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DeWalt Radial

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New Member
I have an old DeWalt radial, when the power is turned on it does not run. Give it a good nudge and it will start up. Is this a problem with the switch itself or do I have another problem? They haven't produced them since I believe '85. Does someone have a tech manual or a suggestion?


Dean Huster

Well-Known Member
Saw motors

A lot of radial arm saws, especially the ones designed to be very portable, have universal motors rather than induction motors. There could be a dead spot on the commutator that gets ignored if the motor is up to speed. Getting it spinning gets it off the dead spot. Replacing the brushes may fix the dog and/or you may have to turn the commutator to true it up.

Larger saws will have an induction motor. It may be that the centrifugal switch is not making contact so the start winding isn't kicked in when power is first turned on. You have to disassemble the motor and clean/repair/replace switch contacts or the actuator.

If the saw has been stored where there's been access to mud daubers ("dirt daubers"), which are skinny-waisted wasps that build nexts from mud, they may have gotten into the motor through the air vent slots and build a nest or two that has either rusted the innards a bit (from the water in the nest mud) or has lodged everything into place. Again, taking things apart and cleaning will fix that problem.

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