Question about Dewalt Dc385 Reciprocating Saw 18v Tool Only

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

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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. .DC385 does not run when trigger is pulled with a - 4a38f402-6535-4bb2-aaff-bf43754c8cd5.jpg


Posted on Sep 16, 2016

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There are very few things that will cause this - the most common problem is the trigger assembly - it could also be a bad connector or worn brushes, but as I said, most common is the trigger switch. 617376-00SV Switch

Posted on Jun 30, 2014


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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

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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

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How do u take off the top of a dc385 cordless sawsal to unscrew the two top screws .. is there any video?

there is no video, but you can download a breakdown for this tool at "" to see what I am going to explain. first remove the battery, and the pivot shoe. Next pull the gearcase insulator off to expose the gearcase housing and then you will have access to all the screws that have to be removed in order to unscrew the top. The gearcase insulator is sometimes "tight" to remove so you might have to pull hard but it will come off. Let me know if you need more assistance.

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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

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

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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.

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Do you have gas cylinder in,if so is gas expiration date on bottom of cannister,change gas to current fresh date. Also open nose of nailer and see if a fastner has logged ,remove and push plunger pin back into body,be sure to remove battery during these tests.

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1 Answer

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...

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.

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