Mechanical Movement Beat Adjustment

Beat adjustment is a normal process required for regulating any mechanical movement after initial start-up or after movement servicing.

The beat adjustment may also be required if you move the clock case from one location to another.  Adjusting the beat ensures that the pendulum will continue to swing in order to keep the movement operational.  A rhythmic and even “tick-tock” will be a key resulting characteristic of proper beat adjustment.

Newer-Model Mechanical Clock Movements:

To begin, make certain the movement/case is level front to back and side to side. Most newer-model mechanical clock movements may be equipped with a self-adjusting escapement for auto-beat adjustment. If such is the case, mechanical beat adjustment is as simple as over-swinging the pendulum. Initial start-up pendulum over-swing would be approximately 3” to 4” to the left /right (from center) plus the bob diameter of the pendulum.

Example: A 10” diameter bob will require pulling the pendulum bob 13” to 14” to one side from center. Let the pendulum go and allow it to swing. As it swings, it should self-adjust to proper beat.

Older-Model Mechanical Clock Movements:

Adjusting Mechanical Movement BeatIn the event that you have an older movement, or a movement which is not equipped with a self-adjusting escapement, you can perform manual mechanical beat adjustment. Reference the illustration at right for assistance in identification.

Start by removing the pendulum from the pendulum leader. The crutch arm inserts through the pendulum leader about midway above where the pendulum hangs. Take hold of the pendulum leader and crutch arm (where the two meet) and gently move the crutch arm to one side, stopping once you feel slight resistance.

Next, move the crutch arm/leader back to center. Swing the crutch arm/leader to the opposite side until you meet slight resistance. The swing from center to left should be equal to the swing from center to right (“A” and “B” distances, as shown below, must be equal). If the movement is out of beat, the swing distance from center to the left side will be unequal to the swing distance from center to the right side.


To manually adjust the beat, you will need to push through the slight resistance on the “shorter” swing side so that free travel of the crutch arm is even on each side of center. Please note that several adjustments may be necessary until the crutch arm can be pushed an equal distance from center to left as it can from center to right.

Once you have an even swing to each side of center, gently re-hang the pendulum onto the pendulum leader. Push the bottom of the pendulum no more than 1” to the left or right to start the pendulum. Listen carefully to the “tick-tock”. A rhythmic and evenly spaced “tick-tock” will indicate the mechanical movement is in proper beat. If the movement has an unevenly spaced “tick-tock”, the pendulum may stop swinging after a period of time – up to a few days after starting the movement.

Repeat the process for manual mechanical beat adjustment until the movement is in proper beat.


Written By: Chris Akright

Chris is responsible for the kit, plan, and finishing technical support, which he has provided to Klockit customers for over 13 years. Chris also contributes new product designs, composes written/illustrated assembly manuals, and works to develop new kit and plan products for the Klockit catalog. Chris’s experience is the culmination of years of training under his mentor, and Klockit Designer, John Cooper.

One thought on “Mechanical Movement Beat Adjustment

  1. Alexandra March 3, 2021 / 2:18 pm

    Thanks so much for this excellent, helpful advice. My wall clock pendulum was swinging unevenly and the clock repair guy didn’t know what was wrong (after he worked on it). Your article allowed me to adjust the pendulum arm to the proper setting, so now my clock ticks evenly when the case is in the upright position. Kudos!

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