

2: If it turns out that there is a problem with your sander’s motor, try to clean all visible dust from inside the machine. Make sure there is no standing water in the motor, and if possible, use compressed air to remove excess dust within the motor before running the unit again.

3: This should help clear debris from within the machine, which might be causing a short circuit or overheating issue.

Solution to air orbital sander not spinning

When you turn on an orbital sander, you will see that it has a spinning disk. Read on to learn what could be wrong with your orbital sander and how to fix it. 


When you first notice that your sander isn’t spinning, look at its belt. The belt is usually made of rubber and helps transfer power from your electric motor to the head of your sander. If your belt looks worn out or damaged, you’ll need to replace it before using your sander again. 

Turn off

To do so:

  1. Please turn off your sander and unplug it.
  2. Remove any screws holding down the plate over your sander’s motor.
  3. Once you’ve removed those screws, lift that plate and pull off any wires connected to your sander’s motor. 

Use pliers

Now use pliers to remove any bolts holding down your old belt. Once you’ve removed those bolts, slide off your old belt and place it on a new one.

Be sure to follow any specific instructions provided by the manufacturer of your orbital sander when replacing its belt so that you don’t damage anything else while doing so.

Why is the Orbital Sander spinning too fast?

Orbital sanders spin very fast. When you look at a sander in action, it’s easy to see why they have earned their name: orbiting around a central point.

However, when your sander suddenly spins faster than expected, or if it starts spinning too quickly for no apparent reason, there are ways to dial down that speed and make it operate more smoothly.

Here’s what you need to know about orbital sanders and how to fix these problems.

How to fix that orbital sander spin too fast?

An air orbital sander is a powerful tool that spins sandpaper around in a circle at high speeds. They are not only used to smooth wood and remove paint but are also often used on metal, concrete, and plastic surfaces.

They typically use compressed air as their power source instead of electricity so they can be run without access to an electrical outlet. An orbital sander is much safer than electric sanders because it removes material more slowly and is more likely to remain in control of the person running it.

Other Possible Reasons for the Air Orbital Sander Not Spinning

Air Supply Issues

One of the primary culprits behind a non-spinning sander is insufficient or interrupted air supply. Check the air compressor’s pressure and make sure the air hose is free from kinks or blockages.

Worn Out Sanding Pad

A worn-out or damaged sanding pad can also hinder the spinning motion. Inspect the pad for any signs of wear and tear, and replace it if necessary.

Malfunctioning Trigger

The trigger of your air orbital sander might be malfunctioning, preventing the activation of the tool. Test the trigger’s functionality and consider repair or replacement if needed.

Lack of Lubrication

Inadequate lubrication in the sander’s moving parts can lead to friction and hinder the spinning motion. Ensure proper lubrication to facilitate smooth operation.

Internal Mechanical Problems

Internal components, such as bearings or gears, could be damaged or misaligned, causing the sander’s malfunction. A thorough internal inspection might be required to address this issue.

Troubleshooting the Issue

Let’s walk through the step-by-step troubleshooting process to identify and resolve the problem:

Check the Air Supply

Ensure that the air compressor is delivering sufficient and consistent pressure to the sander. Examine the air hose for any blockages that might affect airflow.

Inspect the Sanding Pad

Examine the sanding pad for wear, unevenness, or damage. If needed, replace the pad with a new one compatible with your sander model.

Examine the Trigger

Test the trigger by activating the sander and observing its response. If the trigger is unresponsive or erratic, consider repairing or replacing it.

Lubrication Check

Refer to your sander’s manual to identify the lubrication points. Apply the recommended lubricant to ensure smooth movement of internal parts.

Internal Mechanism Inspection

If previous steps don’t resolve the issue, you may need to open up the sander and inspect its internal components for damage, misalignment, or foreign objects.

DIY Solutions to Fix the Problem

Based on the troubleshooting results, here are some DIY solutions you can try:

Clearing Air Hose Blockages

If the air supply is compromised, clear any blockages in the air hose to restore proper airflow to the sander.

