How to Change a Circular Saw Blade- In 4 Safe Steps

A worn-out circular blade leads to wood burns and surface chipping, slows down the cutting process, and eventually wears the saw motor. Fortunately, the blade replacement procedure does not differ for various models. So let’s learn how to Change a Circular Saw Blade.

The first step is to unplug the corded saw or remove the battery, position the tool on a wooden area, and pull back the blade guard.

Next, fix the wrench in the same direction as the turning blade and keep the arbor button depressed until you unscrew the nut. Pull off the blade and fit a new one.

Also, remember to replace the nut and tighten it before resuming use.

Replacement blades are affordable, and some tool outlets have recycling programs to exchange old blades at a discount. Further, this guide gives sufficient information on how to replace your saw blades. Therefore, you have no excuse to keep using a worn blade.

What Is a Circular Saw?

Image of a woodworker using DEWALT, the best cordless circular saw for beginnersA circular saw is a power saw using an abrasive or toothed blade to cut multiple materials. It also utilizes a rotary motion around an arbor and is among the most used devices in woodworking.

The saw cuts masonry, wood, metal, or plastic. Further, please note that although a ring saw and hole saw generally use a rotary motion, they are pretty different from standard circular saws.

Depending on your preference and project size, you can hold the cutting device with your hands or mount it to a machine. It is also possible to create bevel cuts with these saws, and they guarantee quick and straight cuts across or along a board’s end.

A blade guard covers the saw blade when it is not active and retracts to expose it during cutting. Similarly, a shoe or footplate steadies the saw against the workpiece, and a depth adjustment feature allows for materials with different thicknesses.

The tool features a bevel adjustment that lets the shoe tilt with the blade when making bevel cuts. Also, you will find many products available for different projects, so do your research and get the most suitable one.

What Is a Circular Saw Blade?

A circular saw blade is usually a disc with teeth to cut different materials in a spinning motion. Generally, a standard power saw needs a motor drawing eight to 15 power amps and a 7¼-inch-diameter blade.

Image of a table saw bladeIt is advisable to ensure that the saw blade’s diameter does not exceed the maximum diameter of the disc designed for your tool. Read the label measurements to get the correct one.

In addition, check for the disc diameter printed on the saw blade’s face, the teeth number, arbor hole size, and kerf to make an informed decision.

The teeth number also matters when looking for a suitable circular saw blade. More blade teeth guarantee a smoother and more refined cut with optimal chip removal and minimal friction.

On the other hand, blades with fewer teeth are perfect for ripping up wood to quickly remove material along the grain. They move through hardwood effortlessly and deliver a clean cut with minimal scoring.

Lastly, please choose the blade type wisely, as the correct teeth number places less strain on the equipment and extends its lifespan.

Why Change a Circular Saw Blade?

We have several reasons for changing your saw blade. For example, a dull blade does not cut through wood efficiently and will burn through the wood instead of cutting it.

Consider changing your circular saw blade when working on various projects that require varying cutting discs. Furthermore, these saws cut multiple materials, and it is best to get the most suitable blade for each instance.

For instance, a blade meant for wood will not work well on granite. So, you will have to switch the blades each time you move to the other material, especially when using one circular saw for both projects.

You might also need to change blades when making different cuts. We have blades for finish, rips, rough, and cross cuts. Thus, you’ll keep changing the discs depending on the intended cut.

Precautionary Steps When Changing Circular Saw Blade

Check out the following safety precautions when using or changing a circular saw blade. 

  • Wear Protective Gear

This tip is a must-follow before handling any power tool and does not just apply to circular saws. Also, consider getting hearing protection to protect your ears from loud noise and safety goggles to keep your eyes from sawing dust.

A good quality respirator also comes in handy as the dust is harmful to your lungs.

  • Do a Saw Check

It is wise to evaluate the saw’s parts and confirm that they are working correctly. Check the retracting lower guard for efficient retracting and recovering. And ensure that it works freely to avoid interruptions.

Remove the battery for a cordless battery-powered circular saw and unplug a powered one lest you risk accidentally switching on the device during the check.

  • Hold the Device Properly

We have two types of circular saws: Worm drive and sidewinders. And they also fall into two categories, right-handed and left-handed, depending on how you hold them or your dominant hand.

Worm drive saws are ideal for left-handed users, whereas sidewinders usually work best for right-handed ones. However, some woodworkers prefer to use a worm drive device due to its high torque.

Both hands do not cross when a righty holds a right-hand device with their dominant hand on the main handle and the left on the circular saw knob or auxiliary handle. Oppositely, the hands cross each other when this person uses a left-hand circular saw.

  • Unplug the Saw When Not In Use

Always unplug the tool from the power outlet when not in use. Otherwise, you or an unsuspecting person may accidentally switch it on and harm others. Also, remove the battery for a cordless saw after use.

Similarly, apply the principle when swapping dull or old blades with new sharper ones. Do not get lazy while changing the blades and not unplug the tool.

