When using a circular saw blade, it is vital to keep it sharp. Without a sharp blade that is properly installed, you may find the quality of your cuts becoming less and less accurate. Also, you will find the circular saw is more difficult to use. That is why you must change its blade regularly to maintain quality and safety.
It is often one of the processes people struggle with. Also, it can be tricky to change a circular saw blade depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the blade. If you want to learn how to change a circular saw blade, you’re in for a treat!
This article covers a simple guide on the four easy steps of changing blades. You can also find here essential tips on determining when you need to change your blade.
Steps on How to Change a Circular Saw Blade
Here are the steps you need to follow when changing the blade of your circular saw:
Step 1: Preparation and Safety
First, you must prepare the circular saw and ensure you have a safe working area.
- Clear your work table to make sure you have a larger area to place your circular saw and blades.
- Unplug the circular saw from its power outlet if it is corded.
- Move the power cord or extension cord out of the way also to avoid tripping.
- If it is a cordless model, remove the battery pack. There should be no chance that you can accidentally turn the circular saw on whilst changing it!
Next, consider safety equipment. You do not need to wear safety glasses for this action, as the tool isn’t powered. However, you may want to consider wearing gloves. It is because the blades are sharp, and you could easily cut yourself. However, you may also find that gloves restrict your movement and agility. Do what you are comfortable with!
Finally, always read the instruction manual of the circular saws. The manual will contain important information. Also, it should explain precisely how to change the blade and any tools you need. It will also give specific info relating to your saw model that a generic guide cannot provide.
Step 2: Detach the Old Blade
You will need a decent set of tools to detach the old blade. These include:
- A blade wrench
- A socket wrench or an adjustable wrench.
In most instances, the circular saw will most likely come with an official blade wrench. Often, the wrench is stored in a slot near the handle of the circular saw.
Here are the things you need to do when looking at how to change a circular saw blade:
- The first action is to unlock the base plate – you do not need a wrench. The base plate must be repositioned to give as much working room as possible next to the blade.
- Next, you must locate the blade lock button. Generally, circular saws have a blade lock that must be pressed to untighten the holder’s blade. It may also be a lever as opposed to an actual button.
- Whilst the button is pressed, use the blade wrench over the tightening bolt and turn it. Eventually, you should feel the blade lock.
- With the button still pressed, use the blade wrench to unscrew it completely. The blade should now come free from the site.
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With the old blade detached, place it to one side completely out of the way and remove your wrench and store the washer and bolt safely for later use.
Which Way Do I Turn the Bolt?
It can often be confusing, and many people think the standard “lefty-loosey, righty-tighty” phrase applies. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Here, the general rule is that the bolt will loosen in the same direction or way that the blade spins when in use. As mentioned above, the instruction manual should state explicitly which way the bolt must be loosened.
Step 3: Attach the New Blade
It is now time to install the new blade! Before picking the blade up, it is good practice to inspect the guard’s upper section and the mechanism that holds the blade in place. These are areas that dirt and debris from cutting can often build up. Give the inner guard section a thorough clean and blow away any debris. It will make the blade installation easier but also make sure the circular saw works efficiently.
- With your new blade in hand, you first need to align it and ensure it runs the same way as the tool’s rotation. The blade itself will have an arrow on one side that shows how it must rotate to work. Also, the saw should have a similar marking to indicate which way it powers the blade. Essentially, these two arrows need to be facing in the same direction. Otherwise, the blade won’t work!
- Next, move the guard, slide the blade through the base plate, and place it onto the shaft’s site. It must be a snug fit, and you must place it on top of the inner washer on the shaft. Earlier in the process, you should have also put the outer washer in a secure place. Place the washer onto the top of the blade over the site where the bolt will fit through.
- Finally, insert the bolt through the washer and the blade. It should then screw through and thus form the connection between the two washers and the blade. Tighten until it is finger tight and then press the blade lock button. You can now use the wrench to finish tightening the blade.
I got a new blade for my circular saw. Felt like a proper grown up 😀
— Janet Donnelly💙 (@celebrantjanet) April 12, 2021
Step 4: Test the New Blade to Make Sure It Works
The blade should now be fully installed and ready to use. However, testing is essential. Never dive straight in and start using your circular saw without first testing the blade. Hopefully, you have done everything right. There may be a slim chance that something is not aligned correctly or something is not quite right. So, make sure you double-check everything. It could result in an accident if you don’t test the blade first.
