Reversing switch (drum type)

tew45

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Mar 13, 2017
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Has anyone used the inexpensive drum switch from China? They are selling for around $15.00 I have a need for one more for my lathe and am wondering if they are worth the money. I can't swing the $100.00 and up switches on the market now.
 

682bear

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Nov 28, 2016
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I am using a chinese drum switch on my milling machine... it's not good...

The switches that I am buying for my mill are not adequate to carry the current required by the motor. I am getting about 6 months of use per switch...

The problem is that the contacts inside the switch are tiny... everytime I turn the motor on or off, the contacts will arc for just an instant... over time, this arcing burns the contacts and ruins the switch...

I'm not sure what drum switch you are looking at... it may be built better.

FWIW, I bought a reversing drum switch off ebay for my drill press... it is a Dayton, and was a new switch. I paid $33 plus shipping.

I'm in the process of 're-designing' the electrical system on my mill... hopefully eliminating this problem.

-Bear
 

markba633csi

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Apr 30, 2015
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They should be OK if you get a switch with lots of current capability. Also, running your motor on 240 volts instead of 120 will cut the current draw in half and make the switch last much longer. Most motors can be configured for either voltage.
-Mark
 

fixit

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Feb 8, 2014
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I keep hearing about failed reversing drum switches. Mine failed maybe 8 years ago and I changed it to a 3 position selector switch and two relays. I have never had another problem since. The fact is in 2017 the whole lathe was underwater when we had a flood due to IRMA. When My mill/drill switch fails I will do the same thing with it. You could also use a REVERSING STARTER but they are more expensive.
 

markba633csi

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Anything with contacts will fail eventually, but 120 volt operation is real hard on switches with any motor larger than about 3/4 HP
 
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