Question about Dewalt DC385B 18v. Cordless Bare Reciprocating Saw Contractors Special

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I Have a Dewalt DC385 type 2 Reciprocating saw. I push the trigger and it does not work all of a sudden. Could the trigger unit be bad. How can I tell if it is bad, I just dont want to keep replacing parts. Ernie

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  • David Ford
    David Ford May 11, 2010

    I would call a Dewalt service center, they have a MAX repair rate that is can't go over a certain dollar amount and if it is less that is what you would pay. It could be any number of things causing this problem. Let me know if you want and I will look at a breakdown and see what I can come up with



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REMOVE THE BLADE !!!! take the handle apart and lift out the switch. keep track of the lock slide button and how it is installed. unplug the switch wires. carefully touch the wires you just unplugged onto the battery terminals. these wires lead directly to the motor. BEWARE.. if the motor components are good , the saw will run at FULL SPEED. you only need to tap the wires, DO NOT jamb them onto the battery. If the motor runs then most likely the switch is bad. If you know how to use a continuity tester then you can also check the switch. Bad moter likely culprtet is the brushes are crapped out.

Posted on Apr 04, 2009


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Related Questions:

1 Answer

The shaft rusted and does not hold the blade; how do I remove the rubber cowling to repair / replace the shaft?

Remove the 2 torx screws that hold the foot on the front of the tool - the boot will slide right off with the blade release lever.
DeWalt makes a shaft upgrade kit that is fairly easy to install.

Mar 08, 2015 | Dewalt Dc385 Reciprocating Saw 18v Tool...

2 Answers

DC385 does not run when trigger is pulled with a fresh battery installed.

the armature comuttator can be bad on some collectors and even broken you can hear it if you have a short period for the first time hearing a shrill sound then its also eating brushes and much whistling sound until it become hot control the sliding contacts on the purple and brown wires to the brushes and after that it should only make a buzz sound and has no power give not allways the batteries the blame in most causes like the brands MILWAUKEE and PANASONIC have some brushmotors they have allways the cause of problems EY7441 last a little time of 2 years It is almost a short circuit and then the collectors eating the carbon brushes in a few weeks and make a loud piercing sound, bad for the batteries Milwaukee has the same type of brush engines Johnson when there are people who think the batteries are bad ALLWAYS replace the armature if you hear a shrill sound and the machine become hot believe it in 80 % it is the problem new brushes are eaten again in a few weeks even Makita and Dewalt but not so much as the type of Johnson armatures buying new batteries shall not help much more but you can hear simply the difference and the rpm is much better and again much more powerfull AND MUCH CHEAPER look the difference of the 2 armatures left the older less powerfull armature and on the right the later modificating armature as Panasonic and Milwaukee having with much more power new development but MUCH MORE HEAT DISSIPATION and a very short lasting time if its to much charged then its sounds terrible replace it and your batteries are happy. .4a38f402-6535-4bb2-aaff-bf43754c8cd5.jpg



Oct 17, 2013 | Dewalt Dc385 Reciprocating Saw 18v Tool...

1 Answer

Saw is smoking

First I would check to two wire leads coming from the switch to the brushes. They will often melt from too much heat. There is a very good chance that the switch is bad too. Here is the parts diagram. The leads I referred to are items 43 and 44.

DeWalt DC385 diagram

Aug 19, 2012 | Dewalt 18v Dc385 Cordless Reciprocating...

2 Answers

How do I get a operating manual for a DeWalt DC385 Reciprocation saw

you can download the operators manual from this site

Hope this answers all your questions
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Aug 09, 2011 | Dewalt Dc385 Reciprocating Saw 18v Tool...

1 Answer

I have a Dewalt DC385 Reciprocating saw, when I hold it with the blade down or level the saw will not work but when I have the blade pointed upwards it works fine. I don't think it is the trigger...

I would look at the battery contacts first for burnt/discolored contact, if so clean with something like a pencil eraser, look at the contacts on the tool also. If these are acceptable then I would think a loose wire inside the handle area is causing. Before disassembly hold tool level and GENTLY tap with a soft hammer to see if you can get it to work and that would be a first indication of a bad connection

May 23, 2011 | Dewalt Dc385 Reciprocating Saw 18v Tool...

1 Answer


Hout40, holding saw as U would use it, is a "dog" on the right side, that U pull out.
If U turn it around and look at the other end ( with the blade end) U can see the "dog" work the inside, that releases the blade. HTH, JoeB

Feb 19, 2011 | Dewalt 18v Dc385 Reciprocating Battery...

1 Answer

Cannot get saw blade to go into opening. sprayed wd40 but did no good

when you pull the yellow latch look to see it is activating mechanism sometimes it slips under it and can be a pain.........

Feb 15, 2011 | Dewalt 18v Dc385 Reciprocating Battery...

3 Answers

Can I use a dewalt 18 volt dc9098 battery on the dc385 Saw?

If you have the handle disigned for the lithium battery becareful using the 9096 battery as it moves in the handle a lot and can hit the terminal on the switch wrong and bend it or break it. Also it will get a lot of vibration when running and because it doen't have the support that it needs for a 9096 it wiill likely brak a contact on the switch eventually. the factory does say they work in any tool however.

Feb 14, 2011 | Dewalt 18v Battery Reciprocating Saw Dc385...

1 Answer

How to open the front housing of dewalt dc385 recipricating saw

press release button and remove shoe on front of saw. Remove 2 screws on front end. Slide off rubber covering. To open gearbox remove 4 screws and pull off. Note, once open yo probably have to replace the gasket. If saw is jammed, try spray a penetrating oil in and tap shaft with a hammer using a wood dowel for contact. You can remove the 2 rubber plugs from the gear casing and pump in grease without removing the cover.
Stephen Brown

Jun 13, 2010 | Dewalt DC385B 18v. Cordless Bare...

1 Answer


I would take it back and get it fied under warranty or replaced, I believe they have at least a 1 year warranty on their products.

Oct 02, 2009 | Dewalt DC385B 18v. Cordless Bare...

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