Hello, you proud owners of the miter saw. Our guess is you are completely happy with finishing your job with it. And now you wanna know how to change the blade on a miter saw? Perfect!
Even if you have a perfect tool, it will come the time to change the blade, because the blade became faulty, or perhaps you just want to use a different blade for a separate project.
How to know when is the time to change a faulty blade?
When you see excess burn marks and chipping on your material, it is the first sign that your miter saw blade is faulty and needs to be changed. You can inspect the blade yourself and check if there are missing or chipped pieces along the blade.
Here comes the best part; you don’t have to go out and search for professionals who can do it for you. This may sound crazy – but you can do it by yourself! You have us!
Don’t worry! People who can do it are not magicians, and if they can do it, you can do it, too.
As you will find out later, this process is very simple.
The first thing to do, will, of course, be purchasing the correct replacement blade. Be careful when buying! Make sure that you are buying the correct blade type for the tool you have.
What you need for replacing the blade is just a little time and some of your tools – it can be found in most DIY toolboxes.
How? Stay with us and you’ll find out it’s not a difficult task and you can accomplish it without any expert attention.
The most important thing before you even start changing is to make sure your saw is unplugged!
Forgetting to unplug your saw before starting blade replacement can cause serious injuries!
Do double check! It is very dangerous to start changing the blade if the saw is plugged in.
If the power is on, you’re doing it wrong!
Pull the blade guard out of your way. You can do this by loosening the screw that secures blade guard mounting hardware. Pull the hardware back, this will give you the access to the blade mounting screw.
Now, you will have access to the blade mounting screw lock.
Locate the blade locking pin on your saw. It is usually on the right side and it’s mostly in black color. Hold the button in with the right hand and with the wrench handle pointed toward you. Push down.
If your saw doesn’t have a blade locking pin you can use a piece of wood. Set the wood underneath the blade and then lower the blade down onto the wood. The wood will keep the blade from spinning as you remove the bolt. If your saw has the blade locking pin, depress it and rotate the blade until the pin falls into its detent.
When the blade is locked you can remove the bolt with Allen wrench and turn the bolt in clockwise rotation or reverse thread and then remove the bolt away from the saw. Remove the outer washer with your hand. Do not touch the inner washer! Now you can remove the blade flange and the blade. Try to avoid touching the teeth. If you feel more comfortable, put on a pair of work gloves before you touch the blade.
We can now change the blade. If the inner and outer washers of the blade are drained with oil, make sure to clean the oil first. Put the blade back onto the saw. After that reinstall the blade flange and the blade bolt. Tighten the blade bolt in a counterclockwise rotation, again depress the locking pin on your saw and tighten up the bolt with the ranch. Lower the guard mounting hardware back into its location and now tighten the screw with a screwdriver.
That’s how you remove and replace the blade on a miter saw. A piece of cake!
Possible Issues and Solutions
One of the most common issues includes faulty screws and bolts. If you didn’t use your machine for a while, you may run into screws that are hard to manage due to rust or simply lack of lubricant. In this case, you may try using some lubricant. Any available greasing product that’s made for the lubrication of power tools that you have in your workshop will do just fine.
Another issue is wobbling. Now, there is a certain level of tolerance included meaning you can leave some space in between the blade and the nut, but it shouldn’t wobble.
Things to take care of
We advise you to do double-check the main bolt and how tightly it is screwed in. Don’t do the test-cut immediately after hand-screwing the main bolt. Even though it doesn’t sound possible, it may happen to forget to tighten the axis thoroughly, and that can lead to serious consequences caused by imbalance and high RPM output.
Before you plug the machine back in, make sure that everything is tightened and secured.
We think it’s now safe to say that you know how to change the blade on miter saw!
How to choose blade for your miter saw
You can find many different options on the market, so it may be difficult to choose the right one. The way your blade works depends on the type of material you’ll be cutting, the types of cuts you want to make, and the type of saw you’re going to use.
Type of saw
First, of course, it is important to check what type of saw you have. Sometimes there is an option to use one blade with more tools. Have in mind that this is not always the case, even if the tools use the same size blade. If the blade can be used with other tools, it will be indicated on the blade or on the blade packaging.
