Milwaukee Hammer Drill Not Working? Here’s What You Need to Know!

Milwaukee tools are popular for a reason. Not only do they do their job well, but they’re also highly reliable and durable.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong with them. Every tool will run into problems, and tools with moving parts and electricity just have a few more things that can run into trouble.

That means you’re going to have to do some troubleshooting with your drill sooner or later. To help you along with that (and hopefully give you the answers to your problems, too).

What to do if a Milwaukee hammer drill is not working?

Milwaukee drill not working? Try these 5 steps to solve this problem:

  1. Do a thorough check of the basics;
  2. Check electrical cord;
  3. Make sure that drill is working at all;
  4. Replace the chuck
  5. Fix the trigger

Read more on each step below: 

Do a thorough check of the basics

Anyone who’s ever tried to fix anything has run into this problem. Let’s take a DVD player as an example. It has gone completely unresponsive. It used to work fine, but now nothing is happening.

You have gone through the whole manual, replaced the batteries in the remote, pried open the DVD slot to inspect it, and just when you’re looking for new models, you see from the corner of your eye that it has simply been unplugged this whole time.

To combat this number one problem in all things electronic, go through the checklist of problems that are easiest to fix:
  • Are you sure the battery is charged?
  • Is the tool plugged in?
  • Is the outlet working?
  • Is there a safety mechanism you need to disable or work with to get the tool to work?

Getting these out of the way before you start any serious work can save you a lot of time.

Make sure the electrical cord is working

Once you’ve checked all the basics, it’s time to dig a little deeper and mentally take the drill apart. One of the problems that could stop the drill from working properly is when the electrical cord is damaged. This causes trouble in a lot of ways and can sometimes even be dangerous.

To check the electrical cord, you’ll want to use a digital multimeter. This tool can be used for all sorts of diagnostics when it comes to electrical equipment, mainly because it can measure different things.

To check the electrical cord, you need to use the multimeter as a continuity tester. This is usually displayed as a volume meter.

Disconnect the tool from the outlet, place a lead at opposite sides of the cord (there’s a chance you have to unscrew the casing of the tool for this) so that one lead touch a prong and one touches the other end of the cord, and wait for a beep. If there’s no beep at first, try the other prong. When a beep never comes, the problem lies with the cord. Simply replacing the cord should solve your problem, too.

This might help:

Make sure the drill is working

If the problem isn’t with the cord, we move on to the next component of the tool: the drill itself. We still need the digital multimeter but switch to using it as an Ohm meter for this purpose.

Ohms measure resistance, so in a way, we will measure how much electricity flows from one end to the other in the circuit, and how much is lost along the way. If there’s a big leak, it will stop the whole circuit from working, in this case rendering your tool useless, too.

Unplug the drill, if it’s not still unplugged, and hook up each lead to the different prongs of the plug. Now squeeze the drill and use it as you normally would. The multimeter now tests the circuit and sees if things work as they should. If there’s something wrong, the display will read “0.L.”, meaning that there is a serious leak in the electrical circuit.

Milwaukee drill chuck problems -- Replace the chuck

Another problem that will eventually arise when you use a drill a lot, is that the chuck will loosen. The chuck is the mechanism that holds your drill. In older models, you screw this tighter and looser with a key, but this will inevitably loosen by itself.

Luckily, it’s easy enough for the average DIY-er to replace a chuck.

Milwaukee drill chuck problems -- How to solve this? 

To take out a chuck, stick a screwdriver where you’d normally insert the drill bit. Down the chuck is a screw that fastens the chuck itself. First, you might want to try to tighten this.

It could fix your problems. If not, screw it loose so you can take the whole chuck out. If you didn’t know what kind of replacement part you needed, use the old chuck to order a new one and simply reverse the process to put your new one.

Fix the trigger

One part of your drill that has a big impact on its performance is the trigger. This makes a lot of sense since it’s the one part of the drill that sets everything else in motion.

Unfortunately, the trigger in Milwaukee drills breaks a lot. Sometimes that means you have to pull much harder than you should, and sometimes the trigger stops working altogether.

To fix this, open the drill casing with a screwdriver. It takes quite a few screws to get this, so be patient and place the screws where they won’t roll away. If you’ve used the drill for a while, you’ll see the evidence of this in all the cracks around the moving parts, where sawdust settles.

Now take the bigger parts of the drill apart. It usually comes apart in three main pieces. Take the piece with the trigger and pull it to see the mechanism at work. A common problem is that the guard (or safety) gets in the way, obstructing the trigger from doing its work.

Simply adjusting this will do the trick. You can adjust it mechanically, or simply sand off the part that’s obstructing. Then put the drill back together and test the trigger again.


Milwaukee drills are reliable and durable, but that doesn’t mean nothing will ever go wrong.

In this blog post, we’ve discussed some common problems and the fixes that will help you keep drilling for years to come.

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