When we talk about the most integral parts that go into a power tool, bearings are one of them. Rotational and linear movement of your power tool depends on the condition and quality of the bearings. Bearings help all the moving parts to function properly and without bearings your power tool is as good as a dead duck.
WHY DO BEARINGS GO BAD?
The most common reason is the usual wear and tear that happens with time and use. There is always a chance of human error and accidental adversities but generally usual wear is the culprit.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN BEARINGS HAVE GONE BAD?
There is an easy way to detect the signs of a damaged bearing. For starters, your power tool may generate a lot of heat and it may become completely unresponsive producing a mere whimper every time you try to start it. Another symptom is that characteristic sound of a damaged bearing that can be classified as a "screech". If you are able to hear that "screech" you should know right away that there is something wrong with the bearing.
That screeching sound is produced because of the lack of lubrication in the bearings. Bearings need some grease to reduce friction and work smoothly, so when that grease isn't there, dried up bearings produce that uncomfortable sound. Now most bearing sets are self contained so you can't grease them up. The only thing that works is replacing them with the new ones. If you try to re-lubricate the bearings, you will be putting your expensive power tool at risk.
ADDITIONAL SIGNS OF DAMAGED BEARINGS
Besides the aforementioned signs, when the bearings are damaged, your power tool has to work extremely hard to give its usual performance and that puts a lot of pressure on electric motor resulting in excessive amounts of heat. In some extreme but rare circumstances, it may even cause the electric motor to melt down completely. That's why when bearings go bad they usually take a few surrounding internal parts with them and that's why it's necessary to replace the bearings at your earliest to avoid further damage.
Sometimes bad bearings also cause your power tool to freeze and become unresponsive. That happens when the bearings fail completely to move. That means the electrical energy cannot be converted into mechanical energy which is the whole purpose of a power tool.
WHERE TO GET HIGH QUALITY REPLACEMENT BEARINGS?
It depends on the power tool and the brand and model you're using. If it belongs to well known brands like Panasonic or Milwaukee then you can get bearings easily as Milwaukee replacement parts and Panasonic replacement parts can be found easily on online shopping stores and portals. However, if your power tool is from the manufacturer that doesn't offer replacement parts then you might have to look for aftermarket parts.
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