Salvage question for makers:

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 18, 2020
What kinds of home appliances and or common items can reversible AC motors or heavy duty DC brushed motors be salvaged from?

I've already used a salvaged DC motor from a cordless drill to power an automated aluminum can crusher, and the controls for that are relatively easy. (Still working on the python programming for the control module, but that will just take time and testing, with all the detection system, limit switches and control mechanisms.)

I'd like to see what other sources of salvaged motors people have used.


Joined Jul 18, 2013
There are Fisher-Paykel Outrunner motors now often fitted to washing machines, but the controller is also needed, unless you build one!
There are also ECM, Electronically Commutated motors in HVAC and other home systems.
For the typical small appliances and hand power tools, vacuum cleaners, there is Universal AC motors. For the portable tools, they are typically DC brushed.
The DC brushed in the 2HP to 3.5HP appear in TreadMills, often available locally free , if no longer working. Often popular for Mill/Drill/Lathe etc.
Then there is of course, the automotive wreckers, for DC brushed and BLDC motors.
Just a few examples.


Joined Jan 23, 2014
Paper shredders? A quick google suggests that some have AC motors with brushes, so maybe they are reversible. There's one sitting out by the curb just around the block, and one for $5 on a local ad site.
I once came across a graveyard of Fisher-Price Power Wheels ride-on toys dumped in the woods; those would have PM DC motors at 6 or 12V. And, one time an electric wheelchair with two nice gearmotors.
There must be a bunch of e-scooters out there with dead batteries or blown controllers, though I haven't tripped over any myself. It's worth cruising past scrapyards after hours; people often dump awesome stuff outside.


Joined Aug 21, 2017
Vac.cleaner motors are dramatic powerful and fast, what one may do with 2 kW and 20 000 rpm?? Most cases life demands sth rather slow. Then the crotch washing machine have brilliant 300W collector motor being submissive to easy rpm steering. If need a lighter, the angle grinder motor is about 1...2 kW and 5000-10 000 rpm. And last but not least ar motors from scraped vehicles windshield cleaner as well the vehicle heater box, 12V and and 1500-3000 rpm, 50-100W.
Yet if look to miniature things, the motors from CD players, videomagnetofones, tape recorders, scanners etc etc are sometimes useful thingy.


Joined Jul 18, 2013
what's in a vaccumm cleaner ?

Also universal motors it seems google says
Yes Universal due to the very high RPM , a series motor basically operates in a run away condition of which the maximum is mainly restricted by the load.
A series motor has very high torque at low RPM, this high load ability is why they were used in automotive starters