How to I clean and lubricate my electric hand tools?

Namely, my circular saw, drill and reciprocating saw, all Milwaukee brand.
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?
Thanks,
-Phil Crow
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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 heat/cold/humidity.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7 Aug 2004 11:09:37 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Phil Crow) wrote:

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: <http://www.milwaukeetool.com/us/en/customers.nsf/vwPartsServiceIndex?OpenView&nav1=ps

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.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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 cords.
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) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DanG wrote:

IMO, the best advice is RTFM. If it gives you a maintenance schedule follow it. Otherwise don't mess with it unless something needs fixing.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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.
bob g.
J. Clarke wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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.
bob g.
Phil Crow wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks, y'all. 'Preciate the help. Looks like I've got a project today before I haul all this stuff back to the site tomorrow.
Thanks again.
-Phil Crow
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.