How To Change Miter Saw Blade Like a Pro

A miter saw is one of the most versatile power tools that DIYers of all skill levels can have.

You can use a miter saw to cut wood, metal pipes, PVC pipes, and other materials.

This tool is relatively easy to use, but first, you should know how to change miter saw blades. This guide will show you how.

Table of Contents

    Why Should You Change Your Miter Saw Blade?

    There are two reasons you would want to change the blade in your miter saw:

    • It’s dull.
    • The material requires a special blade.

    1. You Have a Dull Blade

    You may need to replace the blade if you’ve been using it for quite some time now and it appears to be losing functionality.

    The following red flags tell you to replace your saw blade immediately:

    • It “burns” the wood.

    One of the telltale signs that your miter saw blade needs changing is when it starts to burn the wood as you cut.

    Burn marks are common indicators of a worn-out blade. The wood burns because the blade is too dull, creating too much friction.

    • It cuts slowly.

    When the miter blade was new, you probably noticed that you didn’t have to apply much pressure when cutting.

    It goes through the material like a hot knife through melted butter.

    However, as the blade loses its sharpness, there will be a lot of resistance, and you need to apply more force to cut.

    It seems like it’s bogged down at specific points while cutting.

    • Your saw is making a lot of noise.

    If your miter saw blade is dull and old, it won’t hold up to the task well.

    Hence, your machine will have to work harder than it should. This can lead to overheating and loud noises.

    If you hear a high-pitched whining sound, it’s likely time to change your miter saw blade.

    2. You Need a Special Blade

    Different cutting jobs require different types and sizes of blades. If you want to cut metal, for example, you cannot use a blade designed for wood.

    As you probably know, two factors separate miter saw blades in the market. These are the diameter and number of teeth.

    Most miter saw blades have a diameter ranging from 10 to 12 inches, while smaller trim miters use 7 1/4 to 8 1/2 inches.

    You should never use a different blade size other than the one recommended for your saw.

    How To Choose a Blade

    You don’t need to be an expert to find the right type of miter saw blade.

    Here are a few things to consider when choosing a miter saw blade:

    Blade Teeth

    Saw blades with fewer teeth make rough and choppy cuts, whereas blades with more teeth make cleaner and more precise cuts.

    If you’re cutting wood or other materials for DIY projects, make sure to use blades with more teeth.

    However, use a blade with fewer teeth if you only cut studs or chop wood without caring for details.

    Blade Construction

    Saw blades also come in different materials. You’ll find regular steel blades, high-speed steel-tipped blades, and carbide-tipped blades.

    Regular steel blades are the cheapest and suitable for cutting softer wood.

    If you’re working on hardwood, make sure to get a high-speed steel blade to make quality cuts.

    Carbide blades are the most expensive but excellent for detailing and craftsmanship. They also stay sharp for a long time.

    If you’re after precision and smoothness, buy this type of blade.

    However, choose diamond blades if you’re cutting masonry materials like brick, tile, and concrete.


    You might also wonder if you can change your miter saw blade in terms of brand. The answer is yes; you can use a different brand from what you previously used.

    Whether you prefer Craftsman, Makita, DeWalt, or Porter-Cable, there is really no difference between brands.

    Lastly, you may wonder if you actually need to replace the blade or just sharpen it.

    Technically speaking, you can sharpen the blade, but the process is quite tricky and time-consuming.

    If you do it incorrectly, you could further damage or dull the blade.

    tips on how to change miter saw blade

    How To Change Miter Saw Blade Safely and Quickly

    Changing a miter saw blade is relatively easy and requires a few tools, like a screwdriver and a wrench.

    The entire process takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

    Before you begin, make sure you have the correct replacement blade.

    If you’re unsure about the blade you need, check your equipment’s manual. If you already don’t have the manual, look up your saw model online to find the right blade.

    Also, ensure you get a suitable sharp blade for your application. As mentioned earlier, blades come in different sizes and tooth numbers.

    Lastly, take note that there are many brands of miter saws. The steps below are a general guide to changing circular saw blades.

    Check your manual or search the web to see how to change the blade for your specific saw.

    What You Need

    Here are the basic items you need to prepare:

    What You Need To Do

    Now that you’ve the tools ready, here are the general steps to changing miter saw blades:

    1. Remove the spindle cover.

    Before you start, ensure your miter saw is disconnected from the power source. Next, remove the spindle cover.

    Depending on your miter saw brand, you may or may not need a tool to pop the spindle cover and blade guard off.

    Once the guard is lifted, remove the front blade screw from the spindle cover, allowing the cover to pivot back fully on the rear screw.

    At this point, you should be able to take the cover off completely.

    2. Remove the blade.

    Now, you’re ready to remove the blade. To do so, press the lock button on the spindle to lock it fully into place.

    Some miter saw models have spindles that you can fully lock. If that’s the case for your saw, use a blade wrench to apply pressure to the spindle lock button.

    You also need to remove the bolt that holds the blade in place.

    Using a wrench, rotate the blade clockwise to loosen the bolt.

    After that, remove the outer blade washer by hand. There’s no need to remove the inner washer.

    Once you have removed the blade bolt, you can safely remove the blade.

    3. Replace the blade.

    Now, you’re ready to attach a new blade to your saw. The process of attaching a new blade is exactly the same as removing it but in reverse order.

    Once you put the new blade, insert the bolt and washer.

    Then, press the spindle lock and tighten it using a wrench. Finally, put back the spindle cover.

    4. Test your saw.

    Plug in your miter saw and give it a test run. Notice any unusual vibration, as it can indicate that your blade washer is not set right.

    You may need to do some fine-tuning until your miter saw works fine.

    A New Blade for Your Miter Saw!

    If your miter saw blade is burning the wood and taking a long time to cut, or if your machine is making a loud noise, you may need to replace your saw blade.

    Learning how to change miter saw blades is easy. After getting the right replacement blade, follow the simple steps outlined above.

    In no time, you should be able to continue with your project.

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