Namely, my circular saw, drill and reciprocating saw, all Milwaukee
They are all a couple of years old, see almost daily use and abuse
(mostly just abuse, though) and have never been serviced. I know
there's an issue about motor brushes (?) and the like, but I'm not
sure what exactly to do.
What prompted this is that my skil saw guard sticks 'open' sometimes
after cuts. Yikes.
Is servicing my tools something I can do myself (I could buy a cheap-o
multimeter, I guess; I sorta know how to read one), or should I take
them to a service center or repair shop?
Motor bearings are something I would "service center".
Brushes can be replaced by the user very easily or have the
service center change them. External items like guards
really only need cleaning and a shot of oil (I like Marvel
oil myself) at the rub points. A shot of compressed air on
a regular basis will go a long way.
UA100, owner of an "older" Makita chop saw and regular
lubricator of the guard...
An inexpensive Volt-Ohmmeter is always an asset, from troubleshooting
switches on up. Something I give as a wedding present, along with the RD
appliance troubleshooting book.
Other than that, shoot with air for the dry, loosen with oil for the wet or
needing lube (bearings usually don't), and keep away from extremes in
On 7 Aug 2004 11:09:37 -0700, email@example.com (Phil Crow)
not too much to do. milwaukee stuff is designed for abuse. the
bearings are sealed. if they go bad, replace them.
blow or vacuum out the motor air vents. keep dirt out of the chuck.
hammer drill chucks get concrete dust blown up into them. if it gets
bad, remove the chuck from the drill and soak it overnight in thinner
and scrape it out with a pointy stick and a little brass brush.
brushes wear with use. if they wear out completely the brush holder
hith the armature. that's a bad thing. some of the new milwaukee stuff
(IIRC) will shut the tool down if the brush gets into the danger zone.
if you're worried about it, pull the brushes and inspect them. some
have a wear indicator line.
start here for more info:
take the blade out. swing the guard all the way open and look at the
pivot mechanism. there's probably something in there binding it up.
clean it out and give it a shot of light oil.
most of the service they are likely to need you can do yourself. a
meter could be useful to test a switch or cord but if the motor needs
major work prolly better to have a tech do it.
You will get a lot of different opinions on this topic.
Here are mine:
If it ain't broke don't fix it.
If your saw guard is hanging up, clean it and lube it till it
slides better than a new one.
If brushes are properly adjusted on a new tool, I don't think you
could ever wear a set out as a hobbyist. I need to service ones
on equipment exposed to high volumes of concrete dust (remove
brushes, clean the holes with Blue Shower, rub the brush sides on
a wood block to remove any ridges or burrs, reinstall). I had to
replace the ones on a diamond core drill, but I think one of our
other departments ran it on low voltage due to long extension
I do occasionally blow the dust out of the cases of woodworking
tools. Accumulated saw dust blocks off air passages causing
increased heat. I have repacked the grease in the gear case when
I have replaced bearings in equipment. Again, I cannot imagine
wearing out sealed ball bearings as a hobbyist.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
I think the most likely tool to need brush replacement is a router used
in a router table. Otherwise the advice that it's unusual (darned near
impossible) for a hobbyist to wear out the brushes is probably true.
I used up the brushes in an electric drill but I used it to sand a car.
I think that probably qualifies as abuse.
J. Clarke wrote:
I use a multimeter to attempt to diagnose problems. You don't even need
that for routine servicing. You have it in your subject line. Clean
and lubricate. (and replace worn brushes.) If you've got some shorted
turns in a winding, a multimeter won't usually find that for you anyway.
Main things you need are the drivers and wrenches to get the things
apart and the owner's manual with the parts blowup. Listen to bearings
and look for looseness and rattle. Anything that needs lube, use what
the manufacturer recommends. Most bearings on quality tools anymore are
sealed ball bearings. Not much you can do to or for them. Measure the
length of the brushes. You want them to be about three times as long as
they are thick. If they get much shorter, they start to go off angle in
the brush holders, the springs that hold them to the commutator bottom
out and sparking goes way up and maybe you even get to the ends of the
copper embedded in the brushes. The things are cheap, better to err on
the side of caution. Be sure to contour the end of the brushes to
roughly the arc of the commutator with some emery cloth or wet or dry paper.
Phil Crow wrote:
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