- First, either plug the circular saw in or re-insert the battery pack.
- Next, with the guard lowered, power the saw or pull the trigger. Watch the blade spinning. The blade should spin smoothly. Also, it should not wobble at all. If it does wobble, you may need to tighten something or make adjustments.
- Test the blade on a piece of scrap material. If you regularly work with cutting tools, having a box of offcuts and scrap material is something we advise. You can use these scrap pieces to test new cutting techniques, and like in this instance, test new blades. If installed properly, the blade should cut through the wood easily without any resistance.
That’s essentially the process of how to change a circular saw blade! Once you get used to it, you will be able to change your circular saw blade in a few minutes.
How Do You Know If Your Circular Saw Blades Need Changing?
We have looked at how to change a circular saw blade, but how do you know when to change it? No rule states, “The circular saw blade must be changed after X number of uses.” It doesn’t work like that, and there are too many variables involved. However, there are simple checks you can make and signs you can look for:
The Motor Sounds Different or Feels Overworked
Check when using the circular saw right away how the device sounds. When undertaking your next project, listen to the motor. Does it say “normal?” We mean what you consider the circular saw to sound like when everything is working fine by normal.
However, if the saw sounds different, it could point towards a dull blade that needs replacing. The device will generally sound overworked, and the motors may make a whining noise or sound much louder. It is an indicator that the tool is working harder to overcome the circular saw blade’s bluntness or defects. If this is the case, you may need to replace the blade.
Excessive Burn Marks and Chipping
A sharp circular saw blade that is working should make high-quality cuts. It should also leave no marks on the surface you are cutting. When working on any project, check the surface and material you are cutting. Also, check the blade itself.
Do you notice any burn marks? (These are where either the blade or wood is blackened) Is there any chipping on the wood? If so, you may need to change the blade as it is becoming dull.
Burn marks are left when there is increased friction between the blade and material. The increased friction results from the increased force the blunt blade is trying to apply to the cut. It is a definite sign that you need to change the blade.
Increased Force Required to Make Cuts
Building on the above point, do you notice a change in usage of the circular saw? Do you require more force to cut the material? Can you feel a more significant resistance when cutting the wood? If so, this is an indicator that there is something wrong with the circular saw blade.
When a blade is sharp, you should feel minimal resistance when cutting. It should be a smooth process, and you should only exert minimal power to cut any material. Therefore, if you need to exert more power, you can deduce that the blade is becoming dull.
Inferior Quality Cuts
Lastly, it would help if you always inspected the blade cuts. The blade cuts’ quality is a simple way to see if you need to change the blade. When the blade is working correctly, the cuts should be straight, with minimal chipping, and it should be easy to maintain a straight line.
If you notice that the cuts you are making look poor, there could be something wrong with the blade. For example, it may be dull, or it may not have been properly tightened. Before replacing the blade in this instance, check that you have installed it properly and securely.
Circular Saw Blades FAQs
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about changing circular saw blades:
Do You Need Different Blades for Different Materials?
Yes. You can buy different types of circular saw blades. The different types of blades include carbide, tungsten, chrome-plated, uncoated carbide, and high-carbon steel. The other materials give the blades a different level of hardness and make them more suitable for particular materials.
Which Type Of Blade Is Suitable For Cutting Metal?
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Usually, carbide blades are the most versatile. They can be used to cut through various materials, including non-ferrous metals, plastic, and plexiglass. They, of course, also cut quickly through most types of wood, including MDF, hardwood, and softwood.
How Often Does a Circular Saw Blade Need Replacing?
Unfortunately, there is no golden rule for this. You must pay attention to your circular saw blades and check them each time before using them. How long before you need to use a replacement blade depends on many factors. It includes frequency of use, the materials you cut, and the quality of the blade.
Keep It Sharp
Now you have an idea of how to change a circular saw blade. You should feel comfortable having a go at it by yourself. Circular saws are handy tools to have. But if you don’t change the blade regularly, it could cause poor cuts and low quality work, and it could also be a safety issue. Follow our guide so you can continue to use your saw safely and work to a high standard.
Did you find this article helpful? Do you have other tips to add when changing circular saw blades? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below!