Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping? Tip & Trusted Fixes!

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In woodworking, we often use power tools like the circular saw.

But what if your saw suddenly stops? Maybe the blade gets stuck, or the battery runs low.

This article will help you understand why this happens and how to fix it.

QUICK ANSWER:

Your circular might be stopping due to a dull or warped blade, motor issues, or improper use. Ensure the blade is sharp, check motor components, and follow the tool’s guidelines for smooth operation.

Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping?

If your circular saw keeps stopping, the first two causes to look for are fairly obvious:

The Saw blade

A saw of any kind, circular saws included, is only as good as its blade.  If the blade is old and has become warped, or if it’s been a long time between sharpenings, it’s simply not going to cut.

Even if everything else about your saw is in good order, it’s not going to cut, and the saw will stop working.

Fixes:

  1. Clean the blade.  This you can do yourself.
  2. Sharpen the blade.  You can do this yourself, too, with a file.  However, if the blade is carbon-tipped, you’ll need to have it professionally sharpened or
  3. Install a new one.  Buy a good quality blade sized properly for your saw, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on changing the blade.

Key Indicators About When You Should Replace Your Saw Blade

Sign/IssueAction/Recommendation
No issues with cuttingLikely still working with a sharp edge and durable blade.
Increased kerf tearout, excessive burning, chipping, binding, slow and difficult push-throughCommon indicators that you need to replace a circular saw blade.
Buildup of pitch on the sides or teethPoor cutting performance might be due to a dirty blade. Clean the blade.
Worn-down, chipped, broken, or missing teethSigns that it’s time to replace the blade.
Rounded off carbide edgesSend the blade out for sharpening or re-tipping.
Comparing with a known sharp bladeIf you notice significant dullness in your primary blade compared to a backup, it might be time for sharpening or replacement.

The motor

If you’ve determined it’s not the blade (and most times, it will be the blade), the culprit could be motor issues. 

Fixes:

  1. Motor brass.  If the saw is old, the brass might be damaged.  Open up the motor to check, and if the brass is damaged, remove and replace it.
  2. Motor grease.  Again, if the saw is old, it might be a grease issue.  Over time, the grease will harden, and the saw will simply stop when that happens.  Get in the habit of greasing the motor at least once a year to keep the motor in good working condition.  The manufacturer’s manual will instruct you on how to do this needed maintenance.
  3. The arbor.  This is the piece that extends through the hole in the center of the blade that holds it in place.  Make sure it’s tight and clean, and the blade is secure.
Circular Saw

Beyond those two obvious possible causes, there are other general saw use causes to consider, including a frayed cord, or in the case of cordless, a weak battery charge, or a blade setting that is not deep enough to cut the workpiece.

However, you also don’t want to set the depth of the blade more than ¼ inch below the piece you are cutting.  Too much blade will become exposed to wood, and the blade can get stuck.

Proper use can also be a culprit causing your circular saw to stop mid-cut.  Make sure you move the saw in a straight line or use a jig to keep the cut straight.  If you begin veering or angling from a straight cut, the blade will be caught in the kerf and pinched, with the wood pressing against it, and it will simply stop.

Another proper use issue is cutting a material the saw is not intended to cut or cutting something the saw is simply not powerful enough to cut.  Again, this goes back to reading the manufacturer’s manual carefully.

Easy circular saw maintenance

Why Does My Circular Saw Kickback at The End of A Cut?

We know that kickback happens when the blade is pinched or the saw stalls suddenly in the wood, and the saw gets driven back at you.  As a safety precaution, never stand directly behind the circular saw when cutting; stand to the side.

The solution is to make sure the blade doesn’t get pinched.  Keep the blade sharp, and don’t force it through the cut.  Just like in the kitchen, when using a chef’s knife – let the knife do the work for a clean and easy cut.  Let the blade of your circular saw do the work and move it smoothly and slowly through the cut. 

How Do You Fix a Sticking Circular Saw?

Circular Saw Cutting Thick Wood

We don’t mean this to sound like a fresh answer, but preventing it from sticking in the first place cures the issue.

Keep your blade sharp; make sure the piece you are cutting is properly supported so that the wood does not pinch the blade and cause kickback; replace a damaged or warped blade; ensure the blade is tightly secured to the arbor; keep the motor in good working order; make sure the cord is not frayed and is properly plugged in.

Follow these simple guidelines, and your circular saw should not stick.

Does a Circular Saw Need Oil?

Keeping your circular saw clean is important.  Get in the habit of cleaning it of debris and dust after each use. 

After cleaning your saw, a little oil will also help keep it in good working condition.  It doesn’t need to be oiled often, but once in a while, it will keep running smoothly for you.  A little oil on the inner washers, too, is a good idea.

Again, this is not just a maintenance issue – keeping your circular saw in good working condition is a safety issue, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some troubleshooting steps if my circular saw stops working?

Check the power source and blade for damage, inspect vents and motor, and refer to the user manual. May need a technician.

Why does my circular saw lose power or slow down when cutting?

A dull blade, low amp circuit, wrong extension cord, or overloaded motor can cause power loss. Sharpen the blade, check amps and cord size, and clean the motor.

How can I prevent the motor from overheating in my circular saw?

Don’t force cuts, let the motor cool regularly, keep vents clear of debris, lubricate per instructions, and don’t overwork the motor continuously.

Why does my cordless circular saw lose battery life quickly?

Batteries lose capacity over time. Don’t drain the battery fully; store it at room temperature, match the higher-capacity battery to the saw, and let it cool before recharging. Consider replacing the battery every 2-3 years.

Worst circular saw mistakes to avoid:

Knowing and using your circular saw as intended results in effective and efficient work on your projects. 

Maintaining your saw well and knowing how to diagnose problems will help keep you safe in its use and extend the life of the saw.  A good circular saw well maintained can last you 20 years.  Make them all good and safe years.

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