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How to remove clock hands from Battery Clock Movements


If you want to replace your battery operated quartz clock movement, you have to be able to remove your clock hands. It’s really not that hard. Get yourself a small pair of needle nosed pliers and small cup to hold little parts.

If you need reading glasses, then get them now as you are going to need them. Always work in a well-lighted area.

Most clock repair starts with getting the clock hands off of the clock mechanism. Virtually all clocks have an hour hand (the short one) and a minute hand (the long one). Many clocks have a third hand, which would normally be a second hand. It rotates quickly (once every minute).

If you have a second hand, grab it where it attaches to the clock motor and pull up, or away from the clock movement. It should come loose. If not, carefully place your small needle nosed pliers under the second hand. Each arm of the pliers should be on either side of the small brass bushing holding the second hand to the clock motor. Give the pliers a firm upward pull.

If this has not removed your second hand, then you are just going to rip it or cut it off as it has to be removed. The worst that happens is that you damage the clock motor that you are going to replace anyway. Not a big deal.

Now, if you don’t have a second hand, then let’s remove the minute hand. There are 2 possibilities. The minute hand either just presses on, or it is held in place with a small round nut. This is called an “I” shaft, which most of our movements use. If it’s a press-on, then just pull it off. Your needle nosed pliers under the “hub” or mounting point of the hand also can help to remove it.

If your minute hand has a small round nut, then hold the minute hand still while turning the nut counter-clockwise. Again, if this is difficult, then grab the needle nosed pliers to assist turning the small nut. Set the minute hand and any hardware there might be aside.

All hour hands on battery clock movements are the “press-on” type. There are almost no exceptions. Firmly grab the mounting point or “hub” of the hour hand and pull up. If this does not work, grab your trusty needle nosed pliers again. Place them under the hour hand were it mounts to the movement and gently rock back and forth while pulling up.

Once the hour hand is off, that’s normally it. There are movements like time & tide, calendar movements and day of the week movements that will actually have a indicator hand under and hour hand. This is always a press-on type hand.

If you are worried about damaging your hands, and they’re under 5” long, remember, you get a FREE choice of hour and minute hands with most movements. Don’t worry about it, we have 45 styles and sizes under 5” to pick from in two colors! It should not be an issue. Please remember that most hand styles can be trimmed to a shorter length if needed.

If you have a high torque clock movement for use with clock hands over 7”, then we offer a wide variety of styles in our hands for high torque movements section. Replacing clock hands from 1-1/4” up to nearly 18” should not be a problem with