View Full Version : what does a maintained drum switch meain

Brett Hurt
11-26-2016, 10:18 PM
Iam lost a this about drum switch my motor rebuilder says I need a maintained f&r switch for the lathe i looked at grainger for them so what do you think .

I need one thay stays on when i turn the handel to on. for 220v so do I get this one https://www.walmart.com/ip/DAYTON-2X440-Switch-Drum-Reversing/180881673?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=1122&adid=22222222227049965053&wmlspartner=wmtlab

or this one https://www.grainger.com/category/drum-switches/motor-controls/electrical/ecatalog/N-qkp#nav=%2Fcategory%2Fdrum-switches%2Fmotor-controls%2Felectrical%2Fecatalog%2FN-qkpZ1yzooqp%3Fsst%3DsubsetTest

11-26-2016, 10:26 PM
The difference between a maintained drum switch and a momentary switch is that momentary switch has to be held in by hand to have the reverse . You need the maintained for a lathe.


11-26-2016, 11:48 PM
A maintained switch stays in the position you put it in. Think of it like a button you push on-push off; the contact remains in whatever position you put it in until you move it again.

For a lathe, you probably want a F-O-R switch.

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11-27-2016, 12:36 AM
OK, just going by the picture the switch at Walmart is shown locked or "maintained" in the reverse position. So I'd say you'd be good to go with that one.

Brett Hurt
11-27-2016, 08:12 AM
thanks a lot

Bill Pace
11-27-2016, 10:08 AM
The name "Drum Switch" will generally mean its on-off-on. Get on ebay and put that name in search and you should come up with several hundred of them - and you can do some price shopping!

11-27-2016, 02:08 PM
I don't do price shopping.
I shop for quality.
Proven again and again
to be a better return on investment.


Paul Alciatore
11-27-2016, 02:52 PM
Yes, you do want the "maintained" style. "Maintained" simply means it stays on by itself, like the common light switches. The other style is "momentary" which simply means it is on while you hold it on and turns off when you release it. That is like the common doorbell buttons.

The maintained models that you show will probably be just what you want. Voltage ratings on them will be OK for 115V or 230V motors and they can even be used with three phase motors. But there are two things to look out for when buying one.

1. Be sure the current rating is as big or bigger than your intended motor.

2. The term "Drum Switch" refers to the external and internal form factor only. It does not specify any particular switching configuration. Although there is a fairly standard switching configuration that 99% of the Drum switches are built with, there are some others that may not be suitable for the general run-of-the-mill motor. So you do have to be just a little careful that you get one with a standard switching arrangement. I think the ones you are looking at are at least 99.9% in the OK range here.

11-27-2016, 07:12 PM
I don't do price shopping.
I shop for quality.
Proven again and again
to be a better return on investment.


I price shop for the same quality as I have recliner time every day. I Bought a Mosler safe & needed a $300 keypad lock, found a new one for $15 + $10 shipping on Ebay from someone that ordered the wrong one. I get a real charge of a smoking deal:cool: