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How to Adjust a Cuckoo Clock Pendulum Weight

Adjust the pendulum weight--the leaf--to adjust your cuckcoo clock.
cuckoo-clock image by Fata-Morgana from Fotolia.com


The eight hour period is a minimum recommendation only. As the timekeeping ability of the cuckoo clock improves, this period may be extended to a day or a week. The pendulum weight will then be moved in the necessary direction in smaller increments.

When the cuckoo clock is keeping good time for long periods, use a pencil and mark the position of the pendulum weight bracket on the back of the pendulum rod for future reference.

Adjusting the pendulum weight on a cuckoo clock is strictly a trial and error process. However, persistence will reward the cuckoo clock owner with not only an entertaining clock, but a reliable timepiece as well.


  • Any difficulties beyond the scope of this article should be referred to a qualified clock repair person.

Many people regard the cuckoo clock as a novelty item only, rather than a reliable timekeeper they can depend on. While it is true that cuckoo clocks can be very entertaining--with dancers, music, and the perennially nodding cuckoo bird itself--it is also true that outside of these amenities, the cuckoo clock can be a fine timekeeper that warrants respect. Adjusting the cuckoo clock pendulum weight will increase its accuracy. It is a task that any adult can do with the greatest of ease with no tools other than a pair of hands!

Identify the pendulum weight. It will be found hanging from the bottom of the clock and will be in the shape of a leaf.

Pull the chains to pull up the weights on the cuckoo clock

Adjust the time on the cuckoo clock to correspond with another timepiece in the home known to keep good time.

Set the pendulum on the cuckoo clock in motion and allow the clock to operate for eight hours.

Check the cuckoo clock time and compare it to the more reliable timepiece. If it has gained or lost time, the pendulum weight must be adjusted.

Speed up the clock by gently sliding the weight about 1/4 inch up the pendulum rod with one hand while supporting the rod firmly in the other hand. Set the pendulum on the cuckoo clock in motion again and allow the clock to operate for another eight hours.

Slow down the clock by firmly holding the pendulum rod in one hand and gently sliding the weight 1/4 inch down the rod with the other hand. Set the pendulum on the cuckoo clock in motion again and allow the clock to operate for another eight hours.

Continue raising and lowering the pendulum weight as necessary until the cuckoo clock keeps accurate time.

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