As I ramp up my how-to videos again, I want to jump on a very easy-to-fix problem that frustrates barbers who don’t know how to make this simple repair.
The problem is perceived as a ‘broken switch’ on the Andis T Outliner that is loose, or when flipped to the ‘on’ position, automatically flips back and won’t stay on.
This is almost always fixed by tightening a single screw on the inside of the machine’s housing. That’s what we’ll talk about today.
(To see the demonstration of how to do this on video, head over to my YouTube @larrythebarberman)
You will need two simple tools: a small Phillips screwdriver and a torque screwdriver with a #10 head, which is a simple star-shaped screwdriver head you’ve doubtless seen many times, even if you don’t know its name.
I always advise that you WORK WITH A CORRUGATED MAP OR TOWEL so you have a non-slip place for screws or any other small parts so you don’t lose them.
First, UNPLUG the trimmer! This basic safety step is surprisingly easy to forget.
The UK T Outliner has four screws on the back of the case; the American version has two – one on top and one on the bottom.
Remove the screws and gently fold over the back of the housing. I say ‘gently’ because the wires inside are extremely delicate. Next, lift the main power supply from the base inside of the clipper, and lift out the hooking ring.
Now, turn your attention to the mainly hollow back of the housing, the part you just removed. Bracketed against the bottom with one screw is the switching mechanism giving you all the trouble! Remove that screw and lift off the bracket, then gently ease the switch itself out of the back of the case.
You will see one screw remains in the trimmer housing, and that is the one we are after. You can easily see that the screw is attached to the lever on the outside of the casing. In all probability, this screw is loose, which is causing the flipping, looseness or inability of the lever to hold its position.
Now, just tighten that screw with the torque screwdriver with the #10 head, turning clockwise. Turn over the case and test the lever. You will see it now has a tight feel and will hold its position. See? You did it!
Now, let’s close up shop.
First, we need to put the switch back into the housing. It is REALLY IMPORTANT that you focus carefully and take a few moments to get this right!
On the inside of the housing, above the screw you just tightened, you will see two L-shaped plastic ridges which face each other, and between them two plastic pins. The switch needs to go into the enclosure outlined by the L-shaped ridges, atop the pins, nice and snug.
Next, the bracket. You will notice cutouts on the left and right side of the bracket. They align with the brown and red wires respectively, so place the red wire in place through the left cutout, and hold it with your thumb while you place the right bracket cutout over the brown wire. You have to be a bit dexterous, but when it is aligned correctly, the bracket will click nicely into place.
Now you need to pin the bracket back down, using one screw through the center hole.
As a final test, flip it over and make sure the lever is nice and tight and is making the correct clicking noise. IMPORTANT: If that switch is NOT locked in the housing correctly, the lever will move to the left and right without a sound, and will NOT turn the trimmer on and off!
With the brown and red wires locked in, and the lever behaving appropriately, reach for the hooking ring. This is the first piece going into the other side, or guts, of the casing – where the armature and motor are. Ensuring it is facing downwards, place the ring correctly into notch at the base. Then place the rubber molding that surrounds the main outlet wire snugly into the notch.
You are now ready to put the casing together again. The trick here is to make sure the wires are NOT OVER THE MOTOR before you close, so use your screwdriver to gently tuck the red wire down the side of the armature where the brown wire is, making sure the brown wire is not over the hook.
When everything is neatly packaged, you are ready to fit the two bits of casing together again. Simply line up the grooves where they fit. WATCH OUT! Sometimes the wires will pop out. Gently use the screwdriver to pop them back in. Now, hold the back down with fingers and thumb and turn it over gently.
You can now put in all your screws. Start with one corner and tighten, then move to a diagonal corner to tighten another. That gives you the freedom to release the tension of your finger and thumb holding it down.
And there you go! You’ll hear that lever merrily clicking and now actually holding its position. Plug it in, turn it on, and you are back to having a great time being a great barber!
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