Replacing the Sanding Pad

Replace the sanding pad with a new one if it’s damaged, ensuring it’s securely attached to the sander’s base.

Repairing or Replacing the Trigger

Repair the trigger mechanism if possible. If not, replace it with a compatible trigger assembly.

Applying Proper Lubrication

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to apply the appropriate lubricant to the sander’s moving parts.

Addressing Internal Mechanical Issues

For internal problems, consider seeking assistance from a professional or attempting advanced repairs if you have the necessary expertise.

Preventive Maintenance for Your Air Orbital Sander

To avoid future issues, practice the following preventive maintenance tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Keep your sander clean from dust and debris to ensure optimal performance.
  • Proper Lubrication: Regularly lubricate the recommended parts to prevent friction and wear.
  • Storage: Store your sander in a dry and clean environment to prevent moisture-related problems.

When to Seek Professional Help

If despite your best efforts the sander still doesn’t spin, or if you’re uncomfortable with advanced repairs, it’s advisable to seek help from a professional tool repair service.

Why is the Orbital Sander spinning too slowly?

If your orbital sander is spinning too slowly, check that you are using it in a well-ventilated area. Saws or sanders used without proper ventilation can quickly overheat and stall.

Before troubleshooting further, ensure there is sufficient space for air to move around your orbital sander and that you have some means of ventilating it. If possible, try to use a machine that has a dust shroud.

How to fix that orbital sander spin to slow?

This is what can happen when you use a new orbital sander. The reason is that you need to get some oil in there so it can work. This will make sure it’s smooth and easy to use. You do not have to be an expert at all; if you know how to use a drill, you know how to apply oil on an orbital sander. Here’s a step-by-step guide

You can also check out our other related article Best Random orbital sanders:

What is the best condition to get maximum performance? 

Air orbital sanders are popular in construction industries because they are lightweight and easy to use. These machines work faster and last longer than other sanding equipment.

To get maximum performance from your air orbital sander, apply a water-based finish on wood, as paint can clog it and slow down your progress.

If you press too hard against a surface with an orbital sander, it will stop spinning and will not work properly.

Precautions of using air orbital sander.

Before using an air orbital sander, you should consider safety and caution. Read these precautions carefully: 

  • before using an orbital sander, read all of its instructions carefully. Please pay special attention to any warning label attached to it 
  • The electric cord and plug must be in good condition. If damaged or operated with a missing plug, an electrical shock could occur, which can cause serious injury. 
  • Do not use an extension cord unless necessary or use it with caution. The use of an improper extension cord could result in electrocution. An extension cord used by a loose connection may cause fire or shock.
  • Before using an air orbital sender, ensure no flammable material is nearby. 
  • Always unplug your orbital sander when it is not being used for extended periods before servicing or cleaning it. 
  • Never operate the air orbital sender if it has a damaged power supply cord or plug, if it is malfunctioning if it has been dropped or damaged, if it has been exposed to rain or water, or dropped into water. Return the air orbital sander to the manufacturer for service before further use. 
  • Do not leave the air orbital sender unattended when plugged in. Unplug from the outlet when not in use and before servicing. 
  • Always unplug your orbital sander from its electrical outlet immediately after using it. If you do not, you may burn out its motor and cause an electrical shock hazard.

Tips For Using Air Sanders Correctly

These tips help prevent blisters from forming in your palms or fingers and prevent accidents such as dropping or losing control of it.

1: Never leave power tools unattended unless you turn them off completely.

Power tools are dangerous, especially when you leave them unattended. If you leave a power tool on accidentally, you risk causing serious injury to yourself or someone else. Additionally, if a power tool is left running for too long, it can overheat and start a fire.

This could not only destroy your property but could injure or kill firefighters that attempt to extinguish it. So never leave any power tool on without supervision—the potential consequences are too great!

2: Never use power tools without wearing hearing protection.

