Craftsman Hedge Trimmer: Biennial Laying On Of Hands Repair

Once again, the hedge trimmer failed to turn on with the switch pressed, so I took it apart, did nothing, and had thing start working again:

Craftsman Hedge Trimmer - innards exposed
Craftsman Hedge Trimmer – innards exposed

It finally penetrated my dim consciousness: perhaps the switch is fine and a carbon brush (or two) has lost contact with the commutator atop a layer of oil and dust.

So a year from now when this happens again, try jamming a screwdriver through a vent slot and moving the motor a few degrees to jostle the crud.

If it works, that would be much easier than taking it apart!

7 thoughts on “Craftsman Hedge Trimmer: Biennial Laying On Of Hands Repair

  1. If your memory is anything like mine you’ll forget next year until you’ve taken it apart (again). You could write yourself a note – but would have remember to affix the note to the trimmer at the end of the current season.
    Perhaps untrimmed hedges will be the Next Big Thing.

    1. Ah, but I have an external memory: whenever something wakes up dead, I search my blog to find out what I did (wrong) the last time …

      I’m definitely in favor of the “forever wild” yard care technique, though.

  2. Suggestion: Try a blast of compressed air before resorting to a screwdriver. Probing with a tool could result in collateral damage.

    1. That would poot an unimaginable cloud of dust over the entire Basement Workshop: better to threaten it with a screwdriver and a Bad Appraisal.

  3. I have a 20+ year old Makita 4″ handy-grinder that seems to have a bad spot (open winding?) on the commutator. If I rotate the grinding wheel a fraction of a turn, it will start. OTOH, I now have a Makita 4.5″(!) grinder that’s not as handy, but starts all the time. I’m not sure if the wheels for the old one can be used on the newer; haven’t used it that much.

    I keep the old grinder for rough work outside. Never could talk myself into getting one of the big 7″ two-handed grinders.

    1. The reply from RCPete brought back a memory from the late 1970s…

      My dad had a business in an old building… The ventilation fan mounted in a upper window was almost as old… (I climbed up there once to look and the manufacturers nameplate had a date of 1932 on it)… and the motor had a spot that occasionally wouldn’t start… the motor just hummed.

      I distinctly remember my dad taking a 8 foot length of 1 inch conduit from a closet… it had a 90 degree sweep bend on one end… he held the bent end upwards and pointed at the fan blades… he’d send a long blast of air from the compressor hose into the lower end of the conduit… just enough to bump the fan blades a little… and the motor would start.


    2. Sounds like the same problem.

      However, if poking the rotor with a sharp stick starts it up, I hereby swear a mighty oath on the bones of my ancestors to never again open the housing, even to satisfy my curiosity by measuring the commutator windings.

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