Type of blades
Many saw blades are designed to provide the best results in a particular cutting operation. You can purchase specialized blades for ripping lumber, crosscutting lumber, cutting veneered plywood and panels, cutting laminates and plastics, cutting melamine.
There are three types of blades for a miter saw that you can choose: steel blades, high-speed steel blades, and carbide-tipped blades.
If you are searching for a most affordable option, that will definitely be steel blades and they’re good for cutting most softwoods but get dull very quickly when used on hardwoods.
If your needs require stronger blades than your option should be high-speed steel blades. They can be used for a wider range of cutting tasks. They are made to work at high speeds so they don’t dull quickly.
A carbide-tipped blade is your best option for fine woodworking jobs. They are the most expensive of the three types, but you will have sharp blades for a long time. With this type of blade, you will get very smooth, accurate cuts.
Our suggestion is to get at least 2 different blades. One will usually come included with your saw. That blade is usually an all-purpose blade that you’ll be able to use for about 90% of your jobs. All-purpose or combination blades are usually made for crosscutting and ripping.
Many producers offer set with two blades that can be a good choice to make. DeWalt is offering two-pack blades which are a great offer!
If you are doing fine work, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality blade. You may consider buying premium quality 80-tooth, carbide-tipped blade. The price is a little bit higher, but have in mind that this will save your all-purpose blade, and most importantly it will give you precise, smooth cuts.
When purchasing the blade, the important thing to look at is blade teeth. The more teeth it has, the more accurate it will be. Blades with fewer teeth remove material faster. Blades usually have between 24 and 100 teeth.
When you compare, you will see that blades for ripping usually have around 24 teeth, while crosscutting blades have between 60-80 teeth.
The rip blade isn’t designed to do smooth cuts but it will cut hardwood with no trouble, leaving a clean cut.
With crosscut blades, you will have smooth cut across the grain of the wood, without tearing. And, the Crosscut blade requires a slower feed rate because they make more individual cuts.
When you finish your job with a crosscut blade the result will be cleaner cut on edges and a smoother cut surface. If you want a polished surface, then you should for sure buy a top-quality crosscut blade.
We have already mentioned that there are different blades for different materials.
What can affect the cuts is also the shape of the blade tooth.
When you start searching for a blade you will see many different marks, and here is what they refer to;
Flat-Top (FT) is used on blades for ripping hard and softwoods. They are designed to remove material quickly.
Alternate Top Bevel (ATB) this shows us that the blade teeth alternate between a right- and left-hand bevel. They are designed for a smoother cut. They make a cleaner cut than flat-top teeth
High Alternate Top Bevel (Hi-ATB) is designed with a configuration that is used for extra-fine crosscutting. You can even cut materials surfaced with melamine.
When you look at the blade teeth you will see that on most of them the faces are tipped forward or backward. This angle is called a hook angle. It can be a positive and negative hook angle.
On positive, teeth are tipped forward, toward the direction of rotation. On negative teeth tip away from the direction of rotation.
Now get this: this hook angle is very important. It has a great effect on how the blade operates. A positive hook angle will do aggressive and fast cuts. This can be mostly found on rip blades.
Blades with a negative angle can slow the feed rate. Radial-arm saws and sliding compound miter saws use blades with a negative hook angle.
Chose the best miter saw
If you are in the process of searching the best miter saw we can help you choose. Changing blades is not something you will do often, but we advise you to choose saws that make things easy.
For example, Makita provides storage for the blade changing wrench, and the changing process is very simple and easy. We recommend Makita saws because their stock blades don’t suck and they are the best you can buy.
For example, Makita LS1019L 10″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw comes with a 60T carbide-tipped blade. With this blade, you can be sure that you will have perfect cuts.
Also, if you want to know more about saws in general, check out our cordless saws review page. You will find some useful tips and tricks, and on the bottom of the page, there are links to our reviews of different kinds of saws. Enjoy!
Check out our summarized steps on how to change the blade on a miter saw: