Tools You Need to Maintain Knitting Machines
Updated: Sep 4
Unfortunately, there are very few knitting machine repair places anymore. However, if you have mechanical sense and the service manuals, you can make many repairs yourself.
Here’s what you need:
The service manuals which tell you what the measurements should be (usually, there are “tolerable ranges” that are optimal)
JIS Screwdrivers – If you have a Japanese Knitting machine, the screws are JIS screws (Japanese Industrial Standard). These are a HAIR different from standard Philips screwdrivers. You don’t want to risk stripping the heads of these screws! Plus, screwing and unscrewing are just easier when the screwdriver fits into the screw!
Feeler Gauge – Once you read the service manuals, you’ll learn that you need a feeler gauge. A feeler gauge is a collection of thin pieces of metal that should be the precise thickness that is printed on the piece. To use it, you pull out the piece that is the thickness that the manual says you need. Then, you put the metal piece between two items that the metal piece of the gauge will make sure that the distance between the two parts is the same as the thickness of the metal piece of the gauge. This is how you will set the distances between two parts to an “appropriate” distance (based on what the service manual tells you)
Metric nut drivers, Metric allen keys – very helpful for Passaps.
Oil – ok, it’s a supply, not a tool. We like Ballistol – a gun oil. Works great for Passaps and will probably be ok for our Japanese machines when the oil that came with the machines is gone.
Brushes – machines come with brushes, but we also like sewing machine brushes to brush away the lint. You need to keep your machine free of lint to avoid parts from gumming up from the combination of oil and lint. Tooth brushes may also work, when used carefully.
Lint free towel – Put a bit of oil on a lint free towel to put a layer of oil on the butts of the needles, or the carriage rail without putting blobs of oil everyhere!