Cutting lumber down to the required size is a big activity for woodworkers, whether professionals or DIY lovers. There are different saws with varying functions as they cut differently.
One of the most popular saw types is the circular saw. It is found in most garden sheds and can serve as a utility saw, able to do different types of cuts as long as they are in straight lines. Circular saws are multi-purpose saws that can make crosscuts, rip cuts, and angular cuts. Their disc-like blade and the handlebar attached to the saw make it flexible.
A saw that sees a lot of action will typically see its blade get blunt or damaged faster. When any of these happen, you’ll need to replace the blade if you want to keep enjoying the saw. Further, because of its multiple uses – you may need to change the blade size to make some cuts.
Changing or replacing the blades of the circular saw requires the same process, but not many people know how to do it. Besides, the thought of dealing with sharp blades scares a lot of people into thinking it is a highly dangerous activity and should be avoided. This is far from the truth and if you use your circular saw a lot, you will be faced with changing or replacing the blades sooner rather than later.
Learning how to replace or change the blades on your circular saw is easy with the right guidance. Following a laid-down guide will show you everything you should know while changing the blades.
When to Change Your Circular Saw Blade?
No one wakes up and says, hey, I should change my circular saw blade. There is usually a triggering event, something that makes you realize you should change your blades. Here are some things that indicate you may have to change your circular saw blade:
The teeth of the blades can get bent or twisted when they are old and worn out. When you see this, it means it is time to replace the blades with a new ones.
If the blade of the circular saw is not sharp enough, it will struggle to make accurate cuts. When you notice you have to put in more pressure to make cuts or the cuts present rough edges, you may need to change or sharpen the blades. Sharpening the blades frequently will lead to the teeth reducing in height till it reaches the limit, and you must replace the blade.
There are different types of circular saw blades available with varying uses. If you want to cut different material or make a different type of cut, you may have to change the blade to a suitable blade type.
Step-by-Step Guide to Changing a Circular Saw Blade
Here’s a guide you can follow to change or replace that circular saw blade even if you’ve never done it before. The guide is simple to follow; newbie woodworkers and pros will find it helpful.
Step One: Read the Owner’s Manual
The owner’s manual will typically contain information you need to replace the blade or at least help you understand how to do basic things like locate the screw locations and which direction they turn.
Not everybody is still in possession of their circular saw owners manual, so it’s okay if you can’t get yours. However, if you can, ensure to read it before proceeding to the next step. The good thing is that there’s no pressure here; you can read it at your own pace while doing other things.
Step Two: Disconnect From Power Source
Before you do anything, consider your safety by unplugging the circular source from the power source. Unplug the cord, switch off cordless circular saws from the switch and remove the battery so you do not accidentally turn on the power while holding the blade.
Wear gloves to protect your fingers as stationary blades can injure you if your hand slips across the tip. These precautions are vital and should not be taken lightly if you want to keep your fingers after changing the blades.
Step Three: Lock the Blade
Just above the blade hood, you’ll find the arbor lock button. Press this button and rotate the blade till you notice the blade stops rotating, even if you try. At this point, the blade locking mechanism has been activated. This will prevent the blade from rotating at any speed while you work.
Step Four: Remove Old Blade
To rove the blade from the circular saw, first, use the blade wrench to unscrew the spindle nut holding the blade. Turn the wrench in the direction the blade turns to loosen the nut. The spindle nut is the nut at the center of the blade. Remove the nut and the washer under.
Push the blade guard lever to raise the guard and expose the blade. You need extra caution at this point, so you do not injure yourself. Gently grab one part of the blade without touching the teeth and slide the blade out.
Step Five: Clean the Guards and Washer
Remove debris and dirt from the guards and washer after removing the old blade. After a long time of use, it is normal to see a clogged-up blade guard or dirty washer. Gently clean the inside of the upper and lower guard. Remove debris that may be found on the washer.
Step Six: Replace New Blade
Choose the blade you want to replace in your circular saw. It should be the right size for your saw and should match your intended use. Retract the lower guard before sliding in the new blade, ensuring you pay attention to the arrow indicating the direction the blade should turn. Usually, you’ll find this around on the blade or the blade pack.
Once the blade is in through the base plate and unto the shaft, ensure it is close enough to the inner washer. Put the outer washer on the shaft, and turn it till it snugs to the blade too. At this point, press down the arbor button to engage the locking mechanism while you tighten the new blade.
You want to do everything you did while removing the old blade in reverse. Use the wrench to tighten the spindle nut at the center. Do not tighten it all the way. Allow a small room so you can remove it easily when next you try this process.
Step Seven: Test the New Blade
You may have successfully changed the blade of your circular saw, but without knowing how it works, you cannot tell if you’ve done a good job. The next thing to do after tightening the new blade is to test it. You need to switch on the power switch, replace the battery or plug the cord into a power source, whichever method gets it running.
Set the lumber you want to use for the test, and then turn on the saw. Allow the saw to run without trying to cut anything. Observe the vibrations and sound to ensure it is smooth and nothing excessive, which may indicate loose nuts or poorly arranged parts. Next is to cut the lumber and observe the cut, ensuring it leaves a smooth edge and does not require too much pressure to cut.
Extra Tips For Replace or Change a Circular Saw Blade
Here are extra guidelines and safety tips you should keep in mind:
- Place the circular saw on a stable and flat surface before changing blades. This is so that it does not slip while you work and so you can get easy access to the blade without straining your back.
- Double-check that the saw is unplugged and the battery removed to protect yourself from accidents. Go the extra mile by wearing protective gloves to prevent injuries.
- Some older circular saws do not have blade locks, so you may have to press down the blade into a wooden piece to stop it from moving when loosening or tightening the spindle nut.
Circular saws are seen as utility saws because they are not limited to a single-use like some others. They can be used to make a variety of cuts as long as they are in a straight line.
Being this valuable means – it is being used a lot which leads to the need to change or replace the blades. Changing the blades of circular saws shouldn’t be a difficult task with a little guidance.