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How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

If you own a saw of any kind, you will need to replace the blade eventually.

Through use, over time the blade will wear down and begin to become dull. This leads to inefficient cutting powers and can also cause injury.

Some materials will also require a different blade type, meaning that you will need to switch out the blade on your machine.  

It can be daunting to change a circular saw blade for the first time, but it doesn’t need to be. Follow these steps and you will get it done in no time.

It is fairly cheap to purchase replacement blades for your saw. Some tool shops will offer a service where they recycle your old saw blades or allow you to exchange your old blade for a price reduction on your new one.  

How to Tell when Your Circular Saw Blade Needs Changing 

As soon as you notice your blade becoming dull you should replace it. If it begins to bind or burn the wood, this is a clear sign it has become dull.

If the wood is tearing or chipping a lot more than normal, this is often down to a dull blade. If you must push the substance against the blade with a lot of force, this also indicates a dull blade. 

Check the teeth of your blade. If they appear chipped or worn you should immediately replace the blade. If they appear coated in something that is hindering their cutting ability, use some oven cleaner to carefully wipe off the debris.  

If you hit a hard knot in wood or a screw, this is likely to cause damage to your blade. They will likely need replacing if this happens. 

Safety Precautions 

Your first step is to remove the power source from your circular saw. If it has a plug, then disconnect this from the mains power socket.

If it is powered by a battery, you should take out the battery unit.  Never attempt to change the saw blade while connected to a power source as this could result in serious injury.  

If your saw blade has carbide tips then take great care when holding it. These tips are incredibly sharp and can cause injury to your hands. If you are concerned, we recommend wearing a pair of protective gloves. This will prevent cuts to your hands if they slip.  

We suggest taking a few minutes to read through the owner’s manual for your saw before trying to change the blade. This will contain all of the necessary information for your specific saw type.

Each model will have a slightly different makeup and this will give you the clearest and most accurate blade changing instructions.  

How to clean a saw blade

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade 

Put your saw securely on a level surface and find the saw wrench. If it is a mains saw then this will likely be an open-ended wrench, and for battery saws this is commonly an Allen wrench. They are commonly found tucked into a specific area of your saw. 

Before doing anything else, retract the blade guard on your saw with care. 

Use this wrench to unlock the base plate and drop it down to the lowest position. This will give you an increased area of working space around the blade and blade bolt. Lock it into place. 

Find the button or lever that locks the blade arbor. This is commonly on the upper back side of the blade guard. Press on the button or lever and find the blade bolt holding the blade in place.

Turn the wrench while holding the button down. This will rotate the blade until it locks into place. Continue holding the button down and loosen the bolt until you can take it off.  

To work out the direction of rotation, there will commonly be an arrow on the blade guard. If there is not, the bolt loosens in the same way as the blade rotates. 

If there is not a blade lock on your circular saw, there are some other ways to immobilize the blade while you loosen the bolt.  

Once you have taken off the bolt, remove the outer washer. Carefully lift the blade off of the shaft in the center and pull it out through the base plate of the saw. If your blade guard gets in the way, take this opportunity to rotate it back further.  

Check the upper and lower guards of your saw while there is no blade inside. Take out any debris or buildup and give the guards a clean. Do the same for the inner washer too.  

Find the correct blade to replace your worn one. To find the specifications for the replacement you should check your owner’s manual. If in doubt, there is a wealth of information on the internet to help guide your choice. 

Look on the new saw blade to find an arrow. This arrow indicates the direction of rotation the blade should have when installed into your saw.

The easiest way to ensure you have installed the blade in the correct orientation is by looking for arrows on the blade guard. Match up the direction of the arrows to ensure you have placed the blade on correctly.  

Pull back the lower blade guard and push the new blade in through the base plate. Slot the arbor shaft into the hole in the center of the blade and push it in snugly against the interior washer.  

Grab the other washer you took off earlier and slide this over the arbor. Rotate the washer until it rests snugly against the blade. Pop the bolt back on top of the washer and tighten it with your fingers.

Once you can no longer turn the bolt, use the wrench to tighten the final portion. Take care not to over tighten as this can impede the motion and cutting abilities of the blade. 

Reattach the power source and lift the saw off your work surface. Pull the trigger to turn the blade to ensure it cuts cleanly.

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