If you are here, your circular saw blade is probably dull and has to be replaced. Although the process seems to be quite easy, I think it’s essential to learn how to change the circular saw blade safely first. Following my concise step-by-step guide, you won’t face any difficulties.
A worn-out blade tends to leave burn marks on the surface of your material, make highly uneven cuts, kill the machine’s motor, and generally works extremely slowly.
Therefore, knowing how to change a circular saw blade is of the highest importance. In this post, you’ll learn when to replace the blade, how to prepare for the procedure, as well as explore the steps of the process itself. Stay tuned.
Guide to Succeeding in Replacing the Blade
Whether you’re dealing with a saw from DeWalt, Makita, or another manufacturer, one major question remains unchanged across every saw model, how to install a circular saw blade.
Now you will no longer be stuck making unsuccessful cuts with a dull or toothless blade. Ready to make smooth, straight cuts with your saw? Keep reading!
When You Need to Change the Blade?
So, how do you know if your steel-tipped or carbide-tipped saw blade is giving in to dullness? Here are the important signs to get a feel for:
- the blade startі working slowly or even suddenly stopі in the middle of the cut;
- you can hear the motor on the machine straining;
- the machine tearі and chipі the material more often than usual;
- it leaves burn marks on the wood or can even develop a smoking problem.
Now, what about the signs of the dullness of a diamond-edged blade? Find them below:
- the blade glazes over, meaning the metal bond holding the diamonds on the blade has long melted over the diamonds;
- the blade radiates smoothness, which means the diamonds have worn down;
- it works slowly or can even stop suddenly right in the middle of the cutting process.
If you overlook or completely ignore these must-remove-the-blade ‘symptoms,’ the quality of your work will significantly reduce, while the blade can just end up ‘dying’ on you.
To sum up, here are the main reasons for blade replacement:
- the blade has gone blunt;
- it has been damaged;
- it is covered with dirt/rust;
- you now have to force the machine to cut.
Changing Blade on Circular Saw: Preparation
Remember that the longer you continue working with a dull or filthy blade, the higher the chances of it getting permanently impaired and requiring urgent replacement.
You can opt for cheap replacement blades, but they will most likely wear out very soon. So, if you want a fast and furious beast that will last you a lifetime (figuratively speaking, of course), invest in a top-notch carbide-tipped blade.
The tungsten carbide-tipped blades are most frequently used these days. Usually, they are very long-lasting. However, there might come a time when your blade gets dull — or when you need to switch the blades to suit the material you’re about to start working with. In either case, how to replace a circular saw blade is largely dependent on the model of the machine you utilize.
Here are some vital preparation steps before removing your saw blade to sharpen or replace it:
- Read your saw’s instruction manual thoroughly prior to taking action. That’s where you can find the most accurate details on the process of changing the blade on your model in particular.
- Have everything you need for the procedure at hand. If you’re changing the old dull blade, make sure you unpack and prepare the new one.
- Before beginning to take out the blade, ensure that the unit is unplugged from its power source — or remove the battery. This step is paramount. Without detaching the saw from the outlet, you can accidentally press the start button when changing the blade, which might result in horrible injuries. So, better be safe than sorry.
- Put on safety gloves to prevent slicing your hands on the blade.
- Remove the blade from the machine and inspect it to see if there’s a buildup of sawdust on the inside. Chances are your blade cuts awfully because of all the dirt inside.
- Compare the blade you’ve been using for some time with a brand new, sharp one. If woodworking is part of your profession, owning two blades is reasonable: one as your main instrument, while turning the other one as your occasional backup. This will give you the possibility to compare the two blades and instantly see when your main blade is getting blunt.
How to Change Circular Saw Blade? (Step-by-step Guide)
You should think about your safety first, so it’s important to do everything in the correct order. Both corded and cordless saw blades require proper handling even when they’re turned off. You can avoid safety rules only if you have a few spare fingers!
Step 1: Unplug the power cord or remove the battery
Even if the power switch is turned off, things can go wrong by accident. I knew some stories when people neglected this rule and lost limbs because the switch turned on at the wrong moment. Actually, over 30,000 tables saw injuries occur annually in the US.
Step 2: Secure the blade guard and arbor
When the power source is disabled, you can press the arbor lock button to rotate the blade until the mechanism locks it still. Otherwise, you won’t be able to loosen the arbor nut.
Step 3: Loosen the arbor nut
Take your blade wrench to loosen and remove the arbor nut that holds the blade. The rule is always the same – turn the nut in the same direction as your saw cuts.
Step 4: Remove the worn-out blade
First, remove the upper blade guard. Removing circular saw blade, you should be careful not to cut yourself. Even if the blade is dull on wood, it’s always sharp enough to injure your fingers. Take a piece of thick cloth or wear a glove to take it safely and dispose of it carefully so that it wouldn’t fall and hurt somebody.
Step 5: Install the new blade onto the saw’s arbor
Use the same glove or a piece of cloth to take the new blade and pull the saw blade replacement onto the arbor. Make sure that the teeth face the right direction. Check out the arrow on the guard if you’re not sure about it.
Is everything correct? If yes, put the upper guard back and tighten the nut with a wrench. But don’t overtighten it as you should be able to change the blade when the time comes. If you have a diamond-shaped arbor, use a hammer.
Step 6: Test the circular saw
Enable the power source and make a test run to make sure that you install a circular saw blade properly. If it rotates smoothly, make a test cut. If you notice too much vibration, stop the tool quickly and check if everything is right.
FAQ on Changing Circular Saw Blades
Read my answers to the most frequently asked questions about changing a circular saw blade in the section below to know how to do it like a pro.
Where is the arbor lock on a circular saw?
Designed to prevent the blade from turning and i.e. let you safely remove it, the arbor lock (also known as the spindle lock) is located on the top of the machine’s housing.
How do you change a blade on a circular saw without a lock?
If you have an old saw that comes without a shaft lock, feel free to secure the blade in place by using either a screwdriver or a pair of vise pliers. After securing the blade, take out the bolt slowly and carefully. After that, delicately remove the circular saw blade.
What tools are required to change the blade on a circular saw?
In most cases, the only essential tool you need is a hex wrench. You’ll find it on your machine’s handle. You will use it for loosening/locking the blade. Additionally, you may also need a screwdriver or a pair of vise pliers.
How to change the blade on the DeWalt circular saw?
Study the instruction manual that came with the model of your machine, consider all the safety precautions prior to getting the procedure started. Follow the steps described in the manual religiously.
How to change a Ryobi circular saw blade?
The main steps here involve:
- removing the battery and Allen wrench;
- locking the blade;
- loosening the blade bolt;
- removing the blade bolt and washer;
- retracting the blade guard;
- removing the blade;
- installing the blade;
- returning the washer and bold;
- returning the Allen wrench;
- putting the battery back in.
That’s about it.
How to change the blade on a craftsman’s circular saw?
The steps are very similar to the ones I’ve already described above. In case you don’t succeed after reading the manual and following my basic recommendations, feel free to ask me questions in the comments at the bottom of this post. I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP with further guidance.
Readers of this blog and customers ask me these questions very often, so you probably have them too. Here are the brief answers. Don’t skip this section, and you’ll achieve a better understanding of the topic.
When should I change the circular saw blade?
You should replace circular saw blades when you notice any signs of damage. They may include absent or dull carbide teeth and dull, broken, or curved metal teeth. The wear-off speed also depends on the number of blade teeth.
What is the safety measures while changing the circular saw blade?
Safety measures for maintenance of a circular saw are quite simple:
- Always unplug the cord or remove the battery first;
- Don’t take the blades with bare hands;
- Don’t overtighten the nut;
- Test the tool before use.
Conclusion: No More Uneven Cuts!
As you can see, changing a circular saw blade is fairly easy. Just follow the afore-described steps, and you are bound to do it right. Irrespective of the type of saw you’re dealing with, the basic steps remain unchanged.
At the end of the day, practice makes perfect. Therefore, you’ll replace blades like a pro after practicing the steps under your own steam several times.
Do you have anything to add on the topic? Or do you have any questions related to the direction of a circular saw blade or similar issues? You’re welcome to speak up in the comments below. Your two cents are very much appreciated here.
However, I also recommend you take a glance at the official user manual as well to be sure that you turn everything in the right direction and place the parts back in the correct order. The whole thing takes around 5-10 minutes. Ready? Let’s start!
Congratulations! Now you’re an expert on how to change the blade on a circular saw. Don’t forget to save this article to bookmarks in your browser and return to it if you forget something.
Is it the first time you replace the cutter on your circular saw? You’re welcome to ask questions in the comments if something is not clear enough. Take care!