  • Avoid Overreaching

Please do not try to overreach or cut out more than your hands can extend, maybe raising one foot to gain further ground. It is advisable always to keep a balanced footing and handle the circular saw with two hands.

  • Keep Live Cords and Obstructions Out of the Way

Cutting live cords may lead to your electrocution, so remove them from the cut area to prevent accidents. In addition, ensure there are no obstructions such as screws and nails in the wood.

Keep the material free from fasteners before cutting. Otherwise, you’ll damage the circular saw or even injure yourself.

How to Change Circular Saw Blade

Replace or sharpen your circular blade when it gets dull to facilitate safe and efficient cutting power. Listen to hear whether the saw’s motor is straining to cut the wood or taking longer than usual.

The tungsten carbide-tipped blades are most common and last a while, but sometimes you have to switch them when working on different materials.

Moreover, replacing the saw blade varies depending on the circular saw. So, read the instruction manual for accurate information concerning the process.

Although some tools have blade release switches to facilitate easy removal, there are power saws requiring you to loosen and hold the disc in place during swapping. In addition, saws with a rotation lock help you fasten the shaft bearing the disc for easy blade switching.

On the other hand, we have saws without a rotation lock, requiring you to stick a bar through the blade’s center to hold it in place. Then, you can unscrew the bolt or wedge the blade into scrap wood.

When changing a circular saw blade, the first step involves getting the correct supplies. In addition, you need a replacement blade matching the size of the saw, a circular saw blade wrench, lubricating oil, and protective clothing.

Next, follow the procedure below.

  • Safety First

Unplug the saw or remove its battery. Please avoid attempting to change the blade when the device has a battery or is in use. Otherwise, you risk harming yourself and others around the workstation.

Although gloves are not a must-have, they are essential accessories. The carbide tips on the saw discs are sharp, and it is pretty easy to harm yourself.

Therefore, wear gloves as your hand may slip when trying to loosen a tight bolt.

It is wise to read the manufacturer’s guide as it will give you guidelines on how to replace the blade. For instance, which way the blade bolt tightens and loosens or where to find the wrench.

  • Remove the Blade

Most corded saws feature an open-end wrench, whereas battery-powered saws use an Allen wrench. So, locate the wrench available with the saw. Then, attach the accessory to the cord or slide it into a spot on the saw’s handle or bottom part.

If you can’t find the tool’s wrench, it is okay to use a socket or open-end wrench. In addition, an adjustable wrench can complete the job. But the accessories are a bit harder to work with in the limited space.

Unlock and adjust the saw’s base plate to the lowest position to permit sufficient workspace around the blade bolt. Also, adjusting this part determines the depth of the cut, so do it carefully.

Find the blade lock lever or button on the upper guard’s backside. Then, place the wrench over the bolt and turn the disc with the wrench till it locks. In addition, use the wrench to loosen the bolt and unscrew it completely.

Most woodworkers ask which way to turn the circular saw as the old ‘righty-tighty’ and the lefty-loosey rule does not apply to all tools. Thus, loosen the bolt in the blade’s rotation direction.

Generally, the screw loosens counterclockwise on a right-handed corded tool, while a left-hand saw will loosen clockwise. You can also check for the arrow on the lower or upper blade guard for the disc rotation.

Moreover, some older circular saws do not feature a shaft or blade lock. Hence, you need a strategy to hold the blade while loosening the bold.

First, raise the base plate to press some blade teeth into the work table or wood piece. Then, follow the above guidelines to loosen the screw while holding the saw or pushing it down.

The second method involves clamping the blade with Vice-grips or other lockable pliers when loosening the bolt. However, give the wrench a quick snap or tap to break the screw if it does not loosen.

Remove the outer washer and store it with the bolt. Then, carefully grab the cutting disc and lift it off the shaft out through the base plate. Also, rotate the retractable blade guard for efficiency.

  • Install the New Blade

Inspect and remove any lodged debris in the upper guard before installing the blade. In addition, confirm that the inner washer where the new disc will sit is free from dirt and sawdust.

Make sure you have the correct replacement blade. Switching the blades will only mess up your work, so get the recommended blade size. For example, a ten-inch blade circular saw usually needs a 10-inch blade, whereas a 7¼ inch works best with a 7¼ inch cutting disc.

Most circular blades have a printed or engraved arrow to indicate the correct way to install them. However, you can use the teeth’ position in any direction if the disc does not have an indicator.

Place the disc on the arbor with the teeth or arrow pointing to the saw’s front, and replace the washer and screw. Then, press the blade lock and use the wrench to turn the disc until it locks and stops spinning.

Finally, insert and tighten the blade bolt till it is finger tight. Also, lock the disc by depressing the blade lock button and use the wrench to tighten the screw about an eighth of a turn. However, avoid overtightening for a better result.

