I know there have been 2 previous questions (From what used/junk equipment can I salvage solenoids from? and Taking apart old electronics) on this, but this one is a bit different.

Also, questions about salvaging parts are on topic.

I always have lots of old electronics to take apart and salvage expensive or hard-to find parts (motors, solenoids, vacuum fluorescent displays, etc.) from. However, I have not been impressed with the amount of these parts I find in certain devices.

For example, I recently took apart a laser printer. Here are the usable parts that I got from it:

  • 3 solenoids
  • 1 2-inch fan
  • 1 large brushless motor (questionable)
  • 7 beam interruption sensors

This seems to be much less than other people get from taking apart laser printers. This one contained 10 motors, 10 beam interruption sensors, 9 microswitches, 2 electric clutches, and more parts.

What are the best devices to take apart to find these parts (list below)? Where is the best place to obtain these devices?

  • DC motors
  • Solenoids
  • Stepper motors
  • Brushless motors
  • Vacuum fluorescent displays
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ugly thing with salvaging is that when you subsequently use the parts in a design, it will not be scalable. Many parts will be custom-made for the large laser printer manufacturer, and will not be freely and cheaply available in your location. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vorac
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Few more posts about low merits of salvaging components out of random junk these days: this and this. (Applies well to US.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Old VCRs are good for the parts you want to strip . \$\endgroup\$
    – Autistic
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 19:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ How is this different? \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 20:24
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Junk the junk and buy new parts. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


Back when I was in junior high some 55 years ago, I got hold of a pinball machine that had been seized in a raid and took it apart. Back then they were 100% electromechanical. Used the many relays, counters, solenoids, and micro switches to build all sorts of interesting stuff. One of today's arcade games, if you could get a hold of a non-functioning one, would probably also yield tons of interesting stuff. Or maybe you could still find one of the older ones too.-


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