How to Remove the Hands From a Clock Mechanism With a Battery

Updated February 21, 2017

Removing the hands from a battery-operated clock mechanism is an easy job that requires no special tools. The second, minute and hour hands are affixed to a central shaft that is moved by the clock's motor. Once the battery is removed from the clock, removing the hands takes only seconds.

Remove the battery from the back of the clock mechanism. If the battery is concealed under the back cover of the clock mechanism, remove the cover by sliding or unscrewing the small screw holding it in place. Press the positive end of the battery toward its negative end, compressing the spring that holds the battery in place. Lift the battery out of the clock. Turn the clock mechanism face up.

Unfold a paper clip so it is in the shape of an "S." Slide one end of the paper clip over the second hand and position the paper clip so its curve goes around the clock's shaft, just under the second hand. Lift the second hand straight up, off the shaft. Depending on the style of the clock mechanism, you may find a small thumbscrew on the shaft, just under the second hand. Remove it by turning counterclockwise to expose the portion of the shaft holding the minute and hour hands..

Use the paper clip to remove the minute hand. Repeat to remove the hour hand.


The hands of the clock mechanism may be removed without a paper clip, but its use lessens the chance of bending the hands during removal.

Things You'll Need

  • Small paper clip
  • Screwdriver (optional)
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About the Author

Denise Nyland "Denisen" is a long term resident of Panama City, Fla. She studied radiologic sciences and education and has published articles in multiple professional journals and contributed to various educational texts.