  • Check the Blade and Get to Work

Plug in the circular tool or insert the battery. Then, observe the blade spin with the lowered base plate and the saw held up off a work surface. The device should feel smooth, and the disc should not wobble.

Next, get a scrap wood piece and test cut to confirm that the blade cuts through smoothly as expected.

Remove the saw from the material when it stops cutting, and the shaft spins in the blade. Unplug and tighten the bolt more, adjusting as necessary until the saw moves consistently through the material.

That’s it! You are ready to begin or resume your work.

Here’s How to Change Circular Saw Blade In Video:

How Do You Change a Circular Saw Blade Without a Spindle Lock?

You can change a circular saw blade without a spindle lock with a screwdriver. The accessory does the trick as the blade tightens itself once there’s a load.

First, unplug the saw. Then, finger tighten the bolt as much as possible, set the screwdriver across the fence, and slide it into the blade’s teeth to keep it stable without turning.

The above move is enough to get the arbor bolt to snug up and pinch the arbor onto the cutting disc. Also, you can use a vise grip to grab the blade for a successful outcome.

However, it is advisable to refer to your product’s manual for an accurate guide on changing the blade for your specific circular saw. In addition, google the name and model of your tool if you are missing the manufacturer’s directive.

How Do You Change the Blade On a Black and Decker Circular Saw?

Changing the blade on a black and decker circular saw is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is to follow the tips below.

  • Unplug powered saws and remove the battery for cordless ones before securing the blade guard.
  • Secure the blade by pushing the saw blade lock bar and use a wrench to double-check whether it is positioned correctly.
  • Place a socket wrench into the disc’s middle nut. Next, remove the nut by turning the socket wrench clockwise. 
  • Remove the washer. And retain it with the bolt in a secure place until reinstallation.
  • Disconnect the blade guard and remove the cutting disc. Also, consider cleaning the guard area to remove sawdust.
  • Take the current blade and evaluate the arrow’s direction to facilitate correct installation. You can get the blade’s rotation orientation on its sticker. Or tip the blade teeth forward to get the right direction without an arrow.
  • Position the replacement blade and activate the saw blade guard. In addition, replace the nut and washer in their ideal positions, and tighten the nut with the socket wrench.

Here’s A Video Guide On Changing Blade On Black And Decker:

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked question:

  • What are the Common Types of Circular Saw Blades?

Wood is the material you’ll most likely be cutting with a circular saw blade. Hence, the most common cuts to focus on will be crosscuts and rip cuts.

You make a rip cut along the board’s length or with the wood grain, whereas a crosscut happens across the board’s width or wood grain. Thus, various applications need different saw blades.

  • Rip-Cut Blade. This cutting disc has fewer teel, usually less than 40. A careful look at the tool’s teeth will show that their tops are flat.
  • Crosscut Blade. These blades feature more teeth, usually more than 40. An in-depth assessment shows that the teeth tops form a valley at the blade’s center or a V shape.
  • Combination Blade. The tool allows you to make both rip cuts and cross cuts.

In addition, you can also find other blades available for cutting plastic, metal, and concrete. Thus, there’s no limit to what you can do with various circular saw blades.

  • How Do I Measure the Size of My Circular Saw Blade?

We use the circular saw blade’s diameter to measure its size. The measurement covers the entire disc from side to side through the center, and you can find it printed on the blade for easy identification.

It is advisable to measure the blade’s size if the details are not provided on the saw or the print wears down due to heavy use.

So, first, remove the circular blade from the saw, then measure from side to side through the center. Record your findings and store them in an easy to retrieve place for future use.

The arbor diameter is another measurement to consider before buying a new circular blade. Besides, the hole at the blade’s center needs to fit accurately on the saw’s arbor or shaft. So, check whether you can see the printed arbor size on the saw or saw blade.

The last thing to look at is the revolutions per minute (RPM). It is prudent to ensure that the new blade’s maximum RPM rating is ideal and does not exceed the circular saw’s RPM.

  • How Many Teeth Does a Circular Saw Blade Have?

The number of teeth on a circular blade depends on the material to cut. Typically, saw blades with fewer teeth cut more quickly and deliver rough and choppy cuts, whereas more teeth cut more slowly to produce cleaner cuts.

For instance, you’ll need a 14 tooth saw blade to cut wall building studs when appearance is not vital. Moreover, the edges will be rough, but it won’t compromise the project’s success.

On the other hand, it is best to work with an 80 tooth blade when cutting plywood for a dining room cabinet. This blade type reduces splintering and delivers cleaner cuts and smoother edges.


Circular saws are among the most popular portable power tools, prized for their potential to create quick and straight-line cuts. They cut various materials, including hardwood, metal, plywood, and plastic.

But like every tool with moving parts, the saw’s blades soon become dull with repeated use, making it necessary to learn:

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

Replace old and dull saw blades with new ones for the cleanest and most efficient cuts. In addition, learning how to change a cutting disc is a simple tool-maintenance task that any woodworker can do.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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