How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

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If your circular saw leaves burn marks on wood or chips wood excessively, it’s time to replace the blade. Continuing to use the blade with your saw will damage its motor.

Replacement blades are not very expensive, and you can change the blade safely yourself as long as you learn the right way to do it.

This guide will teach you how to change a circular saw blade.

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

You will need a wrench to do it. If you have a battery-powered saw, make sure you use a hex-wrench instead of a standard one.

Step #1: Power the Saw Down

If you own a standard circular saw power it down by disconnecting it from the power outlet.

On the other hand, if you have a battery-powered saw, you must remove the battery before proceeding further.

It’s obvious why this step is important – you don’t want the blade accidentally spinning when you’re trying to remove it.

Double-check that the saw is powered down before moving on by hitting the start button after disconnecting the power.

Circular saw

Step #2: Remove the Arbor Nut

To remove the Arbor nut from the saw:

  • Place the saw on your workbench or a table, and remove the blade guard from it. The blade will now be completely exposed.
  • Engage the safety lock on the saw to ensure the blade doesn’t move when you handle it. You may need to move the blade slightly when holding the safety lock button to lock it in place.
  • If your saw does not have a safety lock, push the blade into a wooden surface, so it holds well enough for you to perform the next step.
  • Grab your wrench, and remove the nut holding the blade in place. Most power saws require you to twist the nut in the direction that the blade cuts to loosen it.

If the blade is on the right side of the circular saw, you need to twist the wrench counter-clockwise to remove the nut. In contrast, if the blade is on the left side of the saw, you must twist the wrench clockwise to remove the nut.

Step #3: Remove the Blade

As you turn the wrench in the direction that the blade cuts (typically counter-clockwise), the Arbor nut will begin to loosen.

After the nut pops out, you can slide the blade out from the saw.

Step #4: Replace the Blade

Unpack your new blade and grab your wrench so you can install it on your circular saw. Make sure that the blade you’re installing is compatible with the circular saw you own.

Using the wrong blade will damage your saw, or worse, cause it to malfunction when you’re using it. Circular saw injuries are a lot more common than you’d think, so you must be careful.

You can install a new blade onto the circular saw in two simple steps:

  1. The new blade will have an arrow that indicates the direction in which it will cut when installed.
  2. Bearing in mind the blade’s direction of movement, slide the new blade onto the shaft of the circular saw.

Step #5: Reinstall the Arbor Nut

Put the Arbor nut back on the shaft, and use your wrench to tighten it, so the saw holds the blade securely.

Make sure you don’t tighten the blade too much because it’s simply not necessary. The nut will tighten itself more when the blade is used for cutting. You don’t have to worry about the nut getting loose.

Only tighten the nut till it feels firm. Now, your saw is ready to cut efficiently again.

Step #6: Test Out the New Blade

If you own a standard circular saw, plug it back into the wall outlet. If you have a battery-powered circular saw, connect the battery back into it.

Turn the saw on, and check to see if the blade is turning correctly. Ensure that the saw isn’t vibrating excessively and that the blade feels secure.

Hand holding a circular saw blade

You could take your test a step further and cut a scrap piece of wood to see if the saw is working correctly.

Here’s a short video that demonstrates the process of replacing a circular saw.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Know if the Blade Needs to be Replaced?

Typically, circular saw blades last between 12 and 120 hours of use, depending on the type, quality, and material.

When you notice that the saw is cutting a lot slower than before, you must consider changing the blade. As mentioned earlier, a worn-out blade will chip the wood and also leave burn marks on it.

Is There a Way to Get Replacement Circular Saw Blades for Cheaper?

Some tool outlets offer a recycling program, wherein you give them your old blade and get a discount every time you buy a new one. Not only will signing up for such a program save you money, but it will also give you the satisfaction of doing good for the environment.

How Do I Secure a Blade if There is No Blade Lock?

You must secure a circular saw blade before you replace it with another one for your own safety. If your saw doesn’t have a blade lock, you can press the teeth of the wood into a piece of wood or your work table.

Alternatively, you could use some vice grips or other lockable pliers to clamp the blade in place.

Can You Sharpen a Blunt Saw Blade?

Yes, you can sharpen a blunt circular saw blade by hand using a diamond sharpener. If you can’t spare the time to sharpen your blade, you can give it to your local grinding shop to sharpen it for you.

Blades that cost more than $50 are worth getting sharpened. If you have a cheaper blade, buying a new one altogether will make more financial sense.

Conclusion

There’s nothing like the feeling of swiftness that a new blade offers in the workshop.

And now that you’ve learned how to replace a circular saw’s blade, you’ll be able to cut through material more efficiently.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.