Your hearing is one of your most valuable assets, and taking care of it is important. Whether building a fence or refinishing floors, operating power tools without adequate protection is like playing Russian roulette with your ears and with friends and family members around you.

Stop risking permanent damage to your hearing with these simple tips on operating power tools safely.

3: Always wear safety goggles whenever using an air orbital sander. 

Never wear safety goggles while operating an air orbital sander. This is not an electric sander so it won’t hurt you. A great way to learn is to have a volunteer hold up a piece of wood for you to sand without safety goggles.

You will realize how much less intense orbital sanders are than belt sanders. When used incorrectly, however, orbital sanders can put gouges into your furniture—the same is true with belt sanders and any other power tool.

4: Check if you have turned on your air orbital sender switch before using it

Normally, your orbital sander should spin fast enough to remove rust, peeling paint, and loose material from a floor or wall. But if it spins too slowly, try adjusting your air orbital sender switch first.

Don’t forget to put on safety goggles before using your air orbital sender: an air orbital sender can shoot off dust in all directions, so make sure you wear protective eyewear before use.

You can also check if debris is blocking its nozzle: stuff like wood chips can get stuck there.

5: Use the orbital sander properly for the best results.

Like any tool, using your orbital sander incorrectly can damage it and reduce its effectiveness. You can do several things to ensure you’re taking proper care of your sander and getting maximum performance out of it: Keep it clean: Just like all other tools, dust builds up in an orbital sander over time.

This dust clogs the mechanism, reducing its effectiveness and potentially causing serious damage if not removed.

Why is an air orbital sander not spinning? 

It is known that air orbital sander spins too fast. It may stop turning by itself for a few seconds when it doesn’t have a load.

So, it would help if you put the appropriate weight on it to balance it and ensure it spins correctly. If your orbital sander still has problems even after putting some weights on it, then your air orbital sander is not spinning because of lint or dust, which can be removed by blowing it off with compressed air.


Get answers to your questions.

How to fix an orbital sander that won’t spin?

If your orbital sander doesn’t spin, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot and repair it. Make sure you have an electrical outlet nearby. If you suspect something might be caught in or around a spinning pad, turn off your power source and tap it lightly with a hammer to clear any potential obstructions.

How does an orbital sander motor work?

Normally, electric motors are designed to spin at a specific rotational velocity (rpm) with varying amperage. However, things aren’t so simple when it comes to air sanders. In fact, to better understand why an orbital sander motor doesn’t spin correctly and how you can fix it yourself.

What is the difference between orbital and random orbit, Sander?

Both sanders use an abrasive pad to rub wood and shape its surface. The difference is how they move: Random orbit sanders orbit in a circular motion, while orbital sanders move in an orbital manner. For example, with fine details, a random-orbit sander might work best; for smoothing out large areas, an orbital sander may be more efficient.


People may disagree on which tools are better than others. Still, one thing is certain: if you invest in a product, whether it’s an orbital sander or some other tool, you have to research what’s available and figure out what will work best for your project.

Always read through all of your product’s instruction guides; even look at some customer reviews to ensure that whatever you buy is truly worthwhile. It might seem common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people buy products without thoroughly researching them beforehand. So remember: if you want better results, do your homework first.

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When it comes to the world of sanding and sanders, you need a trusted source of information and guidance to ensure you achieve those perfect finishes. That's where I come in – I'm Martin, a dedicated sanding enthusiast with a relentless passion for attaining flawless surfaces. With years of hands-on experience in the sanding industry, I've honed my skills and expertise to provide you with the most reliable and accurate insights. What sets me apart is my commitment to excellence. I meticulously handpick each sander after rigorous testing, ensuring that only the best tools make it to your hands. My goal is to empower you with the knowledge and recommendations you need to tackle any sanding task confidently. When you trust About Sanders, you're putting your faith in a seasoned expert who shares your passion for perfection and strives to deliver top-notch information and reviews for every sanding challenge.

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