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  • Writer's pictureBen Nordman

The When, Why, and How of an Electromagnetic Chuck Repair

Updated: May 7

Repairs and rebuilds of electromagnetic chucks happen on a regular basis. The common workholding device is found on a large variety of machines, mills, lathes, surface grinders, and many more, meaning electromagnetic workholding is found in thousands of machine shops and companies spanning the globe.

While chucks are designed and built to withstand decades of work, some have a variety of reasons working against them and having a long lifespan while repairs and rebuilds might be necessary much sooner than intended.

As self-proclaimed chuck experts, our technicians at Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. have been around Magna-Lock USA workholding for nearly three decades, with our Vice President David Nordman working with the brand since the mid-1990s.

In that time, not only has our team repaired and rebuilt countless Magna-Lock chucks, but other brands as well, with our engineering team assisting in the process of getting your workholding back to you as soon as possible.

So when, why, and how do companies need and get their electromagnetic chucks repaired? Let’s dig right into those questions.


The question of when something needs to be fixed, regardless of what it is, might seem as simple as saying when it’s broken or not working anymore. Regardless of this, we have found in our experience that it is not this simple.

In order to save money and lost time, companies risk the safety of their operators by ignoring signs of an electromagnetic chuck not working properly more often than it should be happening. Don’t be one of those companies.

Otherwise, routine visual inspection and maintenance of the chuck should give you signs as to a chuck not properly functioning before it happens. Just regular inspection should show normal wear and tear issues, top plate wear and tear, and cord grip issues just to name a few.

Additionally, whenever there is a failure to hold a part, either partial or complete, the chuck needs to be repaired. Failure to do so could result in major safety issues for the operator with potential for the chuck to throw parts.

The when question normally comes down to safety. When does it seem as though the chuck does not operate in a safe way any longer? That is when you need to at least call and troubleshoot with our technicians.

Rectangular workholding chuck in the beginning of a rebuild
We look at each coil to determine where the problem is located within your chuck. Once diagnosed, we look to repair and permanently fix the problem.


The why when it comes to making the decision to repair or rebuild an electromagnetic chuck can be broken down to one single word. Save.

While the break down might be troublesome, saving your operators from potential safety hazards of operating a chuck that does not work completely and saving money and time that it takes for the purchase of a new chuck, which would be the most likely alternative, are the two main saves when it comes to repairs.

When we are rebuilding a chuck, our lead time is roughly a few weeks, depending on other factors such as availability of components, our current jobs, and chuck size.

The why is easy when repairing.


120 inch electromagnetic chuck repair
All of our repaired chucks are done in full

How do you get anything fixed that has been broken? Call the experts to figure out what to do and how to do it. Troubleshooting is always step one on our end. If we can fix a chuck over the phone, we will try our best to.

A common problem that we have come across with our repairs are when the customer will try and fix their problems on their own before consulting us. When doing so, additional problems can occur, such as causing more damage, voiding warranties when applicable, and there are safety concerns that come along with it as well.

Typically, if we cannot troubleshoot it to completely fix it, we recommend sending it in to us to inspect. From there, we make the decision if it will need to be rebuilt or a simple repair needs to be done.

When sending it in, we will need all components that are being used with the chuck. Providing those pieces will help us in diagnosing the problem and helping you get the machine up and running again.

During our inspection process, we take the chuck apart to find potential problems from within. If a coil is bad, we can see what coil it is and then find the cause as to why it went bad. With taking the chuck apart, at that point it is best to get it rebuilt.

Repairing an electromagnetic chuck
All the tools to rip apart a chuck

If our team determines that a rebuild is what is best, we will suggest that will be done. Upon your approval, we do a full rebuild. All new coils, waterproof lining, potting compound, and complete sealing of the chuck comes standard on all of our rebuilds, no matter the actual problem that the chuck has.

Throughout our years of experience we have found that only partially rebuilding chucks or certain coils can cause inconsistencies within the chuck and it will be back to the repair shop in no time with another problem.

If you’re facing workholding troubles, we are here to help you, no matter what chuck you have.

Check out other products we have to offer HERE, give us a call at 815-962-8700, or email us at

obsidianmfg logo

Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. is a Rockford, Ill. manufacturing company and is the OEM for Magna-Lock USA workholding, MagnaLift & Power-Grip lift magnets, and Arter Precision Grinding Machines as well providing surface grinding services. They are located at 5015 28th Ave. in Rockford, Ill. with a phone number of 815-962-8700. Check out more at


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