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Existing

ID: 1
Mechanism:
All

CheckItem:
Battery

Description:
Lithium batteries are cells connected in series and controlled by a chip board that keeps the battery from blowing up (if you've every seen a video of such, yeah, you'll really appreciate this little chip board). So there's not much you can do there. But, you can check the connection posts and see that they are clean and making contact. A multi-meter across the posts should show within 10% of your required voltage and if not try giving it a good threshold charge over-night.

Prevention:
Batteries hate water and that might seem obvious but sometimes we leave them where we shouldn't. Don't hot-cradle your battery for a charge - let it cool and then toss it on the charger.
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 IDMechanismCheckItemDescriptionPrevention
Edit Select1AllBatteryLithium batteries are cells connected in series and controlled by a chip board that keeps the battery from blowing up (if you've every seen a video of such, yeah, you'll really appreciate this little chip board). So there's not much you can do there. But, you can check the connection posts and see that they are clean and making contact. A multi-meter across the posts should show within 10% of your required voltage and if not try giving it a good threshold charge over-night.Batteries hate water and that might seem obvious but sometimes we leave them where we shouldn't. Don't hot-cradle your battery for a charge - let it cool and then toss it on the charger.
Edit Select2AllBrushesBrushes are like razor blades - they wear out and need to be replaced. They also have holders that need to be free and clear so the brush can touch the armature. If the brushes stick or are too worn you will get sparking, intermittent or low power and the tool might just up and stop. Pull the brushes and inspect them. Sometimes they have a wear line. Check that they can freely move within the brush holder.Blow air through the vent holes as often as you can and don't cover the vents with your hand when you're drilling. Replace the brushes and keep a spare set handy.
Edit Select3AllBrushlessBrush-less power tools are great: more power, greater battery life and so-on. They are also fairly easy to fix, cos well - you don't - you replace the whole assembly.Keep the vent's clear and keep the motor assembly as free from crud as you can by routinely blowing air across it. Don't blast it with air - just enough to clear the crud.
Edit Select4AllCordTools sometimes get pulled around by the cord, and the wires in the cord can get damaged from this, or simply old age, so if there's no power to the tool (and the socket you're plugged into works) - try wiggling the cord by spreading out about a foot of it between your hands. Also, check the wire connections from the cord to the tool.Cords do just age and are relatively inexpensive so keeping a spare may not be a bad idea. Sometimes taping the cord over itself so that if the cord is pulled this section takes the pull and not the cord to the tool section.
Edit Select5ElectricalArmatureThe armature has bearings either side of it so check that it spins freely. Check the windings for any burnt or broken windings. The shiny metal that the windings are wrapped around can be cleaned with an eraser to remove carbon, and check that there's no broken or undercut edges. Changing the brushes frequently can help save the armature from carbon build up and undercutting. Also, whenever you can, blow some compressed air across the vents on the housing to clear out crud from the brush holders and to keep the armature spinning freely.
Edit Select6ElectricalFieldThe field is an assembly of wire wrapped around the metal holder and these wires can get burnt or fray with age, and that can stop the armature from spinning. Also, if your tool is spinning the wrong way - there's a very good chance the Field is in backwards. There's 2 windings on a Field so use a multi-meter and check for continuity across each side. Note the value of the first side you check (say "3" - pretty common) and check that the other side is within 10%.Over-amping can affect the Field so try to keep the armature and motor as free of crud as you can. Don't cover the vent holes with anything, like your hand, as this can cause the over-amping and so can the wrong gauge of cord. This often happens if you're using an extension cord of the wrong gauge. Don't skimp on extension cords it's not worth the cost of your tool repair, and don't use too long of cords for the same reason.
Edit Select7ElectricalPowerThis is a fairly wide thing to check, but start at one end and work to the other. If your tool has a power cord, for example, is the socket working? For a battery tool, are the contacts clean and good? Sometimes smacking the battery can help therePlease see our advice on Cords and on Batteries.
Edit Select8ElectricalSwitchUsing a multi-meter test the continuity across the switch from input to output, if there is no continuity - replace the switchCleanliness and age are the main things here. Try and keep the switch as clear of crud as you can and routinely pull it apart to make sure the connections are good and the switch is clean.
Edit Select9MechanicalArborWhen a blade wobbles or slips, doesn't cut straight or is stuck there's a few things to have a look at. Make sure the blade bolt and that the flanges either side of the are tight. With the saw unplugged, spin the blade by hand to feel if there is a wobble and if so the arbor probably needs replacing.Routinely blow air across the saw to free it up from crud. When tightening the blade bolt, use the right size wrench (suppliers and bike stores can help) & remember that it's reverse thread.
Edit Select10MechanicalBaseThe base, or housing, of a tool can take a fair bit of a beating going in and out of the tool box or truck. The base of a table saw, especially. Inspect the base for visual signs of damage and evaluate whether and bit of duct tape or epoxy is the cure to what ails you - or it might need a replacement. There are some design flaws out there. Some miter saws for example have the trigger assembly in the handle that we tend to pull the saw around by - sure there's a grab handle but it doesn't always get used.
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